Ahm, yes, sorry... I planned on making this story much longer, draw it out, drop more clues as to who the killer would be, but some things in Real Life forced me to change my mind and wrap this story up. So, I'm sorry, if certain events will feel like they came from nowhere. It was not my intention.
I hope you will still enjoy it.
The summer of 2010 part 18/?
About: Kevin, Scotty, and others
Disclaimer: Brothers & Sisters doesn’t belong to me, written with love, not for money
Summary: Summer-holidays are coming and the boys don’t know what to do with themselves.
Extra: It takes place after season 4 finale, but I’ve lost the time-line of the episodes and I will pretend that the events of the finale happened in the spring.
The next morning Max knocks on the door of Kevin and Scotty’s room.
“Hey, come in. We ordered you some breakfast as well. We thought we’d have it here, in our room, so we’d have some privacy and we can talk freely.” Kevin explains. “The others don’t expect us down this early anyway.” He laughs.
“Thanks, I’m so grateful for this. You have no idea.”
“Please, attack!” Scotty jokes and he doesn’t have to say it twice.
“I’m sorry, but I had a late dinner consisting of a Big Mac and a Coke. And breakfast, at the place where I’m staying, is some awful tasting bread that they make themselves.”
Max shivers and hungrily eats the sandwiches before him. Scotty can’t help but smile. He can never get enough of seeing people enjoy what they are eating. He gives Max some coffee and slowly Max relaxes.
“Thank you. I think I needed that.”
“You’re welcome. Now, why are you here? How can we help you?” Kevin asks. Max puts down his cup and looks unsure.
“I know it’s against the rules, but after what we went through with Alex and such… I wanted to talk to you two about what has happened these last few days.”
“You know my opinion.” Kevin says. “I’m just sure that neither James nor Kay did something to Karen.”
“Have you ever seen them with either one of these two?” Max places the pictures of Lorena and Pablo before them. Kevin shakes his head.
“She worked in the kitchen, right? I saw her when James showed me the kitchen. He thought that, as a chef-cook, I might be interested in seeing it. I remember her, because of the strands of long hair that were sticking out. Unhygienic. Would not have been allowed in my kitchen….” Scotty replies, suddenly a bit shy, because he had noticed.
“Good. Nice observation. So, she didn’t really care much about the rules?”
“I don’t know that. I’m just saying, that as a chef-cook, I would have told her to put it back in her hair-net, so that it wouldn’t get caught in something or, worse, end up in the dish of one of the customers, but that’s me.”
“What was your over-all opinion of the kitchen?” Max asks, now curious.
“Organized. Clean. They were slightly annoyed that James was showing me around, but I don’t like people, that don’t belong there, in my kitchen either.”
“Good atmosphere? No tensions?”
“Nothing out of the ordinary. No. I think there was a healthy tension of a busy kitchen. They did their work with passion and that’s all I noticed.”
“Thanks. I’m trying to get know the victims better. But it’s hard. Aside from the fact that she loved gossip, people have nothing but nice things to say about Lorena.”
“Well, maybe she was just a nice girl.” Kevin points out.
“Yes, maybe… but then why kill her? She wasn’t raped, or hurt in any other way. Except for the stab-wounds she had no other damages to her body. Her purse, with content, was found. So it wasn’t lust, it wasn’t theft. She hadn’t been a fight with anyone, so it wasn’t revenge either.”
He hesitates before moving on. He points at the picture of Pablo.
“And neither of you ever saw him?” Scotty and Kevin both shake their heads. “Funny enough, he would have been our best suspect. He was the boyfriend of Lorena’s sister and didn’t like Lorena. Said she thought she was better than him.
He has a criminal record, mostly small crime, shoplifting, selling drugs, his last offense had put him on probation…. He couldn’t afford another problem. He was a trouble-maker and probably would have ended up in jail anyway”
“Why was he your best suspect?” Kevin asks, staring at the picture of a boy looking at the camera with a bored look.
“He was in the neighborhood when Lorena got killed. Her sister had asked him to pick Lorena up. He waited for her at the end of the road, that leads to this hotel. That’s where she would usually say goodbye to her colleagues and where she would have to start walking home alone.”
