Giovanni doesn’t sleep, he waits for morning trapped in memories before sliding on clean jeans, a hoodie, and some dark sunglasses. He pockets the letter and goes down the stairs meeting the woman who is renting to him. “Mr. Giovanni,” She stops him, obviously upset. “This is not a cheep motel. I have other guests, you cannot be tramping in and out of here and allowing god knows who else to come knocking!”

“I’m sorry, ma’am.” He does his best to sound apologetic.

“Sorry doesn’t keep filth like Edward Pickett and Alexis Howard out of my establishment.” She chides, anger subsiding. “Look dear, any more of this and you’ll have to find a new place to stay.”

“It won’t happen again, but I am more of a night owl then a day person.” She sighs and nods.

“Alright dear, be on your way.” She steps out of his way.

“Ah, before I go. You said filth like Edward Pickett? Why is Edward grouped with Alexis?” She chuckles softly.

“Oh sweetie, Edward is a gambling man and where do you think he gets his money?” A few pieces of the puzzle he walked into click into place.

“Thank you, I’m here because Detective York asked me to look into the both of them and that helps more then you could realize.” She nods mutely, not liking where he was going. “Can I borrow your phone? I’m afraid that I don’t have mine on me. Left it at home.” She smiles and hands him the receiver to the house phone.

“Local calls only, mister.” Giovanni smiles.

“Just Detective York.” She nods and walks away, giving him privacy. Giovanni dials York and the detective answers on the third ring.

“Hello?” His voice is gruff, sleep filled.

“York, Giovanni. Mrs. Lucas just gave me some insight. Meet me at Rose’s asap. I’m heading there now.”

“Be there soon. You need a ride?”

“No, but if you see me, pick me up.” Giovanni doesn’t wait for his response, he hangs up, pulls his hood up and heads out, head hanging low to avoid the sun’s harsh glare. The roads are busy, full of people rushing to get to work and tourists just idly walking around waiting for small stores to open. Giovanni crosses the river and hustles down the road, an old beat up brown car pulls up next to him then stops.

“Giovanni, get in.” York’s voice cuts through his inner monologue. He doesn’t waste time and climbs into the car which starts moving before he even closes the door. “Late in the morning for you.”

“Early for you. I have information and I need to talk to Edward.”

“Figured, after you hung up I called him, told him to meet us at the store.” Giovanni nods and closes his eyes, even with the dark tinted sunglasses the sun’s rays hurt his eyes.

“I hate the sun sometimes.” York laughs, a deep sound that reverberates in his chest.

“Not everyone agrees but well said. It came be a pain sometimes.” York pulls into a parking space and the get out heading into the store where Edward awaits them. Giovanni wastes no time in pulling out the letter and throwing it on the counter between them.

“You gamble, lost your money, can’t pay up, and now he has Lily.” Edward blinks at the folded paper, carefully opening it then glaring at the man.

“You broke into my store?”

“Yes, I don’t have time to fuck around. You were hiding something and I found it. Now tell me why I should help you get your daughter back when you’re the idiot that borrowed money from Alexis Howard.” Giovanni crosses his arms across his narrow chest.

“Ed, you…” York sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. “You’re still gambling?” There is silence for a moment before Edward answers, voice barely above a whisper.


“You borrowed money from Alexis Howard?”

“Yes…” Edward hangs his head.

“And now you’ve dragged Lily and me into you problem?”

“And me. I don’t have to be fucking around here. Do you have the money?”

“No that’s why I borrow it.”

“Go to the bank, get a personal loan and pay him off.” York suggests, clearly angry at the store owner.

“I…I can’t. They stopped lending to me.” Giovanni sighs.

“Look York, is Alexis fucked up, yes. Should he be taught a lesson? Yes. Do I want to teach him that lesson? Yes. But I can’t punish Alexis for this moron’s mistake. I’ll talk to him but the best I can hope for is Alexis removing Edward here and leaving Lily.”

“What if he won’t take that deal?” York presses, wanting to rid his town of Alexis Howard.

“Then I’ll rescue Lily and take her and Edward far away from here where they can start over.”

“He’ll come after me.” Giovanni rolls his eyes and smiles.

“Then defend yourself, fool. I know you can, you taught me a thing or two when we were partnered.” Edward looked up at the pair.

“So, Giovanni, you’re a cop to?”

“In a way, I guess you could call me a cop. I protect and take stupid calls though mine are more… cloak and dagger compared to the white knight Brett York.”

“You let them be that way.” York sighed “you keep your missions so secret the cloak and dagger you work for doesn’t even know what you do on them.”

“True but they suck so there.” Edward looked between the two.

“Look,” He finally spoke “If you can get my Lily back, then do it. I don’t care what the price is, just please get her back.”

“That’s all I needed to hear.” Giovanni yawns and stretches. “Hey York, drive me-”

“No. I have to go to work.”

“Fine, Edward?”

“No can do, store needs to be open.”

“I hate you both.” He turns toward the door and steps out, thankfully most of his walk the sun is to his back and not blinding him.