It started as a small buzzing sound, working it’s way through his subconscious. The noise became louder, causing him to open his eyes.
Trent Malloy tried to focus as he looked around the small room for the source of the noise. He concentrated on the smaller room off of the main one. He groped around for the small buzzer by his bed, pushed it, and waited. No one came. He sighed and closed his eyes, trying to block out the sound and get back to sleep. He finally had enough of the annoying sound, climbed unsteadily out of his bed and stumbled as he made his way to the bathroom. He flicked the light on, cringing against the brightness, but the noise remained. He turned the light off again, sighing as he still heard the noise.
He knew that he would not be able to get back to sleep, so he made his way to the door. He peek out into the hospital hallway then exited his room.
“Hello,” he whispered in a horse voice. He put a hand on his throat and swallowed. “Hello?” He stumbled again as the medication from his recent tonsillectomy caused the hall to fade and move in front of him. He walked slowly to the nurse’s station and looked around.
That was when he saw her, lying behind the counter in a pool of blood.
“Help,” he tried to yell but it came out as quiet as a whispered croak. He started for behind the counter when a hand landed on his arm.
Trent turned, stumbled slightly, and ignored the nauseous feeling that washed over him.
“What are you doing out of bed?” the man asked.
Trent pointed to the nurse on the floor. “Help…” he trailed off when he noticed blood on the other man’s sleeve. He took a step back and stared momentarily. He saw the needle too late and felt pain as it jabbed into his side.
The world around him grew dark, but Trent forced himself to take a good look at the man in front of him.
Carlos Sandoval slowed as he approached the section of the hospital his friend was in. He took in the police officers at the door, then quickened his pace.
“What’s going on?” he asked as he entered the room.
Detective Ryan looked up from his spot by the bed. “Ah, the other one arrives.”
“Pleasure to see you too, Ryan.” Carlos looked at Trent. “What happened?”
Trent opened his mouth to speak, but Ryan answered instead. “Your friend claims that he say a murdered nurse last night.”
“What?!” Carlos exclaimed. “Are you all right?”
“He’s fine,” Ryan answered.
“But…” Trent whispered.
“But there is no body, no blood, and no missing nurse,” Ryan interrupted again.
“Amazing trick you got there Trent…I never saw your lips move at all,” Carlos said. He looked at Ryan. “If Trent said he saw it, then he saw it.”
Ryan sighed. “Your friend was pumped so full of drugs after his operation yesterday, that there’s no telling what he imagined.” He closed his notebook. “I’ll file this, and then get back to you.”
Carlos moved out of the way as Ryan walked out the door. He went to the side of the bed. “Are you feeling okay?” he asked. Trent nodded. “What did you see last night?”
Trent sighed in relief. He was not sure if Carlos had believed that he saw anything, or if he was just disagreeing with Ryan for the sake of it.
Carlos stared at the coffee in his hand. “I know that he saw something, but there’s no actual proof.”
Kim sighed. “Are we going to investigate the hospital?”
“What do you mean we?” Carlos asked with a raise of his eyebrow.
“We…as in me and you…we.” Kim smiled. “Oh, come on…let me help.”
Carlos shook his head as he sighed. “This is still a police investigation, and Ryan might get angry if we start poking around, so of course we are going to investigate.”
Captain Simon Transerpt looked up as a knock sounded on his office door. “Come in!” he called out. Detective Tiffany Chambers walked in and stood in front of the desk. “About time you showed up,” he said.
Tiffany snapped to attention. “Detective Chambers reporting for duty, sir!” She threw him a precise salute.
Simon sighed. “At ease…Detective.”
“Yes, sir!” Tiffany clasped her hands at the small of her back. She smiled at the stricken look on her Captain’s face. “You wanted to see me?”
Simon sighed again. “Sit down, will ya?”
Tiffany sat in the chair facing the desk and leaned back. “What’s up?”
“Since Gabe is off for six weeks on parental leave, you get a new partner,” Simon told her. “I have half a mind to stick you with Ryan.” For a brief instant, he could see a panic look in Tiffany’s eyes. “But, I decided that I do not need the aggravation that would cause.”
Tiffany sighed in relief. She had started off on the wrong foot with Detective Ryan, and it just seemed to get worse as the time went by. “So, who am I getting?”
Tiffany sat up straight. “The same Detective Hendricks who is under investigation by IA?”
“The same one,” Simon affirmed.
“Why stick her with me? That’s inviting trouble.”
“How so?” Simon asked, although he already knew the answer.
Tiffany sighed. “IA does not like me…they think that I’m a, uh, disruptive influence to the force,” she stated. “Ohhh, I get it.” She nodded. “The newest trouble maker gets partnered with the older trouble maker, and IA keeps themselves so busy trying to catch us at something that they leave everyone else alone.”
Simon looked at her blankly.
“I’ll do it,” Tiffany said. “On one condition.”
“We get the alleged dead body in the hospital case.”
“Deal,” Simon agreed.
Detective Jennifer Hendricks looked around the squad room slowly. A few people looked at her and smiled. She smiled back, and continued her survey. This place looks okay she thought. I hope I can clear my name with IA from here. I wonder who my partner is…I hope-- Jennifer jumped as someone sat on the desk beside her.
The other person smiled. “I’m Detective Chambers, your new partner. Captain Transerpt would like to speak with us.” She hopped off the desk and headed back to the office.
Jenny got up and followed. Detective Chambers??
Trent Malloy looked out the window beside his bed, watching as the view outside raised slightly. He closed one eye, staring as the scenery lowered. He sighed, and took his finger off of the button that raised and lowered his hospital bed. He grabbed the remote control, pointed it at the television, flipped through a few channels, then turned it off and tossed the remote on the side table. He picked up a magazine and tried to read. He glanced at his watch, annoyed to see that it was two hours before visitors were permitted.
“I am sooooo bored!” he said to the empty room.
“An alleged murder?” Jenny asked.
Tiffany nodded. “I know the witness. He’s very reliable. If he said he saw it, then he saw it.” She stopped at a desk, and smiled at the occupant.
“What?” Detective Richard Ryan asked suspiciously.
“Dick,” Tiffany said pleasantly. “Simon handed the Malloy case over to us.” She motioned to herself, then to Jenny. “Got the info?”
Ryan looked at his watch. “I’ll get it to you after lunch.”
“Now would be more convenient,” Tiffany said.
