idioms...sayings understood by native speakers...part seventy seven
Sara noticed a pager sitting on her side table. She looked at it remembering Jenny had pulled it out and left after answering it.
She sighed. Why not? It would be good exercise and I need to give this back. She got up and placed her robe on. She stood up slowly as the movement pulled at her incision. She pocketed the pager and walked out of the room. Jenny said her office was on the main floor. She hit the elevator button and stepped on carefully watching her cam walker that supported her leg.
Katie sat at her house. It was strange. Her father whistling as he made their supper, his off key singing as loud as he could when he showered, his constant vigilance if she showed a flinch or any sign of pain... that was all gone. She sat amongst her manga. She had found all the volumes, save one. The first one... damn... I should know this. I knew my dad better than anyone.
Deshaun, Dejuan, Larry, Joey, and Charlie sat in the living room waiting for Katie to find whatever her dad had left behind. All were hoping that Rick was right, that it held something, any thing that would link the Matthews to the organ trafficking that had been going on so long.
Chis sat in his Volvo watching the old farm house that Steve Hauser and his daughter had lived in. Martin was adamant in two things. Follow her to see if Hauser had left anything incriminating and get that girl to come to the house. After seeing what John and A.J. had experienced recently, he did not want to go through that. So he kept his vigilance parking down by the bushes, he got out of his car and started to walk towards the white rustic looking structure.
Katie looked around her room sitting quietly on the bed. Think!!! Where would he hide my book?
Joey stood up and looked around the quaint little house.
"That Hauser guy, he was a salaried employee, right?"
"Probably. He was the manager over sales and distribution, if I remember what Rick told me. Why?"
"Why live here, in the middle of no where. In a rundown house like this, why would he choose to live here?"
"Don't dis's my dad."
"I am sorry, Katie. I was just trying to figure out what he did with that money he was making."
"My dad... He was trying to save me. When he was not on the net trying to find cures, he was paying my medical bills. The insurance that the company had provided had been maxed early on."
"Oh, I see." Joey looked at the girl.
"My dad loved me. He left a message somewhere here. I just have to find it."
Charlie was holding a book and looking at the pictures. Some seemed surprised, some seemed angry, some seemed like they did not care. He laughed at the animals that were drawn.
Katie looked over at him. She gasped.
"Charlie, where did you get that?"
"Ah, here." He placed the book on the coffee table.
"Give me that."
Sara got out of the elevator. As she stepped off carefully she headed towards the information booth, it would be great to see Jenny's office.
"Sara? It is good to see you on your feet again." John was standing behind her and linked his arm thru hers, grasping firmly on her left forearm. "Shall we go over here and sit? It would be good for you to rest a bit before you get to your destination.."
Sara thought her heart would have jumped out of her skin, the pain from being startled made her almost cry out. Instead she gasped and held her breath, she attempted to pull away but John had her arm in a vice.
"John... what do you want?"
"Nothing. Just a quiet little chat with you. All right?"
"If I yell out, people will notice. Let me go."
"Then I won't be able to save your son."
"Come on. I don't need you to faint here." He steered over to the vending machine area and sat her down.
"You are quickly becoming a detriment to my family." As he placed a coffee in front of her, he sat down and leaned across the table, grabbing her hand.
"Like I would care about that?" Sara started to pull away, only to feel the grip tighten.
"You will drop the charges against A.J. Understand?"
"And if I don't?"
"Your name will be smeared and I will personally make sure that your son... dies a tragic death."
"What? Are you threatening me and my son? The family won't let you. Carl is the only one with the name."
"Like I care. Sara, you really don't think that I could do such a thing? Are you that naive?" He let go of her hand. "I have experience, you know. Remember that day?"
She tried to focus on this evil man, squinting her eyes, she blinked... murmuring, "What day?"
"The day when you turned me down?"
"I do. It is clear to me as yesterday. You refused me. Had you just played along, maybe you would have still had two sons."
"W W what?"
"You said, even though you did not love your husband, you would never have an affair. You would raise your sons and try to live a good life."
"John, what exactly are you saying? You are the one who tried to make a pass at me. I refused you. What in God's name has that got to do with Carl... or Allan?"
"Dad was sick at that time. Remember?"
Sara shook her head. Trying to keep her balance, she asked, "Yes, I remember. He needed a heart transplant. But what has this got to do with my ...sons?" She felt her heart sink as she put the pieces together.
"I even gave you a chance to save him. You just wouldn't cooperate."
"Allan... are you saying that you.."
"Made Allan's life mean something." He patted her hand. "He did not suffer much. Dad is alive an well. There is no need to blame yourself."
Sara pulled her hand away like she had been burned.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Oh, I hear that confession is good for the soul. And I am relieved that you know."
"I don't beleive this."
"You don't? He kept yelling something every time he came up for air... what was that? Ah yeah, Bucko... I never even knew that Allan could speak."
Tears started to flow.
"You killed my son? You killed Allan?" Sara hissed.
"What? You don't sound very grateful... so far, I have left Carl alone." He reached over and grabbed her chin. "Think about just how easily I could take Carl out. I want you to know, I don't expect anything else from you. Just get better, return to the house and play nicely with A.J. I will make sure that he won't beat you again.. that is, as long as you play by the rules."
He stood up and walked to her side, kneeling, he pulled her into a hug. She stiffened.
"I don't give people second chances. You should know that by now. And actions speak louder than words." He pulled back and kissed her on the cheek.
"Be seeing you at home, Sara."
Katie grabbed the book. She went over ever page. Some things were underlined, some were highlighted. She threw the book down.
"He knows I was always bad with puzzles. Why did he make this so hard?"
"Miss Katie, maybe we can help?" Dejuan asked her. "Talk to me. Why is this book important?"
"I couldn't go to regular school. I had to be home schooled and one of my net pals sent me the name of this manga. When I read it, I was hooked. I showed it to my father. You guys know about the Chinese zodiac?"
"Um... " Four confused stares showed on the faces of men that surrounded her.
"My dad was a snake."
The simultaneous surprise on their faces made the girl realize what she had said.
"I mean, he was born in the year of the snake."
"What was his birthday?" Dejuan asked.
"June sixth, 1953. Why?"
"6 6 1953?" Dejuan looked down at the floor thinking of all the possibilities.
"Could it be an account number?" Larry inquired trying to of help.
"Did your dad go to the bank often?" Dejuan inquired.
"No, he did everything on line."
Jenny got off the elevator after getting the updates on the victims of the tragedy. Her visit with Rick had been quite disturbing when he warned her that John was in the building. She saw Sara slowly walking towards the elevators with a dazed look on her face.
"Sara? Are you okay?"
She got on the phone and asked for transport.
Sara grabbed her hand. "I am so sorry. Jenny, I am so sorry for everything."
Jenny pulled her into a hug, more to support the woman than anything else.
"Sara, why would you be sorry?"
Sara closed her eyes, she reached into her pocket in order to give the pager back to the girl and then all went black.
to be continued...