Cries in the Night: Chapter 54

Across town at a bar, Calvin sat on a bar stool.  “Pour me another,” he said to the bar tender.  “I finally found out who killed my father, and this is the reward,” he mumbled as his phone rang.

He picked it up and looked at it.  He saw that it was Didi.  “I’m not ready to talk to you mom.”

“Are you alright?”  The bar tender asked Calvin as he handed him another beer.

“I will be after this,” Calvin mumbled as she turned away from the bar.  As he looked up, someone caught his eyes.  Nathan Gannon had just entered.  “Just great,” Calvin said as he turned back to face the bar.

Nathan stayed standing by the door after he saw Calvin.  He debated what to do.  “This ends now,” he said as he walked to the bar and sat down next to Calvin.

Calvin was not happy.

“Can I have a gin and tonic?”  He asked the bar tender.

“There are plenty of other seats in this place,” Calvin said to him.

“Yeah,” Nathan replied.  “But I wanted to talk to you.”

“Well, I have nothing to say to you,” Calvin stated.

“Well, I just wanted to let you know that I am sorry,” Nathan told him.

“Sorry?”  Calvin repeated.  “Sorry because you are dating my mother.  Do you think this is going to get my approval?  Couldn’t you find someone your own age?”  Calvin was referring to the age difference between Calvin and Didi.

“No, I am sorry for the way you found out about your mother and me,” Nathan said to him.  Calvin had to come to see Didi, when Nathan was there.   Calvin had heard Nathan in the shower but Calvin did not know who was in there.  Nathan took the opportunity to reveal his relationship with Didi to Calvin.

Calvin didn’t respond.

“We should have sat you down and told you,” Nathan said to him.  “It hurt you and it hurt her the way you found out.  And I never wanted to hurt Didi.  I never want to hurt your mother.”

“She can do better than you,” Calvin muttered.

“What does that mean?”  Nathan asked.

“I know all the stories about you in law school,” Calvin reminded him.  “The underhanded things you used to do.  The way you treated Julia.  You play dirty in the court room.”

“That’s all true,” Nathan told him.  “I can’t deny it.”

Calvin was shocked by the revelation.

“But that all changed when I met Didi,” Nathan said to him.  “She makes me want to be a better person.  She makes me see things in a completely light.  And I love her.  And I want to make her happy.”

Calvin didn’t respond.

“And I never want to hurt her,” Nathan stated.  “If she asked me to give her up so that you too could get along again.  I would do it.  I would hurt.  But I would do it for her.  I would do whatever she asked.”

Calvin stayed silent.

Nathan just shook his head.  “I give up,” he said to Calvin.  “Bar tender you can cancel the gin and tonic.  I have an election party to attend.”  Nathan then got up to leave.

Calvin didn’t acknowledge his leaving.

“I love your mother,” Nathan told him.  “And I would do anything for her.  What would you do for her?”  Nathan then left the bar.

Calvin just sat there thinking.  He finally got up from the bar stool.  “I think I am going to go see Nikki,” he said to himself.

 

At the mansion, Raven stood in front of a table that had been set up in the living room.  She was looking at all the food as April walked over to her.

“I originally thought we would have a big victory party,” Raven said to her.  “But then with everything going on with James and Julia the police don’t want that many people in the mansion.”

“That’s understandable,” April stated.

“I got it catered but I couldn’t allow them to stay to serve the food,” Raven mentioned.

“I think we are perfectly capable of serving ourselves,” April told her.   “They should be arriving from the office soon.”

“And James can’t catch a break,” Raven lamented.  “His campaign manager dies on the day of the election.”

“Who?”  Geri asked as she entered the room.

“James’s campaign manager, William Church,” Raven answered her.   “Haven’t you seen the news today?”

“No, she has been watching Real Housewives marathons all day,” Robert replied as he sat down on the sofa.

“What else can I do?”  Geri asked.  “You won’t let me out of the mansion.  I can’t wait for this election to be finished.”

“It is not like you haven’t tried to leave,” Robert said with a laugh as the mansion door opened.

Julia, James and Deborah entered.  James’s bodyguards stayed by the front door.

“Did you learn anything new about Mr. Church?”  April asked.

“No,” Deborah responded.  “The police still think he died in his sleep.”

“That poor man,” April said.

“Can you put the television on?”  James asked.  “I want to see the results.”

“It is still a little early yet,” Sky told him as he entered from his study.

“We may get some early projections,” James stated.

Raven walked over to Sky.  “Did you have any luck trying to find him?”

“No,” Sky responded.  “We haven’t been able to find any trace of Preacher since he left Monitcello in 1984.  Hopefully, Gordon will have found something out when he gets here.”

“Where is he?”  Raven inquired.

“He had to go vote,” Sky laughed.  “He and Broomhilda spent all day putting out those signs, and then he realized that he hadn’t voted yet.”

Geri heard what they were talking about and walked over to them.  “I haven’t voted either.”

“Yes, and if James loses by 1 vote, I will take the blame for it,” Raven told her.

Geri was not happy.  Robert smiled at her when he saw how unhappy she was.

The front door to the mansion opened again, and this time Charlotte and Lyle entered.

“It’s about time you got home,” Geri muttered.

“We are not the only ones here,” Charlotte responded as Draper and Katherine entered after them.

“Mr. Scott, thank you so much for giving a ride here,” Katherine said to him.

“You should be here,” Charlotte said to here.  “You are just as much a part of this campaign as anyone.  I’m sure James feels that way.”

“Of course,” James responded.

“Yes, you have been a tremendous help,” Julia added.

Geri was not happy with all the accolades that Katherine was receiving from everyone.

“Would you ladies like for me to get you a drink from the bar?”  Lyle asked Charlotte and Katherine.  “I’m making myself one.”

“No thank you,” Charlotte replied.

“No thanks,” Katherine replied.  “I don’t drink.”

“There’s a shock,” Geri whispered to herself.

“So Katherine are you here by yourself or will Adam be joining us tonight?”  Charlotte asked.

Geri clinched her fists when Charlotte mentioned Adam’s name.

“No, unfortunately Adam has to work tonight,” Katherine replied.

“That’s too bad,” April stated.

“Yes, it is,” Katherine said but didn’t look at April when she responded.  April took notice.

Charlotte walked toward Geri.  “You are running out of time,” she taunted her.  “You are not going to be able to land Adam, and Aunt Geraldine’s pearls are going to mine.”  Charlotte then walked away her.

“We will see about that,” Geri said to herself.  “I have one last trick up my sleeve.  I just need to get out of the mansion first.”

Lyle was in the room with the bar pouring himself a drink when Raven entered.

“Can I help you with something Mrs. Whitney?”  Lyle asked her.

“No, but I think I found something of yours,” Raven informed.

“Really, what is that?”  Lyle inquired.

Raven pulled the picture of the baby that she had found on the floor of Sky’s study out of her pocket.  “I believe this belongs to you.”

“No, I don’t think so,” the shocked Lyle replied.

“Are you sure?”  Raven asked as she held it closer for him to see.

Lyle then realized Raven must have seen the same picture on his phone when he left it in the mansion.  Lyle thought quickly.  He did not want accuse Raven of going through his phone, but also didn’t want to cause a scene where Sky might find out he had a copy of the picture.

Lyle took the picture from Raven.  “Oh yes, where did you find it?’

“It was on the floor in Sky’s study,” she responded.

“I must have dropped it there when Robert caught Geri trying to sneak out the mansion last night,” the quick thinking Lyle lied.

“I see,” Raven responded.

“It’s an old baby picture of me that my mother found and sent me,” Lyle continued to lie.

“Interestingly,” Raven told him.  “It doesn’t look anything like you.”

“People change,” Lyle responded as Raven thought for a second, and then left the bar.

Lyle then proceeded to take a big gulp of his drink.  “That was close,” he said to himself.  As he turned to leave the bar, Sky was standing at the door.

“Mr. Whitney, is there something I can do for you?”  The nervous Lyle asked.

“Yes,” Sky replied.  “Pack your bags, you are fired.”

“What?”  The shocked Lyle responded.

