Interrogations, part 2

"I find her attractive," Herrera muttered. "And that's just wrong, on so many levels."

Carnegie eyebrows had shot up at Herrera's confession. "When's the last time that happened?"

"Never, that's why it's so wrong."

Never? wondered Carnegie. I knew he was gay, but I would have thought that he would have checked out the other team at least once in his life. He brought himself up. Focus. Help your partner figure out what's going on, and maybe he won't be so freaked out. "So, what's the big deal? You finally decided to check out a member of the opposite sex. So what?"

"So what? So what? What's wrong with that is that I didn't decide, it just... happened. Against my will. And as much as I'm turned off by the very idea of a woman, for some reason, a part of me wants to do everything that one says and smarm all over her like you were."

"I was not smarming all over anyone."

"Just keep telling yourself that. Hey, they're going in... finally." The two agents fell into silence as they watched what was happening on the other side of the glass.

_..._

The man sitting at the table took one look at Magnus as she walked in, paled, and backed himself into the corner. Magnus smiled in a not-at-all-friendly way.

"I see my reputation precedes me. Perhaps you'd like to sit and tell me what you've been doing that you're so afraid of my wrath."

"Uh, no, I have no idea who you are."

_..._

On the other side of the glass, the agents couldn't help commenting.

"This guy sucks at lying."

"I'm more concerned by the fact that they seem to know each other."

"No, I don't think she knows him- but Davidson knows who she is."

"Where's the other gal? I thought she was the interrogation specialist?"

_..._

Mugnus tilted her head and gave the man a pointed look. "Do you really expect me to believe that? I am not so imposing a figure that men run from me on a general basis."

"Okay, okay. I know who you are. I know what you do. But that's it! I swear."

"Is that so?" Magnus steepled her fingers. "Then you'll still have nothing to say when my associate joins us."

"What?" Davidson's eyes couldn't help flicking to the door and widening in fright. "Who'd you bring? I'm in federal custody! You can't do anything to me! They're probably taping this-"

Magnus merely looked on, disinterestedly, as Davidson continued to ramble and rant in apprehension. I wish he'd say something useful. This is getting quite annoying.

"Mr. Davidson." Magnus spoke firmly, regaining the suspect's full attention. "I have no plans to do anything to you. We merely intend to speak with you."

"You can't make me talk! I have the right to remain silent!"

"Indeed, but you can waive that right at any time."

"They'll know! They'll know if you give me something!"

"Have I implied in any way that I would drug you?"

"No..." stuttered Davidson. "But you're you. You know more about drugs and biology than all the doctors in most hospitals put together! Things don't know, can't know! And if you're not planning to beat it out of me..." He gasped. "You're going to read my mind! You can't do that! There are rules! It's like rape, to do something like that! You can't..."

"You would," said Magnus in a low, dangerous tone. "But no, I have no intention of stooping to that level. I believe it will prove unneccessary, for you will choose to give me the answers I desire."

"Like hell I will!"

The door opened and Annabelle walked in. The change was immediate.

"What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"

Annabelle couldn't help rolling her eyes. Even if she'd half expected a come-on, that was definitely sub-par.

_..._

On the other side of the glass...

Carnegie choked on his coffee. "He didn't!"

"He did."

"How lame can you get?"

"More importantly, why would he be trying to pick her up now when ten seconds ago he was defiant and swearing that they'd get nothing out of him?"

_..._

Here we go, thought Annabelle. This is far more disgusting than I thought it would be. She pasted a coquettish smile on her face and leaned toward Davidson, even as Magnus unobstrusively moved to a corner. "I came because I wanted to talk to you."

Davidson started tracing her hand gently with his fingertips; Annabelle tried hard to repress her shudder of revulsion. "What did you want to know, babe?"

"Oh, just the usual things... do you have a job, what are your hobbies, are you involved in criminal activity?"

"Well, at the moment, I'm trying to figure out how to pull off a theft."

Annabelle glanced at Magnus. "Really? Is your financial situation that dire?"

"Nah, after that last job, I've got plenty of cash. I probably won't even have to work for a couple of years unless I feel like it." Davidson leered at Annabelle, licking his lips. "But as soon as I have a stroke of brilliance and come up with the perfect plan how, I'm going to steal your heart."

Not likely. Annabelle schooled her features. "Well, if you made so much money, you must be good at your job."

"Of course, babe. 'Course, we weren't expecting her-" he jerked his head at Magnus- "to throw a monkey wrench in things. I may need to disappear for a while; Walden's not going to be pleased that we got pinched."

"Walden?"

"My boss. For this job anyways."

_..._

"This is ridiculous! She's just sitting there flirting, and he's spilling his guts!"

