Victor gave up playing dead as the torchlight swept over him. He didn’t know the two people, but either way, there were only two viable options - they were either coming to rescue him or finish him off. There was no third possibility.
The man lifted his head and gritted his teeth as he turned to face the light. The flashlight blinded him; this time, he couldn’t do otherwise but groan.
“He’s over there,” the other man said and rushed to kneel beside Victor. “Hey, buddy, you still with us?” he asked, and Victor felt the smile in his voice.
Victor growled and shook his head briefly. He didn’t know if he still had a voice or not. His eyes searched the man’s face, and, satisfied that he had never seen him before, he let his forehead fall back onto his folded arms and closed his eyes.
“Is he still alive?” the woman’s voice reached his ears.
“Yes, he is. What should we do now?” the man asked, arousing Victor’s curiosity.
‘Why is he asking her opinion?” he thought, and a few moments later, the man’s laughter filled the air.
“Because she’s the boss now,” the man retorted humorously.
His words shocked Victor, and he simply froze, his eyes fixing on Axel. He couldn’t even blink.
“Look what you’ve done now, Axel,” the woman admonished her companion. “You frightened him.”
“He’ll survive,” Axel replied pragmatically, and Victor sensed that the man shrugged nonchalantly.
“Who are you people?” Victor grunted, unable to keep his mouth shut for another moment. He felt as if he had landed in a bizarre dimension. This time, he was sure he didn’t say anything out loud.
The woman’s cool hand brushed his hair away from his forehead, soothing the rising fever.
“I am Leah MacKay. I’m a detective, and this is my boyfriend, Axel Arnett,” she explained softly. “I’ll call an ambulance for you,” she continued.
The woman tried to rise, but Victor’s fingers clamped down on her wrist with surprising strength.
“Don’t call the police,” Victor muttered and then bit his lip. The sudden movement had released thousands of painful arrows along his spine and pelvis.
Arnett burst into vigorous laughter, which grated on Victor’s nerves. He would have knocked the man to the ground with a well-placed fist if he had had enough strength.
“I’m sorry, mate, the police are already here,” Axel explained cheerfully, which made Victor grit his teeth again.
Leah gently removed his fingers from her wrist and pulled her cell phone from her pocket. She dialled 911 and explained to the operator who she was and that she needed an ambulance and her team at the Sarabande Garden.
Defeated, Victor sighed and put his head on his arms again. Once, he had seen a commercial on TV about a small gopher who kept trying to climb out of a hole in the ground only to get hit in the head with a hammer every time. Now, Victor was that gopher. He had lost control of his life. ‘Eh, it’s not like it’s the first time,’ he mused.
Axel Arnett leaned over and whispered, “Everything will be fine, don’t worry. She’s the best.”
“That’s what I was afraid of,” Victor muttered, making Axel laugh out loud.
Axel liked the man and was satisfied they had reached him in time. He hoped Victor would survive but realized that Victor was a strong man and counted on his constitution. He didn’t look like a man who could be taken down quickly.
In less than fifteen minutes, the place was swarming with people. The detective, Leah MacKay, seemed to have quite a bit of clout.
Two paramedics kept examining him until Victor felt the urge to smack them hard over the head repeatedly. Only he was already knocked to the ground, so it didn’t take that much effort for the two to finish him off.
Despite the consultation, the paramedics had not removed the knife, which remained stuck in his back, and for that, Victor thanked God.
The man feared that if they pulled the knife out of his back, he would lose consciousness, and he felt it was imperative to keep his mental faculties working. Moreover, he doubted removing the knife would be a good idea.
After the paramedics finished examining him, they prepared to take him away. They laid him face down on the stretcher they had brought and secured him as best they could.
Leah, who until then had been doing her job barking orders left and right, came with long strides towards them.
“So, what do you think? Is he going to be okay?”
