August 1, 2010 The Cabin 4am
Something was wrong. Terribly, dreadfully wrong. He could feel it – the terror creeping through his veins, seeping into his bones – paralyzing him with fear. I have to move. I have to save her!
Where the hell are they? I can’t let her hurt her. God, help me. I can’t lose her. I love her.
Where am I? I just seem to be wandering down one endless corridor after another. I have to get to her before it’s too late. I have to tell her. She deserves to hear me say the words. She’s waited so long.
He noticed light seeping out from under a door at the very end of the hallway. His heart pumped so hard and so fast, his breath came in short, painful gasps. I…have…to…get…to…her. His feet were leaden, slowed by invisible weights. He could taste her fear, he was so close.
Hold on, I’m almost there.
He grasped the handle and tried the door. It was locked.
He heard her scream his name.
He threw his shoulder into the door, the strength of a thousand angels suddenly filling his body. The wood splintered and the lock gave and the door flung open.
His panicked eyes took in the tableau in front of him. One on the floor, her life’s blood draining from her body. The other standing triumphant as her nemesis’ blood dripped from the end of the wicked, curved blade.
She smiled triumphantly as she caught his gaze.
Shawn sat upright in his bed feeling like he had been launched into that position by a catapult. His heart was pounding, he had trouble breathing and his body was drenched in sweat. What the fuck!
As his heart rate slowed and his breathing returned to normal, Shawn wakened fully from his nightmare.
He untangled himself from his bed covers and made his way silently to the kitchen. As he waited for the coffee to brew, he thought back over the past days. Belle and him had talked and talked. She skimmed over her life as Dana Summerall, the English Lit major attending the University of British Columbia, giving out very few details. They talked about old times, shared friends, her family and his at great length. They had gone out on dates. He had taken her into Spokane several times for dinner and dancing. He knew she was beginning to grow frustrated with him for not taking things past the short good night kisses they shared. She had made it perfectly clear that she wanted to be his lover but he hadn’t been able to bring himself to let their relationship deepen.
He poured the coffee into a thermos and headed out to his favourite spot near the lake. The time had come. He had drifted through the days since Belle’s arrival avoiding the question he knew he had to answer. As he settled back against the trunk of the huge old tree, sipping at the steaming hot coffee, he looked to his heart.
Two cups of coffee later, he stood up and stretched, a big smile on his face. He felt light and free. His mind was clear, his decision made. He headed back to the cabin. He had a lot to do, a lot to accomplish before he would be free to be with the love of his life. He had all kinds of questions that he had to find the answers for. She wasn’t safe until he had all the pieces of the puzzle in place. A sense of urgency pushed him to jog back to the cabin. He showered quickly, thankful that Belle was still asleep. He had a lot of work he wanted to get done this morning. He grabbed another coffee and locked himself in his office.
Sacred Heart Medical Center Dr. Balfour’s Office 10am
“Good morning, Dr. Balfour.” Lil greeted the woman she now considered a friend.
“Good morning, Lil.” Dr. Balfour’s respect for Lil as a person opposed to just another patient had grown in leaps and bounds since Belle had arrived on the scene. Lil had taken control of her life and had made great strides in creating a life independent of Detective Brady.
Dr. Balfour was well aware that Lil loved him and probably always would. She admired how Lil was determined to accept any decision that Shawn made, even if it meant letting him go.
Dr. Balfour wished she could speak with the Detective. He had repeatedly refused to come in for a session. From their brief telephone conversations she had concluded that he had not dealt with the fact that he had been wrong about Lil. She couldn’t be Belle. That had to be patently obvious, even to him. She worried that Shawn’s apparent inability to deal with the situation might jeopardize Lil’s recovery.
“Did you follow my instructions and talk to yourself,” Dr. Balfour asked.
“Yes, I did. It’s really weird to walk around with a headset on and speak into a tape recorder, Dr. Balfour. I’ve been getting a lot of strange looks.”
“Does that really matter, Lil? If this helps you to remember your past are you really going to care that some strangers thought you were a little bit crazy?” Dr. Balfour smiled.
“Not at all.” Lil was really excited. “I think its working.”
“Great. Let’s listen to your tapes and you tell me what you think are actual memories. We’ll try and determine if they are and see what we can do to help you remember more.”
“Actually, Dr. Balfour the tapes are private. Because I’m alone most of the day, I’ve been talking a lot into the recorder. I made notes of the moments I felt were important.
They talked through the list. Dr. Balfour had hoped for more substantial memories, something that could pinpoint where Lil lived.
“I’m pleased with your progress.” She noted the look of disbelief on Lil’s face. “I realize that you’re only seeing small pieces of a picture and not the whole. But it’s a start. During the last session you were able to describe a swing set in a park right down to the colours. You were able to describe a room in a house or apartment right down to the placement of pictures. Yes it’s unfortunate that you can’t make out the faces of the people in the pictures but I believe that given time, the pictures will become clear in your mind. We’ve already been able to ascertain that the park you describe is not in Spokane. I checked with the parks department and they tell me that they never used that brand name of swing or colour so even if you were a child when you visited the park we know you didn’t live here.
“You’re right, Dr. Balfour. I really wish I could remember who I am. It’s more imperative now than ever before. I have to make sure that…” she stopped herself from saying more. There were things she was doing to find out who she was that she couldn’t let anyone know. Not until she was sure.
“What were you going to say, Lil? Does this have something to do with Mr. Brady? If he truly loves you it’s not going to matter who you are, will it?”
“I know he loves me, Dr. Balfour. I just don’t know if he’ll admit it to himself. That’s why I’m giving him space. He needs to look inward to his heart and make a decision. To answer your question, no it doesn’t matter who I am if he loves me. I just would like to know. I think Belle showing up at his doorstep when she did was all the shock Shawn could handle. I don’t want someone from my past showing up at the most inopportune of moments.”
“I can understand that,” Dr. Balfour relaxed. “Have you kept in touch with Shawn?”
“He’s called several times to check on me. I don’t speak to him though. He just talks to his cousin, Andrew.” She frowned.
“How do you feel about that, Lil?”
“I believe he’s avoiding the issue and that’s why he doesn’t speak to me in person.” Her voice softened, “I miss him. I miss him so much, I hurt.”
Ohio Reformatory for Women - Maximum Security Prison 1:30pm
“Hey, DiMera. Get your ass out of your cot. You’re lawyer’s here to see you,” the guard barked through the cell bars.
Cassie hid the look of hatred she fostered for this particular guard and rose from her cot. She silently put her arms in front so the guard could reach in and handcuff her. One of these days you are going to regret how you treated me. You will pay with your life.
