The Morrow Family Saga, Book Three: Laughing, Chapter Six

Morning rose above Washington, DC waking everyone as it did. there was the usual bustle down in the streets as Kendrick Wells came out of the bathroom showered, shaved, and ready for the day. At 24, Ken was one of the youngest within the FBI to be placed on a major case. He supposed that he was just lucky, since tom was at least three years his elder and twice as experienced in investigating cases.

Still, he felt both lucky and cursed. He was lucky to be on the case, but the case had become something of a curse that followed him home every night despite his many attempts to kill it for the night. Liquor didn’t help, besides–it made him unpleasant and his wife despised it. Going for walks didn’t help either. He just couldn’t seem to find anything that could clear his head.

The case caused him nightmares. He hated nightmares. They interfered with everything. Even work.

Still, he had a job to do. It was going to be just another day in paradise. Nine hours of pure hell punctuated by lunch. The hell of it was that not one single lunch ever tasted right. Not anymore.

The whole case was just wrong. Not Communist sympathizer wrong, no, this was much deeper. It was wrong at the very core. It went against every moral belief of every faith and culture. This case was built around the most evil man-no, family-known to American history.

What made it worse was the fact that the family lived and operated a business in the Midwest, the very bastion of wholesomeness and chastity. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone that evil in the heartland. The whole case blew every stereotypical perception of the region.

This was something that you’d expect in DC, New York, L.A, or New Orleans. It wasn’t something you would expect from Iowa, let alone Des Moines. Not even Omaha brought such a picture to mind. Nor Kansas City or Topeka.

Communism was such a small and insignificant problem compared to this. In fact, this case was sure to rock the very nation at its core. This had the power to destroy every image America had  of Iowa. This was the crime of the century.

Mira appeared in the doorway. “Ken, dear, don’t let the case get to you.  It is just a case. You are just one of a team investigating the crime. It isn’t coming here to get you.”

He smiled and walked over to her. “You are amazing, Mi.” He kissed her forehead. “You always know how to keep me grounded. Thank you.”

She wrapped her arms around him. She looked up into his eyes. “You are my universe, Kendrick Wells. Don’t forget that.” Her lips found his and they kissed.

***

Tom stood at the gate, waiting for Ken. As long as they made the office by 9 AM, they would be fine. Eddy hated it when anyone was ever late. Even if it was work-related.

Like clockwork, he spotted his friend’s car. It was hard not to spot the Packard as it rounded the corner just two blocks down. Ken was the only man tom knew who drove a 1927 Packard to work everyday. Made for an interesting ride. He smiled.

Ken pulled up beside him and looked over his sunglasses. “Going my way?” He grinned.

Tom grinned back. “Of course. And to have such a courteous chauffeur!” He opened the door and climbed in. “Onward!”

Ken smiled crookedly. “Where to?”

Tom chuckled. “To the office, James.”

Ken pulled the Packard away from the curb. It was a smooth drive to FBI headquarters. Tom wished that the drive could take all day. The French family could wait.

Both men sighed. The French family might be able to wait, but justice could not. Someone had to make sure that the crimes didn’t keep building up. That someone happened to be the two of them. Didn’t matter how much they detested the case.

***

Michael had awakened at dawn. It would be another day of work at the company. He had to make sure everything was taken care of while he was away. Things wouldn’t run themselves while he was in DC. He had to put someone he trusted in charge of things.

He’d showered and dressed quickly. He’d left Val asleep in their bed, opting not to wake anyone.  He didn’t see any reason to wake her or the girls. It wasn’t necessary.

He found some left over chicken and biscuits. That would do for breakfast. He would have to stop at a cafe for some coffee. Or fix some when he got to the office.

He took time to eat his makeshift breakfast, clean up, and then turn off all the lights before leaving. He hated leaving so early. Still, he would take off early in order to make up for what time he couldn’t be with his girls this morning. It was a privilege he liked as the owner and boss. Besides. It would be a small test of the person he chose to fill in while he was away.

He hated taking time away, but it was necessary. He kept telling himself that DC was only business. It was only business. Once this deal went down, he wouldn’t have to have anything more to do with it. But something told him that Dc would not be the end.

Deep down, he felt that this nightmare would not end in DC. Nor would it end by the end of the year. There was no telling how long it would drag on. One year?  Two years? A decade? Two?

He climbed into his Oldsmobile and started it up. No time like the present to get things done. He backed out of his driveway and pulled away from the house. He blinked back the tears. The business dealing with the French family had cost him too much already. It had cost him emotionally.

He pulled into the parking lot at Morrow Mills. First things first. Time to set the away team into place.

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