“Forgive me but I'm going to need some more time alone.” He refilled the glass.
Nick looked out the window and saw three people striding up the short drive to the house. He gulped more of his drink, needing the alcohol to burn away the bile clogging his throat.
Just yesterday, the elderly man died in his bed.
Uncle once made an offer he thought would set his ward on a path of redemption. “I'll pay all the fees and living expenses if you go to law school.” But Nick refused. By then, he operated a successful business he enjoyed. Many times over the years, the money he made was more than he could have hoped, even as a lawyer.
Unfortunately, those lucrative times were gone.
Of course, I counted on Uncle's damn millions taking care of the rest of it, he thought as he swallowed the last of the scotch.
Earlier, after he greeted and comforted all who came over with their black clothes, their potlucks, and their memories, Nick stepped into the study for private time with Uncle's lawyer.
“I don't know why you thought you and your wife were in Mr. Stanford's will,” were the lawyer's last words before he left Nick shaken and nursing his drink.
He wished he knew that particular truth sooner.
The sharp knock at the door of the study jolted Nick out of his reverie. “Yes, yes, come the hell in.” He stood up and flung the glass at the fireplace, and waited for the detective to walk over to him and recite him his rights, while two policemen clicked handcuffs around his wrists, then guided him to the door.
As they walked past the people gathered and silent in the hallway, Nick looked up and saw his wife's ashen face and stopped. She reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt. “You know how to fix this don't you, Nicky?”
The police pulled her away and pushed him out the door. When they reached the car, and before a strong hand held his head down and helped him slide into the back seat, Nick turned for a last look at Uncle's house.
There were many things he knew how to do, how to fix. He was certain he had been careful one more time.
Yes, Nick was a killer. But I'm no lawyer, he thought as he was driven from the only home he never had.