An Important Notice to Readers...
Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Family and friends gather for a post-wedding dinner at the Park West Hotel|
When he had shown up at the scene the night before, Fr. Kevin was unprepared for the sight that awaited him. He had pulled up the block, expecting to see some serious damage to Beckett's home. What awaited him was total destruction, a pile of smoldering rubble sitting on what was still a perfectly landscaped lawn and parkway. He had arrived a few minutes before the newlyweds, and therefore landed the miserable priviledge of witnessing his sister's reaction to the pain of the moment. After a few moments together, a grim faced Beckett had given Maureen over to his care, and left in search of what Kevin presumed were answers regarding the hows and whys.
Not that he, or Beckett, for that matter, needed any explanations. There was no doubt in Kevin's mind that what he was looking at was the result of Cassie McKreedy's animosity. While they were wrongly hunting her trail at the Park West, she had obviously had free access to the house here on Maple Avenue. He shuddered, remembering that he had been the one to suggest that the bride and groom should spend the night here, and thanked a merciful God that Beckett had decided against his reasoning. If the Sheriff had not been his usual stubborn self, the future might have been too unbearable to even consider, and so when his new brother-in-law rejoined them, looking them both straight in the eye, and announced that the explosion was due to a faulty gas line connection, Kevin glared at him, but held his tongue, and the truth of the matter.
Now in the daylight clarity of Sunday afternoon, Fr. Kevin wanted answers. Because of the excitement of the night before, plans were pushed to later in the afternoon to allow everyone extra time to rest. He arrived at the Park West around 3 PM, and began setting up in one of the hotel's small conference rooms. A quick call to Maureen confirmed that the family still planned on gathering for Sunday Mass at 4, followed by dinner together before everyone began the trek back to Boston. Although her voice sounded strained and weary, his sister seemed firm in her desire to finish up the last of the wedding celebration as originally planned. Not wishing to ruin these last moments for her, Kevin avoided mentioning his concerns, and set his mind to preparing for the liturgy.
It was nearly 5 before the last of the guests made their way downstairs. The small conference room was filled to capacity, and for Fr. Kevin, the sight of his entire family gathered for worship, made him feel better. Despite the weight of all that had happened, Maureen looked surprisingly peaceful, and exceptionally lovely in a pale green sundress, her hair bundled up in curls atop her head. Beckett wore his usual calm demeanor, his face betraying nothing. Across the room, Kevin caught his eye, and made a face, expecting the usual smirk in return. Today, however, his brother in law held the gaze longer than necessary, his expression perfectly still, and it was Kevin who looked away first, uncomfortable under the man's stare.
Although most were family, the crowd also consisted of a few close friends who had been invited to share the last of the wedding festivities. Fr. Kevin watched as Allison took a seat near his sister, followed by the best man, who planted himself directly next to her. He was no expert in modern courtship rituals, but if he had to guess, he'd bet that there was the start of something going on between the two of them. Mike Nolan appeared to be a nice enough guy, if a little caustic around the edges, and it was obvious that he and Beckett had known each other for a long time. How this impacted Allison, whom he had known since she was kid, he wasn't sure, but he hoped for her sake that Mike was a more "normal" person than his sister's new husband.
Roxanne Spinelli's attendance at Mass and dinner shouldn't have surprised him. Kevin knew that she was staying at the hotel, and it made perfect sense that Maureen would invite her to this private gathering. But when she took her seat in the back row, and gave him a cheerful little wave, he was tempted to run and hide. Why he had this ridiculous reaction to the woman, he didn't want to even think about, and drew the conclusion that the Almighty was still not entirely pleased with the way he had handled his so-called apology. Once that requirement was completed, she could mosey on back to Boston, and he could put her back into the slot reserved for childhood memories where she belonged. Or at least, that was the plan. With a deep sigh, he tucked all his worldly concerns and neuroses to the back of his mind, and began the opening prayers of the liturgy.
To anyone observing the crowd at Mass, Theodore Henton Beckett appeared to be thoroughly engaged in Fr. Kevin's homily on the virtues of modern family life. In truth, his mind was somewhere else, clicking though a long mental list of things he needed to take care of before he departed for whereabouts unknown. He still hadn't mentioned this honeymoon trip to his bride, figuring the surprise approach, preferrably in the company of her family, would ward off any questions regarding this sudden change of plans, at least until he could work things out in his own head. He had hoped to speak to Nolan before the start of the services, but the pain in the ass didn't walk in until the very last moment, right behind the fetching figure of Maureen's friend Allison, raising thoughts about what might be going on between the two of them.
He and Mike usually stayed out of each other's personal affairs, but he gave some worry over to the thought that his partner might attach himself to his wife's best friend, a no win situation for any of the parties involved. He and Nolan would have to discuss that when he returned, and hopefully, before any permanent damage was done. His energies now needed to be focused on tracking down the psycho bitch, and guaranteeing she would no longer be a threat to he, or his new family. It was utterly ridiculous, and if he were willing to admit, embarrassing as hell, that she had created as much havoc as she had. It stood as testimony to the fact that he might be going a bit "soft" where his emotions were concerned, and vowed to increase his mental training when this whole honeymoon nonsense was over.
Currently, he just wished Kevin would stop yammering, and speed up the church stuff, so he could get on to the several important tasks at hand.
|Roxie and Fr. Kevin meet again|
Deciding he would no longer act like a silly teenager, Fr. Kevin positioned himself in a chair directly next to Roxanne, commiting to her company through the entire length of dinner. If his nervousness was apparent, the young woman gave no sign that she noticed, and seemed genuinely pleased at his appearance, asking for his insight about the events the night before.
