Seventeen

 

A blue-uniformed street cop pointed across the hectic squad room to where Detective Marcus Taggert sat deep in thought. "Thanks."

The courier threaded his way throughout the maze of policemen, criminals, and desks. His presence in the midst of their work area did not garner more than a quick glance from those he passed.

"Marcus Taggert?"

"Yeah, what do you want?" It was obvious from the officer's tone that the interruption was an unwelcome one.

"I have a delivery for you," the courier announced. He watched as Marcus lowered the paperwork he was perusing down onto the desktop. The courier's eyes widened as he glanced down at what seemed to be gruesome photos of a mangled human body. "Erů"

Marcus scowled and slammed an empty folder down over the photographs. "You have a delivery for me," he reminded the man forcefully.

"Uh, yeah." The courier reached into the leather pouch that he carried and shuffled through its contents. "This letter," he nodded as he found what he sought, "is for you."

Marcus accepted the white envelope with its unfamiliar handwriting. "Thanks."

"You're welcome," the lean, blond courier replied. He zipped up his pouch, turned on his heel and headed toward the exit.

"Hey! Don't I have to sign or something?"

The courier waved him off as he continued on his way.

Taggert shook his head and stuck the envelope in the top drawer of his desk. He promptly put the delivery out of his mind and turned his attention once more to the gruesome crime scene photographs of Mike Corbin and the explosion site.

Across the way, behind the three inches of clear Plexiglas which marked Interrogation Room II, Agent Larkin took note of Taggert's actions regarding the envelope, and began to formulate a plan by which he would be able to get a look at the letter's contents.