|Maureen dreams...while Beckett schemes|
During the twenty minute ride back to the flat, Beckett was subjected to an entire litany of woes from his lady love, who, he had to admit, was anything but lovely at the moment. If she wasn't bitterly complaining about the quality of the hospital's cafeteria, she was ranting over the cardiologist's lack of bed side manner, all tucked in between reoccurring bouts of pitiful weeping over her impending departure from Dollyville.
At first, he had tried to offer a voice of reason. Attempted to calmly rationalize the issues at hand. But it soon became obvious she wasn't in the least bit interested in working anything out, or coming up with answers to the problems. It was all a matter of venting. She was overwhelmed, stressed to the max, and far too emotional for a meaningful conversation. He considered sharing the details of his discussion with her eldest brother, thinking it would help put her mind at ease, but decided against it. It would be better for all involved if the decision came directly from Patrick.
The meeting in the hospital room had gone exactly as planned. It began with him raining a slew of compliments on the charming Maureen. He continued with a multitude of reasons explaining why she was important to him, and finished with a promise to treat her as the treasure he'd come to believed she was. The elder O'Kenney responded, as expected, with a non-committal grunt, his focus held to the menu choices for tomorrow's meals, and speaking only to ask Beckett's opinion of low fat turkey meatloaf. Ted was almost disappointed at the lack of challenge as he watched Patrick fall right in line with the grand scheme of things. A few more minutes of trivial chit chat, and then...wham! Time to drop the heavy artillery. As soon as he revealed his family background, the man was all ears to anything he had to say. It took relatively no time at all for her brother to concede that Ted and Maureen did make a fine couple, and decided it would surely be a shame to separate his baby sister from her true heart's desire. And if her big brother had any additional misgivings, they were quickly put to the side upon his discovering Beckett's connections to some property the Archdiocese of Boston was desperately interested in acquiring.
Other men would be uncomfortable with the idea of bartering for their love life like a back woods auctioneer. But Theodore Henton Beckett was a realist. For him, the end usually justified the means, and if using his family name and fortune kept Maureen with him, and made her family issues easier to deal with, he didn't care much about personal pride. His time in the military, and those assignments abroad, had taught him that the smoothest path to a solution was always the direct one, and in this moment of his life, Maureen O'Kenney was that destination.
But in her current mood, the young lady at the center of the controversy would most likely take offense at being sold off to the highest bidder, so Beckett wisely decided to forgo mentioning the change of plans regarding the move back home to Boston. She would find out soon enough, and in the meantime, what she really needed, more than anything else, was a good long nap. Last night had indeed been a trial, with the family dinner, and then her brother's heart attack. But she had seemed exhausted for the last few weeks, and he hoped there wasn't anything serious going on with her health. Upon arriving at her apartment, it took only the smallest bit of cajoling to force her to stretch out across the brass bed to rest. Within minutes, he could hear her soft snores, and knew she'd probably be asleep for most of the afternoon.
He left a note on the kitchen table explaining that he was going to head to work for a few hours, suggesting she should call him when she awoke, so he could take her back to the hospital. Kissing the top of her head, and locking the door behind him, he left to deal with the other pressing problems of the day.
The court house was gratefully quiet. There was only one prisoner in the lock up, a drunk and disorderly who was expecting to be out on bail shortly. The two deputies were on rounds, and his secretary knew to leave him be unless he called for her. Sheriff Beckett took care of the paperwork that couldn't wait, and once finished, set his mind to dealing with his crazy ex-fiancee. He first tried the email address he had on hand, but that came back mailer deamon, telling him that she no longer was using that account. The technology installed on his laptop let him know that the server had been bounced around from several global locations, so it would offer him no information as to her present whereabouts.
It came as no surprise. From the information he had gleamed during the Marzano investigation, she was a hacker pro, with a rap sheet pages long. The fact that he hadn't suspected her at all until she ran out on him at the cabin, was a total blow to his male ego, as well as his military training. She had played the submissive role to perfection, and he had stupidly fell for the whole thing. The thought both embarrassed, and infuriated him. He'd take the blame for that mistake, but there was no way he was going to let her slide back in his life.
Agitated, he paced the office, working through a series of steps in his head. There was always the option of using the company to track her down. But that would mean explaining why he was on her radar in the first place, and there was little doubt the powers that be would look unkindly on his blunder. No, he have to handle this himself, one way or the other. The less people who knew about his error in judgement, the better.
