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Cross your heart and hope to die (Emma Frost #4), Page 2

Willow Rose

  "Maybe if you came in for a check-up once in a while, we wouldn't have these emergencies," he said.

  The patient squirmed in the chair again as Preben found the drill. "Aren't you going to sedate me first?" the patient asked. "You usually do."

  Preben smiled and started the drill. It made a loud sound and the patient shrieked. Preben laughed.

  "Not this time."

  Then he held the patient down while drilling his tooth out, letting him scream as loud as he wanted to. It was, after all, Saturday and they were alone in the clinic. No one would be able to hear him.

  "Do try and lie still. It would make this so much easier on the both of us. Now, the whole reason I have to drill this hole is that it is actually filled with decayed tooth material and the bacteria that caused the decay in the first place," Preben yelled, trying to drown out the noise from the drill and the patient's screams. "In order to correctly prepare the tooth for a filling, I must remove this decayed material. Then I can fill in the clean hole with an amalgam filling."

  Preben felt drops of sweat on his forehead as he drilled the hole and held the whimpering patient down in the chair. When he was done, he stopped the drill and pulled it out. The patient looked at him in distress.

  "What the hell are you doing?" he yelled and got up from the chair while holding a hand to his cheek. "That hurt like hell."

  Preben looked at the young man. He had never really noticed his face before now or that big nose of his. That was how it often was when you spent most of your time looking inside your patients' mouths. Then he smiled.

  "That was kind of the idea," he said.

  The patient looked angry.

  Oh my, Preben thought to himself. A little upset are we?

  "Why? Why would you drill without sedation?" the patient asked.

  Preben sighed. "I'll tell you why, my friend. Because I want you to remember how painful it was the next time you want to eat some of those sugary sweets that I have told you OVER and OVER again not to eat. I want you to remember how badly it hurt the NEXT time you decide to skip the brushing or won't bother to floss because it's boring or whatever your little excuse might be. I want you to always remember the pain that you felt here today so I won't have to rush down here every third month because you have another emergency that simply can't WAIT. Do you read me?"

  The young man stared at Preben for a long time. He was still holding a hand to his cheek.

  "Do you understand?" Preben repeated harshly.

  The patient whimpered, then nodded. "Yes."

  "Yes, sir," Preben corrected him.

  "Yes, sir."

  "Now get back in that chair and let me put in the filling. I have somewhere more important to be later today."


  December 2013

  "WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND is how this could have happened? I thought you were on the pill?"

  Bo looked at Line. She avoided his eyes and continued packing her suitcase. She was determined not to let his words get to her. She was happy and wanted to remain that way. They had been arguing all night and now she was running late. She was also getting really tired of discussing this. He kept asking her the same questions over and over again.

  She shrugged. "Well I don't know, Bo. I guess you can't depend on them a hundred percent."

  Line found her long jacket and put it on the bed. She would wear it since the weatherman on TV this morning said it was going to get cold. And windy since a possible storm was heading towards Denmark from Norway. Line needed the jacket to protect her stomach and the baby from getting cold. It was time for her to start thinking differently. It wasn't just about her anymore. She had a responsibility.

  Bo slammed his fist onto the table. "God dammit, Line. We just met each other a month ago."

  "I know sweetie, but that's just the way it is."

  "How are you not more upset about this?" he asked.

  Line looked at him and tilted her head. Poor Bo. Poor very young Bo who had been taken completely aback by the fact that Line had become pregnant. She tried hard to hide her joy, since for her this was a long awaited event. And for her mother as well. Actually, her mother had been the one who came up with the idea. Line was her only chance of ever getting a grandchild and when she saw that chance getting smaller every day that passed, she decided to give Line a piece of advice.

  "Go out, find some guy, any guy, and get yourself pregnant. It's the only way for you. Your clock is ticking."

  Line smiled to herself and closed the suitcase. Her mom was right. At the age of thirty-three, it was about time. She didn't really care if Bo wanted to be a part of it or not. After all, he was only twenty-one and worked as a bartender downtown in Jomfru Ane Gade in the heart of Aalborg. He was used to picking up women and never seeing them again. Line had kept coming to him, picking him up after his shift was over and dragging him home with her, with the sole purpose of him donating his sperm.

  "I guess I'm just ready for this," she said.

  "Well I'm not. I … I …" Bo moaned and covered his face with his hands. "I can't have a child. You must get an abortion."

  Line laughed and threw back her head. "Oh Bo. You're such a kid."

  "I mean it goddammit," he said and slammed his fist on the table again. "I can't have a child."

  She shrugged. "Well too bad for you then. I'm having it anyway."

  Bo looked at her and moaned. "How? How can you be so indifferent? I don't understand. Do you really want to destroy my life?"

  "You don't have to be a part of it. I'm perfectly capable of doing this on my own," Line said and packed her toothbrush. "I'm just telling you about it because you deserve to know. That's all. And, plus, I need the money."

  "What money?"

