Monday, November 19, 2007

Chapter Fifty-Five

The nurse had summoned the doctor who arrived in less than thirty minutes. Fanny’s condition had not changed. She hadn’t spoken a word since reading the email from Abby. After examining her briefly the doctor suggested to Harold that he wait in the hallway. “It will just be for a few minutes. I want to keep the surroundings as calm as possible until her brain has an opportunity to process whatever brought the shock on.”

When Harold protested, the doctor was adamant. “I understand your reluctance, Harold, but it will be better for your wife if we let her deal with this without any added strain. You can wait just outside the door.

Harold was pacing up and down the hallway Jerry Benson rushed up to let him know that he’d just heard from his friend at the Charlottesville Police Department. “Pete is safe. The police arrived to find him sitting just outside his front door tied to a kitchen chair.”

“What happened?”

“Apparently Stone showed up at Pete’s apartment about two hours ago. I guess it was Stone. Pete said the guy didn’t identify himself. The intruder placed a call to your home number and left a message instructing you to bring Fanny to Pete’s apartment in Charlottesville – or else.”

“How did Pete escape?”

“He didn’t. He told the police the guy just went nuts when he saw the news story about Senator Jaffe being arrested and ran out of the apartment like his hair was on fire. My guess is it was definitely Stone and when he learned that his boss had been taken into custody he raced off to bust him out of jail.”

“Jaffe was arrested?”

“Of course. You wouldn’t have heard about it. You remember how Jacoby said he was crashing a fundraiser for the Senator this evening? Well ‘crash’ was the operative word. Jaffe got upset and took a couple of swings at Jacoby. The Senator was arrested for assaulting an officer. Stone must have totally freaked when he saw the Senator being hauled away in handcuffs.”

“What do you think Stone is going to do next?”

Benson smiled. “Whatever it is, you don’t have to worry about Pete. His apartment will be watched by Charlottesville’s finest around the clock.”

Harold just shook his head. “I just don’t understand it, Jerry. How did my family sucked into this nightmare?”

“Hopefully it will be over soon. How’s Fanny doing?”

“She’s had a setback. It’s my fault. I let her check her email and there was a disturbing message from a woman she sponsors. It upset her. The doctor is in with her now.”

The stress caught up with Harold all of a sudden and he began to weep. Jerry put an arm around his shoulder and walked him up the hall, away from the guards. “Any man would crack under what you’ve been through the last couple of days. Come on. Let’s go outside for a few minutes. You need some air. You wait here. I’ll let the guards know where we’re going in case there is any change.”

Harold allowed Jerry to walk him to the elevator and watched as he pressed the button for the lobby. When the elevator doors opened, Mosby Ellis greeted them. “I’ve been watching the news. It doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to hold Jaffe. A pack of attorneys has descended on the Fifth District Police Station. Jacoby will be lucky if he doesn’t end up behind bars himself.”

“Don’t underestimate our friend Detective Jacoby. He’ll figure something out. Harold and I are going to grab a coffee. Why don’t you join us?”

“What about Stone?”

“He’s somewhere north of Charlottesville and I doubt very much if he’s going to be showing up here tonight. Come on. You look like you could use a cup of coffee. I know I can.”



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