“You will hire my brother or I walk! he’s a good man and has cleaned up his act.”
“He’s a liability to this firm Jasper. You know his history. Hireing him will make the whole firm look bad. Most are going to assume he’s shady”
“aren’t some of the lawyers here already”
“In the press they keep themselves clean as a whistle Jasper. Your brother has been a trainwreck and I will not hire him”
‘I will take accountability for him. If he steps a toe out of line I will hand Lupin his ass myself. Look, he has a family who he loves. Nothing will make him return to his old life. He’s been clean since Brigid helped him get off drugs when they first got together. At family functions he wont have even one beer with us because he doesn’t want to take any sort of risk in disappointing his family or loseing Brigid because he tumbles back down that hill into drugs and drinking. He’s made us all proud and if you wont hire him I’m walking out today. You know any firm will be happy to have me and if my mother finds out I walked because you refused to hire Lupin I’m not sure she’ll be so happy with you and my moms a very influential judge. So I’d think before you say no one more time”
“Fuck it, fine you asshole. I should have known you’d be unreasonable.”
“Good, I’m giving him Jaynas old office.”
“an office on your floor?”
“Yes, his grades were great in school and I know he’ll earn his office before the year is out.” Flint laughed “Over confident in an alcoholic druggie”
“He isn’t any longer and I’ll appreciate it if you dont talk like that about my brother. He has earned my respect and you will not talk that way about him”
“Fine, a new client is coming in soon and I’ll send them to Lupins new office so he can have his first case. Get him in there. I’m expecting these men any minuet.” Jasper walked out and to his office where Lupin was waiting nervously. “You’re hired baby brother” Jasper said with a smile. “you were gone a long time. He isn’t happy is he?’
“No but he can kiss my ass. You’re hired and will have your first clients in your office soon. I’ll show it to you”
“Thank you Jasper”
“You’ve earned it and don’t let anybody make you feel bad about yourself. You can’t help what you’ve done in the past and you’ve done nothing but be a good man since Brigid cleaned you up. I’m proud of you and know you’ll do well. I like your hair cut by the way” Lupin ran his hands through his hair “it’s weird” Jasper gave a slight frown “I know but you’ve been before all the judges as a drunk, stripper abuser and druggie. I just wanted you to really look the part to help them not be prejudice against you. Judges aren’t supposed to have personal opinions about lawyers or let those things mess with their judgement but they do. Once you’ve earned their respect you can let your hair grow out again.”
“Yeah, thats why i just did it when you asked. I know you’re trying to look out for me”
“You’re going to do great Lupin. When I turn down cases I will recommend you. i turn down a lot now since I’ll only take two at a time. While you’re getting used to this kind of work you should only keep one. I don’t figure you want to spend all your time here and neglect your family”
“I don’t, I’ve done this all for Brigid and my girls. The last thing I want to do is lose her and them because we aren’t spending time together” They walked over to Lupins new office where Jasper helped him get settled in. He smiled when he saw Lupin brought pictures of him and Brigid along with a few of his girls. “I’ve got work to do. Be confident with the men that are coming in here.”
“I love you Lupin”
“Love you too Jasper. Thank you so much.”
“You deserve this, don’t thank me” Lupin wanted to call Brigid and tell her he was hired but he didnt want to be jabbering on his cellphone when the clients came in. He sat down in his chair and looked around his office. He couldn’t believe this was really his. he didn’t think Jasper would really be able to get him a job here. When the men finally came in Lupin was wide eyed. Of course the first clients he had were drug mules he knew well and was good friends with before he got clean. There wasn’t anyone that even cleaned up they wouldn’t recognize him too.
“Please take a seat.” He said, trying to mirror the way he had seen Jasper act with his clients. He told himself these men were nothing but a part of his past and if he wanted to be as good a lawyer as Jasper he had to set that aside and not let it interfere with the case.
The two men too the chairs across from him. “Wait, don’t I know you?” The one on the left, Jack Frasier a.k.a. Jack Frost, asked.
“How about we just stick to business.”
