He cut a big slice of chocolate cake for himself, poured a tall glass of milk, and then made his way into the den. He flicked the fireplace on with a remote control and sat down to enjoy his treat in silence, but scarcely more than two bites in, his doorbell echoed throughout the house.
David eyed the clock on the mantelpiece. It was barely past three in the morning. And as he’d dismissed his butler over a week ago, suspecting Nola would take the poor man’s head, David had to answer the door himself. He looked through the peephole first and was surprised to see Meriwether’s face there. He opened the door.
“I apologize for the hour of my visit,” said Meriwether.
“It’s fine. I was unable to sleep, anyway.” He invited his brother in and offered him some wine. Meriwether requested something stronger. David poured the man a glass of brandy. “So what brings you here so late?” he asked, returning to his own glass of milk for a sip.
“Um... David, please just tell me... do you know who really killed Nathaniel?”
David gave the man a sidelong stare. His brother did not seem in the finest state at the moment. Bags under his eyes, hair in a mess, clothes unpressed. Granted, it was extremely late at night, but even still.
“I have been looking into his death,” Meriwether went on. “I cannot help but feel something is wrong with Luther’s story, but I have been unable to find any kind of evidence which contradicts it.”
“I see.” As David suspected, Luther had been thorough.
“But you always seem to know more than you let on,” said Meriwether. “So please--”
The doorbell rang again.
David looked at Meriwether heavily and then stood to go answer it again.
It was Luther this time.
David’s hand lingered on the door handle as he raced through the scenarios in his head. It seemed highly coincidental that Luther would visit now, just as Meriwether was making inquiries into him. But even if David assumed that Luther somehow knew about this discussion, what purpose would Luther have in interrupting it? Surely, if Luther wanted Meriwether dead, then there were more timely ways in which to do it.