Kim looked up from the computer. “All the nurses are accounted for,” she said.
Carlos sighed and leaned on the desk. “What about Candy-Stripers? Any list on who volunteers at the hospital?” He waited while Kim typed in a few things.
“Nope,” she said. “There are no reports of any of them missing work.” She paused. “Maybe one is on vacation.” She typed, then smiled. “Two volunteers have booked off on vacations…one took hers the same day Trent saw the body.”
Carlos nodded thoughtfully. “I’ll start there then. You’re pretty good at this stuff.” He headed for the door, then stopped. “Where are you going?”
Kim looked up from putting her coat on. “I’m coming with you to check this out…oh, come on, Carlos. You said I was good at this.”
“You’ll stay out of the way, and do what I say?”
Of course Carlos thought and laughed to himself. “Who does she think she’s kidding?
Jenny jumped. “Pardon?”
“You’re staring at me!” Tiffany sounded paranoid.
“I am?” Jenny asked. “Sorry.” She cleared her throat. “Did you use to be Officer Chambers from the NYPD?”
Tiffany nodded. “At one time.”
Jenny smiled. “Wow! I heard all about you at the academy. You were like an idol!”
Tiffany frowned. “I thought the instructors used me as an example of what not to do?”
“They did,” Jenny nodded enthusiastically. “But some of us liked your style in the handling of perps.”
Tiffany sighed. Great…
Jenny inhaled sharply. “That guy! He’s wanted on B&E’s!” She pointed.
“What guy?” Tiff said as she pulled the car over to the curb.
“He went into that bar,” Jenny said and called it in on the radio. She followed Tiff as she got out of the car, and went towards the bar.
The man walked out of the bar, stopping when he saw them approaching.
“Police,” Jenny said as she held up her badge. “You’re under—“
The man grabbed a person who was walking out, shoved him into Tiffany, and ran back into the bar. Tiffany picked herself up from the ground, and ran into the bar. She caught up with the man, pushed him against the bar, and started to put her cuffs on him. He struggled the whole time. Tiffany slammed him against the bar again.
Tiffany was half way through reading him his rights when she heard Jenny yell out a warning. Tiffany jerked to the left, catching the sight of a beer bottle as it sailed through the space where her head had just been. She calmly took the cuff off the man’s right wrist, hooked it to the rail that ran along the bar, and then turned to the crowd.
“Who threw that?” she asked as she held up her badge. She looked around. “No one? The bar is haunted then?”
A large man in a cowboy hat approached. “I threw it,” he snarled. “We’re not gonna let you take him in.” He motioned to the two men behind him.
Tiffany sighed. Another bar fight? Ye gads! She noticed Jenny moving to a more strategic position behind the men. She nodded briefly, then turned her attention back to the large man. “Well, it looks like we have a problem then. You see, I plan on taking this man in.”
The man smirked and then swung at her. Tiffany blocked the punch, grabbed his arm, and threw him to the ground. The man got up quickly and glared at her.
“You’re gonna be sorry you did that, pig!” He lunged at her.
Tiffany ducked, and the man flew over the top of the bar. She struck a fighting pose as the others advanced on her.
Jenny saw her opportunity. She grabbed one of the men, sending him easily to the floor. The other saw that she too was a police officer, and decided that she was fair game. Your first, and last, mistake Jenny thought.
Tiffany grunted as she was grabbed from behind in a tight grip. She swung back with her head, smiling in satisfaction when the person released his grip. She turned, delivered a roundhouse punch, then turned again as the man landed unconscious on the floor.
Jenny spun quickly as she kicked the man in front of her. She was rewarded with the sound of cracking bones; then the man stumbled away holding his nose. She turned to the crowd, satisfied to see that no one else was foolish enough to make another move towards them. She walked slowly to the bar.
Tiffany unlocked the man from the bar, and dragged him out behind her as she exited.
Jenny paused at the door as two uniformed officers arrived. “Arrest those three,” she said and pointed at the men. “The charges are…being stupid, and trying to assault two police officers.”
“Hi, we were wondering if we could ask you a few questions about Jane Parksly?”
Carlos closed his eyes briefly and realized that letting Kim make the initial questioning might just have been a mistake. He leaned casually on the hospital counter. “What my…partner means, is; do you know Jane Parksly, and would we be able to ask you a few question?”
The nurse behind the counter smiled at him. Kim rolled her eyes.
“Jane Parksly?” the nurse asked. “I don’t think that I know…” she paused. “Oh, do you mean Jane, the Candy-Striper?”
Carlos nodded. “That’s the one.”
“Why do you want to know about her?” The nurse leaned forward. “Is she in some kind of trouble? Did she get arrested again?”
Kim opened her mouth to say something, but Carlos replied first. “No, she hasn’t been arrested again. We would, however, like to talk to her…Do you know where she is today?” He knew by instinct that this woman was a bit of a gossip, and might tell them all they needed to know.
The nurse checked the duty roster. “Uhh…she booked off for a few days vacation. Hmmm?”
“Is that strange for her to do?” Carlos asked.
“Well, sort of.” The nurse checked a few things. “She was on vacation just last week.”
“Did she say anything to anyone about needing more time?” Kim asked.
“Well…I really shouldn’t say anything,” the nurse started, “but she seemed sort of preoccupied the last few times I saw her.” She motioned them closer. “I think she was having man trouble.”
Kim nodded in sympathy. “Was she dating someone from here?” she asked in a conspiratorial tone.
“Oh, yes,” the nurse nodded. She looked around to make sure no one else was within earshot. “I saw her with one of the doctors two days ago…she looked upset.”
“Really?” Kim replied. “Who was the doctor? Was he cute?”
Carlos rolled his eyes, but decided to stay out of this part of the conversation. Both women looked at him, and he moved back slightly. Woman-talk! Humph!
Jenny faced Tiffany inside the ring. They watched each other as they circled. Tiffany made a move, causing Jenny to back up slightly. Jenny kicked out, but it was easily blocked by Tiff. They spared lightly, neither one wanting to make solid contact, each one sizing up her opponent. Since Trent was undergoing a few tests, they had almost an hour wait before they could see him. Wanting to unwind after the bar fight, Tiffany had suggested a ‘friendly little sparring match.’
Jennifer watched Tiffany as she nimbly moved around. She still has a few moves in her, despite her age. She blinked at that thought. Oooppps…she’s only a year older than me, so I just insulted myself!
