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18+ Language Violence Mature Content

How Do You Plead: 3.2

by CaptainJack

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

For the second time today, there was the sound of tapping on the window and the slight form of Norton lurking outside the door. Winslow hadn’t locked the door, but he could appreciate the young detective not wanting to go through this morning’s process again. He lifted his hat enough to look forward and see that Officer Morgan was now talking to his partner in the squad car parked in front of their own boat. The detective tried to clear his head for a second to think about the name of Morgan’s partner, but each attempt at thinking only gave him more pain.

“Hey Winslow! Please wake up.”

Winslow became mildly aware that it was Norton’s hand on his shoulder and that someone else was lifting him somewhere. His left leg bumped into the gear shift, pushing the knob into his knee, but the ability to scream had escaped him once again. Whatever had been in that coffee was nearly as bad as getting thrown out of a car - he would have to send Reggie a thank you note for slowing the car down prior to Winslow’s exit.

The hand left his shoulder as he heard the car starting up and the siren turning on. Buzzing in his head only picked up as the siren droned on and on, the soft bumps trying to dredge up the bottom of his stomach contents, leaving Winslow feeling sicker and sicker. He couldn’t really determine how long their trip had lasted, but it was over sooner than he thought it would be.

From his slumped position against the window, Winslow was able to lift his hat enough to see their location - the county medical examiner. The detective knew that he was in rough shape, but he hoped that Norton would be able to tell the difference between a living detective and a fucking corpse. The arms were soon holding him up again as they walked through the doors, and he could mildly hear Norton asking to talk to Dr. Reilly. They pulled him into another room, sitting him down on the familiar chairs in Reilly’s office.

There was the soft click of heels, followed by the greeting of, “Hello, Winslow. I suppose you haven’t had the best morning, but you always come in here looking drunk.”

Reilly’s voice had a snarky sound to it, especially as he kept talking. The office chair squeaked from the man reclining back against the window and a soft creak from the weight the doctor must have hidden someplace.

“So boys, what’s happening with our dear Detective Smith today? Did he take on another fight with another wrongdoer or did he decide to have a drink while on duty?”

From beneath the hat covering his eyes, Winslow managed to speak up and say, “You’re one to talk about drinking on duty, Reilly. Your office smells more like a bar than Captain Jones’.”

He sat up a bit more in his chair, looking straight into the sunlight beaming through the blinds. It was hard to bring Dr. Reilly into focus. The man had jumped up from his chair and was walking around his office, tapping a penlight against his fingers. It was only a moment more before the light was being shown into Winslow’s eyes.

If the pain wasn’t bad enough before…

And Dr. Reilly wasn’t talking to him as he said, “Detective Smith seems to be alright in his reactions, even if he’s just a bit sluggish. What exactly happened to him?”

Winslow couldn’t see Morgan and Norton, but he could imagine them looking back and forth with confusion. He was the only one who knew a bit of what happened - and he didn’t even know the whole truth in the matter. It would be impossible to confront Reggie and it would be even worse to try and confront Captain Jones.

“Now Winslow…”

Winslow could just hear the condescending smirk haunting Reilly’s face as the man tried to look beneath the detective’s hat.

“Do you think you could possibly tell us what brought you to this state?”

With a cough and pushing up the brim of his hat, Winslow threw a look directly in Reilly’s direction and explained, “I didn’t tell these boys all of it but basically I was kidnapped by an old friend.”

The doctor was looking down on the detective from the edge of his cluttered desk and Winslow had a hard time maintaining his professionalism.

“My old friend is someone from British Military Intelligence and he was having a conversation with Captain Jones.”

Now looking Reilly directly in the eye, he said, “And somewhere along the line those bastards drugged me. And threw me into fucking alleyway.”

There was familiar click of a notebook flip and Norton soon asked, “So did you see anything in particular while you were at the scene?”

“Ya know, Norton, I’m guessing Detective Smith didn’t see much of anything if he was drugged and thrown out of a car.”

All three of them turned to see Officer Morgan and Officer Tornes? Winslow was still not at full operating capacity as he tried to remember the name of the patrol officer he had seen so many times before. His repertoire and interactions with Morgan had been very memorable, but the other officer was clean cut and soft spoken. Someone who was clearly holding a couple of skeletons in their closet, maybe being there themself, but smart enough to keep their lips sealed around detectives.

When no one answered Morgan, the patrol officer kept talking and said, “I’ve seen enough drunks in my career to know that Wi-Detective Smith is not a drunkard. And Tornes and I can both attest to the kind of behavior that went down at the Saenger this morning.”

So Tornes was the right name, Winslow thought. He studied the officer beside Morgan as the man nodded to the line about the Saenger and lit a cigarette. A few moments ago, that smell would have made Winslow gagged, but now the pieces of his memory started to fall into place. Even though he couldn’t see much while his face was planted in the flooring of the Plymouth De Luxe, some of his wits were still about him.

With a careful look through his memories, Winslow soon realized that Reggie and Jones hadn’t been smoking. He didn’t know what it meant - not yet - but it was something more than he had a few seconds.

Still, the detective sat silently while everyone in the room was quietly smoking and examining their own thoughts. The room was coming into a clearer focus now and he regretted having to return to the police station.

“Well, gentlemen, now that the good doctor has assured you all that I am not going to die, I think I’ll be heading back to the office.”

Winslow slowly got up out of his chair, pushing back his sleeve to see how much time had passed - a half hour at most - and began walking towards the door.

“And shame on all of you for not inviting me to have a smoke.”

He took his cigarette case from his breast pocket again, nearly losing his balance as he tried to light the damn thing. With everything that he had experienced in his life - even with consideration of the time he topped Kelly and Astaire walked in - this was surely one of his most embarrassing moments.

Morgan’s arm was quickly under his again and the young officer was asking, “Winslow, why don’t I just give you a ride home?”

If the detective had still been in the state of an hour ago, his response would have been much different.

“As long as you don’t scratch my car.”

Winslow heard Reilly and company snicker, with Norton saying something about needing to drive. They walked down the hallway until reaching the lobby and walking through the main door. When they stepped outside, Winslow straightened his hat.

“Officer Morgan, with all of the happenings and you offering to drive me home, would you remind me of what your first name is?”

The young officer was nearly blushing as he said, “It’s Abraham, sir.”

“Well Abraham, I never got an answer about my car. You’re not going to scratch it, are you?”

“I swear I won’t hurt you or your car, Winslow.”

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Who knew paper and ink could be so vicious.
— Kathryn Stockett, The Help