Lex and Danny left the station soon after Newman dismissed them all; thankfully Geni took Shanna with her when she left with the two toddlers. Lex was warming up to Shanna, but there was only so much Shanna a person could handle in one day. The drive to Harvey Redman’s apartment was short--he didn’t live far from the police station--kind of fitting with how long his rap sheet was, and Danny kept the atmosphere less awkward with music playing. Lex knew that talking to Danny earlier was helping her feel relaxed in his company--okay, she wasn’t totally relaxed, but the talk with him was helping her to be more at ease than she’d been a few hours ago. WIth the music playing, Lex didn’t feel the need to talk while they drove and silence was something she needed to help her throat.
The DayQuil had kicked in before they left, but she wanted to make sure she didn’t aggravate her throat further.
“Disgusting!” Danny said through the sleeve of his jacket that was covering his mouth as they walked through the apartment door.
Lex agreed wholeheartedly. Harvey Redman’s apartment was a disaster. The smell of rotting food and dirty clothes permeated the small studio and caused even Lex, who was having trouble smelling anything with a congested nose, to gag.
“Where are the hazmat suits?” she asked.
He chuckled, “Darn it, I left them in my apartment.”
“Failed,” she grinned behind the jacket sleeve covering her mouth and nose.
They spread out and searched the apartment with gloved hands. Lex took the kitchen area--so gross--stacks and stacks of dirty pots, pans, and dishes filled the sink, and covered the floor and countertop. The table had many different meals left half eaten on it and on the chairs. How anyone could live in this condition was beyond Lex. Tentatively, she rummaged through cabinets and along the countertops, but didn’t turn up any blue bottles that looked similar to an essential oil bottle.
After she’d made it through the cupboards and counters, she switched her attention to the table and nearly threw up. The table could wait. She turned to the nearly empty garbage can--all the trash was on the table and chairs--and happily searched the can. Still nothing.
All she had left was. . .the table.
She wanted to cry. These living conditions were the worst she’d ever seen, and being a semi-clean freak--she was nowhere near as bad as Geni--Redman’s apartment gave her the heebie-jeebies. Lex didn’t have the strength to tackle the awfulness of the table.
“How’s it going in here?” Danny said.
Lex looked up from staring dejectedly at the table to Danny standing by the nasty table. How was he not dying from the site, let alone the smell?
She nodded at the table. “I have that left to search. You?”
“The sleeping and living areas are clear, but I haven’t touched the bathroom yet. It looks as bad as the table.”
Danny’s gaze spanned across the table and he stepped closer to move some of the partially eaten food containers and food crusted plates--Lex turned away dry heaving--and picked up a small blue bottle from the mess.
“I think we found it.”
“Oh, thank goodness,” Lex said, “I need to get out of this place.”
Lex heard Danny’s phone ring as she rushed into the hallway and took deep breaths of clean, fresh air. She would never bring home take-out again. The smell of stale Chinese and pizza still floated around her. She needed a shower, or five showers, anything to get this smell off her. At the thought of a shower, more precisely running water, Lex realized that nature was calling her name. Too much lemon and honey tea.
Danny wandered out of the apartment still on the phone, so Lex indicated she’d meet him downstairs and left to find a restroom.
She beat Danny into the foyer of the apartment building, so she slumped into a seat and pulled out her phone to text Geni.
Lex: Did Shanna get her car at my house?
Geni: Yes. She also left you something from myBase on your counter.
Lex: What is it?
Geni: Don’t know. I didn’t go in and see, but she said we can all do it together. Now I wish I’d gone in to see.
Lex: I’m worried. Who knows what she’s put into my house. Hey, could you let Link out?
Geni: Already did. I took him out while Shanna put the “thing” on your counter.
Lex: Thank you! I gotta run, Danny’s here.
“That was Newman,” Danny said, taking the seat next to her and running his hands through his hair. “Talking to Dr. Golden was a bust, but we have a warrant for his office and John’s taking a team to search the place now.” He rolled his neck out. “Redman’s blood work is being pushed to the front of the line to see if anything can be determined from it. I let him know we found a blue bottle in the apartment. Of course it will need to be tested and verified if it is the same bottle Redman was talking about.”
“What does Newman want us to do now?”
“Wait. I’ll take the bottle to the station to be tested and logged. Then I’ll pick up Olivia and spend time with my girl till Newman sends an update. I recommend going home and getting some rest.” He looked at her sideways. “Don’t take this the wrong way, Lex, but you look tired.”
She shrugged; she was tired and going home sounded great.
“How long do we have, do you think?”
He looked at his watch and said, “It’s almost five now, and the search and testing will take time so Newman said he’d contact us in the morning.”
Wonderful! Lex wanted to get some dinner, take a long bath, and then sleep for the rest of her life, or at least until this cold was gone. She also wanted to see what Shanna left on her counter--kinda scary when she thought about it.
Lex stood up and stretched, “Can you give me a ride home?”
“Sure thing,” he said with a smile.
It was about time they left the building that had the nasty apartment. Lex shuddered as the rotten food smell wafted up from her clothes as she walked. Maybe she’d burn these clothes and then take two baths, and a shower, before she went to bed.Written by Linsay Ernst