Tiffany made a move forward, smiling to herself when Jenny matched the move in the opposite direction. She had briefly read through the files on her new temporary partner, and knew that there was potential there for Jenny to be an excellent cop. If IA doesn’t screw her over first!
Although Jenny was only a year younger, they were separated much further by their time on the force. Tiffany had joined the New York Police Department almost immediately after high school. Jenny, however, had waited until she was twenty-two before she joined the Dallas Police Department. That meant there was a gap of about four years between them. Tiffany had learned her first survival skills on the mean streets of New York, and had brought those skills with her to Dallas. Jenny had learned her skills in Dallas, an equally dangerous, but less violent atmosphere. The thought of Jenny’s cadet class thinking that Tiffany was any sort of roll model surprised her. The academy had expressly used the tactics of the new cop, Officer Tiffany Chambers, as an example of the wrong way for a police officer to behave.
The class knew that the streets of Dallas were changing, and they had decided that they needed any edge they could find to keep one step ahead of the criminals, and to keep themselves alive. If that meant employing unconventional tactics from a ‘hot head from the NYPD’, then that was what they were going to do.
Tiffany was jolted out of her reverie by a motion, and all her instincts kicked in as she deflected Jenny’s blow. The movement caught her off balance and she stumbled backwards into the ropes. She bounced back easily to her feet and smiled slightly.
“Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”
“I know,” Jenny said. “That’s why I attacked.”
Carlos stood as Kim approached the waiting area. “Through with your little chat?”
“Yeah,” Kim said. She looked at his face. “Are you pouting?”
“No. What did you learn?” Carlos asked. “Was the doctor cute?”
“Ahhh…you were pouting!” Kim said as he started to walk away. “As a matter of fact, the doctor was cute. Beth, the nurse, didn’t know who the he was though…she thought that he might be new, or filling in for a vacationing doctor.”
Carlos nodded thoughtfully. “That could mean something.” He stopped at a door. “I want to run his description by Trent. He might recognize him.” He pushed the door open.
Trent Malloy looked up as the door opened, and smiled. “Visitors,” he whispered in a hoarse voice, “finally!” He sat up higher in the bed.
“Hey,” Carlos said. “How ya feeling today?”
“Not too bad,” Trent whispered. “They want to keep me in here for a little while longer though.”
“Why?” Kim asked as she sat in a chair beside the bed.
“They think that I might have an infection. The doctor wants to run a few tests.”
Carlos sat in the other chair in the room. “Is it your regular doctor that wants to run these tests?”
Trent looked at him with mild surprise. “No. Well, the orders came from my regular doc, but the idea came from his boss.” He pushed the button on the bed to raise himself. “Why?”
Carlos wet his lips slightly. “Well, it might mean nothing, but…” he paused, then told him what he and Kim had found out that morning.
Trent listened with interest to the doctor’s description. “That does sound like the man I saw…sort of.”
“Sort of?” Kim asked.
“Well, I was on pain killers after the operation,” Trent admitted. “I’m having a hard time picturing his face.”
Carlos leaned forward. “Just do the best you can.”
Nurse Beth Morris smiled at the doctor standing in front of the counter. “Yes?”
The doctor smiled back, dimples showing on his handsome face. “Where do we keep the test forms? I can’t seem to find mine.”
Beth checked behind the counter. “Oh, we are out, too.” She nodded at the nurse who walked behind the counter. “I’ll show you where we keep them.” She turned to the nurse. “I’m going home now…have a good shift.”
The doctor followed as she walked from behind the counter and started down the hall. He glanced at the other nurse; satisfied that she had not paid him any attention. “What did that woman and man want earlier?” he asked in a conversational tone.
“They were asking about Jane Parksly.” She looked at him. “Do you know where she is?”
“I don’t even know who she is,” the doctor replied. He followed her into a storage room.
“I thought you knew her…I saw the two of you talking the other day. Jane looked upset.” Beth reached up onto a shelf.
“Oh, her. I caught her pocketing a few things, and threatened to report her.” He stepped behind Beth and pulled something out of his pocket. “Did you say anything to those two about seeing me with this Jane?”
“Yes,” Beth said as she pulled the test forms down.
“I thought so.” He put his arms around her head and pulled tightly. The garrote tightened around Beth’s neck. The nurse pulled at it as her eyes went wide with fear, but she was no match for the much stronger doctor. Her terrified breaths came in short gasps as the room faded around her. She let out a final grunt and went still.
The doctor took the cord from around her neck, checked for a pulse, and then pushed her body under one of the shelves. He straightened his clothes, picked up the test forms, and calmly exited the room.
Carlos jumped slightly as his pager sounded. He clasped his hand over it as he brought it up to eye level.
“You’re suppose to turn those off in a hospital,” Kim said.
“I know. I forgot.” Carlos stood. “I’ll be right back…gotta make a phone call.”
“I have a phone here.” Trent motioned to his side table. “Unless,” mischief sparkled in his eyes, “it’s a, uh, private call?”
Kim smiled as Carlos blushed slightly. “Ohhh…smoochy-smoochy??” she teased. Trent laughed, then coughed as he put a hand on his sore throat.
“Serves you right,” Carlos said as he exited the room.
“You go and introduce yourself to Mr. Malloy,” Tiffany said. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Okay,” Jenny said, somewhat curious. “Room 1237, right?”
Tiffany nodded, and then slipped around the corner. She peeked out after Jenny left, and waited. Soon, she spotted her quarry walking down the hall from the opposite end. She ducked back behind the corner and waited. The footsteps grew louder, paused for a moment, and then entered the alcove she was in.
Carlos stopped with a start, then smiled. “Well, this is a nice change from having to call you.”
“I thought so, too,” Tiffany purred. “That’s why I paged you. I knew you were visiting Trent, and I knew that you would forget to turn your pager off…you always do.”
“Am I that predictable?” Carlos asked quietly as he approached her.
“Always,” Tiffany whispered. She backed against the wall as Carlos bent towards her. His lips met hers and she was pushed further against the wall as he leaned into her.
Both Trent and Kim looked as the door opened. They were expecting it to be Carlos, but Trent was pleasantly surprised by the woman who stood there. Shoulder length blonde hair framed an intelligent, pretty face. And the rest of the package’s not bad either Trent thought, and ignored the ‘sexist pig’ remark his mind shot at him.
“Yes?” Trent whispered. “Can I help you?”
“Only if you’re Trent Malloy,” the woman said.
