The trip home had seemed endless to Tinny. By the time she and Des finally stepped inside the house, all she wanted was to curl up in bed and forget the last week had ever happened. Des had barely spoken a word during the entire journey, but then she hadn't been exactly in the mood for conversation either. She still had the feeling that there was something bothering him, but right now, she was far too tired and sore to try and figure out what it was. Whatever it was, it could wait until she had had a shower, a bite to eat and a few hours of sleep, not necessarily in that order.
Des had immediately made a beeline for the couch as soon as they had entered. Tinny was about to go to her room when she noticed that the lights on the answering machine were blinking, indicating that there were new messages. Thinking that it might be important news about uncle Jake or her grandfather, she pressed to button to play back the messages.
The first message was from Rose.
Since neither of you are answering your phones, I just wanted to let you know that I'm with Mal in Radcliffe right now. I'm sure you've heard what happened in town on the news and they've had to evacuate the hospital. Mal's doing much better, but they'll likely be keeping him for another day or two. I should be home tonight. Bye.
The next three messages all were from Jake, much to Tinny's surprise.
The first one was simply:
Skipper, you there? Answer your phone already, will you? It's important.
The second one was delivered in a more irate tone.
Anyone? Why's no one answering their phones anymore? If anyone gets this message, call me. Again, it's important. Oh and by the way, I'm not dead.
Tinny shook her head and played the third and final message from her uncle.
This is Jake, again. Will anyone please, please call me back?
That was the last message saved on the machine. Tinny was pondering what to do when she was somewhat surprised to hear Des' voice behind her.
"What do you think that means?" he asked.
"That Jake wants someone to call him back," Tinny said, not sure what Des was driving at.
"You know what I mean," Des said with mild irritation.
"No, I don't Des and frankly I'm too tired to try and figure it out," Tinny snapped.
Des shook his head in apparent confusion. "What are we talking about?"
Tinny shrugged, not in the mood for mind games.
"Do you want to call him or shall I?" she asked finally.
"I don't want to call him at all," Des confessed, sounding very tired all of a sudden. "I don't want to have to tell him about Mal and Rose and...everything."
"You forgot his car," Tinny pointed out.
"Oh great, now he'll really kill me," Des said, but he sounded rather more resigned than his usual panicky self. "And I got his precious GTO shot to pieces." Des rubbed hand over his face and repeated, "No, I really don't want to call him."
"Coward!" Tinny commented, but there was no energy behind her comment. She too was too worn to argue and if she was honest, she didn't feel much like phoning Jake either. Not because she feared that he would be angry, but because she simply couldn't muster the energy. It seemed like the day's events had sucked the life right out of her.
Still, Jake obviously had something important to say, so she picked up the phone and promptly stopped dead in her tracks. She had no idea what number to call him on. His cell phone number would be no good, not after everything that had happened. After several seconds, it finally occurred to her to simply call back the number from which he had called and left the messages on the machine. Then she wondered why she hadn't thought of that earlier. It just hadn't been her kind of day, she decided as she waited for the call to go through.
Jake was not having a stellar day either. Physically he still felt suspiciously like crap, which considering what he now remembered again of the previous week, was no wonder. Still it was annoying, especially since it prevented him from getting to the bottom of what had happened that morning himself. Try as he might and replay the scene in his mind, he still couldn't make sense of it in the least. It just didn't fit with everything he knew about Leslie Bennett. He had no doubt that given sufficient provocation she might slap him, but she would never try and kill him. Besides, if she had wanted to kill him, she would have. With a gun at such close range, it would have been impossible for a crack shot like her to miss. And that didn't even take into account the bomb.
Based on the fragments of information that he had been able to gather so far, there had been an explosion at the hospital in St. John's and there had also been talk of a car bomb, which hadn't exploded, having been found aboard a parked car nearby.
He was still a little shy on the details as try as he might he couldn't get anyone on the phone. He had tried his father at least ten times the same as Rose. When that had failed, he'd tried Des and finally Tinny. Sergeant Hood hadn't answered his phone either, and he had tried both his cell phoneand the phoneat the station. It almost seemed like everyone he knew had suddenly dropped off the face of the earth. Finally, he gave up on his attempts, largely because his head and body were really letting him know that he was not in his usual good shape right now.
