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After relieving herself in the restroom Gabrielle took a few minutes to calm down. One part of her brain was screaming at her to hurry to the emergency room in the hopes that the medical ministrations Adriel had received had at least stabilized him enough so that she could be by his side. The other part was filled with doom and even though she had finished her business in the toilet stall she sat there frozen in place, tears falling, fear and worry overcoming hope and optimism.

Fighting off the panic attack she walked to the sink, washed her hands, washed them again, used her finger as a make-do toothbrush, splashed water on her face and ran her fingers through her short hair. “Okay, kiddo, now or never,” she said aloud. “Please, Lord, let it be good news,” she added as she used a paper towel to dry her face and hands.

She emerged from the bathroom and heard Bill engaged in a one way conversation. He spoke, there was a short period of silence but no one spoke back to him. ‘A phone call? Now?’ she thought. ‘I sure hope it’s important.’

“Okay, Jenny, that’s about it,” he said, gently placing a hand on Gabrielle’s arm. “I just wanted you to know what’s going on and that we’ll call you when we have more information. Sorry about it being so early. Yeah, I can tell her but she’s right here. You want to talk to her?

“It’s Jenny,” Bill said, handing Gabrielle his phone. “I called her to let her know what’s going on. She wants to talk to you.”

Bill pushed the down arrow for the elevator as Gabrielle took the phone, “Jenny? It’s Gabrielle. Hi.”

“Oh, honey, this is awful. I’m so sorry. How’s Adriel?”

Bill took Gabrielle’s arm and encouraged her into the elevator. The car started down as she said, “I think we’re going to find that out in just a minute. He’s been in intensive care and we weren’t allowed to see him. I just got a text from his doctor asking me to come to the ER and talk to him.”

“Oh, wow. I’m so sorry. I hope it’s good news. Listen, I’m coming over but it’ll be a while. Probably at least an hour. You hang in there. Let Bill know that I’m on my way okay? I’ll text him but just let him know. I love you, sweetie. It’ll be okay.”

“I love you too, Jenny. Be safe, don’t hurry. I’ll let you know when I know something,” she answered, handing Bill back his phone just before the elevator came to a stop and the door opened.

“Thanks for being here, Bill. It means a lot to me.”

“No matter what else we are or aren’t we’re friends. I figured after Adriel Jenny’s just about the best friend you have and I know how much you mean to her.

“Listen, if you need help Jenny’ll be more than willing. One of the perks of me being her boss is that she has quite a bit of latitude in dealing with day to day functions. For now I’m thinking you’ll probably be her top priority.”

“I don’t know that I can ask her to do that,” Gabrielle whispered.

“You don’t have to, I already did. Gabrielle, you mean the world to her. She thinks of you as some kind of hero savior. Let her repay you some. She wants to, and it won’t cost her anything. It’s my payroll.”

“Thanks again. We’ll see. Let’s find out what they can tell us about Adriel.”

“Good idea. Let’s do that.”

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