The three of you take your seats around one end of the massive ebony table, Cal taking the head chair.  For the most part, the dinner is silent and awkward.  The chicken tastes like rubber in your mouth as you mechanically do the mandatory chewing.  Gabrielle makes several attempts at light-hearted conversation; making note of things that will have to change once the baby comes, what colour to paint the nursery and other innocent things that had lost all purity to you in just mere minutes.  That's the thing about Gabrielle, you think; so innocent. 

You make the necessary comments, just enough to distract Gabrielle from your racing mind.  You notice Cal does the same, although with much more grace than yourself, offering smiles and warm eyes at Gabrielle when the conversation demands it.

Finally, the chairs are pushed back and Cal addresses Gabrielle cheerily.

"I think Edward and myself are going to share a cigar in the study, what do you say, old man?" He asks, turning to you with a hearty clap on the shoulder.

You simply nod.  Gabrielle smiles at the idea of the two of you spending time together. 

"You'll have to give that up once the baby is here!"  She laughs warmly and carries the plates into the kitchen.

The two of you sit silently in the study for a few moments.  Cal speaks first.

"What's the plan?"

"The plan?" 

"Yes, about what you're going to tell Dias."  Cal is leaning forward in his chair expectantly.

"We've only had dinner, Cal!  Can't I have some time to think this through?"  You can feel small beads of sweat forming on your brow.

"There isn't any time, Edward, don't you see?  Tomorrow night is the full moon, I've told you this already."

You let out a sigh of frustration; you had forgotten how precious time was in the current situation.  "You expect me to find the answer to this god-awful problem by tomorrow night?  I don't think I can do that, Cal."

"Well, you'll have to try.  I can't keep hiding like I have been for much longer.  I think Gabrielle is beginning to worry."

You're silent for another minute, thinking.  Cal respectfully does the same, giving you time to consider your options.

"Alright I'll leave tonight...as soon as I can."

"Good man.  What about your story?"

You let out another sigh. "I don't know.  I'll think of something."

The End

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