written by Karen
As William Talbot peeked into the hospital room, he saw Evan standing behind the nurse, trying to talk to Malorie as the nurse determinedly pumped the blood pressure cuff. He saw Malorie’s face as she gazed at Evan, her face a mix of shock and outrage at whatever he was telling her. But underneath the shock, he could see how much she cared for Evan, and it warmed William’s heart. From what he’d seen at the culinary institute, Evan cared for Malorie, as well. He was glad, because Malorie was going to need a friend to get through the next few weeks and months. She was going to need someone to watch over her. William couldn’t be everywhere; and where he couldn’t be, Evan could.
Hearing approaching footsteps, he quickly pulled his head out of the doorway and turned around in time to see the detective investigating the case walking toward him.
“Detective Chambers! What can I do for you?” he said.
“Professor. I need to have a word with you.” Underneath the pleasant tone, the detective’s voice was pure steel. “The hospital administrator said we could use this conference room.” He spun on his heel and led the way into a door at the end of the hallway.
Down the hallway from the conference room, a pair of watchful eyes had observed Detective Chambers and Professor Talbot going into the conference room. After the door closed, stealthy footsteps carried the observer down the hallway, pausing at the door to the conference room. The watcher glanced around to ensure no one was observing the furtive surveillance as the watcher pressed an ear to the door.
Once inside the room, the detective closed the door firmly.
“We’ve been in touch with Scotland Yard and Interpol,” the detective said, pinning Professor Talbot with his eyes. “It seems you have something to tell us.” The detective’s tone brooked no argument, and it was more of a statement than a question.
Professor Talbot explained to the detective the details of his undercover work. The detective listened in silence, a slight frown on his lips and his brow drawn into a crease. His brown eyes were thoughtful as he listened to Professor Talbot, a.k.a. Inspector Peele.
“So what you’re telling me is that Malorie’s life is in danger from this Celine woman.”
“Yes! Absolutely! Jack hired her to kill Malorie. Where is Celine, by the way?”
We had to let her go. She and Jack both. We didn’t have enough evidence to hold them.” The detective frowned as he relayed this information. “We also don’t have enough evidence to put a 24-hour guard on Malorie. We need to gather more information before we make an arrest.”
Both men started as a loud thunk was heard outside the door, followed by the sound of running feet. They rushed to the door and upon opening it, saw an overturned metal wastebasket and heard the ding of the elevator just around the corner. Detective Chambers drew his gun as he rushed around the corner to the elevator. He was just a second too late, as the doors were closing as he approached. He jabbed ineffectively at the button, as he yelled for security.
Unfortunately, the elevator had every button pushed on it, and it had stopped on every floor on the way down. There was no way to tell on which floor their eavesdropper had exited. The detective re-holstered his gun as he ran his fingers through his already unruly brown wavy hair, and he sighed heavily.
He turned to Professor Talbot. “We need to come up with a plan,” he stated flatly, jabbing a finger at the professor. “And since you are in the US, and in my jurisdiction, I’m taking the lead on this.”
Professor Talbot shrugged. “I’ll talk to my superiors,” he said, “but they may want to bring in the FBI.”
Detective Chambers rolled his eyes. Interagency jurisdiction is always a sticky wicket. He sighed again. “The FBI can just stay out of my way. This is my case. But that doesn’t matter now,” he said. “We need to tell Malorie her life is in danger.”
“Do you think that’s a good idea?” said Professor Talbot cautiously.
He found himself talking to the air, as Detective Chambers had already turned on his heel and was walking quickly down to Malorie’s room. Upon reaching her door, he knocked lightly on the door with the knuckles of his right hand as he turned the knob with his left, opening the door. “Miss Shawe?”
As the door swung open, Professor Talbot on his heels, Detective Chambers entered the room. He crept quietly past the roommate with the tubes and machines, and pulled back the curtain at Malorie’s bed. He inhaled sharply at what he saw. Professor Talbot felt a bolt of fear go through him.
Malorie was gone!