Cold Comfort 2
"Evangeline Williamson." She answered the phone while going through a file on her desk.
"Hey Evangeline, this is Bo."
"Hey Bo, what can I do for you?" She smiled and gave the Commissioner her attention.
"Well, hopefully itís nothing, but Iím looking for John. He didnít come to work this morning and he isnít answering his phone. Have you seen him?"
"No, not since yesterday. He didnít call in or anything?" she asked.
"No and that kinda has me worried."
"Iíll make a few calls and see if I can find him. Iíll call you back as soon as I know something."
The first call she made was to Johnís cell phone. Maybe just maybe he was tied up when Bo called. When he still didnít answer his cell, she called his apartment. Then she decided to call the few people John was close too. Since Johnís friend, Natalie, worked at the PD, she knew she wouldnít know anything. She called Michael and Shannon and they hadnít seen John either. John, where are you? She was getting worried. With that in mind, she collected the files she was working on and stuffed them into her briefcase. She was going looking for him.
"Alex, Iíll be out for the rest of the day. If Lieutenant McBain calls, forward the call to my cell phone. I need to talk to him."
"Sure, Evangeline. Is everything alright?"
She smiled at the young man, whoíd been working in her office for a few weeks. She made a mental note to introduce him to Shannon, Johnís cousin. She thought they would be good together.
"I hope so." She left on her way to Johnís apartment.
Recently, John had moved to an apartment just outside of the city limits. It was a really nice complex and Evangeline was glad that his new apartment was closer to hers. This was the first place she planned to stop, after sheíd had found no messages from him on her cell or home phones. She was slightly relieved when she saw his car in the parking lot.
"John?" she called as she knocked on the door. She pulled out the key heíd given her and didnít hesitate letting herself in. If he was in there something had to be wrong. Very wrong.
"John?" she called again as she entered the foyer. She stood there for a moment, before she heard a groan from the bedroom. She rushed to that sound. She pushed the door open not knowing what to expect. What she found was John in bed. He was covered in blankets and appeared to be sleeping restlessly. She approached the bed slowly, not wanting to startle him.
"John," she said, sitting beside him and laid her hand on his head. The silky strains of his hair tickled her fingers.
"Hmmm." He turned into her caress, but didnít open his eyes.
"Baby, open your eyes for me." She placed her hand on his head checking for a fever. She noted that he was warm, but not alarmingly so. She watched him as he struggled to open his eyes for her. His eyes were dilated, but he smiled when he saw her.
"Hey," he whispered in a gravelly voice.
"Hey yourself. How are you feeling?" She smiled back at him. She was so glad that sheíd found him, now to get him well.
"Like crap. It all started in the middle of the night."
"Iím sorry. You probably caught my cold," she said sympathetically, stroking his back.
"Itís not your fault. Why are you here?"
"I was worried about you. Bo called me earlier looking for you and when nobody had heard from you, I left work and came looking for you myself."
"Thank you, but you didnít have to do that. Iíll be okay," he whispered.
"I know you will, because Iím going to stay and make sure of it."
"Angie, donít you have work to do?" He frowned up at her. He didnít want to be a burden on anybody and this felt like he was.
"Yep and I brought it with me." She stroked his forehead to smooth out the frown. She decided to change the subject, because she wasnít leaving. "Have you taken anything?"
"I didnít have anything to take."
"Why am I not surprised? Iím going to call Bo and then Iím running to the store. Is there anything you want?" She wanted to get some medicine into his system and something in his stomach.
"No, Iím not hungry or anything."
"Well, you will be later, so Iíll just pick something up. Iíll be back in less than half an hour, okay?"
"Okay." He watched her move from the bed and then called to her. "Angie, thanks."
She just turned and smiled at him as she grabbed her keys and headed for the door.
Instead of going to the store, she ran home. She grabbed the cold medicine from her cabinet and a can of disinfectant from under the sink. After this was over, neither of them needed to get sick again. She went to her pantry and refrigerator and packed groceries to take with her. Yesterday, sheíd gone to the grocery store and shopped for the first time in weeks. After being sick and not having food in the house, sheíd decided to stock up. She also took a couple of minutes to grab a pair of jeans and socks. She would just use one of Johnís shirts. That was quickly becoming a habit of hers.
