“Didn’t look like nothing.”
Tristan sighed as he put down his coffee and leaned back against the leather couch. “It was just someone getting back at me for being me.”
He shrugged. “I’m an ass**le, plain and simple.”
“That doesn’t seem to bother you.”
Tristan pursed his lips, thinking it over. “It’s a character flaw.”
“I see,” Dr. Bryne said and Tristan could tell the man was struggling not to smile.
“I’m glad that you do.”
“You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you about something, but since you've been skipping our sessions lately I haven’t had the chance.”
Tristan rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, well, I’ve been busy with the voices in my head and all. Plus those damn pink bunnies are really demanding.”
Dr. Bryne gave him a stern look, but continued. “I wanted to ask how things were working out with Marty. I know that the two of you used be childhood friends and drifted apart for a while there. It must be nice catching up after all this time.”
Well, that was unexpected. “It’s fine,” he answered quickly. He hadn’t come here to talk about Marty. Hell, he’d spent most of the night working and trying to forget about her. Not that it actually worked, but at least he got a lot of work done.
“Is there something in particular that you wanted to talk about, Tristan?”
“Well, I was wondering if you would sign off on my sheet so that I could be released from medical.”
Dr. Bryne frowned. “From what I’ve been told, you’re already working as if you’re off medical. You’re driving, responding to calls and making arrests. Why do you suddenly care about a piece of paper?”
“Careful, lad. He’s a tricky bastard,” Shayne said from his spot behind Dr. Bryne’s desk. Tristan’s gaze automatically shot to Shayne. Dr. Bryne followed the movement and frowned.
“Is something wrong?”
“No,” Tristan said as he turned his attention back to the doctor. “Now, about that signature. You’re right. I have been working, however, as long as I have that medical restriction hanging over my head, I have to bring Marty along and that’s putting her in danger.”
“So, don’t do anything dangerous.”
Tristan barely stopped himself from swearing. He took a calming breath before he continued. “That’s not really a choice for me, Doc. We’re not a very large department and as a supervisor I have to respond to a lot of regular calls.”
Tristan sure as hell hoped that he did. If he could get off medical, he would only have to worry about dealing with Marty in their office. He’d stick around until she got serious with another guy. Then he’d leave and never come back. He would never chance seeing her married to another man. It would destroy him.
“Were you able to get your doctor to sign off on your shoulder?”
“Yes, they signed off last week.” Mostly because they wanted to make sure that they never had to see him again. The terms may have been along the lines of him never ever returning there even if he was dying. It was an easy promise to make. So what if he now had to drive two hours to the nearest medical office if he needed an exam? It was well worth it.
“Okay, then let’s talk about the shooting. How does it make you feel now?”
His eyes shot to Shayne in question. He had to tread carefully and with Shayne reading through his file behind the good doctor’s back he had the upper hand. He hadn’t missed Shayne's soft chuckles over the past couple of minutes either.
Shayne’s face scrunched up in distaste. “Well, that’s…that’s just not right.”
Tristan forced himself to remain seated and not walk over there and tear the file away from Shayne so that he could read it for himself. No doubt the man was just f**king with his head.
“Tristan?” Dr. Bryne said, drawing his attention.
Oh, that’s right.
He cleared his throat pointedly. “You wanted to know how I feel about the shooting?” he asked loudly, hoping Shayne would stop laughing his ass off and give him the information that he needed.
“He has no problem with yer outlook on the shooting, lad. He has other concerns about ye, so just answer honestly,” Shayne said without looking up from file.
What? That wasn’t right. He was only supposed to be here about the shooting. What else could there be? He was a freaking paragon of sanity and good sense, goddammit! Okay, granted he was having a powerful spirit sneak a peek at his file, but that was neither here nor there.
“I don’t feel much about the shooting, Doc, except regret for those boys. They’re the ones who are going to have a tough time getting their lives back to normal and accepting what happened to them. If you want to know if I feel any pity or remorse over killing that prick, the answer is no. I don’t. It was a clean kill and a necessary one,” he said, using the same tone he used when talking to the prosecutor.
Dr. Bryne nodded solemnly as he wrote something down on the legal pad resting on his lap. Tristan shot a look at Shayne, but Shayne was already on it. He leaned over the doctor’s shoulder and chuckled.
“He’s just writing a reminder to pick up milk, lad,” Shayne said as he returned to the desk. Almost immediately he began chuckling. Tristan’s hands clenched and unclenched. What he wouldn’t give to see that damn file.
“So, Doc, do you think that you could sign the release?” Tristan asked, trying to get the man to focus on the task at hand.
Dr. Bryne sighed heavily. “No, I think you could really benefit from some more therapy.”
That was it. Tristan shot off the couch. “What the hell does that mean?”
Dr. Bryne jumped back in his chair, almost falling over. He cleared his throat. “Hank thought you could benefit from….um….”
“Just say it!” Tristan snapped.
“Ah, lad….” Shayne said, trying to get his attention.
Tristan being Tristan, he ignored him. Once his temper snapped, there was usually no hauling it in.
“I’m sick of this bullshit. You and I both know that there is nothing wrong with me. I’m not losing sleep over that prick and I’m ready to go back to work. The only reason to hold me back is if you felt that I was traumatized from that shooting and we both know that I would not hesitate to pull the trigger again if it was necessary.”