The storyteller of pain, p.11
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       The Storyteller of Pain, p.11

           Loren Molloy
 
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  Lilian’s hand sheepishly went back into her bra, opposite side this time, and produced her license.

  “Last thing I’d ever want is a patient to discover where I live but if I don’t have my ID and get pulled over, I can get in trouble so it’s the safest place.” She laughed.

  John chuckled in surprise. “You are just full of surprises Dr. SinClair! It would be my honor to drive you home.” He bowed royally making them both laugh.

  John helped Lilian stand up and whispered, “I sure wish I could kiss you right now. You don’t know how happy I truly am to see you’re ok. Oh boy do I wish I could just carry you out of here but that wouldn’t do so let’s make sure you can stand before you walk.”

  Lily teetered a bit from the change in elevation but then was fine to walk to the car. Everyone who saw her said it was so lucky John was there and glad to see she was ok. John got her into her car and then himself. He looked over at her and her eyes were very wide.

  “Someone was in my car!”

  “Why do you say that, Kitten?”

  “I’m short and have to sit very close to the pedals. You, however, are very tall and would need much more leg room, but you were able to get in fine. You didn’t even need to consider moving the seat. In truth, if it was still where I left it, you shouldn’t have been able to get in at all, without sliding the seat back.”

  “Damn Sherlock you did it again! Anything missing?” He was now very worried.

  “Nothing I can imagine. Nothing of any valuable. Please take me home. I’m very scared now.”

  In honesty, so was John. First her office and now her car. The minute he turned the key in the ignition he felt them both tense. When it started right away, they both let out a ‘wooosh’ of air and locked eyes. They both were afraid of the same thing, a possible car bomb. Why?...Who knows, but at this point anything felt possible.

  As John got to the main road, away from the hospital, he took Lily’s good hand and just kept kissing it. Each knuckle, each finger, over and over again. It felt wonderful. They both knew last night could have become a once and only time if that scissor had done more or different damage, or if his blood had been a different type. Finally they were in her driveway.

  “Stay there,” John commanded gently.

  Lily just numbly nodded. Her brain was working overtime now. John went around opened her door and scooped her up and out of her car in one fluid motion. John wasn’t letting go of her now. He almost lost her today. He wasn’t letting her go now. He couldn’t stop thinking it. As they got to her front door, John froze. The door had been fucked with and very recently.

  “Kitten...” He murmured in her ear quietly. “I need to put you down for one second.”

  He very slowly and gently placed her down, against the wall, never taking his eyes from that front door. The perp could be in there, still. He slowly went toward the door knob and using the tips of his fingers pushed on it to see if it would pop open. Nothing. He then pushed harder on the knob to see if it would open. It didn’t budge. The perp could have come and gone already, and relocked the door when he left. He sighed quietly. He also could have relocked it after entering so he’d hear someone open it. John gripped the doorknob and tried loudly turning it. Nothing. Seemed truly locked and he didn’t notice any disruption from inside the house. If someone was inside, they probably would have reacted to the sound from the doorknob.

  John took the keyring and held it out to Lilian without looking away from the door. That’s the kinda thing that gets people killed. She pushed the correct key into his outstretched, waiting hand. John took it and opened the door as quickly, quietly, and widely as possible. He looked inside and the place seemed undisturbed.

  After a minute of no sign of anyone, and no movement, he looked back at her and said, “I believe we are all clear here.”

  Lily let out a sigh. John looked at the door.

  “Someone sure tried to pry this door open. Luckily for you it didn’t work!”

  He then helped Lily up and brought her into the house. Afterwards he turned and closed the door behind him. Looking at the door he said, “Heavy fucker ain’t it?”

  “There is a very good reason for that. There is only wood on the top layer. The door is actually reinforced steel and iron locks with a wood facade over it. That’s an unpickable lock in it too. That’s why no one got in here.”

  “Reinforced steel and unpickable iron locks?”

