“A sick boy, huh?” He murmured, watching the two play the grinning game. “Guys, time to go!” He shouted, tightened the hold on Ergo’s hand and pulled the boy aside of the door.
The group immediately divided into a long line and marched out, lead by Kaspar. Jevgeni let them go first and then followed, head bowed as if he was the one, who managed to start a fight in front of the only policeman their small community had. Joni had the audacity to wave at the constable as they disappeared behind the door.
“Max!” Levi called out. Laura darted an apologetic look in his direction, but instead of letting her get the scolding, he gave her a pat on her back, pushing her through the door. He gripped Ergo’s hand as the boy used him like a shield. For a moment he wondered what would cause a boy of his age to feel this way towards a lawman. He turned so he faced Levi straight on.
Constable’s eyes fell on the boy determinedly hiding his face and whatever he had wanted to say was silenced on his lips. Instead he paused, rethinking it and looked up, forcing a smile. “I’d like to talk to you and the other teacher tomorrow, if possible?”
“Of course.” He said politely.
He turned and lead the boy out, nodding at the cashier, who was watching the whole situation. He wondered if he should check the video channels in case the youth had filmed their whole ordeal.
Although they didn’t speak about this in the bus, it was awkward to say the least. Laura pretty much ignored him, although he didn’t quite understand, why and the rest of the boys were forming some kind of defensive line between him and the two culprits, making it nearly impossible to get anything out of the them without turning this into screaming contest.
So he left it be until the next day, when the constable made his way up to his porch.
“Laura!” He called to the back of the house, where she was busy dressing Victor after a small accident.
“You’re Kasper?” Levi asked, studying the glaring boy sitting in the corner with the book Jevgeni had pressed into his lap after he’d had another encounter with Anton. That seemed to be a tried out trick, because he used it a lot.
Levi gave him a curt nod, then turned back to Maksim and followed his gesture for them to go to his office. Maksim checked the boy once more, confused. Why would he pick him out like that? The only answer in Kaspar’s eyes reflected his dislike towards the man. He’d come in uniform this time, looking mighty bigger than in his civilian clothes. He understood Levi wanted to point out this wasn’t a social visit, but did he have to show off like this?
Laura let out a long breath before following the policeman into their Bat Cave.
“He missed his this week’s meeting with his parole officer.”
Maksim’s eyebrows flew up and he turned to the woman. “His what?”
“I informed Mr. Seiler about the camp!” Laura ignored him. “I sent the letter two months ago!”
Maksim narrowed his eyes and leaned back, packing his hands over his chest.
“He called me yesterday morning to confirm his location. Apparently, being in a camp does not free him from the obligation to meet the man.”
“No! That’s not right! He’s four hours from here! Does he honestly think I will travel through the country with one kid the whole day and leave the other six unsupervised here?” Laura flared up, and rose from her seat. “He -” she paused. Maksim saw his eyes darting around for a moment and she shook her head. “Wait here! I’ll only be a minute!” She was already running to the door when Levi nodded his approval. She kept muttering how bullheaded the officer was being, but most of it was left outside the door and thankfully off Levi’s ears.
“Probably getting her folder.” He shrugged matter-of-factly when Levi turned and settled more comfortably into his chair.
“Folder.” Levi repeated, staring him back. He managed entire minute in silence, before his patience ran out. “So, tell me, how did you end up in the middle of this mess?”
Maksim tried to remember, when was the last time the two of them actually talked besides polite hellos in the shop. There had been times, when he considered him a friend. Then he’d had to return to college and Levi had gone to police academy.
“It’s called summer camp.” He said sternly, but the crooked smile lighting the policeman’s face said he didn’t believe him
“Clearly, this isn’t one.”
“Not conventional, no.” He unfolded and massaged the handles of his seat. “They used to live together in the same orphanage, she and the boys. So it’s not so much a camp as it is…” he shrugged, searching for the right word, “…reunion.”
Levi’s eyes darkened as he let his words sink in. “Sick world, isn’t it?” He asked after a while somberly. “If children at their age are having reunions.”
Maksim nodded. He’d thought the same thing after he’d given her his agreement to sign.
“There!” Laura burst back into the office and pushed the open folder in Levi’s hands. “The bastard sent me an email! I printed it out just in case!”
Maksim groaned inwardly, had she really called a parole officer a bastard in front of a constable?
“I see,” he took the folder and read it thoroughly. “Well,” he concluded, handing it back, “the bastard didn’t sound as if he’d simply forgotten, but more like searching for a reason.” He smiled to the woman and Maksim held back a matching grin when she paled visibly. “I’ll call him back this afternoon.” He rose from his seat, reaching his hand over the table to shake Maksim’s hand. “Alice did look upset, when he called. She’ll be glad to send him digging in his own files.”