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Oil of Roses Ch. 24

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Many thanks to Literotica author ‘englander1961′ for her help, editorial services, encouragement and a title much better than my original, which has elevated her to the status of House Goddess of Sexy Story Titles. Thanks to Sammi Scott, aka Titsy McYarn, the Cute at the Heart of the Abyss for her help and valuable critique. Thanks to Literotica author ‘KY ridgerunner’ for the stories that planted the idea in my head months ago. A belated and much overdue thanks to John Hasty for his peerless editing. Bounteous thanks to Kevin for his incredibly thorough critiquing and voluminous notes.

After you’ve read this, if you have any inclination at all to comment, please do so, either by email or on the comment board… The best way for me to grow and improve as an author is to hear from the people who read my work.

I welcome constructive critiques and non-abusive comments. I will answer, in at least a semi-prompt manner, any email that comes with an email address.

If you feel you must respond in a hateful or angry fashion, you may put your head down upon your desk and do so, quietly to yourself, for as long as you feel it necessary. This story may not be copied to other sites without my permission.

If you have not read the earlier installment(s) of this tale, it would probably help you to make sense of this one if you did so.

* * * * *

If people on the street were turning on their lights Carol didn’t see it. That would have meant turning her head, diverting her focus from home… home and her razor.

She kept blowing the whistle.

* * * * *

Something was nagging at the back of Margo’s consciousness… something she was hearing… something that meant… her eyes widened.

“Nicki, stay here, something’s wrong.”

She grabbed her purse with its mini-arsenal courtesy of Eddy and dashed out the door.

As she made it down the steps and to the street, she saw Carol running towards her, blowing the bobby whistle. The small woman barreled past her and up the steps, barely getting the door open before she was through it.

“Nicki… we were… attacked… call 911… cops and ambulance… the park… 45th get out the stun gun or the pepper spray, whichever you feel comfortable with.”

Whoever this new person was, she was smart enough to know that one of Carol’s hands would be busy with her razor. She pulled out the stun gun, putting the strap around her left wrist.

The car’s lights were flipped to high beams as they approached and the brakes were gently applied. In the illumination provided, there was only one figure, slumped in a heap on the ground beneath the swing. The car came to a sudden stop and as this new and unknown person leapt out with the kit she grabbed from Carol’s lap she said “Cover me.”

Carol took a look at the figure on the ground. There was far too much blood. There seemed to be gallons of it. He was soaked in it, and as she felt the panic start to rise in her chest, she forced it back down and looked in every direction but at him, looking for any threat. Finally she looked briefly over at her Master and Mistress, bathed in the harsh light from the car, both now covered in red.

“Carol,” the stranger said, “it looks like whoever did this is gone. Nicki and Kelly will be here shortly. Keep them away from here. They don’t need to see this and we don’t want the crime scene contaminated any further.”

“Ma’am… is he…”

“He’s alive… I’m hoping I can keep him that way.”

* * * * *

The next several hours passed in a blur. Nicki and Kelly got to the park and she was forced to hold both of them back. The police arrived, the EMT’s pulled up and everyone was in a blur of motion except for them. They stood there, dazed and helpless at the periphery and watched the maelstrom. There was nothing for them to do. They were bystanders.

The ride to the hospital was an absent memory, a hole in time. Carol remembered being in the park, and then she was in the waiting room, holding on to Nicki and Kelly.

Carol knew she talked to people… made phone calls, spoke to the police, gave a statement… but she couldn’t remember anything concerning details.

The stranger who had replaced Margo had disappeared, along with her beloved Harry, and Carol found herself left in the position of dealing with everyone and their questions and she didn’t have any answers other than the obvious.

No one had shown up to tell her that Harry was dead. Therefore he was alive.

She held on to that as a life-preserver in a storm-tossed sea.

Nicki appeared… lost… as if she’d been deprived of something pendik escort vital that somehow defined her place in the universe. Kelly slumped beside her, despair and pain crashing off of her in waves. It was as if Kelly was already grieving for him, as if he were already dead.