  “Yeah. When I first moved in, it was a regular wooden door. Two weeks after I moved in, I came home to a splintered door and a ransacked, burglarized and vandalized house. Everything I owned was either stolen or destroyed. Police caught the crooks, but I was 21, in a new state, all alone, and I was extremely terrified. So I went to the ironsmiths and spent almost my whole first check on this door. The ironworkers claimed it was burglar proof. I am very glad to see it was money well spent.”

  John just stared at her.

  “You went and got an unbreakable, burglar proof door with faux wood front. Wow! That is brilliant. Did you ever tell anyone about the door?”

  “Thanks, and no one even knows I was ever robbed. I was brand new and wasn’t going to begin my career with a woe is me story.”

  “Anyone know your thing with the keys, ID, and bra combo?” John asked with a raised eyebrow.

  “Certainly not about the ID. As for my keys, ‘Yes’ but not that my personal keys are also on it.”

  “I just don’t understand. What does this person want from you?” John remarked frazzled, running his hands through his hair.

  Lily walked to her coffee table and sat down in front of it. She patted the seat next to her.

  She said, “Can you bring the Jack and stuff with you?”

  John smiled at her.

  “Sure Kitten. You’re right. We could do with a drink after this night.”

  He brought them over and sat down next to a ’too calm’ Lily. She took a sip and looked at him very hard for a moment, like she was trying to decide something. Lily sighed, then pushed on the top of the coffee table in such a way, it sprang open and revealed a large hidden compartment. John thought, women and their secret hiding spots. He suddenly realized what she had hidden in there.

  There it was. Wilhelmina’s dairy. John had forgotten all about it after they got home last night. After tonight’s excitement, to see it sitting there, was definitely a shock.

  “I don’t understand.” John couldn’t form other words except “Wilhelmina did all this?”

  Even as John said it, he knew that wasn’t the right answer. “No, that can’t be. She didn’t even know who we really were, let alone have any ability to find where you lived.”

  “I really am not sure myself, John. Somehow, someone knew we saw her, knew we or I, I should say, took her diary, but who? How? I can’t imagine she would tell anyone that it was stolen. Seems like that would be its own kind of sealed doom for her, if she did so. Only the Butler saw us and we didn’t give our real names. We didn’t see anyone when we were leaving. So ‘who and how’ is puzzling me!”

  John just sat there staring at his gorgeous lady who drank whiskey and figured out clues like Sherlock Holmes. She smiled at him and took a sip of her drink. John just smiled back at her and leaned in toward her.

  As his lips were about to touch her’s he whispered, “I’m so glad you’re ok Kitten!”

  He then kissed her passionately and thoroughly. When he was done, she had this soft sultry look in her eyes. She bit her bottom lip gently in desire. John ran his thumb across that sweet, full bottom lip, caressing it gently, while staring into her eyes. Lily moved her wounded arm reflexively toward his face and hissed in pain. She had gotten lost in the moment and forgot all about her stitches. The “hiss” broke John out of his moment of lust, and back into concern for his wounded lady.

  “Aw, Sugarplum, I’m sorry.”

  “It’s ok. I forgot for a second that’s all. One touch from you and I forget myself it seems.” She blushed and giggled
again.

  “I’m very glad to hear it Kitten.”

  He smiled seductively at her. Suddenly the reality of the diary flew into his mind. John realized she wasn’t safe not even remotely. It must have showed in his eyes for she leaned back and said, “What is it?”

  “A few things...One, I want to make sure the front door is locked; Two, I want to check every bolt and lock to make sure that it works; and Three, I want us to read every private, sacred word in that damn diary tonight, and figure out what in the fuck is really going on!”

  With that he was standing and looking at her. “While I get started on “Steps One and Two,” you get started on Step Number Three, the most vital in my opinion. You can catch me up when I’m done double checking everything.”

  “Yes sir!” Lily said coyly and saluted him.

  John darkly chuckled. ’Mission first, lust later’ he had to remind himself and said over his shoulder as he was walking toward the front door. “Holla if you need me, Sugarplum.”

  “Aahhhhhhhhh!” Lily yelled

  John turned around to race back and saw her mischievously smiling at him. “Just testing!” She winked, giggled, and then looked intently at the diary’s front cover.