She got back with minutes to spare. She went to the kitchen and put down the groceries. She grabbed a glass of orange juice and the cold medicine. When she entered the bedroom, she noticed that John was tossing in the bed. She sat the glass and medicine down on the side table and sat on the bed.
"John, wake up," she said softly. Upon hearing her voice, he settled and opened his eyes.
"Yep." She picked up the glass and the pills and handed them to him. "Here, take this."
"Thank you," he responded when he finished the juice.
"Youíre welcome. Are you hungry?"
"How about I make some soup and you try eating it?"
"Okay and then Iíll change. You just try to rest and let the medicine work."
A few minutes later, John was sitting in bed with a tray of soup, crackers and juice. He wasnít hungry but he was trying for Evangeline. She was changing in the bathroom and he didnít know why? Heíd seen all of her. What was the big deal? He hadnít had anyone take care of him since he was a little boy. He was rarely sick and he didnít like it, but if she was going to be here, the least she could do was be in here with him.
"Angie, what are you doing?"
"Iím changing clothes."
"Why are you in there and not in here?"
"Why does it matter?"
"Well you came over here to stay with me and now youíre in there."
"John, that is ridiculous. Iíll be right out," she said. Within a couple of minutes, she was walking back into the room. "Here I am. Did you need something?"
"No, I just wanted you in here." She just shook her head as his statement. He was such a baby.
"Did you eat any of that?" she asked pointing to the tray.
"Just a little. Iím not really hungry."
"Well, if youíre finished, Iíll take it."
"Okay," he said looking at her as she moved to take the tray. "Are you wearing my shirt again?"
"Yes, do you have a problem with that?"
"No, you can wear whatever you want. I like seeing you in my clothes." He looked like he could hardly keep his eyes open.
"Really? Well, you can see more of me later. Take a nap." He slid down into the bed and was asleep within seconds. The medicine must have finally kicked in.
"Yeah, John. Are you okay?" She put her computer down and went into the bedroom.
"Yeah. Iím okay. I just wanted to know that you were still here."
"Of course, Iím still here." She sat down on the side of the bed and stroked his cheek. "You slept for a long time. Iíve been checking on you."
"Iím glad youíre here."
"Iím glad Iím here, too. Let me get you another dose of medicine." She went into the kitchen and came back with another glass of orange juice and pills.
"Will you stay in here with me for a while?" he asked tentatively.
"Sure." She got up from the bed to sit in the arm chair against the wall. John caught her hand before she could move.
"No. Stay here beside me."
"Okay." She climbed onto the bed beside him and he curled into her. She wrapped her arms around him and stroked his back. Within a few minutes, he was asleep again.
She actually fell asleep with him. When she woke up, she untangled herself from John and went into the bathroom. Since he was still asleep, she went into the kitchen and grabbed a bite to eat. She opened her computer to finish the brief sheíd started before John had awakened before. She had been working for a total of 20 minutes before she heard John groan.
"Angie, where are you?"
"Iím right here."
"I thought you were going to stay with me."
"I just got up a little while ago. John, Iím not leaving."
"But you left the bed."
"John, this is getting ridiculous." She glanced at him and he was actually pouting. She finally sighed. "Do you want me to lay back down with you?"
When John walked into the living room, Evangeline was finishing up on her laptop. She glanced up and smiled at him.
"Hey, you look better. I heard the shower going. I changed the sheets while you were in there."
"Thank you. I feel better. What are you doing?" he asked sitting down beside her.
"Finishing a brief." She looked at him and smiled. "Is there something that you want to do?"
"Yeah, but I donít want to get you sick again," he said with a smirk. She laughed at the look on his face.
"I appreciate you looking out for me. Are you sure you should be up?"
"I donít know, but I wanted to be in here with you."
"Thatís sweet, but I could have come in there."
"Iím not used to anybody taking care of me. Thank you for coming over here and staying with me."
"Youíre welcome. I wouldnít think of being anywhere else. Now, come on and letís get you back to bed." She wanted to make sure that John knew how much he meant to her. When sheíd told him in the past that sheíd drop everything if he needed her, sheíd meant that. As she settled him in bed on his stomach, she laid down beside him until his breathing evened out and she knew he was asleep.
"I love you," she whispered as she stroked his back.
"I love you, too," he whispered back from his slumber.