I took my time, in fact I took the rest of that day and most of the next to gather interviews, and statements from witnesses and other officers on the scene. I was in my office going over my notes when I felt ready. And called Brentine in.
When he finally arrived, he gave me his signature sly look. "And what is it you want?"
He said, dryly.
"Close the door and sit down," I muttered, voice neutral.
He watched as I pulled put a digital tape recorder. "What's that for?" he snapped.
After pressing the recorder I said, clearly, "This conversation is being recorded for yours and my protection," and eyes narrowing he sat down.
"Maybe I need my delegate,"
"If that's what you wish," I said, pushing my phone toward him.
"Be my guest,"
He glanced at it before looking at me then his watch. "You got five minutes then I'm on my lunch break," he said.
Narrowing my eyes, I pulled out my notes. "At noon yesterday you responded to reports of gunfire at the store of one William Burke. Is that correct?" I asked, looking at him
He nodded. "You responded to this location, running hot, approached the building in question. At that time, an individual inside the premises informed you he was armed, with hostages. Is this correct?" I asked.
"If you're going to go through the whole report, we're wasting time."
"Did you call for backup or for a negotiation or tactical team at that time?"
"No. I had it handled. Until you got there."
"You identified yourself as a police detective, through the use of a bullhorn," I continued ignoring the remark.
"I took cover, as procedure, and ID'd myself, sure. I told the guy to put down the gun, to come out. He refused."
Closing my notes, I sat back. "You're right. We're wasting time. The reports are here, including witness statements, statements from both hostages and from the officers who arrived on scene after you.
And the facts that you did not follow procedure, did not call for a negotiation or tactical team, did not follow any of the guidelines in hostage negotiation and instead threatened and berated the hostage-taker into an agitated state." I said a cold calm voice.
"Guy shoots up a store; he's already in an agitated state."
"And there, you're correct. You never tried to talk him down." Though my eyes flashed fury, my voice stayed flat, cold, and utterly calm.
"You told him you didn't care; you told him he was going to jail. Even though the preceding investigation revealed that not only was Crocket cheated it was Burk who pulled the gun on him first," I continued putting my notes away and I saw a vein throb in his neck.
He sent her that tight, smirking smile. "Not supposed to lie in negotiations." He muttered and I saw Alec come into the bullpen out of the corner of my eye looking at me.
"You're going to want to wipe that smirk off your face, Detective. You pushed and you pushed," I said, slowly then snatched up a page from a report.
"'Detective Brentine then engaged the subject by cellphone and told the subject he'd be better off just putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger.'" I read aloud and his eyes narrowed.
"Reverse psychology. It was under control until you got on the line. Hostages made it out, didn't they? No loss of life."
"There were six people in that store. Only five walked out. The sixth was wheeled out."
"Only five mattered."
"In your opinion, yes, which I assume is why you felt entitled to call the hostage-taker a worthless lowlife. Odd thing though I see nothing in the report that indicates the hostages mattered to you. You never asked, for or ascertained their condition, and took actions that not only endangered their lives but kept pushing by telling the armed hostage-taker he didn't have the balls to shoot the hostages right as me and Ranger Ryan arrived."
"You want to blame somebody for your screw-up, ma'am… after all you and Ryan shot him!"
"My actions at the scene will hold up, Detective, I promise you. Yours, on the other hand, don't. You're suspended for thirty days."
He leapt up out of the chair so fast he knocked it to the ground. "Bullshit!" he snapped.
"The incident will be investigated, as will your actions during it. Meanwhile, you are ordered to report to the departmental psychiatrist for an evaluation within the next seventy-two hours."
The ugly red spread grew brighter over his face, as it had in the lecture room. "You're not using me as a goat," he growled.
Keeping my eyes on him from my seat, I said flatly, "You're free to protest the suspension and evaluation. But you'll find that both Ranger Ryan and the Captain agree with my decision."
"Ryan would bend over backward for you considering you're doing him!"
Eyes alive with fire and like a cobra rising from the grass I slowly pushed to my feet hands on my desk. "What did you just say," I said, in a very dangerous tone.
With a gleam in his eyes Brentine leaned on my desk so our faces were inches apart. "You're not going to get away with this bitch that's a promise," he said, slowly.
"You're suspended a further thirty days and the tag is going your jacket, want to make it more?" I said, slowly.
Neither of us moved as the door to my office opened and Alec stepped in. "Got a minute Kelly?" he asked.
"In a second, and for the record detective what I do with the father of my child is none of your dame business! Now Badge and Weapon Detective!" I said, snapping out the order before stopping the recorder and his eyes widened.
"I gave you an order," I growled, when he didn't move.
He held my gaze then drew his weapon. After holding it at his side for a few seconds dropped it on my desk followed by his badge. Then pushing past Alec he stormed out of the bullpen slamming the door behind him.
Letting out the breath I was holding as I made myself stand. "How the hell did he become a cop?" I asked, openly.
Alec shrugged. "With his personality not a clue, though I doubt many people will be sorry to see that," he said, sitting on the edge of my desk gesturing toward the badge and gun.
Looking at them I nodded then glanced at them. "By the way why didn't you already have Angela and Ryan home yesterday?" I asked, eyes narrowed as I finally retook my seat.
Sighing he picked up Brentine's discarded chair before sitting in it. "I took them out for ice cream Ryan needed it," he said, and I frowned.
"He has problems with bullies…,"
"What!" I snapped, jumping to my feet and he raised his hands.
"He started to talk to me about it, and he asked, me to teach him how to fight," he said, and fell silent
"Are you going to teach him?" I asked, sitting back down.
He looked to the side in thought. "I don't know most of what we know can really hurt someone. But remember what Silver Falcon said, after the time I had trouble with bullies," he said, looking back at me.
Nodding I muttered, "'The only thing more stupid then not knowing how to fight…,'"
"'…is not knowing when to fight,'" he finished and we fell quite.
Just then, a uniformed officer came in with a message and opening it, I quickly read it. "What is it?" Alec asked.
Lowering the paper, I looked away my eyes gaining a distant look. "There's an opening in the Rangers, me and one other are being considered," I muttered.
Jubilated Alec said, "That's great who's the other guy?"
Looking at him, I held out the message. "Detective Brentine, and from the looks of it his daddy pushed this through" I muttered.
After freezing for a second, Alec snatched the message and read it himself. "Oh boy," he muttered, looking at the badge and gun.