(Note: Due to the imminent closure of the It's Raining Men blog - http://rainingmenamen.blogspot.com/ - this story will be continuing here, on my blog, on Sundays)
The rest of the afternoon dragged on. All Kip could think about, while he smiled and thanked people for their sympathy, was what Agent Easton had told him and Emily.
Some faceless enemy could be after us, if that really was why Mom and Dad were killed. I suppose it has to be. It's too coincidental otherwise.
He found he was checking every ten minutes on Jamie, and Emily's kids, who were still happily playing in the backyard. Two of the neighbor's children had joined them while their parents were inside attending the funeral reception. At one point, the kids had a rousing game of tag going on. Kip watched, laughing when Jamie dashed onto the porch to hide behind him to get away from his cousin, Beth. For a moment, life was back to normal. Then the weight of all that had happened descended again. Sighing, Kip went back inside.
It was evening by the time the house finally emptied of all the guests. Rob suggested going to a local restaurant for supper and then heading back to the hotel, as their flight left early the next morning.
If it hadn't been for the kids, who acted as if this was a short family vacation, the mood at supper might have been very tense. Kip found he was looking at everyone who came through the restaurant door, wondering if one of them was the killer. When he caught Emily doing the same thing, he shivered.
Even when they were back at the hotel as he helped a very tired Jamie get ready for bed, Kip couldn't relax. When his son was finally asleep, Kip stood staring out the fourth floor window at the city spread out below him.
Are you out there, somewhere? If you are, why come after us now? If we did know anything… if Dad told us anything, don't you think we'd have talked to the police already? He rested his forehead against the windowpane for a moment then looked up at the stars. If there is someone up there, God, Gaia, whomever, please, please, keep us safe until the bastard is caught. He chuckled softly. I suppose I shouldn't have sworn when I asked for your help, but then you've probably heard much worse in your time.
* * * *
Dave laughed silently, saying to Hal as they left Kip's hotel room, "Much worse."
"And whether he believes it or not, he is being watched over. Nothing is going to happen to him, or to Jamie, if I have anything to say about it," Hal said adamantly.
"If either of us do," Dave said aloud, now that they were outside the room. "I'm not losing my first charge, come hell or high water."
Hal winced. "Unlike me," he muttered.
Dave wrapped his arms around his lover in a tight embrace. "You did all that you could. Yeah, I didn't die an old man, but in the end, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have you now, wings and all sometimes, so I'm not complaining."
"Me neither," Hal replied, before kissing him soundly. "Now, shall we find a vacant room here, if there is one, and see what making love without wings is like?"
"You have to ask?" Dave grinned.
Hal looked down at Dave's crotch and shook his head. "Silly question, wasn't it?"
"Very," Dave agreed. Taking Hal's hand, they headed down—invisibly—to the front desk to look over the desk clerk's shoulder at the computer screen when he checked for vacancies for a newly arrived customer.
Luck was with them, there were several. Moments later, they were in a room on the top floor, doing what any two men in love would do under the circumstances—without having to deal with the logistics of wings, now that they were in the real world.