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Authors: Sherrie Weynand

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BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
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There were so many litigating circumstances tied to this case. With the Federal agents that had been involved, they were more than likely going to try and file federal charges as well. Since those charges would supersede the state charges, Beth was in all actuality building a case for both entities. It didn’t matter who claimed the judicial victory on this, the only thing that mattered was that he was put behind bars for the rest of his life.

When Priscilla fell asleep, her nurse came in and asked if Nina and Adam would mind waiting in the lobby. She needed to sleep and if they were there, she might fight it to stay awake with them. Understanding but not liking the fact that she was right, Adam and Nina went back to the waiting room.

“I’m going to get something to eat. Want to come with me? We can be back here shortly.” He asked her. Not only did he want to get something to eat, he wanted a cigarette and you couldn’t smoke anywhere on the medical campus.

“Yeah, I’m a little hungry actually. I feel better now than I have since this began. Maybe this will be the beginning of everyone’s new normal?” She said.

“When she is ready to be discharged I’m going to ask her again about coming to stay out at the house.” Adam told her.

“Remember, don’t push her too hard about it. She’s going to have some decisions that she needs to make and I can tell you, she isn’t the type that is going to be rushed about it.” Nina reminded him.

“I know you are right. I just don’t want to see her there alone.” He told her. The thought of her ever having to be alone again turned his stomach. He had to leave her once and almost lost her. It would have destroyed him beyond repair.

As much as he didn’t like it, they had decided on grabbing fast food, just so it was…well fast. Nothing was very good, but it gave them some time to gather their thoughts now that they knew Priscilla was going to be okay.

“You know, I think you two are good for each other. Each of you bring out traits in the other that make you better people. I’ve noticed it in you when you speak of her and I noticed it in her since she’s met you. Life isn’t always easy and bad things happen. It’s how the two of you choose to work through anything that defines who you are as people.” Nina continued, “No matter what it throws at you, I think the two of you will eventually handle it. Overcoming adversity will only make the two of you stronger.”

“Let’s hope that after this we won’t have any more adversity.” He smiled at her. It crossed his mind that since the minute she had been missing he hadn’t stopped thinking of her. Priscilla Barnes was meant to be in his life.

His phone startled him when it rang, he must have hit the volume button in his pocket. “Linston.” He answered.

“Mr. Linston, this is Marcy, I am Ms. Barnes nurse this evening. I have a situation here and was wondering if you could possibly come help if you were still here in the hospital.” She said.

“I’ll be right there.” He replied as he hung up the phone.

 

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

It only took a minute to go the couple blocks back to the hospital. The fear once again instantly taking hold. “That was her nurse, some problem there. I don’t know what she was talking about.” Adam told her.

He parked the car and they both ran across the lot to the automatic sliding doors. “Those things were never very quick when you were in a hurry.” He thought to himself.

At the registration desk he asked to be allowed in the back with Priscilla. The lady began to tell him that she would have to see.

“Look, I don’t know what’s going on, but a Marcy, who happens to be her nurse just called me and asked me to come back here.” He was getting frustrated.

“One moment, let me check with Marcy.” She said as if she didn’t believe him.

The doors swung open on their own and it only took them three steps forward to understand immediately what the problem was. From the area just beyond Priscilla’s temporary room came a voice that he had grown to despise in an extremely short time period.

“Mrs. Barnes, what the hell are you doing here?” Adam demanded.

“Me? What am I doing here, I am her mother, and perhaps you should figure out why exactly you are here, Mr. Linston.” She retorted. Nancy Barnes was pissed. No one had bothered to call her and let her know that her beloved daughter had been rescued.

“I’m here because my friend is lying in a bed recovering from the most traumatic thing a person can go through. That is why I am here. Which brings me back to my original question. What are you doing here?” He said.

“Why wasn’t I notified immediately when she was located? I am her mother.” She snapped.

“Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that you didn’t care what happened to her when the first boy broke her heart? Do you think that it had anything to do with the fact that you didn’t care what happened to her when she was hit by the car when she was a child? Do you, Mrs. Barnes, think it had anything to do with the fact that you have had absolutely nothing to do with her since she was fucking born?” Adam was now as loud as she was and he didn’t care.

“How dare you. I am still her mother and I am here now. The rest doesn’t matter.” She snapped back at him.

“I suggest you go. Before the police are…” Nina interrupted him before he could finish his sentence.

“The rest doesn’t matter?” Nina said.

“No, it does not.” Nancy said flatly.

