"You'll do well to get rid of that chip on your shoulder."
Without removing his gaze from the lieutenant, Scott Whelan swiped the fingers of his left hand across both shoulders. "Yes, sir. Chip removed, sir. Is that all?"
Scowling, the lieutenant shook his head. "It's obvious you don't want my advice. But I'll give you some anyway. Don't be stupid, Whelan. Dismissed."
Scott pivoted on his heel as smartly as any cadet and marched from his LT's office. Not until he was in the elevator of the sheriff's department—thankfully an empty elevator at the moment—did his jaw go from a tooth-breaking clench to a grimace. He leaned against the rear wall of the car, sucking air. He shifted, letting his right leg take most of his weight.
He shoved his hands in the pockets of his uniform slacks. Uniform. After eight years in plain clothes, despite several weeks in uniform on desk duty, he still considered his sheriff's uniform something worn to ceremonies. Or funerals. Not so far off, really. A funeral for his career.
Well, if he wasn't a detective for the sheriff's department anymore, he might as well hold a wake. When the elevator dinged at the ground floor, he squared his shoulders and, ducking his head against the ever-present Oregon drizzle, made his way out of the building toward his car. At least the weather matched his mood.
He avoided the Thunderbird Grill, where he'd have to face too many colleagues, and drove across town to MacGinty's. He succumbed to the pain in his leg and limped from his car to the pub. Brushing the raindrops from his hair, he found an empty stool near the end of the bar. When the bartender approached, he handed her his car key. "Macallan. Twelve year. Leave the bottle."
She lifted an eyebrow, her gaze fixed on his chest. "You sure about that, Officer Whelan?"
He glanced down. Right. He should have gone home and changed. He should have gone home period. He gave the bartender a weak smile. "I'm off duty. But you're right. Just give me the bottle. And my key."
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish