He found her behind the hotel. She was sitting alone on a stone bench, on her dinner break, an untouched salad next to her. When she saw Byrne she stood up, hugged him. He held on as long as she wanted.
She pulled away and turned, brushing off the bench for him. Ever considerate, Byrne thought. He sat down.
They were silent for a few moments. Finally Byrne asked, 'You doing okay?'
Lucy Doucette shrugged. 'Just another day in the big city.'
'Did you have any problems giving your statement?' He had put out the word that she was to be treated with kid gloves. The report back was that she had been. Byrne wanted to hear it from her.
'Yeah,' she said. 'But if I never go back to a police station for the rest of my life, that will be okay with me.'
'About that other matter,' Byrne said, referring back to Lucy's detainment for shoplifting. 'I talked to the DAs office, and to the owner of the store on South. It's all smoothed over. Just a big misunderstanding.' Because Byrne had intervened before Lucy was charged there would not be a record.
'Thanks,' she said. She looked at Byrne, at the bench, at the surrounding area. 'Where's your man bag?'
'I'm not carrying it anymore.'
Lucy smiled. 'Were you getting grief from your fellow officers?'
Byrne laughed. 'Something like that.'
A wink of silver caught Byrne's eye. It was a small heart-shaped pendant around Lucy's neck.
'Nice necklace,' he said.
Lucy lifted the heart, ran it along the chain. 'Thanks. I got it from David.'
'David Albrecht. I went and saw him in the hospital.'
Byrne said nothing.
'We're kind of in this thing together, you know?' Lucy said, perhaps feeling the need to explain. 'I guess he's going to be okay?'
'The doctors say it looks good.'
Lucy dropped the pendant, smoothed it against her uniform. 'He's got some offers on his movie, you know.'
'I heard that,' Byrne said. 'So, are you guys an item?'
Lucy blushed. 'Oh please. We're just friends. We just met.''
'Okay, okay,' Byrne said.
Two young women walked by, no more than eighteen or nineteen, smartly dressed in their crisp new Le Jardin uniforms. They eyed Lucy with something akin to awe.
When they passed, Lucy looked at Byrne. 'Rookies.'
They sat in thoughtful silence. The autumn sun warmed their faces.
'What are you going to do, Lucy?'
'I don't know,' she said. 'Maybe go home for the holidays. Maybe go home for good.'
Lucy Doucette looked up at the hotel, down Sansom Street, then over at Byrne. In that moment, for the first time since he'd met her, she looked a lot more like a woman than a little girl.
She said: 'A long way from here.'