Hank Calder sat in his midnight blue 1995 Tahoe outside of Fredericksburg Memorial Hospital. He glanced at his watch, it read 9 p.m. He shook his head, the whole day had frustrated him. Time had passed in a dawdling manner.
After running into and following Lilly here, Calder’s mind spun out the details for his new masterpiece. The pediatric center closed at 9, and the staff would vacate the area not long after. They would make periodic checks throughout the night to ensure the tykes were changed and sleeping.
He grinned at himself in the mirror. Soon, he would reveal himself to his opponents. They would know his name forever.
At five minutes before ten, Calder stepped onto the fifth floor. He walked at a brisk pace to the pediatric center and pushed the door open. The door made no sound as he stepped across the threshold. Calder walked past the sleeping babies until he found a tag that read Gareth Thompson.
The baby looked at him and blew a bubble. Calder grinned and picked up the tyke. Then, without notice, he walked out of the hospital holding Lilly’s child.
Lilly left the church after an hour of crying and bargaining with God. She drove back to her apartment and fell on the couch. In moments, she was asleep dreaming of being chased by an unknown assailant. At 0100, her phone rang. She patted the couch searching for the phone. Her hand touched it, and she picked it up.
“Chief? Is that you?”
“It is. Look out your window. Do you see Konan out there?”
Lilly walked across the living room and pulled back the curtains. Konan walked across the parking lot toward her apartment.
“Yeah, Chief. He’s here.”
“OK. He’s there to pick you up. Go with him.”
“Chief, what’s going on here?”
“Lilly, go with Konan. I’ll explain when you get here.”
Lilly hung up her phone and opened the door. Konan had his hand raised to knock on it, he put his hand down and nodded at her. She nodded back; Konan’s face had the most serious look she’d ever seen before. She and Konan had been partnered for years, and she had seen many serious looks on his face. This one was new.
“You want to tell me what’s going on, Konan?”
“No. I’m here to pick you up. Are you ready to go?”
Konan nodded and walked out. Lilly trailed after him. Together, they walked to his big red Dodge and climbed in. Konan started it and headed toward the hospital. Lilly stayed quiet until the hospital came into view.
“Why are we here, Konan? Did something happen to Gareth?”
He said nothing while Lilly continued to ask questions. Instead of parking in the garage, Konan guided the truck up close to the door. Lilly leapt out and rushed into the main lobby. Konan cleared his throat and got out. Chief Janko held Lilly in his arms, wet tears brimmed in his eyes.
“Where is my son,” Lilly screamed. “How could this happen? Where is Gareth?”
Lilly fell to her knees and sobbed. Konan knelt beside his partner and pulled her close to him. Lilly threw her arms around him and buried her face in his neck. A lone tear ran down Konan’s face, for once he did not hide it.