Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Norton was still shuffling through the papers, looking slightly confused about the situation. It was during times like this that Winslow wondered if everything was right with the boy. But every time he said such a phrase in his head the detective would quickly take the statement back. He didn’t want to sound too much like his father or any of the slew of commanders that he had served under over the years. Just a short while ago in his career people had still been asking, “Is everything right with that boy? Or do ya think there’s a gear missing in his head?”
Winslow looked down at the young detective who was still searching through the papers with some hope of finding the missing statement. His own guess was that the lieutenant must have slipped away before the police arrived. There were plenty of reasons that an innocent person might leave the scene of a crime and with the attitude on Mrs. Morton, Winslow could understand wanting to get away. But when a current Navy lieutenant happens to run away from the murder of a former Air Force pilot, the gears in his head started turning to wonder if there was more of a connection between them than high society.
“Winslow, I’ve looked through all of these papers three times now and there’s not the slightest sign of a statement from Lieutenant Morton.”
The younger detective’s statement brought the standing Winslow from his dreamy state. He carefully pulled his coat on while walking around to Norton’s side of the desk and leaning over the young man. A quick glance through the papers showed the lack of a statement and brought him to ask, “Is there any information in there about where this Lieutenant Morton resides?”
“Yes sir. He lives just outside of the air station in Pensacola - that fancy little beach place called Perdido Key.”
Norton handed the scrap of paper up to Winslow who commented, “So the mother lives in Mobile and the son lives in Perdido.”
He walked around to his desk and pulled a map out of the side drawer. In the past, Winslow had been very familiar with the layout of Pensacola. The city had been the home of an underground nightlife slightly less treacherous than the places found in Mobile. And perhaps it was his internalized judgment once again but sailors tended to provide good times.
While running his fingers along the map, Winslow asked, “Norton, if you had work today at 6 in the morning and your mother asked you to drive 60 miles for a party, would you do it?”
The younger detective smirked and answered, “Well if I wasn’t a married man, I’d say it would depend on the type of party that it was.”
They exchanged a few moments of awkward glances and snickering before Norton continued, “But if my mother was just asking me to go out to a fucking country club, I guess I would do it for her. Most sons are obedient enough for their mothers.”
“Well that’s difference between you and me, Norton. You can actually stand to be in the room with your mother for more than a few seconds at a time.”
Thoughts of his mother started to bring tears to his eyes as Winslow looked down at the map. The truth of the matter was that he hadn’t seen his mother since he came back from Germany. And the detective wasn’t entirely sure that his family was still alive. He had met Norton’s mother a few months before and the kindness of that woman, had forced him to blame the wind for the red in his face. His mother had been like his father - mainly particularly cruel and not particularly caring.
Every time that Winslow came close to returning to his home, he remembered the things his father had said. All of the terrible, terrible things.
“Yeah I know you don’t care much for your family. But my mother loves you like another son, Winslow.”
He kept his eyes on the map and hoped that the young detective hadn’t seen his brief emotional reaction. It wasn’t that he was afraid of expressing his emotions. He just didn’t want to be expressing anything in the middle of a police station and he pulled out a handkerchief. As he stayed in the position of studying the map, Norton softly said, “Winslow, I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine, Norton. It’s always fine. Let’s just go hunt down this fellow so we can get along with the case.”
Norton rose from his own chair, pulling his coat on as he stood, and taking the keys from Winslow’s desk. Winslow folded up the map and was thankful for Norton grabbing the position of driving. Being sober might not have been a requirement for six miles but it certainly was for sixty miles.
As they walked to the car once more, the duo passed Mason and Jones coming back with a young man in handcuffs. Their pace stopped while Norton asked, “How did y’all catch a perp so soon? You haven’t even been gone for two hours yet.”
Jones held the young man by the shoulder, maintaining his silent position as Mason was once again the mouthpiece for the pair.
“Well sometimes you just get lucky when a stupid hick volunteers information before you can even stop him from talking.”
Mason was smiling during his pseudo boast, giving Winslow and Norton a snarky glance as he continued, “I doubt y’all will be able to catch your murderer as quick as we caught our crook. But then again, your victim was a fag and our victim was just a couple of watches.”
Winslow grimaced as Mason said “fag” and he could see the fire that was in Norton’s eyes over Mason’s “bet”.
The silence that started between them in that moment lasted their entire journey. There was no conversation between them this time even though Winslow was entirely conscious for the trip. At every point where they would usually make a joke, the two detectives remained silent. And their silence maintained itself until they rolled up in front of the address listed on the neat, little index card that sat on the dash.
Norton lifted it out of the dash, looking at the numbers and then to the house they were parked at.
“Well this is the place. I guess we best get detecting.”