“Mr. Maxwell, Bill, we have discussed this numerous times. Healing takes time. You had a very serious leg fracture caused by that bullet. If not for the ORIF surgery performed by the attending hospital, you might never have used it properly again. The way they fused the bones together… Let’s just say the cast on your leg needs to stay on. You are free to move about the facility carefully, but please tell your nurse. If we have to send out a search party like last time, I will have you strapped down and fed intravenously. Do we have an understanding?”
Bill made a grumbling noise that sounded a bit like “yes,” possibly “yes, sir.”
“I will take that as an agreement from you. Have your nurse call me if you have any different questions or at least ones that refer to your treatment,” the doctor turned and walked out of the room.
“Stupid,” Bill muttered to the empty room. “You take one little walk outside and everyone loses their damn minds.”
“Only when that walk is up on the roof and through a door that is supposed to be locked,” a strange voice replied.
Bill looked up to see a tall brunette nurse watching him from the doorway. “I wanted to get a little fresh air that’s all,” Bill grunted.
The woman was leaning on the frame. She cocked her head to one side and smiled. Raising her hand she pointed toward the windows. “I do believe that is what that window and the park trail outside is for. Walking the trail out there might do you some good stretching out your legs. It would sure make my job a little easier.”
Bill frowned at the stranger. “Your job? What would your job be exactly then?”
“Physical therapy. Yours to be specific. Someone up there thinks you’re sort of special and told me to come work with you a bit. They tell me that we need more special people just like you out in the world.” The woman pointed her finger toward the ceiling.
Snorting, Bill shook his head at the physical therapist. “My bosses have two opinions of me. The first one is that I’m out of date and should be put out to pasture.”
The dark-haired woman pushed off the door frame and stepped inside the room. Her gaze taking in every detail of the place in a single glance like someone in law enforcement might do. Catching Bill’s eyes as he studied her, she smiled. “You aren’t all that old. I would think your bosses, whoever they are, would appreciate experience over youth.”
“You would think that. But the FBI doesn’t share your opinion. They are like a kid with a shiny new toy. All whizz bang and no work. A buddy of mine tells me it takes three agents to do what one could do when I first started working for the bureau.”
“I thought computers and all that new technology was supposed to speed things up. It’s not all paper and pencil anymore, is it?” The woman in nurse’s clothing asked Bill as she crossed the room and settled into the lone chair.
Bill tracked her movement like a cat watching a squirrel. His eyes narrowed as she sat down. None of his other nurses even tried to talk to him like this. “It’s not that way at all. To be truthful, I love the features of my new phone. It makes much of my investigative work far easier. But everything still takes time. Many of our records are old and only now being inputted into the system. My current boss bitches about all the paperwork constantly.”
“It sounds to me like he needs to take a breather. Is this the same boss that is trying to put you out to stud?” The nurse grinned at Bill and made her eyebrows jump.
Bill laughed. “She. My boss is a woman. My wife might object to that just a bit. I can see her chasing any filly that tried, across the field with a very heavy frying pan in her hand. She’s a terror in the kitchen.”
“It sounds like both of them keep you in line pretty well,” the nurse replied.
“My wife does keep a pretty good eye on me. Agatha, my boss, has other ways of keeping track of me. Who are you exactly?” Bill looked pointedly at the nurse.
“I told you I was your new physical therapist. It’s my job to get you back in shape.”
Bill frowned at the physical therapist. “Name?”
“I’m not one of your cases, Agent Bill Maxwell. My name is Genevieve Vogel. As I told you before. I’m here to help.” She smiled at his puzzled expression.
“You are the first person here to take the time to talk to me like this. It makes a man a bit suspicious ... that’s all. What do I call you?” Bill patted his hospital gown as if looking for something.
“You are ever the investigator, aren’t you? Call me Gen if you like or nurse Vogel when your wife is around. I don’t want you to get into any trouble.” Gen pulled a notepad and pen out of her tunic and handed it to him.
Taking the pen and paper from her, Bill asked, “what’s this for?”
“It’s what you’re searching for isn’t it?” Gen replied with a smile on her face.
Once again Bill laughed. “It’ll do. I was searching for my phone. My wife has it. She didn’t want me working. My team is gearing up for a new case. She knows me way too well.”
