Hospitals suck. Unless, you have been held captive in an abandon house by a lunatic in the last twenty-four hours then they suck value does decline Sophie is looking at the ceiling in the cubical she has occupied on and off for hours. She has been rolled to x-ray and to CAT Scan, she really just wants to be rolled home. She was told Pete is waiting in the waiting room. She asked to see him but as of yet he has not made it to see her.
Sophie hears voices approaching and she strains to hear what they are saying. The drape is pulled back and the doctor and Pete are standing at the end of her bed.
“Sophie Detective Shaw is here to see you. I told him to keep it short that you need your rest, if you don’t want to see him I can make him leave.”
Pete is at Sophies side in seconds, she is in his arms, holding him close as tears flow freely down her cheeks. Pete pulls back slightly and looks down into the only face of the only woman who has ever stole his heart completely.
“I love you Sophie. I am never ever letting you go.” He kisses her again.
From the foot of the stretcher the doctor says. “Obiously the two of you...um...know each other, I think I will just make myself scarce.” The doctor exits the cubical pulling the drape closed behind him.
“I love you Pete, so much. All I could think about was getting out of there I had to see you, fix things between us. Do you know how Lance is? Have you seen him?”
“He is here love. He had surgery on his shoulder he will be fine. He refused to go to the hospital when I found him behind the shop. He insisted on trying to help me find you. When I tried to tell him you had been found he did not respond, thats when I realized he had passed out. I knew you were safe, and I knew I would not be safe if I let him bleed to death in my cab so I got him here.”
“You did the right thing. Thank you for taking care of my brother.”
“ He is a good guy. Lance deserves a second chance. He cares about you so much, he was frantic trying to find you.”
“See I told you he was redeemable.”
“You were right. Bill on the other hand got what he deserved.” Pete said. The light drained quickly from Sophie’s eyes as the memory came crashing back. “ So sorry I should not have mentioned him.”
“Its okay I am going to have to deal with it.” Sophie said, slowly a smile crosses her face. “I hit him with my car. Pinned his ass to the garage wall, you should of seen the shock on his face when he realized what was happening.”
Pete looks down at her. “You did what?” Both his eyebrows go up as he stares down at the little firecracker in his arms.
“First I faked him out, kicked him in the face. Stabbed him with some broken glass.” She holds up her banaged hand. “Then I ran for it. Found myself in the garage. Flicka was there and the dumb shit left the keys in the ignition. I stole back my car, pinned is filthy ass to the garage wall then put it in reverse and broke through the garage door. I was speeding on Burnside, no ticket this time.” She looks up into his eyes, the pain is shadowing her visable usually crystal blue eye again. He kisses the bandage over her eye, kisses her hand, kisses all her bandages.
She smiles as he moves from bandage to bandage. “You know I think I may have some more bandages that may require your attention in other places.”
Pete sits down on a stool near her bed and lays his head on her chest, listening to the beat of her heart. He kisses her heart through the sheet and coverings on her. “I plan on kissing every single part that may have been broken by what has happened to you. I promise to make it my lifes work.”
Sophie brings her good arm up to rest on Pete’s shoulders. “ I am going to hold you to your promise detective.”
Both of them drift off to sleep long over due.
The nurse awakens them in about an hour.
“Sorry you two, but Ms. Johnson your room is ready for you.”
The transport team are there and Sophie is whisked off down the hall. Pete follows behind her, as they make there way through the hospital to her room. Her hospital room has a slender window letting in light from the parking lot. The standard hard chair beside the bed for visitors and a private bath.
“Sophie, while you get settled I am going to go find Lance, see what is happening with him. And perhaps find a cup of coffee.” Pete says as he attempts to stay out of the way of the staff as they get Sophie transferred to her bed.
“Okay. Something tells me I am not going anywhere.” Sophie says as she holds up her good arm with an IV leash dangling from it. Pete shoots her a smile and heads out to look for Lance.
He goes to the nurses station. A perky blonde is sitting at the computer terminal and looks up at him with a blank stare that quickly turns into a smile.
“Well good morning to you sir can I help you with anything?‘ The blonde put way too much emphasis on anything for Pete’s comfort.