One of the paramedics nodded affirmatively, but the other, a woman, just shrugged. “We don’t know yet,” the woman specified. “They’ll have to examine him in the emergency room, but he’ll survive until he gets there,” she explained in a dry tone.
Leah nodded her understanding and then addressed him, “Before you go, give me your name and show me where you were attacked again.”
Victor fixed his dark blue eyes on her face. He pondered her questions briefly but knew he would eventually have to give her honest answers.
“Victor Dobrota,” he introduced himself in a slightly hoarse voice.
Leah spelled out the name as she wrote it down, and he approved of her spelling choice.
“And exactly where were you when you were stabbed?” she repeated the previous question.
Victor pointed to the edge of the grove.
“Right there, I think. Maybe a few steps in the shadows because I didn’t want to be seen. Not that it did me any good,” Victor muttered, visibly upset, primarily with himself.
Leah smiled at him. She understood the man’s anger and felt sorry for what had happened to him.
“All right, Victor. Now, go to the hospital, and I’ll see you there after a while. Is that all right?”
Victor nodded, shaking his head to rest it on his right arm afterwards, closing his eyes. He was no wilting violet, but the night’s events had nonetheless drained him of his strength.
Victor gritted his teeth as they moved him from the gurney to the CT-scan bed. He gritted his teeth when they moved him back to the operating room.
After they anesthetized him, the pain stopped. He welcomed the darkness, though the man had been working hard to remain conscious half an hour earlier.
Two hours later, Victor slowly opened his eyes and found himself in a spare room in the intensive care unit.
‘Yeah, about time I visited one of these places,’ he thought sarcastically. He had never been in the hospital before, although his lifelong adult troubles would have warranted it a few times.
Victor had had enough of scrapes and wounds throughout his childhood and later as a teenager. He was the apple of his mother’s eye, but that didn’t mean Maria Dobrota was the type to coddle or spoil him. Moreover, his mother didn’t like doctors very much.
Later in life, he learned not to let anything get him down. The man often ignored his bruises or bumps, and even a few concussions didn’t make him stop his activities.
Victor looked around with lively curiosity and noticed that the second bed in the room was empty. He tried to raise his head to better look at the room, but a wave of nausea rose in his throat, so he gave up and let his head fall with a thud on the pillow, which made his eyes roll back in his head.
His mouth felt dry, and he ran his tongue over his teeth but couldn’t shake the dry feeling. His throat ached, and he instinctively felt the urge to cough. However, he didn’t have the strength to do it.
When the door opened, Victor lifted his head to see who had entered the room and groaned. First, he tried to move his right arm, but something held him back, and a slight panic crept along his spine.
“Let me help you,” came a melodious voice, followed by hurried footsteps muffled by the rubber soles of the nurse’s shoes.
He almost expected to see an angelic face to match the voice. When the woman appeared in his line of sight, Victor almost flinched. The nurse was ugly as sin, yet her eyes warmed him to the depths of his soul.
Her cool hand first touched his forehead, and then the woman smiled at him.
“I’ll raise the bed just a notch, and you won’t have to lift your head, all right?” she told him, and Victor blinked.
He didn’t think he could move his head without the wave of nausea returning.
“You may feel some nausea and dry mouth for a while,” the young woman explained. “It’s a side effect of the anesthesia, but it will pass soon,” she assured Victor.
“Thank you,” he felt compelled to say, and his voice sounded hoarse in his ears.
The nurse patted him lightly on the chest and smiled again. “But rest a little longer for a while. The police will be here soon to talk to you. If you need anything,” the nurse gestured, “like water or ice, just let me know. See this button here?” She pointed to a button he could reach with his left hand. “If you press it, someone will immediately come to you.”
“Thank you,” Victor said again, and his eyes followed the woman until she left the room.
After the door closed behind her, Victor relaxed slightly. Thinking of all that would come later, he decided to sleep a little longer. Tired, he fell asleep in a few seconds, not having time to ponder anything else.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies