Mourning Innocence Part 4
Sail through the wind and rain tonight
You're free to fly tonight
And you can still be free if time will set you free
And going higher than mountain tops
And go high like the wind don’t stop
And go high
Free to fly tonight
Free to fly tonight
Finally asleep, Calleigh had her head on Alexx’s leg, facing her, clutching the hem of the older woman’s shirt tightly in both hands. It wasn’t a sound sleep, though. Alexx stroked Calleigh’s hair, singing softly, trying to calm her as she did her own children. Calleigh was one of her closest friends, but she was a daughter too, and it had completely torn her apart to have to cause her pain, even though it was ultimately to help her. She was going to be violently sick from the meds when she woke up, and Alexx hated to cause that on top of everything else, but it was better at this point to make the exam easier and deal with the effects later. For now, though, she was as peaceful as she was going to get. Alexx felt her phone vibrate against her hip and picked it up. “She’s sleeping, Horatio.”
“How is she?”
“It’s not good. She lost a lot of blood, but she’ll live. I can deal with the effects of that; I have before. The worst of it will take a few days to show up, though. I think she may have some broken bones, her wrist in particular. I’m going to do some x-rays tomorrow. I got her to take some painkillers and she’s sleeping now, which is really the best thing.”
“I agree. We arrested Hagan. Eric and Speed are adding to my list of charges. People may infer from the list, but at this point I am not involving Calleigh. We do need to come gather some evidence though.”
“Okay, but close the bedroom door and keep it down. I’m not leaving her.”
There was a long pause, and Alexx could hear the wheels turning. “Horatio?”
He sighed, knowing Alexx had a pretty good idea of what he was thinking. “I’m going to find a second set of evidence because her father beat her too, aren’t I?”
“No action against her father, Horatio.”
“Yeah, I suspected as much.”
“We’re her family, Horatio. She’s going to be okay.”
“I’ll take your word on that. We’ll be there shortly.”
“Alright.” Alexx hung up, watching the sleeping woman who meant so much to her. It was going to be a hellaciously long night.
Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
Eric and Speed drove to Calleigh’s Bal Harbor home separately from Horatio. Both needed to see her for themselves to not be convinced she was dead, though they knew the chances of that happening were slim to none. She was better off with Alexx right now, and they would be better off if they focused on the task at hand. From the outside Calleigh’s house was no different from the others in the area. Decidedly upscale neighborhood, but she deserved it. Calleigh had done extremely well for herself, and in her line of work she needed someplace safe. She had made the spacious home her sanctuary, blending her Cajun heritage with the modernness of her adopted city for a unique and comforting result. The sprawling layout gave her plenty of room, which she loved, and the back wall of the living room was solid glass, opening to the huge back deck and then down to the private beach.
Eric walked into the garage and immediately walked back out. He was having a major problem with the fact that it was Calleigh’s blood all over the place. Speed came up next to him. “I keep thinking of the parties she used to have. Before Janet died.”
“I do, too. Those were good times.” He grinned at the memory of Calleigh laughing hysterically as they teased her about the tiaras on display above her precious guns. The whole house was like that, resonating with the dissonance between the girly hopeless romantic and the self-assured Bullet Girl with nerves and stomach of steel. But that dissonance was the sweetest music in the world to anyone who knew her. “There’s so much blood.”
“There’s more left inside her.” Neither had heard Horatio come up behind them. Together the three faced the scene before them. “We owe her this.”
“I’ll take the garage,” Speed said quietly.
“What’s inside, H?” Eric felt sick.
“Let’s walk it.” Horatio led them to her car. “She was beaten pretty badly elsewhere, and drove herself home. I believe Hagan was waiting for her. He pulled her out of the car, and her head slammed into the wall.” He indicated the stain on the wall about two feet above the cement floor. “She was dragged into the house.” Splintered doorframe. “Down the hall, then through the kitchen to the living room.” More blood, trailing where he dragged her. Eric swore when he saw the coffee table, and the blood soaking into the sky blue carpet.
“She shot the coffee table. Hagan cuffed her and threw her over it and… yeah.” Horatio couldn’t bring himself to utter the word in her oasis, the place she had created to escape from the horrors she saw every day. “She was beaten very badly in here too.”
“Bastard left her for dead!” Eric burst out, shaking.
“We got him, Eric,” Horatio said softly. “Now let’s bury him.”