“As I said before, she sounds like a smart lady. What’s the other opinion that is causing you such grief?” Gen asked Bill, trying to understand him.
Bill shook his head and smiled. “You, young lady, would make a good investigator. I like how you got me to tell you both personal details and background on my career. The bosses upstairs in the bureau want me gone because they think I’m too old school for them. They tried to make me quit by sticking me with a bunch of kids as part of a new program.”
Gen nodded and commented, “Interesting.”
“It was actually. Interesting, that is. My new boss is a Witch. The first one ever employed by the bureau. Her opinion of me is the exact opposite of the big bosses. She loves having me around. With just a bit more work I think she will make a first class director of the FBI if nothing kills her first.” Bill mused as he answered Gen’s comment.
Gen looked at Bill with wide eyes. “Killed? Why would she be killed? Is your job that dangerous? I thought the FBI dealt with mobsters and kidnapping?”
“We still do all that stuff, and more. The group I work for is the Magical Division of the FBI. Our team takes on the things that go bump in the night. I’ve seen things that would curl your hair. We have a couple of shifters, a Vampire, and the Witch on our team. They’re a good bunch of kids and I’m proud to be a part of them.” Bill leaned back on his bed.
Gen looked at Bill with the smallest gleam in her eye. “You might be surprised by the things I’ve seen. Very little scares me anymore.”
Bill held up his hands as if to protest. Misunderstanding, he replied to her statement. “Hospitals are dangerous places. I’ll agree with you on that one.”
Gen looked skyward for a moment and nodded her head. She then looked straight at Bill. “I do believe we are going to get along just fine, Agent Bill Maxwell. Get some rest because tomorrow you are going to hate me.”
Bill shook his head. “I don’t hate anyone on the first day. Not usually.”
“Oh you will. I predict it. Rest now. Tomorrow we’ll work up a sweat and get you on the road to recovery. It’s the only way they are going to let you out of here, after all.” Gen stood up and looked around the room again.
“Sure. Sweat. I’ll see you in the morning Nurse Vogel.” Bill closed his eyes as the drugs the doctors gave him earlier started to kick in.
Gen watched him fall asleep. Closing her eyes, she said a silent prayer for the soul of a good and honest man. Shaking her head, she stepped out of the room carefully closing the door behind her.
The halls were dimly lit as the night shift took over. This was the recovery ward and most of the patients here weren’t at risk of dying anytime soon. Only a couple of nurses sat the kiosk as Gen passed. Neither of them even noticed her passing.
Gen took the stairs rather than the elevator, it was the only way to get to the roof. Bill had managed to disable the lock the day before, but maintenance fixed it adding a louder and more high tech alarm. Gen heard none of that as she opened it. Most mortal and technological things often didn’t work or register around her kind.
The roof was empty when she stepped out onto it. A ladder sat near the door along with what looked like a toolbox. Looking up Gen could see several mounts for what she assumed must be cameras. Gen mused. “you really threw them for a loop Bill. Too bad I missed that circus. It must have been a sight to see all the worker bees here running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Wouldn’t look good to have a highly decorated FBI agent completely disappear from your hospital without a trace. Not good for getting funding.”
Walking over toward the edge of the roof Gen looked out toward the parking lots and the city beyond. Austin, Texas was a fun town if you could handle all the walking and pedicabs. Not a place for the faint of heart when driving that’s for sure. People in cars were crazy. Too bad she couldn’t take in the sights. She’s seen a few good looking bars and restaurants downtown. Not this trip. No rest for the wicked and all that.
“Why am I here? This guy is healthy as a horse. Can’t you see he’s champing at the bit to get out of this hospital? He didn’t jump off the roof yesterday like you said he was going to. Just from listening to him talk he isn’t going anywhere except back to work. And he’s on the side of the light to top it off. We don’t kill the good guys, Herman.” Gen spoke as she looked up into the sky.
The roof and the sky was completely silent. All the sky offered was a slight twinkling of stars. Gen looked down at her feet and shook her head back and forth. “Stupid damn rules.”
Holding out her hand she said a single word. Suddenly there was a flash of light and a sword appeared in Gen’s hand. Looking at it in the moonlight she smiled to herself. “Hello my pretty little friend. Just a phone call tonight, no smiting or battle.”