Irrefutable Evidence Part Four by CN Winters

For disclaimers see part one. Write the author at cnwinters@hotmail.com

Denise’s half-opened, bloodshot eyes was the first thing that Angie noticed. She closed the door after walking to the small office, making sure it was airtight.

"Long night?" Angie asked with a grin.

"You have no idea how long," Denise said sipping her coffee trying to stay alert.

Angie studied the hazing demeanor of her partner a while longer. "You look tired Denise."

"I feel tired," Denise admitted rubbing her eyes. "I didn’t get much sleep last night. I kept waiting for someone to break in."

"Was it a quiet night?" Angie asked, taking a seat across from Denise.

"Yeah. No one followed us," Denise replied.

"Well that’s at least one bit of good news," Angie answered.

Denise didn’t like the tone in Angie’s voice. "What’s the bad news?" the lieutenant asked.

"The gun we found on DeVittem isn’t the one that killed the victim."

Denise gave a dismal grin. "That would figure. It’s probably sitting at the bottom of the Detroit River . . . I guess our only evidence at this point is our witness."

"It looks that way," Angie agreed. "And it seems that DeVittem is trying to ‘clean up’ that little detail. Why don’t you give me the long version of what happened?"

"Maybe later. I’ve got to see the captain and I didn’t want to leave Sara alone until you got here."

"Sara, eh?" Angie teased in her lovesick tone again. "What happened to calling her ‘Miss Langforth’?"

"Let’s just say we got a little closer last night," Denise said softly.

"Oh no!" Angie exclaimed bolting from her chair and starting to pace. "Don’t tell me you slept with her!"

"Did I say that?!" Denise countered. "No I did not."

"Then what do you mean?" Angie prodded with a hint of anger in her voice.

"We just got closer that’s all," Denise argued. She could see the disbelief on Angie’s face. "Honestly," Denise continued, "I didn’t sleep with her . . .Well we slept in the same bed but you know what I mean." Angie remained stone-faced – doing that disapproving motherly stare that Denise despised. "Look," Denise said growing more defensive, "I understand how important this case is and I’m not going to screw it up."

"I’m not worried about you screwing the case Denise. I’m worried about you screwing the witness."

Denise felt like she had the wind knocked out of her. "That’s a cheep shot!"

"Is it?" Angie asked defiantly.

"Yes it is," Denise replied. "You don’t have to worry."

"Well I do worry," Angie replied bring her temper under control. " . . . And not just about this case. If this woman has people trying to kill her I want to know you’re thinking with your head and not your-."

Angie stopped mid-sentence as Sara opened the door. "I’m sorry," the blonde apologized. "Should I come back later?"

Denise’s eyes moved from her stare on Angie to focus on Sara. "No," Denise answered.

"Actually Miss Langforth," Angie began with her back turned to Sara; her eyes still fixed on Denise. "I’d appreciate a few more moments alone with Lt. VanCook."

"No problem," Sara answered as she looked on at the staring match between Lt. and Sgt. "I’ll be outside."

Angie heard Sara close the door behind her and only then did she speak.

"I love you Denise," Angie began sincerely. "I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life with you and I’d like to spend at least 12 more. But understand me when I say this woman could be real trouble."

"She’s harmless," Denise disputed.

Angie ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. "I agree, she is . . . But the people who are after her are not. We’ve got to keep our heads here or we’ll end up losing them . . . I don’t know about you but I know I’m too damn young to die."

Denise understood everything Angie was saying. Emotions can cloud judgment. If the situation arises for a quick decision, having your heart tugging at you could be deadly . . . for everyone involved.

"Believe me. I understand. That’s why nothing happened."

Angie could tell Denise was being honest. But she could also tell Denise still had an explosive attraction for Sara. Given the right elements that attraction could very well blow up and in the least flattering way. "And that’s why nothing is going to happen . . . right?" Angie prodded.

"Right," was Denise’s simple answer.

The office went silent again as Angie and Denise locked eyes.