Her face lit up with a smile when she noticed who her visitor was. She sat across from him and looked deep into his eyes.
“Do you have good news about my appeal, Matt?” she asked softly. She hated that she could never have any privacy, even with her lawyer.
“Very good news indeed. Everything is moving forward on schedule and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get an official court date soon,” he declared confidently.
“You’re sure of this?” Cassie asked sharply.
“There was one potential snag… with … uh… getting some of the key players lined up and in place. We need those witnesses available to testify.”
“This potential snag, Matt. It’s not going to come back and haunt us when we’re just about to achieve our goal, is it?”
He averted his eyes from hers. He was not happy with the decision made but he wasn’t the one calling the shots. There was no way he wanted Cassie DiMera placing the blame at his feet if things didn’t go her way so he thought very carefully about the wording of his answer.
He turned back to her. “Your father is perfectly happy with the preliminary report prepared by other members of my firm. It was their recommendation after a precursory examination of available documentation that there was no chance of this hurting your…appeal. In fact, he’s ordered us to change the planned strategy to take advantage of this, uh…potential snag.”
“There better not be any screw-ups. I’ve waited a long time for this and nothing better go wrong.”
Her voice and the expression in her eyes caused the hair to stand up at the back of his neck. This is one bitch I don’t want to cross.
Sacred Heart Medical Center Andrew’s Office 2pm
Shawn knocked and entered the room without waiting for Andrew’s response. He was surprised to see that they weren’t alone.
“Steve, it’s good to see…hell, Steve what happened to you? It looks like you’ve been on a three day bender,” Shawn remarked.
“In a way I have, Shawn.” A smile crossed his weary face. His eyes were red from lack of sleep.
“Perfect timing, Shawn. I didn’t know about Steve’s good news when I talked to you earlier,” Andrew said excitedly.
“Good news. I could use some of that.”
“I worked non-stop once I found a method to retrieve those corrupt files. I have all the files on Belle Black. She was moved to …”
“Vancouver, British Columbia,” Shawn said quietly.
Steve looked at him in shock. “How did you know that, Shawn?”
Shawn glanced over at Andrew. Andrew shook his head indicating he hadn’t told Steve. “I know that because Belle is at the cabin with me. She told me.”
“That’s great, Shawn. Lil finally got her memory back. You both must be thrilled. Does she know who tried to kill her?”
“Actually, Steve, Lil is staying with me for the time being,” Andrew said.
Steve looked between the two men trying to figure out what they were talking about.
“Lil isn’t Belle, Steve. Belle showed up at the cabin one morning awhile back. Lil wanted to give us time alone so she’s staying with Andrew.” Shawn spoke quietly.
Steve didn’t ask any questions. He got the feeling that Shawn wasn’t in the mood to talk about it.
“Well, I guess you don’t need the information I retrieved after all,” Steve said wearily.
“On the contrary, I need it more than ever now,” Shawn spoke firmly.
“I don’t understand. Why do you need it when Belle can tell you everything?” Steve asked.
“Yeah, cuz. What’s going on?” Andrew was curious.
Shawn shut the door and turned to the two men. “Sit down guys. Let me tell you a story about a man named Stefano DiMera and his evil spawn…”
August 1, 2010 The Cabin 6:30pm
Shawn threw his keys onto the countertop, loosened his tie and kicked the door to the garage closed behind him.
“I’m home, Belle. Where are you?” He started up the stairs when he didn’t hear any response.
“Belle,” he called out.
“I’m on the west deck, Shawn,” she shouted back.
Shawn stood near the chaise lounge Belle was stretched out on. She was sunbathing. The bikini she was wearing brought new meaning to the words teeny weenie.
“I hope you’re using sunscreen, Belle. I’d hate to see you get sunburn.” His eyes lingered over the expanse of skin that lay exposed to the beating rays of the late afternoon sun.
Belle turned over and looked up at him smiling. “Don’t fuss, Shawn. I’m very careful with my skin. I’m using sunscreen and I’ve only been out for a short time. In fact, I was just about to go in and take a shower.”
She rose gracefully from the lounge chair.
Shawn crossed the short distance between them and lifted her up and twirled her around.
“Shawn…” she giggled.
“God I’ve missed you, Belle. You have no idea how much I’ve missed you,” Shawn said softly as he set her down gently and wrapped her closely in his embrace.
Belle was startled but happy, very happy. “You were only gone for part of the day, Shawn.”
He didn’t respond. He looked lovingly into her crystal blue eyes as he cupped her face. His thumbs caressed the corners of her mouth.
Her lips parted in anticipation. Shawn didn’t disappoint as he brought his lips crashing down onto hers.
It was a kiss of long lost lovers finally being reunited. It was a kiss that promised eternity. Belle revelled in the feel and taste of his mouth. Finally. He’s finally kissing me for real. Kissing me like he’s never going to be able to get enough.
Shawn broke the kiss reluctantly. “I’m sorry, Belle. I shouldn’t have just pounced on you like that. I have so much I want to say…”
“No, Shawn. It’s okay.” She moved to kiss him again.
Shawn pulled back but didn’t release her. His fingers ran slowly over her almost completely bare back. “No, Belle. I want to talk, really talk to you first. Why don’t you go shower and change for dinner. I need to get out of this suit as well.”
“Are we going out for dinner?”
“No. I want to be alone with you. I have some steaks marinating. I’ll throw them on the grill. It won’t take long to whip together a meal.”
“I’ll give you a hand in the kitchen when I’m done,” she offered.
“Oh my. Belle Black in a kitchen. Do you even know what a kitchen is used for?” he teased.
She swatted at him playfully. “I’ve changed a lot in the past seven years, Shawn. I had to learn how to do a lot of things I had never normally done before.”
Shawn’s tone turned serious. “I know, Belle. That’s one of the things I want to talk about. Now scoot, the sooner you’re ready, the sooner we can truly start to get know each all over again.”
Shawn had avoided bringing up anything serious during dinner. They talked primarily about the cabin. Belle was curious as to why he had chosen a fairly isolated location to live in alone. She asked all kinds of questions about the architect and interior designer. She had been surprised to find out that Shawn had been involved in every aspect, from the design of the cabin, to the type of fixtures, right down to the fabric used on the throw cushions.
The evening had turned cool with the promise of a late summer rain storm. Shawn lit a fire in the upper level fireplace. He brought up the bottle of wine he had opened for dinner and two wineglasses. He set them on the coffee table and settled onto the couch.
He filled their glasses and silently passed her one. She was curled up the couch, both legs tucked underneath her, facing him. She had a smile on her face and a question in her eyes. He waited.
“What changed, Shawn?”
