"Preacher," I greeted my partner, extending my own hand. "What brings you and Dirk out here so early?"

The look on Preacher's face turned to confusion as he stepped in through the doorway.

Before he could say anything however, we were interrupted by a grumpy-sounding, "Morning."

All eyes moved toward the living room doorway as a bedraggled Abby moved into the room. It was clear from her demeanor that she was not ready to be here at this hour of the day.

"I'd better make more coffee," I heard May exclaim before turning and heading for the coffee pot.

Stepping forward, I encircled my arms around my daughter's shoulders and gave her a squeeze.

"You should have slept in Abby," I soothed, "We would have taken care of Ya Su."

Pulling back out of my embrace, she looked at me like I was some unknown ogre.

"You asked me to come down!"

"I did what?" I replied with confusion. "Abby, I've been down here since 5:30 this morning, most of that time spent on the porch. I haven't even been around your bedroom!"

Confusion was spreading around the room like the plague.

Looking frustrated, Abby dug her hand into the pocket of her robe and pulled out her cell phone. Flipping it open, she then spent a few moments punching at the keys before turning the screen towards me.

"Does this ring a bell?"

Taking the phone out of her hand with growing aggravation, I glanced down at the screen:

6:50 AM

From: Gabe

Can you come down to the kitchen?

There's someone I'd like you to meet!

My eyes felt like they would bug out of my head when I read the message.

I didn't send this! I mumbled more to myself than anyone.

By this time, Preacher was tapping me on the shoulder with his own cell phone laden hand. Handing his also to me, I eyed his open screen.

6:35 AM

From: Gabe

Can you come over right away?

There's a guy here that may have some work for us!

My mouth was agape as I moved my eyes to meet Preacher's. Staring at each other for a few moments, we then both turned toward Abby.

Aggravation had melted away to confusion by the time we all slowly turned our heads toward the visitor.

A small smile beamed at us from across the room before he shrugged shyly.

"You?" I accused as I glanced back at the two phones in my hands.

"I haven't even turned on my cell yet! How the hell could you have sent these messages?"

McGruder shrugged his shoulders once again.

"I am sorry for instigating so much confusion before the sun is even up Mr. Celtic, but you see, I really needed to see all of you. This is after all, an interview of sorts.

Taking up his crutches, he then stood and made his way over to us, his braces clicking as he moved.

"And as a matter of fairness," he stated as he stopped in front of us, "I realize that in essence, you are also interviewing me. It was with this in mind that I instigated the cloned text messages, in part to show you a little bit of what I would be able to bring to the table."

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