"So I heard all about the explosion. Was it as bad as they're saying?"
Because she was already aware of the situation with Cassie, and actively involved, it was a relief for Kevin to be able to openly share his thoughts on the subject with another human being. "It was unbelievably awful. There wasn't a wall left standing, and what the blast didn't take out, the fire afterward finished completely. I'm just grateful no one was injured." For a moment, his mind slipped back to the thought of Ted and Maureen inside that house, and he willed the horrible image away. "The explosion blew out some windows on the houses on both sides, but luckily, that was the extent of the damage to anyone else's property."
"It wasn't really an accident, was it? We both know it has something to do with that woman I met yesterday. The one after Maureen's husband."
"That's what I'm thinking. But Ted is blaming a gas explosion to anyone who will listen. He's desperately trying to contain any real information, so I doubt if he'll honestly share what he knows with us. That's the way he is with everything. I've know the guy for well over a year, and frankly, I never know what he's really thinking."
"Do you think he's finally told Maureen. I know he said to me yesterday that he didn't want her involved...especially on her wedding day. But after all that's happened, wouldn't it be best if she knew what they both were up against?"
"You would think, wouldn't you? But Beckett doesn't do things the same way the rest of us do. He marches to his own drummer. I've been trying to get him alone since the end of Mass, but I think he's purposely avoiding me. He does that kind of stuff all the time."
"Well, he is the Sheriff. You'd have to guess that he knows what he's doing."
"One would hope, Rox. This is serious business to be playing around with. I knew Cassie was a bit extreme, but even I didn't realize she was capable of something like this."
The waitress came around and laid their plates in front of them. Having missed the wedding dinner the night before, Kevin eyed the twin lobster tails, and petite filet on his plate with interest, and soon joined the jovial dinner conversation around the table, happily pushing aside any thoughts of murderous revenge for the duration of dinner.
It wasn't until dinner was practically being served that Beckett was able to finally corner Nolan alone. "Were you able to do as I asked?"
"Yup. No major problems." He pulled a thick envelope from inside his suit coat, and handed it to Beckett, who slipped it into his own. "Everything you asked for, plus a few extras thrown in for good measure."
"That's more than satisfactory. Thanks, Nol. You used the Baker personae like I asked?"
"Yeah, I went for the usual cover for you...John Baker. For the little fox, I ended up using the first name Margaret. I thought it best not to use her given first name, although I expect she'll have a hard time answering to a new moniker. You're gonna have to coach her a bit."
"That won't be a problem. As long as you've made us as bland as possible. The target's a pro, and no dummy. She look for any type of red flags."
"Don't worry. I have you flying out of New York early tomorrow morning. I figured you could just take my rental, and I'll get a ride out of here on my own. In fact, I may just meander up to Boston for a few days R and R"
"Look...you know I normally don't interfere with your personal love life, Nol, but I'd appreciate if you wouldn't..."
Nolan put a hand up, stopping the line of discussion. "You leave my concerns to me, Beck. I'd say you have your own mess to clean up right now."
Dropping the thought, Beckett changed the subject. "So...where do you have my lovely bride and I honeymooning?"
Nolan hesitated, and made a face. "I did have a bit of trouble keeping this out from under the noses of the powers that be. Building your wifey's new file caught the attention of a few people I had hoped wouldn't notice."
"Damn it, Mike! I was adamant about keeping all this bullshit in the dark. After that whole mess in Italy, I was warned about any leftovers. How much do they know?"
"Don't get all worked up! I fixed it so they don't have a clue about anything. Unfortunately, they were already aware of your new relationship status."
"Yeah, I did contact them that I was marrying. And about the pregnancy. Figured it was best to get that out there. I needed to make...provisions. They just don't need to know about the other problem."
"I understand. And I took care of that the best way I knew how. I explained that you were willing to take an assignment, but needed to have the new wife with you. They weren't very happy, but they bought it."
"Aw, fuck, Nolan! I don't want an assignment with Maureen in tow. That won't work at all! She's way too young, and has absolutely no training. She's like a frickn' open book. No control what so ever."
"Sorry, bud. It's the best I could do on such short notice. It was truly the only way I could get a complete set of credentials for your little fox. Figured it was the lesser of two evils. On assignment, you'd be buried so deep, the crazy bitch won't have a single clue where you're at. It'll be like the two of you fell off the face of the Earth. Nobody...and I mean nobody...will know where you've gone. And if the target's as slick as you say, it's probably best that you don't tell anyone either. Not even the family."
Aware that their discussion had attracted attention, Beckett let his face and body relax, laughing out loud, and giving the appearance of a casual conversation. "This better be a simple job, Nolan, or I am apt to kick your ass inside out."
Nolan grinned. "Like you could possibly even attempt that. Seriously, Beck, it's an easy go. Just a simple courier job. Drop and disappear. A few pesos to smooth over some riffled feelings, is all. Nothing too difficult."
"Shit! You're sending us to Mexico? You know how I feel about the place!"
"It was the only job available with the least amount of risk. I figured it was the best choice with you having company along. Don't worry. It'll all work out fine. Just drop the package off, and the rest of the time is yours. Foxy won't have a clue you're on the clock. I even booked you into the honeymoon suite of some chi-chi tourist resort. Your girl will have the time of her life. All kinds of spa treatments...shopping...great beach...women eat that shit up, Beck. It'll be great. You'll see. In the meantime, the team will round up the psycho, and dump her somewhere out of sight. End of problem. You come back, everything's taken care of. Mark my words...this job's a fuckn' picnic. A walk in the park...just the way you like it."
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
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