Whoo-hoo! “Yes, I am.” He smiled as the woman walked in. This day is getting better and better!
Kim smiled. “I think I’ll go find Carlos,” she patted Trent on the arm. “We’ll come back later.”
“Okay…thanks,” Trent whispered. “Oh, can you bring me something good to read?” He smiled as Kim nodded on her way out, then he turned his attention back to his newest visitor.
“I’m Detective Hendricks,” she introduced herself. “My partner and I are investigating the alleged murder here.”
“You are?” Trent sounded puzzled. “I thought Ryan didn’t believe me?”
Jenny smiled. “He doesn’t, but he no longer has the case.” She sat in a chair when he motioned to it. “Detective Chambers is my partner, and she believes you.”
Understanding showed on Trent’s face. “Ahhh…that’s good to hear. Where is Tiffany?”
Jenny shrugged slightly. “She made a phone call, then said she had to check on something.”
Trent shook his head slightly. Figures. He sat up higher. “Well, no sense in going over this twice. Can I wait until Tiff gets here?”
Jenny nodded slightly. “Sure. Uh…do you want me to leave? I could come back later.”
“No!” Trent blushed slightly. “I mean, stay. It’s kind of boring in here, and it would be great to talk with someone.”
Jenny smiled at him. Oh! Look at those eyes! Gorgeous! She leaned forward, suddenly glad that Tiffany had an ‘errand’ to run.
“So you took the case from Ryan?” Carlos asked between kisses.
“Mmm-hmm,” Tiffany replied. “I believe Trent when he says he saw something.” She pulled back slightly to breathe. “Did you find anything out?”
Carlos nodded as he kissed her again. “Could be a break.” He rested his forehead against hers. “Come on, I’ll tell you in Trent’s room.” He went to step back, but Tiffany stopped him.
“My temp partner is in there with him.” She pulled Carlos to her again.
“Temp? Where’s Gabe?”
“On parental leave,” Tiffany explained as she kissed him. “Let’s give my partner a few more minutes with Trent.”
Carlos looked at her with suspicion, then said, “Let me guess…you’re new partner happens to be female, single, and pretty.”
Tiffany feigned shock. “Are you implying that I am trying to set Trent up with Jenny?”
“That is exactly what I am implying, Detective.”
The doctor walked casually down the hall, entering a few rooms to check on patients. He walked out of the second to last room, pausing as he recognized someone, then continued onto the next room.
Kim watched him discreetly, then headed for the nurse’s station. “Excuse me?”
The nurse looked up. “Yes?”
“Is Beth here?”
“I’m sorry,” the nurse answered. “She left for home about a half hour ago. Can I help you?”
“Who’s the doctor that’s doing rounds on this floor?” Kim asked.
“That would be Doctor Fraser.”
“Is he new here?” Kim glanced down the hall, feeling a little nervous when she saw the doctor turn away. He’s watching me!
“Doctor Fraser is the Chief of Staff’s new assistant,” the nurse told her.
“Thank you,” Kim said. The walked calmly away from the counter and headed towards Trent’s room.
Jenny laughed as Trent told her a story about the time his private investigator partner was still on the police force. “He had to wear a dress?!”
Trent nodded. “Yeah…but he doesn’t know that I know about that little case.” He smiled. She’s so easy to talk to. He found himself taking about things that he would have never considered discussing with someone he had just met.
Jenny breathed deeply to stop her laughter. He’s so easy to talk to. How long has it been since I felt that with a man? She pushed aside the negative feelings that seemed to always surface regarding her last boyfriend. He showed his true colors. I won’t make that mistake again.
“And your partner is dating my partner?” she asked.
“Off and on,” Trent said. More on, than off lately, though. “They can both be too stubborn at times.”
Kim quickened her pace when she heard footsteps behind her. She glanced over her shoulder, sudden fear plucking at her when she saw Doctor Fraser following. He gave no real notice of her, but she could see the determination in his face.
Kim rounded the corner, giving a little scream of surprise and fright when she banged into someone.
Carlos grabbed her by the arms. “Are you all right? What happened?”
“He’s following me!” Kim pointed to the corner.
Tiffany leaned out and looked. “The hall’s empty,” she reported. “Of course, he probably heard your scream and got spooked.”
“Who’s following you?” Carlos asked.
“Doctor Fraser,” Kim said. “I think it’s the same doctor that Beth saw with Jane Parksly.”
Tiffany looked at them both. “Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Who is Jane Parksly?”
Trent looked uncomfortable as the group in his room filled him in on recent events.
“You should check out of here, tonight,” Carlos advised.
Trent nodded in agreement. “But what if I do have an infection, like they say?”
“We’ll check you into another hospital, then.” Carlos looked as the door opened and Tiffany walked in.
“Doctor Fraser has gone home,” she reported. “Do you want me to arrange for a guard at your door?”
“No,” Trent whispered. “I’m going to check out tonight. I’ll go to my mother’s…she’ll look after me while I recuperate.”
Tiffany nodded. “Can I use your phone?”
Tiffany picked up the phone, dialed a number, and moved away from the group. They could hear her talking quietly into the receiver.
Jenny looked at Trent. “There’s something I don’t understand. Why didn’t anyone find any blood at the nurses station?”
Trent sighed. “I don’t know.”
Jenny paused as if to consider something. “Can I try something? It might help you remember a few things.”
Trent hesitated, then nodded. Jenny sat on the side of the bed. “Okay, now close your eyes,” she said in a soothing voice. “I want you to slowly go back in your memory,” she took one of his hands in hers, surprised at the feeling of electric chemistry she felt. Trent opened his eyes, looked at her, and she knew that he felt it also.
“Close your eyes,” she whispered. “Now, go back to when you checked in here, before your operation. When you reach a memory that you need, gently squeeze my hand.” She waited for the gentle squeeze. “Okay, now slowly go forward…you woke up because of a noise, but no nurse answered your call.” Trent squeezed her hand. “Good,” she said softly. “You walk out into the hall, and go to the counter.”
Trent’s eyes moved slightly behind his eyelids, then he squeezed her hand. “You’re doing great,” Jenny praised softly. “You’re at the counter…look behind it.” She paused as she wet her lips. “Do you see the woman on the floor?”
Trent’s eyes flew open suddenly, startling Kim and Carlos. “I saw it!” he said as loudly as he could. “It wasn’t blood! She was wearing a red sweater!”
