5.The Formalities Begin

As he stirred awake, Nick became aware of a low rumbling sound. He buried his head further into his folded arms and shifted his weight on the windowsill. With the sound of a handbrake came the realisation that the rumbling was merely a car pulling into the road. He attempted to return to his ignorant, dreamless sleep, but memories of the previous nights events were already flooding back into his foggy mind, and all hope of retuning to a peaceful state was lost.

Grasping for a distraction, Nick decided he would see if Connor was still in. Hauling himself ito a standing position and stretching in an attempt to ease the strain that sleeping by the window had put on his back, he trudged out of the bedroom and down the stairs. He arrived in the living room still rubbing his eyes and yawning.

“Mr. Keane?” The sound of a woman’s voice startled him. Sitting on the couch aside his brother was a young police woman, staring at him with a wary expression. “Mr. Keane, we’d like to ask you some questions about… about last night..”

“Umm, OK,” he managed to choke.

Connor stood. “They want you to go to the station, mate…”

Nick stood in the middle of the living room, uncomfortable at being treated as though he might explode at any minute. He looked down at his bare chest and boxers, and being semi-naked did nothing to ease his discomfort.

“Can I just get dressed?” He asked sheepishly.

“Just get something from my wardrobe,” Connor said.

“Am I under arrest?”

The police woman frowned momentarily. “Not if you cooperate.”

Nick nodded and made his way to the master bedroom. He scanned the wardrobe for something his brother wouldn’t miss. The solicitor’s salary had allowed Connor to stock his wardrobe full of designer suits and expensive clothes, something Nick had never cared too much for. He pulled out a pair of dark denim jeans, a chequered shirt and a plain zip hoodie.

He was surprised to open the door to see another police officer standing outside the room, this one an older man with a stern face. He pondered how long the officer had been there, and the possibility that he’d been in the living room all along - perhaps lurking in a shadowy corner?

The officer said nothing, and without even looking Nick in the eye, placed his hand in a firm grip at Nick’s elbow, and practically marched him down the stairs. Once they were back in the living room there was time enough for Connor to pull Nick into a tight hug. He must have been worried, Nick noted, as he’d forgotten the hearty back slaps that usually complemented his hugs. Minutes later Nick was bundled into the back of a police car.

The End

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