Stream of Consciousness

Buford stared at the detectives when he opened the door from the room he was staying in at the boarding house. Any concern for himself flew right out the window when he learned that his father had confessed everything. He shoved his way past the officers, speaking as he went, “I’m fine. My father and I already worked things out. I’m not a little kid who needs help from social services. Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to go see him.”

Delaney blew out a breath. “Well, I guess that’s it then. We might as well head back to the City at this point. It’s late and I’m starving and I’ve never met a group of people less willing to be helped than in this town.”

Aberly chuckled. “They are very close-knit, and like I said, they like to take care of their own affairs. I’m sorry things didn’t work out quite as you expected but I assure you, now that I know that Craven and Buford have been being knocked around, I will keep a closer eye on things. I had no idea.”

Maggie looked at Aberly and spoke in a chastising tone again. “Except this time, give us a call and let us do our job if you find out that someone is being abused. I get that you all want to handle your own affairs, but it’s readily apparent at this point that you’ve been doing a piss poor job at it.”

Aberly sighed. “I can’t deny that. So yes, if it’s not something that I can immediately handle and prevent on my own, I will give you a call.”

Delaney added as a word of caution. “You realize in light of the Sheriff’s confession that those boys might not be returning home here.”

Aberly nodded. “I realize that, but don’t forget that Jonathan Montavier might be having a say in that matter. I think left to his own devices he honestly wouldn’t give a crap what goes on here, outside the welfare of his own brother, but his wife is related to the Carmichaels and those boys are her nephews. And Montavier’s position and wealth give him a strong sway against what might otherwise be under other circumstances. That’s why I am offering my personal assurances that those boys if they are returned, will be watched over by me with a more discerning eye than in the past. And besides, there are always compromises where social services could come on a frequent basis to ensure their well-being. Personally, I think those boys will do better around people they know than with strangers. Considering their mental and emotional states and their physical conditions, I’d wager strongly they’d be separated or placed in institutions, and that’s the last thing those boys need right now.”

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