Jenny smiled. “In the state you were in, you could have easily thought that it was blood. Do you remember anything else?”
Trent thought for a moment. He was acutely aware that Jenny still held his hand, but he made no move to stop the contact. “Uhhh…” He closed his eyes again. “A mark around her neck.”
“Strangulation marks?” Jenny asked.
Trent nodded and opened his eyes. “Yeah, but not by hand. It’s too small a mark.”
“Garrote?” Carlos said; his first words since Jenny’s little experiment had begun.
“Exactly!” Trent closed his eyes and sighed in relief. “Maybe I’m not going crazy and hallucinating things.”
Tiffany rejoined the group and placed the phone on the table. “I got a warrant to search hospital employee files.”
Jenny glanced at her. “How? I mean, there’s not much evidence to go on.”
“You just gotta know which Judge to ask,” Tiffany answered mysteriously. She checked her watch. “I can go pick it up, and meet you back here.”
Jenny nodded. She really liked being with Trent. Carlos and Kim exchanged looks. “What do you want us to do?” Kim asked.
“Us?” Trent replied. “Who’s us?”
“Me and Carlos,” Kim said. “I’m his new temp partner until you get better.”
Trent looked at Carlos in amusement. Carlos glared at him in humorous annoyance. “I don’t recall you having much luck trying to stop her from helping you that one time,” Carlos said.
Kim rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on…You both said that I was good at this stuff.”
“You told her that?” Trent asked. “You told her first,” Carlos shot back.
An orderly opened the door to the storeroom, grabbed a few things, and headed back out of the room. He paused in the doorway to talk with another orderly from the same floor.
“What time are you off?” the other orderly, a woman, asked.
She smiled. “Eight. Are you going to finally take me to that restaurant you talked about?”
He nodded. “I’ll drop you off at home, you can change, then I’ll stop by around nine.”
“You go back to work…I have to get a few things from in here.” She watched as he walked down the hall, then entered the room. She picked up a few things, pilled them in her arms, frowning when she dropped something and it rolled under the shelf. She put her pile on a counter and bent down to fish out the article. Her hand touched something semi warm and she jerked back. She knelt on the floor and peered under the shelf.
Kim smiled at the nurse behind the counter. “Hi, could you help me with something?”
“Sure,” the nurse answered happily.
“I was suppose to meet with Beth…about ten minutes ago…but she’s not here yet. Do you have her phone number? I want to make sure she’s okay…ya know?”
The nurse frowned slightly. “I’m sorry, but I cannot give out personal home numbers.”
“Oh, I understand,” Kim said. “Would you be able to call her for me?”
The nurse nodded. “I guess I could do that.” She picked up the phone and dialed. She waited, then hung up. “No answer, sorry.”
“That’s okay,” Kim said cheerfully. “I guess she’s on her way then. Thanks.” She walked away from the counter, and went around the corner. “Did you get it?”
Carlos nodded and held up a note pad. Kim looked at the phone number the nurse had dialed. “So, what do we do now?”
“Now,” Carlos said, “we find her address from the number.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to wait until Tiff comes back with the search warrant, and get the address then?”
Carlos shook his head. “That’s classified information. Tiffany wouldn’t tell me even if I begged…she’s strange that way.”
A scream cut through the hospital corridor, sending both of them at a dead run for the source. They stopped outside of a storage room. A group of doctors and nurses pushed by them and went to the body on the floor.
Carlos leaned against the wall and sighed.
One of the doctors looked at the others and shook his head. He took a sheet and covered the body, then slowly exited the room.
“Call the police,” one of them ordered a nurse. He looked at Carlos and Kim, then walked away.
“Do we do anything?” Kim asked quietly.
Carlos shook his head. “Nothing. This is crime scene.” He moved back slightly.
Kim noticed a woman orderly crying near the wall, being held by another orderly. She moved slightly closer.
“It’s okay,” the man murmured.
“I just talked to Beth this morning,” the woman sobbed.
Kim’s eyes went wide, and she hurried to Carlos. “That was Beth!”
“Trent!” Carlos set off at a run for his friend’s room, suddenly very worried.
An orderly walked into Trent’s room, pushing a wheelchair in front of him. “I’m here to take you home.”
Trent nodded, got off of the bed slowly, and sat in the chair. “We heard a scream…is something wrong?”
“Not really,” the orderly said. “A nurse found a rat in one of the storage rooms.” He pushed the chair out of the room and started down the hall.
Jenny walked beside the chair, and tried to figure out why her instincts told her that something was wrong. She briefly looked at the orderly as they entered the elevator. She stared blankly at the floor while she thought, then her gaze caught the footwear the man had on.
Before she could say anything, the elevator door opened. She stepped back as two men with guns stood facing them.
Carlos burst through the door, careening to a stop when he saw the room was empty. He let out one of the most graphic Spanish curses that Kim had ever heard, then darted back through the door.
He spotted Tiffany at the end of the hall and ran to her. “Trent’s gone!”
Tiffany immediately went to the nurse’s counter, grabbed the phone, and made a call. She shoved her badge into a nurse’s face when she tried to grab the phone back. Carlos pulled the nurse to the side.
“Trent Malloy, room 1237…did he check out yet?!”
The nurse checked her records. “Not yet. He’s not due for release for a few more hours.”
“Did he fill out the paperwork?” Carlos asked as he tried to get a grip on his emotions.
“He did, but his doctor wanted to give him one last check before he released him.”
Carlos leaned against the counter. “Did Mr. Malloy know that?”
“I’m not sure,” the nurse admitted. “Things got sort of hectic around here a few minutes ago.”
Tiffany hung up the phone. “Trent and Jenny’s descriptions are out.” She looked at the nurse. “I am Detective Chambers, DPD. As of this moment, no one is to go into room 1237, and I want to speak with the Chief of Staff…now.”
The nurse nodded, and dialed a number.
“There’s something else,” Carlos said quietly. “They just found the body of the nurse Kim and I were talking to earlier.”
Trent listened to the traffic noises as he laid in the back of a van, gagged and tied on the floor. He glanced at Jenny who was beside him, tied in the same fashion. Jenny gave him a comforting nod, then pulled her hands out from behind her back. Trent’s eyes grew wide, then he closed them in relief. He moved slightly so that he could watch the back of the driver, making sure that he would not turn around.
