Sykes was of a mind to turn around, pound on the door, and when Harry’s mother finally confronted him, he would give her a piece of his mind.
How could she not be interested in what had happened to her son, or go visit him? She had not even asked where he was.
He shook his head and walked slowly towards the elevator lobby. When he got there, a girl was waiting to go down. He barely glanced at her, but he could feel her giving him a long studied look.
“You don’t look like a policeman,” she said, just as the elevator pinged for their floor.
Seconds later the door opened and she stepped in. He followed. She pressed the button for the ground floor, and then the doors closed.
In that time he gave her a second look. There was no doubting she was a relative of Harry’s.
“How should a policeman look?”
“Not shabby. Do you live in your suit?”
OK, so he hadn’t had it pressed in a day or so, and had just worked a forty-eight-hour shift, but she was bordering on rude. The trappings of the so-called privileged?
She had to be a Walthenson, taking a leaf right out of the mother’s playbook.
“Are you Corinne Walthenson?”
“What gave me away?”
“Your snotty attitude.” OK, he could have handled that better, but she was getting under his skin.
She looked more amused than annoyed at his inference. “He tell you that? It’s what he calls me when he’s angry, ‘a snotty little brat’.”
“No. Until he told me in the hospital he had a family I thought he was an orphan, and, judging, by the way you lot treat him, he’d be better off without one.”
The elevator stopped. They’d reached the ground floor. He intended to say more, but he was annoyed enough, and it wouldn’t do to lose his temper with these people. He still had a few outstanding complaints about his behavior sitting in the Chiefs in tray.
She stepped out after him. “Which hospital is he in?”
Sykes stopped and turned around. “Do you really care?”
“As much as you might want to believe we don’t, we do. Especially me. He is my brother, and I’m concerned for him.”
He scribbled the name of the hospital on a sheet of his note pad and ripped it out with anger. As he handed it to her, he hoped she ended up with a paper cut.
He glared at her, then the doorman as he opened the door for him, and left the building without looking back.
© Charles Heath 2016-2019
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