That must have been what Philippe had meant. Paul’s insides froze, and he yelled at Marcus to run downstairs to get the paramedics up here and help Naomi, with no hope whatsoever of the vampire complying. He had been after her for fifteen years after all, and only last night Paul had seen that Marcus didn’t only want Naomi’s love. Marcus wasn’t moving. He didn’t look human anymore, his eyes had changed, and his lips were pulled back from gleaming white teeth. It looked like he had stopped breathing too.
“Is he alright?” Clark stepped towards him from behind, and Paul rushed in between to stop him, shaking his head in warning, not wanting Clark to be thrown around the place as well.
“Marcus, please, just get out!” He tried again, and to his relief he saw the vampire turn and rush from the place in a blur.
Paul sent Clark after him, in case
Marcus forgot to get the paramedics and carefully went to check on Naomi, who
lay stock still on the floor where she’d fallen like a rag doll. He didn’t dare
move her not knowing what was broken. He could have cried when he found a pulse,
but by the time the ambulance crew arrived, he was frantic with worry and
Paul ran along Naomi’s gurney as she was being pushed toward the ambulance. The paramedics were adamant about not taking Paul aboard; they simply closed the doors on him and drove away. He stood looking after the car with a sinking heart, feeling he had failed Naomi horribly.
When he turned around in frustration, he saw that by now his backup had arrived, and the entryway to King’s College had become rather crowded with police, college security and some late theatre goers just out of the Savoy. Brian was there, too, and another detective who wanted to know who had stolen his car.
It dawned on him that he would have to clear up all this mayhem, including a very verbal Marcus who it seemed was being arrested a few yards away. He considered fainting for a second, then pulled himself together and yelled at the tangle of people: “No, he’s with us,“ wondering how he would solve that mess later. He screamed at Marcus “She’s not dead!” hoping he was right. The paramedics had had that urgent look on their faces, but had not looked resigned.
To Brian he clarified “He is with the Americans and really helped out here, I’ll have someone confirm this in the morning.” Brian was scratching his head at that. “I could have sworn that was a British accent. Those Yanks must be recruiting over here, too.
It took him a while to register someone at his side telling him in a rather sharp voice “to stay the hell put for a second!” When he looked down, he noticed a tiny Asian doctor who – it seemed – had been trying to get a brace on his injured arm for some time.
He told Clark to contact him at the Yard in the morning but found himself contradicted by the doctor at once: “What do you think you’ll be doing there I wonder?” She turned to Clark and the policemen. “He’s not answering any more questions!” she said firmly, her black eyes flashing “He’s going to hospital for x-rays and some shots. Good night!”
With that she whisked him into another ambulance and left the rest standing.
Paul was visited by a considerably shaken Thomas Clark two hours later. The Asian doctor had put her foot down and assigned him a hospital bed for the night. He had agreed on the condition that he’d be told how Naomi was, which she had promised.
“Hi”, the tall American said after sneaking into the room “Your – eh – cavalry sent me here to find out how you were, so here I am. Sorry I could bring no grapes or flowers, but I was sort of pushed up here to get news in a hurry.”
Clark was still surprised at the way Marcus had been able to simply take hold of him, bundle him into his own car and get him to the hospital at a speed that was definitely not legal. He had not been handled like that since he was ten. Once arrived, Marcus had literally pushed him inside, telling him he’d be waiting. “So, what’s the verdict?”
“The verdict,“ Paul growled at Clark’s casual tone, “is that your agency has of this moment acquired two temporary agents who saved my butt and Naomi’s life after you had cocked up. Yours too, by the way.”
“I have to explain why the two men who sorted out this whole mess are not policemen – in other words, you have just adopted the Cavalry. Ask Marcus for suitable names.” His gaze made sure there was no deal to be won on that.
Clark nodded, sighing, “I’m beginning to understand why you left the Bureau.”
Paul was still glowering at him. “Apart from that, you can tell Marcus that Naomi has several broken bones, contusions, lesions, concussion, take your pick, and also severe shock. If he wants to see her in the next few weeks, he’ll have to overcome his hospital phobia. I’ll only be writing crooked for a while. And I’ll be out tomorrow.”
“He said, when you were out, you should come and see him at once. He also said if Naomi was permanently injured, he would deal with me personally. What do I tell him?”
“Aha, right. Do you think we could hire those guys?”
“You must be out of your mind”, Paul laughed. He was starting to feel light-headed from the medication he’d been given on arrival.
“And I guess you’re not telling me who that blond bullet-proof guy in Naomi’s office was?” Until the African had taken hold of him, Buyden had seemed invincible, and Clark had been suitably impressed. Afterward he had definitely come down on the side of the “Cavalry”.
“Buyden? No. Check the FBI’s X-files.”
“How many painkillers did you have?” Clark frowned at him.
“Not nearly enough.”
At that moment the former Quarterback experienced his greatest fiasco concerning women: he was pushed out of a room by a 5’3” doctor, who did not react to his charm at all and only had very unfriendly words for him. Before Paul could say anything, she emptied a syringe into his IV-drip, and for the second time in twenty four hours he was knocked out cold.