This week’s words were: increase, retire, dairy, hiccup, verdict.
I know this is a bit of a lame wrap-up, but I had to do something or we’d never see the end of this fiasco. 😀
“You might have done just that,” Hilary said. “Pushed him too far that is.”
“Maybe,” Zayne admitted.
“So, what’s the verdict,” Trish asked. She and Hilary rolled their chairs over so that they were closer to Zayne’s desk, ready to gossip.
“Sensitivity training,” Zayne groaned, giving the girls a brief recap of what had happened in the captain’s office. With a sigh, he tapped his pen against the desk. “What kind of garbage is that? I mean, seriously.”
“You do remember who you are, right?” Trish gave him an exaggerated eye roll. “I’m rather surprised you haven’t gotten sent to this sort of thing before.”
“I don’t make a habit of bashing other people’s religions, Rollins,” he replied. “Well, aside from that gingerbread narco, but he makes it too easy.”
“And he likes you,” Hilary added. “We tend to not get offended by the dumb things our friends say.” She looked over towards where the doors to the hallway were. “Are you sure Andy didn’t decide to quit?”
“I wasn’t before, but now I’m starting to get concerned. Always figured he’d be here until he either retired or died.”
“He’ll likely die first,” Trish said. “I don’t think he’s the type to retire.”
Hilary slapped Zayne’s desk with the flat of her hand, getting their attention. “He’s coming back.”
“Oh, thank god,” Zayne said, relieved. “I was worried I was going to have to finish these reports myself.”
“Why are you such a self-centered jerk,” Trish asked.
“Because it’s easier than admitting that I was afraid he’d left me forever,” Zayne replied.
“Wow,” Trish laughed. “Character development, who knew it could happen?”
“Shut up,” Zayne laughed. “Zek, where’d you go? We were worried you really had quit.”
Andrej pulled his chair out and sat down, looking at the small group of detectives watching him. “I did not mean to increase your anxiety; however, I needed to make a phone call and could not do it with all of you around.”
“Who did you call,” Trish asked.
“Miss Rawlings,” Andrej said, surprising them all.
“Wait, what?” Zayne shot to his feet. “Are you insane? You called the woman who complained about us? Are you trying to get us fired?”
Tapping his fingers on his desk, Andrej waited out Zayne’s tirade. “Are you finished?”
“Are people going to stop asking me that today,” he retorted.
“I suppose that depends on whether you stop spluttering or not.”
Zayne started to respond, then thought better of it. Returning to his seat, he held his hands out to Andrej in an invitation to continue.
Satisfied that he might be able to make his explanation before he was interrupted again, Andrej said, “I called her because I was certain I could get her to change her mind.”
“How’s that,” Trish asked.
He rubbed his chin, thinking how to phrase what he had to say properly. “I can relate to her feeling of being outed and discriminated against. So, I explained all of this to her, and then also suggested to her that we often do things ourselves that makes our secrets known to the world.” He frowned, thinking about how he’d kissed Zayne while drugged during an earlier case. That had definitely been his fault, even if he hadn’t been quite in control of his faculties at the time. Luckily, their relationship hadn’t suffered for it. To the contrary, they’d only grown closer.
“So,” Zayne drawled, swiveling in his chair. “What did she say?”
“It took a bit of finagling, however, I managed to get her to admit to having outed herself as a witch at that party. She was not happy, however, she realized that brandishing a makeshift wand and threatening to curse people gave her away. She will be calling and repealing her complaint.”
“Oh, thank god,” Zayne groaned. “I love you, you nut.”
Andrej smiled, but refrained from responding to Zayne’s declaration. That would only manage to get them into trouble of another kind.
“You know that was stupid though, right,” Hilary asked, touching his arm to get his attention. “It could have backfired on you.”
He nodded. “I am aware; however, we were not in the wrong on this and I thought it was worth the risk.”
“Please don’t do something like that again,” she begged. “I’d hate for you to lose your job, even if you took this one down with you.” Hilary hooked her thumb in Zayne’s direction.
“Hey now,” he said, grinning. “Be nice.”
“That was nice, Reyes,” Trish shot back. “So, you going to write this off as just another hiccup in your daily life then?”
“For now, yes,” Andrej agreed. “However, we must make a point to be more careful in the future so that we are not guilty of what we were accused of here.”
“Good point,” Zayne said. “After all that, I need some caffeine. Anyone want some coffee?”
“Sure,” Trish said with Hilary nodding. “Our usuals, cowboy.”
“Got it,” he said. “Zek?”
“My usual as well, please,” he said. Andrej took a file out of his inbox and set it on his desk. “However, skip the nonfat and ask if they have oatmilk, please. I am trying to limit my dairy.”
“Just as long as that doesn’t apply to the ice cream in the freezer, I’m good. I’ll be back.”
Once Zayne was gone, Andrej laughed. “I will be in trouble if he ever starts reading ingredient labels and discovers that Brave Robot he loves so much is vegan.”
“Good news, he never will,” Hilary said, causing them all to laugh.
Zayne could be completely oblivious at times, and occasionally it was a true blessing.