“Good!” Hank boomed, and embraced Phoebe. “The celebration will start at about eight tonight. Is that okay?”
“Sure,” JD said. “I’ll try to have things ready to go by then.”
“What things?” Dillon yawned.
“The set up for the investigation, Dillon. You know, the reason we’re here in the first place?”
“Oh, yeah, yeah — right. Gotcha.”
“I’m so happy for you two,” Wendy cooed. “You deserve this so much.”
“We’ll see you tonight then,” Phoebe said. She smiled at Wendy a moment before snatching her in a firm, loving hug.
When they separated, the Kileys left holding hands. Wendy watched them disappear though the door. JD watched Wendy.
“Well … this is unexpected,” he muttered.
“Yeah. But in a good way.”
“Dudes, what’re we doin’? I’m gettin’ bored an’ stuff.”
JD shook his head. “We’re here so I can show you this book, this link, this connection to the Kileys. Someone who knew this story — even someone in their family — could use it to intimidate the Kileys. I still say a set-up for extortion is a real possibility.”
“I still say it doesn’t explain Bea the Dead Librarian, JD. And it doesn’t explain the murders. Not at all. Especially not someone in their own family. Why kill your own family?”
“That’s not unheard of, Wen. And they’re not murders according to the police.”
“Dudes … what if it is a real curse an’ stuff? Jus’ … jus’ what if?”
“The Kileys don’t believe it’s a curse. They believe it’s a ghost, remember?”
“Why ain’t it?”
“Because there are no such things –”
“Stop, dude. Shutcher stink hole right there. Don’ even say it, bee-otch.”
“JD, you’ve seen too much, been through too much, not to give serious consideration to the idea that this is paranormal or supernatural.”
He sighed and stared off into the distance above Wendy. They studied him. He sighed again, and put his hands on his hips.
“Based on the evidence we have here, I can’t say it’s definitely a paranormal event. But I think you’re right about having to consider it. I have no explanation for the Bea Jenkins connection … none. Zero. With that in front of me, I … well, even though I shouldn’t and don’t want to, I have to consider the possibility.”
“Aw, lover,” Wendy said, hugging him and laying her head on his chest, “that was hard for you to do, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, lovah-boy, ’cause yer a dick an’ shit,” Dillon mocked, mimicking her tone.
Wendy laughed, kicking playfully at Dillon, and JD enfolded her in his arms.
“Yes, it was hard. But … I keep trying to ignore the Bea Jenkins aspect. No matter how I try, I can’t put that together. I guess it’s possible for them to have found the name in connection to me, but I can’t figure out how. And why would they do that? There are plenty of paranormal investigators more local than I am … why not call one of them?”
“They always say it’s because Bea told them to call you.”
“An’ dude, most folks listen t’ghosts. Not like you.”
JD shrugged. “Like I said, I have to consider the chance. But … I still say this is going to turn out to be something natural and human.”
“Let’s finish up and find out, shall we?” Wendy smiled up at him, and kissed him tenderly. “Now, what’s next?”
“Let’s go get set up for the investigation, I guess. We have a lot to do before the dinner tonight.”
* * *