The envelope came a month later, containing a key, and a card with an address.
Thinking about what had happened the last time he'd found something similar, Neal almost tossed it off the balcony. But curiosity won out.
He was supposed to be walking for his rehabilitation, so he grabbed his hat – pointedly ignoring the cane he was expected to be using – and headed out the door.
The address was a shipping store, one that also rented postal boxes. And the key just happened to open one of those boxes…
He took the package that was inside, checking carefully for anything else that might be hidden. But the brown paper-wrapped box appeared to be the only thing in there. Nothing rattled inside, and the weight didn't give him a clue as to the contents.
There was no return address, and several postal stamps had been placed one on top of the other, making the origin hard to determine. If Mozzie was there, he would have known how to decipher the layers…
The package wasn't obviously ticking, but just in case, he wouldn't take it back to June's. Instead, he found a park, and selected a bench well away from the other people who were taking advantage of the afternoon sun.
He unwrapped the paper, setting it aside. The box inside was plain white, again offering no clue. So there was nothing left to do but open the top…
He opened it, and then closed it again right away. He took a moment to look around, making sure that no one was close, and then he opened the box again.
Money, lots and lots of money…
There was an envelope stuffed down one side and he pulled it out. Carefully closing the box up again, he set it aside and then extracted the letter. He knew the handwriting immediately, and he smiled…
You more than earned a share, so here it is. Not enough to make you a king, or buy an island, perhaps, but enough to replenish your reserves for a while.
Interesting news has reached my ears. It seems that some long-lost art, believed to have been stolen by the Nazis, has resurfaced in Russia. Well played, my friend.
You might find it worth noting that one can, indeed, get bored with life on an exotic island. I hear New York – home – calling to me, and one of these days I may heed that call.
Perhaps you'll find me on your doorstep in the not so distant future, in search of a glass of wine, and hoping that you can find it in your oversized heart to forgive me. Upon contemplation, which one has plenty of time for on an island, I realize how unfair it was to force that ultimatum on you. In truth, I had known for some time that your dream was changing. My wanting your dream to remain the same as mine did not, in fact, make that the truth.
And maybe, if I am totally honest with myself, my own dream has shifted too. I actually miss the Suit – but don't tell him! I miss conversing with Mrs. Suit as well.
Anyway, duty calls. Even on an island, one can find intrigue. It seems that the local hotelier has been experiencing a high rate of theft recently. I suspect corporate espionage.
And so I will say au revoir – until we meet again.
(P.S. Lest you think I wasn't paying attention, I had various spies keeping track of your recovery, and subsequent whereabouts. Had the Suit put you back in prison, well, I wouldn't be missing him – see above. And I had a helicopter and pilot standing by for an exciting and daring escape scenario. I'll keep the plan in mind, just in case.)
Neal read the letter through a second time, his smile growing. It was so very… Mozzie.
And so very much what he needed, to know that there was a chance to mend this friendship.
He and Peter had taken some first, small steps to repair what was broken between them as well. Next week, he'd be going back to work, at least part-time, and they'd have a chance to take some more steps.
He sat there for a while, enjoying the sun – enjoying the welcome, if improbable, new chance he had to find the life he wanted.
Finally, box carefully in hand, he headed home. He'd need to find a good, secure place for the money.
Because really, it never hurt to have a backup plan in place…
And it looked like Petey, Nick, and Dante might just be adding some chapters to their story after all.