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Authors: Sherrie Weynand

Dancing In Darkness (23 page)

BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
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CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

Ignoring pretty much every traffic law known to the state, Adam sped across town toward the hospital. Nina had not stopped crying since they learned that Priscilla was indeed alive. Adam initially had cried but realized that he was going to have to drive. Not being able to see wouldn’t help either of them out right now. Driving Highway 1 at a high rate of speed during near peak morning traffic times was dangerous, he knew that, but he had to get to her. He was going to make sure she knew how much he loved her. They weren’t only words, he didn’t use those words and couldn’t remember the last time he had. He was sure that he was a child at the time.

Nina was lost in her own thoughts and hadn’t said anything. She was going through tissue after tissue wiping away her tears. Nothing she did would make them stop. There was relief and pain and fear, anger that had built into a murderous rage. It encompassed her thoughts. She could kill that man. This was a man that any one of the girls, including Priscilla, would have willingly trusted and went with. Trying to see this through his eyes, she knew that is how he got each of them to go with him and not have a struggle. Except for Priscilla. She fought back, but Nina didn’t know what had taken place prior to her disappearance.

Parking the car in the Emergency Room parking lot they noticed that the helipad was currently occupied by Life Flight. They also knew that very helicopter had recently transported their friend. Nina looked at Adam with questioning eyes but said nothing. There was no panic or extreme emotion that could take place inside these walls. Priscilla needed to know that they were strong for her.

When they reached the registration desk Adam started to speak to the lady behind the glass window.

“We’re here to see Priscilla Barnes, she was just brought in by helicopter.” He told her.

“Barnes? Give me one moment, sir.” She replied. “Sir, the doctors are with her right now. If you could take a seat and when she can have visitors I will let you know.”

“Thank you. Oh, do you have any idea how she’s doing?” He asked. He was longing for answers that he knew she wouldn’t be able to give. He did so anyway, hoping against hope.

“No, I don’t have any information at the moment. I can tell you that if she was brought in by Life Flight, it is very serious.” She said politely.

“Thanks.” He mumbled as he walked away.

All the joy that they felt momentarily had started to fade to the background. She had survived Ward, but would she survive the after effects or the injuries? What injuries did she sustain? Always questions. His brain was fried trying to find answers to everything and in light of the fact that she had been alive when she was brought in, he was terrified that it would claim her life as well.

The two sat side by side in the waiting room, Nina picked up his hand and held it in his own. “You are a good man, Adam Linston. Priscilla is very lucky to have you.”

“I’m not so sure she has me. I mean, she has me if she wants me, for the rest of my life, but I don’t think she wants that type of commitment. You know what I mean?” He asked her.

“Yeah, I do. Don’t give up on her. She’s been through a lot and might need time to adjust to everything. Adam, she was stalked down and hunted. Terrorized. We don’t know what she’s going to feel.” Nina told him.

“That is one thing that will never happen. I will never give up on her. If she needs time, then she can take all the time in the world. The only thing I don’t want to happen is that she builds up walls around herself and refuse to let anyone in.” He replied.

Beth Tony made her way through the hospital doors and found both Adam and Nina sitting in the waiting room. “They won’t let you back?” She asked them.

“No they said the doctors were with her. It’s been maybe a half hour or forty five minutes. Lost track of time.” Adam replied.

“Give me a minute. I can go back, I need to try and speak to her anyway.” She told him.

Approaching the window of the registration area, Beth spoke to the woman.

“Hi, I need to see Priscilla Barnes. She was brought in maybe an hour ago by LifeFlight,” She said.

“Ma’am, the doctors are with her right now, I am afraid you will have to wait.” The lady responded.

Pulling out her badge and ID, she looked at the woman and said, “I am Det. Beth Tony, I’m here on a multiple homicide investigation. I need to see Priscilla Barnes, please.”

Beth was polite and cordial to her, but the girl looked like she had been slapped in the face.

“I’m sorry, one moment while I check with the staff.” She said.

“Thank you.” Beth smiled.

Instead of returning to her desk, the registration clerk opened the big double doors and asked her to follow her back to the room.

Stopping outside of the obvious door, there was medical staff everywhere. Coming and going from the room, each of them with a job to do. She asked one of the passing nurses who the doctor in charge was. She needed to get as much information on Priscilla’s condition as she could. Both for her reports and for the two people waiting patiently outside.

Dr. Randall Lyons walked out of the room and greeted Beth. “Hi, nice to meet you Detective. This woman was lucky to survive this. She has a couple extremely serious injuries.”

“Nice to meet you too, Dr. Lyons. How is she holding up now?” She asked him.

“She is stable right now. I think her prognosis at this point looks much better than it did upon her arrival. She was severely dehydrated and she had lost a lot of blood. There was a large laceration on her upper thigh as well as a puncture wound in her side.” He paused as Beth was writing frantically. “Once we had her cleaned up and irrigated the wounds, we were able to close both of them up. The combination of adding fluids and blood have helped her tremendously. Her stats are all fairly level and she looks better. I’ll say that she will be here for a couple days at least.”

“Thank you for the update. I am so thankful that she survived this.” Beth said. It felt as if a weight had lifted off of her shoulders.

“Is there any way that I can see her? I have to try and ask her a few questions.” She asked.

“Yes, but please, if possible, be brief. She’s been through a lot and the best thing for her is rest.” Dr. Lyons told her.

“I won’t take up much of her time.” She agreed.

Using her hand to push back the curtain that enclosed the room, Beth smiled at the woman lying in the bed before her. She could still use a shower, but she was cleaned up and had some color back to her skin. The weariness wore on her expression though and her eyes were still distant.

