Fifty Shades of Crimson

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Story by T.Charters copyright (C) 2017.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, Gods or Demons, living, dead or imaginary is purely coincidental.

Chapter 10

David walked into the ICU and found Paula sitting quietly at the nurses station. "Slow night," he remarked. In their profession that wasn't generally seen as a bad thing.

Paula nodded. "I don't often see you in here," she replied.

"It's just not exciting enough for me," David joked. "Listen," he said, becoming a bit more serious. "Do you recall that Jane Doe case from a few weeks back?"

Paula nodded. Her smile vanished. Almost everyone had been touched by what had happened. "How's Amanda doing?" she asked.

"I don't know," David replied sounding worried. "I've not spoken to her. I have no idea where she is and she's not answering her phone. Do you still have any of the transfer paperwork for Jane?" he asked.

"Not anymore," Paula responded. "It would have all been sent to the records department by now."

David nodded. "Okay," he said. "Thanks." He turned to leave.

"Why are you interested?" Paula asked. "Is there a problem?"

David shook his head. "No," he replied. "I don't know," he said. He was mostly curious about the ambulance which had been sent to Amanda's place, not that he was going to say anything here. "I'm just curious about something," he explained. "Do you recall where she was transferred to?" he asked.

Paula thought for a moment. "County General I think," she replied though not sounding completely certain.

David nodded once more. He again turned to leave then stopped. "That seems an awful long way for someone in her condition, don't you think?" he said. "She was barely even stable."

Paula frowned. "A little," she agreed. She obviously hadn't thought that much about it.

David thanked her then started walking toward the door.

"When you see Amanda next," Paula called after him, "ask her how her lip is."

David stopped and looked behind. "Lip?" he said confused.

"She was bleeding the first time she came and saw Jane," Paula explained. "She said she kept biting her lip. I told her to see someone about it."

"First time?" David prompted. "When was this?"

"In the morning just after her shift had ended," Paula revealed. "A few hours after Jane had been moved to ICU."

"Was this before or after Jane had asked for her?" David inquired.

"Before," Paula confirmed.

"Why would she do that?"

Paula shrugged. "I don't know," she replied. "Amanda seemed to think there was something different about Jane and she just wanted to make sure she was okay."

"Different? Different how?"

Paula shook her head. "I don't know," she repeated.

David frowned. Now he really was confused and even more curious. It seemed so out of character for Amanda as he recalled how uneasy she'd been to help even after being asked. She never involved herself in anything outside of her role. There should have been no reason for her to visit Jane beforehand. To his knowledge she'd never followed up on any other patient from the ER.

He took the lift to the admin level then strode into the records department.

The clerk lounging behind the counter and playing with his mobile phone glanced up in surprise then quickly swung his feet off the desk. He clearly didn't get many visitors at this time of night. "Can I help you?" he asked. He was pale and gaunt and obviously didn't spend enough time in the sun.

"I'm looking for the records on a Jane Doe case from a few weeks ago," David explained. "I was the chief resident on the case. David Markie."

The Clerk nodded then punched the request into the computer. He annoyingly drummed his fingers on the keyboard while he waited. Eventually he rose from his chair then retrieved a folder from one of the many shelves spread out behind.

"There's not much in it," he advised opening the folder himself.

Apart from a single sheet of offical looking paper the folder was empty. There should have been dozens of forms, test results and transfer papers.

"It looks like the file's been sealed," the Clerk added though without giving a reason. "You can put in a request for it if you want."

David shook his head and left. He returned to the ER then after first checking that everything was okay with his team he collapsed in the resident's office. He didn't understand. "What the hell is going on," he muttered to himself. He sounded completely frustrated.


Elsewhere in the city Bob's phone suddenly beeped then minutes later Marc's phone vibrated as a message appeared on the display. He glanced at the screen and immediately frowned. He turned to Amanda and Jane who were sitting, quietly talking nearby. For the first time in a while they both looked extremely happy. Marc was reluctant to interrupt them.

"Your Majesties," he started then quickly stopped. "Ladies," he said, "we might have a problem."

"What?" Amanda asked.

They both turned and stared.

"Someone is looking for you, both of you," Marc explained. "The Watch just informed us that someone requested Jane's file at the hospital and this man was also asking for you yesterday." He handed Amanda his phone. There was a pictured on the display.

"It's David, David Markie," Amanda said surprised. "He was my supervisor at the hospital."

Marc nodded. "He also asked for the file this evening," he revealed.

"He was here," Amanda added as she looked closer at the image and recognised the garden outside. She sounded surprised. "How did he get my address?" she asked. "The administrator," she said angrily before anyone could answer. She shook her head then frowned. "Where did you get this picture?" she inquired now sounding a little puzzled. The angle was a little off centre so it couldn't have been taken from directly ahead.