"I know you can’t control who you’re attracted to," Angie said sympathetically. "All I’m asking is that you wait . . . wait until it’s over and DeVittem is behind bars for good. Okay?"

"Okay," Denise grinned. "And for what it’s worth I love you too . . . I’m not gonna endanger anyone here – including you."

"Okay," Angie nodded feeling satisfied. "Now that the mushy stuff is out of the way," she grinned, "what’s on the agenda today."

"When is DeVittem’s prelim hearing set for?" Denise asked.

"One week," Angie answered.

"Not soon enough," Denise said shaking her head, " . . . Go to the D.A. and see if that young attorney that has the hots for you can move things up a bit."

"Why me?" Angie whined.

"Because he likes you."

"But I don’t like him," Angie moaned.

"Please," Denise pled. "Just put on a smile and ask real nice. Desperate times calls for desperate measures," she grinned.

Angie chuckled. "Okay," she reluctantly agreed. "But you gotta buy me dinner again this week. Deal?"

"Breakfast," Denise countered.

"Lunch?" Angie offered.

Denise chewed on the inside of her cheek as she considered it. Angie was a shrewd bargainer. "Okay deal," she agreed, breaking into a smile.

They sealed the pact with a spit handshake and Angie collected some papers from the desk. "What about Sara?" Angie asked.

"Take her with you while I speak to Capt. Genar. I want to see about getting 24-hour protection for Sara . . . I’ll meet you back here. Let’s say… around noon?"

Angie nodded and made her way to the door. "Good Luck with Genar. You know what a pain in the ass he can be," Angie grinned.

"Thanks for reminding me," Denise commented sarcastically.

"Well I’m outta here," Angie said opening the door.

"Hey!" Denise said making her stop. Angie turned to face her partner. Denise walked over and undid the two top buttons of Angie’s shirt slowly.

"What are you doing?" Angie asked. "Making Sara jealous?"

"Giving the young DA more incentive," Denise smiled. "Now you can go," Denise added. Her hands squeezed Angie’s upper arms in a supportive gesture, as if she received a commination of valor.

Angie shook her head. "I don’t believe this," she chuckled.

"Men are very visual. He’ll love it," Denise winked.

"I feel like I’m prostituting myself," Angie said to Denise as she walked toward Sara.

"Must make me your pimp then, uh?" Denise chuckled. Angie simply waved her away and Denise retreated back to her office.

She watched as Angie and Sara engaged in some short conversation before going out the door. Denise went behind her desk and collected some of the paperwork she had filled out earlier in the morning. She knew it would be an uphill battle at Capt. Genar’s office so she took a deep breath and prepared for war. She grabbed her folder and made her way upstairs.

She knocked on his office door and waited a few seconds before stepping inside. He was at the end of a phone conversation and when he hung up, he turned to face her.

"Lt. VanCook," he began, "what brings you here this morning?"

"The witness in the DeVittem case," Denise answered getting straight to the point.

"What’s wrong? She decide to back out?"

"No . . . Although I could certainly understand if she wanted to," Denise said trying to peak his curiosity.

"Why?" he responded with concern.

"She needs twenty four hour protection," Denise said firmly.

Genar laughed in the annoying way that always got under Denise’s skin. "Doesn’t everyone?"

"I’m serious," Denise said standing her ground.

"So am I," he said sternly as the smile ran from his face. Genar was a large man, muscular and well built given his age. His crew cut and sharp jaw always gave him a menacing demeanor. Many detectives buckled under his dark, steely eyes. Many detectives but not a certain lieutenant. Many a times Genar would have written up VanCook for her ‘insubordination’ if she wasn’t so damn good at what she did.

"Last night an attempt was made on her life," Denise explained. "She called me and escaped out of her window where I picked her up."

Genar tugged on his tie in discomfort. "I wish I could help but we just can’t afford to take the uniforms off the streets to give her that kind of protection."

