Aiden has a chat with Eoin, who agrees to talk to Vanessa. Aiden finds out he’s been beaten up by Troy. Eoin is delighted to find out that Troy is in jail. Fred calls Deirdre to check in with her.
Always frugal, Deirdre sliced leftover roast and sauteed onions, adding shredded cheese. It was her version of a Philly steak sandwich. Her boys couldn’t handle green peppers, neither could she, so they did steak sandwiches without them.
“Sorry. There won’t be any left, Aiden can eat more than you, these days.”
“God, do you think he’ll have another growth spurt? He’s already taller than me.”
“His goal, as a child, was to be as tall as Shaquille O’Neil. Let’s hope he doesn’t get there.”
“No, dear lord! But he could do six five. How’s he been with Wendy’s death?”
“He went to school, so I guess he’s coping.”
“I hope so. Let him use the car until I get home. We’ll figure something out. I need an upgrade, but I don’t think we can afford two car payments.”
“Use mine. I can plan my days out for your time off.”
“Are you sure?”
“If not, I can catch a ride with Sarah or someone. Push comes to shove, I can drive you and pick you up.”
“We’ll work it out.”
“How’s it going?”
“Slow. Frustrating. I might not have any hair left when I get home. I feel myself snatching my hair at least five times a day.”
“Just don’t yank.”
“Trying not to. I want to carry heavy objects to hurl at people. I know I’m in charge, but sheesh! They can’t even wipe their own asses without asking permission. Or wanting to know how. Swear to God, I’m ready to beat them.”
“You can’t do that, darling. It’s against the law.”
“Doesn’t stop me wanting to. I wish I had a competent person to take over, but not even Holly and Maynard can handle this. I’m smoothing things over, soothing hurt feelings and doing—basically your job.”
Deirdre laughed. With four males in the house, she was always having to pour oil over turbulent waters. Aiden had been uncontested alpha of the boys, but Burl was fast outgrowing his brother’s influence.
“What’s wrong?” Fred’s perceptive ears had picked up on something.
“I’m so worried about all this. If they never find Wendy’s killer, it’s going to eat Aiden up.”
“What makes you think they won’t?”
“It’s a small department. It’s not like they get dozens of these at a time. I can’t remember the last murder we had. Suicides, accidental deaths, sure. But murder? And the longer it goes, after, the harder it is. It’s been three days….”
“Trust, my love.”
“I’m trying. I’ve been doing some digging on my own, and I think I found something interesting. I’m going to try to get down to the police station tomorrow with it. Maybe it will help.”
“It’s still thin. I need to do more digging, flesh it out. Right now, it’s so anorexic, it would only make me look like a fool.”
“You’re far from that.”
“But the police don’t know that. Tomorrow, I’ll go over. Meanwhile, my book is taking shape.”
She went on to tell him about it, enjoying the few stolen moments. It didn’t last, unfortunately. She heard a swinging door pop open.
“Boss?” a whiny man’s voice spoke.
“Yes, Hodd?” he sighed heavily.
Fred sounded tired, frustrated and resigned. Funny how she could pick that up from two words and a sigh.
“We got a problem, Boss.” He went on to explain in a rambling, confusing way. Fred sighed again.
“Darling, I have go figure out what the f**k is wrong this time.”
“Remember St. Paul’s prayer, my love.”
“It’s completely out of my mind right now.”
“I’ll text it to you. Go be bossy. Whips and chains.”
Fred laughed softly. “God, being away sucks in more ways than one. I’ll call later. How late will you be up?”
“As late as I want, Aiden’s driving. Love you!”
She heard his voice cutting sharply through confusion and babble before he thumbed the end button.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes