Devi's Den

Chapter 6

"Are you… are you okay?" Chase said tentatively as she stepped outside with Stitts who lit a cigarette. It felt strange asking him this, given how much she hated when he used to pose the question to her. But Stitts was nonplussed. Extremely nonplussed.

"I'm fine," he said. As he brought his cup of coffee to his lips, Chase noticed that his hand was trembling slightly. She could also tell by the color of the liquid that sloshed in the Styrofoam that it wasn't just coffee in there.

"Yeah, sure, I’ve played that game, too. I'm fine, stop asking me that, that sort of defensive bullshit," Chase said, as her partner took a drag. Then he downed the rest of his drink and tossed it in the garbage.

"Is that right?"

Stitts glared at her, and, once again, Chase was struck by how much anger was directed at her.

She looked away.

"I came looking for you this morning. Your door was open, so I came in…" Chase let her sentence trail off, picturing the mess in his apartment. “I just wanted to make sure that you were okay.”

Stitts took another drag and turned his gaze to the parking lot.

"Yeah, well, I’m here, aren’t I? I'm fine, Chase. Just had a few too many last night, but, hey, isn’t that what vacation’s for?"

Chase decided not to dwell on the matter; they had other issues to deal with. Starting with Bea Stigurl.

"I've got a couple of things I need to take care of before we catch the flight to Albuquerque," she said absently.

Stitts nodded.

"Me too."

"Like take a shower?”

Chase had meant the comment as a joke, a way to lift the mood a little, but instead of laughing or even getting angry, Stitts’s reaction was worse: he was ambivalent.