Garrity pointed to the green splotches on my vest, the gun on the counter. "You shot an unarmed suspect."
The recruit had the decency to color red. "She was noncompliant, sir."
"Like hell. I watched the whole thing through her camera."
"There are no buts here. You had your orders. What were they?"
The recruit swallowed hard. "Post up outside, guard the secondary entry point. Sir."
"Right. Which you did not do. You waited for sixty seconds and then started clearing rooms, alone. I could ambush your team right now, and they wouldn't know what hit them because they think you've got the door."
The recruit clenched his teeth. He was wrong, and he knew it, and he blamed me. I could feel him wanting to shoot me again.
"And then you fire on an unarmed subject!" Garrity said. "How will your wife feel when she sees that on the news?"
The recruit straightened his spine. "Husband. Sir."
Garrity stared at him for two seconds. "Let me rephrase. How will it feel when your husband is visiting you in prison because you shot and killed an unarmed surrendering suspect with her goddamn hands in the air, and so help me, that's where I would send you if you pulled such a fuck-up on my watch."
Then all hell broke loose in the back room. A cacophony of voices, a scuffle, a volley of gunfire.
Garrity leaned backward slightly and stuck his head into the hallway "Seaver!"
"The count, please."
"Three down and one...make that four down, sir."
Garrity sighed. "They never look up." He returned his attention to the trainee. "And there goes the rest of your team. Y'all some sad-ass police today. Now get outta here before I really lose my temper."
The trainee filed past Garrity, not even brushing shoulders, and Garrity focused his attention on me. Suddenly he wasn't Special Agent in Charge anymore. He was my friend, his eyes tight with concern.
He stepped closer. "Hey? You okay?"
I nodded, but my hands were trembling. Not from fear. From pure thwarted anger. I wanted to hurt somebody, preferably the somebody who'd shot me in the chest, and I wanted it so bad I couldn't stop shaking. Garrity knew the difference. He saw it clearly.
"Ride it out, Tai. Breathe it down." He folded his arms. "Whose idea was it to bring you here today, Trey's?"
I put my elbows to my knees and breathed, trying to get the blood back to my head. "Mine. I read it in one of those books my brother gave him. He said it worked for him. I thought it might work for me."
I unclenched my fists. There were half-moon indentions where my nails had cut into my skin, and my vision was still red at the edges. "I don't think so."
I spent the rest of my Saturday at the gun shop, cursing the decrepit air conditioner. It had one job—keep the temperature below eighty degrees in the dinky one-room floor area—and it was failing. But that was early September in the South: good-bye summer, hello more summer.
I untucked my shirt, rolled up my sleeves. Only one customer remained in the shop, a young woman with cut-off denim shorts and brittle blond hair. She wore a tee shirt with the word Moonshine emblazoned across the front. Ever since the TV series had started filming in Kennesaw, fans of the Prohibition-era werewolf drama had been showing up at my door in packs, desperate for Moonshine-themed hats and posters. I'd pegged her as one of those. But then I'd watched her leave and come back twice, both times visiting the black F150 with the tinted windows parked in front of my door, and I'd known exactly what she was up to.