“Yes, but Lorena would often leave earlier, how could he intercept her, is she did?” Scotty asks and Max frowns. He has no answer.
“Hold that thought for a second…” He walks up to the balcony, so that he’s out of hearing range. Kevin and Scotty see him talk on the phone and then he comes back.
“He would get there early, leave his car near the road and walk up to the kitchen. Which is why he hated picking up Lorena, it’s quite a walk….So that night, he could have walked up to the kitchen to intercept Lorena, just in case she would leave early. Meanwhile she was smoking a cigarette outside and … they run into each other, they fight, he kills her?”
“Or… he saw who killed her?” Kevin asks.
“That’s also possible. But why didn’t he alert the authorities? Why didn’t he tell us who the murderer was, if he knew?” Max asks himself out loud, but as he says the words he already knows the answer.
He looks up at Kevin, who opens his mouth, closes it again, but then carefully comes with his suggestion anyway.
“It was more to his advantage to keep his mouth shut?”
“Blackmail…. Yes. That would be a logic step for him. But who?”
“Not Kay and James. That night Lorena died, they were happy to finally be together. We danced most of the night. So, they had no reason to kill Lorena. None I can think of anyway. And I cannot imagine one of them killing a young girl and then happily get on the dance-floor and 'boogie the night away', like nothing happened.” Kevin points out.
“And we’re back to square one… I keep feeling that we’re missing a piece of the puzzle, but I don’t know where to look for it…”
“Here, take the rest of the coffee.” Scotty says and he fills Max’s cup. Max gives him a grateful smile.
“And she didn’t have a boyfriend, ex-lover, something like that?”
“No. Well, yes, she had an ex, but he was working that night and there’s no way it could have been him. We double-checked. Besides, he might have had a reason to kill Lorena, and maybe even Pablo, but what about Karen?”
“And were all three murders committed with the same knife?” Scotty asks.
“The knife that was found under James and Kay’s mattress?” Kevin now wants to know.
“Yes.” Max answers tiredly. “Well, they’re still checking if the blood matches, but that's a technicality …”
“So, someone really wants to point the finger at James and Kay…” Scotty interferes.
“James. We think James, because very few people knew that he was sleeping with Kay. So we believe that Kay is not an immediate target.”
“But,..” Max looks at Kevin again, who’s now speaking. “Who could have had a grudge against James? He was here only a few days, prior to us coming here. He’s done nothing but boast about his terrific staff. No one was fired. James didn’t argue with anyone. In fact, for the moment, he wants his staff to run this place, as if his uncle were still alive.
He feels that they know very well what they should do and if there are major changes to be made, he’ll make them later, when he knows this place and its people a bit better. No one has a reason to want to hurt James. In fact, they owe it all to him, that they still have their jobs.”
“Remind me exactly how James got this place?” Max asks.
“His uncle, George, left him this place, when he died about three weeks ago.”
“He died? How?” Max asks, sitting up straight.
“Not by a knife, that’s for sure. He drowned.”
“Are you sure?”
“It’s what James told me.” Kevin answers immediately and without doubt.
“Ah, too bad. It would have been a something if it had started weeks ago…” James says with regret.
“Mr Griffiths!” Max approaches James and James turns to him.
“Inspector Carter, what can I do for you?”
“Can you tell me more about your uncle’s death?” Max asks. James frowns, but then replies.
“You can try every trick in your book, but when he died I was in England and Kay in Germany. Besides, the man drowned.” James’s voice is icy.
“Yes, I know, Kevin said that you had told him that. No reason to expect it to be a murder?”
James is close to losing patience.
“No. Some hotel-guests came to go sailing and found my uncle’s body floating just underneath the surface. He fell into the water, his pants got caught in an old nail and kept him down and he must have run out of breath and… died…” The last word is spoken more quietly.
“I’m sorry. I realize that this must be hard for you to talk about. But I seriously hoped that if there had been a prior murder, it would clear your names for good.” Max replies calmly and the harsh lines on James’ face become a bit softer.
“I see. Thank you for trying… I’m sorry.. It’s just…” James doesn’t know what to say.
