Officer Connelly, Mike, hated responding to domestic disturbance calls. Not because they were particularly dangerous in nature - they usually weren't - but rather they were so damned uncomfortable to deal with. And they would almost inevitably fell into one of a few categories: You had the asshole wife beater that was taking out, fill in the blank, issues on his woman. The mutually destructive couple both of whom would do better to simply avoid any and all relationships in the future. And then you had "DPB". Dickless punching bag. The guy that let the woman pound him. Milk toast. And then you had this sort of situation. The sort that doesn't fit easily into any of the above. These were the scary ones for being unpredictable.
Rachel, Officer Manguel, had taken the girl into the kitchen while Connelly took the man, barely more than a kid really, into the living room. The place was trashed. "So, um, was this the result of the fight?"
"Well, no, not really. We're just slobs", the young man replied almost too casually.
Scanning the room Officer Connelly looked for any damning evidence. Anything that might suggest that what the couple claimed to be merely a heated argument was in fact a physically violent exchange as the neighbors suspected. Dirty dishes, woman's clothes, miscellaneous debris and ...what looked like an illustration torn in half. Odd.
"Are you an artist?", he asked picking up the two pieces of Bristol board.
"Nice work. Comic book page from the looks of it". The officer put the two pieces back together and cocked his head considering the combined pieces and nodded approvingly. "So, did you smack her when she tore this in half?"
"Did she smack you?"
Officer Connelly eyed the boy. Damn he hated these cases. The young man was a fine liar and would have been far more convincing without the split lip. If he wanted to let his girl beat on him that was his business. But, this was exactly the kind of case that would have he and his partner back here with a body bag. This was not the typical DPB kind of guy. This a-hole was tall and strong and willing to look a cop in the eye and lie. He either loved her enough to protect her or he was biding his time. If the former he was in for some serious trouble in the future. If the latter, well, they would probably never find a body to bag.
The girl stepped out of the kitchen with a subtle yet self-satisfied smirk. Just behind her Officer Manguel caught her partner's eye from across the room. A brief flash of her eyes spoke volumes.