|Narc by Joe Carnahan|
|Age (range):||18 - 55|
Oak: Just hated it. Y'know, I rode it to the seams hoping to leapfrog out of there, but ... no good. No dice. And I'd come home, just in bad shape. Just pissed off. When I first started getting an ulcer. Just miserable. And I'd lie down in her lap... and she'd rub my head. Some nights, she'd sing me to sleep. I'd just lie there, staring at her. ... Still the best place I've ever been. I'll tell you this much: I became a much better cop the day she died. Any half-step, any hesitation I had about the job was gone. I see a dead-bolted door, I break it down, be the first one in the room. I started working Joint Task Force. The head-crack, hang-wrecking crew. Zombie squad. It was a diversion. It was just a way to keep thinking about her. I remember one night... I went with the sheriffs on a warrant raid. This dipsh!t was selling meth out of his apartment. It was just a stop and pop. Broke down the door, rousted the guy. I was in one of the backrooms looking for junk. And I hear something. I turn around and see these--these eyes staring at me from a closet. It was a little girl. A little ten-year-old girl, naked. Shaking like a leaf. She was scared to death. Her stepfather was pimping her out for rent. Wrapped her in my coat, carried her out to the squad car. I went back. And I beat that motherf#@ker half to death. I thought of my wife. I thought of the baby we never had. All the things about her that I hung onto. 'Cause a little girl being brutalized, a little girl being abused has got nothing to do with rules and regulations and everything to do with right and wrong. It's the same thing with Calvess.