Two days later, Victoria returned to the station. Maybe it was too soon, maybe it wasn't. Victoria knew she was geared to handling stress and the stress from that case had been enormous. She forced herself to look and behave as normal as possible before entering the office.

"Hey boss!" Alex darted over. "You OK to be here?" He asked quietly and Victoria nodded.

"I'd like to thank all of you for wrapping this up. The amount of evidence and paperwork you've ploughed through is phenomenal. It shows what a fantastic bunch of coppers you all are. It's been a pleasure working with you." Victoria flicked a smile, then headed quickly for her office. She stopped at the door and looked at the name plaque. DI Kennedy's plaque had been replaced by another one. DI Victoria Lowry.

"Brian put it on cockeyed. Blame him." Don laughed and Brian stuck two fingers up at him.

"It's ... fine." Victoria turned round. "The case is over lads. You'll be appointed a permanent DI in time."

"Seems stupid to me. We already have a DI." Charlie stated and the lads nodded in agreement.

"Unless you don't want to ask the DCI for us lot. I see how it is." Charlie sniffed and Victoria started to laugh.

"Boss." Alex was standing at the door. "Constable Proctor to see you."

"A body's been found ma'am and it's almost certainly Emily Jones. We're just waiting for lab results." Victoria sat down heavily on the closest chair. A thousand emotions flooded through her already emotional body and that final thorn was removed from her side.

"I'll go and tell the DCI you're sticking around." Alex smiled. "My mother will be delighted." He wandered out amid jeers of laughter.

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©Alex Harvey 2011