Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chapter Sixty-Three

Sunday Morning

It was almost 2:00 AM, but Pete was still awake. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the knife. Despite the fact that his apartment was being watched by two armed officers, he was still anxious. Maybe it was the combination of everything his family had gone through since Thursday. He opened a text book and tried to study but he found himself reading the same paragraph again and again.

He picked up the phone on the first ring. "Hello?" It was his father.

"Did I wake you?"

"No. I was awake. How's Mom?"

"Her long term memory has come back but she's still confused about recent events. That's why I didn't call you earlier. The doctor was here asking her questions and then he tried to explain to me what he thought was going on. I'll admit, most of the time it was like he was talking in another language. Anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia. I'm totally confused. Your mom is resting now. Anyway. How are you doing?"

"I'm okay. Just a little jittery. The police are watching my apartment but they're pretty sure whoever it was is miles away by now."

Harold debated whether he should tell his son he had been face to face with the man who had probably killed Petulengro and Doggett and who knows how many others, but Pete had already put it together.

"I know this is all connected, but I just don't know how. Why did the guy want you to bring Mom down here? "

"I talked to Jerry Benson after the doctor left tonight. He told me the police think the man was Carl Stone. He works for Senator Jaffe. They think Stone killed the woman in the tattoo parlor - the one your mother found. And they think he is worried that she may have seen him there and he wants to be sure she doesn't tell anyone."

Pete could hear the catch in his father's voice. It would have been torture for him realize that someone was planning to kill his wife. After a moment, his father continued. "Stone was spotted here at the hospital earlier today. He ran when he realized he'd been recognized. The police figure that he concluded it was going to be impossible to get to your mom here so he came up with the idea to lure her down there."

Now it was Pete's turn to be overwhelmed. "He was right here. Why did he run away?"

"Jerry figures when he saw Jaffe on the news being taken away in handcuffs he ignored everything but getting back here and saving his boss. The man's a psychopath, Pete. He's irrational. His actions aren't going to make sense."

"You're beginning to sound like a tv profiler, Pop. They haven't taken away the guard at Mom's door, have they?"

"No. In fact they have added one in the lobby and another at the nurses' station up the hall. Plus Mosby Ellis, a friend of the woman your mom found, is still downstairs. He's the one who spotted Stone this afternoon and he's determined to make sure the man who killed his friend behind bars."

"Well, I spent almost two hours looking at him. I'll be seeing his face in my sleep - if I ever sleep. I'm coming up there."

As much as Harold wanted his son to be with him, he knew he was safer there. "No, Pete. Absolutely not. You stay there. I have enough to worry about with your mom."

"What is it you're not telling me, Pop?"

"The doctor thinks that - he could be wrong - but he thinks your mom actually saw Stone stab that woman. He thinks that's the event your mom is blocking out." Harold realized he still hadn't told Pete that his mother had been abducted and almost killed in a car crash. He figured he had enough to worry about. "Just try to get some sleep, Pete. That's what I'm going to do. I'll call you when I know more, okay?"

"Okay, Pop. But just don't keep stuff from me. I'm not a kid anymore."

"Deal. I love you, Son."

"I love you too, Pop."

Harold stood over his wife's bed for a few minutes watching her sleep. She seemed so peaceful. He took off his shoes and crawled in next to her. Within minutes he was sound asleep.



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