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Overwhelming concern layered on top of emotional turmoil easily leads to exhaustion. Adriel did not remember when he’d ever felt lower, weaker or less hospitable. Body quickly fading to oblivion, spirits reduced because of his wife’s confession of an adulterous affair that he’d known of but not really about and then the Earth shattering panic that had ensued when he’d been awakened by a phone call from his then missing wife magnified by police officers pounding on his door had done more to deflate him than even the months old realization that his stem-cell treatments had been completely in-efficacious. He was as done in as he thought he could stand and now standing before him was Bill Finger, the man who was supposed to be out of his wife’s life as he was now her ex-lover.

Adriel had no desire to offer this interloper hospitality. What he wanted was the paramedics to give Gabrielle a clean bill of health, her to be returned to his side, she and Duvan to give their statements to the police and then to be left in peace so he could fall back to the soporific palliation of letting his conscious mind retreat to blessed slumber with his wife nestled beside him. Instead he had invited the viper into his nest.

“Thank you,” Bill said quietly in response to his welcome. “I guess you know that Duvan called me to see if I could help? Is Gabrielle alright?”

Officer Davies inserted himself into the fledgling conversation by saying, “The paramedics are checking her out now and Looney’s getting her statement. Duvan? Before this goes any further I need to interview you too so that we have a clear idea of what you saw.

“Mr. Gibeon? Duvan and I can go to another room or outside if you’d like. I might like to talk to Finger here but it doesn’t really sound like you’ve had actual contact with Mrs. Gibeon? Did she call you after her assault?”

“Gabrielle? No,” Bill replied. “Duvan called. I was sleeping and out of sorts but I only spoke to him. He told-”

“Yeah, thanks,” Davies interrupted. “I think we all appreciate you coming down here to help, especially since you must have had a couple shots of NyQuil before getting behind the wheel, but my job is to talk to Mrs. Gibeon and any witnesses and see if we can’t find out who attacked her and go forward from there. Since you’re not a witness and haven’t even spoken to the victim directly then what Duvan told you isn’t really germane.

“What’s your preference, Mr. Gibeon? Another room for me and poor Duvan here or outside? He seems pretty beat up with that head injury and it being late and all I was hoping to interview him so he could be on his way. Is there somewhere he and I could talk in private?”

“Why in private?” Adriel asked. “As you said neither Mr. Finger nor I are involved in the attack or what happened to Gabrielle afterwards and I would like to know what happened to my wife. Is there a reason why you can’t conduct your interview with me present?”

“Well it isn’t done. We don’t want anyone unintentionally altering somebody else’s statement; you know? That’s why I asked you two not to discuss anything while I went outside for our little side show with Mr. Finger here.”

“Yeah,” Bill interjected, “but that doesn’t apply here. You just got through saying that only Duvan and Gabrielle are truly germane; victim and witnesses. There’s really no good reason for Mr. Gibeon not to hear what Duvan has to say. I mean, let’s face it, the three of them are going to talk about this just as soon as you’re gone; right?”

The look that the officer shot at Bill was quite telling but before Davies could speak Adriel interjected his own opinion.

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