When Finn pulled into the parking lot on the backside alley of Boo’s Crossroad Café, he turned the engine off and took a deep sigh of relief. He looked back through the security glass slider to Fiona, and she was looking at Sebastian with the weight of the world resting in the lines of her face as they sat there in the dark alley. He hated to see her feeling so heavy, and she had been like a mom to him growing up. He adored her, and Sebastian was growing on him as well. Fiona noticed Finn feeling her pain, and she gave him a sad, hopeless fake smile. She hoped her sweet grandson would not remember this phase in his life, but she also knew that was wishful thinking as she looked at their situation and the loss of Davina. Sebastian had fallen asleep during the drive on the dark road that led into town in the seat of Finn’s black police cruiser with Fiona next to him.
“We should go inside and call Jenson. He can send a team out there, but I am sure Flannery is gone by now. Did he get the key?” Finn talked to Fiona through the barrier that separated the front from the back in the police car.
“Can you grab Sebastian and carry him in? I need to see if Sharon is inside. She’ll help us.” Fiona tried to pull on the door handle to open the back door. “Oh, you’ll have to let me out.”
Finn exited the front of the car and opened Fiona’s door, and Sebastian lifted his head up from the lap of his Gammy with tired eyes, “Gammy, don’t leave me.” He gripped on tight to her leg.
“We’re all going to go inside, okay? Let’s see if we can find Sharon and use the telephone.”
Sebastian scooted to Fiona’s side of the car and reached up for Finn to pick him up. He had become particularly fond of the cool detective that played games with him and spent time with them since his momma had passed away. It had been a short time, but Sebastian knew that Finn would not let anything bad happen to him or his Gammy. As Finn picked him up, they smiled at each other, and Sebastian laid his head upon the strong shoulder of his protector.
“Thank you, Finn. He has really taken a liking to you in this short time.” Fiona brushed Sebastian’s bangs out of his eyes and kissed him on the forehead before all three of them walked in the back door at Boo’s.
“He’s a great kid. Davina would be proud of him. He’s a strong little guy, and my new best friend.” Finn patted his back as he finished putting praise on his new friend.
Sebastian lifted his head to look at Finn and kissed him on the cheek, smiled, and he said, “Thank you, Mister Finn…besides Klaus, you are my favorite.”
As they came into the dining room of the café, Sharon was standing by one of the booths taking care of a customer. She noticed Fiona and Sebastian and tossed a greeting with a hand wave and a smile.
“I’ll be right with you three. Just sit wherever you want.” She finished writing the customer’s order, put her focus on the man she didn’t know with her favorite people, and walked the order up to the grill window to give it to the cook.
They looked around for where they wanted to sit, and Finn motioned to a booth in the back of the restaurant. They did not want to draw too much attention to themselves, especially with a guy like Flannery seeking them out. They also did not want to put anyone else in danger. Since Sharon had never seen Finn before, she was eyeballing him a little bit as she walked up to the booth where they all sat down after coming in from the back alley. She had not heard about Davina’s passing yet, and Fiona knew she was going to be devastated by the unwelcome news. This loss would break their friend’s heart, and she was dreading the task of telling her. Finn figured they were safe sitting there at the café…that was his hope anyway. There was the possibility that the hitman knew of all the places they could or would go to in times of trouble, but he wasn’t sure if he knew of this spot. His mind was naturally drawn to dwell in the negative aspects of life and living, and those terrible things in the back of his mind were lingering as Sharon approached the table with glasses of ice water for the grownups and ice cream for Sebastian. It was vanilla with sprinkles, and he was ecstatic.
“Thank you, Sharon. Can I play with Jenna?” He shoved a big bite of the sweetness into his mouth and smiled big at the server that he loved so much.
“If it’s okay with momma and Miss Fiona, I am all for it!” Sharon said in the same happiness that Sebastian had about his ice cream. “Where is she anyway? Your mommy?”
Sebastian put down his spoon and pouted, and Finn and Fiona just looked at each other with pure dismay because they were going to have to break her heart with their news. She was not going to take it well, and the look on her face had already gone from a smile to a frown.
“Oh no…what’s wrong, Miss Fiona? Where’s Davina?” Tears welled up into her eyes as she saw Sebastian lose all interest in his vanilla ice cream.