Although he was now lying back in bed, trying to get some rest, his mind had its own ideas and wouldn't allow him to doze off. The nonsensical events of the morning were nagging at him with remarkable persistence.
The knock at the door interrupting his thoughts was a welcome interruption. Dinnerhad already been served, alarming early as far as he was concerned, so he figured it was probably some doctor or nurse who was coming to check up on him once again. A fairly steady stream of them had descended upon him since his arrival at the hospital. He paid little mind to them or what they had to say, far too preoccupied with the matter at hand. Had he not been sure that any attempt to do a thing such as walking without support would end up with him right back on the ground, he would have given serious thought to the idea of leaving the hospital and picking up the investigation, but for once in his life he had to concede that this was not an option. Even sitting up on the beside with the aid of a physiotherapist and walking or rather shuffling a few steps across the room with the support of said therapist had taken a lot out of him. He would never make it on his own in his present condition.
The knock however didn't herald the arrival of a member of the medical profession, but that of Sergeant Hood, looking harassed and worried. Jake couldn't help but wonder what was happening. He had never seen him look this pissed off, so he definitely wasn't going to ask.
"Sergeant, what brings you here?" Jake asked, trying to sound more light-hearted than he felt.
Hood's sombre expression only added fuel to his concerns that something was seriously wrong. For the first time since his memory had come back to him that morning, it occurred to him that there might be a more sinister reason for everyone seemingly ignoring his phone calls.
"What I'm about to tell you, doesn't leave this room, Doyle. Is that clear?" Hood asked seriously, no bothering with social niceties.
"Sure," Jake agreed, feeling none too cheerful about it. "What's going on?"
"Let's just say that a mutual friend of ours needs help."
Jake raised an eyebrow.
"Go on," he said when Hood didn't continue. Jake had a pretty good idea who that mutual friend was, but he was puzzled about Hood's cloak and dagger attitude to the whole thing.
Normally, the sergeant had no problems breaking protocol by giving him access to police investigations as well as their files and reports.
Hood pulled an SD memory card from his jacket pocket and tossed it on the sheets. "It's all on here."
He turned to leave. "Don't let her down, Doyle."
"Wait just a minute," Jake called after him, but Hood had already closed the door behind him again.
Great, just great. Jake eyed the SD memory card. What the hell was he supposed to do with that, here of all places? And what was with all this spook-like attitude? Well, the quickest way to find out would be to have a look at whatever was on the memory card, but he had no access to a laptop here and apparently no one in his family could be bothered to answer his calls, leaving him effectively just as far as before Hood's visit, albeit even more puzzled.
When Tinny finally hung up the phone, she wasn't sure whether to be relieved or concerned. She probably should be both. Relieved because Jake was clearly on the mend seeing that he had his memory back, but concerned because, true to form, he already seemed to be in the midst of trouble once again. Tinny hadn't quite managed to follow his explanation of what had supposedly happened that morning, but it didn't sound good in the least.
In fact, it sounded positively crazy and part of here was wondering if Jake wasn't suffering from some sort of after effect of his head injury. It was possible after all, she supposed. He had taken the news about what had happened to the last few days with Rose and Mal pretty well, although Tinny had tried and, much to her surprise, succeeded in eliciting the promise that he would stay in hospital for now and not do anything stupid. However whether Jake would feel obligated to stick to that, was another matter entirely. And for that matter, their definitions of what constituted 'something stupid' might differ widely as well. Tinny knew she wasn't exactly a model of sound judgment, but compared to her uncle's, her choices in life so far had been pretty benign.
"What did he say?" Des asked. He had been loitering around while she had spoken the Jake, but Tinny hasn't been sure whether he had listened to her side of the conversation or not.
"That he needs a laptop asap," Tinny related, not really sure where to start. "I didn't quite get why, but it seemed to be important. He said he needed it to help of friend...yes that's it." Tinny had to think for a moment to recall Jake's exact words.