“Detective Tony.” She whispered.

“Hush, don’t try to speak. I’ve got some questions to ask you if you feel up to it, but I will ask them in a yes or no fashion.” She told her. “Do you remember who took you out of your car?”

Shaking her head, she replied with a no. “Did you ever see who had taken you from your car?” She shook her head yes and then no. Beth was confused.

“I could see his shadow figure. He was the man from Adam’s parties. Watching me.” She managed to get out. It was then that realization dawned on her. “Adam.” She tried to call for him.

“I’ll get Adam when the nurses let them come back. They are in the waiting room right now. Both he and Nina have been worried sick about you. Close your eyes and try to rest. They’ll be back before you know it.” Beth assured her.

As Priscilla closed her eyes, Beth started to write in her tablet. She had only recently gotten used to using it instead of a notebook. It was more of a chore for her honestly. The time it took to unlock the screen or power it on, she could already have half of a page written in her notebook. As she was typing out her questions and answers, she looked at the woman now sleeping in the bed. “How do people get past something like this?” She wondered to herself. This woman had endured so much in such a short period of time. She had lost coworkers and friends, she almost lost her own life. No amount of life skills would prepare anyone to have the capabilities to deal with this.

She had to hurry so she could get out to the waiting room and see about Adam and Nina being able to come back. The activity had slowed down and she was comfortable and resting. Beth didn’t see any reason why the two could be here with her. Obviously she had been alone for long enough. “You aren’t a doctor or a nurse, what do you know?” She questioned her own sanity at times. Walking the few feet to the nurse’s station she asked the young lady there, “Would it be alright if I brought a couple people back to see Ms. Barnes? Under the circumstances I think it would do her wonders to see people she cares about.”

“Let me check with the charge nurse, Detective.” She said politely.

While she waited for the girl to return, she stood looking into the room. Her thoughts playing over the events of the last couple of months. From the moment they had received the call about the first homicide until this very moment. She had always questioned something about this case. There were her instincts telling her that somehow someone who was involved with law enforcement was also involved in the crimes. She should have followed those instincts and started to look at other avenues sooner than she did. It made her question her own ability as a detective. Every case would have those questions to some degree, but this time it was different. It was burning her up trying to find something she could have changed. Would it have made a difference for at least three of the girls involved? Unfortunately, she would not have been able to help Zena Wilkins, the others might have had a different outcome if she had put more thought into it.

“Her nurse said that it would be fine if they came back. No more than two at a time, not counting yourself Detective.” She smiled at Beth.

“Thank you.” Beth returned. She walked away shaking her head. These people that were perpetually happy and always smiling in the face of adversity made her ill in a way. Although it would be nice to be able to live life that way, it wasn’t in her job description. She had become jaded to many things. Happiness at every corner didn’t exist in Beth Tony’s world.

Opening the double doors that divided the waiting room from the treatment area but not allowing them to close, she called for Adam and Nina. The pair almost jumped from their seats at the mention of their names. When they had crossed through and the doors closed behind them, the clean antiseptic smell of the hospital shrouded their nostrils. It was an odor that was instantaneously recognizable. Every hospital had the same odor.

“She’s doing much better than when she arrived. Still, she is banged up and has some pretty serious injuries. Before I left she had fallen asleep and the doctor is right, the best thing for her body now, is rest.” Beth told them.

Nina’s eyes again began to glaze over with tears. “These are happy tears.” She cried. Adam smiled at her only to hide the tears forming in his own eyes.

Beth took them to her room and opened the curtain. She was still sleeping and for the first time since she had been found, looked peaceful. Adam immediately went to her side and gently lifted her hand. It fit perfectly inside his. Closing his fingers around it he squeezed. “I’m here Priscilla. I won’t ever leave you.” He told her.

She slowly opened her eyes and looked for the sound of his voice. When she found him, a smile spread across her face and her eyes lit up with happiness. All the while remembering that between her dad’s voice and thoughts of him, that’s what kept her going. “Hey you.” She softly whispered.

“Hey you.” He said back. “Ssshh…don’t try to talk, just rest. I’m right here. I love you so much and you can’t possibly know how happy I am to see you.”

“I might have a decent guess.” She replied, her attitude finding just the right amount of snark.

Nina was still crying in the chair when she suddenly started to laugh. “There’s my girl. That fire didn’t go out, if anything I think the sarcasm meter has gone up.”

Even Priscilla had a giggle escape from her lips but when it caused her to wince in pain everyone stopped.

“I don’t know how long I will be here.” She said. It was taking everything out of her to form even small sentences.

Beth stuck her head back in the room. “I have to run to the precinct. There’s this issue of questioning that I have to take care of. Give her my best and tell her I will be back to check in on her.”

“Det. Tony, thank you again for everything you did this morning.” Adam told her.

For what could be a sometimes thankless job, these were the moments that she lived for. To see people brought back together after horrific situations. Out of bad comes good. It was the one thing she lived by.

In the hours since he had been arrested, Mike Ward sat inside a holding cell in the county jail. He had refused to answer any questions until his attorney was present, which was his right. It would also hold Beth Tony’s tongue from coming unglued and saying something that she would regret. It had to be precisely from the book. Nothing more or nothing less. His attorney would not miss a thing when it came to saying something had been acted upon incorrectly. These were some of the worst charges you could get. She wasn’t going to screw up a second time with Ward. She was out for blood and wanted to build a case for the prosecuting attorney that would be unsinkable. She already had a confession to the Barnes portion of the case, now she had to tie the other three plus try for the unborn baby that Megan Dryer was carrying.

BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
12.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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