Reynolds looked up from his notes with a frown. He tapped his pencil on his notepad and asked, "Why are you here, Mister Vossian?"
"What kind of dumb-ass question is that? The missing girl. Remember?"
"No, but what I mean is: what makes you think there's even a need for cops? There's no evidence to suggest anyone is in trouble. So what makes you so sure this Tatiana girl is in danger?"
"Svetlana," Pratt corrected.
"Whatever. All I'm saying is that this whole thing sounds like a colossal waste of time and manpower."
Pratt raised an accusatory eyebrow, "So? You got something better to do today?"
Vossian stood and circled the small room, pausing once at the two-way mirror to examine his teeth. He struggled to control his breathing, then ran his hand through his hair and admitted, "It's a hunch, really."
"A what?" Pratt asked.
"A gut feeling."
"I know what a hunch is, dipshit," Pratt growled, now beginning to sway toward Reynolds' waste-of-time theory.
"Surely you two could appreciate the power of a hunch more than most people, right?"
"And why's that?" Pratt folded his fingers in front of him on the cold, metal table.
"Cuz.. cuz you're cops. You use hunches all the time to solve crimes."
Reynolds rolled his eyes, "Or evidence."
Pratt snorted, "Maybe in in the world of Colombo or Harry Callahan, buddy, but in the real world we do actual cop stuff... like investigate. And as of this moment, there is no crime."
Vossian opened his mouth to object but Pratt waved it closed before the man could utter a single syllable. He continued, "Now, we're interviewing Miss Kolkachev's friends, to see if any of them know where she could have gone. We are also trying to get a hold of her parents. For all we know, that young girl is at home right now, in bed or having a nice afternoon siesta on the patio."
"I tell you she's gone."
Another dismissive wave and a noncommittal, "We'll see."
The two detectives rose from the table but Vossian just stood there, feeble yet defiant. Pratt told him, "Our advice for you is to go home and take it easy; let the alcohol work itself out of your system."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
The two cops approached the closed door and mumbled, "Have a good day, Mr. Vossian. We'll have one our officers escort you out."
The door opened and a tall, uniformed man peeked his head inside, "Yeah, boss?"
"No, not you," Pratt shook his Mr. Potato head, "the last thing we need is you anywhere near this case. Get me Greeling."
The young cop paused and looked hurt momentarily, but quickly answered agreeably, "Yessir," and left.
That was weird, thought Vossian, and asked, "Who was that?"
"Nobody. We'll be in touch, Mr. Vossian."
The two men left, leaving Vossian to ponder that odd exchange. He was tempted to stick his head out into the hall and see if he could catch a glimpse of the tall cop who had unwittingly pissed off Detective Pratt, but a smiling black man came into the room and introduced himself as Officer Greeling.
"Can I take you home, Mr. Vossian?"