This is my response to the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. This is a piece from my WIP titled Weathered. You can find links to all the parts here. This picks up shortly after Louis. Enjoy!
Her eyes opened slowly, glanced over the barren walls, and soaked in the monitor above her, its green lines jumping in rhythm with her heart. Her fingers caressed the soft velvet of the tan blanket draped over her, stopping over the wires attached to the pads on her chest. Her tongue darted out, moistening her dry lips.
“Louis?” She challenged her throat to speak.
“No, but I’ve heard his name enough in the last two weeks that I feel like I know him.” The crisp white jacket was sharply contrasted by a cap of dark curls. A handsome face that matched the gentle voice was revealed when he turned. His brown eyes peeked up from the clipboard he held. “It’s nice to have you back with us, Ms. Weathers. You gave us quite a scare.”
“Louis?” a whisper of wind exhaled between her lips.
“No, it’s not. Save your strength. You are going to need it to get better and go home.” Gentle hands patted her shoulders, captured her wrist, and held it firm for a minute before releasing it. “I’ll have a nurse bring you some water. Call if you need anything.”
The doctor’s absence was filled by the bright sky beyond the picture window of her room. An occasional white puff of cloud broke up the turquoise monotony. Her eyes settled on the lone cicada that clung to her window as if it were a guardian angel watching over her. She breathed in deeply, taking in whiffs of the linen mixed with alcohol scent that overpowered the Angel Trumpets spread generously around her room. Louis hovered on the edge of her memories, but she could no longer see his face.
“Look, she’s just waking up. I might be cruel, but I’m not heartless. If she’s dead, it’s not going to help us.” Bill’s fingers played with a strip of tattered lace in his pocket. He was supposed to lay it on the nightstand next to Blair’s bed in an attempt to scare her further. “You need to concentrate on finding that key, and trust me to know when the time is right to leave the lace.” His voice ceased booming through the closed and nearly empty cafeteria. It was so quiet that the muffled voice of the person on the other end of the phone call could be heard. A figure hovered in a shadowed corner listening.
“Look, the patents are coming through. She is going to have to get out of the bed eventually and go down to the city offices and file them so she can get the final word on the gallery opening. There is still plenty of time. You have just got to trust me. I’ve got more at stake here than you do. My whole career is on the line!”
Bill wore a new path in the carpet as he paced. He regretted everything he was doing but he was too deep in to stop it now. He could try to stall it, but he knew eventually it would have to be done. As long as he remained involved, he could try to protect Blair as much as he could. His ex-wife was right. He was never going to redeem himself.
The buzz continued droning through the air. Bill stood in front of the French doors that separated the dining area from a luscious courtyard. Bill was silent for so long, his voice startled the dust bunnies dancing in the sun’s rays.
“I promise you, no matter how long it takes, Blair will be ruined before this is over. Can’t you satisfy yourself with that? I told you I would help you, and I will. If my leaving this ancient piece of lace on her nightstand will make you happy, I will do it. I’m at the hospital now. If it kills her, it’s on you. Just realize that. I will deny any dealings with you. Are we clear?” A slight pause before his ear was free of his phone. He looked at the lace in his hands briefly before returning it to his pocket. He took the nearest elevator to Blair’s room. The figure moved from its place and followed.
Several hours later, Bill left the hospital. A figure arose from the waiting room and retraced Bill’s steps to Blair’s room. His silver eyes searched the room. They found the strip of lace, laid haphazardly on her nightstand, between her hand and a sweating glass of water. He reached out and swiped it to his pocket. He didn’t know what it meant; only that it was supposed to hurt Blair. He also knew Blair would never willingly believe him if he told her that Bill had betrayed her.
Blair’s eyelashes fluttered beside him. Her eyes opened slowly. Her lips puckered, curled, and she startled as she reached for the glass of water.
“Lou—Anthony?” She gasped. “What are you doing here?”
This week I was challenged by Kelly Garriot Waite. She challenged me with a book, the jist of which I got was to write about getting found out, including two of the following: a tattered piece of lace, a cicada, a sweating glass of water and an explanation about how you got that hole in the pocket of your button down shirt. I challenged Heather O. with “It was like a page from a story book…”
Come join the Indie Ink Challenge. You know you want to!