What's taking him so long? I wanted to scream as I made my
obsessive circuit around the tiny apartment the way I had been
for the last excruciatingly long forty-eight minutes.
My compulsive path began at the living room window, checking for
David to come back before I moved to the kitchen to peer out of
that small window as an extra check. When that failed to produce
any new information, I found myself in the bedroom, debating
whether or not to just pack up my things and get out through the
fire escape before it was too late.
But then I'd remind myself that I had exactly nowhere to go and
that if I moved too far in any direction, that man would be on me
in a few minutes. Besides, although my ankle was much better, it
wasn't going to support any great exertions like running.
And then there was David. I was desperately trying to have faith
in him. I had no one else and I really wanted to believe I didn't
need anyone else.
Those thoughts would bring me back to the living room, where I'd
sit anxiously on the couch for about five minutes before getting
up and doing the whole thing again.
As I was coming out of the bedroom for the millionth time, I
heard the front door being unlocked. My breath caught because I
didn't hear David's keys jingling the way I normally did. I had
no idea what he said, but the man on the other side of the door
had a deeper voice than David.
There wasn't time to make it back to the bedroom, so I ducked
behind the door instead. My best option was going to be to take
whoever it was by surprise and then escape.
I held my breath as the knob turned and the door opened.
"You'd better not-"
The man was saying something, but I didn't hesitate. His light
brown, slightly graying hair and deeper voice was enough to tell
me that it wasn't David. Anyone else had no business coming
through this door.
Intending to knock the man out cold, I swung as he advanced
through the doorway.
David surprised me by appeared behind the man, and instinctively
I tried to hold back. But I had too much momentum and wound up
hitting the man with less force than originally intended. He fell
against the wall, holding his eye.
"Sarah!" David dropped the box he was carrying to attend to the
man I just hit. "What the hell?" He shouted, throwing me an angry
"I'm sorry!" I covered my mouth, horrified that I attacked
someone that David knew.
"I didn't expect-" Suddenly I wasn't sorry at all and I wanted to
throw David's question back in his face. Not to mention another
"What is this?" I crossed my arms. This was David's 'help'? What
was this guy, a shrink? He looked like he might fit the role. Or
maybe he actually was one of Wescott's men. Just because I didn't
see a remote, didn't mean it wasn't there. Probably in his
David ignored me and helped the man to his feet, kicking the door
shut behind him. I stood back, watching for any sign of foul
"You so owe me for this." The man threw a stern glance at David.
"How am I supposed to explain a black eye to Michelle?"
I scowled at the two of them. He was lucky not to be unconscious.
I hadn't decided whether I'd be making him that way or not yet.
He turned to me after a minute of tending to his eye. "And you
must be our emergency. That's one heck of a right hook you've got
there." He sounded friendly, but I wasn't comforted.
"Sarah, this is Tim," David said. "My brother." He seemed to
think that would explain his actions perfectly. All it explained
to me was that David ran to someone else and told him about me.
Whether this man worked for Wescott or not, it was just plain
stupid. I had a hope that David would believe me because he knew
me. Anyone else was going to think I was crazy or dangerous, or
"I can't believe you did this," I hissed. "I trusted you."
"He's a doctor."
"I don't care who he is!" I shouted. "You had no right to do
that." Did David think that this man would be able to think of a
way around Wescott when I couldn't? I could be a doctor if I
wanted to be. I was probably smarter than the two of them put
together. Did he think his money was going to help? Because next
to Wescott, he was a pauper. What part of Wescott being too
powerful, didn't he understand?
"Sarah, he's a surgeon!" He said exasperated.
"David, you just-" Oh! This man was a surgeon! Possibly the one
person who actually could help me.
I stared at David with wide eyes and he grinned, knowing I
understood what he was trying to tell me.
Getting this tracking device out of my leg had been on my mind
from the moment I knew about it, but I didn't have a hope of
actually achieving that goal. I couldn't exactly check myself in
for surgery and I certainly couldn't do it myself. Although,
believe me, the thought crossed my mind more than once. But this
man made that impossibility possible. And if he could do it, I
could actually be free of Wescott. For good. I could leave this
city. Heck, I'd leave the country to be free of him.
"Well, I'm real glad that she doesn't look like she wants to kill
either one of us any more," Tim said to David before addressing
me too. "But would someone mind telling me what I'm doing here
in. I'd like to get home before midnight."
David looked nervous as he addressed his brother. "I already told
you, I need a favor."
Noticing the change in his demeanor, Tim looked at David
"You can't be serious," he said after a minute. Apparently he
understood what David wanted him to do. Probably due to the fact
that David told me his profession by way of explanation.
When David's only response was to look guilty, Tim got angry.
"Are you out of your mind?" he shouted and I was glad that David
had the foresight to close the door already.
