After the breakin, the men decide that it's not safe at the dorm and take the girls to town. Will's landlord, Mr. Reiger, allows them to stay in an empty apartment next door to Will.
"Will-Billy?" Luke gasped, laughing hard.
"Patty-Cake?" another fit of giggles hit her and she doubled over.
"Good night," Patty said, shoving Luke out the door.
"Night, Patty-Cake," he replied, winking. "Dollie, you're gonna bust a gusset if you ain't careful. Good night." He gave her a quick kiss.
Will kissed Patty one last time and the men went to Will's apartment after making sure the girls were locked and bolted into the apartment.
It was well after three when they finally settled down again. Will found it difficult to fall asleep. His mind was racing and he wondered who would want to harm the girls. They didn't know anything. They were innocent. Suddenly, it occurred to him that the reason they were being pursued was because they were innocent. They knew nothing and had no knowledge that anyone would find useful. However, they could be used as leverage against Will and Luke. Someone thought they knew something and they had better figure out what and soon.
Luke stirred in the living room. He was lying on a Murphy bed that pulled out from the living room wall. The bed was old and the springs squawked loudly when he moved.
"It sounds like a flock of chickens took over my living room," Will said from the bedroom door.
Luke sat up, looking slightly embarrassed. "Sorry. I'm worried about the girls."
"Me too." Will jerked his head toward the kitchenette.
The brothers sat at the tiny, round table while a pot of coffee perked on the stove. They knew they were never going to get back to sleep.
"Something strange is going on," Will said. "I wish to hell I knew what."
"Me too," Luke agreed. "I got this feeling like I ought to know, but it's not quite there."
"I got that same feeling. Strange that the Sheriff asked about a will."
"Yeah, and he was real odd on the phone. He acted like he was expecting a call. I mean, how often you reckon that Ed actually stays at the office all night?" Will pulled at his lip, thinking.
"Not ever. He's the boss."
"Exactly. I don't know a boss on God's green Earth who works all night."
"Me neither," Luke mused. "Did he sound surprised that we had an intruder?"
"Not really. He sounded more confused that it was me calling than the fact we had a break in."
"That doesn't surprise me. I think Ed knows more than he's letting on."
"Yup. I think you're right, little brother."
They didn't go back to sleep. Neither of them could settle down and relax. Instead, they made a list of questions to ask the bank manager and the lawyer, both of whom they intended to see the next day.
Around 7:00, the girls knocked on the door. They didn't seem surprised to find the men up and about.
"We couldn't sleep very well once we got here," Patty admitted. "It was cozy and all, but my nerves were too jangled."
"Mine too," Dollie admitted.
"You should have come over," Will said, kissing Patty.
"We thought you'd be asleep."
"We thought you were."
"Just as well," Luke said. "If you'd come over, Mr. Reiger might of thought somehin' was up."
"Good point. So, are you going to the bank today?" Dollie said.
"We are as soon as it opens up."
"We've got to go in to the office," Patty said with a pout. "It's getting on for the end of the month. I have to get the paychecks ready."
"And I've got the newsletter," Dollie said. "And they've asked me to help the students do a newspaper next year, so I've got some planning to do. I've got some equipment to buy, so I'll be looking through catalogues. Won't that be fun?"
Luke shook his head in wonder. "I never did see why girls like to go shopping so much."
Dollie swatted at him, giggling. Will didn't have much food in the apartment, so they went to the diner. After eating, the men went to the bank and the girls took Dollie's car back to the school. Lucius and Will got to the bank just as it was opening. The manager, Mr. Kelly, greeted them at the door.
"What can I help you with, gentlemen?"
"I guess you've heard about our daddy," Will said.
"I have," the bank manager said. "I'm sure sorry. Have you come to see the box?"
"Yes, sir. I got the key right here." Will pulled out a key that dangled from a red ribbon.
"Come this way," Mr. Kelly said. He led them to the vault and ushered them inside.
The walls were covered with safe deposit boxes, large and small. He led them to a medium sized one, number 187. He took another key out of his pocket, put them both into the slots and turned. He handed Will his key and took the box out of the wall. He carried it to a small, private room and set the box down before going out. As he pulled the door shut, he spoke.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes