Chapter 9: Dom

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604,800 seconds.

10,080 minutes.

Seven days.

One week.

It had been one week since Kat had been taken. One week of crushed dreams, sleepless nights, and an unending stream of devastating thoughts popping up through my brain like poisonous weeds, strangling any optimism I had left until all that was left were mangled heaps of unavailing hopes littered like carcasses through my mind.

With each day that passed with no leads and no Kat, a piece of me would fall away and I could feel myself sinking into a dangerous decline. I'd been neglectful to Maya and Charlotte, too, and I knew it but I couldn't seem to help myself. Finding Kat had become my sole purpose. I figured, the harder I work, the quicker we find her and the quicker our lives can get back to normal. Unfortunately, that meant many late nights, missed play dates, and absent goodnight kisses for a while.

Reminder to self: Buy mom something nice to make up for all of her help this week.

The girls would understand- especially Charlotte who, due to Kat's letter had been staying with Layla's parents most nights. Others, she'd call and beg to come stay with Maya and my mother and that was a request no one dared to deny.

"Reeds."

The voice of the Chief snapped me back to the present moment.

"Yes sir?" I quickly shuffled some papers around on my desk trying to appear more put together on the outside than I was on the inside.

"How's your nanny's case coming along?"

"Slow, sir. We can't find anything new."

His mouth pulled together as he nodded his head. "That's a real shame."

"We have Layla Montez coming in soon for some more questioning. Just to see if we can jog her memory at all."

"Keep me updated on how that goes." He went to leave back to his office and me back to my dead-end case files, but stopped himself as he turned back to me. "Let me know when you're feeling up to taking on a couple new cases. I've got a few bookmarked for you that I'd like you to look at sooner rather than later."

Objection furrowed through my eyebrows. "With all due respect, this current case needs as much of my attention as possible."

He waved his hand out in front of him. "Oh I know. I'm not telling you to stop working the case, even though I technically should have taken you off of it the moment I found out you had a personal relationship with this girl."

I respected the hell out of the Chief, but he'd thrown my conflict of interest in this case in my face too many times now for it to be unintentional.

"But, you know how these things go. More cases pile up, more people need our help, and some trails just go cold. Just the nature of the business, kid."

On the outside, I remained composed; the only telling sign of my indignation being that damn tick of my jaw to the side as I checked myself.

On the inside?

I had punched him thrice already in my mind and was currently working on taming the offense of his statement that was burning holes through my admiration for him.

He thought Kat's case would go cold and expected me to move onto new cases just like that?

Like if we never found Kat that I would be able to go back to life as normal whilst carrying around the burden of her assumed death on my shoulders and attempting to function with only half a heart.

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