Iola's Treasure 2

It was around noon, by the time The Hardy brothers arrived at the church with their donations. They saw their mother of average high and slender smiling, coming out to greet them as they walked in the door. "Well it's about time you two showed up."

"Come on, I'll show you where to put your things."

The boys put their things on table she had indicated. Laura looked at her youngest son who was unusually quiet; she knew right away something was wrong. Every time Joe walks into a room his anything but quiet. She saw bits sadness in his blue eyes. Laura also knew her son had a rough year dealing with the death of his girlfriend. It was a rough year for the whole family. She wished she could shield him from that kind of pain.

"What's wrong?" She asked concern. She also wished Fenton hadn't gone out of town on his case.

"Nothing mom, everything is fine." Frank said reassuring her. Even though, she didn't look convened.

"I know something is wrong." She shot her boys a demanding look, and folded her arms to her chest. I could tell the minute you two walked in the door."

"Mom, every things fine, I promise." Joe said plastering a smile on his face hoping it would convince her.

Just then Laura spotted Gertrude coming in the room carrying a box of donations. "Joe, would you go help your Aunt Gertrude. See she needs any help getting Mrs. Granger's thing out of her car."

"Sure Mom."

As soon as Joe left to help his aunt, Laura turns to Frank wanting an answer to her question. "I want an honest answer. Let me what's wrong, and don't tell me everything is fine."

"Okay Mom." Frank took a deep breath then began to explain to his mother about Joe finding the Christmas present from Iola. "Inside the box was a book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson."

"Treasure Island, I use to read it to you boys when you were little." Laura said softly. "That book was worn out from Joe carrying it around all over the place."

"Mom, what ever happened to that book?" Frank answered.

"I don't know." Laura thought for a moment, before shaking her head, "I just I threw it out."

"How come you never replaced it?"

"Well, I think it was around the time you lost interest in pirates, and started reading mystery books." Laura answered with a smile. Just like her husband, her boys have decided to follow their father's footsteps as detectives. She knew of the dangers they face while solving cases and at times she wished her sons had chosen to be doctors or lawyers.

But, deep down Laura would never take away their dream of being detectives.

Frank lightly chuckled at his mother's response "Joe just got a little shook up seeing that book. I'm sure he'll be fine."

"Why don't you take him to Prito's?" Laura suggested. "It might be a good distraction for him. Keep his mind off of things."

After helping the volunteers with their donations and hugs from their aunt and mother the boys were off to Prito's.

The boys were now sitting at their usual booth eating a large pepperoni pizza. Frank was amazed at his little brother; pizza from Prito's was one of his favorites. Joe was usually on his third slice before he had his second. Joe barely touched his first slice was just sitting there across from him staring complacently out of the window. He was unusually quite. Suddenly filled with concern, Frank put his hand on Joe's shoulder.

"Okay, Joe. I can't take the silence anymore." Frank placed a hand on top of Joe's hand to get his attention. "Do you want to talk about it?'

"Yeah, I'm fine." Joe said, still staring out the window.

"Joe, Talk to me."

"I'm fine, Frank. There is nothing to talk about."

"Well, I think finding that gift from Iola shook you up," Frank argued, "You know you can talk to me about anything."

"It's just a stupid book, Frank!" Joe snapped turning to Frank. 'It doesn't mean anything!" Then went make to staring out the window.

"Hey guys!" Greeted one of there good friends, a dark-haired eighteen-year-old Italian Tony Prito assistant manager whose father owns the restaurant.

"Hi, Tony." Frank acknowledged Tony. Tony pulled a chair to the end of the table so he could watch the counter.

"Are you on a break?"

"Yeah, I only have ten minutes or until a customer walks in." Tony frowns looking at Joe noticing his half-eaten pizza." Is there something wrong with your pizza, Joe?"

"Huh," Joe said as he turns from the window realizing Tony had just joined them. "Oh, No the pizza's fine."

"Oh good," Tony threw his hand to his chest, "You had me worried there for a minute."

"I'm sorry Tony," Joe apologized, "It's not you. I just have a lot on my mind, I guess."

"I need to wash my hands." He got up from the table and headed to the restroom.

Tony looked at Frank, "Is he okay?" He asked worriedly.

"I don't know, Tony. He says he is but…"

"You don't believe he is." Tony picked up on what Frank was saying.

"It all started when he found a present from Iola." Frank quickly filled Tony in on Joe finding the book and the letter from."

"Wow, Treasure Island, I haven't read that book in years." Tony nodded. "What are you going to do about Joe?" He asked getting back to the subject.

"I don't know. He was just getting back to his old self; I just hope he does have a set back after finding the book." Frank could not explain it, though... an uneasy feeling had just come over him. "I wish he never found the thing".