Alec had been waiting in the hospital for a while for any news on how Lesly was doing. Nothing came so far, and the only thing he could do was to call the two officers he left in Lesly’s flat and ask if they had found anything that could lead them to a solid conclusion regarding the identity and motive of the culprit. It was important for him to keep the matter discreet for fear that the scene might be tampered with. After all, it was possible that the attack might have had something to do with the case he was working on with Lesly. As a result, he did not want any corrupt parties to be involved in the investigation. Of course, the preliminary investigation the two officers carried yielded nothing. They needed more time, but Hannah told him that she was going to leave the flat soon and follow him to the hospital like he instructed.
Alec was on the phone when he noticed a certain redheaded doctor walking towards him. He recognized her instantly, and judging by her confident steps towards him, she knew who he was as well. He ended the call, stashed the phone in his pocket and waited for her to get to him.
“Mr. Reid? Alec Reid,” Michaela inquired.
“I’m Dr. Weaver. Thank you for bringing Lesly here.”
“Of course. How’s she doing?”
“Her injuries are not serious. No internal bleeding. She’ll be fine,” Michaela answered directly, but the expression on her face did not exactly show relief.
“Can I see her?”
“You won’t be able to talk to her. She’s heavily sedated,” Michaela stated candidly.
Of course, she realized instantly that she was contradicting what she said earlier, but she needed to give him the answer he might have wanted to hear so he could leave and allow her to gather her thoughts. Her mind was not in a state that permitted her to handle him and the unavoidable investigation he was surely going to carry. She didn’t know if she could trust him or if Lesly was okay with her allowing him to dig deeper into a matter her friend swore to let no one find out about.
Alec remained there. The look of concern on his face deepened when he heard what Michaela said. He took one step forward towards her and asked again in a whisper, “Please.”
Michaela contemplated the matter for a moment as she looked at him. She could see traces of blood on the front of his shirt and on the coat he carried in his arm. The look on his face told her that he cared and that the only reason he voiced that request was because he was worried. She decided to comply, but the serious stern look on her face did not change as she gave him an answer to his request, “Follow me.”
Alec followed Michaela to the room where Lesly was. She opened the door for him, motioned for him to go inside, then followed him into the room before she shut the door behind them. He took a couple of steps towards Lesly’s bed and examined her. She had never looked so vulnerable to him before and it made him mad. The bruises on her face were more visible now and so did the cuts on her neck. Her arm was in a cast and the gash on her forehead was stitched and bandaged. Alec pushed a dark lock of hair away from the side of her face so he could get a better look at the cuts that the dried blood had hidden from him before. They were small, but judging by their shape they seemed to have been the result of her being thrown against a floor covered with shattered glass. His hand subconsciously caressed her cheek as his mind began to wonder what it must have been like for her to go through something like that. He wanted to ask Michaela a question, but he was worried that the answer might be the one he dreaded.
Alec’s hands turned into fists as his mind began to imagine all the horrible things that could have happened while she was alone with the culprit in her apartment. He had to ask. He had to know.
“Dr. Weaver,” he began.
“She was barely covered when I found her…,” He struggled to phrase his question, but did not know how to say it.
Michaela understood what he wanted to say and sought to reassure him, “She doesn’t need a rape kit.”
“Are you sure?” he asked with a hint of relief.
“Pretty sure. Nothing of the sort happened. She told me.”
Alec looked back at Lesly again before he continued speaking to Michaela, “Lesly talked a lot about you. You’re a dear friend of hers, aren’t you?”
“She’s like a sister to me.”
“Any idea on who might have done this?” He asked while his gaze was fixed on Lesly.
“Is there anything you know that could help us find out who did this?”
He realized instantly that Michaela did not wish to speak to him for the same reason Lesly remained closed off the entire time he worked with her. He turned around slowly to face her and tried his hardest to maintain his composure as he tried to convince her, “Dr. Weaver, I’m trying to help here.”
Michaela stared at him for a moment as she contemplated her options. She was still on the fence about telling him everything she knew. As a result, she sought to give him the most logical answer she could think of in the hopes that it would convince him and keep him from asking further questions.
“Lesly angered a lot of people. It would be impossible to name a person or two without knowing what actually happened. Surely you know that.”
“And yet something tells me that you already have a theory in mind,” he replied, his stoic expression matched hers.
She was unfazed by the challenging look he gave her. However, her concern over her friend’s wellbeing pushed her to reconsider her decision. She was desperate to talk to someone who might be able to do something about the matter. Lesly told her that he always delivered on his word and that he had never once given her a reason to distrust him. It took Lesly a while, of course, to arrive to such a conclusion. Still, the fact that Lesly who rarely trusted anyone came to trust him a little might be taken as a testament to the guy’s integrity. Michaela wondered if she was going to regret telling him what she was about to tell him or if Lesly would get mad if she realized that her best friend had shared sensitive details with Alec. However, at the moment, the only thing she wanted was to find some answers that would hopefully help in taking some measures that could keep Lesly safe.
