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Or deal with it after you get off work. "Yeah?" I spun around from staring out my fifth floor office window of the federal courthouse. Another lunch hour shot to hell.
"Crimeny! I've been trying you on the intercom for ten minutes," Short Stack bellowed from my office door. Not that his raised voice and agitated state was unusual office behavior for Kyle Hammer, hence the nickname. Perspiration beads dotted his wide, pale forehead and red splotched his cheeks, but I doubted it had anything to do with his current mood. He had the kind of frame that exerted great amounts of energy just walking, or stomping, rather, around the office and courthouse.
"We're allowed a lunch, you know," I responded calmly. Staying calm was often the only way to get through one of Short Stack's bellow sessions.
"You're in your office, Austy; that means you're working through lunch. Next time, leave the building."
"It's pouring rain outside, Kyle, and just because I'm here doesn't mean I'm working through lunch."
"I know you've only been here a few months, but this is Seattle; it's always raining outside."
That's right, why the hell did I move here? Oh yeah, the best friend lives in Virginia, so you moved here to get away from her. Only not all the way, since she's in Seattle a few days every month. God, you're pathetic.
"What do you need?" I asked as politely as someone who really needed a lunch break could ask.
"New case, international software copyright infringement. There's some corporate espionage thrown in for your enjoyment, too. Chief wants someone who can relate to the whole computer geek thing to deal with it. Since you did so well with the last one, I'm afraid you might catch all these techie claims from now on," he reported in a less than remorseful tone. For five months, he'd been trying me out in every unit of the Criminal Division. Looks like he might have finally decided on Complex Crimes for me.
He raised up the file and flicked his wrist, sailing it perfectly onto the center of my desk. Every time I try that the file opens, all the papers fly out, and someone ends up with a paper cut or poking an eye out.
"Goody," I sighed, my palm landing flat on top of the spinning file. One more to add to my pile of open cases. Assistant United States Attorney, whose stupid idea was that? Crap! It really sucks being in love with your best friend. Married best friend. Married best friend who has a great partner. Married best friend with a great partner who lives in Virginia--most of the time anyway.