Jacob Ryan pulled at his tie uncomfortably, wishing they would turn the
heating down a bit. Not long ago he had thought that one day he wouldn't
mind the top job but he'd come to realise that it was too political for
him. He was happier where he was, investigating homicides. Dutifully he
clapped along with the rest of the crowd as the retiring chief commissioner
Eric Weisler, finished his speech.
"You look like you'd rather be at a funeral mate." Another officer near
Jake commented. "Got a hot date waiting for you or something?"
"I haven't had a date in god knows how long actually. Work takes up all my
time." He replied.
"You know what they say about all work and no play!"
"Yeah, I know Keith. But whoever made up that saying wasn't a police
officer!" He glanced at his watch, wondering whether it would be rude to
leave now. All he really wanted was to go home and crawl into bed. It had
been a hectic few months. After he'd graduated from uni he'd joined the
homicide squad, where his first major case had involved a teenage girl and
her followers who thought they would turn into vampires and had murdered a
couple of girls. He'd followed that with a case involving a university
student who had hypnotised a fellow student into killing the people he
wanted dead, who had then killed her himself.
Across the room he spotted Eric talking to a man of his age. Brian
Hemming. Not Jake's favourite person in the world, but the feeling was
mutual. Brian had been his partner in the first case simply because the
dead girl had been found in his precinct. Brian was a former homicide
detective and old friends with Eric, so it was little wonder that he had
scored the job. However, by the end of the case Jake held a grudging
respect for him. It had also been Brian who supplied the important
information which had helped Jake to crack the second case. Only the other
week he had retired and moved down the coast to Nowra.
Jake made his way over to the two men.
"Ryan." Eric said spotting him. "Glad to see you could make it."
"Of course Sir, I wouldn't have missed it for the world." Jake lied.
"Bullshit. You don't have to suck up to me anymore." Eric said, grinning.
"And by the way it's not Sir anymore, try Eric."
"Right, Eric." Jake said, and then he nodded at Brian.
"Ryan. You look like shit." Brian said, by way of acknowledgment.
For a moment Jake was offended, and then he noticed the look of concern on
Brian's face, that had been hidden by his gruff manner. "To tell you the
truth I've been pretty tired lately. I could do with some time off, but I
won't be able to do that until the winter."
"Well that's only two months away." Eric said.
"Yeah, two months." Jake echoed.
After Jake had left the two men discussed him quietly. "He seems pretty
burnt out." Eric said.
"I noticed. But a young man of his age shouldn't be like that." Brian said,
shaking his head.
"Not necessarily, but then he's had some big cases, and a lot of pressure.
I think he'd be better off getting his holidays now, but it's out of my
hands." Eric said.
"I'm sure he'll be right. Ryan takes pride in his work, and he'd never let
it suffer." Brian said confidently.
"Yeah, I'm sure you're right." Eric said, but he still was concerned. He'd
gotten to know Jake fairly well, and he thought he was a great asset to the
police force. He hoped that Jake wouldn't have any trouble.