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Shayne Lewis hated paperwork. It was nearly ninety percent of his job so technically that meant he hated his job as well. After two years of non-stop chatter about Matt from his colleagues, he couldn’t stand the constant bickering of whether or not he was truly guilty of stealing those drugs. Differences of opinion still remained after all this time and even the new recruits threw in their two cents’ worth. It pissed him off and he didn’t know why.
He stared at the piles of paperwork on his desk and knew he’d never get it all done in time to go home—or better yet to his lakeside cabin for the weekend. A little R and R sounded like heaven on a day like this and he’d been counting down the hours since this morning. He made a mental note to thank his father for talking him into buying the cabin.
The department was busy for this time of day, his co-workers trying their best to get their job done so they didn’t carry anything over to Monday. After Matt was arrested, Shayne couldn’t think about doing the same job with a different partner. He didn’t want to. He sighed. At least the desk job paid the bills. He hated every bit of it, but it brought home the money he needed, and that’s what mattered, right?
Shayne lifted his coffee cup to his lips and drank the last of the stale black liquid. None of it was the same anymore. He was away from the hustle and bustle of the narcotics division and trying to move on with his life—a life without Matt.
A woman with a screaming child sat in the waiting area, adding to the chaos that drifted around him. At times like this, the problems of the narcotics division seemed so small. It was quiet down there. His friends were down there. They were away from people and children—not that he had anything against children.
The kid wouldn’t stop crying and Shayne had had enough. “Ma’am, has someone helped you?”
She shook her head and tried to quiet the child down. Shayne looked around for a detective and found Laramie filling his coffee cup. After hollering at him, Shayne introduced the lady to the detective and Laramie escorted her into an interrogation room, the screaming child going with them. It didn’t give him silence, but it did give him less of a headache.
He went back to his desk and hunched over the file he was working on. Everything from minor drug busts to mafia killings sat on his desk, and it would take nearly all weekend to sort through them all. He tipped his coffee cup to his lips and sighed when he found it empty. He couldn’t think in this chaos. Why the fuck did I give up one type of hell for another?
“Hey there, sugar.” Patrol officer Emily Ritchie saddled by his desk, leaning her hip against it as she stopped to chat. “You look like you’ve had a long day.”
It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her if she looked around her lately, but he gave her a tight smile instead. “Long days come with the job. You get used to them after five years.”
She gave him a flirtatious giggle. “Honey, don’t I know it.” She shifted, scooting closer to him. “What do you say to me buying you a drink? We could go to the pub after work. It’ll relieve some of the tension if you allow yourself to relax. I always say there’s nothing like a good shot of Irish whiskey to ease the pain of the workday. What do you say? Totally my treat.”
With herculean strength, Shayne tried really hard to keep from rolling his eyes. He blinked instead. “Thanks for the invite, Em, but I’m heading off to the cabin when I leave here.”
Her eyes glittered with mischief. “Oh, how nice. I didn’t know you owned a cabin. Are you going by yourself?”
He leaned back in his chair. Emily had been after him for over a year now, ever since he switched departments. She hinted at wanting more that friendship, and Shayne had to become creative in his ways of letting her down. He wasn’t open about his sexuality, but he didn’t think he exactly hid it either. He thought he’d made it clear he had no interest in Emily as a girlfriend and never would.
“Yes. Two peaceful days all to myself.”
She smiled. “I’ve always wanted to spend the night in a cabin. Does it have a hot tub?”
Shayne pressed his lips together. Why wouldn’t this woman take no for an answer? “Look, Em. I’m busy. I’d like to get this work done before I head out.”
“Oh.” Her smile faded. “Okay.”
When she finally left, Shayne sighed. He couldn’t finish work at his desk. As much as the department tried to make the conditions of the main room as quiet as possible, life and general matters of the public got in the way. He grabbed his briefcase and stuffed the pile of folders inside. Taking work home wasn’t anything new. The department didn’t like it, but it was the only way he could do his job correctly. He wasn’t cut out for this. He liked narcs, missed it actually. The adrenaline high he got while chasing a junkie was beyond explanation. He loved working with Matt and that had been the main reason he left. Everything he did revolved around his partner—former partner—and all the shit that went down with him. Lou nearly took his badge when rumours started to spread that Shayne helped Matt steal them.
Maybe I should just quit the department altogether? He couldn’t focus since Matt had been arrested and Shayne honestly didn’t trust anyone around him.
Was he really guilty? He stopped stuffing the folders inside his briefcase and stared at his desk. His job was to uphold the law. He found proof and convicted the bad guy of the crime. In Matt’s case, all the evidence had pointed towards him. He’d had the drugs in his possession. Shayne had seen the pictures taken, some of the heroin bricks torn as if he’d already been into the stash. He had checked the records. Matt’s name and signature had been on the log. He knew it as well as his own, and it’d been right before his eyes plain as day. His badge number had been logged into the system and was the last recorded.
It’d been two years and still nothing had happened. Matt’s lawyer tried for an appeal but was denied. To the best of Shayne’s knowledge, Matt was still in the minimal security penitentiary in upstate New York after being shipped to several different jails. All the evidence pointed towards him, despite his claims of innocence. The dispatch woman even claimed she had seen him carrying a bulky bag out of the station right after, the perfect place to store five hundred kilos of heroin.
But it was Matt.
Shayne pulled himself out of his daze. His father always warned him about trusting the wrong people. But Matt is my partner. Was, he amended regretfully.
Matt had saved his life a time or two in drug busts gone wrong. He had taken Shayne to the hospital when he’d been shot in the leg and had to go through a few surgeries to repair the damage. That kind of person didn’t steal drugs from his department. Yes, he’d had access but what was the motive? He didn’t dare entertain the idea of Matt using drugs or helping Big E’s drug emporium out in any fashion. Matt hated that fucker just as much as Shayne.