After escorting Kassandra to the emergency room that night, Leo had felt obligated to stay and see how she was. He’d sat in the waiting area for hours, watching the dawn break in the east, stepping outside to take deep breaths of the cool air.
He was there when the ambulance arrived with Douglas and Marilyn. It was the same two EMT’s who had talked Kassandra into going to the ER with him. They eyed Leo as if his presence at both of these events was either suspicious or outright damning. Leo worked hard to ignore their glares as he called out.
“Douglas!” The tall man turned, an expression of bewilderment turning to relief when he saw Leo.
“Leo,” he said. “It’s…It’s Marilyn.”
“What happened?” Leo watched the gurney racing down the hall. “Never mind, Douglas. Go. Be with her.”
“She was coughing, and there was blood. Leo, would you go to the house? I’m not even sure I locked up.”
“Of course. Go.”
Leo had returned to the lobby, looking for a nurse or staff member to tell him where the young woman he’d brought was. Kassandra, he reminded himself, she’d told him her name during the cab ride. Kassandra, with a K. He felt he shouldn’t leave without telling her he was going, without at least finding out how she was doing, if she needed anything.
Finding no one, Leo walked down a hallway, discretely looking in rooms and behind curtains. Footsteps thudded behind him.
“Sir? Sir?” A nurse in bright pink scrubs stood there.
Leo turned to explain who he was looking for, and why, and to apologize, if needed, for being someplace he shouldn’t be, if that were the case. The apology spilled out first.
“I’m sorry, I was – ”
“Sir, did you bring in the young woman with the head injury?”
For a moment, Leo wanted to say no. Her head was fine. She’d said so. “The bicycle accident,” he began.
“Yes. She’s asking for you.”
Leo followed the nurse, who walked fast, with that nurse-on-a-mission pace, so he had to trot to keep up with her until she stopped, and held back a curtain. “In here.”
Kassandra with a K lay on the hospital bed, an IV drip in her arm, machines all around her, and another nurse reading what the machines said.
“I’m sorry,” Kassandra had said when she saw Leo. “I hurt my noggin after all. But you can go. I’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure? What does the nurse say?” Loyalty tore at Leo. Franny was hiding behind a closed door. Douglas had asked him to go check the house. Marilyn was in the bowels of the hospital somewhere.
“She’s next door,” Kassandra said. Leo must have looked completely confused, because she went on. “Marilyn. I saw you at her wedding. I figure you’re a friend. She’s in the room next door.”