Patrick McGinnis thumbed his phone off and dropped the thing on the table with a thud. What had he just agreed to? He held in a groan, barely.
“What’s up dad? You look like you just ate a sour grape.”
Finnegan, his sixteen-year old son, and the joy of his life, walked to the cupboard and pulled out a bowl. He filled it with cereal and added milk and then joined Patrick at the table. He dipped his spoon for a large scoop, and as he brought it to his mouth, Finn gave him the I’m waiting look.
“I just received a call from an old friend,” he said in way of explanation, he really didn’t like talking work with his son.
“It must not have been a good conversation.”
“It was good to catch up. He was with me at Quantico.” Best to focus on the old acquaintance part.
“Dad, I’m in high school. You can stop sheltering me now. He must have called for a reason. One you’re not too thrilled about. What’s up?” He repeated his earlier question.
Damn, Finn was growing up to fast. And the kid was right. He had a tendency to shield him from his work. Something he’d always tried to do, but more since Finn was three and the worst thing that could ever happened to a child had happened.
“Tyler is an agent in New York, however, he has a sister in Calistoga.”
His son let out a hoot of laughter. “Match-making from the east coast.”
“Ha, ha. No, his sister seems to have lost her fiancé and her assistant.”
“What they elope and left her behind? Why’d he call you?”
“The fiancé never arrived at the wedding. And then when his sister went to open her shop she found the assistant had been shot.”
“Oh.” Finn ate for a few minutes in silence. “Does the lost fiancé and the dead assistant have something to do with each other?”
“That’s one of the things Ty wants me to find out.”
Finn suspended his spoon half way to his mouth. “What is the other?”
“He wants me to find the missing fiancé for his sister.” He pulled his fingers through his hair. “It’s a wild goose chase if you ask me. If the guy had wanted to get married he’d have been at the wedding.”
“You’d think, unless he couldn’t.”
Patrick contemplated his son. He would make a good detective. He’d already helped solve a few of his cases, by just listening and making comments that brought other solutions to mind. Patrick wasn’t sure he wanted that for his son. He loved being a federal agent. For a while, after the incident with his son, he’d tried something else. However, his true passion was law enforcement and he’d been placed back on duty within the year.
You couldn’t help where your heart led you. No matter the consequences.
“That is what I need to find out.” He stood and poured more coffee into his cup to warm up the cooling liquid. He leaned a hip on the counter while he sipped. “What’s going on at school today?”
Finn finished his cereal and stood to wash his bowl out. He appeared to be thinking as he put his dishes in the dishwasher.
“I have an algebra test. Just a fair warning, Dad, it’s kicking my ass.”
“Language son.” But he smiled, he’d heard a lot worse. “I have a few minutes do you need my help?”
His son gave him a skeptical look, which was well warranted. Algebra had thoroughly kicked his ass in high school, too, to the point he’d needed Saturday morning classes to pass the damn class.
After a moment he answered. “No, Mrs. Stewart said she’d meet me before school.”
“Old Mrs. Stewart is still there? I had her for Algebra.” He smiled and resisted the urge to ruffle his son’s hair. Since the boy was almost as tall as he was, it’d be a little awkward anyway. “You’re in good hands then. Do you want me to drop you on my way to Calistoga?”