Sunday, September 27, 2015

Walt Murphy – Part Two – 21

Once we were seated in the restaurant, and had ordered lunch, I think what happened finally hit Ricky. He shivered, saying in a shaky voice, "Not an auspicious start to my moving in."

I reached over to grip his hand. "Look at it this way. It could have happened if you'd only come by to visit and we'd decided to go to lunch, which we often do."

"True, I suppose," he didn't look convinced. "Do you think I'm right? That it had something to do with the murder?"

"A fairly logical conclusion. I'm not involved in any case that someone might want to scare me away from. And last I heard, clients don't shoot their accountants."

Ricky chuckled. A sign he was a bit less afraid. "Only in their dreams." Or not. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Thank God they missed us."

"That or they didn't intend to hit us in the first place. It could have been a warning. Probably was since it's the middle of the day. They waited until there wasn't anyone close by, and my suspicion is they were driving, not walking. Pulling out a gun in broad daylight would be fairly obvious."

"So would a couple of dead bodies," Ricky muttered. "Whoever it was, were they trying to warn you off of having anything more to do with the Engel case?" 

"That would be my guess."

"Then how about we take a long vacation to the Bahamas until Detective Sharp finds her killer?"

"The Bahamas?" I said, playing along to help him calm down, if that was possible.

"First place that came to mind." He smiled weakly. "Hell, I'd settle for Alaska."

"Not me, thanks."

Our food arrived just then. Ricky looked at his sandwich as if it was the last thing in the world he wanted, but began to eat when I suggested we needed energy if we were going to get the truck unloaded before midnight. He chuckled at that, pointing out it was barely past one so we'd better be done well before then.

We actually finished getting his things into the house by five. I'll admit that every time a car drove by I flinched, waiting for another gunshot. Ricky was just as tense, spending as much time looking around when we were outside as he did paying attention to what he was getting from the truck.

By the time we finished, he was a total bundle of nerves again, so I broke out a bottle of Scotch I'd been saving for a special occasion. That seemed to help—for both of us actually. We got his clothes put away and found a spot in my study—as I pretentiously called it—for the antique desk that had belonged to his grandfather. The boxes of books ended up on the floor in front of the bookcases in the living room since neither of us had the energy, or the desire, to deal with them at the moment. Hell, we barely had the energy to return the truck. But we did.

"Pizza?" I asked when we got home, figuring it was time to eat again, given that it was going on eight.

"Does it go with Scotch?" he inquired, finding his empty glass that he'd left on the kitchen counter.

"Babe, pizza goes with anything, and so does Scotch, so that would be a yes."

"Then an extra large with everything."

"You got it. I think I'll have the same."

"Uh-huh. Even you couldn't eat a whole one by yourself."

"Bet me?"

"Umm. No?" He poured himself another drink while I ordered pizza. Just one despite our kidding around.

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