"To another case solved!" Inspector Lindsay Boxer raised her glass in the air as a toast, laughing as her best girlfriends clashed their margaritas against hers, then drank it down heartily. It wasn't the first drink that night, and it wouldn't be the last either.
"It's alright for you guys, " Jill Bernhardt, Assistant District Attorney said, smiling. "Your work here is done. Me, I've got to convince the jury that Alfred Blake is guilty as charged."
"You'll kick ass in court, Jill. No doubt about it." Cindy Thomas, the young, red-headed reporter for the San Francisco Register put in, topping up their glasses. Claire Washburn, the Chief Medical Examiner, placed her hand over her glass, shaking her head.
"No thanks, baby girl. Any more and I won't be able to drive home." The mother of two smiled, picking up a bread roll.
"So Lindsay," Cindy turned to the homicide detective sitting next to her, a sparkle in her eyes. "Do I have the green light to go ahead with the whole story?" Cindy knew she did, since they had caught the guy, but she wanted to be sure. She didn't want Lindsay to arrest her. Again.
Lindsay nodded. "Lights are green."
"In that case," Cindy said excitedly, pulling a notebook and pen from her bag. "I do have some questions."
Jill grinned. "When do you not?"
They all laughed and had another round, except Claire, as Cindy squeezed all the information out of them as she could.
Robert sat alone at a table in the corner, watching the four women from under a baseball cap, eyes emotionless. He nursed a still full, slightly warm beer in his hands. He felt incredibly calm. He watched as the bubbly black woman, Claire Washburn, kissed her friends on the cheek as she stood up, grabbing her coat. She waved goodbye and left. He watched as the red-head scribbled furiously in her notebook, occasionally glancing up at Jill Bernhardt and Lindsay Boxer until they too left. He stood up, leaving some money on the table for the beer he didn't drink, and followed them out the door. Around them the streets were busy, the sound of cars and people talking filling the cool night air. The red-head, the detective and the ADA talked for a bit more, before hugging and parting ways. He watched them go, anger suddenly overwheliming him. Anger that she got to live, that they all got to live.
It wasn't fair.