  “Ha!” John shook his head and went back toward the front door.

  The front door was dead bolted and secure. He then went around checking windows and all other doors just in case. He knew all had to be fine, otherwise this place would have been ransacked like they wanted. ‘But who is they,’ he thought. All of the doors and windows had slide locks and privacy bars stopping outsiders from being able to open them. Whoever it was didn’t expect, or know how thorough her security measures were. Thank God for them, he thought. When he came back to Lily, she was halfway through the diary already. ‘Fast reader,’ he thought.

  “Halfway through already I see. So Holmes, catch me up. What did you find out?” He smiled at her. He wished he had her help on cases back in the day. It would have been amazing.

  “Well, first of all, I think I figured out how anyone knew who we were. The license plate on your car. When the Butler greeted us, I remember seeing him flash a look at the license plate. After he escorted us to Miss Wilhelmina, he had plenty of time to copy it down and report back to his lord and master about the ‘unexpected guests for Ms. Wilhelmina.’ She makes reference to how the staff are basically paid informants for Lord Wurthington. I’m sure it’s easy for that man to find out whose car that belonged to, and then it’s an easy link to me, since I said my name was Lily. I should have realized the Butler would have done that very thing.”

  “Then why wasn’t I the one searched?”

  “It’s my case not yours- Me, who has to go to the Board and this diary says a whole heck of a lot.”

  “I thought you said Wilhelmina would never tell anyone for fear of her wellbeing.”

  “Yes but one person’s absence was very clear. Her personal maid was nowhere to be seen. When we got there, the tea was still piping hot. You actually poured it for her. Before that, the cup was completely clean. She hadn’t used it yet. The maid brought it for her and then never reappeared while we were there. That whole time I kept expecting to be caught by her. When we left, there wasn’t any sign of any staff. A Butler like that would be waiting to escort us out and when we left, he wasn’t seen anywhere. I thought it odd but incredibly lucky on our part, but it wasn’t luck at all. They watched our every move. They saw us take the diary and then told the master.

  Wurthington had to be the one to somehow orchestrate Edwardo’s first ever, violent episode toward others. He’s always been a self-mutilator. Never showed an inkling of aggression toward others. He first said, ’The mean man made me do it’. Then he changed it to ’the mean voice.’ He suddenly had scissors and was out of his cell. I believe an evil bastard unlocked Edwardo’s cell and gave him those scissors. I believe he probably even gave Edwardo the wrong medication to induce that episode. All to cause a big enough riot to get me out of my office, in the hopes I brought this with me. In the hopes Edwardo would kill me.”

  She held up the diary in her good hand. “He obviously didn’t expect me to have all my keys on me. When he couldn’t find it in my office he tried my home but without the key, and not knowing my safety measures, he couldn’t get in. Either Deadly Dr. Page did all this himself for Wurthington or had someone do it for him.”

  “I’ve been doing some thinking as well and the person who did this knew your blood type. He gave your patient a sharp scissors and then the hospital is suddenly and mysteriously missing the only blood you are able to have. It’s an extreme measure to take.

  I remembered when we got you in the staff med room, Odis started to freak out. Saying ‘Oh no, no. It’s not possible. It’s just not possible.’ When I asked, he said you have a rare blood type and because of that the hospital had to keep a reserve, just for you, just in case of occasions like this. There was a locked shelf with your name on it. It was supposed to have your blood type on it. He actually kept repeating, ‘I know it was there this morning!’ People started to completely freak out because no one on staff had your blood type and you lost so much blood.

  When I told them what my blood type was Odis froze and then started to cry a bit. He said I just saved your life! So someone had to have planned it. Kitten, someone was hoping you’d die tonight. Only reason you’re alive, in my opinion, is because I lost that medical card. This person believed no one on staff had that blood type to save you. Luckily for you, I might add, but now their whole plan failed. You’re alive and you are still in possession of the diary. Neither can possibly make Wurthington happy to find out. They won’t stop until they get that dairy back and...”

  “Kill me!” Lily finished the sentence John couldn’t.

