Robert McCarthy sat alone on the bed of Room 109 at the Turnstile Lodge; no lights were on and the curtains were pulled tight. He methodically rolled the half empty wine glass back and forth between his hands, the half empty bottle of Gigondas barely visible on the nightstand to his right.  He was in a half empty kind of mood.

"I should have gone to Jacob's funeral," he told the darkness, the alcohol not yet slurring his speech. "To hell with the risk, I should have been there."

But he had made a promise, one of many promises his friend had forced upon him in the last two weeks, this one coming when it had become all too obvious the situation had spiraled out of their control.

"Did we ever really have control?" he muttered. "I should have been there to say goodbye."

But they had found Jacob and they would surely be looking for him. He ached to leave this place, to disappear and be forgotten. Not yet though, he had one more promise to keep.

Robert McCarthy took a long, deliberate sip from his glass. He wondered who it would be. They had discussed, deliberated, argued, yelled, but no decision had been made. He stared at the shadows concealing the locked wooden box at his feet.

"Who will it be Jacob?"

It would make more sense if it was Jonathan - he'd been so publicly attached to James, they would surely suspect him first. That should give Jonathan enough of a head start - Robert certainly hoped it would.

He was so lost in his speculation that he didn't hear the car pulling up outside. That the headlights were not on made its arrival even less noticeable.

Robert was not so lost in his thoughts, however, to miss the fist pounding on his door moments later.

The End

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