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Secrets, Lies and Private Eyes

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oOo



Tinny hadn't known what to make of Philip's sudden departure. But she lost no time and looked around the room as well as she could from her position on the bed.

There was no way she would be able to scream loud enough to attract attention, much less leave the room to get help in the condition she was in, but she spotted a phone siting on the nightstand. Rolling over she had the receiver within reach of her arms, and after two attempts, managed to pick it up.

Dialing was harder since the numbers on the keys kept dancing in front of her eyes, but with a supreme effort of concentration, she manged to dial 911.




Rose closely kept to the speed limit to entire drive to Mt Pearl. The last thing she needed was to get in an accident, in Jake's car to boot. Still, she arrived in record time. She hadn't dared to switch off her phone during the drive, just in case Mal got her message and called back. Or Tinny, Des or Leslie for that matter.

Where was everyone? The question had been weighing on her mind, but her chief worry was for Jake. They had refused to give her any information over the phone, but she knew for a fact that Jake would have called himself if he were able.  If he wasn't able to call, then it meant that his injuries were likely serious.

Rose was operating on auto-pilot when she parked the car, got out, locked the car and made her way to the entrance. The woman at the reception desk in the lobby directed her to the second floor. Somehow, she made it to the second floor, although later she wouldn't remember any of her journey. The next thing she was clearly aware of was a woman with a white coat walking toward her.

"Good evening, I'm Dr. Evelyn Trent," the woman introduced herself and extended her hand toward Rose.

"Rose Doyle," Rose shook the woman's hand. She tried to read something, anything on the woman's face, but it was completely inscrutable.

"Are you Jake Doyle's mother?" the woman asked.

"I'm...his stepmother. What can you tell me? Is Jake going to be all right?" the questions spilled from Rose without any conscious input.

"Your stepson suffered rather serious injuries, including a punctured lung, considerable internal bruising, a hairline skull fracture and severe concussion. He's lost a lot of blood. We've given him a transfusion to stabilize him. We’ve also re-inflated the collapsed lung, but it will take a while for it to heal. He is in ICU right now and we have him on a ventilator for now to help with his breathing."

Rose nodded, too stunned to speak immediately. Mal need be to be here, she thought. Why wasn't his answering his phone?

"Is he going to be all right?" she finally managed to ask.

"To be frank, it's too early to tell for certain. He was in deep shock when he was admitted, but we've managed to stabilize him, at least for the moment. The next twenty-four to forty-eight hours will be critical."




It was still relatively early, but Mal needed a drink, badly. He didn't want to go to the Duke. He wasn't in the mood to talk to people. No, he needed somewhere off the beaten rack where no one would know him and where he could get drunk in peace. The meeting with Ellen's mother had shaken him more than he liked to admit. Now that Jake was missing with pretty much nothing to go upon, Louisa's still evident grief over the loss of her daughter had touched a raw nerve and stirred up fears and feelings that Mal was definitely not ready to confront.

He turned off his phone, shutting out any disturbances. He did notice hat he'd missed a call from Rose, but decided against checking the message. She would be angry at him for shutting her out like this, but he could deal with that tomorrow. Right now, he wasn't sure he could face any amount of sympathy even if it was well meant commiseration from Rose.

Wandering aimlessly around the less savory districts of town, he found himself passing by a dingy little establishment. A neon sign announced its name as the Blue Monkey, at least that was what it had once read. Now several of the letters were broken, making reading the sign more of a guessing game than a customer magnet. However, to Mal it was exactly what he'd been looking for. He pushed open the door and descended three steps into the main room of the pub. Despite the early hour, there were already a few serious drinkers set about the business of getting hammered. He would fit right in there, Mal decided. He made his way to the bar, took a seat on  rickety bar stool and placed his first order of the evening, intending to keep drinking until the burning acid of worry didn't hurt quite so much anymore.





A voice filtered through to Des' drugged mind. At first, he was only aware that someone was speaking, but not understanding what they were saying. The tones were non-threatening somehow, even reassuring. He would have been content to listen to the chatter resting just beneath the surface of conscious awareness, but someone or something was touching him, nudging his face non too gently.

He forced open his eyes with effort as his lids seemed unnaturally heavy. It took him a few seconds to make sense of what he was seeing - a pair of pink slippers amidst a sea of mottled green carpet. One of the slippers nudged him again.

"Oh dear," a woman's voice came from above. "Oh, dear," she kept repeating.

Des tried to right himself and found that he was unable to do so. He was tied to a chair which had tipped over onto the side. It was then that the memory of what had happened came back to him in all its splendors.

"Tinny!" he gasped.

The woman's voice paused in her litany.

"Oh, I thought you were dead." she remarked, nonplussed. "Are you one of Philip's fiends?" she asked.

"Uhm, I'm not sure," Des replied, not sure what to say. He had no idea who Philip was, but if his guess was right, it was the man who had kidnapped Tinny and drugged him.

