To Charmaine's surprise, the living room was full of life shortly as Kenton, Olivia, Cameron, and Mia were all sitting around the coffee table.
"Yeah, Mrs. Hayes grabbed you by your shirt and dragged you out." Olivia said as they laughed at Cameron's expense.
The laughter was suspended momentarily when the doorbell chimed. Charmaine went downstairs and opened the door.
"Hello…?" Charmaine said as a man in a suit stood before her.
"Good afternoon. Agent Sequoia Anson. I've just taken the case for your unfortunate fire."
"Okay… nice to meet you. I'm surprised that you're all working on the holidays."
"Well, ma'am, your case has become part of a federal investigation. I wanted to talk to you and your son regarding the restaurant and your connections to an Elias Conner."
"Excuse me… what?" Charmaine said, trying to figure out how one traumatic event led into another.
"I apologize. But we've found a connection to the case and I've been wanting to talk to people who were close to the Conner family."
"Well… you're not going to believe this, but my son's upstairs with his friends and they've all had some connection to Elias."
"Yeah, come on upstairs." Charmaine said as she gestured up the stairs. Anson politely nodded and then went upstairs. The kids stopped their renewed laughing when the man entered the living room.
"Agent Sequoia Anson." the man said to introduce himself.
"Oh crap. It's the fuzz!" Cameron said before getting a smack on the shoulder by Mia.
"Are you here about the restaurant?" Kenton politely asked.
"Yes and no." Anson replied.
"Should we leave?" Olivia asked.
"No, no. It's freezing out there and there's nothing that you kids don't already know about." Charmaine said.
"Mia did it! I told her not to download anime on the restaurant's Wi-Fi!" Cameron quickly said. Mia wanted to grab her boyfriend by the neck and squeeze the life out of his eyes.
"No, Mrs. Hayes is right. The tragic fire from the other night has been linked to Kevin Butch Conner, or rather Elias Conner's father."
"What… are you saying? Are you saying that Elias's father burned down my mom's restaurant?" Kenton said, feeling a rage that he hadn't felt in a year.
"I can't comment on the case, but I do want to know about anyone who would have a connection to the Conner family."
"Well, you've come to the right place." Olivia said.
"As I've heard. One at a time, please." Anson said as he politely gestured to Kenton for him to start.
"He was my best friend." Kenton replied before looking towards Cameron.
"He took care of me when my… brother would treat me bad." Cameron sadly said. Kenton put a hand on his shoulder.
"I was his girlfriend when he died." Mia quietly said.
"His father tried to kidnap my cousin, who was friends with his younger son." Olivia said in conclusion.
"Okay… wow, that's quite a spread that I've stumbled on here. Have any of you had any contact with anyone resembling Elias's father?"
"Never seen him outside of the news." Kenton replied. Mia and Olivia shook their heads.
"Uh, well, I heard that his other son is named Lucas. And he kind of looks like Elias..." Cameron said, not sure if he was doing the right thing.
"That's right." Anson said, hoping that the young teenager would give him something to go from.
"Uh, there's this guy who I've been seeing at the video store and once at Kenton's Mom's restaurant. I overheard him telling the bro that works there that he lives at Elias's old house."
"Really? That's interesting." Anson said with a raised eyebrow as he wrote the information down. When he was done, he got up and shook Charmaine's hand.
"Thank you so much for letting me in. This is useful information. Here is my card if you have any more concerns. Thank you. All of you. Have a Merry Christmas."
"Thank you." Charmaine said as she walked the man down the stairs to the front door.
Instead of going back to the police station or his hotel room, Anson turned his car towards the old Conner residence. As he approached it, he saw that the house was just as nasty and abandoned as one would expect it to be. He thought about the possibility of him squatting but shook his head as he wondered if Butch would be stupid (or perhaps smart) enough to stay in his old house.
Anson took a deep breath and turned the car around. There were no signs of life, but that wasn't going to stop him from getting a warrant ready to search the place the following Monday.