“Don’t get me wrong, Shawn. I’m definitely not complaining but there’s something different about you…about your attitude towards me, to be more specific.”
Shawn hitched one leg up on to the couch as he angled himself to face her. “You’re right, Belle. I’m so sorry for being so distracted, so distant since you showed up. Saying it was a shock to find you on my doorstep is an understatement.”
Belle rested her hand on his knee. “I understand completely, Shawn. And you’re right, we really need to talk.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that. We’ve talked a lot since you arrived, but it’s been mostly about stuff that happened before you disappeared. I have so many questions. There’s so much I want to know about your life since your dad put you into a witness protection program.”
“You can ask your questions, Shawn and I’ll tell you anything you want to know after…”
“After what, Belle?” Shawn questioned.
“I think we should talk about Lil first.” Belle approached the subject warily. They had to clear the air before they could move forward.
“What about Lil? You got your wish. She left us alone. I haven’t had any contact with her since the night she left with Andrew.” Shawn’s voice was very abrupt as he struggled to keep his emotions in check.
“Do you love her, Shawn?” she asked uneasily.
“Belle, I’m here with you. That should be all the answer you need. You know me, Belle. You know the type of person I am…”
Belle looked closely at him as he returned her gaze steadily and confidently.
“You thought she was me, didn’t you, Shawn?”
Shawn didn’t respond for the longest time. He sipped his wine and seemed lost in thought.
Belle waited, emptying her glass in the process.
Shawn refilled her glass before answering her. “Yes, that’s true.”
“I should be angry with you, Shawn. Part of me is very angry and very hurt…”
“But…” he smiled at her.
She returned his smile warmly. “But the other part of me, the romantic part of me, is thrilled that you never stopped loving me. You never gave up on me, Shawn. You never stopped believing that I was alive and that one day we would be reunited.”
“That’s a fact, Isabella,” he parodied her father. “I never ever stopped believing that one day I would be reunited with my soul mate.”
“Oh, Shawn. I love you so much,” she said softly as she slid her hand upwards along his thigh. If she had her way, she wouldn’t be sleeping alone any longer.
Shawn clasped her hand and stopped its upward progress. “We need to get to know the adult Belle and Shawn before we move forward in out relationship.”
“But, Shawn…” she pouted.
He laughed. “Now you sound like you’re seventeen again.”
She giggled. “I suppose. Life was so much simpler then.”
“I wouldn’t say that. I seem to remember a lot of angst and nerves. Then as our relationship progressed, I remember a lot of sexual frustration.”
She leaned forward, reaching for him. “I can take care of that now, Shawn. I’m sure we won’t get interrupted tonight.”
Shawn laughed. “With our track record, I’m not so sure about that, Belle.” He refilled her glass. “Let me go get more wine and then we’ll talk about your life since you’ve been gone.”
Belle resigned herself to answering his questions. She knew that she couldn’t get closer to him physically and emotionally until he was comfortable with her, with the person she had become.
Shawn threw another log on the fire and sat down.
He thought he would start out right at the beginning. “What did you do while you lived in Switzerland, Belle?”
He listened as she talked. She painted a picture of a person who basically drifted without a sense of purpose. When he asked why John had moved her to British Columbia she had told him that she finally accepted that Belle Black no longer existed. She was bored. She wanted to do something with her life.
They moved on to her life as a college student. They talked for hours. Shawn made sure her glass was never empty. Belle never noticed as she kept sipping at the wine, answering all his questions.
“Did you fall in love, Belle?”
The question came out of the blue. She wasn’t expecting it. “Why would you ask me that, Shawn? I told you I never stopped loving you.”
“I know you did, Belle. But if you had resigned yourself to the fact that Belle Black didn’t exist, why didn’t you let go of your love for me?”
“Why, Belle? If you tracked my life on the internet, then you knew I was still single.”
“I love you, Shawn and you love me. That’s all that matters? Are you still a virgin, Shawn? Did you wait for me?”
He looked at her closely. “Are you?”
“Am I what, Shawn?” she fired back.
“Don’t play coy, Belle. Are you still a virgin?”
She smiled as she slid close to him. She traced the outline of his lips with her finger. “There’s one way to find out, Shawn. Let’s go to bed.”
She stopped his protests with a kiss. He responded, pulling her upper body against his.
Her tongue sought access, he pulled back, breaking the kiss.
“Shawn…” she moaned softly. The look in her eyes changed dramatically.
“What’s wrong, Belle?” he asked with concern.
“I…I…don’t feel so good,” she muttered as she tried to get off the couch.
“Let me help you. I think the wine got to you.”
He helped her to her room, steadily talking to her. She answered all his questions in a stilted voice as she tried to stop the room from spinning. She barely made it to the bathroom before getting sick.
Shawn got a cold cloth and wiped her forehead as he comforted her in a quiet, soft, reassuring voice.
He helped her change into her night clothes and tucked her into bed. He left a night light on and a bucket next to the bed in case she got sick again.
He smiled as he got ready for bed. He glanced at the clock. It was 4:17. He whispered a few words as he climbed under the covers.
August 2, 2010 Andrew’s Apartment 4am
Lil smiled in her sleep. She was having a great dream. She was finally marrying Shawn. She stood at the back of the church waiting to walk down the aisle. She could see him waiting for her at the altar.
As the processional played and she floated down the aisle, he turned towards her. The look of love in his eyes took her breath away. He kissed her cheek as he took her hand in his.
The ceremony was going smoothly up to the part where the priest asked if there was anyone present who could show just cause why they shouldn’t be married. That’s when she spoke up. I can. He doesn’t love her. He loves me. He’s not entering this marriage with a pure heart.
Is she speaking the truth, Mr. Brady? The priest looked sternly at Shawn.
Shawn looked at both women then back towards the priest.
No, Shawn. You love me, you don’t love her. Please…
You’ve lost, Lil. Shawn belongs to me. He always has and always will. Now get out of the way. There’s no reason that there can’t be a wedding here today.
Lil felt herself being pushed to the sidelines as the ceremony continued.
She woke up in a panic. She watched as the digital clock turned over to the next minute and a feeling of calm came over her. It was as if she could hear him, as if he was with her. Don’t worry, little one. Everything will turn out as it should. She lay down and pulled the covers around her. It was 4:17am.
August 6, 2010 Sacred Heart Medical Center Computer Room 10am
Shawn knocked on the door and waited impatiently for a response. He was eager to talk to Andrew but there were other outstanding issues to address first.
Andrew and Steve were both willing to continue the investigation into Belle’s disappearance. Shawn wanted ironclad facts that could not be disputed when he confronted John. In order for him and Belle to have any kind of future together he was going to have to convince John to reveal to everyone that Belle was alive. He wasn’t looking forward to that meeting.