“Mommy is in heaven with Auntie Brooke…she’s never coming home.” Sebastian blurted out to Sharon.
She looked at Fiona for confirmation that Davina was dead, and Fiona could only nod to her in affirmation. Even though she had never met Finn, she looked to him for an answer as well.
“I’m afraid so…” he said as he exited the booth seat so Sharon could sit for a minute. She looked as if she would collapse.
Sharon navigated her weak legs to sit down next to Fiona. She was shaking. Sebastian could not look up at her because he knew she was sad and upset from the words he spoke. He felt bad for making her upset.
“Was it the guy? The one who had been coming in here on her shifts?” Sharon questioned. She then looked at Finn, who was standing in front of the booth now, and asked, “Who are you anyway? I have never seen you with them before.”
“I’m sorry…I am Finn Marlow. I am the detective that had been helping them get away from Davina’s ex-husband and his family.” He sat down next to Sebastian on the bench across from Sharon. “What guy are we talking about though? Can you give a description of him?”
She heard a ding at the window where the cook placed an order that was ready for the customer that Sharon was servicing when they all barreled in the back door. She rushed over and grabbed it from the heated window, delivered it to the table with a bottle of ketchup and hot sauce, and went back to her seat with the family. Sharon began explaining what the man looked like and how often he frequented the café to see Davina. She described the man as tall with blonde hair. She said he dressed like he was “made of money,” and sometimes Davina would be happy to see him. Fiona and Finn both had no idea who she would have been describing. Cole had red hair like his mother, and Flannery had a darker color of brown on his head.
“Most of the time, she seemed as if she was happy to see him. He was someone from her past,” Sharon remembered, “but she never told me much about him…not even his name. She only said he was from the older days of her life.”
Fiona looked at Finn, and they were both perplexed trying to figure out who this mystery man could be. Finn probed for more answers.
“Have you seen him in here lately, like within the past 24-48 hours, when Davina was not here?”
Sharon shook her head from side-to-side to indicate that she had not seen him since Davina’s last shift. “I’m afraid not…I’m sorry. If I do, I will give him Miss Fiona’s number at the house.”
Fiona responded, “We won’t be at the house…we actually need to use the landline here for a moment if that’s okay?”
“Of course! Anything for you and Sebastian, Miss Fiona. It’s right over here.” Finn followed Sharon to the back where the back office was located. She shut the door behind herself as she walked out. Finn locked the door behind her.
As Sharon arrived back at the booth in the back corner of the restaurant, Fiona noticed she had grabbed a piece of the chocolate pie – her favorite – on a small saucer and placed it in front of Fiona. “Here ya go…it’s on the house. Chocolate pie makes everything better, or so I hope it could. How are you doing with all of this?” She looked into Fiona’s tired and worried eyes. “Would it help if I watched Sebastian for a few days?”
Sebastian popped his head up from the table where he had been laying it since he was still tired. It was late, and he was sleepy still. “Can I Gammy?”
Fiona bit her lip in hesitation, “Let’s see what Mr. Finn says when he comes back to the table, and then we can decide. Okay baby?” Sebastian nodded back to her in agreement.
“He’s always welcome. I am here for you all. You know that right?” Sharon tapped on the table with her order book. “You want some breakfast? It’s nearly morning now. I am off in an hour.”
“Sure, Sharon. We could all use some food energy…I am exhausted. Sebastian can have his little pancakes he loves with some scrambled eggs, and I will have the 2x2x2 over-medium with sourdough toast. Give Finn the same with wheat toast and sunny side up eggs.”
Sharon writes everything down, and says, “You got it! It’ll be right up!” She rushes away from the table and hangs up her order slip for the cook again.
As she is preparing the condiments and silverware for the table, the front doorbell jingles. Sharon looked over to welcome the new guest, and it was him. The blonde guy. The one that Sharon was just speaking about. He was there. Sharon motioned with her neck, pointing her head towards him, and she flashed big eyes that this was the man Davina had been meeting with to Fiona.
