Michael and Konan glared at each other. Lilly glanced around the room. “ What am I going to do if they tear into each other? I could use a chair as a weapon, I suppose.” There was no back down in either men.
“Gentlemen could you both chill,” Lilly asked. “Michael, do you know of any friends Norm had that shared his proclivities?”
Michael looked away from Konan and nodded his head. Lilly was thankful that he seemed to be in control of his emotions, now, if she could get Konan to show the same amount of restraint. From the look in Konan’s eyes though the odds of that happening was minimal.
“Word in this joint was that Norm had two friends, Loxie Baxter and Trey Smith III. Both have done time for pedophilia and sexual assault of a minor.”
“Are they here now?”
“Yes, well, Loxie is here. Trey found himself on the wrong end of a gun after he helped himself to the three year old son of a political figure.”
“What political figure,” Konan asked. Lilly watched Konan closely as he sat back down. “He found a reason not to kill his dad I reckon. I’m glad he was able to come back from the edge. Michael has a way of getting under his skin.”
“Judge Patty Traylor if the rumors are to be believed.”
“Traylor? The only judge in our state that has liberally sentenced people to death? Her son was raped by Trey Smith?”
“Yep. He worked as part of another judge’s ‘prisoner reform’ program. Smith worked in the yard and found the kid alone at the shop. There he…well, you don’t need a description of what he did to the boy. Traylor who has always carried a concealed Glock .45 compact, found him with her son. She shot him dead in the shop.”
“Holy Jesus,” Lilly whispered. Konan shook his head and sighed. “It’s a sick, crazy world out there. He got what he deserved though.”
“Good on her,” Konan said.
“Yep. She did what was necessary. Anyway, Loxie is slated to be released tomorrow. You might want to catch up with him before he gets out.”
“I’ll go get Loxie sent to an interview room. Be right back,” Lilly said.
From the time that Konan was a young boy, he felt as if he needed to justify what his father had done. Now, at the ripe age of 34, Konan felt nothing but disgust when he saw his father. Today was nothing new. Michael tried to act as if it didn’t bother him, but he felt regret. He stared at Konan. “I should have been there for him, but I had my own thing going on. Why couldn’t I see the value of what I threw away over nothing?”
Konan stood to walk away, Michael waited to see if he would turn and look at him. He didn’t. He put his hand on the door knob and turned.
“Hey, Konan,” Michael said. Thermopolis turned and faced him.
“Could we talk, you know, man to man?”
“What do you want to talk about? It better not be about my mother.”
“I don’t know. It might be old age. I’ve got regrets. Before you walk out, please, let me say my piece.”
“Fine, Michael. Say your piece.”
“Please sit down.”
Michael shrugged and cleared his throat. It was obvious that his son would not willingly sit at the table with him.
“You won’t believe me, but I never wanted this to turn out like this,” Michael said as he searched for words to express his great regret. “Talking to you in prison was never on my agenda.” Konan crossed his arms and stifled a yawn. Michael continued.
“I tried to handle, um, I wanted to handle it peacefully. The Whitestone Family was making a play for Fredericksburg. They were part of the Carter Family from some hick town in Arkansas. The head honcho of the family was setting them up to be a branch of the Carters. I went to them, sat down with them, and explained how things were here. There wasn’t enough room for two families.”
Konan waited for Lilly to come get him. He was getting bored with story time with his mass-murdering pop. “I suppose he felt the need to bore me with the backstory,” Konan thought. He glanced around, but Lilly was nowhere in sight. “Blah, blah, blah, I’m a murdering psycho who got what they deserved.”
“Somehow, they knew about your mother and you,” Michael continued. “They knew about y’all and threatened to kill both of you. I lost my temper.” Michael looked away and wiped at his eyes. “They were going to kill y’all. So, I killed them first. On the way home, I thought of how I could divert attention from you two. There was only one thing I could do, and that was to leave.”
“Wow, Michael. It’s kind of low to blame your dead wife and estranged son for being here. Just sayin’.”
“That’s not what I’m doing, Konan. I am explaining it so you have the whole picture.”
“You know, I could understand losing your temper. I’ll give you that. What I don’t get is how you could murder the dude’s wife and children. That’s extreme.”
Michael shook his head and smirked.
“You don’t get it. He wasn’t going to be the head honcho. She was. She threatened you. Her husband laughed about it and egged her on.”
“Okay, so she was a modern woman. Why did you do the kids?”
Michael stood to his feet and removed his shirt. He turned and showed his back to Konan. The skin was pockmarked where the bird shot from a .12 gauge shotgun had peppered his back. Part of the area had been shredded. Konan raised his eyebrows.
“They both tried to kill me. After the first kid shot me with rock salt, the other opened fire with the bird shot. Like I said…”
“…you lost your temper…”
Lilly walked in as Michael was putting his shirt back on. She grimaced at the sight. Konan looked at her and lifted his chin. She mouthed, “Loxie is in the interview room.” He nodded. Michael noticed the exchange.
“Am I holding you up,” he asked. Konan turned and faced him.
“Yeah, I’ve got to interview Loxie.”
“No. I’ve got it,” Lilly said. Konan shook his head and nodded to Michael.
“His lawyer might be there,” he said in way of explanation. Michael nodded and said, “yeah.”
At the door, Konan turned and looked at Michael. There was nothing but silence between the two now. As much as Konan detested his father, he appreciated Michael making the effort to explain what happened.
“Um, thanks for telling me,” Konan said.
“Yeah. Thanks for listening.”
Konan nodded and walked out of the room. He took a deep breath and focused his mind on the next interview. “One down, one to go. What was that just now? Does he think I forgave him because he told me a story?”
There was no way for Konan to be sure of the truth. The Whitestone Family was no more. Of course, Konan could ask Paddy. He had no doubts that Paddy would tell him the truth of the matter. Even if Michael told the truth, what was Konan supposed to do with it?
As these thoughts plagued his mind, Konan walked through the door to interview the suspect known as Loxie.