“You heard me,” Sky shouted.  “Pack your bags and get out.  I can’t believe you kept a copy of that picture.”

“Mr. Whitney, I can explain,” Lyle pleaded as held the baby picture Raven had given him in his hand.

“What possible explanation can you have?”  Sky demanded as he took the picture from Gordon.

Lyle thought for a second.

“I made a mistake,” Lyle finally admitted.

“A big one,” Sky told him.

“But what about Charlotte?”  Lyle questioned.  “You need me to protect her.”

“Charlotte will be fine,” Sky stated.  “My wife went overboard with getting all the kids bodyguards any way.”

“But Mr. Whitney,” Lyle started to say but Sky cut him off.

“I mean it,” Sky said.  “I don’t want to see you again.”  Sky then left him there.

“Now what are you going to do?”  Lyle thought to himself.

“What’s bothering you?”  An unfriendly Geri asked as she entered the bar.

Lyle just shook his head.

“That bad?”  Geri inquired.

“Yes,” Lyle replied.

“Well, I can’t help you,” Geri responded.  “I have my own problems.  And I have things I need to do.  And being trapped in this place all day isn’t helping me.”

Lyle thought for a second.  “Maybe I could help you, but there is something I need you to do for me first.”

Geri was intrigued by the offer.  “What is it?”

 

When Sky entered the living room, he noticed that Gordon and Broomhilda had arrived.

“Have you had any new to report on locating Preacher Emerson?”  Sky asked Gordon.

“I haven’t had time to do much work today on that,” Gordon responded.  “But there are several Johnny Emersons in the United States.”  Johnny was Preacher’s first name.  “But none of them that I have looked at appear to be the one you are trying to find.”

“Damn,” Sky responded.

“Should I expand the search to outside the United States?”  Gordon questioned him.

“Do whatever you have to do,” Sky told him.  “It’s imperative that we find him.  It’s a matter of life and death.”

As Sky walked away from him, Broomhilda walked up to Gordon.  “Do you see who is here tonight?”  Broomhilda asked referring to Katherine.

“Yes,” Gordon responded.  “It will be easy to keep an eye on her tonight.  She won’t be able to pull a disappearing act on us like she did at the Mayfield Medical Complex.”

“Good,” Geri stated as she walked over to them and heard what they were saying.  “If she is hiding something, I need to know now.  I don’t intend to lose this bet to Charlotte.”

“She is definitely hiding something,” Gordon responded as he stared at Katherine.  “And I am going to find out what it is.”

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At the police station, Chris, Matthew, Mae, and Guthrie were all in the squad room.  Chris was looking through a folder as the others started at the murder board.

“Does that folder have to do with Calvin’s father’s murder?”  Mae asked.

“No,” Chris replied.

“Are we going to assume that William Church was the man who killed Calvin Sr.?  Guthrie questioned Chris.

“It looks like it may have been him,” Chris responded.  “But that is a separate case.  We may never know for sure now that he is dead.  I had to accept that a long time ago that I may never get the answers to Calvin Sr.’s murder.  It is hard trying to get Calvin to stay away from his father’s murder.  I don’t want to have the same problem with all of you.”

“But don’t you think you were too hard on him today?”  Mae asked.

Matthew was not pleased that Mae seemed to be pleading Calvin’s case.

“We all make mistakes,” Mae added.

“You are not here to question my judgement,” Chris responded.

“So what is in that folder?”  Guthrie inquired changing the subject.

“All the numbers from Sabrina’s Shaw’s cell phone,” Chris replied.

“Is there a clue in there that may help us find out who killed her?”  Guthrie questioned her.

“It is mostly no surprises,” Chris answered him.  “The escort service called her a lot.  They are phone numbers from WMON for when Angela Rhomer called her.  And my number from all the times she dodged my calls.”

“So no luck?”  Matthew asked.

“No, but there is one number that called her a lot,” Chris informed them.  “And she was talking to that person when she was hit by the bus.”

“So that could be her killer,” Guthrie suggested.  “He could have lured her out there and kept her distracted on the phone so he could push her in front of that bus.”

“I believe you are right,” Chris told him.

