The Path to Power

Chapter Thirty Seven





Reb says that the first paragraph is just ookie. And Bark agrees that its riding the edge of really gross. So those with squeamish tendencies skip the first paragraph... should be fine after that. This is the last chapter for the week. Haven't even begun working on the next one. So enjoy!




The Usual Suspects


A late night dog walker is the one that finds the body. Tonight he'd get a pass on the pooper scooper law because there were a lot more disgusting things on the sidewalk: puke, blood, brains. He'd provided the puke himself. Twice before he could finally call 911. Pulling his dog over to the nearby steps he sits down and pulls the dog even closer to him. Petting the dog not to quiet the dog but instead to quiet his own shattered nerves.

Two cops cars roll up on the scene with lights flashing but no sirens. They approach the car with maglights out. The driver is gone, without a doubt. Hopefully he had fingerprints on file somewhere. One of the officers reaches in to the inner pocket of the jacket... "He's one of us."


"It's Capelli."

The other officer calls it in and requests Capelli's last task. While the other comes around to the other side and finds the utility belt and uniform shirt. "Where is Spencer?" The search goes out for Lucky Spencer at the same time as the answer comes back from dispatch. Capelli was off the clock.
The cops back off not wanting to contaminate the scene and to wait for the detectives. One keeps an eye on things while the other goes to talk to the dog walker. The red and blue lights on the street have more and more lights coming on in the buildings around the car. But nobody will have seen anything. Nobody ever does, at first. As soon as the detectives were on the scene they could start canvassing. But damn it-- they had to find Lucky Spencer.





The phone wakes Mac instantly. "Commissioner Scorpio. Where? I'm on my way." Mac rolls out of bed and checks his watch as he puts it on. Putting on the clothes that are handiest, he stops by Georgie's room on the way out. "Georgie?"

"Daddy?" Georgie asks sleepily rubbing her eyes.

"I have to go out." Mac says quietly. "It could be awhile. I'm on my cell."

"'Kay." Georgie falls back on her pillow already almost back to sleep.

Mac turns around and Maxie is standing there in her robe. "I heard the phone ring."

"I have to go out." Mac tells her.

"Someone got hurt. A police officer. That's why you have to go." The constant fear that goes along with being the daughter of a police officer is in Maxie's eyes before she looks away.

"I'll know when I get there. I'll try to be home for breakfast." Mac comes over and gives Maxie a kiss on the top of the head. "You're in charge, pumpkin. Make me proud." Mac leaves locking the front door behind him automatically. Maxie knows that she is not going to be able to get back to sleep and goes down to the living room and flips on a light.


Mac arrives at the crime scene within minutes. The Detectives are already there, the crime scene investigators, and the coroner's van. Taggart is hanging on the heels of the coroner not quite in the way but not getting out of the way either. "Marcus."

Taggart hears his boss from outside the scene and steps back to go fill in the Police Commissioner. He gives him an abbreviated update of what he's done so far. "It's Capelli. Put an all points out on Lucky. He's not at his place over Kelly's."

"I have to ask this." Mac shakes his head. "Where were you, Marcus, after you left my house?"

"You think I... " Marcus snorts in disbelief. "I went home to the brownstone and was in all night."

"Did anyone see you?"

"I talked to Bobbie, a package for me had been left with her, it was about nine o'clock. After that...." Marcus shakes his head. "You'd have to talk to her or Lucas."

"You can't be lead on this. It's going to come out. Everything about Capelli and that means there could be a perception of bias." Mac says quietly.

Politics Marcus keeps his temper between gritted teeth and asks, "Did you have someone in mind?"

"That's going to be the tough one." Mac agrees. "Get one of the uniforms who is on the list for detective to run it. Take a supervisory role but let them take lead. When are you going to start the canvas?"

"As soon as they start leaving the buildings." Marcus looks up at the surrounding apartments. "The door to door will start as soon as the sun comes up."

Mac nods and goes over to the coroner. "What have you got?"