Michaela took a deep breath, stashed her hands in the pockets of her white coat, then began sharing her thoughts, “If the motive is revenge, she would’ve been dead. I don’t think this is related to any of the cases she handled for the organization.”
“What is it about then?”
“Interrogation. She told me he kept asking her questions she couldn’t answer.”
“What sort of questions?”
“She didn’t say. She was so erratic that I could not get anything out of her. She eventually begged me to sedate her,” Michaela explained. Her expression softened as she recalled the terrible mental state her friend was in when she made that request. It was obvious that the attack opened old wounds and brought fresh reminders of the trauma she had been struggling to deal with for the last couple of years.
Hearing Michaela say that Lesly begged to be sedated made Alec feel more anxious than before. He wished he could ask Lesly about what had happened, but there was no way he could get any answers out of her right now. He began rubbing his temples in frustration as he wondered if there was anything more he could get out of Michaela.
“Did she tell you anything else?” he asked in a serious tone.
“Dr. Weaver,” he appealed in exasperation.
Michaela sighed loudly as she reconsidered her decision. She made up her mind and began telling him what she gathered so far, “He asked her about an old incident. It is strange because no record of Lesly’s connection to that incident exists. Lesly made sure of it. The fact that he knew about it tells me that he’s also connected somehow.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You’ve heard of the Mason Arch building which burned five years ago, haven’t you?”
“Lesly was there before the raid team arrived. She found an injured man named Jacob when she got in alone. He was the abducted son of Victor Lang. She wanted to save him, tried her hardest to keep him alive until the medics arrived. She even resuscitated him when his heart stopped beating. He died despite her efforts. Of course, his abductors weren’t happy that she interfered. They told her to step away, but she refused to let them get to him. As a result, they went after her a few days after the incident. She was locked up for days along with other women in a secluded house outside of the city. Unspeakable things happened there that she still cannot recover from.”
Alec became extremely flustered when he heard that. The narrative he had heard before was different from what Michaela had just shared with him. So many questions swarmed in his brain and he did not know how to ask them without alerting her to what he already knew. He struggled to put his thoughts in order and tried his hardest to gather answers while masking his connection to the incident.
“H-how long?” he asked with a noticeable quiver in his voice.
“Four days. It would’ve gone on for longer than that if a video of the atrocious things that happened there hadn’t been leaked. Surely you’ve seen it?”
“I did, but I had no idea she was involved in that incident.” That was not a lie. It was an honest answer that intensified his guilt to a point where he found it hard to mask it.
“No one does,” Michaela explained with sadness in her eyes. “Lesly didn’t want anyone to know. She did the impossible to erase every record of her being there,”
“I don’t know. She wouldn’t tell me.”
Alec had heard enough at this point. There were more questions that he needed to be answered, but Michaela was not the one who could address them. Only one person could clarify everything to him right now. He had to leave and see that person immediately.
“Thank you, Dr. Weaver. You’ve been helpful,” Alec hastily muttered as he walked towards the door.
“What are you going to do?” Michaela asked from behind him.
“Officer Hannah James will stay here. I’ll go check if there is anything in Lesly’s apartment that could help us find the culprit.”
“No offense, Reid, but I don’t trust cops.”
“That would be something we have in common,” he answered rather stoically. “I assure you, though, that officer James will take this duty seriously. Please trust me on this.”
“Fine,” Michaela complied reluctantly.
Alec proceeded to open the door and was about to leave the room when he paused and turned back again. He fished a card out of his pocket, scribbled something with a pen on it and handed it to Michaela, “Here’s my personal phone number. Please text me when she wakes up.”
“Sure,” Michaela responded as she took the card from him.
Alec nodded and walked out of the room hastily. He found Hannah sitting next to the reception desk and gave her a new set of instructions before he made his way towards the exit. The moment he stepped outside, he loosened the necktie and tried to breath in some fresh air. What he had heard and dealt with today filled him with distress, confusion and anxiety all at once. It made him feel like he was suffocating. The matter could not wait any longer. He needed some answers and he needed them now. He started walking towards his parked car as his hands searched his coat pockets for his keys. He took them out, unlocked his car and got inside. Once he made sure he was out of earshot, he opened the glove compartment, took another phone that he rarely used and made a phone call.
It took the other person a while to pick up. She did not know who he was at first because he changed that number quite often, but he made sure to remind her.
“Kim, it’s me Jacob. We need to talk.”