Beckett returned to his desk, and unlocking the bottom drawer, pulled a file from inside. Her cousin's baby might be the key to tracking her down. He flipped open the cover and dug through the stack of papers until he found what he was looking for. Thinking about that innocent little tot always made him morose, and he wondered if it wouldn't have been better for the child to have been placed in the foster system, and eventually adopted by a loving family. Instead, she was being shuffled among her father's kin, until the new daddy could come to terms with the unwanted role that had been shoved on him. Unfortunately, the Sheriff himself had been the catalyst for the child's sorry state of affairs.
In trying to locate the baby's family, he had done an intensive search of any contacts Elizabeth Donaghue might have had here in Dollyville. He determined that at some point she had taken a job in a small coffee shop on the outskirts of town, and had rented a room in a quiet boarding house a few blocks away. It appeared she had little to no social life, other than weekly trips to the First Savings and Loan on Main Street, every Tuesday afternoon. He assumed the bank visits were part of the plan to withdraw the money stolen from Marzano in small amounts, and move it else where. Then suddenly, in June of 2012, she had quit her job, packed up her belongings, and seemingly disappeared without a trace.
Tracking her from then on seemed impossible, and it was only by chance that he stumbled on the answers. He had been attending a sanity hearing in late September regarding the mental state of one Tessa Peppers. He had been the arresting officer when the elderly woman and mayoral candidate had shot Kevin O'Kenney, and the one to subsequently arrest her for the murders of Marco and Maria Rivera. He had run into Joe Scutney, someone he knew from the community softball team, outside the courtroom. Tessa Pepper's defense had subpoenaed Joe to testify that the old woman, his neighbor, was indeed mentally unstable, and unfit to stand trial. He was the perfect witness, as he related for the court how he had caught the woman repeatedly looking into his bedroom and bathroom windows, sometimes standing on a step stool to do so, and often taking photos of him naked, or partially dressed, and then sending them to him him enlarged, framed and gift wrapped. He also accused her of being the one to fill his mailbox with animal feces, and of trying to poison his cat.
As they were leaving the hearing together, Scutney had asked him about a missing persons report he had filed in September, for a young woman he had been seeing who had suddenly gone missing. Although, at the time, he had thought Joe's girlfriend had probably just tired of him and moved on, Beckett promised the man he would look into the progress of the now cold case. When he had, he was shocked to find that Scutney worked as a teller at the same bank Donaghue frequented, and matched the description of the dead Elizabeth Donaghue. He took some old mug shots of the woman to show the young man, who then identified the woman as his missing girlfriend, Beth Reedy.
It was then left to Beckett to explain to the very distraught man that the woman was dead, a victim of homicide, as well as the fact that "Beth Reedy" was an alias for Elizabeth Donaghue, a woman with a very long arrest record for theft, blackmail, and embezzlement. Upon learning that the two were involved in an intimate relationship, the Sheriff did the math and deduced that Scutney might be the infant's father, and later DNA tests proved as much. In a matter of days, poor Joseph Scutney found himself the father of an infant daughter, as well as possibly involved in the Cassie Donaghue-Vincent Marzano mess.
Unable to come to terms with any of that, and dreading the idea of raising a child by himself, Scutney had shuffled the child off to live with his parents in northern Minnesota, who eventually decided they couldn't cope, and passed the baby on to Scutney's married sister. Beckett remembered thinking at the time, that Joe Scutney's lack of responsibility toward his own flesh and blood was incomprehensible. He knew he shouldn't judge. The Scripture verse from childhood Bible school, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." stuck in his head, and he certainly had his share of heavy sins. He had done things that would surely shock the people in his life. But he couldn't begin to understand a man not taking ownership of his own child. In Beckett's eyes, it made the man weak and shallow. A total disgrace.
Now, knowing that Cassie had made threats about taking custody of the little girl, and the possibility of her return to Dollyville, he was glad that the child was not living with her father. He had tried to keep the information about the baby's parentage as buried as possible, but someone with Cassie's computer skills would eventually dig up everything she needed to locate her. He considered calling
Scutney and warning him, but rejected the idea. Joe had made it clear he didn't want involvement in any of this mess. Beckett would try and deal with Cassie himself for as long as possible. He still had some personal contacts, loyal to him, that he could call. Maybe sending one or two to Minnesota would be a worthwhile investment.
He shoved the files back into the bottom drawer, and securely locked it. The actual location of Cassie Donaghue was at the moment still a mystery. But until he knew for certain where she was, and what she was up to, he'd have to be on guard. There was no way he would under estimate that woman again...and pay back was a bitch.