"I'll know more when I get him back to the shop." The coroner says automatically not wanting to be rushed; it's his answer at every crime scene he's called to. "He's dead. Has been for a couple of hours. One shot, close but not contact, entry. I'll know more when I get the bullet. Your next problem just arrived." The coroner nods in the direction of the yellow police tape. Behind it are just arrived local news crew and the crime beat reporter of the Port Charles Herald.

"What the hell is going on?!" Lucky comes out of the same alley that he'd left from just a few hours ago. He'd come back on the run when he hadn't been able to get thru on Capelli's cell phone.

Mac and Taggart descend on him and pull him back in the alley away from the lenses of the press. "Where were you?!" Mac demands.

"I was over at Elizabeth Webber's." Lucky looks from Mac to Taggart. "I was on the stake out with Capelli. I saw Elizabeth leave and knew I could find out more by talking to her. Capelli maintained surveillance."

"Surveillance on whom?" Mac asks softly.

"Ric Lansing." Lucky looks from Mac to Taggart. "You know about it. Capelli says you talked about Lansing starting a turf war between Sonny and Faith. It wasn't covered at briefing cause you couldn't risk a leak getting back to him." Lucky looks from Taggart back to Mac. "What's going on?!"

"Marcus, take Lucky back to the station and keep him under wraps. He can call his rep but that's it." Mac orders. He runs a blocking pattern while Marcus escorts Lucky to a car on the far side away from the reporters and the drive back to the PCPD.

"How much trouble am I in?" Lucky asks Taggart once they are clear of the scene.

"You and Capelli were on an unsanctioned stake out. You left your partner. Your partner is dead. Expect IAB to crawl up your ass." Marcus cuts straight to the chase.

"But you talked to Capelli about Lansing." Lucky protests but guiltily because he had left his partner.

"Yeah, I think the guy is dirtier than hell." Marcus agrees. "But Capelli, according to what you're saying, stepped out without a net. Nobody knew you were out there, Lucky. And whoever took him out..."

"Could have taken me out if I would have been there."

"Or pinned it on you." Still Taggart can't resist. "What did Elizabeth tell you?"

"Ric dumped her and asked Courtney Matthews to marry him. Courtney said yes. That's the short version." Lucky adds when Taggart is speechless.

"Don't call your rep when you get back to the station." Taggart says quietly. "Call Dara Jensen. You're going to need her. And don't say anything more until Dara's in the room. It's going to get cleared up, Lucky." Taggart looks over at the man he'd known since the kid had been in junior high. "Dara won't let them pin the murder on you but your short lived career with the PCPD is going to be a much tougher fight." Taggart pulls out his cell phone and hits the number he still knows by memory. "Dara? It's Marcus Taggart. Yeah, I know it's late. Andy Capelli was killed tonight. Figure you might as well bring a lunch to the PCPD. Most of your clients had a reason to want him dead. And I've got another one for you..." Marcus hands the phone to Lucky.

"Ms. Jensen? It's Lucky Spencer. Taggart says I need an attorney."





"Morning, Babe." Cole gives Skye a kiss on the top of the head as he sets the coffee on the bedside table.

"What are you doing up so early?" Skye grumbles as she pushes away from the bed.

"The kid is a bottomless pit." Cole says wryly. "I sent him out to get the newspaper. It was the only way to save you some french toast and sausage."

"You're always feeding me." Skye mutters but she is already reaching for a robe. "Just give me about five minutes to take a shower."

"You got a whip and chair in here somewhere?"

"Nope, but there are lots of pointy objects in the kitchen." Skye says practically after a sip of coffee.

Cole goes back to the living room. Kyle's already unfolded the newspaper and is going for the sports page. Cole pours himself a cup of coffee and snags the sports page away from the kid. He doesn't give a rip about sports but he has to keep up for the patrons at Jake's. Kyle decides it's not worth the protest and takes the comics. When Skye comes out of the back both guys are focused on the paper; she rolls her eyes, gets a refill on her coffee and looking around tries to find the promised french toast and sausage. Finally finding them warming in the oven, juggling french toast, sausage and her coffee cop she drops everything at the table and grabs the front page of the paper. "Cole?"

