Detective Emerson Barker was not happy.
He marched across the playground, enduring yet another misty, foggy afternoon in Portland, Oregon. You’d think the gods would allow the weekends to be nice, if nothing else, but at least the changing leaves gave some color to the drab, dreary gray. This was exactly the kind of task he would’ve sent his former partner on, supposing the poor boy was still alive. Detective Jonathan Johnson, DJ, JonJon, had eaten a bullet trying to protect the woman that Barker now trudged toward. It had been honorable of DJ, trading his life for this small family, but damn, one life lost was one too many.
Barker thought, it’s been what, well over a year already? Time don’t wait for the dead to come back, but we still miss you, cowboy.
He stepped in a puddle, splashing sandy, dirty water onto his slacks, making his left shoe soggy and cold. “Son of a—” He caught the last word, wrenched it back, realizing he was within earshot of Sara Winthrop and her children. Lacey and Callie, the twins, and Jacob, her son, who was unfortunate enough to have not one, but two older sisters to torment him.
Over the past year, [...]