Death by Obsession(3)

By: Jaden Skye

“Thank you,” said Cindy softly, wanting to calm him down.

“I did not tell Olivia about it,” Aldon went on. “She has no idea that I’ve contacted you now. Nobody has any idea at all.”

“Is that why you’re staying here, rather than at the main hotel?” asked Cindy.

Aldon looked at her impressed. It was obviously difficult and painful for him to get to the matter at hand. “Precisely,” he went on. “Everyone is down on the island or will be shortly. They’re all staying at the Aupres Hotel.” He bit his lower lip. “There will be photography sessions, rehearsal dinners, on and on.”

Cindy smiled, “A busy time.”

Aldon did not respond to her smile. “And the papers have gotten wind of it. It’s all over the news.”

Cindy nodded. “We’ve seen the story. Is your daughter down on the island now as well?”

“Yes, certainly,” Aldon said haltingly. “She’s with the groom, Lynch, at the main hotel. They’ve actually been living together for a couple of months by now.” He took a deep, brittle breath, “I doubt that would have happened if Tara’s mother had been alive, but her mother has been gone for two years by now.”

“I’m sorry,” said Cindy, as Aldon’s eyes darted back and forth nervously.

“Tara’s mother would never have approved of her living with her groom before marriage,” he went on. “In fact, I doubt Tara would have done it, if my wife had been alive.”

“It’s common these days,” said Mattheus.

“Common, yes. A good idea, I don’t know,” Aldon replied, shrugging his shoulders and suddenly seeming to Cindy like a relic from the past. “But it’s a different life for a young woman without a mother,” Aldon continued. “No matter how hard I try, I can’t take her mother’s place, either. Tara has let me know that in all kinds of ways.”

Despite his stiff, formal manner, Cindy felt badly for him, sitting there alone, bathed in memories of the past. She could see why this wedding would be hard on him.

“How can we help you?” Mattheus asked directly then, trying to break the impasse.

“In a sense I feel like a fool for calling you, in another I am truly relieved that you have arrived,” Aldon picked up the pace. “The long and short of it is, I do not trust my son in law to be, Lynch Sprain one bit. I’ve tried to and just cannot. I don’t like him either.”

Cindy shivered at the extent of the disgust she felt in Aldon. “There’s nothing unusual about a perspective father in law having doubts about the man his daughter is going to marry,” Cindy remarked. “It happens all the time.”

“I suppose it does,” said Aldon, tautly, “but I simply cannot shake the feeling that this is not a matter of having doubts. Something is really wrong here. Whenever I look at this young man, I’m uneasy. He is not someone I can give my daughter to.”

“The wedding is in a few days,” said Mattheus.

Aldon sprang up suddenly, like a soldier to attention. “There’s time enough,” he proclaimed.

“For what?” asked Mattheus alarmed.

“I want you two to find out everything you can about him,” Aldon insisted. “Dig up dirt from every corner.”

“You’ve waited this long to investigate him while you’ve had so many doubts? asked Cindy.

Aldon turned condescendingly and smiled, showing a row of pearl white teeth. “Not at all. I’ve had Lynch Sprain thoroughly investigated. But, to be honest, but no one has found a damn thing. Lynch comes from a wealthy, upstanding family. His mother, Raina’s in the paper all the time. Quite the rich widow who makes the society pages daily.”

“You dislike his mother as well?” Cindy felt a slow chill go up her arms and shoulders.

“Yes, I do dislike Raina,” Aldon quickly proclaimed. “She’s not at all my type. Nothing like Barbara, Tara’s mother. Nothing at all. So, you see, it’s not just the groom, it’s the entire family. And the father, the owner of their firm, died a few years ago. Lynch runs the family business perfectly well. To all appearances he’s doing a wonderful job. People have nothing but praise for him. He has an excellent reputation, but I don’t buy it. Deep down I sense something wrong. I need you to dig deeper.”