The hospital was crowded. Luther noticed this as he entered, but went straight for the two cops in the hallway leading to the ER. The tall cop looked slightly puzzled at his presence, but the short cop’s face had familiarity in it.
“Good evening, officers,” Luther greeted, being pleasant but forceful.
“Evening, Father,” the tall cop greeted. He was either lapsed Protestant or nonreligious, Luther suspected, due to the title he gave him and how he presented it. He wasn’t Catholic and it annoyed him when people assumed he was, though he refused to stop wearing his clerical collar. It afforded him valuable special treatment, which he needed tonight more than ever before.
“Looking for your friends?” the short cop quarried.
Luther titled his head questioningly. “Friends?”
“Yeah, your cleric buddies are already in there,” his thumb over his shoulder at the doors, “but I think two is more than enough to save a man’s soul. Plus, the doctors need their space, so I’m gonna need you to wait here.”
“Yes, of course,” Luther said absently, watching the doors. Then, to both of the cops, “Thank you, officers.”
“Merry Christmas, Father,” the tall cop said, smiling.
Luther smiled back, but didn’t bother wishing them the same.