Charles Leger found himself staring at a blank screen. Stupid snowstorm, he thought, grudgingly, as he shoved the keyboard aside and got to his feet. At least he had thought to save his work to a memory card this time. It seemed like this research was going to be his focus the rest of his life. Or the death of me. Charlie rubbed his face, tiredly, and glanced at his wristwatch. Time for shuteye. He reached out and grabbed the flashlight off of the bookcase and headed to his bedroom. He had not been sleeping for very long when he got the phone call. 

“This is Leger.” He muttered, hoarsely into the phone.

“Charlie, it’s Jay.”

“Jay, what’s kicking, man?”

“You mean besides my kid?”

“Well, you’re wife’s, what, five months along? Figured he’d be kicking by now.” Charlie tiredly rubbed his eyes.

“We don’t know that it’s a boy, yet, Charlie.”

“You don’t know that it’s not.”

“We won’t until the delivery day.”

“I know, I know.” Charlie glanced at his bedside clock. Oh, good, power’s back.

“Look, I didn’t just call for a social chat.”

“If you had called for a social chat at 3 in the morning, Jay, I’d have to reconsider being little Charlie’s godfather.”

Jay laughed, then sobered up quickly, “It ain’t good, Charlie.”

“Fill me in on the details?”

“Not on this line. Can you be at the station soon?”

“I can be there in half an hour.”

“Thanks, Charlie, see you soon. Say, how’s that research thing going?”

“The one about cops with A-type personalities that may or may not end up criminally inclined and get away with it because they’re brilliant?”

“…..yeah?”

“It’s good.”

“Am I—“

“No, Jay, you are not included, nor will you ever be.”

“I don’t know if I should be insulted or pleased.”

Charlie laughed, “Goodbye, Jay.” He hung up, quickly showered and dressed, and grabbed a bagel as he passed through the kitchen into the garage.

~ ~ ~

Jay Hume flipped his cell phone shut and tossed it on his desk, knocking over an empty, disposable cup. Ignoring that as well as the various other disposable cups and food wrappers that cluttered his desk, Jay reached over and flicked the power button on his desktop computer. As he waited for the machine to power up, he snatched one of the many cups off his desk and went down the hall to the coffee machine that the station kept constantly filled. After pouring a cup, Jay stalked back to the office just as Will hurried in the door just in front of him.

“Hey, long night?”

Will looked quite hassled as he hurried to his desk which was on the opposite side of the office of Jay’s. Without looking up from his desk, Will mumbled, “Got in about 3. Right after I called you.”

Jay nodded, “Charlie’s coming to help out.”

Will looked up and fixed Jay with a glare, “You called Charlie? Why?”

“I know we could use the help, especially with the Feds coming in. A murder case is the last place we need territorial disputes.”

“Which explains why you called a psychologist? I hate psychology.”

“Hey, Charlie’s the least psychologist-like psychologist I know.”

“The man profiles his cat!” Will dropped a folder onto his desk with a resounding splat.

“You’re making that up.”

Will held up a hand, “Scout’s honor.”

“You were only a cub. That doesn’t count.”

Will shoved his drawer shut, “Fine, but I’m not talking to him. He’ll just go all, “The real reason you scowl all the time is because of the angst you feel in regards to being partners with a man who is far better looking than you are. Ergo, you scowl and create a mystery about yourself so you can overcompensate and have a Byronic hero-esque aura about you.”’

“I’m surprised you memorized that whole thing.”

“We’re late.”

Will grabbed the file off Jay’s desk and led the way to the Chief’s office.

Ciara Zaketti
Column Editor