Being a novel, all characters, events, dialogue and representations are fictional ... and in no way are meant to represent any real or living persons or events... except the few annual events that are used to move me through time. The opinions expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my author. And the story is copyrighted, by my author of course. Oh, and from time to time I may include some real time events to keep the blog more authentic. Comments and suggestions will be appreciated and seriously considered as the story moves along.

If you are just joining us, start with the Prologue and Chapter One on March 1, 2011, in the Archives.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chapters 74 and 75

                I told Chief Callahan I was sorry I couldn’t remember much, except finding Bennett Boyle and seeing all the blood. 
   “Did he say anything before he died? Did he say who did this?” the chief asked.
   No, I only remembered him saying he was sorry, thinking I was some other woman. I couldn’t remember the name. And I didn’t know if he’d been alive when I was knocked out — I didn’t think so. His eyes had rolled back in his head. When I came to a few hours later, though, I knew for certain he was dead. I explained about the door being locked and trying to figure out how to get out. The bells had been the only thing I could think of. 
  Chief Callahan assured me it was the smartest option, marveling they hadn’t found two bodies instead of only one. “Looks like the killer thought they were alone. When he heard you call to Boyle, he must’ve hidden in one of the storage areas or under the platform until you passed by, then came up behind you. Good thing you didn’t see him, or he might have killed you, too.”
I was taken aback at that and tightened my grip on Colin’s hand, but the thought had crossed Colin’s mind much earlier — in fact, back at the crime scene he’d known the assailant must have thought Boyle was dead when I’d found him ... because if he thought Boyle talked, I would’ve been killed, too. Colin would be forever grateful the killer had thought wrong.
   The chief continued, “We found a two-by-four in the storage area with blood and hair on it. Probably yours. We’ll test it and look for fingerprints. And you’re sure Boyle didn’t say anything else?”
   “Nothing I can remember, Chief. I’m sorry.”
   “He’d never married and didn’t have a significant other anyone knows of ... his mother’s name was Gayle. Does Gayle ring a bell?”
   I shook my head, then winced in pain at the movement. 
   “Okay, don’t worry about it now. If you remember the name of the woman, let me know. What about your office? We found it dark and locked and your phone was turned off.”
  “I left it open and my phone was turned on,” I said, puzzled.
  Colin interjected, “The killer must have gone to both offices and locked them. But he would have needed keys, wouldn’t he? Maggie’s were in her briefcase.”
   “We’ll check to see if he took Boyle’s. Don’t worry. We’ll find him. Has to be someone who hated Boyle.” When Colin and I looked at him with raised eyebrows, he said, “Yeah, I know ... long list. But listen, Sweetheart,” he said as he prepared to leave, “We’ve really got to stop meeting like this.” 
   I smiled thinly, dutifully whispering my line, “Don’t call me sweetheart.” Closing my eyes as he left, I was asleep before Callahan reached the elevator.

   I woke to a semi-dark room, this time my throbbing headache telling me immediately where I was and why. I saw Colin sleeping in the chair next to the bed and reached for his hand. He startled at my touch and pulled away, trying to remember where he was. “Colin,” I said softly. He smiled and took my hand, moving to sit beside me on the bed, “No, it’s Sean, Maggie. Colin’s just down the hall getting some more coffee.”
   “Oh, Sean, thanks for being here for him.” Just then the right Murphy brother came through the door with two coffee cups and said in mock seriousness, “I told you, little brother, I saw her first.” 
   Sean said, “Yes, but I get to hold her hand when you’re not around. It’s a brother’s prerogative.” He took the offered coffee, changing places with Colin as a nurse walked in to give a grateful me some much-needed pain medicine. 
   As the nurse left, Father Sean said, “Maggie, please convince this stubborn Irish pig-headed man to go home and get some sleep. He’s been here since Friday night and I’m embarrassed by his appearance! People will think I’m the slob!”
   “Colin, you haven’t left? Go home! I’m fine,” I said, now noticing the two-day old beard on his normally clean-shaven face and the dark circles under his tired eyes. 
   “I’ve slept some in the chair,” he protested. 
   “Really, Professor Murphy. The doctor said I was fine now. And I’ve just taken pain medicine so I’ll be off to dreamland again in a minute or two. Go get some sleep. You can come back in the morning to take me home. He said I’m out of danger and just need to rest. Please. I’ll rest better if I know you’re getting some, too.” 
   “Yeah, Murphy, go home,” Sharon said as she and Carol walked in. “We’re taking the night shift. You took the last two! Besides, you don’t smell so good. Go to the Nest. Doug’s putting beer on ice, lasagna in the oven, and you can use our shower. Father Sean, take your smelly brother outta here and over to my house. It’s our turn to fuss over Maggie. We loved her first.”
Colin knew he was outnumbered and truly was dead on his feet. Kissing me gently on the forehead, he promised to be back before I woke in the morning. 
   When they’d gone, I sighed, “Doug’s lasagne. Oh, that sounds good. I’m starving. Is the hospital kitchen still open, do you think?”
“No, it’s after 9 o’clock, but we brought you some dinner,” Carol said brightly, happily holding up a shopping bag. 
   “Doug’s lasagne!?” I said hopefully.
   “Nope, we did you one better,” Sharon said boldly. “But don’t tell Doug I said that.  Café J’s seafood crepes ... three of them and crème brûlée for dessert.”
   Carol added, “We asked the nurse and she said it was fine. You need sustenance.”
   “You two are my bestest BFFs!” I exclaimed giddily as I sat up and began unwrapping my dinner.  
   Carol turned to Sharon and whispered, “Bestest BFFs?”
   Sharon shook her head and whispered back, “She’s just woozy from the pain medication. Makes her slip into preteen language, or something.” Turning to the patient, she said, “Honestly, Maggie, BFFs?”
Chapter 75
   True to his word, Colin was at the hospital before I woke up and to my eyes looked a little more refreshed. He’d showered and shaved and slept as ordered, and was anxious to talk again with the doctor.
    Mid-morning when rounds were made, Colin asked the doctor, “You’re sure, then, that she’ll be fine?”
    Smiling indulgently, the doctor said, “Yes. Just needs bed rest and lots of fluids. I’ve given her some pain pills, but she should gradually wean herself off of them in another day or two. She can probably go back to work when she feels up to it, but not today or tomorrow.” Turning to me, he said, “And no driving until you’re off the medication for at least 24 hours. I’ll want to see you in a week. But call me before then if something doesn’t feel right. Now I’ll send someone in to get you checked out of here.”
    Once home, Colin fussed until Carol finally tried to shoo him out, declaring he was in the way. Didn’t he have classes to teach or something? He did, but he wanted to make sure I was comfortable. He looked at Miss Priss, curled up on the end of my bed and wished he could take her place. 
    When I had come home, carried in by an insistent Colin, the cat, who normally spent her days outside, took a sudden interest in what was happening inside. As I was tucked neatly under the covers in the master bedroom, I was astounded when Miss Priss jumped up on the bed, tail high in the air. I tentatively put out my hand and the formerly untouchable cat moved under it, generously accepting my light petting. Then she prissed down to my feet, purring, and settled in, blinking up at Colin and Carol as if saying, “I’ve got her now. Don’t worry.”

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