Deirdre has a short chat with Fred. He tells her how badly things are going on the store set up. He’s losing patience with the stupid people.
Saying the St. Paul prayer for patience for him, she took the time to type it out and send it. Getting a fresh cup of coffee, she went back to her office to continue her research. This wasn’t connected with her book, she was digging up what she could find on Troy. She wanted to know how a man like him could always manage to get free from police custody, as if he were shiny and golden. The charges seemed to roll off his back, and evaporate.
Time ticked past. She finally glanced at the clock to discover it was after 3:00 and her boys weren’t home yet. She didn’t think they had golf practice today, but she could be wrong. She was just getting worried when the front door banged open. Had to be Corin, the other two were more careful.
“Mom!” his voice cut through the empty house.
“In here!” She walked out of her office, crossing the kitchen and dining area, meeting him in the living room. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. All good. We went for ice cream. His treat.” He pointed to the door.
A tall, handsome man stood in the doorway. It took a moment to recognize him, since his black hair was longer and he was clean shaven.
“Eoin!?” She rushed to him, flinging her arms around him.
He flinched away from her enthusiastic hug, hissing sharply.
“What happened?” She raised his shirt, examining his ribs. She didn’t even think of it as an intrusion. He was as much her son as the others. “Who did this to you?”
“If I tell you that, you’ll string him up.”
“It was that beast, Troy, wasn’t it?” Suddenly furious, she stood with her arms akimbo, glaring up at him.
“Not my fault, Mum.” Eoin held up hands to fend off her anger.
“He found out that Wendy was in town, and had stayed with Eoin,” Aiden said, shutting the door behind him.
“Have you been to the hospital?” Deirdre demanded of Eoin.
“Yes, ma’am. I wasn’t going to, but a nosy neighbor scooped me up, and took me. She’s small, but feisty. I couldn’t tell her no, or she’d have ended me.” He smiled. “You’d love her, Mum. She’s just like you.”
“Don’t just stand there. Sit! You’re staying for dinner. The night. Corin, get him the ice pack.”
“I’m fine, I don’t need ice. I wouldn’t say no to your ambrosial coffee.”
“Coming right up. And I made scones.”
His dark eyes lit up his face. “Blueberry?”
“Would I do anything else?”
The boys followed her to the kitchen, dutifully washing their hands while she made coffee and served the scones. Corin was the only one who had his with milk.
“It’s like you knew I was coming,” Eoin said after his third scone. “I never ate this well anywhere else.”
“You’re welcome anytime. To what do I owe this special visit? I haven’t seen you in years!”
Eoin and Aiden exchanged a glance. She knew they were hiding something.
“What. Speak.” She pointed at her son.
“I was going to tell you, I just was waiting for the right moment.”
“This is it.”
He told her how he’d cut classes and spent the day tracking down Eoin and the girls.
“Good,” Deirdre said, surprising him. “I’ve been digging into Troy. Fascinatingly, horrible person.” She rushed to and from her office, grabbing the papers she had recently printed. “He knows someone in the office, I can’t find out who. But I don’t think they’re the only one. I believe there are two separate people helping him get out of scrapes. One on the inside, one somewhere else.” She waved her hands, indicating nebulous distance. “But it’s isolated to us. If they were able to do anything, they’d have gotten him out of Port Orange jail already. He’s still sitting there, warming his bunk.”
“Good, may he f**king rot,” Eoin said. “You know why he didn’t hit the face and legs? It would show.”
“Your poor arms….” Deirdre began.
“I can wear long sleeves, and often do, when I work. But it’s hard for a drag queen to cover her face, and I headline….”
“A what?” Deirdre interrupted.
Eoin blushed, ducking his head. “I work at Pocket Pool. I’m the weekend headliner.”
“You are? Oh, how wonderful! You were always such a talented singer and dancer.”
He had been the star of the year’s musical at the high school, and had been in several productions at the Little Theatre.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes