Vin stretched an arm over the body, motioning to his clipboard. “May, I?”
“Of course,” Stevie said, handing back his notes. She hadn’t found the answer she’d come out of the house for anywhere in his notebook. That can’t be, she thought, so she turned on her flashlight and looked around the body again. Still nothing. The hair on the back of her neck prickled.
When Vasher stood, she followed. “Why doesn’t Mr. Simon’s story add up?” Her wrist flicked back and forth, causing the flashlight beam to track across the body between them.
He stopped dusting his pants off and straightened up. “Excuse me?”
“I said, why doesn’t Mr. Simon’s story add up?”
“Is this an actual question, or one of Butler’s mandatory riddles?”
A riddle? Stevie stared at him for a long moment. Fine, riddle me this. “I know you checked the house. I assume you checked the yard, the whole yard. And I can see you checked Mr. Albright’s person. So what’s missing?”
He shifted his weight to his left leg and tapped the pen on the edge of the clipboard. “I thought you were here to observe. Nothing more.”
“Oh”— she planted her hands on her hips—“so I’m not allowed to talk to you about the case or exchange information with you as a colleague?”
The space between his eyebrows narrowed. “Why would you want to?”
“Last time I checked, we work for the same team. The Phoenix Crime Lab. Which means we have the same goal here. Believe it, or not.”
His lips parted, but no sound came out.
It had to be the hangover. Not yet ready to think he was a total prick, she tried again. “I’m trying to be helpful seeing as you don’t have your more experienced team members here to strategize with.”
Vasher hugged the clipboard to his chest. “We don’t strategize, and I don’t believe I need your help.”
You sure as hell do! Stevie shot him a death stare.
She’d figured this assignment fell into the category of office bullshit. A way to make it clear to Vasher who his boss was, but so far many of Wade’s accusations seemed to be ringing true. She struggled to comprehend his cavalier attitude. Didn’t he care about his job? Didn’t he want to prove Wade wrong?
Was his ego doing all talking? Or, was it because she was a girl?
Her pulse quickened. He had no worries because…he thought he had nothing to fear. He’d mistaken her professional kindness as…an attraction and—Oh, hell no!
She mirrored his stance and unloaded. “It’s clear you don’t communicate with your team. And although that might work for you, it’s not helping them. It’s not helping the victim either.” Her arms flung outward to indicate the body on the ground.
“On my team, we all have an equal say when discussing a case. That way, we’re all on the same page, and hopefully not missing anything.”
Vasher stood-stoned face and silent.
“Since we only get one shot at this, the more eyes, the better. No matter whose team you’re on. Now if you”—she thrust a finger at him—“want to cop some macho bullshit attitude with your team, fine. But I expect to be treated as your equal concerning evidence, or in this case, the apparent lack of it.”
Stevie crossed her arms and waited for a response. Huh! Still think I’m a ditzy pushover?
Excerpt from Evidence of Desire: Tales of Desire, Novel One, copyright 2018 Jessie Scott
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