The Flickering Lights:
“He was on his way home from Candle top. Been two weeks gone and he thought he'd stop At William's and have him a drink 'fore he went home to her”
The air was warm and crisp, as Chris stepped out of the cab. He sighed and ran his fingers through the thick Stubble of his chin. He had been in Paris for three weeks and he figured he could grab a quick glass of whiskey before he made his way home. He stepped through the familiar glass door of the old Hale Bar, and made his way over to the bar. The old establishment was usually empty on a Thursday night, and this night was no exception. There were a few regulars and a rambunctious group of local college kids, making up the crowd tonight. Chris waved at Peter, the bar keep, knowing that he’d be glad to serve him once he was finished chastising the college students.
Peter had been his best friend all his life and it was refreshing to see a familiar face, after his long business trip. He produced a large smile as his buddy walked up to the bar. “Think you can manage to pour me a double shot of whiskey, on the rocks, Pete?” Chris teased, with a sparkle in his eyes. He would never tire of making jabs at his oldest friend. He looked around the bar, as Peter set up the bar. Nothing ever changed here. Scott waved from the corner and Chris gave him a quick nod before turning back to Peter.
Peter laughed with mirth and licked his lips. “Now, Argent, don’t be a dick. I take it the trip was a success?” He raised a brow as he poured the whiskey. Peter and Chris’s family had gone into business a few years back and it had been a rough year. While Peter ran the bar, his nephew Derek and friend Chris ran a gun running company for the city.
Chris nodded and grinned as he tossed back the liquor. “They ordered an additional 1000 units. It’ll be a good commission. Derek will be pleased. He and Stiles can go on that anniversary trip they have been planning.” He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He had his own plans for his share of the money and he could not wait to get home and tell his young bride. “Yeah, they deserve it, and maybe Lydia and I can finally take that honeymoon I’ve been promising. Damn, I still can’t believe we’ve been married for 6 months.”
Chris grew worried as Peter’s face darkened. His friend had always had a twisted and constant sense of humor and it was disconcerting to see the man without a smile. Peter let out a long breath. “Christopher, maybe I should pour you another drink. I’ve got some news and you are not going to like it.” He set up another glass and poured them both a glass. The large man took a sip before looking at his friend again. He knew that this would hurt him, but he had to tell him. “We’ve been friends for over 40 years and I would, you know I’d never lie to you.” Chris nodded as he gulped down his drink. This was not starting off well. Was Lydia hurt, or missing? Peter sighed. “Lyds is not home, tonight. Since you been gone… The minute you left for France, she hasn’t been home. She’s been seeing that Whittemore boy, Jackson.”
Chris cursed and slammed his glass on the bar, whiskey scattering over the wood. “That fucking… Just because his father is the judge, he thinks he can do what ever he wants! Well, not anymore. I’m going to fucking kill him.” Chris got up and tossed his card on the counter, watching it slide into the whiskey. He could not care less. His mind was on the gun Gerard had always left in his office desk.
Peter took the card and wiped it on his jeans, and reaching out to place a hand on Chris’s shoulder. “Christopher, buddy, calm down, and don’t lose your head. Lydia is not exactly innocent. I can count at least three men in this bar that she has slept with, and to tell you the truth, I’ve been with her myself.” He looked around the bar meeting Scott and Ethan’s eyes. He knew that Chris would be upset but he could not let him murder the teenage boy. Sure Jackson was an adult, in the eyes of the law, but he had too many connections. Chris would get hurt if he tried anything.
Chris reached across the bar, growling as he grabbed Peter’s shirt. “Peter, you’d better be fucking lying. You know I am not the man to be fucking with.” Peter shook his head with fear in his eyes. A pin could be heard in the silence as Chris pulled back and punched Peter in the jaw, splitting his lip. Scott and Ethan ran up and held him back watching Peter fall back against the liquor case. “How long, Peter?”
The man sighed as he cautiously got up and picked a few shards of glass from his shirt. He had not expected Chris to react like this. He was usually an extremely calm man, despite being an arms dealer. “Just around 2 months.” He looked at his friend and shook his head. “Chris, I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. It was a huge mistake, made by a stupid ass drunk.”
Chris growled trying to get himself out of the hold of the two supernaturally strong teenagers. “Peter, you better get out of town, as fast as you can or sleep with one eye open. You’re a dead man.” He finally wrenched himself out of Scott’s grip and pushed Ethan away as he turned storming out the bar. He knew he probably needed to calm down and he should not have threatened Peter like that, in a crowded bar.
“Well, Andy got scared and left the bar, walkin' on home 'cause he didn't live far.”
