Yes, it has been a while. Illness, travel, daughter’s graduation from college, has all taken it’s toll. Enjoy!
They stopped at a car wash when they got into town and cleaned the truck. Then they headed back to Alpha Tech’s office. As they pulled up, they saw fire trucks, police, Cal and Peter off to one side with the three watch dogs. The office was a smoking ruin. The men got out of the truck and ran over to Cal.
“What the hell happened?” asked Luc.
“We had an arsonist,” said Peter. “Almost trapped us. Kevin got burned a bit, but not bad. Dr. Jeff sent an ambulance.”
“Yeah,we were out in the yard. Buttercup and Val started howling. Asshole put a lock on the gate from the outside and then lit the building. He stood to watch us burn, but I got a pair of bolt cutters and cut the fence. Max went out first and grabbed him,” said Cal.
Luc patted the dogs on the head and then heard his name being called. A fireman and a couple of policemen were heading their way.
“Luc Moreau?” asked one.
“Um, we need to talk to you about this arsonist. Got him over in the ambulance. Your dogs chewed him up pretty good.”
“So, he burned down my office.”
The fireman nodded. “Yeah, but we have to follow procedure.” The two of them walked over to the fire chief’s car where he stood talking to other firemen. “This is Mr. Moreau, Chief.”
The fire chief turned. “Sorry about the building. We got here as quick as we could, but he must have used a couple of gallons of home made napalm.”
Luc looked at the side of the building that was still smoldering under layers of foam. “Looks like it.”
“You been having issues lately? Who hates you bad enough to do something like this?” asked the chief.
“I have no idea. We have had some trouble the last few weeks, but nothing concrete enough to pin on anyone. What does our pyro have to say?” Luc pointed at the man on a gurney swathed in bandages.
“That piece of work says a guy called him and gave him a job. Suppose to pay him $1000 to burn out werewolves.”
Luc’s face screwed up in a look of incredulity. “What?”
“Yeah. And once he got the job done, he was suppose to take pictures and then go meet some bum at a homeless shelter to collect his money.”
“Wow. Um… Have you talked to the police? I know that one of our vandals had some contact at a homeless shelter too. Wonder if it is the same person.”
“I’ll let you know when I file the report. Are you filing charges?”
“Yes. Otherwise my insurance won’t pay up. I lost a lot of inventory here, not to mention the building and the business that will have to be postponed.” Luc stuck his hands in his pockets and sort of rocked back and forth on his feet.
The chief nodded. “Let’s get this paperwork done and you guys can go home. I don’t think there’s anything left in the building.” He pointed to the side and Luc as well as the rest of the men could see how the fire bloomed inside the building.
Cal walked up to Luc and the chief. “Boss, um… I’ve got enough gate and fence to pull across the gap. You want me to secure it?”
Luc nodded. “Do we have enough security to keep the dogs here?”
“Yes. Buttercup here deserves a medal, as does Max.”
Luc smiled. “Need some help?”
“No, Peter, Andrew and Patrick can help. Go do what you have to Boss.” Cal smiled and walked off.
“Buttercup? Max?” asked the fire chief.
“Yeah. The security company we use has a Princess Bride thing going.” Luc sighed and took the paperwork and began filling it out.
Kevin was wrapped in bandages and laying in bed when Luc and the rest of them walked in. “Did we lose the whole building?”
“Most of it. You going to be okay?” Luc tried not to think about what Kevin’s face looked like under the bandages.
“Yeah. Just not going to be such a pretty boy anymore. That damn stuff stuck to everything.”
“The fire chief said it was homemade napalm. Alcohol, rubber and something else. Nasty stuff.”
Kevin looked at the faces of the other men. “Okay, what happened.”
Patrick looked out the door and then closed it. The rest set down and then Luc began. “You have to keep this between just us guys.”
“Okay. Why? Ginny is going to be pissed if you don’t tell her who this is and why they are doing it.”
“Was. And Ginny may get to know. Maybe not.” Luc was quiet and serious.
Kevin looked at them again. “What happened.”
“It was Eric Sunberry, and he is dead.”
Once they left Kevin, they stood outside in the parking lot and talked. Finally, Andrew pulled out his cell phone and called Vivien. He walked as he talked. “Hello. Yes, we are alright. Yes, we found the bastard and took care of the situation. Let Ginny and Meg know that we are all okay, but that the office is a charred ruin. We will all be on vacation for a bit. Yes. Yes. Okay. See you in a few days. Love you Vivien.” He hung up the phone. “That was uncomfortable.”
Luc nodded. Thirty seconds later, his phone rang. “Hello,…” He walked off as Patrick’s rang as well. Patrick hung up before Luc.
“I take it Ginny didn’t take the ‘we will talk about it in private’ easily?” asked Andrew.
“No. She didn’t. Not surprised though.” He looked off to where Luc was pacing and still talking on the phone. “Doesn’t look as if Meg is too happy either.”
Andrew shook his head. “I do not look forward to keeping secrets from Vivien.”
“No, it’s going to be dicy.” Patrick looked down at his shoes.
“Here’s hoping that he just disappeared off the radar and no one knows a thing.”
Three days later, Patrick, Andrew, Luc and Fezzik drove up to the Bed and Breakfast. They’d called the clients they hadn’t been able to fit in to the abbreviated schedule and postponed the work. They’d also dealt with insurance agents, police, the fire department and two calls from the local newspapers trying to cash in on a possible story.
“Daddie!” cried Elliot and Linsey as they came running out of the front door of the bed and breakfast.
Luc scooped up his children and held them tight. Other small bodies wrapped around him. Sara, Ivan and Joe were hugging him too.
“We missed you Unky Luc!” cried the trio.
“Tell us a story Daddie!” said Elliot.
“In a bit. I’ll tell you a story.” He sat his children down on the ground to be hugged by Meg.
“He’ll huff and he’ll puff!” the children chanted as they ran back inside.
“So, are you going to fill us in, or do we have to wait until after the cubs are asleep?” Meg asked.
“It would be better if we waited.” Luc hugged her, happy that everyone was safe.