WHO: Erica & Manuel Lowsley WHEN: Sunday afternoon WHERE: Their house, Philadelphia WHAT: There goes the neighbourhood. WARNINGS: non-graphic mentions of child pornography
No matter how old she got or how many different demanding jobs she worked, Erica always felt slightly robbed whenever she had to work on a Sunday. Considering she'd often worked jobs that had required it, she didn't know where this innate sense of injustice arose from. She did know, however, that she was going to have a long, hot bath as soon as she got home.
As she pulled into the driveway, she saw the police car parked in the street and, climbing out and locking the car door behind her, she frowned in its direction. There was a second police car across the street with a pair of uniformed officers standing by and and talking.
On the deck stood Manuel and he looked to his wife as she arrived. She moved to join him, looking back over her shoulder. "What's going on?"
There was a pause before Manuel spoke. When he did, it was only after he'd taken her hand. They hadn't held hands for a long while and it made her worry more. "There was an anonymous tip," Manuel told her, "and they searched Daniel's computer. Child pornography."
Erica looked at her husband, her mouth falling open in horror and shock. "You're kidding."
"If I was," Manuel said darkly, "I'd give it a better punchline."
Erica turned to look towards the busy house across the street, unable to comprehend this. Daniel Goran had lived there since they'd moved in here. He'd had barbecues and Christmas parties with them. He'd spent time with their daughters. That thought stopped her. "The girls," Erica said with growing horror. But Miranda and Cordelia had both been adults by the time they'd returned from Australia, but Kat... Kat had been fifteen when they'd moved here.
"I have to call Kat."
Manuel looked at Erica with concern. "No... she would have told us. She was a teenager."
Erica bit her lip, unsure of what to say. If that bastard had ever laid a hand on her daughter - on any of her daughters - she'd be calling in a favour for Hermes to flay him alive. Manuel squeezed her hand. "We'll give her a call. It's going to be okay."
Then he kissed her head and Erica leaned into the action, grateful for this moment between them.