“Gathering wool, Shawn? I must have called to you at least three times that the door was open,” Andrew asked jokingly.
“Actually I was gathering my thoughts, Andrew. Not that you would understand what that means, cousin.” Shawn smiled broadly as he turned to face Andrew.
Andrew laughed. “You always have to get the last word in don’t you, Shawn? Some things never change.”
“Hi, Steve. I’m anxious to go through the files you were able to retrieve. Andrew told me that you were able to restore approximately ninety-seven percent of the data. That’s great.”
“I hope you find what you’re looking for, Shawn. After all you have the best source for the information living with you.” Steve was busy getting the files together and didn’t notice the look that passed between Shawn and Andrew.
He passed the stack of files folders to Shawn along with the soft copies on disk.
“Have you made any progress on getting the details of that agent’s dismissal?” Shawn asked the two of them.
“I think I can get in and get out before we’re detected but I need Andrew to find out something for me first.”
“I didn’t know that you had found a way to hack in, Steve. What do you need to know?”
Shawn interrupted. “You think this information is still relative to Belle’s disappearance?”
Andrew looked at Shawn. “Truthfully, I don’t know. When we got the list of the agents that were part of the operation there was something about his name. I can’t explain it. I’m following a hunch…it’s just gut instinct…”
Shawn held up his hand. “That’s good enough for me. I trust your instincts, Andrew.”
“If it’s still a go then, Andrew, I need you to get me a schedule of batch updates. Regular dates and times that they’re run on. I’m sure that even though the ISA is in the spy business, there has to be an administrative side to it all. How difficult will that be for you to provide me with that information?” Steve asked.
“Not difficult at all,” Andrew smiled and winked at Shawn. “Listen and learn, cousin. You’re about to witness a master at work.”
“I’m all eyes and ears, cuz.” Shawn rolled his eyes in mock disbelief.
“I saw that,” Andrew said as he continued dialing the number.
“Suzy, my favourite little English rose, just the person I was hoping would answer.” Andrew lowered his voice to a level he hoped would come off sounding sexy and seductive.
Shawn and Steve stood back and listened to Andrew smooth talk Suzy and get the information he needed.
“You’re a sweetheart, Suz. I owe you…yeah, sure thing…you’ll be the first person I call when I make it back to London.”
As he had finessed the dates from Suzy, Andrew had been jotting them down. As he passed the notepad to Steve, he turned towards Shawn. “Well, did you learn anything?”
“No, I always knew that no one that I would ever meet would be able to b.s. better than you,” Shawn laughed. “Has Roxy seen through that superficial charm of yours and dumped your sorry ass yet?
Shawn was astounded to see his cousin actually blushing. “Oh my god, Andrew. Have you met your match?”
“I think so, Shawn. I think so,” Andrew said quietly and sincerely. “But that’s a conversation for a different time and a different place. For now we’re focusing on your sadly messed up life. We’ll find out everything we can about Belle so you can go and see her father.”
“Have you handed over Lil’s case to another detective, Shawn?” Steve asked.
Shawn looked at Steve. “I promised to keep her safe, Steve. I don’t intend to break that promise.”
“What’s your next move? How are you going to find out who tried to kill her?”
“I’ve asked Derek to meet me in Andrew’s office after lunch. Andrew and I have some things to go over and discuss once we’re done here.”
“I won’t keep you much longer. I’ve been looking over the schedule of the batch updates. I’m going to infiltrate their system security when they have several jobs scheduled to run concurrently. Looks like the fourteenth of this month between two and four am.”
“I’d like to be around when you get the information, Andrew. What time should I be here?”
“By the time Steve gets into the file system and retrieves the information and I have a chance to look at it, I’d say it will be close to midnight. And that’s if it isn’t in code. If we have to break the code it could be much later. I know you don’t feel comfortable leaving Belle alone for long periods of time. I think it would be better if you waited for me to call with what I find out.”
“Yes, you’re right. Belle would freak out if I left her alone at night. She’s not very comfortable being left at the cabin alone during the day, never mind in the dead of night. And for all we know, you might not find out anything that ties in with Belle’s disappearance. You are just playing a hunch.”
“Thanks, Steve. Shawn and I are heading over to my office now.”
Andrew ended up ordering lunch in. Shawn had a wealth of material they had to go through.
They talked at great length and the both of them came to the same conclusion. Shawn didn’t have what he needed. Not yet, anyway.
Derek showed up promptly at one o’clock. After the obligatory small talk, Derek got down to business.
“I spoke with the lead investigator of the Tucson Crime Scene Investigation unit and he was very open to my taking a look at Rodney Warren’s apartment.”
“What about an okay from the department to make the trip?” Shawn asked.
“It took a little convincing but the trip has been authorized.”
“When do you leave?”
“Because of summer vacation, we’re a little short-staffed at the moment. My flight is booked for August fifteenth.”
“I hope you find something that will help us find out where our prime suspect in Lil’s attempted murder re-located to. There’s something fishy going on. Doesn’t anyone else find it just a little strange that his parole officer didn’t bother to return from vacation? He just sent a letter saying he was burnt out and thinking of a career change.”
“I don’t think that’s a coincidence that his files on our buddy Pitbull were incomplete either,” Andrew added.
“We need to find him and interview him as well. Maybe you can check with the parole office for a forwarding address when you’re in Phoenix, Derek.” Shawn didn’t like the feeling of unease that suddenly settled over him. Danger was lurking.
“Uh, Shawn.” Derek looked uncomfortable. He knew the news he had to share was not going to be received well.
“Yes, Derek.” Shawn looked at his friend and instantly knew he wasn’t going to like whatever it was that Derek had to tell him.
“I know where Mr. Warren’s former parole officer is… Trust me, he won’t be giving any statements.” Derek looked away from Shawn’s piercing gaze.
“I’m sure he can be persuaded if he’s given the right incentive.”
“Shawn, I’m sorry. He’s dead. His decomposed body was discovered by a hiker. The coroner’s preliminary report puts his time of death around the time his vacation began. He didn’t die of natural causes. He was beaten to death.”
“Jesus, guys. What the hell is going on? Things are getting weirder by the minute. Who ever wanted Lil dead is making sure that no one is left alive to talk about it.”
“Andrew, there’s nothing to suggest that the parole officer knew anything about Lil,” Shawn said.
“Actually there’s more, Shawn. There is definitely a connection. The coroner’s report mentioned interesting bruise marks that appeared to be made by a boot or heavy shoe. I asked him to courier some photos to me. I looked at them. They’re identical to the one mark left on Lil’s upper thigh. There’s no doubt that the same person was involved in both the parole officer’s murder and Lil’s attempted murder.”
