Continued from HERE
But Beginning HERE
Steph was crouched over Jacek inspecting his wounds and trying to control the bleeding as Max wended his way down side streets and talked frantically in Russian on the phone. He was attempting to get Jacek’s sons back, safe under the care of his associates in Moscow.
Stephanie was calm but she called out to Max. “Jacek is bleeding out. We’ve got to get him to a hospital. Stat.”
Max glanced in the rear view at Steph and nodded, finishing up on the phone. “Okay. We’re heading there now.”
Me? I was staring at Jacek’s writhing body as Steph held him down.
Suddenly I uttered,”Jacek!” and then to the amazement of Steph-and me as well…. I stood up.
“Jacek. Come back. Now,” I blurted as I walked forward and bent over him.
“Don’t leave us!”
Steph stared at me for a minute, then continued her ministrations. She had strewn cotton padding around him and was trying to inserting a needle and tubing into his arm, which she did on her second attempt. I reached out and held him down long enough for Steph to intubate him.
Jacek looked at me. “Hey, Buddy. You are with us again!” Then he shut his eyes and grew very still.
Max was pulling into the Emergency entrance to County/U.S.C. He ran inside then reappeared with a two medics who pulled Jacek out of the van and loaded him on a waiting gurney. One turned to tell us to follow, but we were already in the van and leaving. I guess we couldn’t wait.
“I think he’ll be fine. But he’s going to need a new spleen and many liters of blood. The bullet missed his spine” she said. And she turned to me. “You. Just look at you now!”
And she kissed me deeply, as she removed her bloody togs. She rummaged around to find new ones, then kissed me again.
“I’ve missed you. A lot.” I was sitting down again, played out from my exertion. But happy. Very. For Jacek. For ME.
Max smiled in the rear view, as Steph drew me close and almost hugged the life out me. But not quite. She had her tongue in my ear and clutched at my garments. Wow. This was bringing me back from the brink faster than anything else I could imagine.
Mary Gregory got to the Detective’s Offices very quickly. She took another snort of coke then was out the car and heading upstairs, ignoring the greetings of other policemen.
She strode to her office, sat at her desk, thumbed through the appointments and saw that Dr. Armen Ghookasian was now a half an hour late. (The Pathologist who had performed such a perfect autopsy on me. Yes me. I’m still narrating this. It is, after all, my story) She picked up the phone and lit a new cigarette.
The other detectives started to tell her there was no smoking allowed but she glared at them so witheringly that they just shrugged and continued with whatever they were working on.
The machine picked up at Ghookasian’s office, with it’s usual prescription to leave a message.
“Well fuck that,” she muttered and gathered her things and left again, the other detectives fanning her smoke away after she’d gone.
Ghookasian’s office was a few blocks away on Colorado and Detective Mary Gregory drove with the red light flashing through a series of red lights and the angry drivers who had to slam on their brakes at the intersections she flew through. She arrived at his his office in two minutes fourteen seconds. But then, who’s counting?
She ran up the stairs, found Ghookasian’s office and banged on the door.
“Doctor Ghookasian! Open up. It’s Detective Mary Gregory.”
Getting no answer, she pounded on the door again.
“Dr. Ghookasian? Open the fucking door!!!”
Getting no answer, she finally exclaimed, “Well, screw this!”
She moved a couple of feet back, the kicked the door, once, twice. Third try was a charm. The door flew open and she entered.
It was dark inside, the curtains drawn and the lights turned off. She tried the light switch, but it didn’t work. But she could see that the office had been turned upside down. Papers were scattered all over, phials and slides smashed to pieces.
And slumped over the desk, with his head definitely caved in, lay Doctor Armen Ghookasian.
Detective Gregory drew her gun and looked around backing into a corner. After a moment she realized there was no one else there. The perps were long gone.
She reached out and with two fingers felt for a pulse in Ghookasian’s neck. No go. He had been dead for a couple of hours maybe.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit,” she muttered. She looked around for a few minutes, and then she saw- poking out from under the desk, the Autopsy Report on.. well ME. She grabbed it, then closed the door behind her.
Down in her car she radioed in that the Forensics and Police should come. She sat in the car for a few minutes reading the report. She paused for a minute then said, “Fuck it” again. She pulled out onto Colorado as the first of the Santa Monica Police squad cars were arriving.
She took off into the traffic, making cars slam on their brakes once again, and headed to St. John’s Hospital.