Soul Purpose Chapter 24
Potomac General Hospital –
Fran sat alone next to Penelope’s bed. She’d cried all she was able to and now she just sat thinking about the past several hours. Her anger had morphed into a dull heaviness and she wondered if she’d overreacted. Her husband and the others led a treacherous and precarious life she knew that too well. It was just that she didn’t want to be touched by it so intimately. Both Dave and Derek knew how the death of her first husband had affected her; the pain and grief nearly destroyed her and her children. She didn’t understand why they would play such a cruel trick on her. She wondered if they thought about the damage a lie like this would cause. Looking at the sleeping woman in the bed, she answered her own question. The price had been too high even to save her son’s life.
“Fran?” Penelope whispered weakly. “What happened?”
Mustering a smile Fran looked into her daughter-in-law’s face. She looked so pale and lost. They needed to talk.
“Hey Baby, how are you feeling?”
“Tired…Derek?” Then as reality reminded her of their circumstance, “Oh…”
“They still won’t tell me where he is.”
“But, that’s not fair!”
“Shhh…calm down…you need to take it easy…especially now, okay?”
Penelope relaxed against the pillow. The look of guilt in her eyes told Fran everything she needed to know.
“Does Derek know?”
Penelope shook her head, no.
“I didn’t know for sure until now.”
“You came dangerously close to losing this baby, Penelope. You have to be careful or…”
“I know, I know. It’s just I don’t understand what’s going on.”
“Neither do I and I guess I didn’t stick around long enough to find out either…but we will and I’m sure once we get the whole story things will make sense.”
“But…but how could they make us think he was dead? I mean, I saw him in that body bag, he was…so still…he was…dead…”
“But he wasn’t. I suppose it was close…too close. I have half a mind to kill him myself when I get my hands on him.”
Penelope smiled and moved to find a more comfortable spot before speaking again.
“Now we wait.”
Unknown Medical Facility –
Dave walked through the large wooden doors. Great creativity and care had been taken in concealing the real purpose of the building that to the casual observer assumed it was nothing more than a dilapidated abandoned office building. The shabby exterior was just a façade for the state-of-the-art medical facility inside. Even though it was fully funded by the U.S. government very few U.S. officials knew about it except for the upper one percent. It had even played safe-haven for a few world leaders who had been loyal American supporters and now because Dave knew someone who knew someone, his stepson was a patient here. If the medical staff here could not save him no one could.
As Dave walked the halls, he knew his decision to take part in Derek’s impulsive plan would cost them all and already his marriage was teetering on the brink of disaster. He had to get Fran to listen and to understand but for now, he was here to respond to a desperate call for a family member of patient 743, otherwise known as, Derek Morgan.
It had been several years since Avery had seen his old friend. He remembered the early days of trying to sell the government on the idea of a facility like this. He and Dave had spent many evenings drinking expensive Italian wine while trying to find ways to get the plans pushed through Congress and funded by the sitting president. Now as he turned the corner and saw his friend approaching he realized that they’d both aged more than either would care to admit.
“Avery! Good to see you!
“It’s been too long.”
The two men embraced and then examined each other knowingly.
“Thank you for doing this.”
“Don’t thank me yet. We almost lost him.”
“Almost…I’m going to hang on to that word; almost.”
“I hear you. Follow me, I’ll take you to see him.”
The sounds of machines and monitors slowed Dave as the two men approached Derek’s room. Several nurses and doctors were still in the room working. Dave glanced at his longtime friend he could see the worry on his face.
“He arrested shortly after we got him to surgery and then again about an hour ago. He’s weak…very weak. I’m afraid I won’t be able to bring him back if he codes again.”
Dave hung his head momentarily before looking through the window again.
“He’s strong and he’s a fighter…”
“Dave we have to be realistic. I’m not about to give up on him but you need to be prepared and you need to prepare his family in case…”
“His family already thought he was dead.”
“I remember the last time your boss and a beautiful blonde played this game.”
“How did it work out for you?”
“Not too good, I’m afraid. It nearly tore our team apart when the truth came out.”
“So you thought you’d tempt fate one more time, eh?”
“Something like that.”
The next few minutes were silent as the nurses and doctors filed out of the room.
“Can I see him?”
“He’s in a coma but sure you can see him. I’ll be back later to check on you.”
The man patted Dave on his shoulder and headed down the hallway. Dave stepped inside, grabbed a chair from the far corner and took a seat next to the bed.
“What a fine mess we have on our hands, my friend, a very fine mess.” He whispered to himself.
Potomac General Hospital – Evening –
Director Martin Tinsley was nothing if not professional. He prided himself in his ability to follow decorum and protocol and presenting the best face even in difficult situations. It had been a very sad day for the bureau an agent who’d dedicated his life to fighting crime had fallen and it was up to him as the director to offer his condolences to the grieving widow. It was with that thought that he stepped through the doors of Potomac General Hospital and headed toward Mrs. Derek Morgan’s room. It was the least he could do.
Fran and Penelope had grown extremely close over the years; as close as mother and daughter and for Penelope it was just what she needed especially now. She’d lost her parents in a tragic car accident when she was a teen and even before Derek had become the man in her life, Fran and Penelope had connected as if they’d known each other all of their lives.
“How about a cup of tea?”
“Oh, that sounds great, Fran!”
They both needed a break from the mini juice containers and lukewarm coffee from the nurse’s station. So standing and stretching Fran left on a search for two large cups of herbal tea. Penelope closed her eyes she was exhausted with worry and almost immediately she felt herself relaxing and falling asleep.
Shortly, she heard the door open again she assumed she’d drifted off and Fran had returned with their tea…she was wrong.
Drowsy, Penelope slowly opened her eyes.
“Director Tinsley, what are you doing here?”