“It must have been a shock to you. He must have been a favorite uncle? Or you his favorite nephew, for him to leave you this place…”
“My father and his brother stopped talking to each other decades ago. I sought contact with him when I was twenty-five. Just a letter.
He replied. I sent another letter and since then we kept communicating like that. We weren’t close, but I was the only one who had bothered to contact him… And when Kai’s grand-father died, not so long ago, I knew I could no longer stay in England. So, I wrote him and asked for help… He never had the chance to reply, but he left me his place.”
“What do you know about your uncle George? Didn't he have a family? No wife here on the island? No, girl-friend? Someone who thinks that he or she should have been in your uncle’s will?”
“No, he never mentioned his personal life… All he ever did was rave about this place. I think he was married to it.
The sea, the beach. The people. He was proud of the excellent kitchen, the cleaness of the hotel and he often talked about he lucky he was to have Ian Porter by his side. And I see why. He didn an amazin job and was really kind to me, when I came here. I still have all my uncle's letters, if you’d like to read them…?”
“Maybe later. You can’t imagine anyone having a grudge against your uncle,…?”
“No, but then, I never met the man. Maybe you should talk to the staff. They knew him better than I did.”
“Thank you. I will.” Max mumbles, his thoughts far away.
It is strange for Jordan to wake up with a warm body pressed up against him. It’s been ages ago since that happened, but it sure feels nice. He can feel how Ian’s fingertips caress his cheek.
“Good morning.” He says in a warm gentle voice and Jordan almost melts once again.
He knows, that he wants to wake up like this every morning and he secretly vows that he will never laugh at Scotty again, for being happy and satisfied in his marriage.
“What are you thinking?” Ian asks softly and Jordan plays with Ian’s hand.
“That I like this. This waking up with you… It’s all so unreal that it would happen to me.”
“Why? You’re an amazing man, so why should it not happen to you?” Ian is so sincerely surprised that it touches Jordan deeply, that this man seems to like him so much.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t question your feelings.” He says apologetic.
“No. You shouldn’t.” Ian laughs and kisses Jordan so sweetly, that all Jordan can do, is bring Ian closer to him, so that their kiss becomes even more intimate. He closes his eyes. This man gives him all he ever wanted. This must be what 7th heaven feels like.
“Inspector Carter! Inspector Carter!” Carter stops to see a young girl run up to him.
“My name is Belinda. We spoke to each other? The other night? About Lorena?”
“We questioned you. Yes. Now I remember. A chamber-maid, right?” Carter digs up from his memory.
She nods enthusiastically and presses her hand to her chest and breathes in and out a few times.
“I’m sorry. I had to run down all these stairs, to try and catch you and …”
“Take your time.” Max smiles.
“You told me that, if I could think of something regarding Lorena, I should let you know. Well, I’ve been thinking about this long and hard. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but she was murdered.” Belinda seems unsure and she wrings her hands. Max points at the table in a silent request that they should sit down and she nods.
“Lorena and I,..” Belinda starts. “We weren’t really friends, but we started here on the same day and we were about the same age, often went to the same bar, not that we hung out together, just we travel in the same circles and … She was such a gossip and I don’t know if I should repeat this, because I don’t know if it’s true.
I want to believe her, I would like to know that she spoke the truth, you know, for her own soul to have peace. At the same time, what she told me was so… unbelievable that I’m not sure if she spoke the truth and I’d hate to spread a lie that could hurt innocent people.” She rattles on.
Max takes a deep breath, wondering if her ramblings are going somewhere.
“Please, I will listen to what you have to say, I understand that the information may be unreliable and it is just hear-say. I will use the utmost discretion…. Please, tell me what Lorena told you.” Max is so calm that Belinda starts to relax too.
“She told me, when Mr George, - George Griffiths, the previous owner? – was still alive, she once had to ask him for something. There was no ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door, which he often used if he wanted privacy and so she knocked and immediately walked in, without waiting for his approval… We all did that if the sign wasn’t on the door….
And… according to her.. she walked in on Mr George, who was hugging another man…. Lorena believed that there might be more going on, but I thought it was just her over-active imagination. She saw ghosts everywhere.”
“Did she tell you who this man was?” Max asks and Belinda nods.
McCord holds his phone very tightly.