  "To raise our child. It's not cheap you know. You'll have to pay child support. Those are the rules, Bo. Don't you know that?"

  He looked baffled. "But … but …"

  Line laughed again. "Oh, Bo. There is just so much you don't know, isn't there? Well, this will teach you to be more careful in the future. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to catch a train."

  She closed her suitcase and pulled it down from the bed. It was heavier than anticipated. Maybe she had packed too many clothes, after all. Well, she needed a lot to choose from. It was important that she looked her best at this event. She wanted to dazzle all the others with how young and beautiful she still was. And even better, she now also had the glow of a pregnant woman.

  "Where are you going anyway?" asked Bo tiredly.

  "I have a high school reunion in Skagen to attend. And I'm very much looking forward to seeing everybody and telling them the great news."

  "What great news?"

  "That I'm not a failure after all, like they all assumed I would be. I'm expecting a child and will start a family soon."

  Bo exhaled deeply. "Was that was this was all about? You wanted to get pregnant before your high school reunion so you could show them?"

  Line's smile froze. "Well, when you put it like that, it sounds awful. You must understand that I don't have many other things going for me right now. Working full-time at a gas station is hardly a story of success. At least I'll have this."

  Bo looked like he could punch her. "You're sick, do you know that?"

  Line shrugged with a wide, slightly maniacal smile. "So be it. Now scram. I have a train to catch."


  December 2013

  "THEY WANT TO TAKE YOU in for more questioning, Soren," the lawyer said on the phone. "Probably will come for you on Monday or Tuesday."

  Soren Hedelund closed his eyes. "I already told them I didn't do it when they had me in earlier today. It's all just lies on her part. I don’t want to have to keep telling them the same things over and over again. She's making it all up." He heard the desperation in his own voice and was certain the lawyer heard it too.

  "Well, I believe you, but they take these matters very seriously, Soren. It's a big deal," the lawyer said. Then he paused and sighed. "You m
ight want to tell your wife at some point."

  "Margit? Why? Why on earth would I do that?"

  "Because she will find out sooner or later. It's already in the papers this morning. They don't know your name yet, but the story is out there, Soren. She might hear it from a neighbor or one of your co-workers or someone at the hospital. This is a small town. People talk."

  Soren sighed and looked through the window at his wife who was cooking him breakfast in the kitchen. She smiled when their eyes met. He smiled back and pretended that whatever he was talking about on the phone wasn't important. Then he turned his head and looked at the city in front of him. He had walked out on the balcony to take the call so she wouldn't hear anything. Margit didn't need to know. No, he was determined to spare her from these horrifying accusations against him. It would just upset her and that wasn't good for her in her condition.

  "I can't do it. The doctor told me not to upset her. She has too much on her plate as it is and has to focus on her treatment and all. I can't let this distract her from getting better. I simply can't," he said.

  "I know it must be hard with the chemo treatments and all, but I still think you should tell her, Soren. It's going to be big. You might have to leave your job," the lawyer said.

  Soren's heart stopped. Leave my job?

  "But … but … they can't … don't they know she’s lying?"

  "A seventeen year old girl was raped, for crying out loud," the lawyer yelled. "She was in your care at the time."

  "But … but surely they don't think … they think I did it, don't they?"

  "Well you were alone with her in the ambulance at the time. She claims you sedated her and raped her on the way to the hospital."

  "But she was so drunk she couldn't even walk, how can anyone take what she says seriously?"

  "You're a paramedic, Soren. You have a responsibility, do I have to explain what that means? If the tests prove she is right, then you're done. You'll never work as a paramedic again. You'll go to jail. We're looking at at least two years here. I might be able to get it down to fourteen months."

  Soren sighed and leaned against the railing. He looked down, wondering if he would die on the spot if he jumped now. Then he turned his head and looked at his wife. She gave him another of her rare smiles. He couldn't leave her like that. What about the kids? If she died, they would be all alone. He couldn't lose his job either. Who would support her? Who would support the children? Soren closed his eyes. How could he have been so stupid? How could he have been so careless? Usually, when they picked up young girls at parties, they were passed out or at least too drunk to feel anything. This girl had been conscious, but he had done it anyway. Why? Because she was irresistible. She had wanted it too, he was certain she did. The way she moaned and smiled on the bed when he had strapped her down. He had given her a sedative alright, but maybe he had been too fast. Maybe he had acted before the sedative kicked in properly. He didn't know, but something had gone terribly wrong. The girl had told the nurses at the hospital and now they were all on his case. It had been on the front page of the Zeeland Times this morning. Some reporter named Rebekka Franck knew it was him and kept calling him on his phone. How she had found out his name, he didn't know, but the lawyer was right. It wasn't going to be long before Margit found out and all hell broke loose.

  "I might tell her when I get back," Soren said.

  "Where are you going?" the lawyer asked.

  "To Skagen. I have a high school reunion this weekend. I'm leaving by train in an hour."

  "This is very bad timing, Soren," the lawyer said.

  "I know. But I'll be back Monday and then I'll be all over this, okay? I think getting away will help clear my head a little."