"I mean, I know you've done alot of stupid things in your life,
little brother, but I never thought you'd ask me something like
"You know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," David tried.
"How about illegal?" Tim shot back. "I could loose my license! I
could go to jail!"
David watched the floor, chastised, and muttered, "no one has to
"It's important," David said. "Really important."
Obviously trying to calm down, Tim rubbed his eyes and then
flinched remembering the bruise I'd given him.
He sighed heavily. "Look, why don't we all sit down and talk," he
said. "You haven't actually told me anything yet."
David didn't tell him about me? I felt terrible about jumping to
conclusions so quickly. I really could trust him.
"Sure." David seemed grateful for the reprieve.
"You two sit," I said, heading for the kitchen. "I'll get some
ice for that eye."
David sent me a questioning look, silently asking if it was okay
to fill Tim in on the details. I felt like a jerk, having to
decline, but it was too risky. At this point telling anyone
anything, had to be a last resort. I shook my head at him, before
I left them alone.
Wanting to give them a few minutes, I took my time with the ice
and when I returned to the living room, the air was thicker with
tension than before.
"You want me to do what?" Tim shouted and I stopped in the
doorway wishing I'd waited a little longer to return.
"I'm a cardiologist, David. I don't know anything about the leg."
"Well, you're a lot more qualified than I am!" I took it as a bad
sign that David, normally so even-tempered, was getting upset. He
must be thinking that this wasn't going to work.
"One wrong move and I could paralyze her," Tim said.
"You wouldn't do that," David argued.
"You don't know that."
"Just think about it!" David's frustration was clear.
Tim put his head in his hands. "What are you two involved in?"
"I promise it's nothing bad," David tried. "It's nothing
dangerous. Trust me please."
Tim looked up at him and I knew by the look in his eye that he
"She could die," he said bluntly.
I wasn't sure if David realized that before. Judging by the way
he scowled, I guessed not. Having thought about this before, I
understood all the negative possible outcomes of this kind of
primitive surgery. Sepsis was the most likely. It would leave me
dead in a few days.
"That wouldn't..." he started weakly, but Tim didn't let him
"Under these kinds of conditions, without proper medical care,"
he said. "It's a high possibility. I'm sorry, David. I know you
think this is your best option, but it's just too dangerous."
"Please." The word popped unbidden out of my mouth, making them
both stare at me.
David had been absolutely right when he said this would be a huge
help. It was in fact the only thing that would do any good at
all. I couldn't believe my dumb luck in finding David that night
and by extension Tim. I couldn't just let the opportunity slip
"I know you don't know me, and you have no reason to help me, but
there are people looking for me," I said. "Really bad people.
They managed to get me once before and with this thing in my leg,
it's only a matter of time until they catch me again. I won't
escape a second time. And if I have to go back to that place..."
I had to stuff down the panic just thinking about it.
"I'd rather be dead." It felt a little dramatic to actually say,
but it was the truth.
"I won't say a word to anyone and if anything goes wrong, I'll be
really grateful that you tried."
Tim cast an anxious look at David and I knew he was worried about
what would happen to him in the worst case scenario.
"And if I'm not going to make it, I'll leave." I held up a hand
to stop David's protest. After all, if I'm about to die, no sense
staying in hiding.
"I'll take a train or a cab and neither of you will ever hear
from me again. Please, just try. You don't understand what it
will mean for me if you don't."
"I'm not even that kind of doctor," he tried.
"You're the only chance I've got."
Tim's shoulders sagged and I began to see similarities between
him and David. They shared mannerisms and a certain expression
when they were about to agree to something against their better
David and I exchanged a look while Tim debated internally.
"This place?" He asked me. "It's bad?"
"It's..." Bad? Bad was a trip to the dentist. This place was
horrific. "You can't imagine."
After a minute, he turned to David.
"I want that room emptied." He yanked his chin toward the
bedroom. "And I want it scrubbed."
"Uh, sure," David's eyes widened with surprise.
"I mean it," Tim said. "Ceiling, walls, baseboards, everything.
And you need to seal off the window with a plastic sheet and duct
"Right." David nodded, apparently ready to do whatever his
Tim looked at me again. "I'm going to need about a week to
prepare. And I can't promise anything. If it's too deep, I'm not
planning on digging around your leg till I find it."
I nodded. That wasn't ideal, but I guess it was better than
"I don't suppose you want to tell me any more information." He
raised an eyebrow, trying for intimidating, but I already knew he
was a pushover.
"Sorry." I did feel bad that I couldn't tell him anything more.
"But I swear I'm not involved in anything illegal." I could at
least give him that assurance.
"I guess that'll have to be good enough," he sighed. "I can't
guarantee that I can get a hold of any kind of anesthesia," he
"Then I'll do without." I tried not to think about how painful
that would be. But if it really came down to it, I suppose I
could just drink till I pass out.