John settled down to watch some TV and unwind until it was time for him to go to the restaurant — it was still way too early for dinner. He’d been feeling a little edgy lately, and he hated having time on his hands like this; it made the loneliness seem more apparent.
Most of the time, he didn’t consider being sent home early much of a gift, but today it had given him some much-needed time to think. Spread across his lap lay his file on Regina Cavelli. He’d discovered some interesting information about her in the past few months.
For one thing, she had married Anthony during a break from college and had never returned to finish. Her father had worked for Antonio Cavelli as his accountant and had been in police protection when she had suddenly married Anthony. Antonio Cavelli had planned an extravagant wedding for his son and new daughter-in-law. The press was invited to attend, and it was front-page news in all the papers. That was where it got interesting. After the wedding, Michael Palmetto,
John’s brother, Sam, was working on the case at the time.
Sam had been very frustrated by the whole thing. All his hard work had gone out the window with Mr. Palmetto’s memory. But as frustrated as he had been, Sam had had so much to live for; he never would have gotten mixed up with drugs. A short time after the Cavelli wedding, Sam had been found in his apartment, dead from a drug overdose. They had ruled it an accidental suicide, but John would never buy that. He knew his brother too well.
The doorbell rang and roused him from his thoughts. Who can that be? John slid the folder under the couch cushion and walked over to the door. “Oh, hi, Frank. Come on in.”
“Hey, John. I’m here on an important mission from Annie.”
“She told me and I quote, ‘Don’t come home unless John is with you.’ She says she misses you and so do the kids. They’ve been asking for their Uncle Johnny. They want to spend some time with you this afternoon since there’s no school today.”
“That’s sweet, but I plan on having Chinese food later. I have a craving. Then I was going to turn in early. I haven’t been sleeping so good lately.”
“Are you trying to get me into the doghouse with my woman? You know how Annie gets. Come on — you know I can’t go home without you. Besides, Annie is a great cook. You know she’ll want you to stay for dinner. Come on; we’ll drive over together.” John didn’t respond, so Frank continued, “I promise you, I’ll get you home early enough to get a good night’s sleep.”
John realized that if he didn’t go, it would look suspicious. “Okay, but I’ll take my own car. I’ll meet you downstairs.”
“All right, but if you’re not down there in ten minutes, I’m coming back after you.” Frank left with a big smile on his face.
Maybe an after-dinner drink then . . . John grabbed his keys, shut off the lights, and went out the door.
© Nadine Z. 2007