“Wait, yeah…uh uh Lupin right?” He turned to the other man, who he remembered everyone calling Cookie though he didn’t know why. “This fool is Lupin Bookchild, remember, used to buy from us. Man it’s been awhile.”
“I don’t do that anymore, I’m clean. Now, to business and I don’t mean the trying to hawk drugs to me kind. Why are you here?”
“Look man you know how our business works, we create, we sell, we get steady customers.”
“Just your regular every day drug distribution industry.” Lupin replied almost sarcastically.
“The thing is there have been a lot of people overdosing lately and the product they’ve been using has our mark on it, but it’s not ours you know what I’m sayin’? We’re being blamed for all these deaths, but it ain’t our fault. Some of them are kids man, how fucked up is that? I mean did you ever see me selling to kids? I might be a fucked up piece of shit, but I’ve got a son and Cookie here has two little girls. We need you to clear our name, find out who’s selling that counterfeit shit.”
“You mean so you can go back to selling your product?”
“You have some pretty twisted logic.”
“Look Lupin, Frost is being polite, but if you don’t get us off we’re going to have a problem.” Cookie said.
“Cookie, come on man this is Lupin, he’ll get us off. Right?” Jack said.
“Yeah, right.” Lupin answered.
“Thanks man, you should know Lupin here is cool cookie. I’m glad we so happened to get you. Would have hated for things to get violent but you know Cookie. Things don’t go his way he aint happy and sombody has to pay for it” Lupin grew tense, knowing these men had connections and could seriously have his children or wife hurt if he didn’t work with them. Of all the cases that could have walked through the door he got these two assholes. His protective instincts were making him want to hide all his pictures so they couldn’t see his family but it was much too late for that. Lupin knew it was probably silly for a demon to be afraid of these men but he couldn’t risk his family being hurt atall. Demon or not they could get seriously hurt.
He talked uncomfortably with them about who they suspected of doing this and why. Lupin almost felt bad he didn’t have to ask how to get in contact with these men and women. He knew the drug world better than most people, even fellow drug addicts with how bad he was strung out for so long. When the men finally left his office Lupin could breath much easier. He didn’t know what he was going to tell Jasper or Brigid if they asked about his first case.
Brigid picked up her phone and answered it, using her shoulder to cradle it as she continued typing up her report. “Hello?”
“Brigid, hey it’s Stella.”
She stopped typing. “Is everything okay?”
“Well, Kimberly slipped and hit her head on the coffee table so we’re at the hospital. I’m so sorry.”
“Look I’ll be right over. Is she okay?”
“She’s being examined, the doctors want to make sure she didn’t fracture her skull or anything.” Stella sounded really upset.
“It’s not your fault, it was an accident. Just give me a few minutes.”
Brigid hung up and called Lupin as she was pulling her jacket on and walking to her chief’s office. “Hey chief, I have to go to the hospital.” She said as she poked her head into his office.
“As far as I know, I may not be back today.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Lupin answered as she closed her chief’s door. “Hey baby, what’s up?”
“Kimberly’s in the hospital, she hit her head. You should meet me there if you can.”
“I’ll head out right now, love you.”
“Love you too.”
Lupin was glad to have an excuse to leave so quickly grabbed his briefcase and headed out. Jasper saw but couldn’t catch Lupin fast enough to ask where he was going. It wasn’t long after Lupin left that Jasper received a text from his wife. He couldn’t leave just yet but planned on leaving earlier since he could tell how bad Stella felt. Lupin and Brigid arrived at the hospital at roughly the same time and were guided to where Stella was waiting with the other children. Brigid hugged Stella “It’s ok, kids are walking disasters”
“I know, I just cant help but feel bad.” Debbie ran to her father for a hug “How was your first day dad?”
“wonderful until now”
“Kim is a hard head. She’ll be ok. The doctors will make her feel better” When Kimberly was done with her scans and it was concluded she was alright they all got to go home. At this point Jasper was there aswell and holding Stellas hand for comfort. Kimberly assured everyone she was fine but insisted that she get to have icecream for being such a big girl about hurting her head. Brigid and the rest of the adults agreed to take the children to Dairy Queen so they could all eat icecream together.