"Your neighbour provided it for us," Marc explained.

"Mrs. Ironside," Amanda said again sounding surprised. "She's a nosey busybody who likes to bang on the walls when we make too much noise. Why would she help The Watch? How does she even know anything about The Watch?"

Marc smiled. He seemed to be enjoying Amanda's look of confusion. "Because she's Fey," he revealed.

"She is?"

Marc nodded. "Everyone here is," he explained. "The entire complex was built for the Fey. It is only one of many."

Amanda stared.

"Your neighbour is a Succubus," Marc explained further. "A creature who feeds on emotion, mostly negative in her case. Your friend is lucky she didn't find him more, palatable."

"Well, that explains a lot," Amanda quipped uneasily. She couldn't count the number of times she'd thought unpleasant things about the older woman.

Marc returned his attention to the photo. He looked a little serious. "Why do you think this David is looking for you?" he asked.

Amanda frowned and shook her head, then her face cleared. She sighed. "He's probably just worried about me," she said, blushing. "He was a little taken with me," she revealed now looking completely embarrassed. "I may have flirted with him at times. Led him on."

Jane stared. "You didn't tell him you preferred girls?" she asked. She didn't really sound upset, rather she sounded a little amused.

"No," Amanda replied guiltily while looking completely wretched. "Why would I? I was working. I was trying to fit in."

"Perhaps it's time you did," Marc suggested as he rose from his chair.

Amanda looked up in surprise. "What? Now?" she said.

"It's as good a time as any," Marc replied, "and at the moment we know where everyone is."

Amanda glanced at Jane. "I'm sorry," she said unhappily. She felt like she had let them both down.

Marc and Amanda took the limousine into the city. Amanda would have preferred to take her own car but for the moment she couldn't quite remember where it was. Jane reluctantly stayed at home with the other security. She was disappointed but she understood that it might be too easy for her to be recognised.

"Don't let him down too easy," she'd joked.

The driver pulled to a halt out the front of the hospital then Marc and Amanda slowly walked inside.

"So what are you," she asked, "my bodyguard?"

Marc nodded. "Something like that," he replied. "A story is always easier to believe if there is an element of truth," he advised.

Amanda frowned at him, she didn't immediately understand.

The orderly behind the counter recognised Amanda and buzzed them through the security door into the ER. They found David and the rest of the ER team waiting in one of the triage bays. They all looked up and stared.

Amanda smiled. "I understand you were looking for me," she said.

David nodded in surprise. "Who's this guy?" he asked gesturing in Marc's direction. He actually sounded a little apprehensive, maybe a tiny bit jealous.

Amanda glanced up at Marc. Like always he managed to look large and menacing, exactly as he should. "He's my bodyguard," Amanda replied and at that moment understanding what Marc had meant. When possible it was easier to tell the truth than to make something up.

"Bodyguard?" David prompted.

Amanda nodded. "We should talk," she said.

They went to the staff break room and sat around the table. Marc waited beside the door.

Amanda looked up at him. "Could you wait outside?" she asked. This was going to be embarrassing enough without have Marc watching her every move.

Marc nodded politely then stepped into the hall but no so far away that he couldn't hear what was being said.

"So what's his deal?" David asked.

"I'm working for a very wealthy family," Amanda explained. "They require me to have as much protection as they do." She smiled it wasn't a complete lie or really one at all. "Their daughter was severely injured," she added, "and they like that I would always be there for her."

"So that explains the ambulance," David suggested.

"Ambulance?" Amanda asked.

"You neighbour told me about it," David explained. "She said you had a new flatmate delivered who was covered in bandages."

Amanda nodded.

Marc frowned. He would need to have a talk with the neighbour.

"So how did you know I was looking for you?" David asked.

"My neighbour again," Amanda replied.

They briefly chuckled.

"But I never told her my name," David added. He sounded confused.

Amanda smiled. "She took a photo of you," she revealed. "Apparently she thought you might be rather tasty."

"Urgh," David said, sounding slightly repulsed.

"I can introduce you if you wish."

David quickly shook his head. His smiled faded. "I wanted to say I was sorry," he said, "for how it ended."

"It wasn't your fault," Amanda replied.

"So are you seeing anyone?" David asked hopefully. "We could still go out, get to know each other a little better."

Amanda smiled. "That's sweet," she said a little delicately, "but I'm afraid that you're really not my type."

"I could change!"

Amanda smirked. "No," she suggested, "you couldn't."

"Why?" David said while sitting back in his chair. "What's your type?"

Amanda blushed. "Female," she whispered in reply.

For a time they just sat and talked.

They both jumped as the administrator abruptly strode into the room demanding to know who Marc was and why he was waiting in the hall. The moment he saw Amanda he tried to run but found his way blocked by an extremely solid body.

