“Hi, I’m here to see Kate Morse, please. I have been told she has just been admitted.” Ellie looked through the grubby window at reception and saw a small greying nurse sitting at the counter, behind it.
“Just a minute, she said as she tapped away on the computer in front of her, “yes, but she hasn’t been allocated a room as yet, she may still be in surgery!”
“Surgery!” Ellie repeated, she pulled out her phone to call Emma.
“You will have to do that outside.” The nurse quickly informed her, waving at the ‘no phones’ sign.
Kate stood in the carpark, ambulances revering into the nearby A&E department. “Hi Emma, I’m at the hospital, where are you? How’s Kate?”
“Oh, I’m so happy you’re here, I’m upstairs and Kate’s still in surgery”“
“The nurse said that Kate’s in surgery. I thought she had just had an accident!”
“Yeah, I’m still not sure of all the details, but the police have been called.? I’m on the first floor. Where are you?”
“I’m outside, the A&E, the nurse sent me out as you can’t use your mobile inside!!”
“Ok, I’ll come down to A&E, meet you there!”
* * *
It’s so good you’re here,” Emma said, giving Ellie a big hug, “I have no idea what happened just that she was found in a pool of blood early this morning, and they only called me as I was the last person she spoke to on her phone last night!”
“Have you told her family?”
“I’ve called her mum, but she’s away in Majorca according to the housekeeper, not due back until Friday. The housekeeper said she would try to pass the message on but that Lady Stane doesn’t like to answer phone calls from London when she’s away!”
Ellie shivered, looking around the bleak waiting room they had just entered. It was a typical NHS set up with cream walls, that always looked like they may have been white at some point and badly marked lino flooring, lounges and chairs that would not be found in any furniture store and always looked a little scary to sit in which were covered in plastic.
“When did they take her into surgery,” Ellie asked as she lowered herself onto the cleanest looking seat.
“About half an hour ago. I haven’t seen any of the medical team since, so I’m guessing they are still working on her!”
“I’ve got to make a couple of phone calls for work, do you mind if I do that here?” Ellie removed her mobile from her handbag, ignoring the ‘no phones’ sign. They were the only ones in the waiting room, so who was going to complain, Ellie thought.
After 40 minutes someone in a white coat emerged. He walked directly to Emma.
“Oh, how is she?” Emma said breathlessly, standing to speak to the surgeon.
“Look we’ve done the best we can with her internal bleeding, she has lost a lot of blood so she will be out of it for a few more hours.”
“Can you tell what happened to her?” Ellie questioned, standing beside Emma.
“Only that she had a large knife wound to her abdomen and some cuts along her wrists, you’ll have to speak to the police about what the circumstances are, but my feeling is that it wasn’t self inflicted!”
Emma and Ellie looked at each other, stunned, coming to the same realisation that someone had intentionally done this to Kate and in her home?
“She’s in recovery, we’ll move her once we’re happy with her progress. Are you both next of kin?”
“Um, no, Kate’s mum is in Majorca, the housemaid has called her but she hasn’t picked up the message, I guess.” Emma responded, her voice trailing.
“You can put me down as next of kin,” Ellie responded, “I live nearby and close to Kate’s apartment as well.”
“Ok, well give your details to the sister, over there. I think the police detectives will want to get your details as well.” The surgeon smiled broadly at Ellie, “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around then.” He turned to walk away and it was then that Ellie noticed his broad shoulders and slim hips, even underneath his scrubs.
Emma nudged her, “did he just make a pass at you?”
“God, I hope not, well not in these circumstances.”
* * *
“Hi, Morgan, things are worse than I expected they would be. It appears that Kate was attacked and I need to wait to speak to the police.” Ellie said to her boss.
“Look we’re flat out here, we’ve got to get this last copy of Gregory James’ book out into the books stores before his author talks, and you need to confirm his appearances and make sure there are lots of eager fans there, you know what he’s like if there is only a small crowd.” Morgan hissed across the phone.
“I’ve already called four bookstores, they have confirmed, I’ll get on top of the fan invites this evening, there’s still a couple of days. Once Kate is moved to a ward and I’ve spoken to the police, I’ll be in.”
“Look, I’m sorry, I hope she’s ok, I know this must be difficult for you. I just need to keep on top of everything here as well. If you can get in as soon as possible it’d be great. I’m pleased to hear she’s out of surgery and heading to a ward.”
Ellie, hung up and looked around the beige waiting room, it was so depressing. The view through the bars of the window was of leafless tree tops, and tall monolithic council flats. The sooner Kate was out of here the better, Ellie thought, hopefully Kate’s mum will call soon and then Ellie would arrange a transfer for her to Highgate. Mind the surgeons here are pretty cute she chuckled as she pocketed her phone and walked over to Emma.
“Do you believe that this was an attack, in her own home?” Ellie questioned Emma, “I mean, she has been a little down since that thing with Rhys.”
“I can’t imagine Kate doing this to herself, she has access to such a wide range of medications, I think if she was going to top herself she’d do it that way.”
“Yeah but I’ve noticed those scars on her wrists before, and you know how she can get when she goes through a relationship break up, how we have a round the clock roster for the first few weeks to make sure she’s ok?”
* * *