Dinner first

Cal makes his way slowly down the stairs, across the now empty living room and stops in front of the great dining room doors. His mind is racing a mile a minute. Pushing open the doors, he looks up to see Edward and Gabrielle already sitting at the oversized table.

"Cal." Sounding concerened, Gabrielle gets up and walks over to him, placing a caring hand on his chest. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine now, Gabbie. My apologies for...overreacting." Cal can feel Edward's eyes on him, criticizing.

"No, don't apologize, darling. Edward told me all about it." She leads him to the table. "Sit down, why don't we talk about it?"

Cal throws a panicked glance at Edward and then back at Gabrielle. Taking a seat, he clears his throat awkwardly. "Um, yes, well, it's a sensitive subject."

"Of course, Cal, but why didn't you tell me you were still investigating Father's death? You know I would have been supportive." Gabrielle looks at him with such pure emotion on her face, Cal is almost pained to look her in the eye.

He lets out a small breath of relief. "I wanted to, obviously. But the case was filed and put away, labelled a freak accident. I doubt the police department would have been pleased to know that Edward had secretly opened it back up, and was looking into it in his free time."

"That's true, Gabbie. No one at the precinct can know about this."

"I was simply helping Edward as much as I could with the case. After all, I do have a few connections here and there that could be of some use. We just happened to run into a slight...obstacle."

"Oh? Is everything okay?" Gabrielle looks between the two men.

"We really can't talk about it, Gabbie. Sorry, confidential police business." Edward concludes.

"I understand, Edward." Gabrielle places a warm hand over his, and offers a weak smile.

"Perhaps," Cal starts, "Edward and I should talk alone for awhile; see if we can't work out our troubles."

"Of course," Gabrielle agrees, and begins to clear the plates from the table.

"How about a drive?" Edward suggests.

"Splendid. Let me grab my coat."

- - - - - -

You follow Cal out into the garage, both of you keeping the silence for now. You've noticed that Cal is no longer wearing the watch. Your thoughts are turning in circles, trying to figure out what that could mean.

In the garage, Cal gets in the driver's side of his Rolls Royce. As you pull at the handle, you suddenly wonder how many people Cal needed to kill to be able to afford this. Was your father, in fact, one of them? In another instant, you push the morbid thought from your mind and get in the car alongside him.

The two of you are driving along the darkened country road now. The occasional street lamp sends eerie shadows across Cal's face. Still, neither one of you has broken the silence. You wonder who will be the first to cave.

Finally, Cal speaks. "We have an issue."

The End

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