“You were right, Max, I spoke to the coroner and he had another look at the file. Seems that there were indeed bruises indicating that George could have been held down under water. They missed it.”
“Well, we had no reason to expect a murder, it seemed so obvious that he drowned, but I think it was just good luck for the killer that the pants got caught, it helped him very well. No one looked any closer to the body.”
“And you’re sure you want to check out if this gossip is true?”
“Yes. Will you call me as soon as you know something?” Max asks.
“Yes, of course, I will immediately have the bank-statements checked… I’ll get back to you. I’ll do better than that, I’m on my way to the hotel.” McCord is out of the door before Max has switched off his phone.
When Max enters James and Kay’s room he didn’t expected to find Jason, Chad, Scotty and Kevin there as well, a map of the resort before them.
“We thought we might relax a bit and go to the beach, but we weren’t sure which one yet.” Jason says, upon seeing Max’s surprised face.
“I think you’d better stay here a little longer…” Max says. “We might have a lead on the killer…” Everyone stares at him. “Where is Mrs Vermeer?”
“She had a phone-call from her son. She should be back any minute.” Scotty replies.
“And your friend Jordan?” Max now asks.
“Jordan is with Ian. I don’t he think he needs our company with what they are doing.” Kevin replies with a wink. Max laughs.
“Are they in Ian’s room or in Jordan’s?”
“Jordan’s. They had a romantic dinner there yesterday. Jordan is so happy. He texted me a few minutes ago.”
“Listen, Scotty, would it be possible for you to contact Jordan and get him down here?”
“Sure. Do you want me to ask them both down here?”
“No, just Jordan.”
“Why?” Scotty asks, suddenly suspicious. “You don’t think that Jordan….?” He starts.
“No, not Jordan.” Max replies slowly. Scotty swallows the sudden fear away.
“Oh, God. No. Ian?”
“We have reasons to suspect….”
“But that’s ridiculous! As ridiculous as accusing us!” James now says. Max shakes his head.
“No. Not really.”
“What reason could he possibly have to kill Lorena? Or Karen?” Again James refuses to give in.
“We don’t know yet. We don’t have all the details ourselves…. We just consider Ian a serious suspect.
I just want to not have to worry about Jordan. I hope and pray Ian is innocent. I saw Jordan and Ian yesterday and Jordan looked very happy, but … I cannot ignore a lead regarding him, anymore than I could simply disregard the evidence that we found in James and Kay’s room.”
Scotty picks up his phone and dials Jordan’s number.
“Hey! Am I disturbing you at something?” Scotty tries to keep his voice light, but the concern in his eyes is undeniable. Kevin quietly takes Scotty’s hand to give him extra comfort, giving Scotty the strength to go on.
“Listen, uhm, I was wondering if you could come to James and Kay’s room. We.. We’re brainstorming over a plan to throw a party for James… to thank him… for being so generous and all…. And … I could certainly need your input. You have these strangely brilliant ideas sometimes…”
Scotty nods, replies with a confirming noise or two, before saying, slightly relieved:
“Yes, of course…” At that moment there’s a knock on the door and when Max opens it, it’s Inspector McCord, who immediately starts to talk to him, but Max signals him to be quiet.
“Okay, I’ll see you in a bit!” Scotty replies cheerfully, but when he breaks the connection he does it with a huge sigh. “He’s putting on some clothes and then he’ll join us. Jordan also asked Ian as well, but Ian said that he would have to get back to work and wanted to shower first… So Ian will be alone in Jordan’s room.”
Max nods and turns to McCord, who tells him in a low voice.
“Mr Porter took a substantial amount of money from his account, the day Pablo died. Also, he seems to have gotten quite some extra funding through George Griffiths over the years. Mr Porter was also in the army. He knows how to kill someone.
And there’s something else. That bloodied knife we found? It’s not the murder-weapon. It looks like it, but the blood on the knife is not from one of the victims. It’s most likely animal-blood. This means that the real murder-weapon is still out there. With the murderer.”
Scotty doesn’t really try to hear what is being said, but the room is small and he can’t help but catch a few words. Worriedly he takes his phone, and after a second thought, he texts: “Get here asap. Need you.” to Jordan and hopes that his friend will soon join them, because Scotty has a bad feeling about this all.
