Cross Current

Cross Current by Christine Kling Read Free Book Online

Book: Cross Current by Christine Kling Read Free Book Online
Authors: Christine Kling
Tags: Suspense
learned about cops is that little social niceties often aren’t on their list of acquired skills.
    “Yeah, Sey, that have anything to do with your emergency?” Mike asked.
    “The boat I said I found?” I pointed toward the body bag. “That’s what was in it. That and a kid, a little girl about ten years old.”
    Joe turned away from the scene and looked at me. His features were pinched with concern, and I could not help but notice how light his green eyes were. “The kid, she was alive?” he asked.
    “Yeah, bad shape, though. Dehydration, sun. On her way to Broward General right now. Who knows how long she had been out there.”
    Joe shook his head. “Poor kid. It always gets to me when there are kids involved.”
    “You got kids?” I asked him.
    “One. A grown daughter.” He paused and his eyes went unfocused, as though looking at something far away, before he turned to look across the Intracoastal. Without turning back to face me, he said, “I haven’t seen her in a long time. Too long, I guess.”
    He stood there, his head turned away, and I didn’t know whether to speak or to wait or to walk away and leave him alone.
    “This kid,” he said, turning to face me and coming back from wherever or whatever memory he had traveled to. “She able to tell you anything about what happened to her?” 
    “Nope. She could barely talk. She’s so thin, she looks like she’s been starved for months, not just days. Hopefully, she’ll be all right, but then, you know how it is.” I shrugged. “She’s Haitian, so as soon as she’s healthy ...” I motioned with my hand for them to fill in the blanks.
    “Yeah. It doesn’t seem fair, does it,” Mike said.
    “At least she’s lucky you found her,” Joe said, squeezing and then patting my upper arm. I smiled back at him and nodded, not sure whether or not he was flirting with me and not sure whether or not I liked it.
    The officers pushing the gurney with the body bag passed within a few feet of us, and one of them nodded at Mike, left the group, and started toward us.
    Mike shook hands with the first officer and several others who followed. Most were big men, either in uniform or plainclothes, and they greeted Mike, shook his hand, and patted him on the back. They gathered around their old friend, and the laughter erupted in sharp, loud bursts, but something about their camaraderie seemed forced. They all tried to look anywhere but at the missing leg.
    “Hey, Mike,” I said, “some of us still have to work for a living. Think you could move your boat so I can get out?”
    He looked up and our eyes met over the top of the heads around him. He didn’t say anything, but there was gratitude in his eyes. “Come on, Joe—” he clapped the other man on the shoulder—“let’s get ourselves some sea, sun, and rum.”
    A voice right behind me made me spin around. “That could very well have been valuable evidence, the water you pumped out of that boat.” Collazo had walked up behind me, and he now stuck his face about six inches from mine.
    “What are you talking about?”
    “Collazo, back off,” Mike said. “You don’t need to pull that bullshit with her. She’s not going to hide anything from you.”
    Collazo didn’t break eye contact with me when he said, “Mike, I know you’d never interfere with a police investigation.”
    “Hey, Joe,” Mike said, “I think he’s showing off for us.” Both men laughed. “Collazo, remember Joe? He worked with us back around, what was it, eighty-two? On that Northwest Lauderdale Task Force? Oh, wait a minute, you were still on patrol then, right? I forgot. Didn’t recognize you without your radar gun.” Mike and his friend hooted, while Collazo ignored them.
    “I had to pump it out,” I said, “or I wouldn’t have been able to tow it in.”
    “That’s why you should have called the experts. The water you pumped out of that boat was probably discolored due to the blood from the woman’s

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