A Guarded Mind (9) – Flowers

01 Jul

Next Charlie went by his own apartment, emptied his bag of old clothes into the laundry tub and repacked it. After changing into an appropriate suit, he grabbed a couple extras out of his closet and took them with him to his car. He had no idea where the next few days would take him, but the Boy Scout in him would not let him go unprepared.

Once he returned to Angel’s room, he didn’t have long to wait. He’d barely settled once more in the chair beside the bed with his laptop when Davis knocked and entered before he could say anything.

She pushed his feet out of the other chair and dropped a large duffel bag in the empty space. She slid a bottle of water from one of the side pockets and drank, watching him pack up the laptop once more.

“Did you bring half her closet?” Charlie asked glancing at the overstuffed bag.

Davis grunted. “Not even half. Once I told Grace you’d asked for this, she couldn’t pack it fast enough. I think she wanted to impress you with her generosity. She has a crush on you, you know.”

Charlie shrugged it off. There was nothing he could really do about it, short of making a teenage girl feel like absolute crap. Besides, it was harmless.

“What did you bring?”

“A little bit of everything. Tops and jeans mostly. Although Grace not only thought to donate pajamas, she also gave away some of her toiletries and made me promise to buy a hairbrush and a toothbrush on the way over. I stuck them in the side pocket. If you want to make a trip down to my car, there’s a dress bag with a couple of nice outfits in there. Grace set up this girl pretty well. I hope I can go home tonight and tell her you were impressed.” Davis raised her eyebrows at him.

“Of course, very impressed and tell her I owe her one.”

“You may not want to pay her back when the time comes.”

“Why’s that?”

“She’s studying for her driver’s license.”

Charlie shuddered. Then, looking at the bag Grace had sent, he steeled himself. “If she has her permit, I’ll take her driving. Once, maybe twice, since she was so generous.”

She has her permit, and she said that if you were willing, to call this weekend.”

Charlie’s lips twisted in a small smirk. “Pretty sure of herself isn’t she?”

Davis shrugged. “Runs in the family. Now, catch me up.”

This he could do quickly, even though it seemed like a lot had happened in less than 24 hours, she’d been his partner for almost five years and he knew what she needed and wanted to hear: “Just the facts, Ma’am.” She would ask questions to clarify one point or another, but she had always maintained she could read his reports just like their supervisors. Besides, she said, he needed someone to proof his work. Grammar was not one of his talents.

So he caught her up and sent her to locate where they’d put the Professor’s guys and find out what Marshall may have gotten from them.

Just after she left, there was a soft knock on the door. Charlie briefly thought for a girl without memory Angel’s room seemed very popular. A teenage girl with long blond braid down her back slowly backed in. She let the door click softly before she turned. The flower arrangement was large enough to hide the girl completely from Charlie’s view. She had, however, done this before and walked without hesitation to the open table pushed against the wall across from the bed. She carefully set it down and turned to leave, pausing when she saw Charlie.

“Oh, sorry. Visiting hours haven’t started yet, I didn’t know anyone was here.” Her voice was soft and shy. Her blue eyes were wide with surprise.

“Didn’t mean to scare you. Where did those come from?” Charlie eyed the badge hanging from her neck. “Volunteer” was in all caps and red letters at the top. Beneath was a picture of the girl and her name, Samantha.

“We take deliveries downstairs. I put them on a cart and deliver them.” She shrugged. “But there’s a card.” She pointed to the vivid white square amid the bright oranges and blues of the petals.

Charlie stepped around the chair and pulled the envelope from its plastic holder. He barely registered Samantha leaving the room.

On the outside of the envelope was just the number of the room, 213. Pulling out the card, he read, “MY ANGEL” in careful block letters. He flipped over the card and found the name of the florist.

So someone knew her, knew she was in this hospital and what room she was in. How could that someone know that? Was this good or bad? Either way, it was a lead. Charlie tossed the duffel bag and his laptop in the cabinet, locked it and pocketed the key. His glance lingered on the sleeping girl before he left to follow that lead.

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in A Guarded Mind


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