Amanda looked up and stared. "You," she said. She stood up and glared.

"You, you shouldn't be here," the Administrator stammered.

"She's with me," David revealed. "I asked her to come."

"Don't worry," Amanda said as pleasantly as she could manage. "I'll be leaving soon, but don't you ever give my personal information to anyone else."

She nodded to Marc who stepped aside.

The administrator turned and ran from the room as fast as he could. He waddled up the hall before disappearing around a corner.

Amanda stared. "He doesn't deserve to be here," she said.

"The world doesn't improve by removing the people we don't like," Marc advised. "It only gets better when those people realise that they themselves must change."

Amanda looked up at Marc. "Deep," she said.

Marc just shrugged.

They walked back through the ER and quickly stopped at the triage bay so that Amanda could say goodbye to the others, then they all walked outside.

David stared at the car.

"Yeah I know," Amanda said feeling completely embarrassed. "It's over the top." She turned and smiled. "I won't be home very much and I'll probably never answer my phone, but if you SMS me I'll always text you back."

David smiled. "Not exactly the sort of relationship I was looking for," he said sadly.

They hugged briefly.

"Look after yourself," Amanda suggested.

"You too," David replied.

He watched the car leave then started to walk back inside. He stopped and frowned. "Hang on," he said to no one in particular. "Wasn't she engaged?"

"You did well," Marc advised.

Amanda nodded. "It's not my first time pretending to be something that I'm not," she said.

"I can imagine," Marc replied. He sounded sorry for her.

"What will you do if he doesn't stop trying to find me?" Amanda asked. She sounded a little concerned. She actually liked David and would never wish him any harm.

"We would try to encourage him otherwise," Marc suggested.

"What does that mean?"

"Oh you know sending him a dead fish, horse's head in his bed."

Amanda turned and stared. She was horrified.

"It was a joke," Marc advised.

"Yeah," Amanda said, "we really need to work on that."

They sat silently for a time.

Amanda stared out the window and watched the city fly by. "So is Mrs. Ironside in trouble?" she asked.

Marc smiled. He nodded approvingly. "You're very perceptive," he said.

"Is she?" Amanda repeated.

"No," Marc replied, "though I might ask her to be a little less detailed with her descriptions. It might be difficult though," he added, "it is in her nature."

"What do you mean?" Amanda asked.

Marc thought for a brief moment. He understood that Amanda's exposure to the Fey had been very limited. "I assume you're aware that there are many types of Fey?" he inquired.

Amanda nodded.

"Are you also aware that they are then divided into two groups, light and dark?"

Amanda shook her head. "Good and evil," she suggested.

Marc smiled. "I'm afraid it is not quite that simple," he replied, "though there are many who might agree with that assessment. Light Fey are those who can pass undetected in the human world, while Dark Fey are those with abilities or, features which might stand out."

"So Mrs. Ironside is a Dark Fey?"

Marc nodded. "Correct," he said. "Her uncontrollable hunger would be, problematic if she were to encounter too many humans."

"So why is she living in my apartment block?" Amanda asked. It didn't seem to make much sense if she were so dangerous.

"I believe your guardian placed her there for your protection," Marc revealed.

"Bob?" Amanda said. She sounded surprised.

Marc nodded. He smiled. "He obviously cares a great deal for you," he replied.

"So are we light or dark?" Amanda asked.

"Light," Marc confirmed.

"But we feed on them and turn them into monsters like me," Amanda suggested. She sounded disgusted.

"There are some that do," Marc sadly agreed, "though most are civilised enough to feed from more, discreet sources."

"What about you?" Amanda asked. "Have you ever turned anyone?"

"No," Marc firmly replied. "I find the idea repulsive. Who am I to impose my will on another." He swivelled in his seat and looked Amanda directly in the face. "And you are not a monster," he said seriously. "You've had to live a guarded, solitary existence, understandably. One that I'm sure Jane and your friends couldn't even begin to understand."

Amanda smiled briefly. "You think?" she said.

"I'm sure of it," Marc replied.

When they arrived home Jane was anxiously waiting on the couch. It seemed like she hadn't even moved. She immediately leapt up to hug Amanda as she stepped into the room.

"So did you do it?" she asked.

Amanda nodded glumly. "I'm sorry," she said again.

Jane laughed. "You don't have to be," she replied happily. "I'm not worried about anything you did before we met."

"And now?" Amanda asked frowning a little.

"Oh well now that's a different matter," Jane joked, while stepping back with her hands on her hips.

Amanda smiled.

Marc politely cleared his throat. "Ladies," he said, avoiding his previous mistake. "Might I suggest you get some rest. We'll need to leave early in the morning before the sun rises."

"Why?" they both asked, then they realised. "Princess lessons," they groaned together.


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