She wasn’t sure what it meant. As Holly sat there, staring at the newspaper, her thoughts were jumbled and confused. She closed the newspaper and folded it, setting it aside before standing up.
For lack of anything better to do, she went through the motions of cleaning the house. She pulled out the vacuum and ran it over the carpets but her thoughts were still mulling over the paper.
Friday. That was the night of the car crash and Grant’s party. Did the police know Lionel had been at the party?
Holly shook her head. It wasn’t related. It couldn’t be. It was a mugging. If he had been found dead in his home perhaps there would be a connection but the article said-
It said apparent mugging, she pointed out to herself, they don’t know for a fact or it would have said so.
She grabbed a pile of clothes from her bedroom and stuffed them into the washer. She wished she knew what Lionel and Grant had talked about. She wished she had heard more of their conversation then ‘can’t pay you’. If she just knew what had gone on there, or if she just knew for a fact it had truly been a mugging-
Why did she doubt it? Why wouldn’t it have been a mugging? The police thought it was and that should be good enough for her; she wasn’t Nancy Drew.
Holly went to the kitchen and pulled out a carton of eggs and a loaf of bread for toast. As she started on breakfast, she told herself that the issue was settled, that there’d never been an issue to begin with. But the word ‘apparent’ kept floating to the forefront of her thoughts.
It was too much of a coincidence. Something was terribly wrong.
But things like that don’t happen. You’re seeing monsters were there are none. Except things like that did happen. Alan, she thought, people do awful things and it’s not always something you just read about in the papers. Sometimes it really is people you know.
Holly scrambled some eggs and placed them on a plate before grabbing two bread out of the toaster. She carried her breakfast into the dining room and sat down but found herself just staring down at the food.
What did she really think had happened? If she followed her thoughts to their logical conclusion then Grant-
Or someone else, she thought quickly, it could be connected to Grant without him really being responsible.
She ran a hand across her hair. If something had happened, wasn’t Grant most likely involved? She toyed with her food, shunting it around on her plate. She couldn’t honestly be accusing Grant of-, she stopped without completely forming the thought.
She didn’t like Grant very much. But there was a long way between not liking someone and accusing them of a crime. Besides McCall liked him. McCall had introduced them to begin with and was working with him on the merger. She trusted McCall’s opinion.
The merger. She mulled over it. It was still being kept quiet. Lionel couldn’t have known about that. But he was, after all, a paparazzi. An exclusive on a story like that probably would have been worth something and he’d have no compunction about selling it. Unless he wanted Grant to pay him to keep quiet about that, but he couldn’t really expect that Grant would. It wasn’t important enough to keep it out of the papers at this point. Was it?
She kept coming back to the newspaper article throughout the day. Sometimes it would convince her. Sometimes that one word ‘apparent’ was all she could see.
Evelyn had told her to stay out of things when Lionel had first approached her in the restaurant. Perhaps she should follow that same policy now. Let someone else deal with it. If there was something to find, surely the police would find it.
Holly considered calling Evelyn but thought better of it. She would see her in the morning and besides, she was probably overthinking all this.
By the evening she was feeling more confident. It was weird, tragic even as she thought of that last line ‘Atwood is survived by two children’, but things happened. Awful, sad things. But they happened and building up conspiracy theories didn’t change that.
She ordered in Indian for dinner and watched a movie as she ate. It was still all nagging at the back of her mind but she kept telling herself to let it go. Later, as she was getting into bed, she couldn’t help but wish she knew just what exactly it was that Lionel and Grant had talked about. It was what really bothered her about the whole thing.
Perhaps she could ask Grant. The possibility wasn’t very appealing but if it would stop the matter from troubling her…
“Right,” she muttered, staring up at her ceiling through the darkness. “I can just go up and say ‘hey Grant, want to tell me what you were talking about with that man who just died? That would go over well.”
She shifted against her pillows, trying to get comfortable and relax. Poor Grant would probably be horrified at the things she was thinking about him. She smiled a little at the thought. She was becoming paranoid. She’d jumped to conclusions when she’d first met McCall and now she was jumping to even worst conclusions about Grant. The poor man didn’t even know she’d ever met Lionel.
Or did he?
She had told Frank. Frank who’d already proven he couldn’t be trusted. Frank who had thought the whole thing was funny and had wanted to tell Grant. And then what had happened? In only a matter of days, Grant was inviting her to his house to meet important people in the film industry.
At that party she had asked him about the commotion and he had started introducing her to people.
The memory of the script from that morning stood out, suddenly clear and looking suspiciously like a bribe.
Holly sat up abruptly in bed.
There was something wrong. And it was something wrong with Grant.