Detective Brennan flashed his badge to the officer standing guard and carefully ducked beneath the yellow tape that blocked the doorway, balancing two brown cups in one oversized hand as he entered. He replaced the badge in his jacket while he looked over the crime scene, casting a critical eye at the body and frowning at the perched cat. He tried to ignore the strong metallic odor that hung in the air, but it left a coppery taste in his mouth. His partner of several months, Noel Bishop, beckoned him to join her in the kitchen.

        “Arthur, over here,” she said.

        He nodded in greeting. “Bishop,” he said, handing her one of the coffees. At an easy six-five, Brennan towered over her by nearly a foot.

        She took a long sip from her cup and sighed, the tension visibly easing out of her as she drank. It had been a long week for both of them, and Brennan realized that she had probably been on the verge of sleep when the call dragged her from home.

        Brennan drank from his own cup and rolled his shoulders. Several joints popped in place. “What do we have here?” he asked.