Emancipating Emily - Chapter 6
Detective Eric Pfluger had been slipping back into Trisha's room with a bucket of ice chips when he'd heard the commotion of his boss and his team of private muscle storming up the stairs of The River.
From that point on, the sallow faced man with the dishwater hair had watched the whole thing go down from the thinnest crack in the door.
That's why he knew they had gone, and that another fiasco was suddenly brewing in the kitchens below when he stepped out into the hallway in order to confront Em, in order to see if she needed any of his help, that is.
Emily gave the man a curious look, one that made him question his manhood somehow. And then she smiled at Trisha, who was standing half-naked in the doorway behind him, and said, "No. A friend needs some medical assistance is all, but thankfully Mr. Gaines is here tonight."
Mr. Gaines was a doctor of internal medicine, and was in considerable debt to the house. So, there is that, at least, Emily thought, as she rushed past several people who had been drawn out of their rooms and other various nooks and crannies in order to see what the heck was going on.
"What's happening?" Aurora asked as she bustled into the kitchen, seconds after Emily, who only had a moment to take in the mutilated man lying on her kitchen table.
"Dear lord," Emily gasped, putting a hand over her mouth. And then she whispered a prayer only her and god could hear.
"I don't know. Help me," she hissed at Aurora and then she barked at a young kitchen wench, "Dr. Gaines is in Shangri-La with Kitia. Make her cut him down and bring him at once. Do you understand me?" Emily locked eyes with the young girl she'd found living on the streets and had employed to keep the kitchens clean, and waited for the somewhat slow girl to comprehend what she'd said.
Dr. Gaines had a suspension fetish, you see, and The River's attics were the perfect place for such a thing.
Emily cringed for a second, imagining what the young girl might see storming into the lofty attics with its myriad of suspension cables and fetish equipment. Then she vividly recalled how she had found the fourteen-year-old girl and sighed.
Childhood didn't exist for kids like Phoebe. But if Emily played her cards right maybe someday Phoebe could have a bit of that childhood she never got to have.
Emily took in a deep breath and let it out slowly when the young girl's eyes came wide awake and she nodded sharply, gathered up her skirts, and ran for the top of the house.
The kitchen in The River was wide, and twice again as long, with a huge oak dining table running the length of it that could seat forty starving men.
And right now, a man she knew and loved very much was lying on top of the table with half of his face missing.
One swollen green eye looked up at her with deep recognition.
"Goddamnit! You're awake!" Emily snapped harshly at the man, all accusatory-like, as if it were his fault he was lying there mostly dead.
"What? What happened to you?" she finally got out after the man had choked on a laugh and was forced to spit out several mouthfuls of blood.
Aurora handed Emily a cup of water, so Emily reached her hand under his head to pick it up, but her hand met a mess of blood-matted hair, so she thought the better for it.
Instead, she swiped a clean flour sack towel from a nearby drawer and dunked it into the cup of water.
Then she wrung a few drops of water in between his split and swollen lips.
After she'd done it a few times the man was finally able to speak, somewhat.
"My employer didn't accept my resignation," he said with a bit of a laugh which turned into another wet cough which produced more speckles of blood on his lips.
Emily's rich brown eyes shot up instantly to Aurora's sharp blue ones and a half a heartbeat later Aurora was clearing the room of the people who had gathered around to witness.
A second later a flushed looking man with handcuffs still attached to both wrists came bustling into the kitchen. And then he gasped and put a hand to his mouth.
"Dear lord. What? What?" he began twice but never got out another word. Instead, the veteran doctor just stared at his new patient.
Emily put an arm around the man's shoulders and turned him away from the devastation that had once been her whole and healthy friend.
Leaning in close to the man's ear she whispered, "heal him and your debt is clear..."
At that, the man began to jerk away, as if he would look her in the eyes as she said it, but the five-foot-seven woman with the iron-like grip held him fast and pulled him back into her confidence.
Whispering even softer she snarled, "Heal him and you can eat here for the rest of your life. From the entire menu."
At that, she let him go, but the man just sagged for a second and then turned slowly to look at the man whose life was worth so very, very much.
"Why?" he asked as he rushed over to the man's side, instantly checking his pulse.
"Every second you waste on me is one last second you have to save him," the owner of The River said with such a menacing growl both the man and Aurora took a step backwards.
But then the scene melted into a clinic and the doctor's training began to take over.
"We need lots of boiling water, clean strips of cloth..."
"I have a complete surgical room downstairs. I just didn't know if we should move him without a backboard and neck brace."
The doctor looked hard at the woman who everyone was starting to call Auntie Em, but only for a quick second. Then he nodded and said, "That was smart. Fetch those."
"Done," a male voice said as a pair of elevator doors slid open from what had just a moment ago looked like nothing more than an over-sized refrigerator.
Kyle slid into the room like a gator charging for marshmallows, all limbs akimbo and such, but as soon as he got to the table his experience and training became quite evident.
"I'll want a full blood panel on him. What kind of scanning equipment do you have down there?" he asked.
Emily pushed the overwhelmed doctor into the elevator, after the floating backboard which contained her friend, the former priest (and also the man who had saved her), and his half-human/half-alien medic - Kyle.
Kyle walked on three legs most of the time, but it was the backboard floating in mid-air, carrying a hundred-and-seventy-pound man as if he were made of paper, which really astonished the good old doctor.
"How?" Lyle Gaines asked in utter disbelief.
"Oh, Lyle," Emily said, as the doors slid open to reveal a damn-near complete hospital.
"You really know nothing at all, do you?"
© Raena Exe 2023
*All characters, places, and events are completely fictional.
*All rights reserved.