About: Kevin, Scotty, Chad.
Disclaimer: Written with love, not for money
Summary: Well, if I'd tell you, you wouldn't have to read it.... ;)
Trigger-warning: this chapter discusses abuse.
Still 6 days to Christmas
Fine? Whatever? Are we suddenly 13 years old or something? Scotty throws the piece of paper back on his table. What kind of reply was ‘Fine. Whatever.’? Obviously something was bothering Kevin, but to react like this? He turns on his computer to check Kevin’s date planner, to find out where Kevin is today.
He knows he will not be able to reach Kevin, if Kevin is at the courthouse or in the middle of talks with clients. Much to his surprise he finds that Kevin has all his dates stricken. Not a single appointment until the New Year. Scotty frowns. Why hadn’t Kevin told him that he had decided to take two weeks off?
Or maybe he had and Scotty hadn’t been listening? The uneasy feeling, the one he had had a few days ago, comes back full force. Had he missed something? Something important? He quickly re-reads the written conversation. Kevin had perhaps really wanted, needed, to talk to him…?
Scotty takes a deep breath and a question comes to his mind. If Kevin has no appointments, where is he now? The most immediate thought is: Nora. With the kids. They had left Nora in charge of Olivia and Daniel. It would be only natural that Kevin would want to be with his kids during the days up to Christmas.
He picks up his phone, his fingers quickly dialing Nora’s number.
“Hi, Nora, it’s Scotty, did I wake you?... Oh, good…. Can I talk to Kevin?... He’s not? … I’m sorry. I thought I heard him say that he’d be with the kids… My mistake, I guess… He called? This morning?....
He won’t be with the kids during Christmas?... No, I have to work and I’m fairly sure that he has no plans to join me at the restaurant…” Scotty begins to feel a bit weird. Kevin had cancelled on Nora? And even more weird, he had cancelled on the kids? “Yes. Good idea. I’ll give Justin a call… Bye.”
Scotty puts down the phone and sits down. Should he call Justin? It’s absurd that he seems to have lost his husband, but he has no idea where Kevin is. Why would Kevin do this? What is going on? Just as Scotty decides to give Justin a call, the phone rings. The noise is so unexpected that Scotty nearly drops the phone, before he can answer it.
“Hello?” Scotty’s voice is hesitant. He doesn’t know who is calling him.
“Hello. This is John Griffiths. I’m looking for Kevin Walker?”
“He’s not in right now.” Scotty answers, wondering where he had heard the name John Griffiths before.
“Are you his husband?” John now asks.
“Oh. Good. How is Kevin?”
“Good. I presume?” A thousand questions come to Scotty’s mind.
“That’s great news. I was in the other courtroom when Kevin collapsed two days ago. It was quite a spectacle. It’s not every day that one of our lawyers gets shipped off to a hospital by ambulance. Especially Kevin, he’s quite popular. Left all of us concerned for him. I’m glad to know he’s doing better.”
“Yes, I can imagine.” Scotty answers flabbergasted, not willing to admit that he’s clueless. Of course, he now remembers, John Griffiths is also a lawyer. He and Kevin had crossed swords before in the courtroom. But with respect. Kevin likes Mr Griffiths and he gets the feeling the it is mutual.
And what is this about collapsing the court-room? And hospital? How come he didn’t know about any of this?
“I hope we’ll see Kevin back in court soon.” John’s words are general.
“Yes. I hope so too.” Scotty nods foolishly as if to give focus to the words.
It isn’t until John has hung up that Scotty can deal with what he just heard. Kevin had collapsed in a courtroom. He had been in hospital. Why? How sick was he? What had happened? Why hadn’t Kevin told him this? Why had the hospital not called Scotty? There’s only one person he can think off to call.
“Ah, Justin! How can I help you?”
“Ahm, well, I don’t know if you can. I know you can’t give out confidential information on patients, but…”
Justin hesitates. He knows how strict Dr Poll is and it will be hard to get answer.
“… Two days ago, my brother Kevin was rushed to the hospital. From the courtroom. He’s a lawyer… I’d like to know..” Justin starts carefully. Dr Poll shuts Justin up with a radical wave of his hand.
“I can’t give information on patients.”
“I know, sir, and I’m not asking what is going on with him or what his reason for collapsing was.… But… Kevin went missing since early this morning. He simply left. Without a word. And his husband, but also his family, and me, … we’re concerned.
We’re all worried that he might do something stupid. Can I at least ask if there was any reason to be concerned that he might do something to ... injure himself? Something… radical?” Justin tries to be as professional as he can be, but the fear, of what the answer might be, is clearly in his eyes."Is there a reason to alert the police perhaps..?
The doctor looks at Justin, knowing that Justin is walking that thin line between confidentiality and need to know. He pulls up Kevin’s file and reads through it to refresh his memory.
“No. Not that I can think off, based on the information I have here. Nothing life-threatening. Your brother had no great reason for concern.”
“So, it wasn’t some terrible disease? No real bad news that might cause him to do something rash?”
“No. Not based on my information. ”
“Thank you.” Justin nods and practically runs off to inform Scotty.
“Chad!” Scotty looks up from decorating a dish, just long enough to register that Chad has entered the room.
“Have you spoken to Kevin today?” Chad's question surprises Scotty, but not for more than a second. He assumes that Kitty has talked to Jason, who, in turn, told Chad that Kevin is missing.
Another person who knows, but who won't can't do anything. And Scotty has no idea where to begin either. In fact, after having called everyone he could think of, Scotty had realized that he had was stuck between continue the search or report him as missing and he hasn't made a decision yet. Work is the only thing that can distract him from all the worrying thoughts in his head.
“Oh, you heard, huh? No, I still have no idea where he is. He’s not with Nora, not with the kids, not a work, he’s not answering his phone and nobody has spoken to him or seen him since yesterday-morning.” Scotty nods his head, a frown of worry marks his face and he looks miserable. “I wish I knew what’s wrong with him.”
“I spoke to him last night. He needed someone to talk to and … we had a few drinks. I know what’s going on and where he is.” Chad answers bluntly and Scotty nearly drops his decorating-bag.
“What?!?!” Scotty turns to one of the others cooks. “Finish decorating.” He orders.
Then he grabs Chad by the arm and pulls him towards his office.
“What the hell is going on? What are you talking about? Where’s Kevin?”
“Yes. I inherited my uncle’s house there and Kevin went there to check out if it’s worth selling and what needs to be done to it and so on.” Chad explains. "Not that I need to know. I know the place inside out and I will NEVER sell it. But I send him there to give him something to do someplace else but here."
“Canada?! It’s Christmas in five days!”
“He needed a place to get away and have some time to himself.”
a“He needed to clear his head.”
“I already suspected that you had no clue what was going on when I read this.”
He show Scotty Kevin’s message: ‘Chad, tried to talk to Scotty. Failed. I’m out. K.’
“… That’s why I came here and check it out.” Chad sounds apologetic and though Scotty appreciates the sentiment, he’s more than anxious to find out what is going on with Kevin.
“Chad, please tell me.”
“Kevin had a case, earlier this month. Grandparents trying to get custody over their grandchild because they felt that their daughter and son-in-law were having an abusive relationship and the boy was caught in the middle.
Kevin tried to have the kid taken away from his parents. He could however not prove his case. The kid played soccer and certain black and blues could be considered sporting-accidents. There had been some hear-say, but no witness dared to say something. The mother protected the father. Told everyone that the father would never hurt his son.
The case got dismissed for lack of evidence. It was upsetting of course. Especially, because a week later the father completely flipped during an alcoholic fit and put his wife in the hospital and they found the boy. Apparently he had been hit so hard that he had made a bad fall and he died as a consequence…”
“Oh, my God….” Scotty sits down behind his desk, a look of complete devastation is on his face as he tries to imagine what his husband must have felt upon hearing this. “Why didn’t he tell me?” He asks, but as the words leaves his lips he thinks he already has his answer.
“He eventually tried. But you were too busy with strawberries… or raspberries.. or whatever…”
“Blueberries.” Scotty whispers, now that he remembers the look on Kevin’s face. “I was so busy with the desserts… I hadn’t heard a word he had said. He must hate me for being so inconsiderate…” Scotty feels terrible and Chad immediately kneels down beside him.
“No, he doesn’t hate you, he couldn’t. He loves you. And he knows that you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders, what with Christmas coming and having a fully booked restaurant and having to give everyone the evening of their lives. And he’s aware that you are the main provider in this family and … he’s not angry with you. He told me so.”
Chad’s words sound so much like what Kevin would have said that Scotty doesn’t doubt him.
"And what about the hospital? Did he say something about that?"
"Hospital?" Now it's Chad's turn to look confused.
"Never mind. I'll figure it out. Where's Kevin? Can I reach him somehow?" Scotty asks. Chad slides a piece of paper to Scotty.
“This is where he is. And the number where he can be reached. I’ve sent him there, to clear his head. He promised me that he would talk to you first.”
“In all fairness. I think he tried.” Scotty quickly tells him about the note he had found last night and the reply early this morning. “I think he was very upset that I hadn’t done what he had asked me to do.”
“I think so too.” Chad agrees…
END OF CHAPTER THREE