As we walked past a swampy area Billy pointed out the Nordic House library: "A place full of books I'll never be able to read" he muttered. "Your place is on Garðastræti, right? Let's walk through Hólavallagarður, it's right on the way."
"The cemetery. It's just down the street from your place. It's quiet and a lot more private than walking in front of a bunch of houses. Don't cross here—go up a little ways."
The cemetery was nice. Old enough to have a pleasant coat of moss in places, yet well-kept with a system of elegant brickwork paths. The damp smell of the place was of new vegetation, not decay. The sun had broken through, occasionally flooding a grave site in a bath of golden light. We were alone. He led me to a spot off the path, to a walled plot which had a ledge where we could sit.
"I still don't get it, Billy. You could go back home, do some basic campaigning for your father, he gets elected and you get an NSA job and you're set for life- maybe even traveling the world as a special envoy—you could probably even get a post back here in Iceland if it meant that much to you."
"If it was that simple I might think about it, but it isn't. I am the proverbial black sheep, the prodigal son, living with the mark of Cain."
"Billy, that's just ridiculous. Look. I've known you like a brother. I know the Senator a little, sure- he's a gasbag politician, better than some, but he is an effective legislator and quite possibly the next President of the United States."
"Spoken like a brother, Sean. Like a brother. Think about it. We're nearly dead ringers, our mothers were similar in appearance, she was living in the area he was at the time, then we were born within a couple of months of each other. It would never do, now would it, for a rising young politico to have another child with a different mother. Think about how you made it into college, lost your mom, how my mother died a few months later. OD'ed on alcohol and barbiturates they said, tsk, tsk, too bad, so sorry, poor Billy, a year later it's 'Billy meet your new mother'—a younger, sexier, richer mother with real connections. Sean, you are my half-brother. He knows I know, and he knows that we're the only things between him and the White House. Your mother was his lover. She had you. He bought her silence, then found a way to keep her quiet forever. And now he's got you in his pocket—the good son Abel, sent to punish the bad son Cain."
"Give me a little time to process this. Are you saying that he killed our mothers, just to advance his political ambitions?"
"Oh no! No one can prove a thing—your mother's car crash, a terrible accident. Did you ever read the police report? The real one? Or how about my mother's death? I've done some research on that too, it isn't that hard to kill a drunk, bless her heart but she was a drunk. Just add a prescription for sleeping pills from the family doctor, see that she takes a triple dose and it is easy enough to cover up the whole affair."
"You have any proof of all this?'
"I have enough. Look. I'm not out to destroy my father. He can do what he wants, but I can't live that way. I'm just stubborn enough to believe that I can have a real life. I just won't have him around. I'd kill him, if he didn't kill me first."
"Let's go open that wine. Really, I need some."
"Right on, brother."