Jenny slowly took the gag off her mouth and, fighting her lung’s automatic response to inhale fresh air, inched her way towards Trent. She quickly untied the ropes holding his hands, then took the cloth off if his mouth. She saw Trent’s eyes go wide, and she whirled around.
The driver slammed on the breaks and reached for his weapon. He turned as Jenny picked herself up from being knocked to the floor of the van, and pointed the gun at her.
Jenny went low as she lunged at his arm. “Trent, go!” she yelled as she knocked the gun out of the drivers hand.
Trent hesitate, then kicked the back door open. He hopped out and ran to the side of the van. He could see the struggle going on in the rearview mirror as he approached. He was about to reach for the man’s neck when a noise caught his attention. He turned quickly, stopping at the sight of two men with guns. He sighed in annoyance when he recognized them as the two from the hospital. He moved towards them, and felt pain in his shoulder as one man pulled the trigger. He looked down, expecting to see blood, but was surprised by the sight of the feathered end of a tranquilizer dart sticking out of his body. He fell back against the van as the medication started to take effect, and slide to the ground.
Jenny punched the man in the face, then raked her fingernails across his eyes. She had to give Trent the time to escape. She was pushed to the back of the van when the man struck at her. She scurried to the open door, hopped out and started to run. A scene appeared in her peripheral vision, and she skidded to a stop.
She ran to the sight, jumping at the man pulling Trent into a car, knocking him to the ground. She turned to the other man, and delivered a perfect roundhouse kick to his face. The head snapped back, and the man fell against the car. Jenny turned again, saw something coming at her, and tried to move out of the way. She fell against the car as a dart imbedded itself in her side.
The driver of the van stood above her. “Stupid bitch,” he said as he kicked her side with his boot.
Jenny cried out in pain as she felt a popping sensation, tried to move, but found she couldn’t. The man kicked her side twice more before darkness over took her.
Carlos paced from one end of the hospital corridor to the other, then back again. He looked at Kim, who was sitting in a chair, started to say something, then changed his mind. They had been through the entire hospital from top to bottom, but had found nothing that would lead them to Trent and Jenny.
He plopped down in the chair beside Kim, drummed his fingers on his leg for a few moments, then stood back up. Carlos walked quickly to an office door when it opened.
“How do you know he didn’t just check out?” Detective Richard Ryan asked.
Tiffany looked at him calmly. “I just know. The same way I knew that he actually saw a body three nights ago.”
“Oh, for…” Ryan sighed in annoyance. “Fine, I’ll get someone to check out vacant buildings surrounding the hospital.”
“Thank you, Dick,” Tiffany said. She turned away before he could shoot her his annoying ‘don’t call me that!’ look.
“Well?” Carlos asked.
“This is a police matter,” Ryan advised him.
Carlos kept his mouth shut. He had no wise remarks to shoot at Ryan at the moment, nor did he feel like getting into a verbal battle with him. Instead, he turned and walked back to the waiting area.
The smirk on Ryan’s face disappeared abruptly when Tiffany looked at him.
It started as a small buzzing sound, working it’s way through his subconscious. The noise became louder, causing him to open his eyes.
Trent looked around the small room he was in, and tried to fight the feeling of déjà vu as he looked around. A small buzzing sound is what got me in trouble in the first place he thought glumly. He spotted a shape near the opposite wall and slowly made his way to it.
He grabbed onto the person’s shoulder and slowly turned them over. “Jenny?” He put his head against her chest, and listened for a heart beat. He sighed in relief. “Jenny?”
Trent sat on the floor and gently lowered Jenny’s head onto his lap. He blinked his eyes as they went out of focus. “This is not good.” He looked down at Jenny. She looks so peaceful. I wonder what she’s really like? He looked around the room again, then back at her face. “Will I get a chance to know you?" he asked her unconscious form. “I mean, I know we just met, but I would really like the chance to get to know you…If we ever get out of here, that is.”
Carlos rubbed his hands over his tired eyes then continued reading the papers in front of him. He glanced up as a shadow fell over him.
“Any word?” Butch McMann asked as he sat in the chair next to him.
Carlos shook his head, grabbed the sugar container and poured some into his coffee. “None. I’m going over all the license plates of the vehicles that were in the parkade today…looking for a rental plate.”
“Yeah…something someone would be able to ditch if they needed to.” He paused. “And I think the plates of stolen vehicles lists is on the way.”
“When was the last time you slept?” the former boxer asked.
“I can’t sleep.”
Butch sighed. “I’m gonna say this nicely, Carlos…you’re not going to be able to help Trent if you’re too tired to think straight.”
“Who says I’m not thinking straight?” Carlos demanded in a slightly insulted voice.
“You just put salt in your coffee.”
Carlos looked at him, then to the container that sat beside his coffee mug. He glanced form the salt shaker, to the sugar container that sat on the other side of the table and sighed. “Maybe you’re right.”
Butch patted his arm in assurance. “Go on home…or go to Tiffany’s,” he said.
“That’s a good idea,” a voice said from the doorway.
Carlos looked up at Tiffany. “Find anything?”
“Nothing that can be followed up on tonight, unfortunately.” She sat down wearily in the chair beside Butch and took the papers from Carlos. “This number here,” she said and underlined it, “belongs to a rental company. They won’t be open until morning, and I can’t find anyone who’s willing to admit to being in charge to let me see the rental contract.”
Carlos sighed heavily and leaned back in his chair. “By morning, it could be too late.”
Tiffany shook her head. “I don’t think so. We haven’t found any bodies, so I’m hoping that whoever did this is willing to hold onto them for a few days while he figures out what to do.”
“I hope you’re right,” Carlos said as he scrubbed his face with his hands. “So, all we can do now it wait until morning?”
Tiffany nodded sadly.
Jenny rolled over, felt immense pain in her side, and yelled out.
Trent jumped as the scream woke him. “Jenny?!” He gently lowered her to the floor. “What?!”
Jenny clenched her eyes shut and tried to breathe. “Ohhh,” she whimpered. “I think I broke some ribs.” Trent hovered over her, wishing that he knew what to do to make her pain stop. “Take your shirt off,” Jenny whispered. “Rip it into bandages.”
Trent quickly took his shirt off and started to tear it into long strips. Jenny panted in agony as she watched him…then she noticed the way his muscles rippled with each strip he tore. She watched, slightly fascinated, the pain in her side taking second place to the scene in front of her.