Karen and Patricia arrived. Karen looked as if she were some ancient Goddess of War, preparing to unleash her fury upon the world. Patricia appeared to have been crying, and as soon as she had spoken with everyone there, she went to the hospital chapel.

Despite the voice mails she’d left on Eddy’s phone, there was no sign of him and Tamara.

All anyone would tell her was that Harry was still in surgery.

* * * * *

The news crews and newspaper reporters showed up at some point in the early morning hours and Karen ran interference, making a brief statement, with Carol’s approval, that Harry was still in surgery and that none of them had the slightest idea what had prompted the brutal attack in the park. She refused to let anyone speak to Carol, for which Carol vowed to love her forever. Several of the media vultures thought about trying to get past Karen but one glare from her seemed to convince them that it wasn’t worth it to try. Karen had actually smiled when relaying that part of the story.

And still there was no word from or sign of Eddy.

* * * * *

By around 4:30 in the morning Karen had had enough.

“Kelly,” she said, to no response from the nearly catatonic girl. “Kelly,” she said again, a little more forcefully, bringing Kelly’s face up to hers. Kelly looked back at her with eyes red and swollen. “You’ve been to Eddy’s new place, right?”

“Yeah, took Tamara there to pick up their clothes.”

“Can you find it again?”

“Yeah, I’m a delivery driver… it’s what I do.”

“Come on, I’m driving, we’re gonna go find him. This is goddamn ridiculous.”

“Karen?” Carol said.

“Yes sweetie, what is it?”

“Please don’t let him do anything stupid.”

Karen nodded grimly and then Carol watched her and Kelly leave as if from a great distance. She was simply glad someone else had made a decision about something.

* * * * *

At some point the media must have made another stab at talking to her because she heard Patricia say “I told them I didn’t care if their bosses wanted a statement from the other person involved, they weren’t going to get anywhere near you.”

Carol looked around the waiting room. They were far from the only inhabitants. It was like all of them were floating in a small bubble of suffering, dread and frustration. Hospital security might be keeping them safe from outside interference or bother, but the only way it could be done was by locking them inside a private hell.

Good news rarely happened in the waiting room itself. Good news happened with family and friends gathered round the patient. Good news happened where recovered patients were wheeled out to their rides.

Here there was little but the agonizing ‘not knowing’.

As she watched, an elderly Indian or Pakistani couple stood up as they were approached by a doctor, who then spoke with them in low tones, a look of commiseration plain upon his face. Carol saw a couple’s lives forever altered… maybe destroyed. The woman just collapsed in upon herself, like a building that had been gutted by fire and was finally falling down. The man fared a little better. He recoiled as if struck some great blow in the face, staggered back a bit and then found his footing again, still standing even if on legs no longer anywhere near as steady as they’d been before. As the woman began to wail, softly, as if afraid to disturb anyone with her grief, he bent and helped her back up into her seat, where he wrapped his arms around her and held her so tightly Carol was afraid one or the other of them would break.

That was what happened in waiting rooms.

Carol felt overwhelmed by a growing certitude that soon she too would be one of those two archetypes of suffering, the person felled by tragedy or the one left to hold things together no matter how much they wanted to die.

All she had to hold onto was that no one had come to tell her he was dead.

* * * * *

“Yes, buzz Mr. Janak’s apartment. I know it’s late, it’s an emergency. Tell him Karen Pinard needs to speak with him and it’s urgent.”

Faced with a determined Karen, the rent-a-cop in the tiny guard shack made the call, more out of fear than any sense of duty.

Within minutes the gate was rolling back for her and Kelly.

As they parked and got out they saw Eddy and kartal escort Tamara standing in their apartment door in their bathrobes.

“What? What’s happened?” Eddy asked sleepily.

“Why haven’t you answered your phone or returned any of our calls?” Karen replied, heading for him angrily.

“The phone ain’t rung.”

“You turned it off”

“Bullshit, I never turn it off. I can’t because of work.”

