Saturday, 24 January 2009

Chapter Twenty

It was a short but silent trip back to Richie’s. Jon had dropped Larry off at his office and the three of them had sat in relative silence, not really knowing what to say.

As they neared Richie’s house Jon spoke to Dee.

“How did you know to ask about the toxicology screen?”

“Every autopsy for a suspicious death has to have a tox screen done but usually it’s a fairly basic one unless other evidence is discovered at the scene, such as alcohol or an empty pill bottle. I just wondered whether they’d done the basic one or an extensive one. Simon works for the CSI team in LA. He’s a technician and he’s the best one to ask about all this.”

Richie held her hand and looked out of the side window, not seeing anything. He knew he still wasn’t out of the shit and that there’d be hell to pay with H when this story hit the headlines.

Shit. He’d have to call her when they got back to his. He was never going to be allowed to see his daughter again. H may not have wanted kids but now she had one she went out of her way to fuck with him when it came to access. He supposed it wasn’t all her fault though. After all it takes two to tango. He’d just really hoped once they were married that he’d be able to change her mind about having a large family. She had loved him then; loved him enough to give him one child but not enough to give him any more. She was career minded and blamed him somewhat for spoiling her figure at a time when she could have gone on to become a film actress instead of just doing TV. After all she was more famous for who she’d married than the acting work she’d done.

Jon clicked the remote that opened the gates and they drove up the drive towards Richie’s house. It had been their house; his and H’s, but after the split she couldn’t afford to live there by herself and had moved into a smaller place with Ava. He hoped that she finally found that special someone who made her happy. He looked over at Dee and smiled; he’d found his.

Dee turned to Richie as they walked back into his house.

“Where’s Simon? I just realised he’s not with us. God I’m a bad friend.” she smiled wanly.

“Oh sorry bout that I meant to tell you, he got a call from work, so he went in.” Jon replied as he locked the car.

Dee sat down in the large den at the back of the house. Originally it had been two rooms but Richie’d had knocked them through to make one enormous room, with space enough for the giant plasma TV on the wall and the huge leather sofa that ran the length of the opposing wall. The end of the room was a bank of French windows that would open up onto a covered patio that held a barbecue set big enough to roast a whole pig. The grounds were extensive and she couldn’t see the end of them. Trees and bushes were dotted around giving the whole area a sense of complete privacy.

Richie clicked on the TV and sat down heavily next to her. She leaned into him and laid her head on his chest. He placed an arm around her and pulled her tightly to him.

“I’m so glad you’re here with me. You know it feels like I’ve known you forever and it’s been..what? Less than two days.” he murmured.

“I know, it’s so weird. Good but weird.” she clarified as she looked up into his tired eyes.

“You need some sleep. I bet you haven’t slept well over the past two nights have you?” she asked, concerned.

“No, not really” he sighed, rubbing his face with his free hand, trying to rub away the total exhaustion that threatened, “Except for the couple of hours at your place.”

“I thought so. Right off to bed with you.” she stood up and held her hand out to him.

He smiled at her and raised his eyebrows rakishly.

“And no, you’re going to bed to sleep, not anything else.” she smiled, looking down at then man who had totally rearranged her life and who was fast taking up residence in her bruised and battered heart; giving it life again.

“Oh,” he said, pouting, “Gonna tuck me in?” he asked, his eyes twinkling.

“Ok, but then I’m coming back down here as there’s a couple of phone calls I need to make.”

“Ok.” he said, resigned to his fate.

Jon was on his mobile, in the kitchen.

Dee led Richie through the kitchen and into the hallway before letting him lead her up the stairs as she really had no clue where his bedroom was.

He led her up the one staircase not sealed off by Crime Scene Tape and turned right at the top. They walked along the corridor and he stopped at the first door on the left.

“This is my room. It might be a bit messy.” he apologised as he opened the door.

Dee gasped at the enormity of the room. She would swear she could fit her entire apartment into it and still have space left over. The room was done in shades of brown and gold with splashes of white. A huge custom made bed dominated the space. Total blackout curtains covered the huge windows at the back of the bed.

Ignoring the fact that Richie was standing directly behind her and that she could feel his heat through her clothing, she walked briskly over to the bed and turned back the soft, comfortable duvet. She smoothed her hands over the sheets, marvelling at the softness of them.

“Ok, strip.”

He raised his eyebrows at her, a small smile playing on his lips.

“I mean for bed, for sleep.” she said, giving him her best no nonsense face.

He was so tired he did as bid and was soon standing completely naked in front of her.

Her eyes widened as she looked at him in all his glory and she gulped as he walked towards her.

“Get in.” she said in a strangled voice, her mouth dry.

He did as she said and she covered him with the soft duvet, a smile forming as she heard him sigh with pleasure.

She sat down on the bed next to him and smoothed his hair away from his face.

“Now sleep.” she said softly, leaning down to kiss him gently on the lips.

“Ok” he replied, sleepily as exhaustion rolled over him.

She sat watching him sleep for a few moments; her heart at peace, before she quietly made her way out of the room and back downstairs.

Jon was still on the phone in the kitchen and Dee walked over to the kettle. She motioned to him, mouthing the word coffee.

He nodded and moved out of the kitchen into the den.

As the kettle boiled Dee picked up the phone and called Simon.

“Hi Simon, it’s Dee, when you get this message call me urgently on the following number 555-4224. Ta darling”

The kettle clicked off and she poured the boiling water into two mugs of coffee.

Jon had finished his call and she asked him how he took his coffee.

“Black is fine. Thanks.” he said as she handed him a mug.

She took hers and, still holding the cordless phone, opened one of the French windows and walked out onto the patio. She lit a cigarette and breathed deeply.

Jon had followed her and pinched another cigarette.

“Help yourself then.” she retorted, smiling at the familiarity of his actions.


“That’s ok. I’m used to Simon doing it. Honestly I don’t think he ever buys his own. Just pinches mine. It take it off the rent I give him.” she laughed mirthlessly.

“Come on Simon, call me.” she muttered as she sat down on a swing seat, staring at the phone in her hand.

“What are you going to ask him?” Jon asked, feeling completely out of his depth.

“A favour.” she replied, “There are a couple of guys that owe him big time. I thought if I asked him for a favour he might be able to get a more extensive toxicology screen done. Look for other drug sources, you know.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“What? Don’t you want to help him then?” she asked, completely floored by his question.

“Of course I do, he’s my brother. I’m just wondering why you wanna help him. I mean you’ve only known each other, what? Two days at the most? I’m just curious as to what you get out of this.” he said, honestly.

“I? What I get out of this? “ she began, angrily, “I’ll tell you what I get out of this. I get to help the kindest, most generous, most loving, most wonderful man that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet and if you stand in my way or question my motives again, so help me god, I’ll….I’ll…. I’ll punch your lights out!” she shouted, as the emotions of the past two days swept over her.

Meeting Richie had changed her life in so many ways that she wasn’t sure how to process all the differing emotions that battled for supremacy inside her so she did what countless women had done before her when faced with insurmountable odds and burst into tears.

Jon looked at the crying woman before him for a few seconds before gathering her into his powerful arms.

“I’m sorry sweetheart. I just had to make sure he wasn’t gonna get hurt this time.” he soothed, patting her back.

“I love him Jon, I’m not sure when or how it happened but it did and now I’m completely and utterly head over heels in love with him.” she sobbed.