“ Yes I am looking for a patient. He is actually my girlfriends brother, I was hoping you could tell me where I could find him. Lance Johnson.” Well two can play the word game as Pete puts all his emphasis on girlfriend.
A look of disappointment flashes across the blondes face before it is back to the blank stare. She punches keys on the keyboard and then looks up at him.
“Lance Johnson is on the fourth floor surgery room 414. Will there be anything else?” She stares at him.
“Nope. You have been a great help. Thanks.” Pete says as he turns and walks away down the corridor. The unit secretary watches him as he walks off, mumbles to herself. “What a waste.” Shakes her head and goes back to work.
Pete follows the blonde’s directions and finds the surgery department. He finds room 414 and glances in the room. Lance is in the bed and there is a man sitting in the chair next to the bed. Lance glances over and sees Pete. He smiles and gestures with his good arm to Pete to come in.
“Pete come in there is someone you should meet.” The other man in the room is older, he looks tired. He has the aura of the cards he has had to play in the game of life were all dealt off the bottom of the deck. His shoulders are rounded and sagging, when he looks up at Pete he is surprised to see the now familiar Johnson blue eyes looking back at him. “Pete Shaw I would like you to meet Todd Johnson, my dad.”
Todd stands and extends his right hand, Pete takes his hand and shakes it. “Nice to meet you Mr. Johnson, I have heard a lot about you.”
“I am sure you have and I am betting none of it was good. I have six months sobority right now, thank god. I got a call last night from the hospital about Lance here being brought in with a gun shot wound. I guess he had my name in his wallet and someone took it upon themselves to call me.”
“ I brought Lance in last night myself, he was not looking so hot, but he wasnt going to stop until he found Sophie, or passed out, unfortunately he passed out first. But she is safe now and down one floor. She is being held for observation until tomorrow she took a pretty good blow to the head. Course the other fella looks considerably worse.” Pete says with a smile.
Lance looks at Pete. “ Ah what do you mean? I thought when we got here last night you said the police had found her.”
“A traffic unit was called to a mini mart where she was at. She got away from Bill all by herself she even pinned him to the wall in the garage of the house he was holding her in with her car. Then she blew through the garage door and drove to the mini mart.”
The older Johnson is shaking his head. “That sounds like my Sophie she always meets everything head on and runs right on over it. Never ever seen her back down from a problem in her life. I have no idea where she gets it. In this family we all have the run like hell and bury our problems in a bottle gene.”
“She is so strong even when I was ready to give up and live life on the street robbing people and getting high, she would not accept it. Pulled me out of the gutter kicking and screaming all the way. She even walked away from Pete here. Sacrificed her own happiness to help me, a brother she had not seen in over ten years.”
“I thought she was nuts when she did that. Now I know otherwise.” Pete says to Lance.
“Well she may have welcomed Lance back into her life. I am not so sure she is going to be so happy to see me. I should of been there for her, for both my children, it something I am learning to deal with now, how I failed my family.” Todd says, the pain in his voice echo’s in the small hospital room.
“Well Todd there is only one way to find out. Looks to me like Lance is looking pretty good, how about you and I find a cup of coffee and go see your daughter.” Pete says as he pats Todd on the back.
“ I don’t know she has been through so much, I don’t want to upset her, maybe I should just stay away.” Todd is not so confident his daughter will be happy to see him.
“I think seeing you not nose down in a bottle will do her a world of good. Come on.” Pete starts to walk out of the room. Todd looks to Lance for his thoughts.
“Go with him, she forgave me for gods sake you have a third the sins I do.” Lance says.
Todd follows Pete into the hall. They walk together to the elevator. The two men find the cafeteria and a Starbucks, see they do have those everywhere. They get their coffee and are heading to the elevator when Mustang Sally goes off in Pete’s pocket, Sophies phone is ringing.
Todd looks at Pete. “Sorry Sophies phone I got to answer this its her best friend.” Pete answers the phone and quickly gets Lindsey up to speed on what has been happening. Lindsey promises to mind the shop for the week so Sophie can have some recovery time. Todd paces nervously while Pete talks to Lindsey his bravado quickly failing him. He has been the definition of a dead beat dad. He just does not see how Sophie will be happy to see him. Pete ends the call as quickly as possible and strides off down the hall.
“Come on Todd one flight up and we will be at Sophies room.