John scanned the area ahead with a mixture of relief and dread when Jerry was nowhere in sight. “Perhaps it’s time to call your brother out of the bushes? He can join us in my office. Save the puzzled look, you Townsend boys all look alike,” Alec said as he watched Jerry slip out of the shadows to join them.
The pointed look, the almost imperceptible shake of the head as they walked into Alec’s office told John that the bug slated for here had yet to be installed. Whatever happened here tonight would not be recorded on their home unit.
“Are we alone here?” Alec asked Jerry. “Good,” he responded at Jerry’s nod, “let’s get this over with. Install the bug.” John’s head swivelled side to side trying to sort out what he was hearing.
“Which Townsend boy are you?” Alec asked.
“John,” he answered, none too happily.
“Well, John, don’t look so confused. Jerry and I had a long conversation earlier this evening. I want whoever did this to Philomena caught as much as you boys do. Philomena’s the closest I’ll ever come to having a daughter. Now, shall we talk about how, working together, we can achieve that?”
John knew Jerry would make a better thief than a Private Investigator, with his stealth-like ways, making him question how Alec knew about the bugs in the first place. “I’m sorry John, I was listening on the other side of the door, waiting for my chance, when I heard Holly laughing...at what they’d done to Phil,” Jerry said as his remembrance of that moment, how hard it had been not to step out and blow his cover, crossed the features of his face. “A few minutes later I heard Holly saying her goodbyes. I followed to be sure she was leaving the building before coming back to wait Alec out. When I got back, Alec’s light was out. In my haste, I entered his office only to find him sitting at his desk in the dark, a gun pointed at me.”
“It’s not real,” said Alec as he pulled the toy gun he’d had trained on them out of his pocket. “I’m not a violent man. In fact, I abhor violence. My young nephew saved his hard-earned allowance to buy that for me after my house was broken into last fall. Trust me, after a long day of having to sort the bullshit from the truth, it’s good to have a reminder of what’s really important in this world...to me.”
Despite himself, John found he could actually come to like this man in another time and place but he wasn’t convinced that this wasn’t all an act. A lawyer who won as many cases as Alec Longstreet did was certainly capable of keeping up pretences to gain ground, or in this case to give his girlfriend everything she so desired.