The ambulance wasn’t the first thing to arrive. If he didn’t count Savina, then Detective Simmons was the first. “Hey,” Savina called toward the door, “I could use a hand in here!” Erkan tilted his head just a bit to the right and could barely see Detective Simmons coming in. He was holding a gun at the ready. That would explain the gunshots, then. Obviously. Erkan hadn’t expected them to come from something that wasn’t a gun, but he hadn’t known who had the gun. “I can’t untie him with one hand very well…” Savina gestured.
“I assume your other hand is… occupied, then?” There were a few clicks as Detective Simmons stowed his gun, then kneeled next to the bed. Erkan felt tension and release near his ankles. “How ya doin’, kid?”
“I’m… nearly thirty,” Erkan squeezed out.
“That makes you a kid.” Detective Simmons moved on to free Erkan’s hands and neck. “You probably shouldn’t talk. Just focus on staying conscious.”
“I’m plenty conscious. Talking just… hurts.” Erkan enjoyed the freedom to lift his head slightly, but that came with some other muscles complaining.
“What’s all this, then?” A new, deep voice came from outside. “Savina, care to explain?”
Detective Simmons tensed and place one hand on his holster.
“Uncle Nico!” Savina turned toward the door, “The criminal already turned and fled. There was… a scene at the deli, and the criminal was waiting outside for customers.”
“I see…” a uniformed officer stepped into the room. He nodded toward Detective Simmons. “Detective.”
Simmons nodded back. “Officer. Funny… I don’t remember seeing you around before.”
“You wouldn’t have. I’m from the SCI division.”
“The what now?” Simmons raised an eyebrow.
“You’ll be briefed later.” Nico Nervetti stepped over next to Erkan. “Who’s this, then?”
“Just a normal h- person who got caught up in things,” Savina explained.
“Normal… is he?” Nico leaned in close to Erkan and sniffed twice, “Seems to be that way.”
Erkan had many questions to ask, but that was when he heard the ambulance sirens.
“Good, they’re here. I need to go with him,” Savina remarked.
Nico shook his head, “Better they stitch him up here.” Nico turned to look outside at the sunrise, “Then we can go home and rest while the professionals take care of him.”
Erkan expected the paramedics or EMTs or whatever he was supposed to call the nice ambulance people to complain about Savina being in the way, but they seemed to ignore her. Instead, they just carefully stitched him up. Erkan wasn’t afraid of needles, but he was uncomfortable about how many stitches were happening. He had quite a few cuts that needed them, as well. The whole time, Savina kept her hand on him… though she moved around once or twice.
Then Erkan was carted off to the ambulance and he finally let himself fall unconscious. He was tired.
“I appreciate the visit…” the nurse, Steven, joked with Erkan, “But you can just walk in if you want to see someone here, you know.”
Erkan laughed slightly. It hurt, but not too badly. Steven had been one of the nurses assigned to him after he was shot. “I’ll keep that in mind next time someone tries to kill me. How bad is it?”
“Well…” Steven looked over the medical report on the nearby computer, “All in all, not bad. Just a bunch of stitches. We’re a bit concerned about blood loss, especially after last time. It was only a few weeks ago, after all. The body can only produce blood so fast. However, since you’re conscious things should be alright. You’ll need to take some clotting factor for a few days, until we’re sure there’s no internal bleeding.”
“Mmhmm,” Erkan nodded.
“Hey, imagine what it was like before you had wireless internet and a phone. You’d be stuck twiddling your thumbs. Or reading, I suppose.”
Erkan liked reading, but there was only so much of it he could handle in the discomfort of a bed that was not his own.
Later, after an exhausting visit from worried parents, Erkan found himself alone. He wasn’t interested in reading, and he had too many things to think about.
What was the deal with Justin? Was he dead? That seemed unlikely, because then that crazy guy wouldn’t have been trying to find out about him. That meant whatever happened at the deli probably involved Rosa, Justin’s girlfriend. He hoped she was okay. She was nice. It was sort of strange Officer Simmons hadn’t shown up yet. Maybe he came while Erkan’s parents were in and decided to come back later, or maybe he didn’t think he would get anything useful. To be fair, he wouldn’t. Erkan didn’t know anything. He was mostly filled with no questions.
Like, who was the guy asking about Justin? Why had he kidnapped Erkan? Just because he was nearby?
Thinking about the man himself, Erkan had a few more hangups. He understood how he’d been knocked unconscious. He’d never been chloroformed before, but he worked with chemicals and he knew that it really was nearly as effective as movies portrayed. That was fine, but how had he been brought halfway across town in a few minutes… without being in a car? He wasn’t exactly light. Not heavy, but also not something that someone could run while carrying.
Then there was the dark. The man with the knife had interrogated Erkan in the dark. That was a good way to conceal his face, but he hadn’t seemed bothered at all. He was still very precise with his knifework even though he couldn’t see.
Of course, Erkan knew one place to get answers for a lot of things. Savina would know. He had a text ready to send. However, he hesitated. He hesitated because he didn’t want to wake her up… that was what he told himself. The real answer was that he hesitated because he might find out the truth. Like Savina being involved in some sort of mafia intrigue along with Justin… and Savina being a witch of some kind. He didn’t clearly remember the first time, and he hadn’t really seen anything the second time… but he’d felt it. She traced patterns with blood on his chest, and then he’d felt the magic. He just hadn’t realized it until his head cleared up. Sure, she’d done it to help him… but he’d already almost died twice in the last couple of weeks. Maybe he was better off not knowing. The text sat unsent.