I lay as still as possible. The love of my life leans over my bed. Exhaustion threatened to devour my aching muscles when I arrived home. I told myself I could take a few minutes to rest my eyes. I must have fallen asleep because if Davis was here that meant it was after nine o’clock.
Everything had gone wrong today at work. A four alarm fire had broken out in the downtown area earlier today causing quite the stir in the emergency rooms. The police arrived. The media with their cameras. Shoving them in my face and asking for a comment. One of the doctor’s misplaced really important paperwork and thought it was the intern’s job to find it. That would be me. Clean up on aisle three anyone? Someone didn’t make it the the toilet. Also me. And one of my co-workers didn’t show so I had to work a double shift.
This working-long-hours-barely-sleeping-hardly-seeing-my-fiance thing wasn’t much fun. But I told myself only a few more months. By the end of the year, Davis would graduate from medical school and he would be completing his residency. I could quite my job with the medical administration and focus on planning our wedding.
“Hi sleepyhead,” he smiled, leaning closer as he slid his hand gently under my crooked arm to nudge me awake. “Rough day?”
“Yeah,” I yawned and turned my face.
This was my favorite time of day… the time of day when my man was off work and would come home and kiss me. He smelled of spearmint and strong soap… like he showered in the hospital locker rooms before returning home. No more work. No more craziness. Just the two of us. Except for those annoying bells ringing.
“Wanna order takeout?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m sorry. I intended to cook dinner tonight.”
“No worries, Kass,” he kissed my forehead. “I know you’re tired. Sushi?”
“From the Takaharan Market? You read my mind,” I exclaimed.
I tucked my arms around his neck, tugging him toward myself. He stopped a few inches from my face, his eyes shining bright with emotion. I knew he loved me as I loved him. He was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I couldn’t wait to be Mrs. Davis Lamar.
Our lips were about to meet when a strange shuffling noise interrupted our focus. I looked around Davis to see what had caused the disruption…
“I’ll call Hoshi,” Davis cleared his throat and stood up.
The phone kept dinging as he spoke. “Seems like Hoshi is calling…” my eyes rolled back into my head. “…usssss.”
Kass opened her mouth to scream, but she couldn’t. The sound stuck in her throat like molasses. Her boyfriend’s face morphed into the face of a killer… one who had tucked her hair gently over her ear and stated that he wished she didn’t have to die. One who said things so casually like bad people should burn in the same breath as a killer bright white smile. A killer. He was a killer. And he had almost killed her. The smile was so bright. The lights hurt her eyes. She squeezed them shut and willed away yesterday’s nightmare.
Sunday, July 22, 2415 | Sunset Valley, Valverde
Kass stirred from her sleeping position, her eyes refusing to open. Where am I? Wow! That was an intensely real feeling dream. I wonder what time it is. I can’t believe I was dreaming about being engaged to my ex… Davis!!
“Davis!” she said, the words shooting from her mouth like lightning as she processed the shock. “Wha… wha…what are you doing here?”
“I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I didn’t meant to disturb you. I just came by to check on you… and uh…” he turned around to face her, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. “Hi.”
“Hhh…hi,” she stammered. “I… uh…”
“It’s okay, if you don’t want company,” Davis thumbed over his shoulder and turned to leave.
Kass gasped as she sat up hard, immediately regretting it. The sudden movement aggravated her side. Burning pain shot from her hip to her shoulder. She sucked air through her teeth.
“I… I… was… Hank… God…gawd! What hhuh…huh…happened… to me?” Kass cried. “I was in… the… elevator… and he…he’s… the murderer. He killed Madison and Jennifer!” she shrieked.
“Easy,” Davis returned to her side and helped her lie back against the pillow.
She reached up and clasped his wrist. “I have to… I have to…” her throat felt as though it was on fire. “I have to tell someone…” she rasped. “He tried to kill me. I can’t…” she tried to climb out of the hospital bed. “…stay here… I have to tell… someone.”
“Hank Goddard is behind bars,” Davis reassured, straightening to his full height. “They caught him, Kass. They caught everything. He was stupid enough to leave the cameras on while you were in the elevator together. It’s over.”
She sat in stunned silence, a hurricane of emotions flooding her veins. Anger. Disgust. Fear. Relief. Grief. She wasn’t sure how to process, the tears exploding from her eyelids.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Davis returned to the chair, his face softening. “It’s okay. You’re safe now. It’s over.”
“He’s…” Kass took a quivering breath as she lifted her finger. “….really been arrested?”
“Yes,” Davis replied. “I can let the detectives explain it to you,” he started to stand. “They’re right outside the door. They’ve been wanting to talk to you,” he quickly returned to his seat. “Oh… but I could get the doctor first.”
“Sorry?” she frowned. “For what?”
“Sorry that I just ghosted you. I left you all alone at your grandparents. I should have believed you when you said nothing happened. I was just so hurt… and confused… and seeing you in bed with Gage…” he paused, his lower lip wobbling. “…brought back horrible memories of my wife and that she… cheated on me.”
