The Curious Case of Deirdre Dolan | Reed & Regan

Deirdre Dolan was a life actuary. Which, if given too much thought, was incredibly complimentary to being a banshee. It was strange setting foot into a domain she must have known very well; such feeling quickly became heavy and suffocating when the only reason for coming here was to — by way of question — announce her absence, if it wasn’t already obvious. Before he and Regan stepped inside of the small commercial building, Reed thought about several things during the drive to Deirdre’s former place of work. He thought about Antichthon and Nadene, he thought about Regan’s own convictions when he glimpsed at her.

They both believed differently but Reed, many times, felt there was a kind of cruelness in insisting the only place Deirdre could and must be was in that underground prison. So he never said anything beyond that day when Regan told him Deirdre was gone. This, coming here with the intent to interview her colleagues, was possibly Regan’s own form of closure. Reed’s was spent sat alone in his car after Nadene told him she’s not here, going back and forth between laughing and crying at the absurdity. She has to be, she has to be, she has— That was an emotionally dark day. In the elevator, he realized he wasn’t sure what he looked at Regan for — guidance? Reassurance? Comfort? Whatever it was, he decided not to linger on it for too long.

When the doors opened and they were both on the correct floor, standing in front of the receptionist’s desk, Reed greeted himself stiffly, “I’m Officer Reed Han and this is my partner, Doctor Regan Kavanagh.” When he extended his arm out as a form of gesture to her, Reed smiled politely. Clearing his throat suddenly, he said, “I called here yesterday and scheduled an appointment with your boss… William Talbot.”

“Regarding?” Her finger was already on the page button on her desk phone, pending with an arched eyebrow and wide eyes that seemed bright with underhanded intention. He recognized that look. Breakroom gossip. Reed went quiet for a moment, reminded of the joke Deirdre made some time ago about killing her boss and his mouth screwed up. I’ll dedicate his murder to you. Well, he certainly was still alive. What Nadene said drifted by as well, all of it coiling inside of his head until he turned his head to look at Regan again, this time out of unspoken desperation, internally saying he couldn’t do this. Nadene had said, it’d be easy to say it was her. He was too biased.

Instead of turning away from the desk and leaving the office like he wanted to, Reed leaned forward slightly and lowered his voice to a murmur, “He knows why we’re here.”

“Mr. Talbot, your ten o’clock is here.”

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