"We can’t afford not to . . . If she testifies she could put away a very dangerous criminal for a lot of years. But if his men have their way, she’ll never set foot in a courtroom."

"I’m sorry but there’s not a whole lot that can be done. There are many witness to many crimes and I’d love to protect them all 24 hours a day but that’s not realistic," Genar explained.

"That’s true. But this is not your average witness and this is not your average crime. She is extremely important to this case. We have her statement but that’s not enough. If she dies the judge will never allow her testimony in court. How many times have we seen the defense argue that they can’t cross examine a dead person? They would throw the statement right out and DeVittem will walk."

"You have the weapon right?"

"Actually no. We found out it’s not a match. And even if we did find it that’s not enough to stand on it’s own either . . . Please protect this witness," Denise protested.

Capt. Genar sat and studied Denise’s face. She was determined, stubborn and he knew she wasn’t going to go away.

"You want 24 hour protection huh?" he asked, rubbing his hand across his cheeks, trying to decide.

"Yes sir," she said, feeling she won the fight.

"Okay, you can have it," he agreed, throwing his hands in the air.

Denise rose from the chair. "Thank you sir," she replied, beginning to walk out.

"Not so fast VanCook. I’m not finished," he said stopping her. She turned slowly to face him. "If you want 24 hour protection for this witness, you’re the one who’s gonna provide it," he added.

"What?!" Denise exclaimed.

"You heard right. If it means that much, you’re going to have to provide it."

"But what about my other cases?"

"Well, according to you, this is the most important of all."

Angie was right. He is a pain in the ass. Denise thought silently. "Yes sir . . . But what do I do about the others?" she asked.

"Give one case to each of your detectives."

"Fine," Denise agreed but growing frustrated. "But how do I stay awake 24 hours a day. Angie is going to Aspen next week."

"I hope your partner is willing to reschedule her vacation time . . . Otherwise you’ll be drinking enough coffee to get Brazil out of debt. After all, you’ll have a lot of protecting to do."

Denise felt her cheeks growing hot. Genar always had a special way of enraging her.

"But who’s going to run the squad room. Angie is next in command," Denise replied, giving one last argument.

"You’ll find someone," Genar grinned pompously. Denise stared Genar down but he continued to grin. "Be careful what you wish for lieutenant," he added in his typical arrogant style.

Denise wanted to say so much. She wanted to tell him off once and for all. She would be regarded as a hero, or more accurately, a martyr. She knew she would be reprimanded severally, perhaps suspended, if she spoke up. And she knew that Angie and Sara both needed her more than ever. So she held her tongue.

"Yes sir," she stated calmly instead.

"Good," he said triumphantly. "You’re dismissed."

Denise walked out of his office; back to hers downstairs. How on God’s earth am I going to explain this to Angie? she thought as she walked through the stationhouse.

 

 

 

Denise was just finishing up organizing her caseload to give to the other detectives when Angie and Sara walked in.

"The examination is set for Friday," Angie said victoriously.

"Did you have any problems?" Denise asked concerned.

"You mean aside from him trying to grab my ass?" Angie asked.

"I meant with Sara," Denise said nodding toward her.

"Oh, no problems . . . No attackers . . . And Sara was very well behaved. I only had to threaten her twice with, ‘I’ll turn this car around right now and go home’."

Sara giggled and Denise shook her head. "You’ll have to get used to her warped sense of humor," Denise told Sara.

"But she isn’t joking," Sara said straight faced, "I have to admit I kept playing with the window and then the rear view mirror."

"Yeah. But aside from that she was really good," Angie said, patting Sara on the head like a young child.

"Beautiful," Denise said sarcastically, "Now I have two of you to contend with."

Sara and Angie smiled at each other as Denise rubbed her temples.

"Anyway, how’d it go with the captain?" Angie asked.

"Well," Denise said looking over at Sara, ". . . why don’t you get some coffee while I talk privately with Sgt. Michaels. Top secret info and things like that," Denise teased. "I’m sure you understand."