“There’s no disputing it now, Derek. Oh god, Andrew. I’m not so sure that letting Lil walk around the streets of Spokane unguarded is wise.” Shawn paled at the thought of any harm befalling Lil. He had to protect her.
“How can we stop her, Shawn? She’s one stubborn, determined woman. You sure know how to pick them…” Andrew stopped talking when he realised what he was saying.
Derek looked from one man to the other. “How’s Belle, Shawn?”
“She’s fine. She’s settled in very nicely. She’s happy…we’re happy.”
“So things are back on track between the two of you?” Derek asked.
Shawn turned his back on his friend and colleague as he fussed with his briefcase. “Yes, Derek. We’re picking up the threads of our former relationship and running with them. We’ll see where it takes us.”
“Shawn, are you still in love with Belle or…”
Shawn turned and faced his friend. “I love Belle.”
His words were spoken firmly and with such a degree of conviction that Derek dropped the subject. “You said that you had a job for me to do. What do you need done?”
Shawn handed him the plastic evidence bag he had removed from his briefcase. “Could you run the fingerprints on this glass? I’ll stop at your office in an hour or two for the results. Is that enough time?”
“Yes. Do you want to give me a hint as to what I should expect to find?”
“I don’t expect that you’ll find a match but I want to make sure,” Shawn answered.
Derek stared at Shawn. “I understand. I’ll see you when you drop by the office.”
Dr. Balfour’s Office 1:50pm
Lil sat quietly waiting for Dr. Balfour to finish reading. Lil was very anxious to hear what she would say. She knew this wasn’t Dr. Balfour’s area of expertise but she respected her and valued her opinion.
Dr. Balfour looked up as she straightened the papers she had just read through. Her eyes held a glint of admiration. She was seeing a new side to her patient and she liked what she was seeing.
Lil couldn’t contain herself any longer. “Well, what did you think?” she blurted out.
“I’m impressed, Lil. This is good, very good. You are talented. Are you considering making this your career? I think you could go far.”
“Really, that’s exactly what my professor said.”
Dr. Balfour let none of her excitement show in her voice as she calmly asked, “Oh really. And what’s your professor’s name?”
“Professor…Professor…” Lil’s expression changed from one of happiness, to one of concentration, to one of anger. “I can’t remember. Damn it, Dr. Balfour. Am I ever going to remember the really important things?” She slumped down in her chair, dejected.
“Lil. You’re making remarkable progress. Don’t try to force it and don’t get down on yourself. Look at all the little things you’ve remembered. Focus on the positive.”
“I try, Dr. Balfour. Honestly I do. But it’s so hard for me now that I…” she lowered her head but not before Dr. Balfour had noticed the tears in her eyes.
“It’s harder for you now because you’re not with Shawn. Is that what you were going to say?” Dr. Balfour spoke softly and gently.
Lil wiped away the tears that were falling down her face. “I know I have to accept that I’m losing him…that I’ve lost him…”
“Has he told you that he’s staying with Belle?”
“No. He doesn’t have to say anything. His silence speaks volumes.” Lil swallowed hard. The last thing she wanted to do was end up sobbing over something she couldn’t control.
“He still hasn’t spoken to you, Lil.”
Lil sat quietly for a minute or two while she composed herself. She rose from her chair and gathered up the papers that Dr. Balfour had been reading and stuck them into her book bag. She was standing by the door with her hand on the door knob when she turned back towards the doctor. “I wouldn’t exactly say that, Dr. Balfour. He talks to me in the dead of the night. I swear I can hear him calling me little one.”
She opened the door, her shoulders slumped and her head down and walked right into Shawn, literally. She gasped, as she felt herself falling backwards.
Shawn reacted instinctively and put his arms around her to steady her. For a brief moment he pulled her close against his body. He could feel her trembling against him and it took all the control he had not to kiss away her fears. He had noticed the tears in her eyes and it didn’t take much to come to the conclusion that he was the reason for them. For that brief second he closed his eyes and rested his chin on the top of her head.
When he opened his eyes his glance clashed with the steely gaze of Dr. Balfour. Shawn immediately released Lil and stepped away.
“Excuse me. Dr. Balfour you called that you wanted to see me. Do you have time now?”
“Yes, I do. Lil was just leaving.” She walked over to Lil who seemed to be frozen in place. She laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Lil glanced at the doctor and then at Shawn and let her gaze skid over his stony face. She couldn’t read him at all. “I have to go, Dr. Balfour. I’ll see you in a few days.”
She had walked a few steps down the hallway, when she turned back. Her eyes locked with Shawn’s. “Goodbye, Shawn,” she choked out and then turned around and ran out of sight.
Dr. Balfour watched Shawn watching Lil run away from him. She had been gone for several minutes before Shawn turned to her.
“You love her, Detective Brady. Why the hell are you doing this to her? Why are you breaking her heart and your own?”
Dr. Balfour’s Office 2:10pm
Shawn ignored Dr. Balfour’s questions. “You wanted to see me. Well, I’m here. Are you sure you don’t want me to make an appointment and come back some other day?”
“As I said, I have time now, Detective Brady. Come in and sit down, please.”
They sat across from each other, neither saying a word. Shawn knew that she expected him to address her questions.
He began to grow uncomfortable under her penetrating, steady gaze. He acted true to form. The Brady men had a tendency to become confrontational when put on the spot.
“You wanted to see me, Dr. Balfour. I’m here. Say what you have to say. I need to get home. Belle is waiting for me.”
“I believe its common courtesy to respond to a question when asked. I’m still waiting.”
“Oh you asked a question. I hadn’t noticed. Would you mind repeating it?” Shawn asked sarcastically.
“I’ll come back to my original questions in a moment, but first I would like to know why you feel the need to speak so rudely?” She kept her voice on an even keel. She wouldn’t let him have the satisfaction of knowing that at this moment she was severely annoyed with him. That was a personal issue, not a professional one.
Shawn remained silently, struggling to pull in the reins on his increasing anger.
“I apologize if I sounded rude. It wasn’t my intent. Let’s get back to your original questions.” Shawn met the doctor’s look with a steely, confident look of his own. “I’m going to be honest with you. It’s none of your business who I love or don’t love. I’m not a patient of yours. Lil is no longer living with me so I can’t possibly influence her memories in any way.”
Dr. Balfour’s anger simmered and she fought to keep control. “Can you sit across the desk from me, look me straight in the eyes and honestly tell me that you have no influence over Lil’s life.”
Shawn couldn’t. He dropped his eyes and looked away.