“Well find it and find out what the fuck’s wrong with it, we’ve been calling you all night. Harry and Carol got jumped tonight. Harry’s in the hospital, still in surgery when we left there. Carol wasn’t hurt because he made her run for help.”

A tremor of pain washed down Eddy ‘s features. Tamara clutched his arm, afraid of where this news would lead him.

“I’ll go check the bowl on the table, that’s where he always puts everything from his pockets.”

A moment later from the kitchen, “Not here.”

The next five minutes were a mad search for Eddy’s phone until finally he stalked in from the parking lot with it in his hand.

“It must’ve slipped out of my pocket on the way home. I didn’t notice. Damn thing was sittin’ on the seat of the truck.” He stomped back into the bedroom and came out dressed a few moments later. He dialed a number on his phone and put it to his ear.

“Carlos? Yeah I know what gawddamn time it is… I don’t give a goody gawddamn. I need the residential address of a Dr. Benjamin Sapperstein. No, I need it right now, I’ll wait.”

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Karen asked.

Eddy looked at her, incredulous. “What the hell do you think I’m doing? I’m gonna go kill the little rat turd right gawddamn now.”

Tamara and Kelly said “NO” simultaneously as Karen shook her head. “I can’t let you do that, Eddy.”

“Give me one gawddamn good reason why not? Yeah, I’m still here waitin’, Carlos, come on, I ain’t got all fuckin’ night.”

“I’ll give you three. One, we’re not sure it was him. I agree,” she said, forestalling the cry of ‘Bullshit’ she could see rising in his throat, “that it’s probably him, but we’re not absolutely sure and if you go killing him without a plan tonight, you’ll probably get caught and it’d fucking suck to watch you get that final injection. Two, if it was him, he probably already knows what went down tonight and he might be expecting something to happen. Anybody who watches this group for long, or does their research, wouldn’t have a hard time predicting certain responses, like you charging off like a berserk Viking. Three, Carol asked me to not let you do anything stupid and rushing off to kill him tonight, no matter what else it may be, certainly qualifies as ‘stupid’.”

“Sorry Dyke, checked my ‘give-a-shit’ meter. Didn’t even fuckin’ twitch. Cocksucker is goin’ to meet God tonight.”

“You’re gonna have to go through me to do it,” Karen said, taking a stance and preparing to try and stop the big man.

“And you’re going to have to go through me to get to her,” Kelly said, tears rolling down her face, moving into position in front of Karen.

“And through me to get to Kelly,” Tamara said, her small form slipping in-between Eddy and Kelly. “Please sir, don’t do this. I can only begin to understand how you feel right now, but storming off and doing something rash won’t wash your guilt away. It won’t change what’s already happened tonight.”

“Eddy, think,” Kelly said, “I’m not saying you don’t owe Harry your loyalty and that you don’t have the right to end the bastard, if he’s the one responsible, but you can’t be dumb about it. You’ve got Tamara now, someone has to take care of her, and you can’t afford any kamikaze acts of vengeance.”

“You’re sure that’s the address, Carlos? Okay, I got it.” Eddy shut off his phone. He wiped his hand across his face. “Then what the fuck do you expect me to do?” The tears began to run down his cheeks. “What the fuck am I supposed to do?” The big man fell to his knees and brought his hands down on the floor of the apartment so hard that it could be felt through the concrete slab and they all heard the bones in his hands grinding together. “Don’t you understand? Somebody’s got to do somethin’! I’ve got to do somethin’!”

Karen came around, squatted down and took him by the hand. “You do just what the rest of us are doing. You come to the hospital and pray like a motherfucker. And if it turns out that something needs doing, you and I will go do it together, carefully, with a plan, doing our best to make sure our loved ones don’t lose us.”

* * * * *

As Karen drove back to the hospital, Eddy maltepe escort listened to his voice mail, to the messages his best friend had left him, shame eating his soul with every word. A thousand times he’d picked up the phone for nothing more important than casual conversation. Now, when lives were on the line… he listened to voice mail.