"Yeah, Babe?" Coleman says absently. Looks like the Yanks are on their way to buying another pennant. Course half of the folks down at the bar were more into the Jays up in Toronto; they are the closer team.

"Isn't this the police officer who was at Fowler's funeral?" That gets Coleman's attention and his head snaps around to look at the front page of the paper that Skye is holding up to him. Once she has his attention, "It looks as if this was rushed to print." She says disapprovingly. "There is no real information."

"Do you mind if I...?" Cole points to the television.

"Go ahead." Skye keeps reading. "This is terrible."

"Capelli biting it?"

"That too." But then Skye continues. "Actually I meant the story. There is nothing to it, and the editing is awful. I understand it's breaking news but there is no excuse for this."

"You think you could do better?!" Cole jokes.

"Yes." Skye retorts and then it dawns on her. "Yes, I could. You are a genius!" Skye jumps up from the table and races back to the bedroom. She knows now exactly where she can do the most good.

"Do you think she is going to eat that?" Kyle asks Coleman pointing to the abandoned breakfast plate.





Dara Jensen took a little while to get down to the PCPD. After a quick consult with her new client, Lucky Spencer, she knows that she should have brought a change of clothes. She is going to be here all day. Marcus had warned her and even that little bit of information had given her a head start. Capelli. Only the night before she'd found out he was dirty. Many people had a reason to want him silenced. She'd tried to call Stefan earlier to give him a heads up, had tried to call him right after she talked to Marcus but Stefan wasn't on Spoon Island. Something she would be keeping to herself even if asked. Dara interrupts her own thoughts to interject. "Marcus, that isn't relevant. Lucky, you don't have to answer that."

Marcus grimaces. He leans in on the table, making eye contact with both of them. "Look, I've known you for a long time, Lucky. You know I don't think you were involved in the murder of Andy Capelli. But you screwed up. I'm going to be straight with you. You're a cadet. You don't have the same protections career wise. As far as the department is concerned you are a... student."

"And I just flunked out." It wasn't anything that Lucky didn't already know. That hadn't already hit home on the drive back to PCPD.

"They'll call it something different. It'll start with a suspension. You aren't going back on the street. I can't speak for the union."

"Marcus..." Dara protests.

"Dara, reality check here. You're going to be able to clear him. He might be able to give information that will help catch whoever did kill Capelli. But he isn't going to be a cop. Not here in Port Charles and frankly..."

"It's not a resume builder if the ink isn't even dry and you lose your partner." Lucky tells his attorney. "My father will be doing cartwheels. Not bout Capelli but me getting kicked off the force. If I would have been there..."

Marcus and Dara exchange a look. Dara is the one that says what they'd both been thinking. "Then you'd be dead too, Lucky."

"One of the possibilities that has to be ruled out is that Capelli wasn't working for the PCPD last night."

"Who would he be working for?" Lucky asks with some bewilderment.

"The Alcazars." Marcus says softly. That has Lucky rocking back in his chair. "Changes the whole picture doesn't it? Start thinking back. You spent a lot of time with Capelli."

"He wanted to get out to Wyndemere?" Lucky asks. All the other cadets had been assigned to senior uniform training officers, he'd been assigned to a plain clothes detective. That it had seemed a real foot up. "He was using me to get to the Cassadines, to my brother?"

"And Tasha." Marcus pushes back from the table. "Look-- why don't we take a break. Get some coffee, send out for breakfast. Then we'll go thru it again. Every thing you saw, heard. Everything."

Lucky nods. He drops his head into this hands.

Dara follows Marcus out to the bullpen and is about to call after him but he is a totally focused on getting to a notebook at the far side of the room. "What is it?" Dara asks looking around the big Lieutenant.

"Tasha's ankle monitor record. She didn't move off the island."

"Did you think she would?"

