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PART EIGHTY-FIVE

          “Hey, Lunatic,” Manny said into his phone, “Taisto here. I’m standing in Trinity hospital with Karla Kisor, the mother of the kidnap victim? No, dumb ass, not her. The kid. Yeah, yeah. Funny.

          “We got two things here. First, would you radio the officer who brought the Kohnen kid to the hospital and tell her she should talk to Karla? Pretty sure it’s that Tierney Rosenstock chick. Yeah, the one stationed at Trinity. She brought Sara Kohnen in and rushed her to the back of the ER away from Karla who is the best friend’s mom. Good. Thanks!

          “Next, would you tell Rosenstock to talk to the Doc and tell him to talk to Karla here? Yeah, yeah. I know what HIPAA is. I’m not asking him to tell her details, just talk to her. Just do it. The Doc’s a grown-ass-man, he’ll know how to walk the damn tightrope.

          “You got a detective on hand there to talk to Karla? She’s the perp’s ex, lotta background crap that could be useful. No? What the hell? Budget cuts. Always budget cuts. Fine. No, it’s fine. Just make sure this Rosenstock talks to Karla then, alright? Cuz now it’s not just important, it’s urgent.

          “Yeah. Thanks, Looney. I’ll bring yous a coffee next time I’m over your way. Chow,” Manny said, disconnecting the call.

          “Okay. I’m sure this Rosenstock will want to talk to you now and maybe we’ll get the doctor to too,” Manny said to the three women. “What else do we need here?”

          Karla, Suzann and Stacie looked from one to the other and then turned to Manny. “Well, nothing I suppose,” Suzann replied. “Are you leaving?”

          “Yeah. I was gonna call Easton and see if there’s any way I can help. Just peripheral stuff. Nothing that could get the case thrown out. We need to catch this asshole.”

          “I see,” Suzann said. “Well, if duty calls. Perhaps just another quick visit to the ER check-in together? My thought is that the two of us side by side might get the doctor and Officer Rosenstock out here more quickly than just an old Jamaican by herself.”

          Manny barked a laugh. “You? Old? Never. But, you may be right. Yeah, sure. I can call Easton from over there just as easy as I can standing here.”

          “Manny?” Karla asked, spreading her arms wide, “I just want to thank you. Sorry if I got upset. You probably can imagine how hard this is. Here,” she added, handing him a piece of paper with her phone number and address, “Keep in touch, okay?”

          “Cripes!” Manny replied, rolling his eyes, walking into the woman’s arms and patting her bare shoulders with his fingertips.  “Yous don’t need to apologize,” he insisted as he stepped back from Karla’s embrace. “I got it. And I like your angel wings. Nice. And yeah, I’ll let you know what I know. Black Lake Road? Like, right over there by the Am Vets? My buddy manages that place.”

          Karla smiled in return. “Yes. Am Vets is, oh, I own’t know, ten driveways west a us? That’s a nice lion on your calf. ‘Law of The Jungle,’ huh? Very fitting.”

          Manny snorted a laugh. “Yeah. ‘If I say it must be so,’” he said, shifting his legs so Karla could see the tattoo on his other leg. “Lion to lioness? We’re gonna get this guy. I’ll be in touch. Come on, Layher. What? You think I got all night?”