Eliot had dallied as long as he possibly could at Trudy's house, getting her family set up for lunch (most of them had already eaten breakfast) and chatting with his nieces and nephew, telling them increasingly outlandish, invented stories about his 20 years away. He even made it so far as offering to help Jake clean out the garage before Trudy managed to glare him down and remind him why he'd come all this way in the first place.
So it was mid-afternoon by the time he made it to the hospice. He half-expected -- or maybe it was half-hoped -- that when he asked for Emerson Spencer, the man behind the desk would just stare at him blankly. Instead he smiled and pointed out the way without having to look anything up. He hurried down the hall before she could start telling him what a lovely, amazing person his father was. Emerson Spencer had always been a pillar of the local community; the whole town probably still saw Eliot as the ungrateful kid who'd ditched his family first chance he got.
He knocked a couple times on the door and tried not to think too hard about how this was where he'd stalled out the last time he'd tried to reconnect. He wondered what was happening with his father's house, if Trudy was going to have to sell it. For the first time in a long time he thought about just how much work went into picking up after someone when they died; his job usually ended when the brain activity did.
Bad timing. Don't think about being an assassin. Or a disappointment. Just open the door, go in, and say --
"Hi, Dad." ( Collapse )