"One less thing to worry about. Same thing as Lucky. Make sure she's eliminated so she won't be upset by any questions. I know that Zander told the Cassadines about Capelli. To protect Tasha. They're going to have to talk to the PCPD, Dara."

"I'll contact them." Dara asks "Are you going out to the island?"

Marcus shakes his head. "Mac already told me I'm being pulled off this one. Too close. He asked me where I was last night."

Dara's eyes go wide at that. "I'll make some calls."

"I'd appreciate it." Marcus taps the monitoring book significantly. "One way or another we're going to have to get a statement from them-- Stefan, Nikolas, Mrs. Lansbury, Penny if she can alibi Tasha."





The sound of a ringing phone wakes Nikolas. He looks at the clock at his bedside. It is later than his habit. "Nikolas Cassadine. Yes, Mrs. Lansbury? She called last night too?" Nikolas frowns. "Put her through-- Ms. Jensen?" Nikolas is silent as Dara fills him in on the news. He instinctively goes for the stone wall as the first line of defense. "Ms. Jensen, this has nothing to do with the Cassadines."

There is a long pause on the other end of the line. "Well I can't decide now if Stefan didn't tell you before he left or you're just playing me. But hey. Either way. Taggart gave me a courtesy heads up to try to avoid having the PCPD come out to the island. Tell you what. Why don't you call me if you need an attorney?" Dara hangs up the phone.

"Hell." Nikolas is wide awake now. Rising from his bed he pulls on a robe. There is no television in his room and he goes to a nearby room to find one. He flips the station to the local news. The rest of the morning news takes about three minutes and then the top story begins again.





Coleman comes into the bedroom to let Skye know he's on his way to work and finds her on the floor of her walk-in closet surround by papers and open files. "What hurricane blew thru here?"

"Picking writing samples." Skye bites her lip and thinks aloud. "My resume is always updated. Normally the only thing I have to change is my address. I'm thinking the writing I did in Lanview. Pine Valley was for a magazine, more in depth, less hard writing. Maybe a couple of the Pine Valley-- it's not too dated."

"What on earth?" Coleman squats down and picks up one of the discards off the floor and scans thru it. "You can do this and you were working at ELQ??! Why Skye?"

"Acceptance, family business blah blah blah" Skye says wryly. "It's not like I could go to medical school and become a doctor like Alan. ELQ was something I was good at."

"So is this."

"You're biased." Skye retorts but her eyes are vulnerable.

"Hell yah!" Cole agrees. "And I don't know shit about writing. But this..." he refers to the story in his hand. " better than that." Cole points back in the direction of the kitchen. "I thought you were kidding-- pulling my chain."

"Would I do that?"

"In a heartbeat." Cole gives her a quick kiss. "I'm going to take the kid and get Jake's set up. Are you going to be all right?"

"Yeah." Skye waits until Cole is on his feet before asking. "Are you going to call Faith?"

"I think I'm staying out of this one." Cole shrugs.

"Me too."




Gia stops by the PCPD with a file for Dara. Dara had called her at home requesting the detour by the office to pick up anything that had to go out today. Gia hands over the file. "You need a secretary."

"Not normally." Dara replies.

"With Alexis out of commission, Yes, you do." Gia retorts emphatically. "I'll be able to drop these off but then I'm in class all day and you're not going anywhere--"

"It doesn't look like it." Dara agrees. She signs the last of the letters.

Gia has been stuffing each one in the proper envelope or folder as they talk. "The phone is on the machine so you can check messages when you get time." Gia collects all the morning mail and stuffs it back in her backpack.

"Thank you for this, Gia." Dara says gratefully. "Things should settle down tomorrow."

Gia sees Ric Lansing walking into the PCPD accompanying Liz Webber. "Right." Gia draws it out. "Looks like you could go for a coffee now. Lizzie brought her own attorney."

Mac sees Liz and Ric arrive and meets them by the counter. "Thanks for coming down. Liz, could I talk to you for a minute?"

"That is inappropriate, Commissioner."

"It's one question, Counselor." Mac retorts. "All she has to do is nod or shake her head."