“So who does the number belong to?”  Mae inquired.

“A burner phone,” Chris answered.  “It hasn’t been used since, and it is untraceable.”

“Something a killer would use,” Mae stated.

“And probably the person who put her up to telling all those lies about James,” Guthrie added.

“Yes, I believe so,” Chris stated.  “But proving all that is another story.  Anyway, we have done enough for today.  You guys can take off for the night.”

“I may be in late in the morning,” Mae informed everyone as she went to her desk and grabbed her purse.

“That won’t be a problem,” Chris responded as she smiled at her.  It was obvious Chris knew that she had an appointment with Dr. Hughes.

“You are making progress,” Chris whispered to her.

“Would you like to grab a bite to eat?”  Guthrie asked Matthew.

“Thanks, but not tonight,” Matthew replied.  “I have other plans.”

“Really?”  Chris inquired as she heard Matthew response.

“Nothing to concern yourself with,” Matthew told her as he left the station without elaborating.  “I’m going see Nikki,” he whispered to himself.

Later back at the mansion, election results starting being reported on the news.

“The race for Monitcello District Attorney is too close to call with only a few precincts reporting,” Newsman Paul Nevins stated on the television.

“Why isn’t Jody doing the news?”  Draper asked.

“She must be home with Nikki,” Raven replied.

“At least it isn’t that Angela Rhomer reporting,” James stated.

“I think I am going to call and check up on Bryan,” Julia announced.  “I really wish he would have come here tonight.  He shouldn’t be alone tonight.”

“That would be a nice thing to do,” April said.  “And people handle grief in different ways.”

“Give him our condolences,” Raven added.  “And tell him we will help with the arrangements any way we can.”

Bryan was alone at his apartment sitting in the dark.  He was surprised when the phone rang and saw that it was Julia.

“Hello Julia,” he answered.  “What a nice surprise.”

“Bryan, I just wanted to see how you were doing,” Julia told him.

“As good as can be expected,” Bryan responded.  “I guess I am still in shock.”

“That is understandable,” Julia replied.  “But we are here for you if you need anything.  And please let us help you with the arrangements.”

“That is so kind of you,” Bryan said.

“And you are still welcome to come to mansion, if you don’t want to be alone tonight,” Julia offered.

“Thank you, but I really want to be alone tonight,” Bryan replied.  “I am sorry to desert you all on election night.  But I have drafted a couple statements for James to read depending on how the election turns out.  I can email them to you all.”

“We will be fine,” Julia responded.  “Don’t worry about any of that.  Just know that we are here for you.  Even if it is just to talk.”

“Thank you,” Bryan repeated.  “You are really so kind.  I just keep looking at last text message he sent me this morning.  He told to go the office, and he would meet me there.”

“What about it?”  Julia asked.

“If I didn’t listen to him, and I had gone to his house first instead of the office, then maybe I could have saved him,” Bryan stated.

“You mustn’t think like that,” Julia told him.  “You can’t blame yourself.  You don’t know if that would have made any difference.”

 

At the morgue, Adam was conducting an autopsy on William Church with the help of Dr. Bauer.

“I don’t see any external trauma on the body,” Adam stated.

“He was found laying down on his sofa,” Dr. Bauer said.  “If he died in his sleep, we wouldn’t expect to find any trauma.

“I ordered toxicology reports just to be on the safe side,” Adam informed him.

“Once will do the full autopsy tomorrow and start removing organs, I believe we find that it was a heart attack or natural causes,” Dr. Bauer mentioned.  “Unless you want to start tonight?”

“You may be right,” Adam said.  “And tomorrow is fine.”

“That works for me,” Dr. Bauer stated.

“But,” Adam started to say, “Based on his body temperature now, and what it was when the body was found this morning…I’m guessing he had been dead for at least 14 to 16 hours before he was found.”

“So that would put time of death around late afternoon or early evening yesterday,” Dr. Bauer noted.

“Yes, you are correct,” Adam agreed.

 

At the Rhodes house, Jody, Jeremy, and Nikki sat in front of the television watching the election results.

