Did he have the guts to fight the suspension?

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A VG Serial: ToxiCity

Episode 45

When Matt got home Monday night, Georgia was slumped over the kitchen table, a half-empty pint of rum just out of reach. He murmured her name. She lifted bleary, unfocused eyes, slow to recognize him. When she did, she lurched to a sitting position.

“Looks like you squeaked through again, Singer Boy.”

A sour feeling settled over him. “What are you talking about, Georgia?”

She got up, went to the sink, and ran cold water over her face. When she straightened up and turned around, she looked more alert. “I’ll tell ‘ya. You were put on probation.” She stretched the word into four syllables. “They didn’t even take you off the case. I was suspended, Matt. Fucking suspended.” She released the edge of the table. Her chair clattered back. She didn’t seem to notice.

Matt pulled out a chair and sat down. “Doyle said I would have been out too, if we weren’t in the middle of these cases.”

“Bull-fucking shit. And you believed him? Where does that leave me?”

“We can fight it, Georgia. It stinks.”

“Doyle hates women. He always has.” She reached for the rum. “He probably can’t even get it up.”

Matt moved the liquor out of reach. “You don’t need this.”

She glared at him. “Oh… so now you’re my keeper, too? Where were you earlier?” She grabbed the bottle.

He felt weary. “Did you talk to anybody from CS?” Counseling Services was supposed to provide assistance to officers in need.

“Have you lost your fucking mind? Who do you think they report to?” She slammed the bottle down on the table. “I’m not the prodigal daughter. You go. You’re the biblical scholar.”

Matt’s gut twisted. “What about the association? We can file a grievance.” The Glenbrook Police Association was the officers’ version of a police union.

“What are they ‘gonna do? We don’t know who ratted on us.”

Matt kept his mouth shut.

“Tell me something, Matt, are we in this together? Or are you ‘gonna weasel out?”

“Georgia, that’s not fair.”

“Fair?” she sneered. “I get fucked by a sexist asshole, you sleaze by with a slap on the wrist, and you’re whining about fairness?”

He couldn’t win. “Georgia, we’re not going to resolve anything tonight. How about I make us something to eat?”

“Oh sure, Matt. Use your calm, soothing voice to clean up the mess. Make everything neat and tidy. It’s not your life that’s been fucked over. You’ve got a job to go to tomorrow. What am I ‘gonna do for the next few weeks? Sew curtains? Bake cookies?”

She stood, went back to the sink and ran cold water over her face again. Then she opened the freezer and took out an ice tray, smashing it down on the counter. A few cubes skittered across the floor.

She had a point, Matt reasoned. She was always volunteering to help out on cases, looking for more work to do. She didn’t even care what kind of work it was, as long as she was involved. She was hooked on police work. She had a jones for danger.

She dumped too much ice in her glass and the liquor sloshed over the rim. A few drops spilled on the table. Using her middle finger to wipe them up, she sucked it, then raised it in Matt’s face.

“I get it,” she said. “I’ll wait for you to come home every day so I can suck your cock like a good little shiksa.”

“That’s enough.” Matt lunged for her hand, but she backed away, splaying her arms. He stumbled, almost losing his balance, before his hands caught the edge of the table.

“Face it, Matt.” She drained her glass. “I’m not good enough for you, am I? Your mother was right. I’m just your goyisha whore.”

“Oh, god, Georgia, that’s not true.” His throat seized up, coarsening his voice. “It’s my punishment too.”

“Your punishment?” She slammed the glass down on the table. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“You’re taking the rap for me, and God knows it. I couldn’t protect you, and He’s making me pay.”

Episodes in the novel will be published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Please click the following title,ToxiCity, to read more about Libby Fischer Hellman’s books on Amazon.

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