"It's fine, Ric." Elizabeth steps aside wondering What on Earth?

"I'm going to be asking you questions about Lucky being at your studio last night. Are you okay with Ric hearing that?"

Liz blanches and then straightens. She says loud enough to be overheard. "Ric is here as my lawyer not my ex-boyfriend."

"Great." Mac points in the direction of the interview room.





Takes thirty days to build a habit. At least that is what they say. Cole doesn't figure it will take that long. Kyle had been mouthy in his protest but got the job done anyway, already knowing where everything is. But Cole can tell that after two days, Kyle is ready to go back to school. 'Cause being away from his phone, the computer being strictly off limits even with the excitement at Skye's last night-- boredom has begun to set in. Cole pours himself a cup of coffee and starts organizing the previous evenings receipts. He hears the sound of the front door being opened and automatically checks under the counter for his equalizer. "We're closed. Come back at eleven."

"I'm sorry. I was told that you have rooms for rent?"

Coleman takes in at a glance the slim Hispanic man in front of him. The hair at the back of his neck screams TROUBLE. But that is the collection he has upstairs. Jakes had always attracted the fly by night crowd which is why rent is paid in advance. "I've got something coming up. First, last, deposit. Know how long you'll be staying?" Cole quotes the rate for weekly and monthly rent. He comes from behind the counter with the master key. Zander cleared out the afternoon before and returned his key. Cole takes the lead. "NO business here of any kind. I don't mind my tenant's business unless they start interfering with mine."

"Claro. Of course." The man says smoothly. "I will be here for a few months, not for the winter."

"Makes perfect sense to me. This is the bathroom here. There is one on each end of the hallway." Cole points them out then automatically knocks on the now vacant room and then unlocks it. He looks around in a quick assessment. "It could be ready by 6pm."

"I'll take it." Javier Gomez reaches into his pocket and starts peeling bills off.





Nikolas and Mrs. Lansbury arrive at the PCPD together. "I apologize, Ms. Jensen. I do realize you were just trying to protect Tasha." Nikolas says awkwardly.

"So which was it? Stefan being secretive or you being too much like him?"

"Too much like him." Nik admits wryly.

Dara nods. "Good, that will save me time filling you in." She pulls Nikolas and Mrs. L aside. "Marcus has been pulled off the case. Mac believes he is too close. Marcus did verify that Alexis was on the island the whole time."

"Thank Goodness for ankle monitors." Mrs. Lansbury mutters.

"Yes." Dara nods. "That's probably what is going to keep the police off Spoon Island. A least for a little while and if it comes down to it probably have Marcus there even if he can't take lead. Scott was chewed out royally by the Judge for the last stunt so it could go either way-- either slow to react or any excuse."

"Was Lucky with Capelli?" Nik asks interrupting.

"No, and you'll have to get the details from him."





I have nothing to feel guilty about. I have nothing to feel guilty about. "Lucky stopped by my studio at about 8:30pm. I had just gotten home. We talked. It was long overdue."

Mac nods his understanding. "Do you recall what time he left?"

Liz frowns. "He called somebody at about 10:30 but didn't get an answer. I thought he was calling his Dad since it was so late; Luke doesn't keep normal hours. When there was no answer Lucky said he was going to check it out."

"Did he use the phone in your studio?"

"Yes." Liz nods.

"May we check your phone records?"

"Is that really necessary?" Ric protests.

"Does your phone keep a log of calls?" Mac asks Elizabeth. After she nods he continues. "Then either way would assist the investigation. Have one of our officers go with you and write down the last dialed numbers."

"First you want to invade the privacy of Elizabeth's communications and now you want to invade her home?!" Ric demands in disbelief ready to go on a fourth amendment rant.

Elizabeth cuts him off. "That would be fine. I know Lucky didn't have anything to do with killing a police officer and I want this cleared up ASAP."

"Thank you." Mac stands up and flags down one of the officers from the bull pen. "Could you give Ms. Weber a ride back to her house and make a copy of the last..."

