Read An Excerpt
E-book, Romantic Suspense
“Have you been sleeping well, Chief Harris?”
“Like a rock.” Jess Harris smoothed a hand over the hem of her skirt, mostly to avoid eye contact — a maneuver the shrink would likely recognize. How well was she supposed to sleep when her job was to find and stop evil?
“What about your dreams? Anything unusual since the shooting?”
“Nothing at all.” Jess folded her hands together in her lap to conquer the urge to reach for her cell. It was driving her nuts not to know what was going on this morning. Had Harper learned anything on the Simmons case? How was the sketch artist doing with getting a likeness of Nina on paper? Had the ME’s office given any preliminary results on Chandler’s death?
She wouldn’t know because she was stuck here.
“How are things at work?” Dr. Oden asked. “Any problems fitting in? Sometimes it takes a while to feel like you belong when an abrupt career change occurs later in life.”
Later in life? Now there was an uplifting thought.
“None at all,” Jess said with a smile. Except for Lieutenant Prescott wanting to scratch her eyes out and Chief Black stealing back the case Jess had stolen from him. Gangbangers shooting at her and, oh yes, Burnett getting up close and personal with his ex at a private dinner for two and then showing up to play the boss for Jess. Things were downright dandy.
“Your former relationship with Chief Burnett hasn’t made you feel awkward in your new position at the BPD?”
Apparently the doc could read minds. The impatience needling at Jess turned to something far less polite. This session was about her shooting and ending the life of Matthew Reed, not who she’d had sex with last.
“My former relationship with Chief Burnett, having taken place more than twenty years ago, is absolutely irrelevant, Dr. Oden. Nothing related to our shared past makes me feel the slightest bit awkward about anything at all, then or now.”
There were enough lies in those two sentences to guarantee her a seat on the train to hell.
“I see.” Oden jotted a few notes.
“I see” was code for “I think I’m onto something.” Jess had news for the nice doctor: she was done. “Here’s what I see, Dr. Oden. I shot and killed Matthew Reed, a sociopath who murdered at least three people. I did my job and I have no regrets. No bad dreams. No inability to sleep. No loss of sex drive and no problem getting along with others.”
Maybe that last part was a stretch.
“You believe you don’t need these sessions.” Oden studied her with open skepticism. “That this is a waste of your time. Is that a fair assessment?”
That was a trick question. “I think you’re doing your job, Doctor. That’s what I believe.” Jess stood. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do mine.”
“You may suffer later for ignoring your mental health, Chief Harris. Why add that kind of easily avoidable regret to your already complicated life?”
Jess turned back to the well-meaning shrink. “My only regret, Doctor, is that I didn’t find and kill that monster before he mutilated and murdered a federal agent who was a wife and mother. That’s a regret I’ll have to live with the rest of my life. Unfortunately there isn’t a thing I can do or you can say that will fix that. But thank you for giving it the old college try.”