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Chapter 41

JM had driven Barbara from the hotel to the hospital early, and then drove to his apartment building to unlock the front door, in preparation for Tony’s arrival.

“Can Sophia be discharged tomorrow morning?” JM asked Doctor Schneider.

“I can clear it for tomorrow, although it may not be before midday.”

“That’s fine. I will ask Doctor Gilmore if he can release Katherine the day after. I’d prefer to see Sophia settled before Katherine comes home.”

“Barbara, can I speak to you for a moment?” JM said, as he held Katherine’s door partially open.

“Is everything okay?” she asked, once in the corridor.

“I made arrangements for Sophia to come home. Doctor Schneider is discharging her tomorrow. I hope Katherine will come home on Friday. All the new furniture is expected today, and Tony’s crew is bringing our stored items. He will have some women there who will make beds, put things in drawers, and anything else that is required. I am going to the surgery for a while. I need to speak to Rod. Then I will swing by the apartment to see if everything is in place. Would you like to go to dinner at Antonio’s tonight? I’ll return to the hospital, and on the way you can inspect the apartment before we have dinner.”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

“I’ll ring when I’m leaving the apartment.”

“Okay. I’ll meet you outside.”


“I’m proud of you. I can’t believe it’s the same place. I only hope Katherine sees it as we do, and not as a haunting memory,” Barbara said, as she sat beside him on the new couch, after completing her inspection.

“We can only pray it helps with her recovery.”

“Let’s hope so.”

“If you’re satisfied, we’ll go to Antonio’s.”

Although the locksmith had installed the alarm and zoning systems, it remained inactive. With JM not being present at the completion of the installation, he rang to say he would return to explain its workings whenever JM considered it convenient.

With Barbara already in the passenger seat JM scurried to the driver’s side. Bruno was watching.

“God, it’s cold out there. Let’s get some heat going,” JM said, as he turned the key in the ignition.

Unfortunately, they were oblivious to their worst nightmare discreetly following two cars back.

For Bruno it seemed as though they had only gone a couple of blocks before JM parked his car. He swung his truck, quickly, into the first available space and parked. Barbara and JM were entering a restaurant.

Having witnessed the removalists’ activity, he thought, I’ll go and see what they delivered. I reckon I’ve got about an hour before they go back.

He again studied the intercom, but the numbered buttons suggested an alarm. I know it’s a risk, but I have to take it.

Bruno opened the door slightly, but hesitantly, in expectation of the alarm shrieking a warning of an intruder. “Fuck!” He was relieved, and surprised. It had remained silent. He took two steps, quickly, into the vestibule’s darkness, but as he had done prior, he removed his boots. “No one’s home, so who cares if someone sees them?” he thought, as he turned on the staircase lights.

With the new drapes agape in each of the front rooms, and aided by open doors, the lights emanating from the building’s opposite were casting a dull glow into the hall.

He walked passed the kitchen, then the living room, but stopped in the first bedroom’s doorway. “This is the same as before. It’s Barbara’s.”

The next bedroom, adjoining the other side of the bathroom, gave him an adrenaline rush. “She’s moved. This is Katherine’s!” Its new décor suggested it was suited for a teenage girl. “They spent a lot of money,” he mumbled, as he surveyed the room.

“Feels soft,” he muttered, as he sat on the bed’s edge. From the moment, he thought of her lying on the bed his arousal began. To indulge himself further he stretched his large frame on the bed and imagined himself lying next to her.

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