The lights on the ceiling moved slightly as the late night traffic went by on the street outside the bedroom window. A cat howled nearby, probably a neighbor’s, and would have woken Carlos…had he been asleep.
Carlos sighed as his mind ran through the various options that were open that would allow him to find his friend. Each passing hour limited the options, but he knew that rushing into anything would be the worse thing to do.
He finally had enough of trying to sleep, gently slipped out from under Tiffany’s arm, and walked out to the living room. Carlos looked around. Usually, he felt comfortable and relaxed in this room, in this house. He wished he could tap into that sense of ease, but there was none to be found tonight. He knew the reason was because of the recent situation, not because of where he was.
I can’t sit around and do nothing! Carlos sighed in aggravation. He glanced at the computer that sat in the corner on Tiffany’s desk, his mind working out a plan. He walked over to it, sat down, and logged onto the Internet.
“Just a little tighter,” Jenny whispered in pain.
Trent adjusted the torn strips of shirt around her ribs. “How’s that?”
Jenny inhaled painfully. “Better…thanks.” She leaned against the wall. “How are you feeling?”
‘I’m okay,” Trent whispered hoarsely. “At least my head’s not spinning anymore. I wonder where we are?” He stood and went to the door.
“No idea. But, it’s safe to say that we need to find a way out of here.” Jenny slowly stood, leaned over in pain, then straightened. She walked around the room, looking for something they could use to their advantage.
“Hinges on the outside of the door,” Trent reported. “Double dead bolt…we’re in here until someone comes to get us.”
They looked at each other, both knowing that they might have only one chance at escape. Trent leaned against the door, listening for any sound, thinking about what he might have to do to ensure they both got out alive. He knew that his timing was off due to his recent surgery and subsequent medication, and that Jenny was in no real shape to fight if she had to.
His thoughts were interrupted as Jenny walked to the door. “When this door opens, you grab whoever it is, and I’ll kick the crap out of him.”
Trent looked at her, and saw that she was dead serious. “You’re hurt…I’ll do the crap kicking.” He smiled at her, but the humor did not reach his eyes. “Just let me handle this.”
Jenny frowned. “I know how to handle myself, Mr. Malloy! Besides, you just had an operation.”
“Wait,” Trent said softly. “We shouldn’t be arguing about this.” He motioned to the floor. “We should get all the rest we can, talk over a plan, and hope for the best.”
“Are you always a ‘ray of sunshine’?”
“Only when I’m being held against my will with a beautiful woman.”
Jenny stared at him, wondering if she had heard right. Trent realized what he had said, and blushed slightly.
Carlos read the screen in front of him, clicked on a link, and smiled when the information he had been searching for appeared in front of him. He scanned through it quickly as he pushed on the button to print the words. He bookmarked the Internet site, logged off of the system, and grabbed the multiple sheets of information he had printed from various sites.
Carlos stood and headed for the bedroom door. He opened it quietly and walked in. “Tiff?” he whispered in her ear, then moved back quickly.
Tiffany’s arm swung out as her body jolted awake. She blinked a few times as she tried to focus. “What?” she mumbled. “What time is it?”
“Little after three,” Carlos said. He sat on the side of the bed as Tiffany groaned in tired annoyance and fell back onto her pillow. “I found something that you might want to see.”
“What?” She took the paper he held out and turned on the bedside light, cringing slightly against the sudden brightness. She started to read, stopped, and looked at him. “Where did you get this?”
“Off the Internet,” Carlos told her. “I did a news search on unsolved murders in hospitals, then I looked up the press release the hospital put out regarding their newest doctor.” He paused. “According to Dr. Fraser’s resume, he was in three different cities at the same time their hospitals had these murders.”
Tiffany picked up her phone and made a call. “Cortez? It’s Tiffany…yeah, I know it’s late. I want you to check something out for me. I’m going to fax some pages over to the station, take a look at them, tell me what you think, then check to see if Dr. Fraser was on staff at the hospitals mentioned.” She listened for a few moments. “That sounds okay. I’ll be there in an hour. Oh, and could you give Dick a call and ask him to come in?” She pulled the phone away from her ear as the officer on the other end complained loudly.
“Gotta go, bye.” She hung up quickly.
Trent looked up as footsteps stopped outside the door of the room he was in. The door opened slightly, and a man holding a gun glanced in. Trent looked over at Jenny as she lay on the floor. She closed her eyes as her hand wrapped around an old broken vase. Trent looked back at the man.
“What?” he asked as politely as he could.
The man pushed the door open completely and walked in. “What do you know about the disappearance of Jane Parksly?” he demanded.
Trent shrugged. “Not much…actually, nothing at all.”
“I don’t believe you.” The man strode up to Trent and pointed the gun at his face. His finger tightened on the trigger. “Remember yet?”
“I do,” a voice said from behind him, an instant before something heavy slammed into the back of his head. Trent jumped quickly out of the way as the now unconscious man fell into the box he had been sitting on.
Jenny grabbed the gun he had dropped, and rummaged through his coat for something. She took out a clip, turned, and started for the open door. She looked back at Trent, only to find him staring at her. “What?”
“He…” Trent pointed at the man on the floor, “he…”
Jenny held up the gun, slipped the clip in, and pulled the chamber back. “It had no clip in it…he just wanted to scare you.”
“Well he succeeded,” Trent said as he went towards the door. He peeked out into the dimly lit hallway. “Which way?”
Jenny sighed. “I don’t know. Maybe we should go to the next room, see if there’s a window in it, and climb out.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Trent said and stepped out into the hallway. He went to the door across the hall, put his hand on the knob and turned it slowly. It opened to reveal a rather large room, with bay windows, and a patio.
Jenny entered behind him and went to the window. “Lots of trees back there…should be good cover.” She traced her fingers along the edge of the window frame as she searched for an intruder alarm. Finding none, she quietly opened the window and stepped out onto the patio.
“Not too far down,” Trent said from beside her.
Jenny jumped in surprise and turned quickly, throwing herself off balance. Trent reached out to steady her, wrapping her in his arms.
Jenny stared into his eyes as he held her close. They were silent for a few moments. “Careful,” Trent finally whispered and let her go.
“Uhhh…yeah.” Jenny looked back over the patio. She knew that she had been in no real danger of falling over the barrier, but she was glad that Trent had grabbed her.
“I’ll go first,” Trent said as he swung one leg over the top of the barrier. “Then I’ll signal if the coast is clear.” Jenny nodded, and pointed the gun over the top of the balcony for cover as Trent lowered himself over the side.
