A Vicious Turn
The day dawned grey and soaking. The streets shimmered silver as car tires sloshed through puddles. Rain pattered on the colourful umbrellas bobbing up the roadside. Marius rubbed at his chest and stepped away from the hotel window. The curtains swayed behind him, blocking the dismal day from view.
Ronan’s phone call woke him earlier than he wanted. Marius took his time in getting ready. The heat of the shower worked miracles in relaxing the stress from the muscles across his back and shoulders. Meanwhile, the mini coffee maker managed to sputter out his guarantee for heartburn into a waiting plastic cup. Marius drank the coffee without sugar, cream, or complaint. The bitterness provided the perfect start to a day that promised to be anything but good.
A familiar black car pulled up to the curb just as Marius reached the bottom of the stairs. He drew in a steadying breath and pulled the car door open. Ronan’s warm smile greeted Marius as he settled himself in the car.
“Good morning,” Ronan said. “Did you manage to get any sleep?”
“Yeah, eventually did.” Marius didn’t bother to return the greeting. He didn’t share the sentiment. “You taking me home?”
“If that is what you want,” Ronan said. The car pulled out into the flow of cars streaming along the street. “I will not force you to see anything you rather not.”
The memory of emergency lights and sirens surfaced swiftly in his mind. Last night’s discovery haunted him. The still face of his wife as he held her hand in the ambulance was an image he could never forget. The emergency attendant told him not to move the towels and blankets from her. Experience in similar situations made sure he listened. His years as an intelligence agent never prepared him to deal with this situation on such a personal level. Sharalyn was dead and Issy was missing.