Liz thinks about it. "I called Ric this morning and Gram so the last five numbers?" She suggests.

Mac nods at his officer in agreement. Liz stands up to go with the officer and Ric rises too. "Oh no, Mr. Lansing, I have a few questions for you as well."

"About Capelli?! You're fishing, Commissioner. I'll be accompanying my client." Ric starts after Elizabeth.

"Actually about the Alcazars and why they'd be keeping you under surveillance."

That stops Ric in his tracks but only briefly. "Luis is dead."

"Yes, he is." Mac agrees. "I didn't say Luis. Where were you last night at about 8pm?"





The answer of There are no positions available just is not going to cut it. Skye's eyes narrow. First they'd tried to shuffle her off to the entertainment editor as a story rather than a writer. So the local doors were blockaded. FINE! More than one way around this. Skye opens up the Herald to the inside page and finds out who owns it. This is what she should have done from the start. Skye starts toward the library already formulating a plan of how she is going to convince a NYC media mogul it is time to dump the local PC paper and she is just the gal to take it off his hands.





The questions for Mrs. Lansbury are to the point. As the Cassadine housekeeper, she prides herself on her discretion so the answers are brief, accurate and politely given. But there is no guessing, supposing, or speculating on her part nor tolerated from the officer asking the questions. Dara had only overheard a little and is properly impressed. Jason Morgan might be less forthcoming but not by much and Mrs. Lansbury is so sweet about it.

Once Nikolas arrives, Mac hands off the questioning of Ric Lansing to Taggart and takes over there bringing Nikolas and his attorney up to Mac's rarely used office since the interview rooms are starting to get crowded down in the PCPD bullpen. Nikolas is not as skilled as Mrs. Lansbury of putting on a polite, helpful facade while not giving anything away so Dara stays close. Mac asks Nikolas where he was the night before.

"On the island." Nik says simply. "I didn't have any outside appointments."

"So nobody can verify your whereabouts after 8pm?"

"That isn't what he said, Mac." Dara interjects.

"My Aunt turned in for the evening at 8pm. Penny and I had a quiet evening." Nikolas clarifies.

"And Stefan?"

"Is out of the country on Cassadine business."

Mac's brows go up. He'd actually been expecting Stefan to show up rather than Nikolas this morning. This explained Stefan's absence. "Oh? Where?"

"He did not apprise me of his itinerary."

"Is that usual?" Oh hell no, it's not-- except if Stefan is off doing something illegal and doesn't want little Niky getting his nails dirty.

"Mac, Stefan is over eighteen. He didn't put his entire life on hold when he came back to Port Charles for Alexis. I'm sure he'll be sorry he couldn't be here to make things easy for you. And Nikolas is not responsible for knowing where his uncle is."

"Oh I'm sure." Mac says sarcastically after long experience with the Cassadines. "Have you heard from your Grandmother?"

"You think Helena killed Capelli?" Dara's eyes go dramatically extra wide. "Really?! Mac, Capelli was a spy who'd been revealed. My clients didn't want him dead. His bosses however would be another story." and I don't represent them.

"We're investigating all angles, Dara. Stay available, Nikolas."

"I'm not going anywhere, Commissioner."

"My client will be available with reasonable notice to come here, Mac." What Dara doesn't say is as clear as what she does.

Mac nods. message received and if it doesn't interfere with the investigation fine. "Have Stefan call me."





"Why Lucky?! Why?" Elizabeth demands. "Why would you ever-- I know things have been strained, I thought things were getting better-- not that you were spying on me for the PCPD?!"

"I wasn't spying on you, Elizabeth." Lucky says defensively.

"No, worse you were using me! Did you get what you wanted?!" Liz asks bitterly. "You use me and I covered for you! I thought you were calling your dad!"

"Elizabeth--" Lucky takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I don't know what else I can say. I was hearing things about Lansing and I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Don't top it all off by lying to me, Lucky." Elizabeth's tone is angry and even a little threatening. She knows him better than this. "Oh I believe you want me to be safe, but that wasn't what it was about really."

