It felt as if they had been sitting together for hours, but 17 minutes had only passed since Dorian walked into the room. Dr. Wilhemina Harris stared at him through her cat eyed glasses, legs crossed at the knee and a notepad balanced in her lap. Dorian was, what she defined as, a textbook pessimist; he never believed in therapy or “shrinks”. Culturally, Dorian was raised to believe therapy was a waste of money. If you couldn’t “pray” your problems away, you bottle them and push them down until you developed an ulcer. He cleared his throat loudly and dramatically, as he silently prayed she would just give up the stalemate and let him leave. “So…tell me about the case you’re on,” Dr. Harris said as she patted her notebook. “That’s classified,” he said flatly. “I’m actually qualified to any information involving case files. I do work for the FBI as well,” she said. Dorian folded his arms, subconsciously on the defensive.
Dr. Harris removed her glasses and leaned forward. “Agent Shaw, you’ve missed your last two sessions and the sessions prior to that were nothing to write home about. Literally,” she said. She held up the notebook and showed him the empty pages, front and back. “This is not a punishment. I’m only here to help you, however, it is mandatory. Until I see you making some progress, ANY progress, I won’t hesitate to extend your field vacation indefinitely.” She sat back in her seat and replaced her glasses. “So it’s up to you. We can spend the next 38 minutes talking or in silence.” Dorian didn’t speak, at first. “What do you want to talk about?” he asked finally, letting his work ethic get the best of him. “I’m more concerned with what you want to talk about.”
Dorian returned to his office to see Special Agent Sanchez standing in the center, a bewildered look spread across his face as he studied the flow chart Dorian had created. “What is all this?” he said as he faced Dorian. “Work,” he said, taking his seat behind his desk. “Yes, but WHAT is it?” Dorian grumbled to himself. “I’m trying to find a suspect for the Trevant case.”
“My case? You mean, the case that has had several meetings with you being M.I.A.?”
“I prefer to do it my way.”
“You don’t have a way. You lost your way when you…” Dorian threw Sanchez a look dirty enough to make him stammer. “What I mean is, I’m in charge on this. If you have any contributions, I’ll be glad to hear them. Plus we already have a suspect in custody,” Sanchez said as he attempted to leave the room.
“It’s a woman,” Dorian said as he placed his hands behind his head. Sanchez took two steps back and spun to face him. “How do you know?”
“It’s a hunch.”
“You’re playing a hunch off what? A load of jewelry that’s probably already in the wind by now?” Dorian held up a plastic bag between his index and middle finger that held a piece of black material. “What is this?” Sanchez said, taking the bag from him. “According to forensics, that is a scrap from a women’s cotton tee. Common material, used in hundreds of items, but a woman’s, no doubt.”
“You couldn’t glean who our suspect is just from a scrap of cotton,” Sanchez said, tossing the bag onto the desk. Before he could reply again, Dorian held up the rubber mold of a footprint. “This is a print pulled from a museum job 8 months ago. Notice the smaller size?”
“A woman’s foot?”
“Taken from near the window used to gain entry.”
“That could belong to anyone!”
“Except that a half print was found in the same windowsill, matching the same steel-toed boot,” Dorian said as he dropped the rubber onto the desk. Sanchez reached across the desk and picked up the file. “This happened in Nevada! How are you linking two jobs across the country from one another?” Sanchez barked. Dorian jumped from his desk and went to the board. He pointed to a picture, his finger thudded against the corkboard. “This access vent is only 16 inches wide at Trevant. I don’t know a single man who could squeeze his shoulders through something that small! But a woman? If she were small and flexible enough, she could fit with no problem.”
“So you have a scrap of cloth, a half a footprint, and an access vent?”
“I’ve solved whole cases with less.”
“Well you might play fast and loose with your own cases, but this is MY investigation and how this plays out is up to me,” Sanchez said, before he walked out of the office.
Dorian had been bribing dispatchers nearly two weeks before the call came in. Any burglary incidents were to come directly to his phone. After a few false alarms and $300 later, Rex Technologies reported a break-in. With this insider knowledge, he was the first on the scene. He needed to beat out Sanchez and his minions so he could find the REAL criminal. He shook hands firmly with the officer on the scene when he reached the roof of the building. “Special Agent Shaw? I’m Officer O’Reilly,” the ginger said. “Catch me up,” Dorian said as they rode the 20 floors upward. “I don’t understand it. I didn’t know that people did things like this in real life.”
“You’d be surprised at the lengths people go through to get what they want.”
“Yeah, well, it looks as if the perp came in from the roof access. There aren’t any motion detectors up here, because until recently, there wasn’t a building near here as high as this one,” he said. They exited the elevator and walked a short flight upward until they reached the ajar door. Dorian began surveying the gravel around the area and followed the high tension wire that was left behind and a set of footprints. “Has this photographed?” he asked the officer and the few crime scene investigators who had made it up. “No, sir,” one of them said, before they rushed over and dropped a yellow evidence tag nearby. Dorian reached in his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill and laid it nearby as a scale reference. “The lock on the door wasn’t jimmied. Night security got no blips on any of their monitors. It was like they were invisible.” As he half-listened to the officer rereading his employee notes, Dorian made the calculations in his head as they walked back down; with the cameras set on intervaled loops, someone small and fast could make several runs down the short stairwells and long hallways in time.
Back in the office, Dorian stepped around the forensics team as he searched for clues. “Any cameras in this office?”
“No sir.” Dorian glanced at the sign on the outside door. “And where is Mr. Rogerson?”
“His assistant says Hong Kong. He won’t be back until tomorrow.” Dorian nodded and walked towards the safe. It had been pulled open, dusted and photographed already. “Do you know what was in here?”
“Files. Personal information,” Officer O’Reilly shrugged. Dorian slid his hand into a glove and slid some of the files around inside until he stumbled upon a $100 bill. “Cash,” he said, showing it to the officer and dropping it into a evidence bag one of the techs held out to him. His phone chirped in his pocket and he sighed deeply when he saw Deputy Director Dorson’s name on the screen. So much for my lead, he thought “Deputy Director. What can I do for you?”
“What’s this I hear about you intercepting calls and going out into the field WITHOUT the lead investigator?”
“I was just taking the initiative. I figured I’ve given Sanchez a hand by letting him take a long dinner.”
“You are on very thin ice, Shaw, so thin you should be more concerned for the security of your career. Watch your step.”