"Not what I thought 'interrogation specialist' was going to look like, either. Especially not from a private firm."

"Yeah, well, it shouldn't be working!" Herrera waved his arms for emphasis. "I know these guys didn't strike us as top-of-the-line, but after not talking to us for hours, not even giving up his boss's name for a deal with the DA, do you really think he'd get his head turned so bad by a pretty face?"

"Well, no..."

_..._

Annabelle rested her chin on one hand and resisted the urge to rip her other hand away from the man on the other side of the table. As much as it's killing me to let this slime touch my hand, he's probably giving himself a double or even triple dose of my pheromones with all this touching. "So what is your job?"

"This time? Just a snatch and grab. A kid, of all people. Not even really a challenge."

"So you've done this before?"

"Sure, I've done it all. Liberated valuables from the rich and stupid, messed up people's apartments and left them reminders of who's in charge, grabbed people for ransom, even knocked off the odd ex-wife or former partner-in-crime."

Annabelle tried not flinch at the things that Davidson was revealing. Theft, kidnapping, ransom, murder... What a little piece of shit. I wish I could tell him what I really think of him, but Magnus wants answers. And a confession. "Was that why you kidnapped the kid, then? To hold him for ransom?"

"Pshaw! You kidding me? That kid? His mom probably couldn't even come up with twenty grand, which was the bankroll for that op. Nah, Walden wanted something else. And I don't think it was revenge, either."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, the set-up was all wrong for that. First off, Walden insisted that we let his guy have complete access to and control over the kid once he was grabbed. Secondly, this guy, this 'doctor'-" he did air quotes- " made us track down and buy a ton of medical equipment- weird stuff, like a dialysis machine and a centrifuge- but blew a gasket about us even suggesting that we buy any of it new! New! No, no, no! It had to be old, used! Bought under the table. Untraceable!" He gestured animatedly. "But by the same token, none of it was good enough. That microscope isn't strong enough! That tubing is too short! That tubing is too dirty! These scalpels aren't sharp enough! Those needles are the wrong gauge! What a whiner!"

"Why wouldn't he let you just order the things he needed? That doesn't make sense."

"I know! It's like the jerk was trying to be deliberately difficult!"

_..._

"The way she's playing up to this slime is making me sick to my stomach."

"Shut up! It's working, isn't it?"

_..._

The interrogation continued along those lines for some time. When Annabelle felt she had learned everything she could, she gave Magnus a pleading look. Magnus nodded and gave a meaningful look over Annabelle's head and through the glass. Herrera and Carnegie didn't waste any time in going to retrieve their prisoner. They opened the interrogation room door just in time to hear Magnus's disdainful, acerbic tone.

"Well, as delightful as it's been to listen to you complain about your boss and tell us your plans for kidnapping and torture, I'm afraid we're out of time for today."

As the officers led Davidson away, still looking lustfully over his shoulder at Annabelle, she put both elbows on the table and ran her hands over her face. Sighing heavily, she told Magnus, "That was ghastly. What a nasty piece of work."

Magnus gently rubbed her colleague's tense shoulders in sympathy. "I hate to ask it of you, but we need to corroborate his story. We'll also need to speak to the man who broke into the hospital early this morning."

"Ugh." Annabelle rubbed her face again. "I need a break before that."

"That is completely understandable. Is there a certain type of food or drink you prefer?"

"Nothing, right now. Letting that slime touch me turned my stomach."

"Nevertheless, you should try to eat something now to keep your strength up."

Annabelle dismissed Magnus's suggestion with a wave of her hand.

"Really. If you're disgusted now, chances are, you won't be feeling any better later. I've often found that revulsion is cumulative."'

_..._

Herrera and Carnegie had gone to get coffee after returning Davidson to his cell. As Herrera dumped a creamer and two sugars into his coffee, he commented, "I kind of feel bad for that gal. She must feel so dirty afterwards, using her looks and her charm to get scum like that to talk."

"Hey, it's not like anybody's forcing her to do it."

"Maybe not, but did you see her face? She doesn't enjoy this at all. I'm not even sure she felt vindicated by getting all the answers she did. It was just revulsion."

"Well, she must see the value of it, or she wouldn't do it," Carnegie averred.

"I get the feeling that she dreads getting this sort of assignment from her boss, but goes along with it because it comes with the job."

Carnegie tossed his styrofoam cup into the trash. "Well, I guess it's time for us to go get another slimeball; Magnus told me that she'd also need to talk to the one who attempted to kidnap the boy again from the hospital this morning."

_..._

Author's Note:

I hope you've enjoyed these last couple of chapters. Sorry again that I didn't get it done. Someday I may finish it... just don't hold your breath waiting.