“Yeah, neither does this you bitch. I have had enough of your shit.” Without saying anything else, Nina punched the other woman in the mouth. “Now, go call your police, go cry to your friends or whomever you cry to, but whatever you do, do not…I repeat, do not disrespect that woman in that bed. Do you fucking understand me?” Nina yelled at her.

Adam made a move to grab Nina before she hit the woman again. He had all he could do to contain his laugh. The other woman looked shocked and dumbfounded. Nina was as classy as they came, sometimes it was easy to forget that she had grown up in the streets. Today was not that case. If she could have gotten hold of that woman it would have been over. The anger coming from Nina so far from being in check that she would have torn her apart.

Priscilla had managed to sleep throughout the entire ordeal and it was for the best. She had no idea that her mother was here and they weren’t sure how she would react. When she started to stir in the bed, Adam went to check on her. Before going into her room, he looked at Nancy and told her through clenched teeth to keep her mouth shut for a minute. He left Nina standing next to her which ensured that Nancy would say nothing.

“Hi sweetheart. Did you have a good rest?” He asked her.

She smiled at him but didn’t respond verbally.

“Priscilla, we need to talk. I know this isn’t the time for any deep discussions, but this one needs to be had immediately.” He spoke to her softly.

She looked at him with concern in her eyes.

“While you were missing, we had someone show up at the club looking for you. This person hasn’t made it very easy to be friendly with her and Nina has already had it out with her.” He paused for a long moment. “Priscilla, your mother is here.”

Priscilla felt as if she were back in the hole in the woods. She couldn’t move, she was terrified, she showed pain, and then she started to cry. “Please, no. Not right now.”

“I will tell her. That’s all I wanted to hear. You might have to tell that to a police officer or at the very least a doctor or nurse.” He told her.

She shook her head yes and closed her eyes.

The images that filled her head were not pleasant. Her mother hated her, always had. From the hurtful insults about not being good enough, to the comments that she would never amount to anything. There was plenty in between those, but filling in the blanks now was pointless. They were etched into her mind every day of her life. For as long as she could remember, as young as three, four years old, she had lived with the fact that her own mother hated her and wished that she had never been born. It could have had a lot to do with her esteem issues during high school and some of the choices she had made even later in life, although those she had learned to accept responsibility for. Why was this woman here, and what did she want? She in no way felt like dealing with any of this right now.

“Mrs. Barnes, Priscilla does not wish to see you right now. This isn’t the time or place to do this. You do realize that your daughter is lucky to be alive?” Adam said to her.

Raising her voice in true Nancy Barnes fashion, she started yet again. “What do you mean she does not wish to see me? I am her mother and I’m here for her after the worst possible few days of her life.”

Dr. Lyons approached the group of three and told them that if they did not quiet down or take it outside, they would all have to leave.

“Well Dr. Lyons, as her parent, I’m not going anywhere until I see here, is that understood?” She sneered at the doctor.

“Mrs. Barnes that might have worked twelve or thirteen years ago, but your daughter is an adult. She does not have to see you if she chooses not to. Now if you will excuse me, I have patients to attend. Security will be happy to escort you out if you cannot control yourself in a decent manner. Is that understood?” He shot back at her, using her own words.

“Well I never.” She said.

“That is the problem in its entirety.” Adam said.

Rolling her eyes in disgust, Nancy opened her mouth to retort. When the security officer stepped around the corner she opted to keep quiet. She looked at both Nina and Adam, “This is far from over.” She walked out the door. They knew that it would not be the last time they had a run in with her.

Nina shook her head, “I shouldn’t have hit her. Two grown women do not need to be fighting in the hospital. Her mouth is enough to make me lose my mind, I swear she is insane.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much. She deserved it. I won’t hit a woman, well not like that, but if I did, I would choose that one.” He admitted.

“Now, let’s go check on Priscilla and tell her that she’s gone for right now.” Adam said to her.

Priscilla was awake and had the bed raised to a half sitting position. It was good to see her up a little. He knew that she couldn’t sit up much straighter right now because of the stitches and staples they had closed her side up with. The self-controlled morphine pump helped keep her at ease with her pain level and other than having to deal with her mother, she seemed to be hanging in.

“I’m sorry about that.” He told her.

“It’s okay,” Came the soft whisper, “Why is she here? Did you call her?”

“Oh no, she showed up out of the blue the morning after you were missing. I guess she had your old address and the landlord told her where you worked.” Nina explained to her.

“Great, so now she knows that I’m a stripper.” She said, a slight infliction of emotional pain in her quiet voice.