  The lawyer sighed deeply. "Okay then. I'll talk to you Monday. Remember don't talk to any journalists, okay?"

  "Got it."

  "And one final thing."

  "What's that?"

  "Did you do it? Did you rape that girl?"

  Soren hesitated. He stared at his wife while thoughts lined up in his mind. Should he tell him? Should he come clean, maybe say the girl told him she wanted to have sex with him in the back of the ambulance? No, No. They would fire him on the spot. He loved his job. But weren't they going to fire him anyway? A story like this didn't just disappear, did it? It lingered with a person, didn't it? There was always going to be that doubt wasn't there?

  "Of course not," he said and closed his eyes.

  "Are you sure?"

  "Cross my heart and hope to die."

  "Good. Talk to you on Monday."


  Soren put the phone back in his pocket and went inside. He walked towards her, then grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her.

  "Wow, what was that for?"

  "Just to show you how much I love you."

  She smiled. Her eyes looked so dark. He could see her cheekbones very clearly. She felt so small, so fragile between his hands. He stared at her throat. He could see the veins through the pale skin. It would be so easy to put an end to her suffering right here and now. He might even be able to strangle her using just one hand. Then it would be all over. He could then jump from the balcony.

  Soren breathed heavily while he stared at his wife's throat. Everything around him went quiet. All he could hear was the sound of the blood rushing through his veins. A small voice came up behind them and made him change his mind.

  "Mommy, I need your help."

  Soren let go of Margit and she attended their daughter who had gotten her brush stuck in the back of her hair. Soren closed his eyes and breathed to calm himself down. His heart was still racing in his chest.

  "Can you believe this?" his wife said after she was done and their daughter had left the kitchen.

  Soren opened his eyes and forced a gentle smile. "What's that dear?"

  She held up the paper with the story on the front cover.


  Soren stared at it with a wildly beating heart. He had meant to remove the paper and throw it out, but then the lawyer had called at that instant and he had forgotten all about it.

  "Do you think it is someone you know who did this?" asked Margit. "Oh my God. It says here it was someone from your station. Roskilde Falck-station. Oh my God, Soren who do you think it could be? Ah, I bet it is Bent. He always looks at me so weirdly. He is creepy. I bet it’s him. Don't you?"

  Soren bit his lip, once again imagining killing her. Embarrassed that she might see it on his face, he looked down and shrugged.

  "I don't know," he said and looked at his watch. "It could be anybody. Anyway, I have to get going now." He turned and stormed inside the bedroom where he grabbed his suitcase and jacket.

  "Don't you want breakfast first?" Margit asked when he returned.

  "I'll eat on the way. They have food on the train. Good bye now."

  "But …"

  He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, then stormed out of the apartment and down the stairs. When he reached the street below, he was panting and his heart was racing like crazy. As he walked towards the train station with the suitcase in his hand, he had only one unbearable thought in his mind.

  If I stayed one more minute, I would probably have killed her.


  December 2013

  JACOB LOMHOLDT DIDN'T PARTICULARLY like Christmas or any other holiday for that matter. It was all just a load of crap meant for you to spend money and for the workers in his company to get lazy, have stupid parties, and not focus on work.

  Christmas was also the time of year when he was reminded yet again, that he was alone. That he didn't have anyone in his life. When all the workers at his investment company went home to be with their families for the holidays, he could look forward to spending yet another vacation alone in his mansion by the ocean in Hellerup.

  At least there were still a couple of weeks till Christmas and, even though December had arrived, he still didn't see it as any excuse to become sloppy. As
usual, he would tolerate no chitchatting by the water cooler, or anyone talking privately on the phone and certainly not someone checking Facebook on their computer. Jacob monitored all his worker's movements and whereabouts on the Internet. He read their e-mails and made sure they didn't spend their time doing anything other than make sure he became richer. It hadn’t made him more popular, but it certainly had made him and his company successful. He knew what they called him behind his back, but he didn't care. All he had ever wanted in his life was to get rich. And that he had succeeded at.

  Now he was standing in his bedroom with views over Oresund and could see the coast of Sweden on the other side. He was naked and smoking a cigarette while the cleaning lady whom he had just had sex with was getting dressed behind him.

  "Now get out," he growled, once he saw she was halfway decent.

  The small Asian girl bowed humbly. "Yes, Mr. Lomholdt."

  He growled again and she left. She had been with him the last month or so, but he was getting bored with her. She didn't please him any longer and he was going to have her replaced with someone else next week. He would call the agency on Monday.

  Jacob sighed and smoked his cigarette. He looked at his packed suitcase in the corner and wondered why he was even bothering to go.

  A high school reunion. What could be more ridiculous?

  Yet there was still a part of him that was intrigued to go. He hadn't quite figured out just yet why that was. Maybe it was just the thought of seeing all those bastards from back then and rubbing his success in their faces. Yes, that was probably it. He would take the limo and really rub it in. Wear the most expensive of his suits. Show off. Make them sick with envy.