Sticking to It

"How are you progressing on the Carson murder, Joel?" Simon asked from the head of the conference table.

Joel sighed tiredly. "Not very well, I'm afraid. I can't get the family to talk to me, although given their history with the police, I'm not really surprised. I just don't know what else to do to reach them, to let them know we're really trying to help."

"Sandburg," Simon said, almost absently.

"Yes, sir."

"I'd like you to ride with Joel tomorrow. See if you can invoke that people voodoo thing you do. "

Blair shot his partner a nervous look. "Okay," he agreed quietly.

"Don't worry about, Ellison. He and Brown will be doing a low-key surveillance at Cascade Community College."

"What?" Henri asked, startled.

Simon leaned back in his seat. "Vice has gotten reports that there are two young women who are, shall we say, broadening their entrepreneurial pursuits by soliciting their business at one-day seminars put on by the various local colleges."

Henri laughed. "It sure beats the streets."

"True. There's some evidence they may have been running this ring for a couple of years now. The problem is these classes are so diversified and are taught by a lot of different people so it's been almost impossible to get a bead on them. It's re-election year and, of course, D.A. Stevenson is wanting to make an example of these two."

"And we're involved, why?" Henri asked.

"Because Vice is thin. They're trying to get detectives into every class these women are attending and they're short tomorrow. You two will go in with wires. You don't need to make any arrests, just get the solicitations on record."

Henri backhanded Jim's arm. "Now, that's my kind of assignment."

"Connor. Rafe." Simon rolled his gaze skyward, then diverted his attention to the two remaining detectives. "How are you two doing with the Jerde Jewelry heist?"

"It looks like an inside job, sir. We're expecting to make an arrest this afternoon," Megan reported.

"Excellent." Simon clapped his hands once in satisfaction. "All right, it sounds like we all have a plan. Brown, you and Ellison report to Robinson tomorrow to get your wires. The rest of you know what you need to do. Now get the hell out of here and let me get some work done."

As one, the detectives pushed away from the table and shoved each other good-naturedly into the bullpen.

Simon was gathering his papers when he became aware of his newest detective lagging behind. "Something I can help you with, Sandburg?"

The rookie handed him a piece of paper.

The seminar wouldn't happen to be a business writing seminar, would it?

Simon pasted on his most innocent look. "You know, I believe it is. Why?"

"No reason." Blair grinned brilliantly at him, then struggled to compose himself before he turned and headed for his desk.

Simon snorted softly in amusement, hoping that Ellison and Brown wouldn't put the pieces together until, at least, tomorrow. God knows once they did, they wouldn't be quite as amused as Sandburg was. But damn it, drastic actions called for drastic measures. Both men were excellent detectives, but sometimes they made his job a lot harder than it needed to be.

He also knew he was going to owe Robinson big time, but sometimes being captain meant not only making the hard decisions for your men, but sacrifices as well. And by God, that was his story and he was sticking to it.

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