"Awww, Chief -- sorry." Jim slapped a hand on Blair's arm and then turned away, moving up the hill to yell, "Can we get a gurney down here?"
What? Blair creased his brow, puzzled by Jim reaction... until he saw the body. Oh God. Roy. His stomach twisted in a knot, his chest tight. Roy. Oh no... No...
He heard voices and movement behind him. Paramedics. Cops. He told himself to move -- to give them room to get to Roy, but his body remained rigidly in place.
His eyes stayed glued to the corpse... His friend. Dried blood marred Roy's dark skin along his forehead and neck. This can't happen. He came so far, did so much. He can't die like this. He can't...
A hand on his shoulder interrupted his thoughts. "Come on, Chief." The hand wrapped around his arm, and Blair felt himself being pulled up the hill. Paramedics rushed past him, and he watched in numb shock as they descended upon his friend's body.
He blinked, and he was at the truck, a hand on his chest. Keys jangled, and Jim unlocked the passenger door.
Blair looked up into the detective's blue eyes, narrowed with concern. He almost laughed. Am I okay? No... Not okay. His knees gave out, and he slid down the side of the truck, landing hard on his rear.
"Blair?" Jim crouched quickly in front of him, placing a hand on his arm.
Blair pulled his legs up, dropping his forehead on his knees, his curls falling forward to hide his face. Roy. God, Roy. What about Jamie? What am I gonna tell Jamie?
He didn't realize he'd started crying until he felt hot tears on his cheeks.
"Chief?" A gentle inquiry accompanied by a soft hand on the back of his head.
Blair clamped his eyes shut, spilling more tears onto cheeks. "God, Jim," he croaked, his throat tight. "Roy..."
"I'm sorry, Blair," Jim whispered, and Blair felt the older man move beside him. Moments later, an arm draped across his shoulders. "I know how you feel, believe me, buddy. We can't bring him back, but we can find whoever killed him."
Blair nodded, leaning against Jim, but he kept his head lowered. "Who would want to kill him? He was a good guy, Jim... A real good guy."
Jim sighed. "I don't know, Blair." He paused briefly before continuing. "We're going to have to go talk to Jamie. You up for that, or you want me to drop you by the loft first? I can go it alone, Chief, no problem."
Blair finally raised his head, wiping quickly at the tears on his face. "No, I'll go. I owe Roy that much, at least," he said, his voice strained.
Jim studied his face for a few seconds, his own expression grim. Finally, he nodded, giving Blair a brief squeeze. "Okay, then. Let's go." He rose to his feet, pulling Blair up with him.
"He was a good guy," Blair repeated, his voice barely audible as he slid into the truck. "My friend..."
A whisper of a touch brushed against his cheek, lingering only a moment, then it vanished and the door closed. His eyes tracked Jim as the detective trotted in front of the truck toward the driver's side. A moment later, the door opened and Jim hopped in, gunning the engine and taking off with a squeal of rubber.
~~~~~~~~~~~ The End ~~~~~~~~~~~