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Nicholas stood on the landing, the door propped open slightly so that he could see into the flat. Travis was sprawled out on the sofa, and possibly asleep from the looks of it, but it was hard to tell with him, sometimes.

“I’m going to be staying here for a few days,” Nicholas said quietly. “At least until Thursday.”

He could hear Janine doing something on the other end, but it was difficult to make out exactly what. “Is he all right?” she asked. “I didn’t even know he had another family. I always assumed he was your half-brother or something.”

Nicholas was surprised at how difficult a conversation this was. The subject had nothing to do with him, but it still bothered him slightly to talk about. “He doesn’t,” he said simply. “Not really, anyway. He never knew even his father, and his mother all but abandoned him when he was a kid.”

Even thinking about it made Nicholas jittery and slightly nervous. There was something else, hidden and unspoken for decades that he knew was there, somewhere, but he couldn’t figure out what it was or why he didn’t like it.

He could hear Travis stirring lightly inside, and peered through the gap in the door. He’d often been the one left to have a sulk on the sofa for several days on end, and wasn’t sure how to handle the situation from the other side. He was half tempted to ring one of the girls to come round and help him out with everything. Hannah was always really good at dealing with Nicholas’ episodes; maybe she’d know what to do.

“Funeral’s on Thursday. He wants me to go with,” Nicholas said, backing away from the door.

“He’s going to the funeral?” Janine seemed surprised to hear this. “You just said he doesn’t even know this woman.”

“He says he wants to.” Nicholas didn’t understand it either, but he wasn’t about to argue the fact with Travis. “I’m going to stay with him at least until that.”

Janine sighed slightly. “That’s probably for the best. Are you still coming into work?”

“Yeah.” Nicholas was fairly certain that Travis could survive the time alone with Nicholas gone. “I’ll stop by and see you in the morning after I get in.”

“You’d better. And I still expect to go out this week.”

“I’ll make reservations,” Nicholas assured. “That Place that Does All the Fish.”
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Police Chief Inspector Nicholas Angel

September 2013

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