Stepping into her childhood home was like stepping into another world. She stopped in the living room and shrugged off her coat. Closing her eyes for a moment, she breathed deep, savoring the aroma of fresh baked bread with butter and potato soup, the warmth of the cracking fire, and the overwhelming sense of peace.
That was the best part of coming home – for just a little while, she could put some distance between herself and the real world. She could forget the grieving families, the crimes that seemed more animal than human, the morbid details of her day. It was a brutal job, spending hour after hour studying the worst mankind had to offer. But deep down, she knew she could never do anything else. It was in her blood.
She slipped off her shoulder holster and hung it beside her coat – a normal routine in a family of cops. The door swung open and her dad stepped inside, cheeks red from the cold. The lines in his face seemed deeper than they had this morning. He flashed a tight smile, but it faded quickly.
“Rough day?” She kept her voice low.
He tossed his coat over a chair. “Yeah. Yours?”
She nodded. It was more than just a rough day. She was weary to the bone. “Does it ever get easier?”
He hesitated. “Not really. But some days are easier than others.”
“This definitely wasn’t an easy one.” She sighed.
“Just remember, no matter how bad it was, whatever you do -”
“Don’t tell Mom.” She finished the sentence in a whisper. He smiled – a real smile this time – at their inside joke. Years ago, her mom was nearly hysterical when Savannah decided to follow in her dad’s footsteps as a Nashville homicide detective. Her dad later told her that it would all work out if she followed one rule – no matter how bad things get, don’t tell Mom.
Such a small gesture, but it was enough to know he understood.
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