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Book 2

Outside the hospital, Terry Bachman paced up and down, stamping his feet to maintain some circulation. “It’s cold out here.” 

A tech with a mini-cam on his shoulder called out to him, “Hey, Terry, how much longer we gonna wait around here and freeze our balls off?” 

“As long as it takes, Bill. They’ve got to make a statement soon,” he shouted back. 

He swung the mic cord. looking more like a stage performer than a reporter, which was not far from the truth. At thirty-seven, he was the Boy Wonder of the New York WABC-TV Station. He sat down on the tailgate of the station van, jerking his collar up tighter around his neck. “Besides, Bill, New York winters are nothing compared to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.” 

Bill gave him the finger. “Who cares?” 

Terry smiled good-naturedly, emphasizing his country boy good looks. The crew often teased him, calling him the John Denver of News. He had pin-straight blond hair and deep brown eyes and looked more like twenty-one than almost thirty-eight. 

Before he got into journalism, he was a rising star, as his mother liked to put it. The guitar was his first love, country music his passion. After struggling in Nashville with only moderate success in clubs and a bad demo to his name, he joined the Marines at twenty. When he was discharged eight years later, he went back to college and studied journalism.     

When he uncovered a major scandal in the music business while on an assignment in Nashville, ABC picked it up as a side piece. The camera loved him, and the interview put him on the map. ABC gave him a shot as an investigative reporter and as the understudy to the weekend anchor. When the anchorman retired a short time later, Terry became the regular replacement. 

As the ratings soared, Terry was able to negotiate the cream-of-the-crop assignments. This was sure to be one of them. 

When the call came in that the Bathtub Murderer struck again, injuring undercover officer and high-profile society girl, Roberta Wallace, Terry jumped on it. He had a knack for being in the right place at the right time before anyone else. 

But today was the exception. He looked around with mild disgust as every network hovered around like vultures on a carcass. 

“Hey, Terry, looks like they’re moving,” Bill called, following the stampede with his camera. 

The door to the emergency room opened to reveal a portly, balding man, who walked to a podium. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have a brief statement.” He glanced at the paper in his hands and read aloud, “At approximately 12:30 am, Detective Roberta Wallace from the tenth precinct was admitted to this facility and remains in very critical condition. I will now turn the microphone over to Detective Fred McCarthy, spokesman for the New York City Police Department.”

“Detective Wallace was injured during an undercover operation in Chelsea. The operation was focused on the apprehension of a serial murderer. The assailant remains at large. Contrary to reports, no charges in connection with this crime were leveled against night club owner Jason D’Amboise. No further comment will be made at this time. Updates on Detective Wallace’s condition will be made available.” 

“Do you have details on D’Amboise’s involvement?” a reporter called.

“Who stabbed her?” another reporter asked.

“Is her family here?” the reporters surged forward, attempting to get more information. 

“Please, that’s all I have for you at this time.” He stepped inside, and the doors closed. Three uniformed officers stepped in front of them, blocking the reporters from the doorway.     

The disgruntled reporters turned back to their vans, mumbling angrily over the lack of information. “Well, Ter, is that a wrap?” Bill asked. 

“Yeah, let’s do a wrap, and we’ll go,” Terry replied. 

“What, not going to wait and see who the limo’s for?” a reporter from another network asked. 

“What limo?” Terry said. 

“The one that swept in here a few hours ago. Lay you odds it’s for Wallace’s family. I hear she’s really rich.” 

“Might be worth the wait,” Terry mumbled. 

“Shit, Terry. Let’s go,” Bill grumbled. 

“No. We’ll wait.” Terry directed his two assistants to the side entrances. “When the limo shows, let me know.”  


Dave, Ray, Mike, Rose and Marco waited with Max and the Wallaces hoping for a clear path to leave, undisturbed by the reporters. Dave checked with patrol, and all the exits were swamped. “No matter what, we’re going to run into them,” he reported. 

Max stood. “Let’s go then. I want to get Mr. and Mrs. Wallace home. They decided not to use the hotel. They’re headed to their penthouse. We’ll take the side exit.” He squatted by Evelyn. “Just keep walking and don’t pay any attention to what they say. They can be very persistent and rude in order to get what they want.” 

Evelyn nodded. Arthur said, “Whatever you say, son.” He got up and used the phone, calling the limo to the exit.     

Max sat beside Evelyn. “She’s a fighter. I won’t leave her. I’ll see you back here in a few hours. You’ll have round-the-clock protection and hopefully some privacy.” 

“I understand, Max,” Evelyn said. “Bobbi is news—this time, bad news.” 

Max hugged her gently. “She’ll be okay.” 

Evelyn smiled and patted his hand. “Of course she will.” 

Arthur returned. “Grant is ready.” 

“Okay,” Marco said. “We will flank you on all sides and keep them back.”

Just before the doors opened, they took their positions. Dave radioed to the awaiting patrol units to clear the path for the limo. As the doors opened, the lights from the cameras blinded them. Marco urged the Wallaces forward, Max taking Evelyn’s arm. 

The reporters swelled forward, a human wave of microphones and cameras. “Mr. Wallace, how is your daughter?”

“Is she going to live?” a reporter yelled.

“What’s her condition?” a group called out.

“Is it true she was raped by the murderer just before she was stabbed?” Another reporter put a microphone into Arthur’s face.

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