Since Catherine had refused to go to the hospital after she’d been attacked, Louise made sure Catherine made it home safely, before deciding to call it a night and get some dinner. It was the least she could do considering Catherine was the closest thing Louise had ever had to a sister. She felt more than a little guilt ping at the edge of her consciousness for not being there when the attack happened.
Louise stopped at her local café and grabbed a soup and sandwich. When she arrived at her condo, Louise kicked off her shoes, and dropped onto the sofa. She considered staying where she was for the rest of the night but a glass of merlot sounded good, especially considering the day she’d had today. The investigation seemed to be going nowhere fast, and for Detective Louise Montgomery that was more frustrating than a slow internet connection.
She stood and walked into the kitchen, located a bottle of her favorite merlot, opened it, took a large glass from the cabinet, and filled it halfway full. At least she was still an optimist. She went back to the living room and ate her dinner in silence. She considered checking to see what was on her DVR. Most nights when she came home, she was too tired to watch TV, so she was sure it was full. It had been years since Louise had finished a series in real time.
Louise looked around her condo and wished, and not for the first time, that she wasn’t all by herself. She had thought about getting a dog but with her work schedule that wouldn’t be fair. She could get a cat though but then there’d being hair everywhere. Maybe one of those hairless cats that wouldn’t leave fur all over her suits. The thought of a dirty litter box piling up for days made her discard the notion of the cat.
She looked at the clock and decided it was still early enough to call Gavin and check on Catherine. The phone rang and Gavin picked up after the first ring.
“Hello Louise,” he said.
Louise smiled to herself. “Were you expecting my call?”
“Of course,” Gavin said. “You always call.”
It was true. Whenever Catherine had an accident, or had been shot, Louise would call to check on her before going to bed. If she didn’t there would be no way she could get to sleep.
“How’s she doing?” Louise asked.
“She’s asleep. Thanks to those wonder drugs that Doctor Dave gave her. Otherwise she’d be feeling it.”
“God Bless Doctor Dave,” Louise said.
“Yeah.” Gavin didn’t sound happy. “How the hell did this happen, Louise?”
Louise paused for second considering if she should lie to make him feel better, but there was nothing she could do or say to ease this one. His wife had been brutally beaten in her own workplace. A host of Washington spin-doctors couldn’t make that sunny and bright.
Louise must have stayed silent a little too long because Gavin continue, “Jesus Christ if there’s one place she should be safe it should be the precinct. I don’t understand.”
Louise sighed. “You’ve got about fifty officers and detectives wondering the same thing. Everyone is trying to find out how this could happen. Including me, Gavin.”
The line went quiet and Louise felt her heart break for him. Gavin loved Catherine so much that this had to be painful. He couldn’t protect her when she was away, and Louise knew that Catherine and Gavin fought about the danger of her job.
“Well, I don’t think she’ll be in tomorrow,” Gavin said finally.
Louise gave a mirthless laughed. “Do you think you’ll really be able to keep her home?” She waited and when he didn’t answer she said, “You know as well as I do she’s going to want to get back in the saddle as fast as possible.”
Gavin took a deep breath and let it out slow. “I know, but Jesus, she could barely stand.”
“You have my promise,” Louise said. “I won’t leave her side tomorrow not even when she goes to the bathroom.”
“Isn’t that what you girls do anyway,” he asked, sarcasm dripping from the comment.
“Not your wife,” Louise said. “She doesn’t really do the group peeing, girl thing.”
He chuckled and Louise heard some of the tension ebb from his voice. “That’s true,” he said. “She’s not really a group sort of a person.”
“Try to get some sleep,” Louise said. “We’ll figure out who did this.”
“Alright,” he said and hung up.
Louise got ready for bed. As she lay down, she prayed that they would find out who did this to Catherine and soon. She would hate to break her word to Gavin. Louise took the book from her nightstand and read a few chapters before finally feeling tired enough to close her eyes to sleep. An early day lay ahead of her tomorrow and knowing Catherine the way she did, she was going to need every ounce of energy she had just to keep up.
You can read more about Louise in An Intimate Murder, the third book in the “Catherine O’Brien” mystery series, published by Before The Fall Books. The first book in the series is A Grand Murder.
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About the author
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.