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Bill and Duvan began the quarter mile walk from the ER parking lot to the emergency room entrance. “Isn’t it odd how we all fit together?” Duvan asked. “I did not even know that you knew Gabrielle and Adriel and there you were as one of her emergency contacts. Life is strange sometimes.”

“You can say that again. But really, not so strange. You said you live close by to the Gibeons?”

“Yes. Less than a mile. That is how we met. At a bus stop.”

They approached the emergency room entrance and found a police car parked in one of the reserved spaces. “I wonder if that’s Davies’,” Bill asked, nodding toward the cruiser. “That boy doesn’t seem to like me much, now does he?”

“You are lucky. The other one? Looney? He does not seem to like anyone.”

“Yeah, I got that impression even though I barely dealt with him. I live kind of close to Gabrielle and Adriel too and like I said once we met and she sort of introduced Jenny to me we became good friends.”

“That is good. We all need good friends but them especially I think. Forgive me for asking but, speaking of Davies, why do you think that he did not arrest you if you were driving drunk?”

Bill looked at Duvan sideways, cocked his head to the side and said, “Good question, but I wasn’t really drunk. I blew below the limit on the Breathalyzer and I must have passed the sobriety field test. You know; where you have to walk a line and all that? Turns out my ‘erratic’ driving plus a blood alcohol above point oh four is enough to qualify for Maryland’s little gotcha of DWI; which I didn’t even know existed.

“I can only figure that he was on the border between charging me or not and wanted to make sure I did what he wanted. To be fair I had been driving way too fast. So fast I could have lost my license dead sober. Maybe I should count my blessings.”

“Perhaps we all should,” Duvan replied as they slipped into the emergency room waiting area and scanned the mostly empty chairs for familiar faces.

“I don’t see them,” Bill said quietly to Duvan. “That might be a bad sign. If Gabrielle’s not out here then she might be in with Adriel which means they might have lost him.”

“Oh, I pray no. They are good people and she has been through so much.”

“Okay, Gabrielle,” a hushed voice off to their right said, “looks like we have everything we need for admissions. There’s vending machines with coffee in the lobby and of course there’s a chapel. The doctors will tell you what’s up as soon as they know anything.

“You said you have friends coming?”

“Yes. Officer Davies brought me here but I have friends coming in another car.”

Duvan tapped Bill on the shoulder and gestured with his head toward the admission area where Sue was finishing with Gabrielle. Bill shook his head and whispered, “Give ‘em room. We’ll wait here.”

“Good,” Sue continued, “it’s not a good time to be alone.

“You’re sure you don’t want a doctor to take a second look at your head injury? If Dave and Troy cleared you then you’re probably fine but having a doctor look at you would certainly be a good idea. Head injuries can be tricky.”

“No, no doctors. Thanks. Someone will come find me when they know, when they can tell me what’s going on with Adriel?”

“Yes. If you’re not in the lobby we can text you and then just come back here. Good luck, Gabrielle.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“Thanks, Sue,” Davies said. “You’re one of the good ones.”

“Take care. Both of you,” Sue replied before her eyes and fingers returned to her computer.

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