Tamara sat beside him, feeling the tension in his body ratchet up as he listened to Harry’s messages. She’d never seen her man in so much pain before, not even in the throes of his nightmares.

* * * * *

In the distance, a million miles away, she heard Eddy’s voice.

“Carol, I’m so sorry, the cell phone got left in the car… he left me a message… said he was bein’ followed…”

Then Tamara was there, holding her, and Karen was there telling her that she’d take care of everything for awhile, that Carol should just try to rest and that Tammy was going to take care of her. She watched Karen take a sobbing, broken Eddy over to one of the unoccupied couches and hold him, trying to comfort the friend and guardian that had, through no fault of his own, not been there when he was needed. Carol knew it wasn’t Eddy’s fault.

She knew it was hers. If she’d had her phone, if she’d had her razor… the fault was hers.

* * * * *

It was 6:12 AM when the stranger who wore Margo’s skin came into the waiting room, her face a picture of fatigue, moving as if sheathed in lead. She had taken barely five steps when Karen was up and helping her to a chair.

Carol found herself sitting beside her without remembering moving.

“Unless any other surprises pop up, he should live-“

A chorus of sighs exhaled around her.

“But he’s not out of the woods yet. I’ll leave out the medical jargon,” she said, something that might once have thought about being a smile crossing her face.

“We debated removing his lacerated… fuck, it was shredded… kidney. We think it’ll heal, we hope it’ll heal… if it doesn’t, we’ll have to go back in and take it. Multiple stab wounds, they tried to slash his throat, missed the carotid and the jugular, thank God, sloppy of them really, must’ve been in a hurry. Nothing else terribly serious hit besides the kidney and his lung, the lung should be okay now. It’s just that he was stabbed so brutally, big knife.”

“We spent a long time just finding all the places he was leaking inside. Lots of blood loss, lots of blood pumped back in. He kept trying to die on us… four resuscitations in one surgery is four too many… it’s just that he was bleeding from so many places internally. It’s a goddamn miracle he stayed alive till we got to him in the park… only a slightly lesser one that he lived till the EMT’s got there.”

“C’mon Margo,” Eddy said, his voice broken and teary, “you oughta know by now, Harry’s like me, he’s a cockroach… he’s fuckin’ near impossible to kill.”

“Thank God he is, Eddy.

“Broken collarbone, broken arm in two places, cracked and broken ribs, broken leg in three places, a right knee that’s just all fucked up… that’s waiting for an orthopedic surgeon. I’m afraid he’s going to be here awhile, even if everything goes well from here on out.

“We know he bit one of his attackers because when I got to him he still had a chunk of tissue in his mouth… police have hopes that the DNA will match someone in their data base.

“He’s still in ICU, but provided his body behaves and doesn’t try anything nasty, they’ll be moving him to a room later today.

“Eddy, I’ve already insured that the people handling his care are all people I trust implicitly. I don’t think any of the hospital staff could be suborned into making a ‘mistake’ but I’d rather not run that risk. I’d like you to make sure there’s someone watching him all the time, unless one of us is there with him, and then I want them outside his door.”

“So you’re thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’… that this is your douche-bag husband’s doing?” Eddy said, his face clouding with rage.

“Well, the motive wasn’t robbery, and you don’t ever see that kind of violence in our neighborhood just for the hell of it, so yeah, I’m thinking it could be.”

“Well, you ain’t heard all the gawddamn news. Harry spotted somebody followin’ him, bringin’ Short Stuff here” he ruffled Nicki’s hair, “home from the airport. He tried to get in touch with me” the big man visibly swallowed back tears, “but I’d accidentally left my cell in the truck. So if you add in someone followin’ him, I’m almost dead certain it was him.”

Eddy leaned in close to Margo his voice a whisper.

“Lemme get hold of Perry and Bevy, get them on their way over here, and I’m’a gonna go kill the sumbitch.”

Margo moved her head close to Eddy’s.

“Eddy, you’re going to do no such thing,” Margo replied, her voice low, icy and hard.

He looked at her, his own barely repressed fury animating his features.

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