“I didn’t think so. You are a lot of things, Detective Brady but you are not a liar. At least you won’t lie to other people, now lying to yourself, that’s another story.”
Shawn looked at her sharply. “What do you mean…lying to myself.”
“Are you anxious to get home to Belle?”
“What are you getting at, Dr. Balfour? Why are you bringing Belle into our discussion now?”
“I’m trying to make my point about you not having a problem lying to yourself,” she responded.
“Frankly, that’s just plain stupid. Why would I lie to myself?” Shawn’s anger was beginning to resurface.
“How do you feel about Belle?”
Shawn realised exactly where she was taking this. “Look, Dr. Balfour. Why don’t you save us both a lot of aggravation and just come out and say it already. I know you’re probably dying to let it out. Go ahead. I’m a big boy, I can take it.” Shawn was now shouting.
Dr. Balfour smiled inwardly. She knew all she had to do was remain calm and cool and Shawn would explode. Maybe she could force the truth out of him by using his anger. “Enlighten me, detective. What am I dying to say?”
That arched eyebrow, the soft tones of her voice and her calm, steadfast gaze had Shawn seeing red. He leapt out of his chair, sending it crashing to the floor. He leaned across the desk, hands planted firmly on the cool, wood surface. “I was wrong and you were right. Is that what you wanted to hear? You harped and harped at me to accept the possibility that Lil wasn’t Belle and I steadfastly refused. Are you happy now?”
“Really, Detective Brady. Two things. First, it’s not necessary to shout. My hearing is just fine. Second, I’m a professional. I’m not in the business of gloating. Now if you wouldn’t mind picking the chair off the floor and sitting down perhaps we can finish this conversation in a civil manner.”
“Fuck the chair, Dr. Balfour. We are finished. I have nothing else to say to you.” He turned towards the door.
“Wait just one minute, Detective Brady. We are not finished until I say we are.”
Shawn heard the steel in her voice but he opened the door to leave.
“If you care anything about Lil’s welfare, anything at all, Detective Brady you won’t walk out that door.”
Shawn stopped as his heart plummeted to the depths of his stomach. Damn that woman. Damn her to hell. She knew damn well he cared about Lil. Damn her!
Shawn turned around, his anger and frustration clearly evident in his stance and facial expression. He closed the door and righted the chair and sat across from Dr. Balfour. “What about Lil?”
“You need to talk to her Shawn. You need to either tell her that you love her or set her free. If you love Belle you need to tell Lil and you need to cut all ties to her. Of course I can’t go into details about our sessions but it is my belief that you keeping her in some sort of limbo is detrimental to her emotional well being.” Dr. Balfour hoped that he would admit his love for Lil. She genuinely cared for that young woman and she knew how deeply she loved Shawn.
“It’s not that simple, Dr. Balfour.” Shawn said quietly.
“Yes it is. Either you love her or you don’t.”
“I can’t cut all ties with her. I’m the lead detective in the investigation into her attempted murder. Until I make an arrest and find out the reason for the attack, I’m going to be involved in her life.”
“Turn the case over to someone else,” Dr. Balfour statement.
“I can’t do that, Dr. Balfour.”
“Can’t or won’t, Detective Brady?” she asked.
“Won’t,” he replied.
“Perhaps I should make a call to your Captain. I’m sure he’ll remove you from the case once I explain the reasons why I feel it’s necessary for him to do so.”
Shawn looked at her coldly. He spoke very quietly. “If you care at all for Lil, you won’t do that.”
“Touché, Detective Brady.”
Shawn rose from the chair. “Now, I really need to be going. I’m going to be late and Belle will be worried.”
As he was making his way out the door, she asked again, “Which woman do you love, Detective Brady. Can you answer that question truthfully?”
Shawn stopped but didn’t turn around to face her. “I love Belle,” he stated calmly and then walked away.
Dr. Balfour shook her head in despair. That man is still lying to himself. He loves Lil. Any fool could see how he felt for Lil when he held her and she was no fool. She knew that there was nothing she could do if he refused to admit his feelings. She also knew that any long term relationship with Belle was ruined before it even started. Her last thought as she gathered her things together to leave for the day was that three lives were going to be adversely effected because Shawn Brady couldn’t let go of the past.
August 7, 2010 3:30am The Cabin
Shawn sat at the edge of his bed with his head held between his hands and his elbows resting on his thighs. He didn’t know how to stop the thoughts of Lil from running through his head. He had to stop remembering all the times they had shared together. He had to focus all his attention on the job at hand.
He thought back to his evening with Belle. She had looked stunning in her long flowing evening gown that fit so well one could think it was made for her body. He remembered the long, deep, drugging kisses they had shared. They had gone a lot further tonight than he had planned. He had to practically physical restrain her from following him into his bedroom. He hadn’t succeeded. After his long hot shower he had entered his bedroom to find her naked in his bed. It had taken a lot of coaxing, teasing and hot kisses with sweet promise to finally convince her that they weren’t ready just yet.
Could his life get any more out of control than it was this moment?
He lay back on his bed, his arms folded behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. He couldn’t see anything but he hoped the monotony would help him to fall asleep. Without conscious thought, pictures of Lil walking hand in hand with him down towards the lake, laughing up at him, her blue eyes sparkling with happiness filled his mind.
Shit. I’ve got to stop thinking about her. He reached for the radio, hoping the music would help in his quest for sleep. He had it set to 93 ZOO FM. The music wasn’t drowning out his thought. I’ll just focus and concentrate on the song. That will force all thoughts of Lil right out of my head.
He listened to the night DJ rambling on about a way back track from the year two thousand and three. Shawn found that fairly amusing. Seven years ago and it was already considered a ‘way back’ track. The words of the ballad infiltrated his consciousness.
If you’re not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?
If you’re not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?
If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call
If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all
Shawn could feel her presence. He could feel the warmth of her hand in his. He groaned. I’m not supposed to be thinking of you.
3:36am Lil’s Bedroom
She stood at the window staring at the moon thinking about Shawn. Seeing him outside of Dr. Balfour’s office had crumbled the wall she had started building around her heart in her effort to but him behind her and move on.
She wiped at the tears that coursed down her face. She ached for him. She wanted to hold him and be held by him. She wanted it so bad that she didn’t know if she could breathe through the pain of her longing. She wandered back to her bed. I have to stop thinking about him. She reached for the radio and turned it on as she slipped under the comforter.
As the words of the ballad registered in her mind, she could feel him in the room with her.
I never know what the future brings
But I know you are here with me now
We’ll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with
Fresh tears fell as she wondered who this man was that was singing her thoughts and she prayed that Shawn would hear them as well. She sobbed because she knew it wasn’t meant to be.
I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?