  John refilled both their drinks. He wasn’t going back to the hospital anytime tonight that was for sure. The other guards already knew that. He had told his senior guard Old Max that he was going to take her home.

  Old Max had grabbed him hard on one forearm and locked eyes with him. ‘Don’t come back tonight. We got this. You’re an ex-cop. I want you to keep an eye- both of them- on our crown jewel. She almost died. All her blood supply went missing. Her office was trashed. I don’t have to tell you something stinks to high hell here!

  I don’t care if you have to sit in front of her house, on her front step, in the freezing cold all night. You keep that child safe. She reminds me of my granddaughter, ya know. Fragile as a bird, frail as a mouse but when she sinks her teeth into something, she won’t ever let it go. Dangerous combination! Until I say otherwise, you are on official protection detail. You’re an ex-cop. You know how to do that, dontcha?’

  Old Max was gripping my arm very hard. The look in that man’s eye sent chills down my spine. Old Max knew someone was trying to kill you just as I thought.”

  I said, ‘Yes sir. I understand and will do, sir.’ I smiled at Old Max. ‘You’re a good duck you know that, sir?’

  Old Max chuckled and let go of my arm. He then looked very serious again. He looked back at me and said, ‘We lost one good Doctor already. I don’t want it to become two!’ Old Max then tipped his security hat at me and strolled back toward his post.”

  “So it has to be Dr. Page or someone who works for him. Even Old Max knew the old Doctor was murdered.”

  John nodded seriously. “What about the diary?” he asked.

  “This diary confounds me.”

  “How so?”

  “Well, the first twenty entries are just fluff... ‘June 1st it’s sunny here back at home. Life is certainly different now. A happy wife one minute, home and widow the next. I pray I can get used to the extreme change.’ “ Lily looks up at John.

  “So?”

  “Tons of crap entries like that until...

  August 15th- ‘I met another widow. Her name is Delia DelaCour. A widow and the highlight at every social gathering. No one treats her like a widow. I wish I was like her. Free and powerful.’


  August 20th - ’Ms. DelaCour invited me to her place for tea. She’s more amazing than I first thought.’

  Lily sighed. “Many of the entries are like that. Visited Delia, wonderful times. Then..

  Sept 23 - ‘Delia came to see me today and brought me a gift. She told me it’s a powerful story about a woman named Juliette. I’ve never heard of this author before but if Delia thinks it’s amazing, I’m sure I will too!’ ”

  John had a pinched, disgusted look on his face. “So she was the bad influence?”

  Lily continued.

  Sept 26 - ‘Father found my gift from Delia. Daddy had walked in while I was reading in my favorite seat, in my window nook. He grabbed the book out of my hand and slapped me across the face very hard. I fell from my seat onto the floor. He grabbed me by my hair and commanded me to tell him who gave me this book.

  Terrified I cried, ‘Delia did’. Daddy stopped yelling, let go of my hair, and said suddenly, very calmly, ‘Delia DelaCour gave this to you, not some man?’ I replied, ’There is no man, only Delia. She gave me the book. I’m sorry. I won’t read it anymore.’ He just looked at me, handed me back the book, and said, ‘It’s ok. Sorry Daddy struck you’ and then he left. Diary, I don’t know how to feel but I’m so scared.’”

  Lily stopped and looked at John again.

  “It gets stranger”.

  Sept 28th - ‘Daddy hired my very own personal maid, Winifred. She said he was very sorry he lost his temper with me and to make it up to me, I deserve to be treated like a princess. A princess has her own servant.’

  Sept 30th - ‘Diary she never leaves me alone, even as I write in these sacred pages. It feels as if she’s trying to read over my shoulder. I called Delia today to see if I would be going over there again soon. I just wanted to get away from here for a bit, away from constant prying eyes.

  Diary, I must confess the moment I heard Delia’s voice she sounded so peculiar. I asked what’s wrong and she said she was feeling under the weather but when she was feeling better she would come visit me. She then said, ’Thank you for calling and for your concern’ and hung up. What did daddy do to her? Did I just lose my sister over a book.’”

 
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