Fiona looked at him curiously and watched him sit down in the front of the restaurant by the window. He unbuckled his fancy coat, took it off, and laid it across the bench of the adjacent table. He noticed Fiona staring at him, and he looked back at her, noticing Sebastian with his head lying on the table. Fiona thought that the man recognized Sebastian. She was right because he walked towards her and introduced himself, “Hello, I am Lucas Adams. You must be Fiona, Davina’s mother.” He outstretched his hand to shake Fiona’s shaking hand. She hesitated to put her hand out to him, but she finally did to be polite.
Sebastian popped up his head when he heard the man’s voice, “Luke! I missed you!” He plowed out of the booth and grabbed Lucas’s leg, hugging it tightly. “Where have you been?” He was almost flying around the room from seeing Lucas. You would have thought the boy had grown wings.
“Hey buddy…I had to go back to Arkansas for a few days to do some paperwork. Is Mommy here too?”
Sebastian got sad again. “You better sit down, Lucas…” Fiona sympathized with the expression that Luke developed on his face.
“Oh no…he found her, didn’t he?” Lucas was showing signs of shock in his expression. He had a shudder in his body as he thought about what he knew about Cole and his family.
Lucas acted like he knew the story, but Fiona did not want to give too much information. This was her first time knowing that a Lucas Adams existed, and she did not know who to trust anymore. She played dumb.
“Who? Who found her?” Fiona asked the mysterious man.
“Cole…the monster found her. I just know it. Is she okay?” Luke’s breathing was distressed, and he was in pain thinking about what could have happened to Davina. “Please…is she okay?”
“No…let’s talk about it over here, okay?” Fiona leads the man back over to his table across the room to tell him the horrific news of her daughter’s body being found in the Wabash River. He found it hard to keep his cool after finding out that the love of his life was dead.
He sat silent, and he tried to figure out why they would have her killed in such a brutal manner. His heart was broken along with Sharon who stood over the table shedding her own tears. Fiona was too split on the situation to feel empathy for Lucas.
“Now that you know that, can you tell me how you know my daughter? And, how do you know my grandson?” She was abrupt with him, but he was a mere stranger to her. Davina had never mentioned any Lucas or anyone else, and Sebastian had kept him a secret also.
“I’m…her boyfriend. Dead? Davina’s dead?” He falls back like he had been defeated in a boxing match in the booth that housed his ornate coat with the shiny buttons. “We were so close to being free of that asshole. I was working with the Marshalls in both states to get her divorce papers taken care of and get new identities for all of you. The truth is that she was the love of my life, Ms. Ridings.”
With the illegal doings of the Deville family, Davina and Fiona were both witnesses against them. The relocation to Indiana was supposed to keep them safe, but they never got their new identities. They strived to coast under the radar…or so Fiona thought. It seemed as if Davina had been doing a lot behind her back, and it made her furious. Fiona was in as much shock as he was. How did Davina hide this from her, especially with everything she had given up her life’s work to finally relocate and get far away from the Deville family? The thought of Lucas Adams and Davina sneaking around behind her back annoyed Fiona to the highest degree. Whatever they had been doing and hiding had a price, and that was the life of her daughter. Fiona felt like he was the reason for Davina’s body being a floater in the Wabash. Her face was flushed red with anger, and Finn noticed her just as soon as he came out of the office from contacting the police about Flannery’s invasion out at the farm. He rushed over, and he got between Fiona and the man that he had only seen a few times throughout the years. He figured he would partake in giving Lucas more information with Fiona, but he was a bit of a mess after hearing the news. Fiona was too mad to notice.
“Lucas, what are you doing here?” Finn looked puzzled seeing this blast from the past. “Is this because of you? What did you do?”
Fiona walked away, glaring back at the sharp-dressed man that was one of the biggest secrets that her daughter ever had. Oh, Davina…what did you do?
Fiona sat across from Sebastian as Sharon brought the food to the table, still angry and confused, and she looked into his eyes and felt better. “I love you, Sebastian…Gammy loves you so much. Eat up, and then you can go with Sharon back to her house. My decision is made.”
Sebastian smiled at Fiona with all the love possible in the world and started eating his breakfast. The morning came, and the night was gone. None of them were free from the constraints of the Deville’s wickedness.
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:
The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, Sunday Whirl Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.
© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.