Lil buried her face in her pillow to prevent the sound of her sobs from carrying throughout the apartment.
He knew she was crying. He could feel her pain. He could feel it and understand it. It was the same pain he was feeling. He didn’t try and stop the tears he felt forming in his eyes.
If I don’t need you then why am I crying on my bed?
If I don’t need you then why does your name resound in my head?
If you’re not for me then why does this distance maim my life?
If you’re not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?
Shawn closed his eyes trying to shut out the pictures the words of the song were creating in his mind. He failed.
I don’t know why you’re so far away
But I know that this much is true
We’ll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with
And I wish that you could be the one I die with
I hope I love you all my life
Shawn tried to tell himself over and over that he shouldn’t be thinking of her. He tried but he failed.
I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?
Lil contemplated running away. She wondered if the song was sending her a message.
‘Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today
‘Cause I love you, whether it’s wrong or right
And though I can’t be with you tonight
And know my heart is by your side
She knew she would never leave him, not until he told her to and she could feel his heart telling her to stay.
He knew she was thinking of running.
I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I could stay in your arms
He knew she would stay. She was listening to her heart. Her heart knew the truth. His heart was light and there was a smile on his face as he finally drifted off to sleep. Lil.
His name sighed through her lips like the softest of kisses. She smiled as she envisioned that kiss landing softly on his cheek. As she was falling asleep, she heard her name carried on the wind. Shawn.
Song Credits: Song: If You’re Not The One Artist: Daniel Bedingfield Lyrics: Daniel Bedingfield
August 11, 2010 Hwy 206
Shawn glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard of his SUV as he made his way towards Spokane and his meeting with Andrew. It was 12:59pm. He was going to be late for his one o’clock meeting with Andrew. He adjusted his headset and pressed the speed dial number for Andrew’s cell phone.
He laughed at Andrew’s greeting. “Yes, I know I’m late. I caught held up at the cabin.” He listened to Andrew’s questions and a frown crossed over his face. “I know Andrew, believe me, I know. Belle is getting more and more impatient with me and she’s beginning to push hard…real hard.” Shawn let Andrew have his say for a couple of minutes before interrupting him. “Listen, Andrew. I’ll be there in about half an hour. We’ll talk about this when I get there.”
He thanked god for Andrew’s patience and his willingness to help and not ask needless questions. Not once had he asked Shawn why he was doing what he was doing and for that he would forever owe his cousin a debt of gratitude. Yes, his cousin was concerned about him and might subject him to a lecture every now and then but for the most part he had remained silent and compliant.
He was grateful that Andrew hadn’t pushed him too hard for answers. He didn’t have answers for some of the questions that he knew Andrew had. He could see the big question in Andrew’s eyes each and every time they met. What are you going to do if the results of our investigation are not what you expected? He sighed. He knew what the answer was. He just wasn’t sure that Andrew would like it.
He thought back to the scene at the cabin before he left. Belle had been furious that he was leaving her to her own resources yet again. He had offered to bring her into Spokane and drop her off at the mall. She had refused. He sensed her growing frustration with him. She was ready to make love and he wasn’t. She kept waiting for him to say those three little words to her. He couldn’t. She kept telling him how much she loved him. Lately he could hear desperation in those words. It had taken a lot longer to appease her and put her off this time. He didn’t know how much longer he could hold off but he had to. He just hoped that he would be able to convince Belle to wait a bit longer.
Sacred Heart Medical Center Andrew’s Office 1:35pm
Shawn entered Andrew’s office without knocking. He dispensed with the customary greetings and small talk. “How soon can you be packed and on your way to Vancouver, Andrew?”
“I had a feeling this was coming. After I talked to you earlier I called the airlines. I’m booked on a flight tonight at seven thirty five pm. Tell me what to look for.”
Shawn handed Andrew a file folder from his briefcase. “I couldn’t sleep again last night so I went through all my notes and picked out the things that should be verifiable.”
Andrew looked through the notes carefully. He looked up at Shawn. “You’re sure that the apartment is not occupied at the moment.”
“I called a contact I have in the police department there. He paid a visit to the building and talked to the caretaker. The girls are out of town and he’s looking after the place for them. So yes, I’m sure. It’s critical for you to make a copy of everything on her hard drive. I’m especially interested in the web sites she’s visited and of course her email.”
“Can we bring Steve in on this conversation, Shawn? He was telling me that I could download everything off the hard drive directly to him. He could start going through the files immediately. That way you won’t have to wait until I get back. I can do that tonight in fact.”
“No, not tonight. Too many people around in the evenings. Go in between nine and ten tomorrow morning,” Shawn cautioned.
“You’re right. What about Steve?”
“Yes, bring him in, Andrew. That’s a great idea.”
It didn’t take long to bring Steve into the loop. He didn’t ask any questions. He sensed how critical this was to everyone concerned. There was no room for error. They had to be one hundred percent sure before Shawn could take any action.
After Steve left Shawn turned to Andrew, “Did you manage to get a picture of Lil?”
“Actually I was able to get several and before you even ask the answer is no. No, she was not aware that I was taking photos of her. Do you have some of Belle?”
Shawn smiled. “Oh yeah. She was very agreeable when I asked her if I could get a new picture of her. Of course I had to set up the camera to take shots of the two of us together as well.” Thinking back over that part of the photo taking session brought a frown to his face.
Andrew noticed. “Shawn, I think it’s time we had that talk.”
Shawn glanced at his cousin. “I knew this was coming as well. I really don’t want to talk about it at any great length, Andrew. I need this information more for peace of mind than anything else. I honestly don’t know what you’re going to find. If it goes the way I think it will, you know what my main concern is.”
“If it doesn’t go the way I expect it’s not going to change the way I feel. I love who I love and I will be with her. I’d actually prefer to be wrong in this case, Andrew. It would make things so much easier.”
Andrew held his cousin’s gaze. He understood.
Shawn breathed a small sigh of relief. “You’re okay with this, Andrew?” he asked softly.
“God yes. I’m glad to see that you made the right choice. I thought I might have to beat some sense into you,” he joked.
“It took me a while. I just wasn’t functioning on all cylinders for the first little while after Belle showed up.”
Andrew slapped his cousin on the shoulder. “That’s a fact.”
They both laughed. “Come on, Andrew. I’ll walk you to your car. Make sure you call me, day or night, if you find something irrefutable that will help me prove what I need to prove.”
“Will do, Shawn.”
Andrew’s Apartment 4:45pm
“Andrew, I’m back,” Lil called out as she shut and locked the door behind her. There was no response.
