CHAPTER 7

Todd was pleased to hear Evangeline's voice. He found himself smiling
at the chirp of her treble, and he began writing a missive to his
assistant as soon as Evangeline mentioned the word "help." Find
Bigelow, he scratched onto the private notepad he'd had made special
at the printer it featured a caricature of Kevin Buchanan with a
bull's-eye over his face. Bigelow was sitting in front of him, her
blond hair pouffier than ever, before Todd finished his conversation
with Evangeline.

"How's my favorite Lazarus doing?" Bigelow asked, half-smiling, a
tickling pink rising in her cheeks.

Todd pointed to himself. "Me or Evangeline."

"My second favorite Lazarus," Bigelow said, correcting herself with a
nod of her head.

"She's fine. Never doubted for a moment that she would be," he said.

Pride blazoned across Todd's face. He'd earned it. He'd been a key
player in Evangeline's rescue, and he'd kept the story out of the
papers, at Evangeline's behest. At first, Todd thought she wanted to
have time to tell her friends and family that she was alive in person.
Now, he knew the gag order had been set so they could have some time
to prove Killian's innocence.

"Listen, Bigelow, I need you to use your connections to find the link
between Dr. Rajani Fahey, maiden name Anand, and Dr. Stephen Haver,"
Todd said, reading from the scribble he'd made while talking to
Evangeline.

"The Musicbox Killer," she said, writing everything down in her own notebook.

She began making associations in her own mind while Todd spoke: two
doctors one, a serial killer and the other, his victim; one, a
molester of minds and the other, a healer of bodies; and both,
students at one time in their lives. Haver had been a professor. Had
the murdered doctor been one as well? That was where Bigelow decided
to start her investigation.

"Be discreet, Bigelow. We've already got one incompetent detective
involved in this. We hardly need to alert the rest of the Keystone
cops," Todd said.

Bigelow would have given her little madman a smile had she not been so
wrapped up in her thoughts. Her instincts were screaming at her:
start with the professor angle. Most other investigators would have
gone with the medical part of the picture. But they hadn't been born
in a caul like she had. She had good fortune on her side. She would
find the link, and she left, consumed, forgetting to even bid Todd
farewell.

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Antonio was whispering to Evangeline as they sat in the corner of her
hospital room. He told her about Killian's refusal to discuss even
the smallest details of the murder with him, and Evangeline told him
that John had connected Rajani to the Musicbox Killer.

She had asked for Todd's help in finding the link between Haver and
Rajani because John couldn't, she said to Antonio in even more hushed
tones. It wasn't simple pride that kept John from dealing with Todd;
part of John had been pulled back into the loss of Caitlyn and his
guilt and responsibility in that emotional holocaust. While her
partner was down, Evangeline would lead the crusade to save Killian
before anyone could realize who he was.

"Please don't treat me like I'm not in the room," John said, his back
to Evangeline and Antonio. He was looking at a winter wren pecking
away at the pavement of the hospital's small parking lot.

Evangeline and Antonio looked at each other and then away. Antonio
was the first to move toward John, rolling his wheelchair closer to
the window, but Evangeline was the first to speak.

"Hey, honey bear, you still sweet as ever?" she said, putting on a
southern drawl.

John turned, smiling. That was how Evangeline's mother used to greet
him before he and Evangeline broke up the last time. She always
affected the accent to tease John for saying when they first met that
she didn't have much of a Southern accent despite being from Georgia.

"Your mother's going to kill me for not calling her as soon as we
walked through the hospital doors," John said, shuffling toward her
and Antonio, with his head down.

Evangeline waved away the worry. "She'll get over it," she said.

Antonio's eyes bounced between the two of them, and he shook his head.
"Evangeline, I forgot what kind of magic you had over this man," he
said.

Evangeline and John smiled simultaneously. He put his hand on her
shoulder, slowly moving it along her neck to finally cup her face. He
kissed her on the other cheek, and she took his hand, kissing his
palm. Antonio coughed loudly, looking up at the ceiling.

Looking at Antonio, Evangeline tilted her head to the side and
furrowed her brow. "Hey, what happened to you calling me Eva?"

It was Antonio and John's turn to share a conspiratorial glance.
John cleared his throat and pleaded with Antonio with his eyes.
Antonio ignored his plea.

"Sorry, counselor. I was reminded recently that your name is
Evangeline, not Eva," Antonio said dryly.


Evangeline turned her head abruptly to John, and then she slapped him
slightly on the shoulder. Her playful tap turned into a brief
wrestling match between them, and she could feel John backing off as a
weakness overcame her body. She could tell he and Antonio were
becoming concerned.

"Hey, it's easy to beat a sick lady. Wait until I'm feeling better,"
she said, pulling away from John slightly to show him that she was
still strong enough to hold herself up.

"We're doing something else when you're feeling better," John said,
losing himself in her dark eyes.

"And, that's my cue to leave," Antonio said, reaching for the door.
"A little help here."

John walked over to the door and grabbed it, preparing to open it for
his wheelchair-bound friend. "After she's rested a little bit, we'll
go over and talk to Killian. Thanks for trying though," he said.

Antonio nodded, and Evangeline offered her farewell from across the
room. There were smiles all around. The good feelings faded, as
they listened to the trouble outside of the door.

John ripped the door open and stepped into the hallway. Evangeline
sat at the edge of her bed, with Antonio holding up his hand as he
looked at her, trying to keep her from hurting herself. John grabbed
the nurse with the cracked pink lipstick by her elbow as she was
running by Evangeline's room.

"What's wrong? What is it?" John asked, letting her go.

"Your friend, Killian, is coding," she said.

John looked over at Evangeline. They passed messages between
themselves without words. She was the only one who could release him
from his promise to stay with her at all times.

"Go, John," she said, urgently.

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Todd was looking over circulation numbers when Bigelow dropped an old
issue of the New York Times on his desk. He picked up the paper, not
seeing what she wanted to show him.

"Uh, Bigelow, we work for The Banner Sun, not The New York Times.
And, why would we want to? They can't hold a candle to us?"

"Of course not. And they're no fun either," she said, remembering a
yawn-inducing holiday party in the '80s. That was the problem, she
could recall every detail of the evening, and a perfect memory means
no fun was had.

She opened the paper to the society page and pointed to the full color
picture taken at a gala at Columbia University. Todd recognized Haver
immediately. There was a beautiful Indian woman standing next to him.
She was smiling, beaming more brightly than her orange and purple
silk gown with gold trim.

"That's Dr. Rajani Fahey," Todd said, reading the caption for confirmation.

Bigelow crossed her arms over her chest. "That's your connection.
They were both adjunct professors at Columbia together," she said,
thinking this was a new record for herself under two hours.

"Good work, Bigelow. Now all we have to do is prove he killed her,"
Todd said, reaching for the phone to call Evangeline.

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John stood in the doorway of Killian's room, watching the doctors and
nurses work diligently to save his life. He couldn't stand the
uselessness he felt and began to will Killian to live. John silently
sent out a call to Killian's dead wife to help her husband.

"Don't give up just yet," John whispered, half to himself and half to
Killian. "I owe you too much."

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