How to Skin a Sociopath: Lime and Cranberries


Riley gathered up two stacks of files and made her way over to the cabinets in the back of the squad room when Gas appeared with three large pizza boxes and put them down on her now empty desk.

“When do you think the office will be completely computerized, Gas? How long do we have to hold onto all of this paper? It’s ridiculous.”

“Woman, do you really expect me to answer a question about how this place works? Sit down, eat.”

Riley turned around and the look on her face beamed with gratitude.

“Are one of those…”


“You didn’t even know what I was going to ask you.”

“Riley I grew up in a house with three sisters. If I didn’t know what you were going to ask me, my home training would be in jeopardy.”

Riley raised an eyebrow as she pulled out plates, napkins and cups from out of her desk drawer and put them on top of the pizza boxes.

“Carry on.”

“Yes one of those pizzas is yours and yes it’s the one with all of the veggies, I’ve peeped how you eat.”

Riley smiled and sat down. “Thank you.”

“None needed.”

Then from Gaskin’s pocket his personal cell blared the ringtone Gypsy by Stevie Nicks. Riley chuckled as she opened a box and grabbed herself a few slices.

“Talk to me. Sis…sis…Ti….Tina! I’ma need you to slow down. Okay start again.  Are you hurt? Good I ain’t gotta kill a motherfucker then. Do you like him? Are you happy? Then what the fuck are you trippin about? You don’t need anyone’s permission to do shit. Be happy. When he doesn’t make you happy anymore, leave. No that doesn’t make you a…right. It makes you human. Me? I’m good. But I’m about to finally eat my lunch. Yes I know it’s four o’clock, but I had a case. Okay, I’ll take better care of myself. I promise. I’ll call you one weekend, maybe we can go to the beach. I’ll tell her. Okay. I love you back. Bye.”

Gaskins opened the box and grabbed more than a few slices of meat lover’s pizza and slapped them on a pile of paper towels.

“You’re sister?” Riley said screwing the top on a large sip cup and handing it to her partner.

He nodded and took the cup. “The baby. She’s got a beautiful heart, but she’s bat shit crazy. Well not really, she’s just had it rough.”

“Haven’t we all? It’s good that she has you though. It’s always good to have a male perspective from someone who doesn’t want to sleep with you.”

“Well fuck Riley, she’s my sister. That would be fuckin sick.”

Riley giggled, “Precisely my point. Do you know how many times I wished I had a brother I could talk to?  As platonic as I thought some of my friendships were, the minute I would get all sensitive and weepy, it’s almost like they would wipe my tears then stick their tongues down my throat. Shit’s for the birds.”

Gaskins chuckled. “Tell me about it. You know how many times I have seriously contemplated carrying lime in the trunk for some of these fuckers. One of the dudes she fucked with is still on my list. If I ever catch that bamma…”

Riley held up her hand, “Eh, stop. That would make me privy to some knowledge…”

“Don’t worry, I have plans B through Z. You won’t be privy to shit.”

He took a sip from his cup and wrinkled up his face, “Speakin of shit, what am I drinking?”

“Organic cranberry juice.”

“Fuck that’s nasty.”

“What you rather have soda?”

“No you damn health nut. It needs vodka.”

“When you’re off the clock, do what you want.”

“Great, I got an office wife now.”

to be continued…


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