All through my police career, I only ever wanted one thing: to be a detective. Ever since I first joined the force I had hoped to one day join the team in Homicide. I knew that jobs in Homicide were easily the most coveted in the force but it still didn't stop me hoping that one day it would be my turn.
I didn't have any family in the area and my romantic life was virtually non-existent, giving me plenty of time and energy to focus on my career. As soon as my time as a probationary constable was up I filed an application to be considered as a detective, should an opening arise. Needless to say, with other, worthier candidates available, I never got the call. Instead I found myself in Fraud, where I stayed for the next nine years.
Though content with my position, I never gave up hoping to get a job in Homicide and continued to file applications each year. Then one day in late 2007, I finally got my chance. I received a call from Senior Sergeant Stanley Wolfe who informed me that one of his team had been suspended from duty and they needed an extra pair of hands for a while. He had reviewed my service record and said he was impressed with my work. I could barely contain my excitement when he offered me a place on his team.
I arrived in Homicide for the first time the very next day with mixed feelings. I was thrilled that I would finally get an opportunity to prove myself in Homicide but a little disappointed that it would be only temporary. All I was sure of was that I would do my utmost to help out however I could.
Senior Sergeant Wolfe greeted me at the lift and introduced me to his team, Detective Senior Constables Simon Joyner and Matt Ryan. We barely had time to shake hands before we got the call that became my first ever Homicide case.
The next few days passed by like a whirlwind. We were all so busy with the case that we barely noticed the time flying by. Somehow, I managed to get to know the guys better and liked them a lot. I couldn't help thinking about how easily I could fit in with them. We wrapped up the case and I was surprised at the sudden appearance of Duncan Freeman, back from suspension.
My stint in Homicide was over before it really began and I watched enviously as Matt and Simon happily welcomed him back and the three of them disappeared out the door, off for a drink. I was very surprised when Matt turned back and asked me if I was coming too. "Nah," I said. "You lot are like the Three Musketeers. All for one, and bugger the rest." He shrugged, and then went back the way he'd come.
Rather then going home, I stayed in Homicide for a few hours to finish up my paperwork on the case. I would be heading back to Fraud the next day, and Sergeant Wolfe had requested that I put everything in order ASAP so that the transferral process could be as smooth as possible. I was just packing up when my phone rang. A glance at the display told me the caller was Matt. Hesitantly, I answered.
He informed me that according to Simon, there had in fact been four Musketeers and that my absence from the drinks meant the team was one short. I felt a sudden surge of warmth for him. I felt like I was truly beginning to be accepted, because if one was willing to reach out, I had no doubt that the others would follow. The feeling of affection towards him was diminished somewhat when I remembered that I was not a true member of the team and that it was all a moot point anyway.
Two weeks later, back in Fraud, I was surprised to receive a visit from Wolfe. He had been pleased, he said, by my hard work and dedication during my brief stint in Homicide. He had since spoken with the superintendants in charge of Fraud and Homicide and wished to offer me a position…permanently.
I couldn't accept the offer fast enough, and he informed me that he had specifically requested that I be placed on his team rather then the one headed up by Senior Sergeant Sparkes, as I had already developed something of a rapport with his people. I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with the guys again on a permanent basis and couldn't wait to begin.
He expected me ready to start my new job by the end of the day. The transfer paperwork had already been finalised so all I had to do was pack up my desk, say goodbye to my Fraud buddies and head upstairs.
By three o' clock I was getting out of the lift, eager to start my new job. Matt and Simon welcomed me back like an old friend, but Duncan took a somewhat colder approach. He made no effort to greet me and did not smile when we were introduced.
I wondered what I had ever done to offend him. Two possibilities occurred to me, he either had some aversion to working with women in general or an issue with working with me personally. Either way, I was not about to let him spoil my triumph. After twelve years, I had finally achieved my most important professional goal.
I felt a sense of belonging as I walked over to the desk that was now mine, and began putting my things on it. Matt grinned at me from his desk across from mine and Simon smirked at him. "Mate, at least let her get her stuff organised before you start sucking up. You'll send her running back to Fraud, screaming in terror." We both laughed at that, and I even thought I saw Duncan smile slightly at the remark.
"If you do manage to make it through the day," Simon continued, "what do you say to a few drinks tonight, to welcome you to the squad?" "Sounds great," I said. "You're buying." He laughed, and then looked to the others. "Matt? Dunny? You in?" "You bet," said Matt, "I want to see how well our new team member can hold her booze!" He sent me another smile, which I returned. Duncan was less enthusiastic. It took the combined efforts of both the others to persuade him to join us for even one drink, and I suspected that he only agreed so they would let the subject drop.
"Don't worry about Dunny," Matt said, a few minutes later. Simon had gone to get coffee and the man in question in the bathroom, so for the moment the two of us were alone in the squadroom. "Whatever his deal is, he'll come around. He always does in the end." "Thanks," I replied, "I'm OK. I just landed my dream job, so nothing's going to bring me down today!" He laughed. "We had a great time working with you on the last case," he said. "Si and I were stoked when Wolfy told us he'd given you a job." I smiled at him. "I was hoping I'd get the chance to work with you guys again sometime. It's a good thing that we're on the same page, because we're going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on!" "Looking forward to it," he said sincerely, and there was something about his eyes that I couldn't quite place. "Me too," I replied, and we smiled at each other once more as Simon came back with the coffee.
As the day drew to a close, I was amazed at just how quickly I had begun to feel at home in my new job. I could tell already that Matt and I were going to be good mates. Simon was great for a laugh. Even Duncan seemed to be warming up to me just a little, refraining from glowering at me when I accidentally caught his eye. After years of searching, I had finally found my niche in the world, and here I would stay.