Valentine 4:

 Past and Present

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole E. Woolaston

Copyright ã 2016 Nicole E Woolaston, Woolaston Entertainment

 

ISBN: 978-1542563468

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without permission from the author.

 

This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used for entertainment purposes only.  This book was printed in the United States of America.

 

 

 

Chapter 1:

Assassination Attempt or Bedside Manners

 

 

 

 

 

                    Veronica sat beside the hospital bed, staring at her cousin’s silent, sleeping face. The room was quiet, except for the steady beeping of the heart monitor that was attached to Val.  She was breathing on her own, which was good, but she had been placed in a medically induced coma. The bullet that had torn through her shoulder, had missed her heart and her lungs. However, she had lost a lot of blood. There would be no permanent damage, so all the Entienne family could do now, was wait. Wait for Val to open her eyes again.

                Vincent stood on the other side of Val’s bed, staring at her as well. Every few minutes, he’d reach down and grab her hand, hoping she would respond by squeezing it. But she would only lay there, fast asleep.

                The door to Val’s room opened, and Melinda and Victoria entered. They had left the room moments earlier in search of a vending machine, and returned with chips and a bottles of water. Melinda distributed the water, while Victoria opened a bag of chips and held it out to Veronica. She smiled at her sister’s offering, and reached in a grabbed a few chips. “Thank you,” she said, quietly.

                Victoria nodded. She turned to Vincent and asked, “Do you want any, Uncle Vincent?”

                “No thank you, honey,” Vincent said with a sigh. “The water will be enough.”

                The door opened again, and three more visitors entered: Lola, Barbara and Allan. Lola immediately hugged the girls, then stood at Vincent’s side. He put his arm around her. “Thanks for coming,” he said.

                “I had to,” Lola said. She looked down at Val in her bed, and shook her head sadly. “Who the hell did this?”

                “That’s what we’re going to find out,” Allan said. “Mac is at the scene of the incident, looking for any clues. I’ll talk to all of my connections and see what I can find out.”

                Vincent nodded gratefully.

                “We already know who did it,” Veronica said, staring at Val’s face.

                Lola gave Veronica a worried look. “We don’t know that for sure,” she said.

                Veronica looked up at Lola in surprise. “What do you mean?” she asked. “Who else could it be? Even if he didn’t do it himself, he had to have hired someone!”

                The door slowly opened, and Jo poked her head into the room. “Hey there,” she said. “Can I come in?”

                Vincent motioned for Jo to come inside. She slowly entered and stood at the foot of Val’s bed with Allan and Barbara. She sighed heavily. “I’m sorry,” she said. “This is my fault.”

                “What are ya say’n?” Barbara asked, in her thick Irish accent.

                “I should have been there,” Jo said. “I’m supposed to protect her.”

                “There’s no way any of us could have seen this coming,” Lola said. “It’s not your fault, Jo.”

                A female doctor came to the door and gently knocked on the door. Everyone turned to face her. Vincent smiled. “Hi, Dr. Waverly,” he said.

                “Hello, everyone,” Dr. Waverly said, as she entered the room. She had Val’s chart in her hand. She made her way through the small crowd, to the side of the bed, where she lifted Val’s hand, and felt her wrist. With her other hand, she looked at her watch. “Her pulse is good,” she said, after a minute. “She should wake up later this evening.”

                There was a sigh of relief from everyone in the room.

                “Can I speak to you in private?” Vincent asked. Dr. Waverly nodded, and the two of them stepped out of the room and into the hallway.

                “We’re going to find out who did this,” Lola said. “Veronica, I promise you that.”

                Veronica nodded, and smiled at her cousin. “She has to wake up,” she said. “She has to. I don’t know what I’ll do if she doesn’t…”

                Vincent came back into the room, and stood with his hands inside his pockets.

                “We should probably go,” Allan said. He looked at Vincent. “She’ll be okay, Vincent.”

                “Thank you,” Vincent said. He watched Allan, Lola and Barbara as they exited the room.

                “Call me if anything changes,” Jo said. Veronica nodded, and Jo left as well.

                Vincent looked at his daughter and sighed.

                “Uncle Vincent,” Veronica said. “You should go home and get some sleep. Take Melinda and Victoria with you. I’ll stay here with Val. I’ll call you if she wakes up, okay?”

                Vincent looked back and forth, between his daughter and his niece. Then he looked at Melinda and Victoria, and said, “Okay. We’ll go. But call me, okay? The minute she wakes up.”

                “I will,” Veronica said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Veronica could feel her eyelids getting heavy. She stood up from her seat, and leaned over Val’s body. She smiled for a moment, then paused. There were footsteps coming towards the room. She turned just in time to see Jacob standing in the doorway. “Hi,” he said, quietly.

                “Jacob?” Veronica said. “What are you doing here?”

                “I heard the news,” Jacob said. “I’m really sorry.” He stepped back out into the hall, and looked around. He furrowed his brow, then stepped back into the room. “Something’s wrong.”

                Veronica gave him a worried look. “What do you mean?”

                “There’s nobody around,” Jacob said. “No nurses, no doctors…no one.” He looked out into the hall. “We need to move her. Right now.”

                “What?” Veronica.

                Jacob reached behind his back and pulled out a handgun, and handed it to her. “Take this, and tuck it in your pocket.”

                Veronica nervously shoved the gun into her jeans pocket.

                “I’ll see if there’s an empty room across the hall,” Jacob said. He stepped out of the room for a moment, then returned. “Okay,” he said. “Across the hall. Let’s move her.”

                Together, they moved Val’s bed and the pole her I.V. was hanging from, to an empty room across the hallway.  Jacob pushed the headboard of Val’s bed against a wall, and turned off the light. He crouched down, and Veronica did the same. She watched Jacob pull a gun from a holster strapped to his ankle, and cock it. “Just stay down,” he whispered.

