It was a cold day in Meadow Glen.
A fire crackled merrily in the grate, spilling warmth into the otherwise chilly room. Though the sun shone outside, the light was frozen and weak.
Seeley Moss sat in his favourite chair by the fire, browsing the newspaper. Since he had retired from investigating and his children had all grown up, he often found himself with altogether too much time on his hands.
In recent weeks, his wife, Molly, had been telling him that he needed a hobby. Seeley privately agreed. In his more idle hours, his mind strayed back to the days where he would solve cases, big and small, for the members of the community. Though he had felt both drained and fulfilled after his showdown with Vincent Valentine Mason (although no one would believe that Seeley was anything less than heroic, much to his annoyance), and though he had been happy and thankful to retire, Seeley sometimes felt the familiar itch. He sometimes felt the hunger for the thrill of the chase, the pure adrenaline of the game. He missed the finesse, the dance and battle of intelligent minds.
His fingers twitched on the paper. There must be something, something that he could set his mind to. Molly didn’t have to know…
His eyes stopped on a tiny paragraph, nestled between an advertisement for a local eating contest (maybe that was worth looking into?) and one for a local escort company (definitely not worth looking into).
Local girl, Susannah Moss, daughter of retired private investigator, Seeley Moss, is working her way up the ladder in Riverview. Not only is her band, Sienna Dreams, starting to become noticed by the Riverview music industry, Susannah is getting married! Our hawk-eyed contact spotted her shopping for wedding dresses with an unidentified male companion. It seemed that her companion was too young to be her future husband, and speculation is rife about the identity of the mystery groom.
Seeley shook his head in disgust. Couldn’t these vultures leave his children alone?
And then, the words of the article started to sink in.
Susannah. Getting married.
A mystery groom.
An hour later, Seeley found himself staring into the fire, his mind wearily treading the same circular paths.
Why hadn’t Susie contacted them? As far as he was aware, she hadn’t even told them that she had a boyfriend, though Molly was more likely to know about that sort of thing than he was.
And who was this guy who dared to think he could marry his daughter without the courtesy of meeting him first?
“Seeley, I have something I need to -”
“Molly, we’re going to Riverview. I need to give our daughter’s fiancé a piece of my mind.”
Molly blinked at him.
“How did you -”
But Seeley wasn’t listening.
“I may be older than that guy (I hope), but I still have it!”
“Seeley… you do know you look ridiculous, right?”
“Maybe a little bit…”
“But that doesn’t change the fact we’re going to Riverview. I won’t let him get away with this. I’ll find out if he’s suitable for our Susie, you mark my words.” He paused. “I can’t believe Susie didn’t tell us.”
And, with that, he strode out of the door, his mind fixed on his purpose.
Molly stared after him, feeling distinctly baffled. She had almost forgotten what Seeley could be like when he truly set his mind to something.
Smiling to herself, she shook her head.
She would tell him about the wedding invitation that had arrived with that morning’s post on the drive over. Of course, Susie had discussed her boyfriend with Molly on several occasions and Molly, in turn, had mentioned him to Seeley.
But it seemed as though Seeley had conveniently forgotten that.
Molly had to smile to herself.
Her silly husband, deaf to all sense and reason when he was hot on the trail of a potential case. She hadn’t seen him so worked up, so… happy in a long while.
She knew that it was largely guilt about what had happened to Camille that had stopped Seeley from investigating, though he pretended otherwise. It was nice that he had something… well, frivolous, to focus on, rather than chasing ghosts. He had done more than enough of that for one lifetime.
After all, there was no way that this Gabriel could have a skeleton in his closet as big as Vincent Mason.
With that decisive thought, Molly took the car keys (which Seeley had forgotten in his hurry) off the hook and followed her husband out into the cold sunshine.
To Riverview, then.