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PART EIGHTY-SEVEN

Rounding the corner of the “L” shaped room Officer Rosenstock stood next to the door bearing the No Admittance sign, hands folded loosely in front of her, a scowl on her face. Manny got within ten feet of her before declaring, “Rosenstock. Taisto. Thanks for coming out to see us. I think you met Suzann Layher? I take it Looney contacted you?”

Suzann approached with right hand extended but rather than reciprocating, Rosenstock kept her hands clasped, tilting her pursed lipped and flared nostrils head to the side; a perfect billboard of barely suppressed ire via a highly expressive and dismissive scowl. “Yeah, Taisto. Looney said I should get some information from the perp’s ex? That be you, Suzann? I thought Looney said the ex’s name was Karla?”

Suzann’s eyebrows rose as she stopped a foot away from Rosenstock, raised her hand just above waist height and slowly turned it from palm down to palm up and then back again. Letting her hand fall to her side she looked into Rosenstock’s eyes and asked, “Do I look like the wife of a white supremacist?

“No, we were coming over here to speak to admissions and see if we could get the doctor to fill us in on Sara. Karla Kisor is the short, blonde, tattooed woman who was with me when you and the ambulance arrived?” Suzann said icily. “How is Sara? Are her injuries severe?”

“I’m not allowed to talk about Sara’s condition. I’d ask Doc Bikeman about that. So, where’s this Kisor?”

“Well, thank you for confirming that it was Sara Kohnen that you brought in. At least that’s some progress. Karla is around the corner along with Stacie Shannon, Sara’s teacher? They’re both very concerned about Sara as well as Skylar and Marti Kohnen. Would you like me to bring Karla over or would you prefer to speak with her in the lobby?”

“I never said it was Sara Kohnen in the ambulance-”

“Whatever.”

“-and I’m not the bad guy here. We’ve got a major kidnapping by a dude who’s in a gang that’s on the FBI’s, Homeland’s and NSA watchlists; though none of the victims qualify as obvious Elohim targets. So, what? You think I should just play fast and loose with a little girl’s life? Lighten up. You do your job, I’ll do mine.

“Oh. And just so you know? You’d be amazed how many of the skinhead lowlifes like women of color. Just saying. And what is your connection to Sara, Skylar and Marti Kohnen?”

“School secretary. You said Doctor Bikeman is Sara’s doctor? Great,” Suzann said crisply.

“And there is no need for us to be adversaries,” she said in warmer tones. “It was Stacie who allowed you and the police to respond so quickly and she did it by listening to Skylar Kisor when others would have dismissed the child. I can assure you that the only thing Stacie and I are interested in is the safety and well-being of the two girls and Marti Kohnen. What we want is you and the rest of your officers to go get Caleb Morse and we’ll help Sara and Skylar move beyond their trauma.

“There’s no conflict here. Bikeman, right?”

“Yeah,” Rosenstock replied, head tilted back and to the side. “Kay Bikeman. She’s good. Go up to admittance and ask to see her. I got an interview to do,” she said, extending her hand.

“And I have a little girl to comfort,” Suzann replied, shaking Rosenstock’s hand. “Go get ‘em, cowboy,” she added with a smile.