Saturday, 30 March 2019

Episode 61 – Like a breath of fresh air

“How did you find me?”
A logical question since very few people knew where he was, let alone the fact he was still alive.
“I’m an investigator, and a good one.  When I called you and your phone told me it was disconnected from its service provider I guess something awful might have happened.  I thought about going to the police, but then I thought, why bother them when I could look for you myself.  It took a while, and I have to admit I was getting more and more apprehensive.  But, I finally tracked you down, and you have to tell me all about it.”
“I don’t know much myself.”
“Then what you do, save it.  Lunch is on me, something a lot better than hospital food.  I’m glad you’re not dead, Harry.  See you soon.”
Leaving him with a silent phone and a feeling that Felicity may have been more upset about his going missing than anyone else.
And perhaps his feelings towards her might be more than what he thought they might be.

It was not the fact Felicity had breezed into his room like a breath of fresh air, followed by rays of sunshine, nor the fact of just seeing her had stirred something within him, it was the kiss.  A light peck on the lips, not a cheek or forehead, not like one a sister or mother might.
Had he missed a nuance in their relationship before this moment, or had the near-death experience removed any memories of what they had.
Did they have something?
She brought a picnic basket with her, pulled the table over to the bed, and one of the chairs so that she could sit beside him.  The basket stayed on the table.
It would be the story for the food.
She took his hand in hers, leaned over and said, “Now spill.”

He told her the story, as much as he could remember of it, being in the office, everything going black, waking up in a small room with some very nasty men who wanted answers to questions he knew nothing about.
And, the more he pleaded ignorance, the harder they went at it.
“Torture, hey?”
When he thought about it, she was right.  Whether he’d endured it and won was a moot point because, in the end, he was to be killed.  Only a miracle had same him from it happening.
“I have no idea, but it was pretty intense, right up till they got the order to dispose of the body.”
He could see she was intrigued.  Nothing like that had happened to her, but when she said it, he told her that it was not something she would want to wish upon herself.
“So, what were they asking about?”
“A warehouse down at the docks, nothing special.  I had a look and there was nothing there.”
“Perhaps I should take a look.  Fresh eyes and all that?”
“You should not be so eager to get in on that case.  I’m not sure I want to.  The people we’re dealing with here are very, very nasty people who would not hesitate to kill an innocent person.  I’m leaving this one with Sykes.”
“You’re joking.  He doesn’t look like he could fight his way out of a wet paper bag.”
“Appearances can be deceptive.”
She rolled her eyes, then laid out the food.  Champagne, ham, cheese, and more champagne.  I managed to have one glass before the nurse came and admonished the both of us.
Before she left she stood beside the bed, a frown on her face, or perhaps she was trying to be serious.
“I’m going to look into this matter.  I seriously doubt the police will give it the time or the respect it deserves.”
“With all due respect, I don’t think you should.  Look what happened to me.”
“Granted it may have its dangers but they are not going to get away with what they did to you.”
A thought came to me, one that would solve my immediate problem, and make sure Corinne didn’t get any ideas.
“I’d rather you took over the Jones’ cases for the time being and talk to Sykes about progress.  And perhaps take care of another problem I seemed to have just acquired.  Keeping my little sister out of trouble.  She means well, but she can get herself into trouble very quickly.”
“So, you have a sister?”
“Corinne.  We get along, but not so well since I left home.  I suspect she’s at a loose end and is going to badger Sykes.  If anything, can you go save her from herself?   Oh, and can you call Ellen, my personal assistant, and let her know I'm still alive, she'll be wondering what happened to me.”

"You have a personal assistant, do you?  That sounds very interesting."

"The daughter of a friend of my mothers who doesn't have anything better to do.  You'll like her when you see her.  And, if you need to know anything about the Jones cases, it’ll be in my notes at the office."
“That replica set out of the Maltese Falcon?”
“You’ve been there?”
“Told you, I went looking for you.  Uncovered all your dirty secrets.  I’ll look into both, and talk to you on the phone.  Soon.”
Just before she left she gave him another kiss, this time it lingered, allowing the scent of her perfume to wash over him.
There was, he thought after she had disappeared up the passage, definitely something between them.  He just couldn’t remember what.


© Charles Heath 2016-2019

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