"Is Philip here right now?" he asked, trying to think of a way to get out of this situation. What would Jake do, he wondered. Of course, Jake probably wouldn't have ended up tied to a tipped over chair in the first place, he realized belatedly.

"Can you untie me?" he asked when he didn't get a reply to his first question. "Please?"

"Who are you?" the woman asked. "What are you doing in my living room?"

Des blew out a breath. "That's a long story, but could you please untie me?"

"I will do nothing of the sort!" the woman appeared scandalized at the very suggestion. "I'll call the police, that's what I'll do. If you think you can rob me, young man, you are very much mistaken!" With that the pink slippers stalked out of Des' field of vision.




"Can you tell me your name, miss?" A young uniformed office appeared in Tinny's field of vision. She was currently sitting in the back of an ambulance and a paramedic was taking her blood pressure. After she had managed to telephone for help, police and the paramedics had seemed to have arrive in no time. Lucky for her, Philip hadn't returned in the meantime. In fact, there was still no sign of him.

"It's T...Katrina Doyle, but everyone calls me Tinny." she answered, still slightly muddled. The drug Philip had given her had obviously started to wear off by then, but everything that had happened while she had been under its influence still seemed hazy and rather unreal to her.

"All right, Tinny, " the woman smiled reassuringly. "I'm Constable Theresa Hern. Can you tell me what happened?"

Tinny tried her best to recount the afternoon's and evening's events, but her memory was still somewhat impaired, making it difficult to get the events in their right order. However Constable Hern was patient, letting her explain in a rambling fashion without interrupting her.

"Do you know Philip's last name?" he asked when Tinny finally finished.

Tinny shook her head, causing a wave of dizziness to wash over her. "Ugh," she groaned.

"Take it easy," the paramedic advised her from the side. ""You're blood pressure is still on the low side, so you'll get dizzy easily. But I think it'll wear off over the next few hours."

"Do I have to go to hospital?" Tinny asked in a small voice. The thought of having to deal with even more people and more questions was overwhelming to say the least.

"I strongly advise it, yes. But you probably won't have to stay overnight," the paramedic replied with sympathy. "Still, we need to check you out to make sure you are going to be all right."

"What about Des?" Tinny asked. With returning clarity, she was slowly starting to realize that while she might have had a narrow escape, Des might still be in serious danger.

"We'll do our best to find him," the constable reassured her. "Right now, we need to make sure that you're okay, Tinny. You need to go to the hospital and let them check you out."

Tinny nodded, more careful this time not to cause more dizziness. . She really didn't want to, but it didn't look like she had much of a choice. Better get it over with, she thought in resignation. If she was honest with herself, there wasn't much she could do to help Des right now. The police were far better equipped to find Des and deal with Philip, or whatever his name was.





Rose entered the Blue Monkey late that night, not sure if she was still angry or just plain tired.

After she had still not been able to reach her husband after leaving the hospital, she had broken down and called Sergeant Hood. As luck would have it, he had still been at the office. He hadn't been inclined trace Mal's phone at first, but when Rose had explained the whole situation to him, he had grudgingly agreed to help, as a favor to Mal, as he'd put it. The phone had traced to a seedy bar near the harbor.

She ignored the plainly appraising looks she got from the men sitting in small clusters at various tables and made straight for the bar. There was no mistaking her husband, sitting hunched over at the far end of the bar.

"That's enough, pal," Rose said, laying a hand on her husband's shoulder.

Mal turned around, regarding his wife in bleary surprise.  He put down his shot glass.

Roe turned to pay Mal's tab and when she returned, Mal was leaning against the wall, waiting for her.

"Listen, Rose, I'm really sorry," he began, but she cut him off,

"Outside," she simply said, and tugging Mal by the arm, led the way outside.

Once they were clear of the building, Rose moved to face Mal and took hold of him by the arms.

"They found Jake," she said.

"Oh my god," Mal whispered, paling visibly even in the yellow light of the street lamp. "Is he...?"

"No, he's alive. It's pretty bad and they can't be sure yet that he is going to make it," Rose related to Mal. She wished that she could be of more comfort to Mal, but she had to tell him the truth. At least she hadn't had to tell him that his son was dead.

"Have you seen him? What did he say?" Mal asked, after the initial relief of Jake being alive had faded.

"Yes, they let me see him for a few minutes, but he wasn't conscious. Apparently, it could be a while until he comes 'round."

"How did it happen?"

"According to his doctor, he was badly beaten."

Mal's fists clenched in fury. "I'm going to get the son's of bitches who did this," he muttered.

"Tomorrow, maybe," Rose replied evenly. "Right now, the only place we're going is home. You need to sober up."

Mal looked around. "How did you even get here?" he asked.

"Took the GTO," Rose said. "Which is what we are taking back home. You're in no condition to drive."

She steered Mal toward the GTO, trying to gauge exactly how drunk he was. They had almost reached the car when Rose's phone rang.

 


TBC