Cal doesn't accept

There is a long silence before Cal answers you. During this time, you watch a change come over him, a relaxation. He sets down his empty glass and leans back into his chair. His gaze wanders up to the ceiling, and he stares as if transfixed by the chandelier. When he finally returns to look at you, he wears disappointment on his face. 

He says, "I'll be honest with you, Edward. You've surprised me... baffled me. You see, I had assumed that you suspect me because you are somehow able to read all the signs, even though others are oblivious to them. Of course I've done an admirable job scattering the evidence here and there, making certain that no trail leads back to me. I was astounded- and quite impressed- when I first detected your suspicion. I thought, perhaps, in your experience with the police force... that this may not be the first time you've encountered someone in my predicament, and that's why you were able to catch on. And as a result, I allowed myself to believe that you might be able to help me. But, after hearing your proposition, I must conclude that you do not truly understand the danger that awaits those who accidentally cross my path at the wrong time."

Your mind is racing. What predicament? You know exactly what he's been up to, but you can't imagine why he would be addicted to doing such a thing. Why would he risk it? Why would he go through all the trouble? You've asked yourself these questions every day since you've been onto him, but to no avail. And now he's talking about it like it's out of his control... something he's forced to do. 

Cal is now standing. His arms are folded and he is pacing. He stops, as far away from you as he could be, and looks at you very seriously.

"The bitter truth is this, Edward: I could not stop what I'm doing if I wanted to. I'm desperately searching for an end to this; but leaving the country would not solve anything, it would just relocate the problem. But I want you to understand that Gabrielle will not be harmed, as long as she doesn't suspect me. If she suspects anything, she may follow me. And if she finds me, she may die."

You take a moment to allow the words to sink in. She may die...

Would he kill her? No, he couldn't... Someone else, then... Maybe someone else is always with him, and they would kill her if she discovered them. Maybe this person, whoever it is, is forcing Cal to comply. He says that leaving the country would just relocate the problem. So this person would follow him wherever he goes, and force him to continue these assaults on seemingly random people?

Your thoughts are interrupted.

The End

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