Chapter 27 by Matt Wall
Billy shut the door to the examination room behind him, and paused before turning around. The sound of his heartbeat was loud inside of him, warning him of what he was about to uncover. As his heart calmed, he finally turned to see Eden’s worried face and Ciri continuing her long slumber.
Eden’s full, soft lips mouthed, “It’s okay.” She reached down and took Ciri’s hand in hers.
Billy placed his hand on Ciri’s forehead, then cheek and sat down in the chair next to her. “Ciri? We know you’re awake. We know you have been faking being asleep.”
Ciri didn’t move. She seemed as peaceful as ever.
Eden bit her bottom lip, then said, “It’s okay, sweetie. Van isn’t here.”
Slowly, Ciri’s eyes opened and scanned the room, fearfully making sure that Eden was telling the truth. “Am I in trouble?” her soft, scared voice asked.
A smile appeared on Billy’s lips. “Not at all. I’m just glad you’re awake. I was beginning to worry about you.”
Tears filled Ciri’s eyes. “I’m so sorry. He didn’t want me to say anything.”
“Van. He wanted me to keep quiet until after Brody was put away for good. He hurt me every time I opened my eyes.”
“He would punch me in the legs, mostly.”
Billy looked up and saw Eden’s eyes also fill with tears. He lifted Ciri’s blanket back to expose the massive bruising. “Oh my God. I can’t believe we didn’t know this was happening. Did he attack you the night of your injury, or was it Brody?”
Sobs filled the air as Ciri broke down. “It was Van. I love Brody, that’s why all this happened. Van is punishing me for cheating.” She wiped her eyes with her blanket. “How is Brody? Is he all right?”
Billy stopped Eden from speaking with a shake of his head. “He’s fine, but Ciri, I am going to have to ask you to speak with a detective from the Police Department about this.”
Fear struck her face once more. “No! I can’t. Van’s dad is the boss over there and if I go against him, his dad is going to make me disappear.”
“Did you hear this from Chief Dean or from Van?”
Ciri processed the question slowly. “Well…Van.”
Billy sighed. “I need to get Detective Granger in here.”
“Wait!” Ciri shouted. “Could she be trusted?”
Billy smiled. “Of course she can. She’s one of the good ones. I promise.”