Charlie woke up the next morning groggy and grumpy. Her comforter lay on the floor next to her pillows where she had kicked them off last night, and as her feet swung around, they had to dig through the layer the materials had made in order to find the floor. It felt stuffy in her room, despite the chill she knew would be waiting for her outside, and glanced back at the bed, half-tempted to bury herself back in them.
Nah, Royce doesn't work today, so I guess I have to come in.
The prepping before a work day was, as usual, blissfully short. Working among animals and all the sounds and smells and other unpleasant things they made meant that her normal uniform consisted of $.99 shirts and the one pair of grubby jeans she owned. And now that she was beginning to make a habit of cooking for more than herself (and she learned her lesson this time), breakfast was as easy as taking a slice of meatloaf from the fridge and popping it in the microwave with two slices of bread going in the toaster. With some ketchup and cheese, she had a sandwich, and less than five minutes later, she was locking her door and walking toward town.
Biting into the meatloaf reminded her of dinner the night before- uneventful, for the most part. Royce still had his mind on Crowne, even as he was shoveling food into his mouth as fast as he could. Almost as soon as he and Rosemary finished eating, they both said thank you (well, Royce did for both of them), and were off to patrol again. Not that she felt it was really necessary anymore- she wasn't scared anymore. Her conversation with Rosemary had neatly distracted her from any thoughts of stalkers.
That was it Charlie thought triumphantly. That was why I couldn't sleep last night. I was talking about Madeline, and I kept thinking about it throughout dinner and up to when I went to bed. Perhaps it was a good thing after all that Royce had been so preoccupied. The last thing she needed was more questions.
A pause at the traffic light, crossing of the street and down three doors had Charlie at the clinic with minutes to spare before the place officially opened. Taped to the door was a note in Doc's scribbly writing: "Making a house call at the Fitzgibbons Farm on Winchester Ave. Should be back by noon. Stay out of trouble." No signature, but none was necessary. Charlie rolled her eyes at the last comment, but pulled the note off the glass and unlocked the door.
Neither Doc or Royce around, with the office to herself?