Moreen sat on the edge of her hospital gurney, her right foot tapping rapidly on the floor. From her curtained-off cubicle, she watched doctors, nurses, and the occasional police officer rush past. Someone would moan or cry out occasionally, drowning out the hushed conversation and beeping medical equipment. The ER was a hive of activity, none of it enough to distract her from the pain in her arm or the worry gnawing her insides.
A familiar figure in goggles and a tight, blue and yellow suit spotted her and rushed up.
“How are you?” Harris asked.
“Fine,” she grunted. “Any news?”
“You’re not fine. Your arm’s broken, right? They putting you in cast?”
“Surgery first. They need to put in wires or something. It’s fine. Any news?”
She knew the answer even before he shook his head regretfully. If he’d had good news, he would have blurted it out before asking about her arm.
“We’ve got eyes on every possible bolt-hole they could be taking him to,” Harris said. “Giordano’s and Madame Morphine’s faces are plastered across the news. We’re hauling in everybody who’s ever spoken to them for questioning. And a psychometrist is going over the whole hotel. We’ll find him.”
“I should be out there, too.”
Moreen rose, but Harris put his hands on her shoulders to gently push her back down. Unfortunately, her right shoulder was connected to her right arm, and even the painkillers couldn’t completely numb it when her broken bones got jostled. She swore and jerked back.
“Sorry!” Harris’s hands shot up like they’d been burned. “I’m sorry. But you can’t go out there with a broken arm.”
“I don’t need an arm to walk around and ask questions.”
“You should be resting—”
Harris held up his hands higher in surrender. “I know, I know, but it’s Walter’s orders. If he finds out I let you walk out of the hospital, he’ll kill me. He’ll literally kill me. You know it’s always been a matter of time before he snaps and bludgeons someone to death with his office chair. I don’t want to be that person, Mo.”
Moreen sighed noisily and leaned back. She wanted to flop onto her pillow, but that would have jolted her arm, so she lied back slowly and readjusted herself until she was resting completely on the gurney.
“Thank you. I’m not ready to die.” Harris’s forehead wrinkled in obvious concern, and his tone turned serious. “We’ll find him, Mo. We… We just will. We have to.”
“Right, thanks. That really convinced me.”
Harris’s face fell, and Moreen felt like she’d taken her temper out on a puppy. “Sorry.” She squeezed shut her eyes for a moment and rubbed her face. “I was useless out there.”
“I was. Giordano tossed me aside like I was nothing.”
“Dude’s got super-strength. He could do that to anybody.”
“You would have gotten around him. And I bet Dave held his own.”
It was obvious from the look on Harris’s face that he had no idea how to handle her sudden display of misery. Moreen’s pity party was big enough that she could spare some for him, too.
“Get back out there,” she said. “You shouldn’t be wasting time trying to cheer me up. I want you on standby for when they find him.”
He nodded. “I’ll call the instant there’s news.”
He left, and Moreen was once again alone with her thoughts. Statistically, the more time that passed, the less likely it grew that they’d find Dave. Once twenty-four hours were up, their chances dropped drastically.
Moreen stared at the ceiling, achingly aware of each passing second.
And you’re going to have to wait one more week to find out how Dave is. Sorry not sorry. 😉