As she made her way to her bedroom she heard the shower running. He must have a date with Roxy again tonight. She smiled. She liked Roxy. Andrew has insisted that she join them one evening when he had taken her out for dinner. Roxy had put her completely at ease from the second Andrew introduced them.
She wandered back to the kitchen and opened the fridge. She noticed that Andrew had thrown his wallet and keys along with a folded piece of paper on to the counter.
I better wait and find out what his plans are before I start supper. She closed the fridge door.
“Hey, Lil. I didn’t hear you come in,” Andrew said as he stopped in his tracks, the towel that had been hanging precariously from his waist, slowly sliding off his hips.
“Oops.” He laughed nervously as he caught the towel and wrapped it more securely around his waist. “I’ll go change and then come back and get myself a glass of water.”
“What are your plans for the evening, Andrew? I was just about to start supper.” Lil tried hard not to laugh at Andrew’s obvious embarrassment but she couldn’t prevent herself from grinning widely.
When he saw that she was laughing at his expense he decided to tease her a bit. “You’re lucky I caught that towel when I did, Lil. Poor Shawn would never be able to measure up in your eyes…”
Shit. “I’m sorry, Lil.” It killed him to see that sparkle in her eyes die. Why had he mentioned Shawn?
“It’s okay, Andrew. I’m hoping that in time when I hear Shawn’s name it won’t hurt so much. I’m very thankful that he was a part of my life when I needed him the most. It’s almost like the angel knew that he would help me fight to live.”
“It’s a long story. Why don’t you change and tell me what your plans for the evening are?”
Lil had started preparing a meal for herself while Andrew changed. She looked up at him when he returned, pocketing his keys and wallet.
“I’m going out of town for a couple of days, Lil. I’m not sure exactly when I’m returning but I will be back on the fourteenth for certain. Steve and I are scheduled to…do some system testing. Are you going to be okay on your own?”
“I’ll be fine. Where are you going?”
Andrew didn’t see any harm in telling her where he was going. “I’m off to Vancouver, Canada.”
Lil was chopping some vegetables and looked up. “Have you been there before, Andrew?”
“No. This is my first trip.”
“Business or pleasure?”
“Business,” he replied.
“Too bad. It’s a beautiful city. You’ll fall in love with it immediately. I know I did when I moved there.” The knife clattered loudly as it hit the floor. She looked up at Andrew, her eyes wide with excitement. “Oh my, I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia. I moved there to go to school and get a degree.”
“Where did you move from, Lil.”
She felt slightly faint so she sat down.
Andrew saw the colour fade from her face. He saw her eyes become clouded with pain as she clutched at her head.
“Are you okay?”
“No, I felt faint and now I have a terrible headache. I think I better go lie down, Andrew.” She stood up and grabbed on to the edge of the table to prevent herself from falling to the floor.
Andrew steadied her. “Let me help you to your room, Lil.”
He closed the blinds for her as she asked and brought her a cold cloth that she placed over her forehead and eyes. I have to get hold of Shawn. Why the hell isn’t he answering his cell phone? I need to tell him about this and what I learned as I was leaving the hospital today.
“I hate to leave you like this, Lil. Do you want me to call Dr. Gordon or Dr. Balfour?”
“No,” she whispered. “They wouldn’t be able to help me. This will pass. I’ve been getting these headaches more frequently especially when I have a memory. Both doctors told me that was normal. You go, I’ll be fine”
“I really hate leaving you but I need to get to the airport.”
“Just go, Andrew. The quiet will be good for me.”
“I’ll call when I get settled in Vancouver just to check on you, if that’s okay?” he asked.
“Sure, that will be fine.” She was actually grateful when he left. You can’t help me, Andrew. Tears ran down her face. Shawn, I need you.
Spokane International Airport 7:25pm
Damn it, Shawn. Why is your phone turned off? Andrew sighed as he powered off his cellular. They had announced the final boarding call for his flight. He had to board now. He needed to get hold of Shawn.
As he stored his carry-on luggage and took his seat he thought back to the conversation he had accidentally overheard earlier this afternoon.
He had been heading out when he overheard Dr. Gordon speaking loudly to the clerk at the desk. He had thought it unusual because he couldn’t recall the doctor ever raising his voice for any reason.
Damn it, Erin. I can’t believe those technicians ruined the x-ray. All I wanted them to do was isolate the one area on Lil’s x-ray so we could get a clearer picture.
I know, Dr. Gordon. Apparently they overexposed the picture and ruined it. I have all the notes from the technician on her condition. Won’t that be sufficient?
Erin, did you see what area of the x-ray I asked them to look it?
Erin read the doctors written request. Andrew could hear the excitement in her voice when she replied. I understand, Dr. Gordon. We could ask Lil to come back and take another x-ray. I’m sure she’d agree to it especially if she knew we could find out her identity as a result.
Andrew had interrupted at that point. He had apologised for listening in on their conversation. They understood. They both knew that he was working with Shawn.
How can an x-ray help us find out Lil’s true identity?
I really can’t discuss this with you, Mr. Donavon. Patient doctor confidentiality is involved here.
But Dr. Gordon…
I’m sorry. I’d have to tell Detective Brady the same thing.
What if Lil gave you permission to reveal the information to both Shawn and myself?
Then I could tell you. However, I was hoping not to talk to Lil about this. I don’t want her to get her hopes up if we are not able to find what we’re looking for.
Let me call her. I can get her permission without having to tell her specifically what you’re looking for. Do you have hands free capability on the desk phone?
The doctor had nodded. Andrew had placed the call to Lil’s cell phone. He had told that there was a problem with one particular x-ray of hers. He explained that their lab probably had the capability to restore the image. He told her that Dr. Gordon needed her permission before he could give him the particulars on what they were specifically looking for. She had consented without questioning him for any specific details. She also agreed to sign a waiver the next time she came in to see Dr. Balfour.
What are we looking for, Dr. Gordon?
Lil uses the Norplant capsule method of birth control. Capsules are implanted under the skin. Each of these capsules would have a manufacturer’s Bin number on it. All doctors are required by law to record the Bin numbers used on each patient and then register that information. If I could read the Bin numbers on her x-ray I could probably find out who she is.
Give me the x-ray, Dr. Gordon. I’ll get Steve working on it first thing. He’ll call our contact in the CSI department and get those numbers for you. This is great news. Thanks.
He hung up the receiver on the air phone. Why aren’t you picking up your messages? Damn it, Shawn. I need to talk to you. He couldn’t shake the feeling that they were on the brink of a major break-through. He also couldn’t rid himself of the feeling that lives were at stake. Jesus, Shawn. Something terrible is about to go down and you’re missing in action. Where the fuck are you?
|This message has been edited by Mrs.B. on Nov 5, 2004 7:39 PM|