Eve slowly opened the bathroom door. She knew she would have to face TC eventually. She had been in the bathroom for what seemed like hours, but on checking her watch discovered it had only been 30 minutes.
Eve had calmed down enough after the initial shock to compose herself. She had stopped crying; she had no more tears left to cry. She had made an attempt to wash her face and straighten her clothes, but she really did not care what she looked like.
Taking a deep breath, she walked back to the kitchen. TC was still there, reading the morning newspaper. He looked up when he heard her coming. “Hi, honey, how are you feeling?” he asked, concerned.
“I’ve felt better,” she replied. “I’ll be OK. I, I think I just need to rest.”
“All right, honey. You don’t look so good. Why don’t you go upstairs and lie down?”
“I think I will,” Eve said. Her eyes roamed to the newspaper TC was reading. “Is there anything in there about…?”
“Anything about Julian Crane’s accident?” he finished. “No, I guess they didn’t have any information when they printed this. All I know is what I heard on the radio – that his car was seen going over a cliff last night. They got the car out, but didn’t find a body. The reporter said things didn’t look good for Crane. Let’s hope he was right.”
“TC, that’s a terrible thing to say,” Eve scolded, tears forming in her eyes.
“Baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. Look at you. You are the most perfect wife a man could ever want – the most perfect person. You even worry about people you don’t like.”
“I, I know Julian from the hospital, and we’ve seen him around town a lot these last few years. He saved Whitney’s life in the elevator accident, don’t you remember? We wouldn’t have our girl if it weren’t for him.”
“Yeah, I remember,” TC said. “I always wondered why he did that – saved Whitney. Julian Crane never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him.”
“I think he’s changed,” Eve said. “He’s become a better person since everyone thought he was dead.”
“Well, I certainly didn’t see any difference,” her husband countered. “But I hope for his sake it’s true, because where he’s going…”
Eve shuddered at the thought of what TC was trying to say. It brought back the reality of Julian’s likely death. She let out a little wail, and then put her hand over her mouth.
TC looked at her with concern in his eyes. “You are really not feeling well, are you?” he said. “You just go lie down. I’ll check on you later.”
Eve walked slowly toward the stairs. Her hand had never left her mouth in order to prevent another sob from escaping. On the way upstairs, she wondered why TC never caught onto how she was feeling - that she was in tremendous grief. Eve was glad that her secret past with Julian didn’t come out, not on this day of all days. She couldn’t have handled it. Still, she couldn’t believe TC didn’t pick up on any of the clues. “Doesn’t he know me at all?” she wondered.
Reaching the bedroom, Eve closed and locked the door. She collapsed on the bed and gave into her emotions once more. She was safe here – safe to be herself, safe to feel what only she could feel…
She fell asleep after she had once more rid herself of all her tears.
Luis rummaged through Julian Crane’s accident report. He had been in his car when a witness called to report the incident. Luis was one of the first officers to respond to the accident. He remembered feeling surprised when he later found out the car belonged to Julian Crane.
Something about the whole case bothered Luis. First, Julian had recently been reported missing by Rebecca – but he had been missing since a day and a half before the accident. Also, Julian’s car was apparently headed out of town when he went over the cliff, but nobody in town had spoken to him since his disappearance. Rebecca maintained she had not seen or heard from Julian since two days ago.
Luis had been sure that Julian was merely off having a fling with some girl, so he hadn’t even bothered to check out any leads on his disappearance – until the accident. Now, he was not so sure. Something smelled pretty fishy about the whole thing.
While Luis did not personally care at all for Julian, he was a police officer, and as such would do his best to solve the case. What really started to get to him was the fact that two Cranes were currently missing – Sheridan and Julian, and one was likely dead. He suddenly wondered if there was something more behind Julian’s accident: Had he been targeted by the same people who took Sheridan?
His suspicions were further aroused when he had looked through the preliminary accident report. No body was found. The driver’s side window had been left open, which could explain that. The car was empty, except for a piece of driftwood. That could have floated in through the window, of course…
Luis shook his head. Something did not seem right about the whole thing. Taken separately, each piece of evidence seemed all right – it was explainable. But when it was all put together, there were a lot of empty holes.
“Hey, Sam,” he called, “Anything else come in on the Crane accident?”
“Nothing new,” Sam replied. “No body found yet, if that’s what you mean.”
“That’s strange too,” Luis said. “The accident occurred near shore. The tide was coming in. Surely a body would have washed up to shore by now.”
“It is a little puzzling,” Sam admitted. “What do you make of everything you’ve seen so far on the case?”
“Something’s off,” Luis said. “I don’t know what yet, but something is not right here.”
“I think I’m inclined to agree,” Sam said. “If we just took the accident itself, I would think it’s a little odd, but throw in the fact that Julian had already been reported missing – I don’t know. Something doesn’t fit.”
“Two Cranes – two strange disappearances,” Luis said. “You don’t think Alistair…?”
“I wouldn’t put anything past Alistair,” Sam said. “Didn’t he hire the guy that impersonated you that time?”
“He and Julian,” Luis said. “And that’s just it. I can see Alistair doing something to Sheridan, but not to his prized son. I can’t see him wanting to hurt Julian. He’s his mouthpiece.”
“I don’t know, Luis,” said Sam. “What is your gut feeling about all this?”
“My gut tells me there’s something fishy about this accident, and it has nothing to do with the fish that were swimming around Julian’s car.”
“Was Crane in it?” Sam asked. “Or is this some big smokescreen?”
“I don’t know,” Luis said. “If it is, then who’s behind it? Either Julian wants to make it look like he’s dead for whatever reason or …”
“Or someone else has gone to a lot of trouble to make it look that way,” Sam said. “And if that’s the case, we need to find out why.”
“The press has practically declared him dead,” Luis said.
“I know,” said Sam. “And he may be dead. But I don’t think it’s cut and dried.”
“Far from it,” said Luis. He picked up the accident report once more. “The key’s here; I just know it.”
“I’m going to have to talk to the press,” Sam said. “You take your time. I want a thorough investigation here. Don’t leave any stone unturned.”
“What are you going to tell the press in the meantime?” Luis asked.
“I’m going to tell them the truth – that this is an ongoing investigation, and that any reports of Julian Crane’s death were premature.”
“As would be appropriate in any investigation where there’s no body,” Luis said. “That’s good.”
“If Alistair or someone else is behind this,” Sam said, “they won’t know we’re onto them, just that we haven’t closed the investigation yet, and won’t. Not until a body’s found.”
“I think that’s the right path to take,” Luis admitted. “It’s the middle ground for this case. We’re not saying he’s dead, but we’re not revealing our true suspicions either.”
“I thought you’d agree with that approach,” Sam said, turning to go back to his desk.
“And anyway, it’s not like anyone really cares a whole lot about Julian Crane, one way or the other,” Luis said. “I bet there’s no one out there grieving over the reports of his presumed death, not even Rebecca.”
“No, Rebecca will be grieving,” Sam said. “For the loss of all that Crane money. They weren’t married, remember?”
“Well, then there’s one person in town who’s sorry he may be dead,”
Luis said. “But I bet she’s the only one.”