Part 10

'I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
You're the light in my deepest darkest hour
You're my savior when I fall
And you may not think I care for you
When you know down inside that I really do
And it's me you need to show
How deep is your love…'

"Turn it off." Fox fixed Dana with a hard stare. His jaw became set. He moved to the edge of his seat, ready to pounce on her computer if she didn't change the Internet radio station fast enough.

"It's the Bee Gees," she said, giving him a quizzical frown. "This is one of their best songs."

"Dana."

"Okay, geez." Her mouth tightened as she clicked the mouse and jazz music replaced the tender love song. "I don't understand how you can't love that song."

Fox kept his mouth shut. He didn't bother to correct her mistaken assessment of the situation. The fact was he loved that song. He and Dawn didn't meet under the best of circumstances. On one of her first calls as a police officer, she was called in to break up a fight between him and a butcher who didn't like his article about the beef industry.

One look into her sparkling brown eyes, the fight left him. He willingly turned himself over into her capable hands. Her partner teased her as Fox doled out a heavy dose of charm. When a tiny smile played at her sexy mouth, he knew he had her. After he paid his bail and breathed in the sweet, cool air of freedom, he searched high and low for the beautiful rookie. Eventually, he found her in a cop bar. Surrounded by her comrades in blue, he went straight to her and asked her out. She accepted and on their first date, they danced to that song, one of the best ballads ever recorded.

'How Deep Is Your Love' reminded him of everything that was good in their relationship. Now, that he felt betrayed and confused, the last thing he needed was to hear this. It simply hurt too damn much.

"Fox."

"Yeah?" He rubbed his eyes and looked across his office at the stubborn little red head. Most of the morning, he'd been a royal jackass. How he'd ever make that up he had no idea. "What's up?"

"You know that mailing list you forwarded to me? Did you read today's messages?"

He shrugged and opened his email. "I glanced at them. Why?"

"Check out the one with the subject line, 'The Tuskegee Experiment, Part 2.' I think we've found what we've been looking for."

He sat up straight and clicked on the appropriate message. He read the message several times, silently cursing himself from missing it the first time. If he hadn't had his heart ripped out and stomped on… He shuddered. Not here. Not now. He refocused his attention on the post.

"This guy's wife died from an experimental treatment that was known to have an adverse in Blacks." Fox grabbed a pen and began jotting down information. "Rx Limited has paid hush money to its victims for years, but this guy isn't standing for it. You're right. This is our break." He paused long enough to smile. "Good job."

She returned his small gesture tenfold.

*/*

"This place is like a fortress." Harry followed Dara into her newly enhanced office. "Have you been threatened?"

"Not yet." She sighed. She hated the loss of privacy, but Justus' forethought wasn't without merit. "It's all a precaution. Rx Limited hasn't been known to play by the rules. What do you have for me?"

The private investigator came to stand beside her behind her desk. He spread out the documents he'd managed to confiscate. "They're dirty, Dara. You're right to be careful. Your clients should be, too. Other patients who've gone against them haven't fared well."

Her eyebrows shot up. "Dead? They had them killed?"

Harry perched on the edge of her desk. "No, but their lives were destroyed. Astronomical debt and impaired health. Many of them died of seemingly natural causes, but in truth, Rx sucked the life out of them. They have far-reaching heavy hitters. Their previous lawsuits were settled long before they entered a courtroom and those that refused… The head honchos want the world to believe they offer the best in medical care."

"Meanwhile, they're experimenting on minorities and killing them in the process." She swiveled her chair around to get a better look at her friend and PI. "I have to find a way to protect my clients. No one knows they've seen me, but that could change overnight."

"I have a couple of friends in the protection business." Harry pulled out his cell phone. "I'll give them a call. Hold on."

She watched his face as he placed the call. He gave her a reassuring smile as he spoke.

"Hey, Jude, this is Harry. I hate to disturb you and Tom during your honeymoon phase, but I have a job for you. Interested?"

He nodded and continued to converse with his friend. A few minutes later, he gave Dara the thumbs up. "Thanks. I'll give you the particulars this afternoon." He ended the call and said, "It's a go. They'll take the job."

"But you haven't told them everything."

He reached out and patted her shoulder. Then, he stood. "I don't have to. We were all cops together, and I know them as well as I know myself. Once I tell them what's happening, they'll sign up, too."

The tension with Jerry stretched her nerves to the breaking point. Harry's help gave her the encouragement to breathe easier. At least some of the turmoil was worth it. In the end, she fully intended to bring Rx Limited down.

"That's great, Harry. I don't know how I'll pay you and your friends, but I'll…"

He shook his head. "Don't worry about it. We'll deal with that once the case is done. Besides, I've been known to work Pro Bono on occasion. I'll call when everything's set and then, you can contact your client. Take care of yourself, Dara. Okay?"

"Okay."

*/*

"I never knew cases could get backlogged like this." Dawn and her new partner headed toward the college dormitory where they had plans to speak with a rape victim.

"That's why they pulled us." Rey stepped aside, holding the door open for her. After she entered, he followed, "You came highly recommended."

She glanced at him as they headed toward the elevator. "You say that like you're surprised."

"You're a very attractive woman," he said without a hint of flirtation. "There was speculation about your climb, but your track record speaks for itself. Despite…"

"Despite private police information making the headlines," she finished for him. Dawn shook her head. No matter where she went or how hard she worked, sooner or later, the past returned to haunt her. Fox fucked up, but so did she. They'd made amends with each other. The case wasn't lost in court. Why couldn’t everyone else just let it go?

"It's there, Dawn," Rey said as the elevator car arrived and they stepped inside. "I have goals. I refuse to let my career get screwed up because your husband wants his name on the front page. I've dealt with him before. He'll do anything for attention."

"Look, Rey, I know that you and he have issues." She gave him a look that had been known to make grown men shake in fear. She noticed how he looked away. Apparently, she hadn't lost her touch. "Your issues don't have to be our issues."

"What are you saying?"

"Don't talk shit about my husband, and we'll be the best team Cragen has ever seen." The elevator opened. She stepped out. "I have goals, too and I refuse to let pettiness stop me from reaching them. Are you coming?"

[Author's note: "How Deep Is Your Love" is by the Bee Gees.]

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