Peter sadly watched Chris leave the bar. He had never seen his best friend look so upset, and he knew that he would never be able to count the man his friend again. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed as he began cleaning up the shattered bottles. An hour later he had cleaned the area and made his last call. It did not take long to get all the patrons out and he closed up shop. He felt a shiver run up his spine as he started the quick walk home. He had a nice car, but he did not see much sense in driving when he only lived a few blocks from the bar. He shook his head trying to cast the feeling of dread from his mind. He was a little scared of what Chris might do, but was sure that the man only needed a few hours to calm himself down. Chris was too good a man to do something stupid.
Chris ran home as soon as he was out of the bar. He barely noticed that all the lights were out throughout the house. The older man could not think straight through all the anger clouding his mind. He switched on the hall light and called out for his daughter. “Allison?” He shook his head, not receiving an answer. She was probably spending the weekend with Isaac again. They were marrying in just a few weeks and probably going through last minute preparation. He rushed to his office and pulled Gerard’s gun from the old desk. Allison did not need to see him tonight. It was better for her to be out.
Peter walked up his back porch and frowned seeing the door open. He knew he had locked everything up when he left. The only people with a key were himself, Chris, his goddaughter, and Lydia. “Chris? Are you here? We really should really sit and talk.” He looked into the room and gasped seeing Isaac, lying on the floor, with a gunshot wound through his chest. He stepped through the door and looked over to the corner. “Darling… you don’t want to do this.” He put his hands up in surrender at the gun pointing at his head. In the next moment everything went black. Red heals clacked as they walked across the floor and began dragging Isaac’s body out of the small house.
Chris rushed out of the office; as soon as he found the gun his father had left him. He walked through the woods to Peter’s house. Peter lived on the old preserve outside town where few people actually ventured out. That is why he was a little surprised to see a woman’s foot prints, outside the house. He examined the footprints, and a few drag trails, leading out further into the dense woods. He stood straight, after a few moments, and walked up to the back porch door. Confusingly, the door was wide open, and he poked his head in. His blood ran cold, seeing Peter’s body, laying in a puddle of blood, in the living room floor.
The dealer backed up and gulped. This could not be happening. He Turned to run running into the hard body. He looked up the womanly figure and gasped. “Allison!” He looked into the eyes of his daughter and shook his head. “What have you done?” This had to be a nightmare. His little girl could not have committed such a horrible act. He looked around the property noticing the various streaks of blood around them, and on her hands. “Run! Get out of here.”
Allison looked at her father, sadly. “Daddy, you don’t understand. Isaac, and Lydia…” She looked conflicted as she wiped the blood on her dress. She was still holding the gun he had given her for her 21st birthday. She had always been a little possessive but Chris could not imagine what had driven her to killing Peter.
“I don’t care.” Chris interrupted her. “Get out of here, before the police find out what you’ve done.” He held up his gun and fired a warning shot into the air. He knew that the Beacon Hills police would be around this time of night, and they would hear the shot. Allison cried and nodded as she ran, to the car she had hidden down the road. Chis stood there shaking as he waited for the police. He could not let anyone know that Allison had been here tonight.
He only had to wait moments before he spotted the sheriff’s cruiser pulling up to the scene. He watched Sheriff Stilinski climbing out of the car and let out a breath. He and the sheriff were close but he was not sure there was anything that could get him out of this. “Hello. Sheriff.”
Deputy Parish walked into the house and shook his head. “Peter Hale. He’s dead.” The younger man looked a bit stricken. Chris knew that Parish and Peter had a few wild nights together and were close. He could not imagine what the man was thinking.
John Stilinski sighed pulling out his cuffs as he began reading Chris his rights. He shook his head. “What the hell were you thinking Chris? Why’d you do it?” He grumbled as he cuffed the man’s hands behind his back and began walking him to his car.
Chris nodded as he dropped his gun into the officer’s hands. “John. I did not do this. You have to believe me.” He looked into the man’s eyes frantically. They had known each other practically all their lives. His son Stiles and Allison were practically siblings.
John groaned and ran his hand over his face. “Chris, You were found at the scene of the crime, with the murder weapon. There is nothing I can do for you, except call you a lawyer.” The sheriff sighed and helped him get into the back of the police cruiser. The man was not looking forward to booking the man.
Chris sighed and nodded. He knew that this was the end of the road for him. At least Allison was safe. He did not fight against the charge. He just closed his eyes and leaned his head back as the car started toward the station. This was a small town and he was sure he could arrange some sort of plea bargain, once he called his lawyer. “Could you call Laura and Derek? They should know that Peter…” He could not get the words out of his mouth. “Yeah.”
John sighed and nodded. “Want me to call Deaton, for you? I know he did all the legal paperwork for you and Derek.”
Chris shook his head, not daring to look at the cop. He did not want to see the pity in his eyes. John had done a lot for his family over the years and he was not sure what to say to the man. “Call Allison, and she will arrange everything.”