“No more running in the house, okay.” Brigid said to Kimberly as they enjoyed their ice cream cones.
“Okay, it’s just really fun.” Kimberly replied.
“Especially in socks, we have woods floors and you could break your nose if you fall just right.” Lupin added. “You wouldn’t want that, trust me.”
Kimberly just nodded as she ate her ice cream. “So baby brother, how was your first case?”
Lupin froze, looked at Brigid and then their girls and then back to Jasper. “Can we talk about it later?”
“Did something happen?” Brigid asked worriedly.
“I’ll talk to you and Jasper later.” He looked at his brother again. “Maybe you could come by after you drop Stella and my niece and nephew off at home. I feel like I could really use your advice.”
“Alright, we’ll talk later then.”
Jaspers temper which was already bad enough before he was a demon was sparking now at those men that went into his brothers office. It was flared even more so for his boss because if they were bad men Flint knew that when he sent the case to Lupin. He was going to have words with his boss if he was trying to sabotage his younger brother who was doing nothing but trying to better himself. Though the adults were anxious to talk they didn’t rush the children. They just let them laugh and enjoy their sweets. It was only when the last icecream cone was gone that they cleaned up the kids faces and hands then loaded back into cars.
At home Jasper walked his family in then hugged each one of them “Hurry back, you said you’d play candyland with me after work” Jasper had actually forgotten telling his daughter that over cereal this morning because he had been consumed with getting Lupin a job “Even if it takes me a long time I’ll play. They can stay up late, right mom?”
“well, tomorrow is Monday so you kids have school but you can as long as you promise to get right up in the morning”
‘we promise” they both answered. Brigid got the girls set up in their room with a princess movie, popcorn and juices so they would be distracted while the adults talked. Lupin looked worried “babe, what happened today?”
“I want to just say it all at the same time but my clients are men I knew from my past. I’ll explain when Jaspers here.” Brigid kissed Lupins cheek and rubbed his back “Nothing in this world could ever make me doubt you Lupin. I don’t want you to think I’ll be suspicious because you are working a case for drug dealers or pimps or whatever else. You love us and you’ve done nothing but show that. You’ve become a good man that I’m proud to be married to. Your daughters think the world of you too.”
Lupin hugged Brigid tightly “I love you so much”
“I love you too Lupin and nothing is going to ever change that. You aren’t your past”
When Jasper got there Brigid poured them some glasses of lemonade then they all sat down in the living room. “So, tell me what’s going on little brother.” Jasper said.
Lupin sighed and laced his fingers through Brigid’s. “The men that came in today, I’m sure you already know they’re drug dealers. When I was an addict, I used to buy from them. Everyone knows about my past, it’s no secret. For a long time I was known as the loser brother of Jasper Bookchild, the addict who would sell his soul for a little more heroine. Now this happens, my past comes back to bite me and I don’t know what to do.”
“What did they ask you to do?” Brigid asked as she brushed her thumb over his hand.
“They told me they’re being accused of causing people to overdose on their product, that someone is producing a counterfeit version of their product and selling it to kids. They said they would never sell to kids and that they want me to show that even though their stamp is on the product that it doesn’t belong to them. They’re not denying that they sell drugs, just that they don’t sell those particular drugs. Cookie threatened me, Jack told him to calm down, that I would get them off. I’m worried about what might happen if I don’t. They said they would never hurt children, but they might do something to Brigid or one of you and I couldn’t take that.”
Jasper placed a hand on his shoulder. “We’re going to help you Lupin, we won’t let anything happen to anyone. I’ll help you review the evidence, Brigid you can find the names off all the victims. Focus on the children, see if anyone remembers seeing them buying drugs. Call Chthon and ask him to come and help catch the scent, if anyone can track he can. If he can’t come see if one of his family members can. We’re going to find the mysterious counterfeit dealer. I know you want to take care of this one on your own, but when something like this comes up, you do what you have to do to win.”
“Become a shark, never back down, put the fear of god into them.”
Lupin sighed ‘this just really stresses me out”
“Of course it does Lupin but we’re here for you. Plus I’m pretty sure Brigid can kick most mens asses” Brigid smiled ‘you know it, especially if anybody is stupid enough to hurt our girls. i know you said they dont touch children but I’ll make sure they dont” Kimberly came in “more juice please”
“No baby, you’ve had icecream tonight aswell. You need some water”
“No, you’ll be up all night”
“ok” she said as if water was the worst punishment. They didnt talk until Kimberly was back in her room. “Tomorrow I’m going in to work early to look over your case Lupin. I want to do it tonight but I’ll break Jessicas heart if I don’t play candyland”
“Thank you, you keep doing so much for me.”
“I’m your brother Lupin. I loved you even when you were a junkie. I just wouldnt bother with you because you didnt really want help. As long as you’re trying I’m here for you and so is the rest of our family. This situation isn’t even your fault. I’m pretty sure Flint is just being an asshole”
“Yeah, but we all know you’re the bigger asshole.”
Jasper laughed and slapped him on the back. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Okay, tell Stella and the kids I said goodnight.”
“Will do.” Jasper left and Lupin sighed.
“Hey baby, it going to be alright. Why don’t I make you something to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“You need to eat something besides ice cream baby.”
He brought her fingers to his lips and pressed a gentle kiss into them. “How about I order out and you call Chthon and see if he can come.”
“Okay baby, I love you.”
“I love you too.” Lupin went into the kitchen and pulled out all the take out menus they had collected while Brigid called Chthon. He ordered them Chinese, making sure there was extra teriyaki chicken since their girls loved it as much as they did. When he walked back into the living room, Brigid was just finishing her call. “So is he coming?”
“He couldn’t, he was just heading to this world to help stop a Necromancer attack. He said he’d ask Aurel to come.”
“Only the second most terrifying demon in every universe.”
“He’s nice enough.” They sat down on the couch and Lupin pulled her into his arms while they waited for their food to be delivered.
He did his best just to relax while he ate with his family. The adorableness of his girls definitely helped. When they were all done he helped Brigid tuck them in then headed to bed with his wife. “You seem to be relaxing.”
“Yeah, Aurel will keep you three safe and Jasper has the smarts and experience to get this thing wrapped up”
“You’ll be just as great as Jasper one day”
“I love how much faith you have in me Brigid”
“After all these years you deserve my faith baby” They cuddled up to eachother and were woken much too soon by the alarm. Both their girls needed to be readied for school. Brigid took care of Kimberly while Lupin got Debbie ready. It was much faster when they both concentrated on a kid. Just before they ran out to wait on the bus Brigid said “after school try not to give Aunt Stella a heart attack”
“I’ll try mom” Lupin and Brigid got ready for their own days, kissed then parted ways. When Lupin arrived at the office Jasper was already in his office. “Morning” Jasper said, not removing his view from Lupins computer. “what’re you doing?’
“refreshing myself on a few things that i want to be on top of for this. Dont thank me again. If you thank me again I’ll punch you”
“Ok, well then no thank you?”
Jasper smiled. “Smart ass.”
“In our family it pays to be a smart ass.”
“That’s very true. So is Chthon coming?”
“No, Aurel is.”
“Good, he’s more than capable of handling a situation like this.”
Brigid looked through the arrest records of the two men Lupin would be representing. She found a lot of drug possession, assault, and drug distribution charges, but nothing to indicate either had ever sold to a minor. Frost had spent ten years in prison and Cookie fifteen. That was the longest stretch they ever had and had not gone back sense. Next she reviewed the evidence she had checked out of the evidence locker collected from every overdose scene. They all had the same package, some smaller that others, with either drugs or drug residue in them. The logo matched the one Frost and Cookie used to mark their product. She couldn’t find any variations.
“You’re staring at those packages pretty hard.” She raised her head and smiled when she saw Aurel standing there. He never looked like he belonged in their world, even when he dressed like a human from their century he still acted like he was from somewhere else.
“That was fast.”
“I was in the neighborhood.” She laughed and got to her feet, stretching.
“In a hotel, I don’t like involving her in a hunt if I can help it.”
“how’re your boys doing?”
“Well, happy with their own lives. Ethel and Mikhail are especially happy. Just had another anniversary”
“I’ve been dieing to meet Ethel but we have important things to take care of. We can all socialize and catch up when my husband isn’t dealing with these assholes anylonger.”
“They are no problem. If they cause any of you trouble they will deeply regret it.” He said in an absolute serious yet normal tone. Aurel followed Brigid to her squad car so they could question possible witnesses of who was selling the drugs these kids overdosed on. They would also go to the places where the sales had taken place so Aurel could take in all the scents. If he knew all the scents that were there he could match them to a person if they were lead to the right one or ones.
“Are you still wearing those boots?” Brigid asked as they pulled up to the house of the first witness.
Aurel looked at his feet. “They’re comfotable.” He answered as he got out of the car. “Diana says they look good.”
“They do, it’s just funny they’re the only thing you wear from your world when you come here.”
“I still wear pants in my world.”
“Yeah, but don’t your boots usually go over them. You know you can still dress like that in this world, no one would question it in this day and age.”
“I was told I’d look like some sort of eccentric if I did that.”
She laughed as they walked into the large apartment complex. “Who told you that?”
Brigid checked the apartment number and they took the elevator up to the third floor. She knocked on the door and waited patiently. She heard footsteps and then the sound of someone sliding the peephole cover to the side. The door opened and she pulled her badge out. “I need to ask you a couple of questions about the death of Gustavo Lopez. You told officers you saw him with someone on the night of his death. Can you tell me anything about that Miss Harker?”
“Yes of course, would you and your friend like to come in?”
Brigid looked at Aurel and he nodded. “Yes ma’am we would.”
They followed her to the couch then sat down “what else do you need to know?”
“Pretty much everything over again, I’m sorry”
“No, it’s alright. Anything I can do to help track down someone who would sell drugs to a child. Drug dealers are sick in general and should be ashamed of themselves but it just sickens me more they sell to children. I don’t know how anybody lives with themselves when they sell drugs period”
“Believe me, as a cop I’ve seen plenty of people that disgust me. Please tell us everything you saw. As much as you can remember. Even if you think somthing is insignificant. You’d be surprised what can be helpful”
“I just, I hate to judge people based in appearances but the man he was with just looked like he was up to no good with that young man. He had one of those ridiculous diamond earrings in his left ear. The small ones fine but I don’t get men wearing big ones you know? Anyway, he had his cap crooked. He didn’t wear it all the way to the side but it wasn’t straight forward either. Aside from that he was well dressed. He had a nice light blue shirt on with some jeans. Amazingly they didn’t have holes. I didn’t know they still made jeans that didn’t come with holes. There was just somthing about the way he carried himself when I saw them walking off together that made me uncomfortable. He looked like he could be somthing if he wore hats correctly and took that dang diamond out.
“Do you remember anything specific about his face or did he have any other distinguishing marks?”
“He was darker like he spent all of his day in the sun and I thought I saw a tattoo on his right forearm. It was hard to tell exactly what it was, but it could have been a snake. It coiled around his arm. He was kind of one of those good looking tough guy types. I know it sounds bad to call a criminal good looking, but he was.”
“Do you remember anything else?”
Aurel cleared his throat and Miss Harker turned her attention to him. He leaned in close and she froze. “Calm down.” He ordered softly and she immediately relaxed. “Close your eyes.” Her eyelids drifted slowly closed and he gently took her head in his hands.
“What are you doing?” Brigid asked.
“Reading her mind, don’t worry she won’t remember. I’ll make sure she thinks we just had a normal conversation.” He closed his eyes and drifted through her memories. He ignored anything that wasn’t important and focused on those of the man they were looking for. He studied everything about the man, his behavior, the way he dressed, and any marks the witness may have missed. He pulled out of her head when he had what he needed and let her go. “Open your eyes.” She opened her eyes and he smiled. “Thank you Miss Harker, you’ve helped up out a great deal.” He said.
“You’re very welcome, anything to get justice for a child.” She shook both of their hands and saw them out.
“I wish I had that little gift.” Brigid said as they entered the elevator.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you develop it later or at least something like it. Chthon’s gifts run strong in his blood.”
“I hope so, it would certainly come in handy. So what now?” The elevator doors opened and they stepped out.
“The dealers scent was on the packages given to his victims. I want to check the alley and see if I can pick it up.”
“Alley it is then.”
Lupin sat outside Flint’s office as he listened to Jasper tear into him about dropping Jack’s and Cookie’s case on him. Flint wasn’t even saying anything as far as he could hear and if he was trying Jasper didn’t care. No one messed with Jasper’s family, not even Flint. Jasper came out of the office, slamming the door for effect then straightened his suit and took a deep breath. “How did that go?” Lupin asked as he stood.
“I told him you would finish this case with my help, but if he ever pulled some shit like this again I would move to a different firm, take you with me, and make sure he never got another client.”
” You are terrifying when you’re like that”
“Thats the point. He wont mess with you any longer. I’m the best this damn firm has and he knows I can ruin it if he pisses me off. Thats why I was almost partner. He doesn’t want to lose me”
“Why don’t you? You’d have so much more control.”
“With that control would come more hours and stress. I’d rather be with Stella and my children. I make more than enough money now anyway. Plus, if I was a partner I’d be more recognizable than I already am. We’re demons now. We cant live here forever without someone questioning. One day we’ll all have to move and start over. Though, Chthon says we can just move to another world if we wish so being memorable here wont matter. We can even come back to this world if we wait a few generations”
“I never even considered that”
“wan’t my first thought either when we became immortal but hey, moving is worth eternal life with my Stella”
“same with Brigid”
“well, lets get to work”
“So all the same man?” Brigid asked as they pulled away from witness number four.
“Yeah, same man, same tattoo, same drugs.” Aurel answered.
“He looks nothing like the pictures of Jack and Cookie so it’s not them. Could it be an underling?”
“Not a current one. It could be someone seeking revenge. The aura around him just felt dark and angry. Even in the memories of these people I could feel how wrong he is. He’s going to keep doing this, there will be more bodies if we don’t find him.”
“Revenge huh, why revenge?”
“Maybe someone overdosed on Jack and Cookie’s drugs, maybe someone got addicted and it destroyed a family. Maybe they outright murdered someone and it couldn’t be proven. Is there any way I could talk to them and read their minds.”
“You might not like what you find and I know you and Chthon and your family believe in dealing out justice where justice is due.”
“Chthon informed me that you feel like you must follow your human laws and though I do not agree with them, I shall abide by them. I just want to see the things they have done, see if they know anyone like this man. I won’t kill them, but I may put great fear into their minds.”
Brigid called Lupin and let him know they were heading over to the office before driving over since she knew from Jasper that somtimes their work caused them to have to leave the office. Jasper had gone because he had stuff with his own case he absolutely had to deal with but Lupin was there and told Brigid he would call Cookie and Jack to see if they would come back to his office. They were more than willing to come so Lupin just sat down and waited for everyone. He was glad that if Brigid had to be in a room with these assholes that Aurel was there to protect her.
When Brigid and Aurel arrived they exchanged hugs. “thanks for coming” Lupin said and Aurel smiled “anything for family. Where are Cookie and Jack?”
“On their way”
“I’m glad I left Diana in the room since I will be interacting personally with these humans”
“I know what you mean”
“Lupin, I’m a cop with a gun”
“Doesn’t mean I cant worry about you. I love you”
“Love you too”
Jack smiled when he walked into Lupin’s office and Cookie looked irritated as if he had been woken from a nap. “You got something for us Lupin?” Jack asked.
“Sit down.” Aurel said and Jack gave him a confused look while Cookie glared at him.
“What did you say?” Cookie asked. Aurel pushed off of Lupin’s desk, coming to his full height.
“I said sit.” Both Jack and Cookie sat down obediently in the two chairs. “Close your eyes.” They both closed their eyes and Aurel started with Jack since he seemed to be the more level headed of the two. He pushed into his mind, going through all of his memories, looking for the man with the tattoo. When he didn’t find him he grabbed on tighter to the mans consciousness and whispered threats into his head, promises of vengeance and death if he didn’t rethink his current profession.
“Anything?” Lupin asked.
“Not yet.” Aurel said as he pulled out of Jack’s head. He moved onto Cookie and slipped into his head. He could see from his memories that this man was the enforcer, the one who busted kneecaps and threatened junkies when they couldn’t pay. Though he had two little girls he was incredibly protective of, he still made women trade sex for drugs when they didn’t have the cash. He was so angry that he nearly missed the memories of the man with the tattoo. He went back, studying these memories, looking at the man’s face. Cookie had beat him to a pulp when the man had showed up with a gun and put it in his face. He looked nothing like the drug dealer the witnesses had seen. This man looked clean cut. When he had what he needed, he made sure to terrify Cookie even more. He made sure the man would see him for the demon he was and know he would be back to rip him to shreds if he ever degraded another woman again. By the time he pulled out Cookie was shaking.
“I got what I need. I will find the man and have him confess. I believe he started out as a victim, but now he is a heartless murderer. I swear he will not get away with what he has done and as much as I hate it, Jack and Cookie will see freedom.”
Both Cookie and Jack were frozen with fear in their chairs. Aurel glared at them “get out of here. I don’t want to look at you two any longer” They quickly got up and left Lupins office. “It’s getting late Aurel. We can finish this all tomorrow morning. Lets have some dinner”
“Come to my house, bring Diana” Jasper said “She’d like that. I think i need to just cuddle with her for a time but we will be over”
“Need a ride?” Brigid asked and Aurel smiled ‘No, but thank you” he walked out and Jasper spoke again ‘you and Brigid eat with Stella and I too.”
“Thanks, we will” They all headed over to Jaspers. Brigid helped Stella with what she was cooking while everyone else hungout in the living room. They had only just started to eat dinner when Aurel showed up with Diana.All the children were excited to see them and glomped the two as they walked in. The evening was filled with happy chatter but it did little to lighten Aurels sour mood from seeing all the things Cookie had done. Debbie and Kim didn’t want to go home when the night was over but the children never got enough rest if they allowed a sleep over on a school night.
“youll be over here after school tomorrow girls” Stella said and they nodded, finally walking out with their parents. On the drive home Brigid laid her hand on her husbands leg “it’s almost over”
“I shudder to think what Aurel saw in those mens heads.”
“I don’t want to know” Brigid smiled when she saw the girls had fallen asleep on the way home. Lupin grabbed Kim while Brigid scooped up Debbie. They soon had their little girls tucked in bed for the night then went to their own room. Brigid began kissing her husbands neck but he gently pushed her away “I love you and you are more gorgeous to me by the day Brigid but being around those men has me too far out of the mood to do that.”
“Ok, no problem. Just cuddling?”
“That sounds amazing”
Brigid rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her, sighing in exhaustion. “Tell me what’s going through your head.”
“I just hate this, I hate knowing that Aurel saw everything and that the things I did just won’t stay in the past. People see me and they still see the addict, Flint put me on this case because he wanted to screw with me, it’s like all those bad things will forever be nipping at my heels.”
Brigid propped herself up on her elbow. “The things you did are in the past if that’s where you want them to be. Aurel wasn’t looking for anything you did and if he saw anything he obviously didn’t care.”
“Someday our girls are going to find out, someone somewhere will tell them. How am I supposed to look at them and now sound like a hypocrite?”
“You just tell them to learn from your mistakes. Being an addict caused you a lot of grief. Let them know that drugs and alcohol are in no way glamorous.” She gave him a soft kiss. “You are already the most amazing father and our girls will love you no matter what. Plus, everyone is proud of you and knowing what’s inside the heads of others isn’t going to change that.”
“I just want to know when this will all go away.”
“Maybe someday or maybe never. All that matters is what you do today.”
He smiled. “How did I ever get so lucky?”
“You deserved to be happy.”
“not when you first found me Brigid. I know I do now but I didn’t deserve your help in the slightest.”
“stop and rest with me Lupin. I love you and your family loves you.” The next day Aurel and Brigid went after the man Aurel saw in his head straight away. Aurel was growling when he came into view and jerked him up by his shirt “what the fuck man!” he cursed “Aurel, put him down and let me cuff him”
“fuck no bitch” Aurel put him down and forced his arms back so Brigid could cuff him and take him in to be properly questioned. she told him his rights then shoved him in the back of the car. Aurel was seething, making Brigid wish Diana was around to calm him. They pulled up to the station where they took Mike to the interrogation room. “Aurel remember human law” Brigid said before they stepped in “I will, sorry for loseing my head”
Brigid walked through the door with Aurel behind her and sat down across from the perpetrator. “Mike Wilson, thirty-three years old. How did you go from dentist to drug dealer?” Mike just stared off into space, his mouth closed. “Why did you do it?” He still wouldn’t answer. “Look, we’re going to get answers one way or another so you might as well tell me everything right now.”
“He’s not going to answer Brigid.” Aurel said as he moved around to Mike’s side of the table. “It’s okay, you don’t have to say a word if you don’t want too.” He looked Mike in the eyes, commanding him to shut them. He grabbed the man’s head in his hands and delved into his memories. He jerked out with a gasp.
“Are you alright?” Brigid asked.
“He didn’t know the children who died were underage, but the others were just plain addicts he was executing to frame Jack and Cookie. His sister was one of their customers, one of the addicts that went to them on almost a daily basis, trading sex for drugs. She had a three year old, a bright and beautiful little girl with her whole life ahead of her. His sister left her drugs setting out and the little one…the little one…she got a hold of them, consumed them. He blames Jack and Cookie, he blames his sister who is in prison, but since he can’t get to her he kills those that remind him of her. He despises the addict and the dealer, he wants them all dead so they can no longer destroy the lives of the many innocents around them. He deeply regrets the deaths of those children, but not as much as he hates those who took his niece.”
“That doesn’t excuse murder.”
“No, but I understand his reasons. He wants to confess, that’s why he hasn’t asked for a lawyer. Just keep digging at him and he’ll tell you. I need to get out of here, I need Diana.”
“It’s okay, just give her my love.”
Brigid kept questioning Mike until he finally broke and confessed everything, just as Aurel said he would. Brigid called her husband so he could tell his clients. Even though it was over and Lupins family was safe from harm he still could barely breath until Cookie answered his call and he could tell these horrible men everything was sorted out and they were off the hook for all the deaths of the children. Jasper patted his brother on the back “see, as a family we took care of this. You did amazing. Next case will be a cinch for you. You’re going to be big here, just wait”
Lupin smiled “thanks Jasper” Jasper went to his office to get to work, leaving Lupin wanting to go home to his family. He just wanted to pick up the girls from school, get Brigid to leave work and just be with them. He decided a better plan was just to take them somewhere fun when he and Brigid could have a full weekend off together. He started looking up things they could do and planning everything. Nothing would release his tension from dealing with those men quite like the smiles of his girls.
When time finally came around they spent a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. They did whatever the girls wanted to do, both of them happy just to be having a vacation together. On their last night there Brigid whispered to Lupin since the girls were sleeping “this was so great. We dont take them places enough. Once you’ve been at the firm a bit longer we should take them on a big trip somwhere, for like a week”
“I’d love that. I don’t want to leave this place tomorrow’
“I know, Kim and Debbie are going to be so sad. We should let them get icecream one more time after we check out” Lupin kissed Brigids head “ok, anything you three want”
“You are truly the best Lupin. You don’t give yourself enough credit for the man you are now” he smiled “I just love you three so much.”
“we will always love you too, never forget that”
~ The End ~