He could hear the rising exasperation in his voice and broke off. She
wont press charges.
Kate fetched the chair she had kicked across the room and sat down in it.
She folded her arms and scowled. And its only a class A misdemeanor.
Thats all it is, he said. And if all of that doesnt work, shell say
it was all her fault anyway because she couldnt get her daughter to stop
drinking while she was carrying Willard.
Gloom settled in heavily over the room. Mutts tail slowed. Comfort was
needed. Jim was the love of her life, in spite of that human male thing he
had going on, but Kate had time served. She laid her chin on Kates knee and
blinked up at her with a sympathetic expression, or as much sympathy as
predatory yellow eyes could exude.
The phone rang, and it was a toss-up as to which of the three was more
relieved. Yeah? Jim said into the receiver. His face hardened. Thanks.
He put the phone down. Jurys come back, but its so late, Singh is
delaying hearing the verdict until the morning. He hesitated, but shed
been helpful to the investigation, with an eidetic memory of Deems past
offenses. Plus she was related to the victim somehow. She usually was. Ill
fly to Ahtna tomorrow morning. Wanna come?
Are you kidding?
Hey? Willards mournful howl was muffled by the intervening walls but
perfectly understandable. Um, I hate to bother you guys, but Anakin and me,
were kinda hungry? A pause. Maybe we could have a coupla those cookies I
saw next to the coffeepot on the way in? And maybe we could have some coffee
with them? Maybe with cream? And a couple three sugars? Anakin really likes
his coffee sweet.
Jim closed his eyes and shook his head. Willard Shugak could smell the
filling on an Oreo cookie at a hundred yards. He got up, and Kate followed
him to the outer office.
Maggie, Im outta here, and I wont be in tomorrow until late. Get
Laurel to bring Willard some dinner, would you, please? Hell be staying
with us for a few days.
Kate growled, mostly for show, and because she knew Willard was
Protective custody, Jim said.
Maggie gave Kate a wary look. Got it, boss.
As Jim turned the Blazer around to head back to Kates homestead, she
said, Whats your prediction? On the verdict?
The road was mostly bare, frozen gravel. I hate global warming, Jim
said, and eased up the Blazer to a steady forty miles an hour. I stopped
guessing jury verdicts after my first case, Kate.
What happened on your first case?
First case that came to trial, I should have said. A bull moose
sauntered out from the undergrowth and paused in the middle of the road,
looking around with a distracted air, as if he were trying to remember where
he had mislaid his rack. Jim tapped the brakes and flicked the headlights on
bright and back again. The moose blinked at them bemusedly and then
galumphed back into the undergrowth, embarrassed by his naked head.
Jim stepped cautiously on the gas, goosing her back up to speed. The
Blazer rattled over the gravel base, and he had to raise his voice to be
heard. Perp and his best buddy pick up the victim on the road, try to get
him to perform oral sex on them. When he wont, they shoot him nine times
with a twenty-two. And then cut his throat just to be sure. Tossed the body
in the city dump and hot-wired the dozer to run it over him a few times to
mash him into the garbage.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...