With Calder’s shift to teenager and Dagmar no longer working, the Harrison household falls into an easy pattern. Calder and Dale begin to spend a lot of time together whether it be playing games or just hanging around the house.
After school, Calder is everywhere. After dumping his homework he typically heads for the gamestation or the computer. He’s an energetic kid and seems to have an opinion about everything. He’s definitely a mover and a shaker.
Dale finished yet another job successfully and takes a few days off. He spends a lot of time in his study working on a series of paintings he wants to get done. The first one is, of course, of Calder. Calder doesn’t know what to think of it but he thinks it’s “kinda cool.”
Dagmar continues to work on her writing from time to time. She’s been pushing for a large novel to finally get accepted by a publisher. She tries to write every day while Calder is in school. If she could get published than maybe Dale wouldn’t feel so driven to succeed on his operations. Maybe he would even retire?
Dale doesn’t tell Dagmar that the jobs are getting more dangerous… MUCH more dangerous. He goes back to working evenings and sometimes not being home until after midnight.
He’s close to reaching a plateau though. He can feel it. If everything goes well, he’s pretty sure he’ll be given his own group, his own territory. He pushes through this last bit and he’s sure things will ease up. He can start running operations instead of being in the middle of them. He knows it’s a dangerous gamble. As long as nobody gets too hurt, he tells himself it’s worth it. That’s what he keeps telling himself anyway.
The family begins to settle into a routine. Unfortunately, Calder has been listening from his bedroom when his father tells stories about work to Dagmar, stories told long after Calder should be asleep. Stories about cons and deception. Somewhere in his adolescent brain he seems to have picked up the idea that lying to your parents is fun.
You see, he’s been telling his parents that his grades are fine, just fine.
The truth is very much the opposite.