“You know what, screw her. It’s your life and you were doing what you had to do in order to pay your bills and keep a roof over your head. It’s called being a grown up.” Nina replied. “It’s not illegal and most people don’t think it’s immoral. Look at it this way, people will put down entertainers, but not the men that frequent those establishments. It’s a double standard of grand proportions.”

Priscilla smiled at her friend and was thankful that she had her on her side. Megan had been right, she would take care of you the best she could, she would give you every chance in the world and she would defend you until your last breath.

“I forgot to tell you that they will be moving you to a private room upstairs as soon as one is available.” Adam told her. “I was going to say something earlier, but yeah, she was here.”

“Good, maybe those beds will be a little more comfortable for you.” Nina said.

Again, Priscilla smiled. When it came to friends she knew that she had the people in her life that needed to be there. She knew that in the very near future she was going to have to have it out with her mother. There wasn’t anything she had to say that would change their relationship, regardless of what Nancy wanted. If it had been a few years ago, she might have considered it, but she had grown up a lot and knew that she was doing just fine without someone who would only cause her pain.

They sat together quietly until Priscilla fell asleep. The medication was doing a good job of allowing her to rest. He didn’t know how peaceful it was, but at least she was getting some sleep.

While she was sleeping a nurse from the floor above them came in to move her. She managed to move the IV pump for the fluids, blood and medication without disturbing her. When she unlocked the brake to move the bed it startled Priscilla and she awoke with a blood curdling scream. Adam jumped up to calm her as her nurse ran into the room.

“Baby, it’s okay. It was a nightmare. That is all. I’m here.” He tried to comfort her. It took several minutes for her to understand that she was in no danger. “They are going to move your bed and get you settled into your room upstairs.”

“Please don’t go.” She cried.

Pushing her hair off of her cheek, he leaned down to kiss her tenderly. “I’m not going anywhere. Hold my hand and never let it go. When you get scared, think of me and feel your hand in mine.” He told her softly.

Nina was smiling at the scene unfolding in front of her, it was good to see people find a love like this. It didn’t happen often.

Once Priscilla was calmed down and awake, the nurse came back to move her upstairs. This time, the brake and the movement didn’t scare her. They entered the elevator with the nurse and Priscilla.

“When we get her in the room, I will give you a few minutes to let her feel comfortable, but then we are going to have to take some time to get her registered as inpatient, check her vitals and get her situated. It will probably be a couple hours or more. If you wanted to go home and eat or what not, now would be a good time to do that.” The nurse told them.

“Can they come back later after that?” Priscilla asked her.

“Visiting hours are over at nine, but I am sure they would allow one person to come sit with you overnight.” She responded.

“Adam, you could take me home and then come back to sit with her if you like. I’m tired and need to rest. I’ll be able to sleep tonight knowing this ordeal is over with.” Nina offered.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” He said truthfully.

“That’s settled then. It wasn’t a difficult task.” Nina replied with a smile.

“You’ll have to make sure that you check in with security before coming up here to the floor. They are pretty adamant on that.” The nurse told Adam.

“That’s fine and it’s perfectly understandable.” He answered.

“Okay, here we are. There won’t be room for all of us in there when I take the gurney in there so we can get her moved into her own bed. If you want to take a minute and say your good byes, I’ll be right back.” The nurse said.

As the nurse walked away, Nina went to talk to Priscilla. “Ms. Pris, you are amazing. Pulling through this shows your true strength. I love you and I am proud to consider you my daughter.” Nina leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.

“Thank you Nina, for everything.” Priscilla told her.

“Rest.” She said.

The tears were welling up in her eyes as she started to speak, “Adam.” Was all she said as she reached for his hand.

“Remember, never let go, I’m always here with you.” He told her. “I love you, Priscilla.”

In a tiny, quiet voice, she responded, “I love you too. Completely.”

Bending down to kiss her forehead, he held his lips to her skin. “I’ll be back shortly. Let them do what they have to do and try to sleep.” He told her.

His heart was as full as it had ever been. He knew that above anything else, she meant those words. It was the source of their argument prior to her disappearance and it had eaten him alive. As he turned to walk back to the elevator with Nina, all he could of was getting back here after they were done.

In the parking lot before they got into the car, Nina looked at him and said, “Well, this is going to get interesting.”

“What do you mean?” He asked her quizzically.

“You really don’t think that Nancy Barnes is simply going to get on a plane and fly back to wherever her ass came from, do you?” Nina asked him.

BOOK: Dancing In Darkness
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