Fortunately, there was a trellis that ran below the patio to the ground. Unfortunatley, the trellis was loaded with roses that scratched Trent as he climbed. His throat had begun to hurt again, and he felt hot. I hope I’m not getting an infection! That’s the last thing I need. Trent landed on the ground softly and looked around. The house in front of him was dark, as were the grounds behind him. He waved up at Jenny and motioned for her to join him.
Jenny tucked the gun into the top of her pants and started down. She swore as a thorn scratched her face, drawing blood, and instinctively jerked her head back. The movement caught her off balance and, as her hands slipped from the trellis, she knew that the thorn scratch was the least of her worries.
Trent jumped to where he hoped Jenny would land and held his arms out. He prayed that he had enough strength to keep her from meeting the ground. Jenny landed safely in his arms, but her momentum caused his knees to buckle under him, sending them both down.
Jenny clamped her mouth tightly to stop the scream that wanted to explode as she hit the ground. She curled into a small ball as tears streamed down her face. She could feel Trent’s hand as it rubbed her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. “Can you stand?” Trent asked softly.
Jenny nodded, not yet trusting herself to open her mouth. She panted in agony as she tried to stand straight. “Let’s get out of here,” she said through clenched teeth.
The man leaned back in his chair and stared at the envelope in his hands. Doctor Harris Fraser. He shook his head with as he laughed softly. No matter how many times I see that name…. He tossed the envelope onto the desk and stared vacantly at the large picture hanging on the opposite wall.
The man had been born in this house, thirty-eight years ago. The house had stood empty for nearly ten years, but while he was growing up, it had been a brothel. The women here had entertained men from across the state. His mother had been one of those women.
He had hated what she did for a living, and when she had saved enough money to send him to college, he vowed never to come back. He tried to convince himself that it was not him who had returned…it was Harris Fraser, a name he had adopted shortly after leaving. He had been born David Michaels, but he no longer answered to that name. No, he was Harris Fraser… Doctor Harris Fraser.
He looked at the ceiling, wondering if he should either kill the two up in the room that had once been his, or simply leave them there until he managed to get out of Dallas. Damn that punk for seeing me that night! Just my luck that he was a P.I. He had made a rather large profit from stealing hospital equipment and selling it on the black market overseas. He always covered his tracks meticulously, but there had been times when some idiot had stumbled upon his scheme. He had no qualms about silencing anyone, and was proud of the fact that he had never been caught by the police.
He ran his hand along his handsome face and sighed. Now I’ll have to pull up camp….again, and go to a new hospital. He knew that he would have to distance himself from Texas, and decided that he would head to Europe. And since he was leaving his life behind, a change to a new name would be the right thing to do. All he had to do was contact a ‘friend’, get the proper medical degrees in another name, and then leave.
He looked at the ceiling again as he made his decision. Only one thing left to take care of. He grabbed his gun and headed for the door.
The full moon gave them plenty of light, allowing them to move quickly. When they had a respectable distance between them and the house, they paused beside a tree to rest.
Jenny felt slightly better, the pain in her side numbing to a dull ache. She looked up at Trent as he stood beside the tree. “You should sit and rest,” she said. “You don’t look too good.”
“I’m okay,” he replied softly, but sat down beside her anyway.
Jenny put a hand on the side of his face. “Your skin is warm…and clammy.” She sighed. “We have to get you to a doctor.”
“There’s probably one back in the house we left.”
“Not funny, Trent.” Jenny faced him. “This is serious…you’re sick.”
Trent turned his head to look at her. “And you’re injured.” He started to say more, but the closeness of her made him lose any and all thoughts…..except one. Trent brought his hand up and brushed a stray hair from her face. He let his fingers linger on her skin before he traced the outline of her jaw. The moonlight illuminated her eyes, and Trent gazed into them as he moved forward.
His lips brushed hers lightly.
Carlos slipped the ‘visitors pass’ into his pocket and followed Tiffany down the hall. They entered the main station room and went to a desk. An impossibly young-looking detective glanced up at him, then turned his attention to Tiffany.
“Dr. Fraser worked at two of the hospitals mentioned in your fax,” he started as he reached for a folder. “These are what I could pull on the unsolved murders there.”
Tiffany took the file and opened it. “Thanks, Cortez…Dick on his way in?”
“Yeah,” Cortez sighed. “You owe me big time for that one.” He looked at Carlos. “Ryan was under the impression that you convinced Tiff to get him here at…and I quote, “this ungodly hour”, end quote.”
Carlos smiled slightly. “Wish I had thought of that.”
Tiffany pulled a sheet out of the file and set the rest of it down. “It says here that Dr. Harris Fraser grew up outside of Dallas.” She looked up. “There’s no address listed.”
Cortez shook his head. “We couldn’t find any listings for him, and we checked everywhere.”
“Maybe Fraser isn’t his real name,” Carlos put in.
“What’s so important that I had to be here?!” Ryan demanded as he walked in. “And what’s he doing here?”
Carlos fished the visitors pass out of his pocket and showed it to him. Ryan snorted in disgust and turned away. “Well?” he asked.
Tiffany smiled sweetly, sending a chill through Carlos. He hated that smile…it was her ‘back off before I punch you’ smile.
“You’re here because you’re a cop,” Tiffany said. “Now, take a look at these, and let me know what you think.” She held out the file.
Ryan snatched it from her and began to read. He was silent as he scanned the papers, then leafed through the few pictures accompanying the file. He stopped at one. “This place looks familiar.”
Tiffany took the picture and looked at the small boy standing in front of a large old house. “This is one of the only pictures we have on Dr. Fraser. We found it in his office at the hospital.”
Ryan took the photo back and stared at it. “This house…I’ve seen it before.” He closed his eyes as he tried to remember. “Old house…lots of trees…about ten miles outside the city limits…I think.” He opened his eyes. “Yeah, we busted this place once, about ten years ago with the Rangers. It use to be a brothel…we put it out of business.”
“Do you remember where it is?” Carlos asked.
“Not sure,” Ryan said. “I’ll have to check a few files.” He walked to his desk.
Carlos stared after him in shock. “No arguments? Just an ‘I’ll have to check?’” He looked at Tiffany. “Just when I was starting to really dislike him, he goes and pulls something like this.”
“Starting to dislike?”
“Well, this week at least,” Carlos admitted.
To Be Continued....by Jenny.