Every rose has its thorns.
“Tell me something good Taylor,” Blackfoot said tapping the base of his rotary phone with a cheap ballpoint pen. Blackfoot was a simple guy. He liked fishing, football, and beer and not necessarily in that order. He was only forty-one, but he called himself a proud relic. He liked keeping things simple and easy.
“Depends on what you call good. It may be good news for us but bad news for the poor girl’s family,” Taylor said. “The floater wasn’t Davenport.”
Blackfoot exhaled “You got me on speaker?”
“Well, take me off.”
“Can’t boss I’m driving.” Blackfoot heard a car horn in the background and sighed. Of course he was in his car. Unlike Blackfoot, Taylor was tech savvy always looking for the latest gadget or app to make his already hectic life even more hectic.
“It’s just you and me,” Taylor said to calm Blackfoot. “I’ve got the coroner on the other line, but he’s got me on hold.”
“Did Sarge give you the case?” Taylor’s silence spoke volumes. Blackfoot didn’t go into his spiel about Taylor doing everyone’s grunt work. He wasn’t his Daddy. Besides he’d already preached it a hundred times.
“He said since I’d already been on scene to go ahead and follow up with the coroner for cause,” Taylor said quickly changing the subject. “Next step, I suppose, is the Davenports and see what they know. I imagine that will be Trina’s first stop.”
“Exactly, what I was thinking, but Mrs. Davenport is not going to take kindly to anybody just stopping by,” Blackfoot said fiddling with the dusty tape dispenser on his desk.
“Yes, anybody,” Blackfoot said.
“Yeah I was kind of thinking I could,” Taylor began, but Blackfoot cut him off.
“Yeah thinking about something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” Blackfoot said shooting the kid’s hopes to pieces. “Besides, you’ve got things to do. I’ll head out that way in a few hours. It’s Sunday so she’ll have closed the diner early, and should be home by then. You follow up with the coroner and check on your Jane Doe.”
“I get the case?” Taylor asked.
“It’s all yours, kid,” Blackfoot said. “As long as you can manage it and the Davenport case.”
“Sure thing,” Taylor said.
“We’ll work it together,” Blackfoot said. “You’ll be my,” he said digging for an impressive word, “consultant.”
“Consultant, huh?” Taylor said, “I think I can do that.”
“Be careful out there,” Blackfoot said before ending the call.
Taylor was ambitious, Blackfoot was well aware of that. He didn’t see that as a bad thing. The kid reminded him of himself a decade ago before he stopped giving a damn.
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Taylor following up with Davenport. He knew Taylor was a good cop, but the Davenport’s matriarch wasn’t to be messed with. At first look the fluffy grey-haired woman came off as someone’s kindly grandmother, but Blackfoot knew from experience how quickly she could turn. He’d seen her do it.
He’d caught her wraith once before. Luckily the Lieutenant, her friend, stepped in and diffused it, and that was just for a parking ticket he’d given one of her waitresses.
She’d made some amazing contacts her many years working for the state then running the Diner located smack dab in the middle of down town between the courthouse and the police department. On a daily basis she fed every level of government federal, state and local.
Every day she could have a judge at her counter for breakfast, the police chief for lunch and the governor for a late dinner.
Therefore, any meeting with Ophelia’s daughter would have to be handled carefully. He had a decent relationship with the matriarch something Taylor hadn’t acquired yet.
Regardless of the trouble her daughter may have gotten herself involved in, as lead detective he felt it better to handle it alone.
Pulling on his jacket Blackfoot made sure his holster was covered. Looking in the mirror he ran a comb through his hair.
He needed a haircut, but he just hadn’t made the time. He hadn’t made the time for much lately not even the gym and it was starting to show. His jacket was beginning to fit a little tight, but it was his only one so he had no choice but to wear it even if it was snug. He guessed he could go buy a new one, but he just hadn’t made time for it. His supervisor had warned him this would happen when he got the promotion to detective, but at the time he denied he’d ever let himself go soft. He’d learned the hard way that change was inevitable.
Although he’d received mostly high ratings from his superiors it didn’t stop him from thinking at least once a day about the Milton case. It had been a defining moment in his career. It was the case that still made him think about quitting and leaving the force behind him. Only problem was he had nowhere else to go.
The Milton case was one of the first cases he’d gotten once he’d crossed over to his new pay grade. It was around the same time his two-year marriage fell apart.
The case involved a five-year-old little boy named John; the name given him by the social service department. No one knew who the kid was or how he ended up in Biloxi. Still hadn’t been able to identify him, but it was Samuel Milton that had been accused of torturing then killing the little boy after his decapitated body was found on his property.
By the time Blackfoot had gotten the case it had been passed over by two other officers who said it would be a walk in the park for a conviction for the twice convicted Milton. However, what he later found out was the priors he’d had were decades old and nothing to the magnitude of what he was accused.
The pressure was on Blackfoot to build a case which he did, however, it came down to a technicality that Milton was eventually released. The officer initially on the scene had destroyed evidence in his haste then tried to cover it up. Because the child’s body was found in an open field, and Milton could not be placed within the vicinity at the estimated time of the boy’s death the case fell apart. With the evidence located in Milton’s home tainted their air shut case died.
Once the lawyer caught wind of that he’d run with it convincing a couple of jurors that Milton’s rights had been violated. The case was over after that, and although no one blamed Blackfoot for it, Blackfoot hadn’t been able to leave it behind. He doubted he ever would at least not as long as Milton was alive and free. There wasn’t anything he could do about it. No one blamed him, except himself. Because he knew the truth about Milton- first hand.
Milton had been born and raised in the house he still lived in. Blackfoot unfortunately, was very familiar with the house. He’d spent an entire summer there. That was before he knew what a sick bastard he was.
Milton didn’t come to town much anymore. If he did, he made sure to stay in the shadows. Shadows that Blackfoot purposely kept himself familiar with for the day he’d be able to catch him and put him where he belonged in a cage or the ground. He didn’t really care which one it was as long as he wasn’t able to hurt anyone else.
One day he knew Milton was going to slip up, and he planned to be there when it happened, hopefully before. It had become his reason for remaining on the force when most days he’d rather turn his badge in. This was his life and he had to accept it. His wife was gone; all of his family had passed. It was just him, but starting over somewhere else didn’t appeal to him.
Blackfoot wasn’t looking forward to going to the Davenports, but he was glad to get out of the office for a while. The walls were starting to close in on him. He figured the sooner he got it over with the better.
Trina Davenport was a thorn in his side. As much respect as he had for her mother, his patience was done. He was going to get his interview and put this case to rest if it was the last thing he did.