Kass winced. She had a feeling something like he described happened, but she didn’t really have the brain cells to process all he wanted to discuss. Her mind was swirling with thoughts. She almost died. She could feel the heat searing into her side. She could hear the sound of the flames taunting her from within her dark prison. She could still taste the smoke in her teeth. Hank Goddard tried to kill her all because he wanted the ring back, a ring that he intended to give his girlfriend or return to someone in the… mafia. She choked on the word. A ring that had somehow ended up in the possession of Clark’s sister and then Clark and then… me.
Kass flushed angrily, throwing her hands in the air. “Davis! Do you think I care about that right now?”
“No… no… no…” his eyes widened. “I… um… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t bring this up now. I’m an idiot.”
“I… have…a splitting headache,” Kass managed, hoping she didn’t look like a deer in the headlights. “I… can you get me… something… for the pain?” her jaw slackened as the mere inch she slid on the bed sent tingling pain up her spine. “And my mamma? Is… she…here?”
“Yes,” Davis replied quietly. “She went to the cafeteria to get some sandwiches. I’m sorry, Kass. You’re right. We can talk later.”
“Yes…” Kass squeaked as she collapsed against the pillow. “Later,” her eyes closed, a small reprieve against the anguish, knowing full well the words were a lie.
Davis was right. He ghosted her. He didn’t return her calls. She nearly had to die for him to show up again. The wound was too fresh. She gulped, trying to squeeze away the infinite sadness settling into her heart, falling right into the bottomless pit of near darkness that had almost swallowed her whole.
When she opened her eyes again, Dr. Bachelor was perched on the edge of a teal counter on the other side of the room.
“How are you feeling?”
Kass grimaced. “Like I fell ten stories… or ten tons of bricks fell on me. I’m not sure which sounds worse…” she tilted her head. “Or better.”
“Good, your sense of humor is still in tact,” Dr. Bachelor smiled. “You had quite the ordeal.”
“Understatement of the century,” Kass hugged her side, nursing her injured ribs. “I’d rather not talk about it.”
“I’m not a therapist, Kass, but you will need to talk about this, and when you do, reach out to me. I’ll put you in touch with someone who can help you process,” Dr. Bachelor said. “…everything.”
“No… I… uh…um… I’m fine,” Kass sighed.
“What’s the verdict?”
“Well, you finally woke up. You’ve been asleep for almost thirty hours,” Dr. Bachelor exhaled sharply.
“Thirty hours!” Kass exclaimed. “What… time is it?”
“Nine-twelve on Monday morning.”
“I was asleep? Was I in a… a…”
“It wasn’t a coma,” Dr. Bachelor stated. “I’m convinced you were just exhausted. But you do have a concussion, thirteen bruised ribs, a torn ligament in your right shoulder, and some cuts on your face. Your hair was also burned. I’m sorry…” she dropped her head. “We had to cut it.”
“Wait… bruised… not broken?” Kass exclaimed, and then groaned, motioning for her throat.
Dr. Bachelor walked to the sink to fill a glass of water. “Your throat will be sore for awhile. I am sending you home with throat lozenges and some prescription pain medication.”
“I… uh…” Kass croaked, and for the first time felt the pain shooting down her throat. “I… didn’t break… any…” she frantically patted down her sides. “But I thought… it felt like I… what?”
Dr. Bachelor shook her head. “Not a single one,” she breathed. “It’s a miracle, really, Kass. Nothing short of a miracle,” she handed Kass the glass of water. “I’ve never… seen…” she paused, her brow furrowing. “…anything like it. It’s extraordinary… and that’s why I must tell you…”
A knock on the door interrupted their conversation. Kass blinked rapidly at the sight of Clark Sauer in full police uniform. The sight was shocking. Her heart began beating wildly. She turned her head, gripping her chest and trying her hardest not to wheeze.
“Excuse me, Dr. Bachelor, but we really do need to talk to her,” he said, smiling apologetically in Kass’ direction.
“Sure, Detective, if Kass is up for it,” Dr. Bachelor replied.
Kass gulped. It was Clark. It was just Clark. He was safe, right? She bit her lower lip, feeling the cracked and dry skin against her teeth. She gulped down the water the doctor had offered. The cool liquid felt good against her parched throat. She nodded slowly.
“Yeah?” she agreed, half unsure.
Yesterday’s nightmare was over. It was over. She was safe. That’s what Davis had said. Kass swallowed hard and braced herself for the upcoming barrage of questions – both hers and the officer’s.
“I’ll be right outside if you need anything,” Dr. Bachelor reassured, squeezing her patient’s hand. “You’re one really lucky girl,” she whispered.
“Please… find my… mamma…” Kass said, gripping the doctor’s hand. “Until then… please…” she looked over Dr. Bachelor’s shoulder. “…ask the officers to wait in the hallway.”
Author Notes: Thank you for reading. If you read the last version of Lost Legacy, you’ll recognize a lot of these pictures. However, I decided it made way more sense for Davis to show up here. I also plan to start fresh with the next story, and start taking new pictures.