"Totally." Sara said walking out again. "Just don’t forget to come get me when you’re done," she winked in a tease.

Once the door was closed Angie turned to Denise. "He denied it, didn’t he?" Angie whispered.

Denise paused. Oh where to begin she thought. Just stick to the facts. "Actually, he approved it," Denise said cheerfully.

"Really? That’s wonderful!" Angie exclaimed. "Now tell me the down side," she added knowing there was more Denise wasn’t telling her.

Denise shook her head and smiled. "I can’t hide anything from you. Do you know that?"

"Of course I know. I’m a detective. That’s my job," Angie grinned. "Now tell me what’s up."

"Well," Denise said stalling, "Genar approved the protection . . . however we have to be the ones to provide it."

"But we can’t," Angie argued. "I’ve got my Aspen trip coming up."

"I know," Denise whispered despondently. Angie studied Denise and seen the look in her eyes.

"Nooo," Angie whined. ". . . I’ve got reservations already . . . Damn it!"

"I know and I’m sorry . . . He won’t give me anyone else so we have to break up the shifts . . . If it’s any consolation, I’ll take the night shift. I know you’re a day person and they probably won’t make a move on Sara during the day."

"What about our case load?" Angie asked.

Denise held the stack up in the air. "I’ve got to disburse these to the other teams today."

Angie sighed and plunked down in the chair across from Denise. "So I’m losing my vacation AND my other cases?" she asked despondently. Denise dropped the files back on the desk, sensing Angie’s disgust.

"You don’t have to cancel your vacation if you don’t want to. I can handle it the week that you’re gone," Denise offered.

"Thank you," Angie replied. "But I won’t have a good time knowing you’re back here alone with target number one."

"I’m sorry," Denise said sincerely.

Angie took a few moments and considered the whole situation. "It’s not your fault . . . It’s Genar . . . The man is an incredible jackass."

"I wish there was something I could do," Denise said heavy-hearted.

"There’s nothing you can do except go home and go to bed," Angie said disappointed. "I’ll take Sara home to get her things and I’ll give you a call at your place to tell you where to meet us."

"Okay," Denise agreed quietly, not wanting to linger on the negative issues any longer. "I’ll finish up here and take off . . . How does 7 to 7 sound?"

"Fine. I’ll call at 6 tonight to wake you up."

Denise walked around the desk to where Angie was now standing.

"I know how much you were looking forward to this trip," Denise offered.

"It’s not your fault," Angie smiled. "Besides Mr. Trashmore will be open in a few months . . . This is far more important than any vacation so just go and get some sleep."

"Somehow a garbage dump converted into a ski resort seems like a poor substitute to Colorado," Denise said sympathetically.

"Very true," Angie grinned. "But like I said . . . it’s okay."

Denise gave Angie a light hug and they walked out. "I’ll let Sara know what’s up on the way back to her place," Angie said.

Denise nodded and watched them leave once again. She grabbed the files from her desk and walked outside her office. "Everybody listen up," Denise shouted. "When I call your names, come up and pick up your folder. Everyone has an extra case this week."

Everyone moaned and groaned offering their displeasure.

"I’m not any more pleased than you are folks," Denise said before calling out the first team. After she finished she went back into her office and grabbed her coat.

"Det. Benner," Denise called out, walking over to him. He looked up from his desk. "Sgt. Michaels and I will be protecting the DeVittem witness so for the next few weeks you’re in charge. If you have any questions I’ll give you the number where you can reach Det. Michaels or myself. I’ll call tomorrow with the information. Okay?"

"Aye aye lieutenant," he said with a smile.

"Good . . . Please don’t let the place go to hell while I’m gone okay? Not like you could tell," Denise grinned as she took in her grimy surroundings.

"Don’t worry. It’s safe in my hands," Benner stated.

"It better be . . . I’ll catch ya later."

Denise walked out and informed Sgt. Wagner as well. After the short conversation she walked out and headed to her car. It’s going to be a long afternoon Denise thought. And an even longer night.

TBC


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