Jordan struggles to put his t-shirt on his just showered body.
“Will you read that message, please…, I want to brush my teeth.” He asks Ian. Ian picks up the phone and there’s something very urgent in the message, that makes him uncomfortable.
“What exactly did Scotty ask of you?”
“To help him organize a party for James… Though I don’t get what that would have to do with Max or Inspector McCord… I heard them in the background…” Jordan replies, straightening his clothes in front of the mirror. Comb? Where’s his comb?”
“Didn’t Scotty explain that to you?” Ian now asks, letting his fingers slide over the zipper of the weekend-bag that he had brought with him to Jordan’s room.
“Nope. Not a word. Which is strange… Come to think about it Scotty sounded a bit nervous. I hope James and Kay are alright.”
“Yeah, me too.” Ian replies quietly and not very convincing, as he opens the bag and reaches inside. Jordan turns off the tab and dries his face. One more look in the mirror. Yes, he looks respectable enough again.
“I have to go.” He says, walking up to Ian, with the intention to kiss him and then he sees the knife that Ian holds tightly in his hand.
“He should have been here by now.” Scotty jumps up and paces. “Jordan should have been here by now…” He gives Kevin an anxious look. “Look, Max, either you do something or I’m going upstairs.” Kevin says, concerned by his husband’s fear.
“I agree with Kevin, we have to do something. It’s been nearly 20 minutes..” Chad’s voice is soft and calm. “I’m willing to take into account that they are maybe delayed because they have to say some sweet goodbye, but Ian said he had to be back at his job and Jordan promised he’d be down here fast…”
“… There’s still no Ian.” James adds, closing his phone. He just talked to the front-desk.
“… And no Jordan.” Jason points out. “We shouldn’t get too hysterical, but maybe if Chad and I took one stairs that leads upstairs and Kevin/Scotty the other, while you and Inspector McCord take the elevator, then we have all exits covered.
James and Kay will stay here, just in case Jordan comes from somewhere else. You said so yourself that you have no conclusive evidence that Ian is guilty. If we run into him, we try to act as normal as possible… Our primary goal right now is finding Jordan.”
“Why? What’s wrong with Jordan?” Tess asks. She just entered the room.
“Nothing that we know of. James will explain. Let’s split up.” Kevin says, unable to stay seated for one more second. Scotty joins him. They watch Chad and Jason go to the second staircase, while they take the first. Max and McCord wait for the elevator.
“I hope these men don’t go crazy. The last thing we need is a lynch-mob.”
“They won’t. I trust them.” Max is surprised by how strong his words are, because deep in his heart he doesn’t believe that Scotty or Kevin will be calm with Ian if anything happens to Jordan. The elevator only slowly takes them up and they arrive at Jordan’s room almost at the same time as Kevin and Scotty.
“No one on our stairs.” Scotty says, fear growing inside him.
“Do we go in?” Max asks McCord. “We have nothing but assumptions. Nothing solid.”
McCord seems to weigh the options. At that moment Jason comes running up to them.
“There was no one coming down the stairs, but there was someone going up to the roof. Chad said he would follow, but keep a safe distance. We couldn’t see who it was. Could just as well be another guest of the hotel.” He says, out of breath. Max comes to a decision.
“Jordan, open the door!” He yells, as he firmly knocks on Jordan’s door.
The door makes a screeching sound as it slowly falls open. Max reaches for his gun. Llooking over his shoulder, he’s not even surprised that McCord is already holding his. McCord nods and Max quickly enters the room. The bathroom immediately at his right is empty, so he moves forward into the room, not knowing what to expect.
The silence is eerie and eventually Max can’t take it anymore.
“Jordan?” He’s listens for an answer, but when he takes two steps further towards the bed the sight before him, makes him gasp. “Jordan!” He lowers his gun in shock and he stares at the floor.
For Scotty the tension in no longer acceptable. Max’s gasp makes him fear the worst and he can no longer control himself. He storms into the room. He wants to call out Jordan’s name, but then his friend's name freezes on his lips, as just around the bed, he sees the huge red stain, and then, Jordan's motionless body amidst all the blood.
END OF PART 18