“You’ll really didn’t have to stay home with me tonight,” Nikki told them.  “You’ll could be doing the news tonight.  It’s a big deal with it being election night.”

“That’s okay,” Jeremy responded.

“We went to spend as much time together as we can,” Jody added.

“Family comes first,” Jeremy stated.

“And I know how hard it was for you to turn down your acceptance to Julliard,” Jody said to her.  “We want to be here for you.”

“We both do,” Jeremy told her.

“I love you both,” Nikki said as Beth entered the room.

“I spoke to Adam earlier,” Beth informed them.  “He really wants to come see you, Nikki, but he head to work tonight.”

“That’s alright, I understand,” Nikki responded.

“Why don’t you watch the election results with us?”  Jody asked her.

“I have been hesitant to,” Beth told them.  “I remember the last election night when I was in Monticello.  I was in jail.”

“In jail?”  A shocked Nikki asked.  “Aunt Beth what have you been hiding?”

“It’s nothing like that,” Beth responded.  “It’s not like anything you could imagine.  It was when Mike Karr was running for re-election back in 1983.  Louise Van Dine was trying to control Monitcello with subliminal messages.  He had brainwashed the police to arrest me as I tried to go to Capitol City for help.”

Nikki turned to look at her parents.  “Oh my God, that was true.  I thought you made that story up when you told that.”

“No, unfortunately it all true,” Jody told her as the doorbell rang.

“Are we expecting anyone?”  Jeremy asked as he got up from the sofa.

“No,” Jody replied.

Jeremy opened the door to find Calvin there.

“Who is it?”  Jody asked.

Jeremy was silent as the three women looked from the living room in the direction of the front door.

“It’s Calvin,” Jeremy finally answered.

Nikki sat there for a second.

“What are you going to do?”  Jody asked her.

“I will talk to him,” Nikki stated at she got up from the sofa.

Calvin was still outside the front door when Nikki arrived.

“I need to see you,” Calvin said to her.

“We can talk outside,” Nikki stated as she walked out the front door and closed the door behind her.

“I have had a very bad day,” Calvin started to say to her.  “And it really made me think about what is important to me.”

“I need to say something to you too,” Nikki stated.

“Please let me finish,” Calvin said to her.  “I don’t want to lose you. I want to be by your side as your deal with your Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.  If you want to go to Julliard, we will make it work.  I know it is important to you.”

Nikki grabbed him and hugged him.

“There’s more I have to tell you,” Calvin informed her.

“I have more to tell you too,” Nikki told him.  “But that is not important right now.”

Across the street, Matthew was parked in his car and watched the exchange between the two.

“Damn, Damn, damn,” he exclaimed as he hit his steering wheel.”

 

Back at the Whitney Mansion, James and Julia were seated in front the television.

“You should get up and have something to eat,” Julia told him.  “Nothing is going to change by staring at the television.  It is still early yet.”

“She right,” Deborah agreed.

“My whole political future is on the line,” James stated.

“You will get through this,” Raven said.

“Would you like for me to bring you something?”  Katherine asked as she stood in front of the buffet table.”

“No, thank you,” James responded.

“Anyone else?”  Katherine inquired.  “Mr. Scott?”

“We are not the office, you don’t have to do that,” Draper responded.

“I don’t mind,” Katherine said.

“You really don’t have to do that,” April told her.  “We can do it ourselves.”

Katherine turned to face the buffet so April couldn’t see her unhappy reaction to April’s comment.

“You really have out down yourself, mom,” Geri stated as she walked up to the table.

“Yes, you have,” Charlotte agreed.

“We could feast on this for days,” Geri added.

“I have never seen you feast on anything but alcohol,” Robert mumbled to himself.

“By the way, has anyone seen Lyle?”  Charlotte asked.

As she was speaking, Geri picked up a chicken wing from the table.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen my brother in a while,” Robert mentioned.

“About Lyle,” Sky started to say but was cut off as Geri knocked a tray off the table.

“What is it?”  Raven asked.

Geri’s hands were pointing at her throat as she was gasping for air.

“What is it?”  Robert asked.

“Oh my God, she choking,” Raven exclaimed.

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