Kate was sitting at the dining room table, picking at the dinner on the plate in front of her as she and Bar chatted. He hadn't said anything to Sid about any rumors of her and Colin being seen at the diner together that day but she was still quite nervous he might know more than he was telling.
She cleared her throat, looking at her plate as she pushed around a few peas. "So, Bar, did you see or talk with anyone else out on your walk today?" she asked, trying very hard to sound nonchalant.
Bar carefully chewed his mouthful of food and wiped his lips with a napkin before lifting his head to look at his sister-in-law. "I did, Kate, yes."
Kate's hands shook and she dropped her fork. She looked up at her brother-in-law, trying to see any expression on his face that might give away what he was thinking. "Oh," she replied. Attempting to mask her surprise, she quickly picked up her napkin and wiped at her mouth. "Who, um, I mean, what...?" she trailed off, nervously.
"Nothing much, Kate. Only that you and SJ had lunch in town. That's...mostly...it."
About that time, Kate's cell phone rang, making her jump. She pulled it out, looking at the caller id. Colin. Not good.
She looked at Bar, smiled weakly, "Excuse me, Bar, while I take this."
"Please, Kate, take your time."
Kate ducked into the kitchen, put her phone to her ear, "Hello?" she said, tersely.
"Kate," Colin replied, coolly.
"Colin, didn't I tell you never to call me ever again?" Kate asked, angrily. He was the last person she wanted to talk with. "Apparently the whole town is talking and I'm pretty sure my brother-in-law knows we were together earlier. What if it gets back to Sid?"
"Oh I'm pretty sure it already has," Colin told her. "Which is why I'm calling. I'd like a word with him about his little stunt this afternoon."
"What are you talking about?" Kate said in a hushed voice. She was sure she knew exactly what he was talking about, though, as Bar had mentioned earlier about the break-in.
"Someone broke into my house earlier, vandalizing it."
"And you think my husband had anything to do with that?" she laughed, "Wow, you just won't let it go, will you, that I chose him over you."
"Well let's see, who do I know that is creepy enough to break into a bloke's home and carve, write and paint SHE'S MINE! on every inch of the place? Hmm?" Colin asked, angrily.
"Knowing you, it could be anyone," Kate snorted.
"Just put him on the phone, Kate," Colin told her, impatiently.
Kate bit her lip, not sure if she really wanted Sid to talk with Colin about this. Did he know they'd been together at the garage or diner? If not, would Colin say something to him about it?
"Okay, fine," Kate finally said, "but don't say a word about earlier today."
"Fine, whatever, just put his royal highness on the phone," Colin snapped.
Kate put her hand over the receiver and walked through the house to find Sid, finding him in the study with SJ. She knocked lightly on the door then opened it a crack. "Sid?" she asked, unsure of whether she really wanted to go through with this. "Um... someone wishes to speak with you on the phone."
"Someone?" A single brow arched up. "Do you plan to identify this individual?"
Kate swallowed hard, handed Sid the phone. "It's...Colin," she told him, a bit reluctantly.
With a small smile playing about his lips, Sid took the phone from her. "And to what do I owe the doubtful pleasure of your attention, Colin?" He pronounced the name slowly, with a slight sneer in his voice.
"I got the little message you sent today," Colin told him, gruffly. "You'll be getting the repair bill shortly. Oh and in the future I'd appreciate it if you'd stay the fuck away from my property."
"Why, Colin, I have no idea to what you make reference. I was out of town on business, making money. I'm sure you've heard of that...making money. Perhaps not. Anyway, I have witnesses as to my whereabouts so whatever little mischief you are up to, please do forget about it. That would be my strong...suggestion."
He hung up and handed the phone back to Kate. "Nothing important, darling. Just the rantings of the mentally deprived."
Kate nodded, let out a sigh of relief. "He has some nerve accusing you of breaking into his home like some common criminal or something. If you ask me he should look into his own backyard at the riff-raff he keeps company with. Why would he think you of all people would stoop to such a level, anyway?"
"I never stoop. It's against the fundamental principles I live by. Are you and my dear brother done with your dining?"
"Oh, dinner, yes, of course," Kate replied, nearly forgetting all about what she had been doing when Colin so rudely interrupted her. "Actually, I seem to have lost my appetite. I'll just go help Bar clean up the mess and then I'll come back up here to put our little darling to bed."
SJ yawned and rubbed his sleepy little eyes as Kate kissed the top of his head.
When she came back to the dining room, Bar was still sitting there, idly twirling his fork through some potatoes. Looking up at her entrance, he asked, "Everything all right?"
"Hmm?" Kate asked, lost in her own thoughts, "Oh, yes, um, I guess. Just Colin being Colin as usual." She began clearing her dishes from the table, stopped, looked over at Bar. "He actually had the nerve to accuse Sid of breaking into his house and vandalizing it. Like Sid would be capable of such a thing. And why would he, anyway? It's not like Colin has given him any... cause..." she trailed off, looking up and biting her lip as she couldn't help but wonder again if Sid knew about their meeting that afternoon.
"Kate," Bar said, his voice very low, "just be...careful. I, well, just be careful, that's all."
Kate realized Bar knew more about her afternoon than he'd let on. Her dinner plate shook in her trembling hands. "Bar...," she began, almost tearfully, "nothing...nothing happened with me and..." she stopped, cleared her throat. "You don't think? Sid? He couldn't have...could he?"
"My brother is somewhat of a mystery to me, I'm afraid. I came here, you know, because I wanted to get to know him, be with him, and he is truly an amazing man. But...," he licked his lip, "I...I'm beginning to realize, Kate, that I'm missing whole parts of days here and there. I don't know what's been happening to me since I've been here but something strange seems to be going on with me and...and...I just don't know anymore.
Nothing like this has ever happened before. It's only since I've been here, in this house. Oh, Kate, don't listen to me! I have no idea what I'm saying! I'm just...," he stopped again. "Just be careful," he repeated, putting a hand on her shoulder.
Sid came in then, SJ in his arms. "Are you two having a cozy time in here?" He had an odd look on his face.
Kate jumped, startled both by what Bar had said and with the sudden appearance of her husband. "Just, um, clearing away the dishes, darling," she told him, gathering up the rest of their dishes and handing them off to Bar with a look that said their conversation was far from over.
"Here, let me take him from you." She took the sleepy infant from Sid's arms and cradled him to her chest. She started to carry SJ to his nursery, stopped and turned back to Sid, a pensive look on her face, "I'll...I'll just be a moment, darling."
"You and my wife seem to be getting along quite well these days," Sid purred.
"She's a good woman, Sid, and she loves you very much."
"Does that...bother...you, brother dear?"
Bar looked startled. "Bother me...? No, Sid. Why would it? You're my only relative. I want the best for you. You must know that."
"Of course I know that," Sid smiled. "Why don't you go to your room for a little rest? You must be tired after going into town today."
Bar wasn't tired but he did feel like being alone, so he went to the special room Sid had arranged for him and sat down in a padded chair, picking up a book he was reading.
Sid watched him through his special panel, his eyes hard. Bar had been in town, must have known where Katherine had gone yet he had said nothing. He pressed a button, releasing the odorless gas into Bar's room and within seconds Bar had folded forward, falling out of his chair in a heap on the floor. Sid held the button down a long time, longer than he ever had. Bar could just stay there in his heap until Sid was ready to let him out again. He turned away, but his anger at Colin, too, needed an outlet still and he pressed the button again and again. He wished Bar was no longer here but as it seemed his brother had no intentions of leaving just yet, he'd keep him unconscious as much as possible. Smiling, he let the panel close and went to look for his wife. He was tense and needed relief.