"You wanted to speak with me?" he asked, getting to the matter at hand so he could get this woman out of his hair and back out of his life.

"Why don't you tell him what the little bastard did to your arm?" a man that he didn't recognize demanded as he stepped through the wall. Tristan watched as the ghost walked over and stood over the woman that Tristan would gladly walk away from.

"Ever since his father died, Justin has had problems accepting his loss," Mrs. Erickson started as the man dressed in an old Red Sox tee shirt and grey sweatpants shot the woman a look of disbelief.

"Are you f**king kidding me with this?" the man demanded, leaning down to get in the woman's face, but of course she couldn’t see him. "I've been dead for ten goddamn years! And before that he was a spoiled little brat!"

"Does he have a juvenile record?" Tristan asked, already having a good idea that he did.

The man stood up with a snort as the woman's eyes shifted away from him. "Nothing serious," she mumbled.

"Nothing serious?" the man repeated in disbelief. "Attacking his teacher and setting her house on fire isn't serious?"

Mrs. Erickson licked her lips anxiously as she sat forward and sent him and Marty an imploring look. "You have to understand. It's been really hard for Justin. He's had a tough childhood."

"Tough childhood? You do everything for the little bastard, but wipe his ass!" the man snapped, throwing his hands up in disgust as he walked away and began pacing back and forth through the desks.

"Do you have any other children, Mrs. Erickson?" Tristan asked, unable to help himself.

She looked right at him as she said, "No, he's an only child."

Chapter 22

"No, he's an only child," the perp’s mother answered seconds before Tristan's jaw clenched tightly shut and the cold expression that Marty was now familiar with took over.

"Is there anything that you'd like to tell me about the charges against your son?" Tristan asked in a flat tone as he kept a level look on the woman that seemed to unnerve her a bit.

"Just that I know that my son didn't do any of those things. He's a very good boy," she rushed to explain.

With a sigh, Tristan stood up. "He's a twenty year old man, Mrs. Erickson and unless you were there I'm afraid that I can't help you," he said, already heading for the door.

"But, he doesn't deserve this!" the woman snapped as she got to her feet to follow Tristan.

Tristan simply ignored her and kept walking away, but instead of walking towards the holding rooms, he walked towards Hank’s office. Before he reached the door, Hank walked out, frowning when he saw Tristan.

"Is everything okay?" her father asked.

Tristan shook his head, surprising Marty, but he shocked her a second later when he handed the file over to Hank. "Have someone else handle this."

"Why?" Hank asked, but Tristan obviously wasn't planning on sticking around to explain it to him.

"Read the suspect's mother's maiden name," was all Tristan said before he walked past her, acting as if he didn't see her or even care that she was there.

"Son of a bitch!" she heard her father snap and, as much as she would have loved to ask her father what was going on, she had to deal with another problem.

"Detective, I just need ten minutes of your time," the suspect's mother said, stepping in front of Tristan and cutting him off.

"You can't have it," Tristan said, moving to step past the woman, but she was too determined to get her way to notice that Tristan was seconds away from tearing off her head.

"We're talking about my son's future here. I think the least you could do-"

"I'm off the case. If you have any questions, you'll have to speak with the chief," Tristan said, moving once again to step past her and when Mrs. Erickson went to stop him this time, he simply ignored her and kept walking until he was in his office and the door slammed shut behind him.

Marty ignored Mrs. Erickson as her expression turned determined and she moved to go after Tristan, but she didn't make it two feet before her father went after her.

"Let him cool down," Hank said, handing her the suspect's file.


"Just let him cool down for now," Hank said, gesturing for her to go to his office. "Let him sort through this on his own," he said quietly as he walked past her. Before she could ask him what was going on, the suspect's mother was begging Hank to speak with her.

As much as she wanted to go to Tristan, her father was right. He obviously needed time to calm down. When the time came and he needed her, he would go to her.

At least, Marty hoped he would.


"I thought we were past this, lad," Shayne said as Tristan forced his eyes to remain on the file in front of him, ignoring his phone as it continued to ring.

"Do ye want to talk about it, lad?" Shayne asked as he pulled up a chair at the kitchen table. Tristan didn't need to look up to know that Shayne was watching him with pity.

He didn't need pity. He needed to work and he couldn't do that with Shayne hanging around, watching him like he was going to lose it. He wasn't. Today might not have been the best day of his life, but he'd already moved on. He was over it and didn't need a f**king sitter.

"Everything's fine, Shayne," he said, hoping the man would take him at his word and leave him alone so that he could work through the rest of the files. He was more than halfway done and he'd like to finish them before he called it a night.

"If everything's fine, then why aren't ye with Marty?"

"Because I have work to do," Tristan said, gesturing to the large stacks of files covering the small kitchen table.

"Last time I checked, lad, she was supposed to work with ye so why isn't she here?"

"She needed some rest," Tristan said, absently as he sorted through the files.

"That doesn't sound like Marty," Shayne mused.

"It wasn't her choice to make," Tristan said, rubbing the back of his neck as he tried to stay focused and not think about the hurt look Marty shot him when he’d walked past her without saying a word to her.

He knew that she wanted to know what happened. He should have said something to her, but he just couldn't talk about it, hadn’t wanted to talk about it. There was already enough bullshit in his life without dredging up the past.

"Why are ye pushing her away?" Shayne asked softly.

"I'm not pushing her away," Tristan said, praying that Marty realized that, since the last thing that he wanted to do was lose her. He loved her, wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, but this just wasn't something that he wanted to talk about.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Cursed Hearts Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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