It’s difficult to be careful when body heat’s at work.

More chapters from ToxiCity

A VG Serial: ToxiCity

Episode 30

Georgia knew better than to be impatient, but she’d hardly seen Matt at all over the past twenty-four hours. He’d come home late last night and left before she woke up. Now, she checked her watch. Almost eight PM. She peered through the door of the Detectives’ office. Matt was on the edge of his desk talking to Brewster and the new Detective from Deerfield. Carrie Nelson. The woman seemed average, but Matt looked her directly in the eye. That meant he liked her. Georgia repressed a twinge. It was exhausting to be jealous of the whole world.

She overhead Brewster saying he’d talked to the golf course people. “Monday was so cold they never opened up. And they only came in Tuesday because we asked them to.”

“Anyone there notice anything unusual over the weekend?” Matt asked.

“Nothing.”

Matt swung himself off the desk. “What about the reports from those deaths downstate?”

“We’re going through them now.”

“Any connection to RDM?”

“Nothing. Apparently, they thought it was an inside job. Disgruntled employees, unhappy clients, that kind of thing. But they sent a list of all their work orders over the past year or so.”

“Nelson, what about East Bank?”

Carrie looked up from her notes. “The locker room attendant remembers that Simon came in last Friday around three. According to the sign-in sheets, he worked out on the machines, then jogged a few miles around the track. After showering, he went down to the bar. The bartender thinks he saw him with a woman around five.”

“No shit!” Brewster slapped a hand against his desk.

Nelson scowled. “Don’t hold your breath, Brewster. It was Friday afternoon. Too busy to get a description.”

“Nothing?”

“He thinks she had dark hair. That’s it.”

“What about Romano’s picture?” Matt said. “You show him that?”

“Didn’t recognize her.”

“Can you go back?”

“If you want me to, but I think I already squeezed all the blood out of that stone.”

“Try anyway.”

Nelson nodded.

“Speaking of blood,” Matt said, “The histologies on Romano came back.” He flipped up a hand. “The ME explained it all, but bottom line they still can’t find anything.”

Brewster kicked the side of the desk.

“It’s not a total loss. The absence of anything ruled out a few viruses and bacteria.”

“What if Simon’s come back the same way?” Nelson asked. “I feel like we’re chasing shadows.”

“I hear you,” Matt said. “Anything on Brenda Hartman?”

Nelson and Brewster shook their heads. “But the sister’s clean,” Brewster said. “Her alibi checks out. She’s dating one of the guys at Palmoro Paving. They spent the weekend together. Dinner on Friday, a movie on Saturday, the Bears game Sunday. Plenty of witnesses.” He went on. “And I checked back at Adam’s Rib. The waitress wasn’t there, but someone else said Romano always came in by herself.”

“Charlene Simon’s alibis are airtight, too,” Nelson said. “We talked to the people who called her Friday night.”

They started talking about splitting up Simon’s black book and interviewing everyone in it. Georgia went down the hall and wandered out to the Toyota, thinking about dinner. She’d cook tonight—Matt needed a break. In the car she opened her glove compartment and pulled out a book. She always carried around a novel—usually a classic—and would sneak in a page here and there. Her personal self-improvement course.

When the door opened, she closed the book and snapped off the dome light. Matt slid into the car. She leaned across the front seat feeling his arms tighten around her, his lips on hers. As she started to lose herself in him, it occurred to her they should be careful. They were in the parking lot of the police station. Then the taste of his tongue and the heat of his body took over. She might have heard a clang in the distance, something that sounded like the station’s back door closing, but she wasn’t sure. She didn’t much care.

 

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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