“Tell us about Stan Jeffries.”
I knew I didn’t really have any choice but to cooperate, laid up as I was in this pseudo-hospital room and unable to move but something in me was fighting for some kind of upper hand in the conversation, determined to resist these men who had entered my room with such indifferent, arrogant demeanors. One of them was the man from the photo, my “enemy,” and viewing him in person evoked the same dreadful emotions as seeing his picture had done.
He wore an expensive, tailored suit with an unbuttoned collar and diamond cuff links glinting from beneath his jacket. His dark hair was slicked back and I could smell his cologne from across the room. As he impatiently flipped through the time-stamped medical chart, a wave of fear swept through me. He was the reason I was a dead man.
“I don’t know anyone named Stan Jeffries.”
He looked up quickly, his eyes flashing a hint of mirth. “Nice,” he said. “Try again.”
“I seriously don’t know who you’re talking about. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t even know who I am.”
He glanced sharply at the other man, a doctor perhaps, standing in the background. “How much did you give him?” He asked with an unmistakable edge in his voice.
“It was the right dosage. It shouldn’t have suppressed his memory to this extent. I’ll scale it back.”
“When will it wear off?”
“It’s hard to tell. He’s pretty broken and it’s tough to find a balance that will suppress his pain enough to keep him conscious without suppressing his memory along with it. It might take several attempts to find that sweet spot before the Velorum can work its magic. I think he needs to sleep through the night and then we’ll prep him for questioning in the morning.”
Although visibly upset with the doctor’s recommendation, my enemy nodded and replied, “Okay but the meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. and I’ll be here as soon as it’s over. Make sure he’s ready to talk.” As he turned to leave, he patted the other man’s shoulder, a forgiving gesture, then abruptly exited without looking at me again.
The door closed behind him and I turned to see that the remaining man was noticeably shaken up by the interaction. His fingers trembled slightly as he reached out to adjust the flow of the fluids in my IV.
“What are you giving me?” I asked him, hoping to capitalize on his moment of vulnerability.
He hesitated before answering gruffly, “This is just saline to help flush your system.”
“Flush my system of what?” but that was all I was going to get. He turned and quickly left, dimming the lights behind him.
I lay in the dark room, stretching my mind in an attempt to remember something, anything about who I was and how I got here. There was a dull ache in my abdomen and when I reached down to touch it, the prickly tips of stitches met my fingers. I opened my hospital gown and felt jagged rows of hastily sewn stitches crisscrossing my midsection. The feeling of my swollen wound, still sticky from my massive loss of blood stirred a nauseous response and also awakened a dormant memory.
I suddenly knew who my shooter was.
End of Chapter Eleven. To purchase this book and continue reading in printed or electronic form click here.