Chapter 2 - Dear Jim
“Butler, I can’t breathe.” Artemis tried to say, though in reality, it sounded more like “Burrr, okk erreee”
“My apologies, Master.” Grinned the bodyguard, setting down the teen from a bear hug.
The boy smiled sadly at his acquaintance, “No need, old friend. I know I must have hurt you these past few months. To be perfectly honest, I was unsure myself on whether I would ever see the light of day again.”
Suddenly a voice chimed in from Holly’s communicator, “Well, if it wasn’t for a certain four-legged genius, you wouldn’t.”
Holly rolled her eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself, Foaly.” she said, then began to press a series of buttons, and in a moment, a pixelated image of the smug centaur was projected into the room.
“Someone’s looking better.” Chuckled Foaly, nodding at Artemis.
“Thank you,” said the boy “Though I had expected for the clone to be complete in much less time”
“Well, Captain Short here refrained from telling me about your moment de passion before you so charmingly tranquilized her, Arty”
The centaur couldn’t help but laugh outright at the tomato-red elf and mastermind. Moments like these reminded him that there were perks to his job; other than frequent sarcastic jabs at any unlucky victim, and maintaining the People’s way of life.
The manservant blinked. “What moment de passion?”
Foaly opened his mouth to speak the exact moment that a fury of blond swept into the room.
“Artemis!” cried Juliet Butler, crushing the youth in an embrace. “You sly devil, I’ve missed you.”
“And I you”
He was somewhat taken aback. Even after six months it was hard to fathom how the young lady had matured. Her thick blond hair fell about her shoulders framing a flawless face. But Artemis could see something in her eyes that he hadn’t since-
“Juliet, where are mother and father?”
The girl lowered her eyes “Arty, I don’t think-“
“Juliet” his voice was stern.
“The study. You really shouldn’t-“but Juliet did not finish her sentence as Artemis was already long gone.
How could he? Forget about his parents, how? The boy wiped a bead of perspiration from his brow with a slim finger as he rushed down the hall. And why did Juliet look so worried? He remembered his mother sobbing uncontrollably under heaps of blankets, and shuddered. Artemis Fowl paused a few feet away from the study, heart in his throat. He could hear two familiar voices arguing.
“I just can’t do this anymore, Artemis.” It was his mother, her voice was trembling.
“Please, Angeline. I just need time, that’s all. Everything will be fine, I promise.”
“No,” Artemis could tell she was crying now. “I’m scared, Timmy. We’re running out of money.”
Artemis Senior opened his mouth to speak, but his wife continued.
“What about the boys? They can tell something’s wrong. And Arty, what are we going to do with him? I just want him to be happy, but he keeps getting himself into trouble.”
Artemis swallowed. Was all of this, whatever it was, his fault? Mother was worried; something about money. He felt sick. It was almost ironic, the fact both the Artemis’ in her life was causing her grief. What a coincidence.
The boy’s father began to speak, “I just need time, Darling. The government won’t be concerned for at least a few more months. Fowl industries will prevail. I will prevail-Angeline” he beckoned, but the lady of the house had just tread out of the study, nearly colliding with her dazed son, who had immediately regained a calm composure.
“Artemis” blurted Angeline, wiping away unwanted tears with her sleeve.
“Hello, Mother” Artemis said pleasantly, melting into his mother’s open arms.
“Oh, Arty,” sighed the boy’s mother smoothing non-existent creases from her son’s tailored Armani jacket. “I’m sorry if you heard me and your father a moment ago. He and I, we’re just a little stressed about some things.”
“About me” Artemis murmured.
“Not at all,” said Angeline, kissing her son on the forehead. “You should have a word with him, though. Let him know you’re okay, I think he needs that.”
Artemis watched the elegant figure of his mother pacing down the hall and turned.
He noticed that the study door was opened, and a silhouette of Artemis Fowl Senior could be distinguished leaning against a floor to ceiling book shelf. For a moment, the teen was almost uncertain. Then inhaling sharply, he stepped through the threshold.
“Ah, come here son.” Smiled the boy’s father.
Artemis did as he was told, forcing to meet the gaze that was piercing him.
“You spoke with your mother?”
Artemis hated casual conversation. “Father I-”
Artemis Senior chuckled, “Always business, eh?”
The genius hung his head.
“Don’t be upset, Arty. In fact, you remind me of an old friend.”
Artemis narrowed his eyes. Generally “old friend” referred to criminals from his father’s old schemes.
Without noticing his son, the man continued.
“Yes. His name was Jim, and we were quite close. He was also an Irish business man, but he called himself a consulting criminal.” He walked towards the desk his son had inherited years before and slumped into a swivel chair to ease the pain in his prosthetic leg. The man’s brow was furrowed in concentration, then he shook his head. “My apologies, son. I suppose I don’t know what to do with myself. You know what? I think we should go for a trip later this week. Doesn’t that sound fun?”
“Yes, Father.” Answered Artemis.
“That’s a good boy.” Smiled Artemis Senior, patting his son on the back and exiting the room.
Artemis took a seat and steepled his hands in deep thought. Jim someone, a consulting criminal. Who was this man, and why was his father so interested in him? After about fifteen minutes it hit him. Not Jim-but James-James Moriarty. The theory fit everything; consulting criminal, Irish, and deceased, which would explain why his father had been referring to the man in the past tense.
Now Artemis knew what he had to do.
Carefully, he took out a pad of paper and a fountain pen, then began to write:
I hope you all liked chapter two
Sorry for not posting for such a long time...
Until next time...