"So let me get this right" Alan handed each of his son's a cup of coffee and went back to the kitchen to retrieve his own. "You've been spending the past week attempting to find Megan's phobia, this instead of catching criminals and teaching students." Alan sat down on a chair and faced his son's, who were both on the couch attempting to look sheepish. "She then decides to get you back by bringing the dog, that attacked you Don, into the office, instead it decides to attack Charlie" Alan looked at his son's awaiting a response. None was forth coming so he continued.
"Have I missed anything?"
"One phone call from David to be told a son is in the ER is enough thank you very much. But to call and be told another son is being seen to is something else. You are both grown adults. "
"It was Megan's fault Dad"
"No Donnie it was not, you are the supervisor there. The supervisor and the older brother and yet you spend the week distracting Charlie and playing pranks on your colleague's."
"It wasn't all Don's fault Dad" Charlie would have said more but the look Alan faced him with silenced any further thought.
"This is not how we act, not adults. And for it to result in another of my son's being attacked by the same dog is difficult for me to comprehend. "
"Maybe the dog has a taste for the Eppes"
Alan glared at Don but he continued regardless, also ignoring Charlie's warning look.
"Seriously, we obviously have good blood because it didn't attack David, Colby or Megan. It went right for Charlie. Has to say something about the stock we come from."
Alan willed his mouth to not turn up at the sides as his eldest continued.
"Come on Charlie, what are the odds of both of us being attacked by the same dog in a week?"
Charlie looked from his brother to his father, unsure as to whether he should really join in or not. He decided not. Seeing as he had to live here.
Don continued "Bet you could write a paper on that bro, seriously. Two brothers, both attacked by the same poodle in unrelated circumstances in a week's time frame. There could be lectures, tours. We could take that poodle on the road with us"
Alan had enough and threw his paper at Don, hitting him on the head.
"Come on Dad" laughed Don "You have to admit this is so ridiculous it's hilarious"
"I have to do no such thing Don" Alan could barely keep the grin from his face as he looked at his two son's. Side by side on the couch. Each had their right hand bandaged.
"So Charlie, what do you think of Dog's now then huh?"
"I'm still going to try to pet Mr Paterson's dog each time I see him."
Don beamed at his brother. He really was something.
"I figure start small and work my way up, skipping past poodles though"
Charlie was enjoying being spoilt my Megan and Colby. Each time he came to the office they'd insist on getting him lunch, coffee, anything he wanted. He had milked this attention for almost two weeks now but could tell his demands were wearing thin.
"What is it Charlie?"
"Can you get me a coke?"
Colby looked at Charlie tiredly. He was seriously taking the proverbial now.
"The kitchen is there Charlie, get it yourself"
"But my hand hurts"
Colby looked up and instantly felt his guilt return. How had he been talked into bringing that dog in to the office? It had seemed like such a good idea at the time.
He reluctantly got up and went to the kitchen. Ignoring the smile plastered all over Charlie's face.
Don strode into the office with Megan in tow.
"Listen up everybody; we've got a prison escapee on the loose, last seen in the LA area. The Seattle office has been after him for a few months now and we have a positive ID on his whereabouts. I'm going to need two teams in the field and everyone else liaising with the Seattle office and ATF who want this guy for trafficking. Seems he's been busy since he escaped. "
Charlie always watched with wonder whenever Don addressed his team. He was always so impressive with his command of everyone .Instantly having their attention. The respect these people had for his brother always swelled Charlie's heart with pride.
"He's currently hiding out amongst a travelling circus. Seems one of the clowns owes him a favour so has been helping him stay undercover"
"Clown?" asked Megan, her voice blanketed with concern.
"Yeah, that a problem?" Don looked at Megan. Her face seemed to have paled, Charlie noticed it too. He stood up and walked closer. Megan was shaking. Definitely shaking, yet it wasn't cold in here.
Don looked from Megan, to Charlie, from Colby to David. They all had smiles slowly spreading across their faces. He turned back to Megan and couldn't stop his smile from spreading further.
"Please don't tell me that's it?"
Megan looked at them all and felt her face flush. She was shivering despite herself and could feel a thin layer of sweat break out on her forehead.
"None of you have seen the movie IT?"
"Sure" Charlie said slowly.
"Uh huh" added Don
Megan knew she was caught. She grabbed her coat and flounced out of the room, the whole time trying to explain her fear.
"How any one can watch that movie and not have a problem with clowns I'll never know"
She tried to ignore the laughter that followed her out of the door.