There is no denying that Mrs Stryker and Sheralin are amusing, to say the least. Two glasses of wine into the three of us talking, Mrs Styker is already slightly tipsy, Sheralin is having a whale of time drinking her brother's bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1899 which is now half empty and I'm wondering whether or not you can even get drunk off of wine.
"I can't believe he met someone as beautiful as you and didn't think to tell us," Sheralin states as she takes a sip of her wine. "Heck I thought Draven would live out the rest of his life celibate and then one day I find out through W Weekly's magazine that he has been dating and I even get to meet the woman in person a day after the article was published."
Oh, so she read the article...
"You can't blame him from hiding her from us," Mrs Stryker giggles uncontrollably, looking at me up and down before looking left and right as though to make sure no one else is around to hear what she has to say. "Draven didn't want us to chase her away, you know!"
At this both women burst out in peals of laughter, sipping from their glasses once the laughter dies down. From my experience, you can't get drunk off of wine but judging by how flushed Mrs Stryker and Sheralin's faces are and how laid back Mrs Stryker is compared to how she's dressed...maybe there's a possibility you can get drunk off of wine, I conclude as I take a sip of my own wine, making barely a dent in the amount before Sheralin is refilling all three of our glasses.
"We're so happy he has you now, Katherine," Mrs Stryker repeats her words from earlier again sobering up as she takes another sip from her refilled wine glass. "I was so worried when I heard from Greg yesterday that he was amongst the victims involved in the shooting. To make it worse he didn't call me or pick up my calls last night, I just assumed the worst but knowing that you were with him the whole night just made me so glad for him."
Officer Valentine and Draven's parents are close, I exclaim in my mind as I recall Officer Wesley's words. Doesn't that mean they might know what he's up to with Montesaro? I could use this opportunity to get information... Mistaking my thinking face for confusion as I thoughtfully take a drink of my wine, Sheralin quickly swallows her mouthful of wine before she explains, "Draven gets horrible night terrors after seeing a gun or even hearing gunshots. A family friend of ours that hasn't been a family friend since twenty plus minus years ago, shot him in the head on a hunting trip Father brought him on. The incident still haunts him till today."
My wine goes down the wrong tube at some point while she was explaining, the burn of the alcohol causes my eyes to water and my throat to burn uncomfortably as I turn into a coughing fit. Mrs Stryker rubs her hand up and down my back in an attempt to soothe my chocking, and her chocolate brown eyes shine with uncontained happiness which causes the fire of guilt I thought had died out yesterday to reignite.
Damn it, Katherine. Focus on the job and not on the man...I scold myself harshly, observing how the reason I was guilty yesterday is not so much different from the reason I'm guilty now. You're supposed to be using these ladies to get information on him!
"I didn't hear him wake up at all last night though," I tell them quietly once my coughing subsides, looking between the two women for an explanation to that. "If his night terrors are bad, like shaking-the-bed-nightmares kind of bad then I would have woken up."
At my words, Mrs Stryker's eyes begin to glass over as she sets both our glasses of wine on the low coffee table to take both my hands in hers, sniffing delicately, "Exactly why I said I'm so glad he has you. He slept through the night with you and he didn't have a nightmare. Even I couldn't calm him down enough to sleep months after he recovered. So that makes you special to him, Katherine. Very special."
Her words spark a realisation in me that I hadn't thought about since waking up just now, I didn't have any nightmares last night. Considering the events of yesterday, I should have not slept a wink the night before because of nightmares but for some reason, I managed to sleep through the night like a baby.
”An acquaintance yesterday warned me that there are plenty of people who would like to kill Draven and that if I'm not careful, I might get caught in the crossfire,” I propound to Mrs Stryker curiously, sliding my hands out of hers to take up my wine glass, fishing for information from the drunk woman. "Did Draven use to do some underworld dabbling or something to warrant someone to warn me that exaggeratingly?"
Mrs Stryker opens her mouth to respond to me but Sheralin butts in, sending a sharp silencing glare at her Mother as she responds on her behalf, "Of course not. Father's company makes nearly as much, perhaps even a little bit less than Draven's company. Their businesses combined hold up almost ten per cent of stocks in the world making them well known and envied by many. It's those jealous of their success that gets them in trouble."
She's hiding something, I note to myself as she glances between me and her Mother nervously. Determined to find out more despite the previously buried guilt eating at me again, I press them more directly, probably biting off more than I can chew in the process, "Have either of you ever heard of the Montesaro Syndicate?"
Sheralin's eyes widen a little at my question telling me she knows about the syndicate but she narrows her eyes at me moments later as she is about to answer me, probably defending her slip by pretending to take offence to my words but before she can say anything, Mr Stryker's voice echoes through the relatively quiet penthouse with an undertone of worry in his voice causing me to turn to look at the two approaching men, the older of the two walking faster, "Sheralin, please tell me you did not give that wine to your mother. It's only eleven forty in the morning."