Fatal Fortune by Miranda Rijks

Fatal Fortune by Miranda Rijks

Author:Miranda Rijks [Rijks, Miranda]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Inkubator Books
Published: 2019-05-04T16:00:00+00:00

‘Mrs Durrant. I am Dr Rhandeshi. I operated on your son.’

He doesn’t look much older than George and is strikingly good-looking, with coffee-coloured skin and sparkling green eyes. He is wearing a white coat over an open-necked pale-blue shirt and beige chinos.

‘George is in ICU,’ he says, holding my gaze. ‘The operation went well, and he is expected to make a good recovery. He has several broken ribs and a punctured lung, which we needed to operate on, and his right femur was quite badly broken, so we inserted a titanium plate, which will hold it together. Recovery will be fairly slow, but we expect him to be walking soon, and there shouldn’t be any long-term effects.’

I want to hug this young man, to thank him for stitching my boy back together again. I can’t get any words out to express my relief.

The spiky-haired nurse rubs my forearm. ‘Come and get a cup of tea.’

‘Thank you,’ I murmur to both of them, and follow the nurse into a waiting room lined with blue plastic chairs and a television blasting out a family-friendly quiz show. She hands me a steaming cup, way too milky for my liking.

‘Your son will be in ICU for several hours, and then we’ll get him settled into a bed on the ward. Why don’t you come back to see him tomorrow?’

‘Can’t I see him now?’ I urge.

She gives me a sympathetic smile. ‘Visitors aren’t allowed in ICU, and by the time he’s settled here, it’ll be long after visiting hours. You go home, have a good night’s sleep, and come back tomorrow.’

‘You will call if anything changes?’

‘Of course,’ she reassures me.

I walk slowly towards the exit, past people hurrying in the opposite direction – an elderly man with the pallor of paper being wheeled on a trolley by two orderlies; a harried mother trying to stop her toddler from screaming – past corridors lined with posters and notices, and then out into the entrance lobby. It isn’t until the cold, fresh air brushes my face that I realise I don’t have any way of getting home. My car is parked up on a lay-by twenty miles away. I’m rifling in my wallet to see if I even have enough cash for a taxi when a hand grasps my shoulder. I jump.

‘Dr Durrant, would you like a lift?’

I hesitate. I’m not sure that I trust Joe Swain.

‘I’m going your way and can drop you off at your car.’

But I’m too tired to argue, and I know I’ve only got about ten pounds in my wallet, insufficient to pay cash for a taxi. ‘Thank you,’ I say and then immediately regret accepting the offer.

As we’re walking towards the car park, he throws me a surprisingly warm smile and says, ‘Call me Joe.’

I am expecting a lift in a marked squad car similar to the one that brought me to the hospital, but Joe Swain drives a dark-grey Audi with no markings to suggest he is a police officer.

‘Was it Ricky’s van?’ I ask as we edge out of the hospital car park.


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