S3, Ep 8, Sc 6: The Tone

After dropping Holly and Peter off, Nikki stopped for a cup of coffee and then turned her car in the direction of home. She’d been curious to know what they were both thinking about the meeting with Clint, but something told her now was the time to leave. Holly hadn’t been acting quite normal and she wasn’t entirely sure she wanted her there.

It did feel rather ridiculous. The idea that someone might have been murdered-

Of course someone had. But that it might have been on purpose and by Grant. It all sounded too farfetched to her. Holly had certainly been taking it seriously though and so Nikki had decided it was wisest to keep her thoughts to herself.

She wondered what was going on with Holly. Perhaps she should call up Frank and ask.

It wasn’t until Nikki was pulling into her driveway and noticed the car parked there, that she abruptly remembered that she’d had plans for the day and was now forty minutes late. She parked hastily and hurried inside.

“Tobin? Tobin?” she called out.

“In here.”

She hurried into the living room where Tobin was sitting on the couch, his laptop propped open.

“I’m so sorry I’m late!” said Nikki, coming around to sit down next to him.

“No problem. I got some work done.”

“I’ll only be ten minutes. I just have to change and then we can go to lunch.”

She kissed him and ran upstairs. How could she have forgotten their date? She pulled a dress out of the closet and started changing. Holly had called and then she’d called Clint. Somewhere along the line of arranging to go over to his apartment she’d forgotten all about the lunch plans. She applied a little bit of makeup, pulled her hair into a ponytail and hurried downstairs to meet Tobin. He’d put his computer away and was now standing over by the large glass doors looking out. He turned when he heard her and smiled.

“Ready?”

“Yes. Sorry again about being so late.”

“No problem. What happened?”

Nikki smiled sheepishly. She felt extremely uncomfortable. She’d never told Tobin about dating Clint, but she was suddenly acutely aware of it herself.

“I was helping out a friend of mine. Holly, you’ve met her.”

“Oh, right. What did she need help with?”

It was an innocent question, and from the way he was already fishing his car keys out of his pocket, Nikki could tell he’d only asked in passing. However if she ignored the question it would attract his notice.

She tried shrugging and sounding as offhand as possible as she said, “Nothing much. She was just curious about some paparazzo, Lionel Atwood.”

“The one who died?” asked Tobin, surprised. Darn. She had his interested now.

“You know about that?”

“I read about it in the paper. Why was she interested?”

“No reason,” said Nikki hastily. She wanted to drop the subject as quickly as possible, and going into Holly’s theories wouldn’t help with that. “Just curious. Lurid imagination I guess. We should get going. I’m starved.”

“Right. Let me just put on my jacket.” Tobin pulled his coat on and started zipping it. “How did you help her anyway? Did you know Lionel?”

“No. A friend of mine did.”

Nikki noticed Tobin’s hand hesitate slightly. He glanced up at her and smiled. “Clint Morgan?”

“I-, actually yes.” Nikki instantly knew her tone had been wrong. Tobin swung the strap of his laptop case onto his shoulder.

“You could have asked me.”

“You knew Lionel?”

“No. But I could have found you some people who did.” He grinned. “Come on. Let’s go eat.”

The subject was clearly dropped but something about the conversation left Nikki feeling dissatisfied.

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