John nodded pulling into the station after the short ride. Chris looked out the window and tried not to let his fear draw any tears from him. His life was accentually over. Even if he could get a plea bargain, the government would pull his license and Derek, would never speak to him again. He’d lose all his closest friends, not to mention, Lydia had probably run off with that Whittemore kid. He needed to talk to Jacksons father. He cursed as he remembered that Judge Whitmore was probably the man on duty. He was royally screwed.
“'Cause the judge in the town's got bloodstains on his hands”
John led him through the arrangement process, much quicker than he thought possible. He tried not to look at anyone, as he was finger printed and photographed. Deaton arrived during the process. Allison must have called him, after she ran. He was brought before the judge within a couple hours and he tried his best to plead his case. “Your honor. I know this looks bad, but you have to believe me. I did not do this.”
Judge Whitmore looked over John’s statement and hummed. He knew that Jackson was in love with the man’s wife, but he really did not care. He had tasted the girl a few times, and He could not understand why she would choose to marry a man like Christopher Argent. He had never really liked man. “Chris. There is enough evidence to put you away for life. This case is so open and shut, I could sentence to death and not lose a moment of sleep.” He mimed going through the papers a second time.
Deaton stood up and approached the bench. “Judge that hardly seems necessary. Peter and Chris have been the best of friends for as long as I can remember. Where is the motive here, and we have not had time test if the gun matches the bullet found in the body.” He looked back toward his client and sighed. “Chris is a good man. He and Derek’s friends have helped save this town numerous times.”
Chris hung his head and shook his head. He knew the bullet would match. Gerard’s gun was a perfect match for Allison’s. The judge grunted and looked Chris over. “It was not his place to save Beacon Hills. Frankly I am sick of letting their vigilantly justice fly.” He looked over at the Sheriff. “You saw him with the gun and blood on his hands. Was there anyone else around the house, that could have shot Peter?”
John gulped and shook his head. Trials were not supposed to function like this. This was supposed to only be the arrangement. “No Judge.”
Judge Whitmore looked over at Deputy Parrish. “What about Deputy? Did you see any evidence, that Chris could not have done this?” The officer shook his head. “No, Judge. There are a few people that witnessed Mr. Argent threatening Peter, earlier this evening, after Mr. Hale revealed that he had been sleeping with Lydia.” The deputy glared at Chris and shook his head. “You make me sick.”
Chris was shocked. It seemed that this was going to be farce. He was not going to get a proper trial. They had already decided that he was guilty and the judge had said he would put him to death. How did all this happen so quickly? “Please, Judge Whittemore. You can’t so this. I did not shoot Peter. He was like a brother to me. Yes, I was angry, but I calmed down. I was just going to talk to him. There… He was dead when I got there.” He did not know what else to say. Any evidence he had in his defense would implicate Allison, and he could not let this ruin her life.
The judge huffed and let out a life. He really did not think Chris was the type of man to kill Peter, but he really hated the man. “Like I haven’t heard that before. If you really have no further evidence in your favor, I don’t see why we have to continue with a trial. I am ruling guilty, and you’ll be put to death in the morning.”
Christ stood up abruptly. “You can’t do that! I deserve a full trial.” He looked at Deaton, pleadingly. He was going to die and the lawyer was doing shit about it. “DEATON! Do something!” He screamed as the deputy began pulling him back toward his cell. He struggled and cried out. “Call Allison!” He felt like his knees were going to give out. “Get me out of here.”
“Well, they hung my brother before I could say, the tracks he saw while on his way to Andy's house and back that night were mine.”
Allison ran into the station the next afternoon and rang the bell, at the front desk, until Deputy Parish reluctantly came to the counter. “How can I help you Ms. Argent?” He looked over the woman and frowned. It was a shame her father turned out to be a murderer. She would be left all alone after this. They could not even find Isaac, to tell him what happened.
Allison cried looking at the man. She could see the pity in his eyes, but like Deaton, Jordan had signed her father’s death warrant. “You fucking asshole. You know my father did not kill Peter. He would never.” She shook her head and just about collapsed to the floor. She had not meant for any of this to happen. She had arrived at Peter’s to visit Isaac, but had seen her fiancée fucking that woman. Neither of them deserved to live. Peter had only been an after thought, when he had walked in to the scene. He couldn’t live to tell the police what she had done.
She fell to the floor in tears and shook the deputy off her as he tried to comfort him. “Can I see him? Please? Before they execute him?” She looked at the man, begging. She couldn’t let this happen. She could not let her father die for the crime she committed.
Jordon sighed and shook his head. “I’m sorry Allison. The deed is done. Your father has been dead for well over an hour.”
Allison let out a scream of anguish. What had she done?
"Cause the just in the town has blood stains on his hands."