"Did you tell him about the GTO?" Des asked. Clearly he hadn't been listening.
Tinny shook her head. "Quit worrying about the car already," she admonished.
"You know how he is!" Des protested, but there was no energy behind his words. Des slunk and plunked back down on the couch. For a moment, Tinny contemplated leaving him alone to stew in whatever thoughts were running rampant inside his skull, but then decided against it. The sooner they had this out, the better. She was no in mood for a confrontation, but she doubted that would change any time soon, so she might as well get it over with now. She never had been one for walking around on egg shells.
She walked over to the couch and sat down next to Des.
"Wanna talk about it?" she asked, trying her best to sound casual, while she felt anything but.
Des didn't react. Tinny decided to take that as a good sign, so she forged ahead.
"You should, really," she said. Des shot her an incredulous glance and Tinny hastily added, "No, I don't mean that in a psychobabble nonsense way. I mean I'm starting to get really pissed off at you acting like something's wrong. Seriously, start talking already!"
"I don't know where to start," Des confessed after a long period of silence.
"Is it about the whole kidnapping thing?" Tinny ventured. She had been thinking about that too, despite the troubles of the last of days.
"That's part of it, I think." Des said. There was another long pause. "I just don't know if I can do this anymore," he finally added.
"What do you mean?" Tinny asked, genuinely unsure what Des meant.
"This whole investigating thing that Jake and Mal do. I just can't do it anymore."
"Care to tell me why?" Tinny asked.
"It just keeps going wrong. Like today."
"That was just bad luck, Des," Tinny pointed out. "We were just at the wrong time in the wrong place. It could have happened to anyone."
"But it didn't," Des insisted.
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself!" Tinny told him. "Yes, last week was rotten and today especially, but have you ever noticed that Jake and Mal have even worse luck? If they can handle it, so can you."
"You think so?" Des asked.
"Absolutely," Tinny replied. "Look, I'm the last person who should be giving advice on...on well anything really, since I have no idea what I want to do either, but if you really don't want to be an investigator, I'm sure there are other options. Just don't rush anything just because we've had a lousy week."
"Yeah, as weeks go, this definitely wasn't one of the better ones," Des agreed, his mood having seemingly lightened up slightly.
"Well, I'm off to grab a shower," Tinny said, getting up from the couch.
By the time Tinny returned, feeling a lot more better for having had a hot shower, Des was still sitting on the couch, puttering away at his laptop. Tinny walked into the kitchen, intent on getting a something to eat as she was feeling fairly ravenous, not having had anything since a hurried breakfast that morning. She had just opened the fridge when she heard a key turn in the lock of the front door. Closing the door of the fridge again, Tinny went to greet whom she assumed was Rose coming home and was surprised to find her accompanied by her grandfather.
"Yeah, he insisted," Rose only said in way of explanation when she noticed the curious look Tinny gave them. Rose herself had an exhausted and slightly harassed look about her as she ushered Mal into the living room.
Tinny returned to her food finding mission. While making herself a sandwich she half-listened the others talking in the living room. She might not always be too happy about her chaotic family, but right now, just listening to them banter helped soothe some of the rawness of the memories of the last few days.
Sandwich in hand, she eventually joined them, finding Mal lying on the couch, no doubt on Rose' insistence He looked like he was dozing. Rose and Des were sitting at the table, talking quietly. Tinny pulled up a chair and sat down as well.
Rose turned to her.
"Des tells me you've had quite the day and that you're both lucky to be alive. And Jake has his memory back? How'd that happen so suddenly?"
"I have no idea," Tinny said and shrugged, then took another bit of her sandwich. "He sort of explained on the phone, but it didn't make any sense, to be honest," she explained after a pause. "He did say that he really needed a laptop. Said a friend was in trouble. Didn't say who though."
"Well, he is going to have to wait until tomorrow," Rose decided. "Mal isn't going anywhere tonight and neither are the rest of us. What we all need is a good night's sleep."