Most days Sheriff Stilinski liked his job. And then there were some days where he really didn’t. Today was definitely shaping up to be a bad one.
Stilinski started it off by spilling coffee on his uniform when one of his deputies sloppily rounded a corner. He swore and snatched a napkin from their glorified coffee station, trying to clean himself off. Before the Sheriff finished his vain attempt to get the stain out, a woman stormed into the station demanding her cheating husband be strung up by his balls. Said man was stumbling behind her, eyes wide and nostrils flared as she dragged him by the arm.
Stilinski grimaced and went over to intercept her. Plastering his best reassuring smile on, the Sheriff disconnected the woman’s vice like grip on her husband’s arm and left the flabbergasted man with Parrish. He strove to keep that same calming smile he’s spent a career working to get as he escorted her to their interrogation room. She glared daggers back at her husband all the way, right up until the door shut behind her. Then she whirled on her heel and started spitting out insults, each more absurd than the last. Stilinski ended up spending nearly an hour calming her down while she raged profanities.
By the time lunch came around her temper had cooled. And Stilinski could really use a drink.
As the woman retreated from the station, cheeks flushed with embarrassment as her rage ebbed and her reasoning started to trickle back, Stilinski ducked into his office and sank into his chair. He sat there for a long moment and just stared at the ceiling, ticking seconds off in his head while he forced himself to relax.
Heaving a large sigh, the Sheriff leaned forward and rubbed his temple with the pads of his hands. A burger would be great right about now, but thanks to an overly cautious son all he had waiting in the fridge for him was hummus, carrots, and yogurt. He knew Stiles meant well, but by God did he want a burger.
Deputy Clark pushed open his door and leaned in, “Sheriff?”
Stilinski groaned and slumped forward, elbows on his desk. “Don’t tell me, another domestic disturbance?”
Clark gave an apologetic smile, “No sir, you have a call. An FBI agent.”
The Sheriff frowned, thoughts drifting to Agent McCall. Sitting up straighter, Stilinski pulled the phone off his desk and barked, “Stilinski.”
“Hello, Sheriff. This is Agent Mike Donnelly,” he paused for a moment, and when the Sheriff said nothing, jumped into it, “I have a witness who’s proving to be a bit difficult. So far all we’ve got is that he’s from Beacon Hills. I would really appreciate it if you could lend us a hand in identifying him.”
Stilinski leaned back in his chair and frowned. This was certainly unusual.
The detective in him clicked into gear. “How old is he? A current resident? He hasn’t given you anything else? No name? Family members? Friends?”
“He looks to be in his mid- to late twenties. Doubtful that he’s a current resident. And no, we have no info on family or friends. There’s a nickname he’s been called by our suspects, but it doesn’t seem very useful,” came the clipped response.
He would be the judge of that. “What is it?”
The Sheriff’s frown deepened. If he was involved in a gang they might be able to get something from that, but he suspected the agent probably already checked. Still, Stilinski dragged over a pad of paper and scribbled notes down. Feds witness. Mike Donnelly. Mid/late 20s. From BH, nonresident. Mutt.
“Can I send you some photos, Sheriff?”
“Mmhmm,” Stilinski mumbled as he finished his note. He gave the agent his work email and then went ahead and started wiggling his mouse, willing his computer to come to life.
Eventually he got his email running and opened the message, downloading the attachments one by one while the agent waited on the line. The first photo opened slowly; he could swear his computer ran on molasses instead of electricity.
The man did look to be in his mid- to late twenties, possibly early thirties. The cop in him noticed the basics quickly: Caucasian male, brown hair, about six foot, brown eyes, probably around 170 pounds. The rest came next. High and pronounced cheekbones framed a sharp and pointed nose. Fully grown scruff covered a defined chin and sharp jaw. And his thick eyebrows were knit together in what was some pretty blatant distrust and rage. The man was looking away from the camera, glaring at the ground. He was wearing gray sweatpants and a gray shirt with “FBI” emblazoned on it in large block letters. Not likely his, Stilinski thought.
The Sheriff was sure that the man in the image was a stranger, but there was a tug on his memory. Possibly a face he had seen in passing.
If he was from Beacon Hills he could try passing the photo around to his deputies. See if it rang any bells for them. The Sheriff flicked through the other photos, each taken at a different angle, but the man avoided looking at the camera in all of them.
“I don’t know him, but he does seem familiar. I can pass this off to my deputies if that’s alright. You don’t have any photos of him looking at the camera?” Stilinski said into the phone, the agent still waiting patiently on the line.
“That’d be helpful, we’d appreciate it. And no,” the Sheriff could hear the frown in the Agent Donnelly’s voice, “It’s the strangest thing. Every time we try to get him to look at the camera a blue light messes up the shot”
The Sheriff agreed: that was strange. Maybe some kind of malfunction? Or a trick the man was playing on them? Or maybe…
Stilinski sucked in a breath and stared back at the image on his computer screen. That sounded like something that could happen if his eyes were glowing.
Like a werewolf.
“I don’t suppose you could disclose whatever this case is to me?” Stilinski asked, trying for his best encouraging tone.
“I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to discuss the details of the case at this time,” Agent Donnelly said, sounding as if he was reciting an often used line.
The Sheriff sighed and stared at the furious man on his screen. As if staring long and hard at the image could make it come alive and spill its secrets.
“Alright, Agent Donnelly,” Stilinski said, scribbling Blue light with his other notes, “I’m going to send these around to my deputies and we’ll dig into it for you. I’ll let you know when I have something.”
The agent thanked him and hung up.
Stilinski sat back and stared at the computer screen for a long time. The more he stared, the more wolfish the man looked. Stop playing tricks on yourself, he mentally scolded. Looking like a wolf didn’t have any bearing on whether or not you were one. At least, he didn’t think so.
But that light thing sounded an awful lot like how Malia’s eyes could flash a startling blue.
The Sheriff shook his head and reached for his cell phone. He typed in a message to his son, I might have something.
He didn’t press send. Not yet. The last thing Stiles needed was his father interrupting him while he was at school. Especially now that the whole Beast thing was all sorted out. The Sheriff gritted his teeth just thinking about it. Too many people had died. Far too many.
The Sheriff clicked print on two of the photos, resigning himself to a dinner conversation about werewolves instead of baseball.