This is the second scene in Garren’s story. But, it’s told from someone else’s POV(and if you’ve read Duty to Protect you may recognize him). There is some language. If you haven’t read the first scene, you can find it here.
Detective Michael McRoy sat straight in the chair no matter how much he wished he could slouch down and disappear. Just as he kept his gaze locked on the Commander across the desk from him. If he let it shift to the man standing behind the Commander’s chair or to either of the three men ranged around the room, he would lose it. Again.
His Sergeant and the Lieutenant of Violent Crimes stood behind him. They’d already warned him once to stay calm. No one was trying to take this case away from him.
They’d better not be. That was all he had to say about it. He couldn’t think of another reason to have the Deputy Chief and three men from the Marshals in here for this meeting. And what were they waiting for? “Can’t we get this over with?” He asked the Commander. “I know Wilkers is causing a stink, but that doesn’t mean I should be removed from the case.”
“No one wants to remove you from your investigation, Detective.” The commander was the third person to tell him that. He still had his doubts though.
“We’re waiting for one more person,” the Deputy Chief told him. “Once he gets here, we can start this meeting.”
He didn’t understand why they were having a meeting at all. He had leads to track down if justice was going to be found for that girl who now lay down in the morgue because she got caught in a drive-by.
At the knock on the door, everyone went still. Then, the Commander called out, “Come in.”
Michael turned his head as the door opened and swore as soon as the young man stepped inside. “Garren, what the hell are you doing in here?”
The officer’s head turned toward him, and he saw fear plain there before it slipped away to relief. “Mike. What’s going on?”
“That’s what I’d like to fucking know,” he said, turning back to the Commander. He just barely saw Garren jump at the curse. Damn, but he was still green. “He’s the one we’ve been waiting for? He’s still a rookie. What could he have to do with this?” He didn’t say it, but he didn’t want Garren anywhere near this case. If something happened to the boy, he wasn’t sure his friend would ever forgive him. He knew Brendan already thought it was because of him that Garren had even gone into the Academy. He couldn’t see any other reason his son wouldn’t have wanted to stay on the ranch. He could never convince him that this was in Garren more than ranching ever would be.
“I asked Commander Slade to comb through his files,” the Deputy Chief told him, “and give me the names of some of his best officers. This boy’s name was right at the top of the list.”
He heard Garren suck in a breath, knew what the boy was thinking. But, whatever had brought the marshals here was far from an offer of commendation for his good service. “But, why?” He asked, pushing up from the chair and ignoring the whispered warning from both his Sergeant and Lieutenant. “He has nothing to do with this case.”
“Sit down, Detective,” the Deputy Chief ordered.
He sucked air in through his nose but at a whispered order from his Sergeant sank back into the chair.
One of the marshals stepped forward. He seemed to be the superior of the other two. “Earlier today Jonah Wilkers received a phone call threatening that if he didn’t shut the fuck up, the caller’s words exactly,” he added with a look to the Deputy Chief, “that he and his family would pay. He was scared and called requesting police protection for his family.”
“That man hasn’t requested a damn thing since this all started. He demands everything.”
“Detective, that’s enough,” his Lieutenant admonished.
Michael pursed his lips but his eyes didn’t leave the marshal’s. He thought he saw a glint of understanding in the other man’s. “We have agreed to provide this protection as his testimony could help put some very dangerous men away.”
Michael couldn’t fault them for that, but he was still confused. “What does Garren have to do with any of this?”
“Our office is limited in its resources right now. We want a few officers to help with the protection detail. Only until the culprit is apprehended, Detective,” the marshal added before Michael could even say anything. “It shouldn’t be more than a couple days.”
“And after that? Until he testifies? How long are we offering our protection?”
“Until this is over,” the Deputy Chief told him. “Detective, you were invited here as a formality. You have no say in this. Your job is to find the man responsible. Maybe you should concentrate on that.”
Michael seethed but attacking the third in command of the police department wouldn’t be a very smart move. So, he settled back in his chair. Then, the Deputy Chief turned to Garren. “What do you say, Officer? Your partner will be paired up with someone else until you return to your regular duty. And you’ll be compensated for this change in duty. You’ll work a rotating twelve hour shift with the other two men we’ve chosen. This could be a big step for your career.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Michael saw the boy tense at that. “I’m not interested in stepping up my career on a family’s lives, sir. But, I’ll take the assignment. It seems to already be decided anyway.”
Michael barely held back a grin at that. The boy always had been sharp.
“Good,” the senior marshal said. “Report for duty at six tomorrow morning at 1075 Prospect Street.”
“You’re dismissed, Officer,” Commander Slade told him. “Get your paperwork filed and clock out.”
“Yes, sir,” he said again then turned and walked out the door.
Michael turned back to the commander. “He’s a good boy, sir. But, he’s still young and green. He’s not cut out for a detail like this.”
“I think you’re wrong, Detective,” the senior marshal spoke up. “He’s sharp. He has a record to prove he can handle himself. He is young, but that can be a benefit. And I’ll have a man around to keep an eye on things. We just need to have someone else inside the house. And I can’t afford to put all my men on it.”
“If anything happens to that boy, I’m taking it out of you.”
“Damn it, McRoy,” his Lieutenant snapped. “Stand down. I know what the boy is to you, but he has to do his job. We all do. Now, go on and do yours.”
Michael got to his feet and just trembled for a moment before turning on his heel and walking out the door. No matter how angry he was, the Lieutenant was right. He had a job to do. And the sooner he found those responsible, the less time Garren would have to spend with this asinine assignment.