“Thank you for agreeing to see me,” Dylan said.
She smiled and shrugged. She looked remarkably at ease, considering the situation.
“Well, it’s not like I have anything but time.”
She extended her hands and gave him a brief two handed shake. She didn’t have much choice, since her hands were shackled together. Dylan didn’t think that was really necessary, but the prison rules demanded it. She didn’t look threatening.
Carolyn Rodgers was 42 years old, pretty if pale from months in solitary confinement. In other circumstances, the first thing that would have popped into Dylan’s mind would have been soccer mom. Even in prison orange, she looked like she’d have been more at home in a minivan. She didn’t look like a homicide detective, which she’d once been. She definitely didn’t look someone who had murdered five people.
“I’d offer you some coffee or tea, but…”
She held up her hands as best the waist chain would let her.
“I’m fine,” Dylan said, which was at least partly true.
Rodgers leaned back in her chair as Dylan prepared his equipment. He was a little distracted, partially due to the prison environment. Rodgers seemed entirely satisfied. She might actually have been the calmest person Dylan had ever met. It was like being in the presence of a more attractive than usual Buddha. Her eyes twinkled.
“Not what you expected?” she said.
“Is that obvious?”
“I’m a trained observer.”
“I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting you to look so…well, at ease.”
“That’s the inner peace at work. I spend 23 hours a day in a shoebox. If I weren’t at ease, I would probably go crazy.”
“There are a lot of people who don’t think that’s fair.”
“Fair doesn’t factor into it. If I were out in general population, I’d be at risk. Women might be less violent than men, but being a cop in prison isn’t a recipe for long term survival in any case.”
“What I meant was that a lot of people don’t think you should be in prison at all.”
She laughed, a sudden giddy bark that made Dylan smile.
“Well,” she said, “those people are full of shit. Pardon my French.”
“So you think you deserve to be here.”
“Of course I deserve to be here. I knew where I was going to end up before I did what I did. I’m a cop. I knew what I was doing. Between the angels and the fact that my coworkers weren’t actually total idiots, it was only a matter of time.”
“So you don’t regret what you did.”
She looked away, looked out at pale winter sun coming in through a tiny window into the visitation area.
“Regret. I regret that I didn’t spend more time with my husband. I regret that I never got around to having a kid. I regret the fact that my partner ended up having his career wrecked because of me.”
She looked at him and her smiled turned into a grin and for a second Dylan wished he were anywhere else.“But mostly,” she said “I regret that I got caught before I could kill more of those assholes.”