And DCI Angers was in no mood to be cordial or compliant with Gilbert’s request. ‘Shut up. This is premier league, and as serious as it gets.’
Gilbert looked nervous. ‘What you mean?’
‘It means you providing our doctor with an armful of blood. Yours.’
‘You can’t do that.’
Gilbert looked apprehensive. ‘And then what?’
‘We give you a nice warm cell and dinner on the house while we wait for the results. It’s cottage pie tonight.’
Jackie felt her stomach rumble. She could do with a helping or two, right then.
Gilbert shook his head in disbelief. ‘I’ve been bailed.’
DCI Angers leant back, and poured three glasses of water from the carafe. He handed one to Gilbert, and one to Jackie.
‘Cheers. I knew you’d see it my way.’
Back in the incident room, Jackie had a lot to think about. She felt it all spiralling out of control.
A resistance mutation. What did that mean? It meant, dear girl, that evil spirits were at work.
Jackie felt an icy wind caress her neck. She shuddered. Three toms dead, two with HIV. And a worried pathologist. She lost her appetite which was good for her figure, bad for her stability.
Molly could have had the word tattooed across her forehead.
Predators, like Gilbert and Molly’s punters, would use and abuse her without a qualm. The HIV diagnosis must have sounded a death warrant. No wonder she took the easy way out - if suicide was easy - possibly not. Slashing the wrists didn’t guarantee finding the artery; there were veins and tendons in the way. But Molly had succeeded. She must have been desperate to end it all.
Alone in her bath. Not quite alone; she had HIV for company.
A male voice pulled her out of her trance. DC James asking if she wanted a fresh cuppa.
Jackie motioned him closer. Told him to bring them both a drink. She’d be waiting in the “Tomb.”
A frown crossed his face. He was going to speak, but she put a finger to her lips. ‘Private.’
She watched his face change to one of anticipation; she didn’t want to spoil his day – but it wouldn’t be what he expected.
‘Jackie, I can’t do this.’
Jackie sipped her tea, and peered over the rim of her mug. ‘Yes you can.’
‘Jeez, I could lose my job.’ He pointed a finger at her. ‘You too.’
‘Paul, this is a murder enquiry, and it’s sensitive.’
‘That’s why I’m not doing it. Marty Hemming is a DI. Talk to Angers, or even Adam Forsyth.’
‘And where would that get us? By the time they set up a disciplinary hearing he’d have erased his voicemail and all his calls.’
Paul thought awhile. He pushed his spoon in his cup and took out the teabag. It dripped into the saucer. ‘Jackie ...’ He shook his head.
She reached out and touched his hand. ‘Look Paul, he leaves it on his desk. I’ll distract him. Five minutes is all you need.’
He flinched, and drew his hand away. ‘And if he’s already erased the calls?’
Jackie sat back. ‘Then it’s plan B.’