Cadence is happily ensconced at the police station with Scott and another officer, Van Driscole. She and Van are going through the photographs taken on the beach the day Connor Griswald was shot. They hope to find a picture of the shooter. They are more successful than they could have hoped, discovering a very good photograph of the shooter among the many.
Scott can see that Driscole is already interested in Cadence. It's hard to be around her and not be attracted. He can't help being a little jealous of the time that she's spending with another man. However, it isn't that which prompts him to speak to them about how closely they are sitting.
Scott stopped by Driscole's desk before heading to his own. "I've got a mile of paperwork," he said to Van and Cadence. "You'll be okay with Van a little longer?"
"Yeah, we're good. She's helping me."
"It's fun. I'm fine. We're keeping busy." She leaned on Van's shoulder, head mere inches from his.
Van tipped his head, ear brushing her nose. Scott was jealous of the intimate gesture, but shoved that aside. He cleared his throat and they looked up at him.
"You did great today," he complimented. "Van, excellent job, dude. I wouldn't have gotten through this much so fast."
"Cadence is a huge help. She's got a quick eye."
"Thank you," Scott directed at her. "You've been more help than any witness I've ever had. I appreciate the hard work. If you two can find me a closer shot of the shooter. . . . I'll figure out something. I'm outta bribes." He shoved his hands in his pockets, looking nervous.
What's with these guys and their confidence? One second, they're oozing it, the next it's gone with the wind. Cadence thought.
Scott leaned over, murmuring. "Might wanna not be quite so close. People will talk. . . ."
"Jealous?" Cadence asked with a smirk.
Scott's face clouded and he looked sad. "Concerned."
Taking his warning, they moved slightly apart. Cadence took her hands off Van's shoulder and leaned on the desk instead. Happily ensconced, they sat at the computer as Driscole slipped the next disk into the machine. Forensics had made copies of the memory cards, now bagged and in the evidence room.
Cadence got up from the desk and padded barefoot over to Scott's, her shoes once more under Driscole's desk. "I'm getting us sodas. Want one?"
"Sure. Whatever you're having."
"We're working our way down the line. We've had Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew. I think orange Fanta is next."
"Sounds good. Thanks."
She came back a few minutes, setting the can on his desk. He glanced up, busy with his form. Flashing a smile, he thanked her. Cadence perched on the edge of his desk.
"That was nice, what you said to Van."
"It's true." He frowned distractedly at his screen as he typed. "And what I told you is too. You've been a huge help, Cadence."
"Thanks. And thank you for taking care of me."
"Me? I haven't done that much."
"More than you realize. I feel safe with you and Van. Thank you."
His eyes left the screen, meeting hers. "You're very welcome. I'm just doing my job."
She smiled, swallowing hard. "Yeah." A quick smile flickered across her face, leaving sadness in her eyes. "Well, I need to get back to work."
His fingers trapped hers on top of the can for a second. "You know—if I could—it would be more than that, right?"
The smile returned, stronger and warmer. "Yeah."
Scott had so many things he wanted to say and do, but they were in his place of business. He was in no position to make good on any of the promises his eyes held. The fact he felt them, expressed them the only way he could, made a big difference to Cadence. Flashing another smile, she went back to Driscole's desk.
"There you are! I'm dying of thirst!" He took a swig of his drink.
Cadence glanced over her shoulder at Scott and sat back down. "What'd I miss?"
"Ass shots," he replied. "Not that any other day I'd appreciate the hell outta the guy's skill, but we've got work to do."
"He shoot any buff guys?"
"Not a one, sorry. Still got two more after this. Maybe the other guy's gay." He winked at her as she settled on her chair.
Across the room, Scott tried to concentrate on his report, but it was hard. All he could think about was how much time Van was spending with Cadence. It was making him crazy. He had no right to complain, nor could he act on the impulses that coursed through him. The only thing that kept him slightly more sane was knowing that Van couldn't act on his either. He could see his cousin was smitten and he had no one to blame but himself if one of them got his heart broken.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes