Henry Wood: Book 5 (Untitled) Ch 7

Brian-Head-Shot-for-ExtremelyAvgGavin’s 1937 Plymouth two-door sedan had been part of his family since his older, Wes, brother bought it in 1940. It was Wes’ nineteenth birthday and he had been saving his money from working summers, a paper route, and every birthday card he’d ever received from the grandparents. Their dad threw in the last fifty bucks.

Wes was never far from Gavin’s thoughts, especially when he was behind the wheel of ‘The Gray Barron’. That’s what Wes had called it. His friend had teased him about choosing the sedan over the coupe, but he didn’t care, it was the car he had dreamed about.

Wes had been dating a brunette named Maxine since 10th grade and the sedan fit in with his plans to marry her and start a family. The German’s interrupted his plans.

When he left for boot camp, he made Gavin promise to start The Gray Baron up once a month for the battery. Gavin wasn’t to drive it, though. Gavin took good care of the car until he joined the army. Their dad took over after that.

On June 6th, along a three mile stretch of beach, code name Utah, the U.S. 4th Infantry Division landed with relatively little resistance. There were less than 200 casualties for the 4th that day, but Gavin’s brother Wes was among them.

They say time heals all wounds but for Gavin it hadn’t. He missed his brother.

By the time he was north of Baltimore his thoughts had turned to William Parnell and the priest. What could his friend have done or what was he involved in that had led to his death? How does the priest figure in? Why would the FBI enough that J. Edgar himself was getting involved?

The smart play was to just let someone else solve the case, to forget about it, to move on, but that wasn’t his way. To do nothing was disrespectful to William. He had no choice.

The traffic was normal until just north of Philadelphia. A truck carrying produce had flipped and traffic slowed for about ten miles. After that, it was an easy drive to New York. It was a little after six o’clock when he arrived in Brooklyn.

There was a note on the kitchen table at his mom’s place. Henry had called and said he would be at the Dublin Rogue after eight o’clock. The second note said his parents were bowling and that there was a casserole in the fridge.

******

Celine and Carol got home at 6:20. The office generally closed at five, but Carol insisted on Celine checking the two files she had created and reviewing the call log. After that they got talking until Buttons insisted it was time to go.

Carol fed Buttons before she had even taken off her coat. “I love my new job. It’s so exciting.”

“You did great.”

“We should go out and celebrate, what do you say?”

“Awe, sweetie, I’d love to, but I’m just wrecked.”

“Of course you are, you put in some long hours to get ready for today. We can celebrate this weekend. I’ll make us some dinner.”

“You’re a gem,” Celine said, as she double checked the lock and slipped the chain into place.

“How does a couple of pork chops sound?”

“Delicious…I’m going to hop in the shower.” Celine realized her blunder almost immediately, she couldn’t tell Carol about her conversation with Henry, but if she was in the shower and someone came to the door, Carol would answer it.

“I’ll have a glass of wine waiting for you.”

Celine went into the kitchen and said, “Carol, there’s something I want to tell you, but I’m not sure how.”

“What is it? You look worried.”

“I don’t want to scare you, but we don’t always make friends in the detective business. Now that you’re part of the team, you need to be a little cautious.”

“I know. You think I’ve forgotten what happened to you.”

“I just wanted to make sure. If someone comes to the door and we don’t know them, we don’t answer it. Okay?”

“Got it, boss.”

“Don’t call me that.”

Carol giggled and gave a mock salute.

Celine was getting a taste of the medicine she doled out to Henry on a regular basis and she had to smile.

A long shower can wash away tired and worry. Celine got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around her, and grabbed another to dry her hair. There was a knock at the door and she heard Carol yell, “Coming.”

Celine bolted out of the bathroom, down the hall and into the family room, but it was too late, Carol already had the chain off and was turning the handle.

Celine turned and bolted back to her bedroom and grabbed the gun from her dresser. Her heart was racing as she sprinted back down the hall and burst into the family room gun raised.

It was Mike standing next to Carol. Mike looked up at Celine, still dripping wet in her towel and said, “Don’t shoot, I surrender.”

Carol saw the gun and gasped. “What are you doing?”

“I thought I told you not to open the door unless you knew who it was. I heard the knock, but you never even asked their name.”

“Mike called when you were in the shower and I knew it was him.”

“Oh, that makes sense, sorry.”

Mike looked uncomfortable and Celine lowered the gun. He still looked uncomfortable and she realized that she hadn’t really dressed to receive visitors. “Sorry, Mike, why don’t I go put on something less…towel.”

Carol loved Celine, but she didn’t appreciate her roommate that men constantly fawned over, standing mostly naked in front of the one man Carol pined for. She didn’t appreciate it at all. Carol pulled another pork chop from the freezer.

Mike took a seat on the couch and soon Buttons was curling up on his lap to take a post-dinner snooze.

******

Henry had called and cancelled plans with Luna before he drove into Brooklyn. She was a good sport and said he could make it up to her at the fancy restaurant of her choosing. It was a good deal and he took it. Luna never laid a guilt trip on him, and he made sure not to take her for granted.

Henry didn’t like having to drive back to Brooklyn, when he had promised to meet Gavin at the Dublin Rogue, but he wanted to check something.

For almost a year the closet in his basement woodworking shop had been some sort of magic portal to the future. It was a phenomenon he couldn’t explain, but every now and then there would be something new just sitting there on the floor. Most of the time the “present”, as he called them, was a sign post pointing him in the right direction on his cases. Once, he hadn’t checked the closet in a while and had missed a warning that his mentor, Mickey, was to be killed.

Henry needed to check the closet.

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