Name: Cathryn “Caitie” Magaldi
Age: 28 years old
Description: Caitie is short, looks tiny but packs a punch(there’s a reason Nolan starts referring to her as “fairy”). She has red hair, freckled skin, and blue eyes.
Short Bio: Caitie is the third child of Dougal and Shaelyn Magaldi. Also their only daughter. She has two older brothers, Cormac and Brannon, and a younger brother, Gio. She had plenty of cousins on both sides of the family to play with growing up. She preferred running around and roughhousing than the calmer play some of her female cousins preferred.
She was eleven when her cousin, Doreen, died in a house fire. There wasn’t much she could do but watch as her aunt and uncle struggled to keep things together. All the family tried to help, but they had to find a way to get through it.
She followed her older brothers and her cousin, Adrian, onto the police force. Her brothers were not happy about this decision, still thinking they needed to protect her. Brann was better at stepping back when she proved she could take care of herself. Cormac refused to see her as anything but his little sister.
So after Adrian moved to nearby Crystal Glen, tired of dealing with backlash because he’d had to arrest his drug addict brother, she decided to follow him there, too. At least then she wouldn’t feel like she had to constantly measure up to her mother, uncles, and brothers. She didn’t have any desire to be a detective, at least not then, so she was on a different track than Adrian.
And she enjoyed what she did. Felt she was doing something good, something to help, something meaningful. She’s just not sure it’s still enough.
He heard the clomp of footsteps on the path behind them. “There they are,” he muttered before turning. An older man, probably not much older than himself, walked next to a young woman, probably only a year or two younger than Kayla.
“Officers Hamilton and Magaldi,” the man said as they showed their badges. “Which one of you called this in?”
“I did,” Nick said, stepping forward. “I’m the groundskeeper here. This is his family.”
The young woman looked over at him, and her eyes narrowed for a moment. “Investigator Brooke?”
His own narrowed now. She looked slightly familiar. Her dark red hair had been pulled back from her face. Her skin was pale and freckled. Bright blue eyes danced. He couldn’t place her though. “Do I know you?”
“Probably not. I met you at the station one day. You were there talking to my cousin.” His brow furrowed as he tried to remember. “Adrian,” she added.
That cleared it up, and he smiled. “Caitie, right? You’d just transferred here.”
She nodded. Before she could say anything else the other officer cleared his throat. “Can we get on with this?”
“Sorry, sir,” she muttered glancing away.
“What happened?” Officer Hamilton asked, ignoring James.
“I was going to knock down some of the weeds. When I got over this way, I noticed the damage. This plot is always well taken care of. I hardly ever have to do any work here. The family keeps it looking nice.”
Caitie moved around them to look down at the graves. “God,” she whispered then glanced up at James. “Your son?”
His heart clutched, then he nodded. “My parents paid to have that carving done.” His gaze shot to his mother’s grave. “Now, it’s destroyed.”
“I’m sorry,” she murmured, but her eyes looked distant.
She nodded once, and he thought she got his meaning. He knew about Doreen, Adrian’s baby sister. Christ, she couldn’t have been very old when Doreen had died. She looked at least a few years younger than Adrian.
“Sir, you don’t have to be here,” Officer Hamilton said, his voice tight.
“It’s my family.” His voice came out nearly a growl.
“Can you tell us what happened?”
Now, he did feel a growl tearing up through his throat. “No. I didn’t do this. I wouldn’t do-”
Nick put a hand on his arm. “I’m sure he didn’t mean that, James. Maybe I shouldn’t have called you yet.”
“No, you shouldn’t have,” the cop muttered. James shot him a glare, but noticed the man looked down at his son’s grave too. That might even be sympathy in his eyes. “Has to feel like losing them again.” Yes, definitely sympathy.
James shook his head. “Nothing could feel like that. My wife laid in a coma while I had to bury our son. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could match that.” He turned away, and his eyes met Caitie’s. “Tell me what you find. I can’t be here right now.”
“We’ll have questions for you,” Hamilton said.
“Then, you can ask them somewhere else.” He looked over at Nick. “We’ll get this cleaned up.”
“You don’t have to do that, James. I can bring someone in to take care of it.”
James shook his head. “They’re ours. We’ll do it.”
“My family will help,” Caitie said.
He shook his head again. “You don’t need to. They’re not yours.”
One corner of her mouth tilted up. “If Adrian gets his way, they will be. We take family seriously.”