"What I know and what I can prove are two different things, Elizabeth." Lucky falls back on copspeak.

"Lucky, it's me." Elizabeth pleads.

"Come in." Lucky stands back to let Elizabeth into his room over Kelly's. "Elizabeth, what do you know about Ric Lansing... Really."





Should have quit after twenty minutes not like the info could have been sweated out of them. After an unproductive hour with Jason and Sonny getting no information, Taggart is ready to get out of the building and figures it's time to have a little chat with Zander Smith over at ELQ. His badge gets him straight thru to Zander's office on the same floor as Ned's. It's not a corner office but more than you'd expect for a drug dealing, felony dodging, punkass wannabe who was spending too much time with his sister. Taggart raps on the door and pushes it open. Zander is standing by the fax machine. "You have a minute?" or twenty

"I guess." Zander says with some dread; he'd actually been expecting this one. He turns around so he is facing Taggart but still listening for the fax.

"See the paper today?" At Zander's nod, Taggart continues. "Kinda interesting timing on that. Where were you last night?"

"At my new place waiting for furniture delivery." Zander says wryly.

"Until when?"

"About seven thirty." Zander frowns. "I was putting the place together after that."

"What's the address of your new place?" Taggart makes a note of the address in his black leather bound notebook. It's a solid fifteen to twenty minute drive to get from Zander's address to the alley outside of Lansing's building. And since Capelli had been off the clock few people would have known his location. "Who did you tell about Capelli? I know you told the Cassadines. Who else?"

Zander winces. This was going to be the tough part. Luckily Faith isn't going to be able to rip on him for snitching.

Ned answers the question from the doorway. "Zander told me. He wanted me to know before my wife found out."

"And did your wife find out?" Taggart already knows the answer to that one. He'd read it on Zander's face.

"Faith and I haven't discussed it. Frankly, Lieutenant, my family has... bigger challenges than a dirty cop. Capelli... Alcazar... whoever... would have no interest in my daughter. Faith has her hands full taking care of our family: my daughter, my brother, me."

He's trying to sell this like she's June fucking Cleaver?! Zander shakes his head in disbelief; he and Taggart share an amused glance and then realizing what they are doing glare at each other.





Faith has no problem separating human from meat. That's what is left on the slab-- meat. After the first thirty seconds of shock, it turns into a puzzle. "Close but no contact by the gunpowder and the damage looks like bigger than a thirty eight?" She looks over her shoulder to ask.

"You know your bullet wounds, babe. He one of yours? Don't bother with spending the big bucks on the suit. Nobody is going to see it-- closed casket and lots of flowers for this one." The coroner takes his time examining the way the fabric of Faith's skirt frames her rear and the way she bends over the table to take a closer look at the body has the short skirt hiking up even further. "If I ask Sam to send over all of his spent shell casings am I going to find a match to the bullet that did this?"

"I guess that all depends on if the shooter works out at Sam's." Faith covers the body back up with a sheet and shoves the slab back into the drawer and closes it. She leans back against the stainless steel doors keeping her shoulders back so her assets are front and center. The coroner is an ass and leg man but he isn't opposed to a nice rack either. "And Capelli's somebody else's problem. Although it might be interesting to find out who pays for his going away party."

"How interested would you be?" The coroner asks slyly.

"What do you want?" Faith counters. "And I'll decide how interested I am."

"Wynonna isn't returning my calls."

Faith sighs and shakes her head. "Doc, you smell like formaldehyde. The only people turned on by that are high school biology teachers. You're a great guy." Faith comes over and rubs a hand up the coroner's lapel. "But it gives Wynonna the heebies. Sorry." Faith gives him a pat on the chest and then turns to leave.


"Yeah?" Faith pauses at the door.

"He was on a cell phone when he bought it. Found pieces of the phone in the wound."

"I'll talk to Wynonna. No promises." Faith blows him a kiss.

The Coroner watches her leave and then after he does sniffs at his lab coat. He can't smell a thing.


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