Holly looked back at the office and saw Linda standing by one of the windows watching their car.
“We’d better get out of here,” she said, turning on the ignition. She backed out of the parking space and pulled onto the street before turning the car in the direction of home. “You really do think she knows something though?”
“But it’s not likely to be directly related to why Lionel and Grant were arguing. I suppose Lionel could have called and asked her to give him some time on the child support and then explained what was going on, but given that her reaction didn’t happen until we started talking about the past, I think it unlikely.”
“Yes, but we if knew for a fact that Lionel had a history of blackmail…”
“True. I have been thinking. Victor McCall, I know he’s friends with Grant but if I approached the subject very, very carefully, I might be able to learn something from him. Also he’s working with Grant on the merger so he’ll be familiar with his business practices. If he would talk to me, we might learn how likely it is that Grant could even be blackmailed.”
“I guess it would depend on how close he and Grant are.”
Holly thought a moment. “When Alan was arrested,” she said carefully, “Grant wanted to drop me from Cold Wars. He wanted to distance the film from the bad publicity. McCall threatened to pull his support from the merger if I didn’t stay in the film. I think he would talk to me if I was honest with him about what’s going on. When we get back to LA, I’ll try and find out when his return flight is.”
When they arrived at the house Holly parked outside the garage. She unlocked the door and headed for the kitchen. “I’m going to make a sandwich for lunch. Would you like one?”
“No, I think I’m good at the moment.”
Holly nodded and opened the refrigerator. Staring into it though it struck her that she didn’t have much of an appetite either. She shut the door and headed for her room.
She grabbed a book off one of the shelves and tried to read it. It had been a favorite when she was younger, but somehow she couldn’t concentrate on it and tossed it aside. She tried a second but ended up tossing it as well. She lay down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. The nagging thought from the day before was back, only now she wasn’t sure it was exactly a thought anymore. She was bothered by something and she wasn’t sure what.
In exasperation she sat up, grabbed a jacket and headed out to the living room. Peter was sitting in there, flicking through a magazine.
“I’m going for a walk,” she announced. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
He glanced up but she was already halfway out the front door.
Holly didn’t have an exact location in mind and merely wandered the sidewalks. It was nice to see the town again and she did spot a few familiar faces. She’d forgotten though how easy it was to underestimate an Arizona winter, and the cold soon drove her into a coffee shop. She ordered a latte and sipped it as she made her way back towards the house.
Peter was gone from the living room by the time she returned. His bedroom door was closed and she supposed he was probably in there. She went back into her own room and lay down, feeling tired and drained. She yawned, reaching out to place her coffee cup on the nightstand and then raise the clock so she could see it better. It was a little before three.
She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
When Holly jerked awake a little over two hours later, it was to a feeling of disorientation. The sun had set while she was sleeping and the sky was the inky grey of darkening night. She got up and made her way out into the hall. Peter’s door was opened now but she couldn’t find him in either the kitchen or the living room.
With a vague idea of checking outside to see if he had taken the car somewhere, she stepped out onto the porch and was startled to see him, sitting on the low bench that was set back against the wall of the house. He was writing in a notebook by the light streaming from the living room window behind him. He looked up when he heard her.
“Holly. I thought you were still out.”
“No. I came back several hours ago. I needed a nap.” She came over and sat down beside him. The sky over the mountains was still faintly tinged with pink and red. “Aren’t you cold out here?” she asked.
“I came out for the sunset.”
“And to write,” she said, glancing at his notebook. “I heard you writing last night to. What are you working on?”
Peter looked a little embarrassed and placed the notebook down on the bench beside him. “It’s stupid.”
Holly smiled. “What is it?”
“I…” he sighed. “You cannot tell Matt this, but I got did bored in Ireland. I mean you can only sightsee so much and then you’re there in Dublin by yourself and you have nothing to do but sit in a hotel room reading books and thinking. There was lots of thinking. But it wasn’t exactly exciting. So…I started writing.”
“A book? A comedy. I don’t know. I just thought…I wondered if I really could write something funny. And I was bored. A lot of people thought that stupid Crocodiles in Space commentary was humorous, though to be fair anyone could tear that script apart. So I just wondered…it’s silly.”
“Can I read it?”
“I-,” Peter didn’t seemed thrilled at the idea. “It’s not very good.”
“People always say that. I’m sure I’ll love it.”
“People always say that too. But alright. I’ll email you what I have so far. It’s just…it’s not serious. I’m just doing it for fun. I was quite enjoying Ireland once I started this. Of course then Matt showed up and had to drag me back to LA. Though I’m glad he did now.” He glanced at her.
Holly ran a hand across her hair and looked back out over the mountains. The colors were gone now.