[from “The Perfect Gift,” written for Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, an anthology featuring werewolves at Christmas.]
The Alaska state troopers in Anchorage worked out of a five-story rectangular building with a dull gray exterior and an interior cut into matching gray cubicles. Littered surfaces of metal desks were lit by fluorescent tubes, every third or fourth one burned out.
Lobison thought it worked as a metaphor for the job, although it would have been as much as his life was worth to use a word like “metaphor” in here. He dumped four packets of creamer and six packets of sugar into his coffee mug and went to his desk, where the stack of case files had not miraculously diminished overnight.
His partner was already at work, sleek head bent over a series of crime scene photographs, the graphic nature of which made the human in him wince away and gave even the cop in him pause.
“Morning, Ben,” she said.
“How do you do that?” he said. “I didn’t make a sound. You must have ears like a cat.”
She looked up and fluttered her eyelashes. “Maybe I just have a sixth sense for big good-looking doofuses.”
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