                Outside the room, down the hall, the elevator door opened, and a young woman stepped off. When Jacob heard the elevator’s bell, he slowly stood up, and stood against the wall, beside the door. He watched the entrance to Val’s old room, and waited. The woman from the elevator approached the room, and stood, looking around. She was holding a bouquet of dark pink flowers. She took a step back, and turned around. Jacob grabbed his cell phone, and quickly snapped a picture of the woman just as she turned. She headed towards the elevator. Jacob quietly opened the door, and stepped out into the hall. He followed the woman to the elevator and when the doors opened, he stepped into the car with her. “Hi,” Jacob said.

                The young woman looked over at him. “Hi,” she said.

                “Nice flowers,” Jacob said.

                “Thanks,” she said.

                “Visiting someone?”

                “Yes.”

                “A sick friend?”

                “Very sick.”

                The rest of the ride down to the lobby of the hospital was a silent one. When the doors opened, the woman stepped off, and began to walk towards the exit.  Jacob followed her. As soon as she was outside, on the sidewalk, she suddenly dropped the flowers and ran. Jacob chased her, until he lost her around a corner. He stood for a moment, looking around, then groaned, and went back into the hospital. He went up to Val’s floor, where he helped Veronica push Val’s bed back into her room.  A nurse appeared to see what they were doing.

                “Where the hell is everybody?” Jacob snapped.

                “Some of us were on break,” the nurse said, defensively.

                “All of you?” Jacob said. “At one time?”

                The nurse shook her head and walked away.

                Veronica sat beside Val’s bed, and sighed. “Who was it?” she asked.

                “Some girl with short black hair,” Jacob said. “I got a picture of her.” He scrolled through his phone, found the picture, and handed his phone to Veronica. “Do you recognize her?”

                Veronica looked at the picture carefully. “I’ve never seen her before,” she said, handing the phone back to Jacob. “But maybe, when Val wakes up…oh! Before I forget.” She reached into her pocket, and handed Jacob his gun. “This is yours.”

                Jacob nodded, and accepted the gun. As soon as he tucked it away, he heard Val mumble something. He and Veronica stood over her. “Val?” Jacob said.

                “Val?” Veronica said. “Are you awake?”

                Val furrowed her brow, and uttered the name, “Ronnie.”

                Veronica smiled hopefully. “Yes, Val!” she said. “I’m here. I’m right beside you.”

                Val slowly opened her eyes, and squinted at her cousin. “What happened?” she asked, sleepily.

                Veronica did her best to hold back her tears. “You…you got shot,” she said. “After we came out of the movie theater, remember? We thought we heard firecrackers, but someone shot you.”

                Val’s eyes darted all around; searching Veronica’s face for a better explanation. “I got shot?” she asked. “But, how did—I mean, when did that—oh, God, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know how many days I’ve been out.”

                “Six years,” Jacob said. “Welcome back.”

                Val looked over at him in surprise. “Jacob?” she said. “You’re here?”

                “Of course,” Jacob said.

                “Jacob may have saved your life,” Veronica said. “While you were asleep, some girl came here, to your room. Thankfully, Jacob was here to help me move you into another room.”

                Jacob took out his cell phone and searched through his pictures, until he found the picture of the girl he had chased. “Here,” he said, holding the phone where Val could see the screen. “Do you recognize her?”

                Val narrowed her eyes at the screen. “Olivia,” she growled.

                “You do know her?” Veronica said.

                “She was the girl Grandpa wanted me to work with in Italy,” Val said. “She was here?”

                “Do you think she’s the one who shot you?” Veronica asked.

                “It’s possible,” Val said. She looked at Jacob. “That means she’s here, in the United States.”

                Veronica sighed heavily. Jacob smirked at her. “Don’t be so disappointed,” he said. “I know you were hoping Rafferty had something to do with this.”

                Veronica glared at him. “I’m not disappointed,” she said. “I just wanted to know for sure, who we were dealing with.”

                “Olivia Saladino,” Val said. “Why the hell would she shoot me?”

                “Saladino?” Jacob said. “I’ve heard that name before.”

                Veronica shook her head. “Never mind that girl, right now,” she said. “I have to call Uncle Vinny and tell him you’re awake.” She pulled out her cell phone, and dialed Vincent’s number, and waited. As soon as he answered the call, Vincent asked about Val. Veronica smiled, and held her phone to Val’s ear, so she could talk to her father. She carefully raised her hand and held the phone on her own. Jacob gestured for Veronica to step out of the room with him.

                “I’m gonna look into this ‘Olivia Saladino’ situation,” Jacob said. “Are the two of you going to be okay by yourselves?”

                “I think so,” Veronica said, nervously. She looked up and down the hallway. “I don’t think that girl will come back. She probably thinks you’re going to stay here with us.”

                At the end of the hall, the elevator doors opened, and two nurses stepped off.

                “I wonder where they’ve been all this time,” Jacob said. “Anyway, don’t worry. I’ll call you if I learn anything.” Veronica nodded, and watched Jacob step back inside Val’s room. She had ended her conversation with her father.

                “Daddy’s on his way here,” she said. “Jacob, thanks for being here.”

                Jacob smiled at her. “Where else would I be?” he said. “Take care of yourself, okay? I’ll check on you later.” He touched her hand, then stepped away from her bed. He patted Veronica’s shoulder as he left the room.

Veronica closed the door, and seated herself next to the bed. “I’m glad you’re okay,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done if I’d lost you.”

Val smiled for her. “Thanks, Ronnie,” she said.

 

End of sample.