56 Her Parents
It was several hours before Rickie was again aware of his surroundings. The wound turned out to be less deep than they had feared; no organs were damaged and it only required suturing. The doctor admonished no strenuous movements and a round of antibiotics and antinflamatory medicine.
JoAnne hovered while the doctor gave his final instructions, and plucked the prescriptions out of Rickie's hands to get them filled. As she walked out of the hospital room, she spoke with someone in the hallway. Rickie sat up, despite the protest from his stitches, when he saw who it was.
Meaghan placed her hand on the bedrail and leaned over until she was finally enveloped in his familiar arms. She began crying softly, overwhelmed and happy that he was safe. He made soothing noises and rubbed her back until the storm passed and she pulled back, sniffling. He gave her a lopsided grin, flashing his dimple.
Tearing up again at the sight of his smile, she turned and busied herself with the humidifier until she felt more composed. Once she was done, she turned to face him and sat down on a chair next to the bed. He picked up her hand and idly began rubbing his thumb across her knuckles.
"How are you feeling, Rickie?" she asked, with just the hint of trembling in her voice.
"Well, I have been better, but the doctor said I could leave soon. It's probably been rough on you too." Rickie decided it was time to really tell her how he felt. "Meggie,…"
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"There he is!" A deep voice intruded into the quiet moment, as a well-dressed older gentleman strode into the room. Meaghan quickly pulled her hand away, much to Rickie's consternation, and stepped back from the bed. The man reached the bed and clapped Rickie on the shoulder, almost knocking him down.
"Rick! You're looking pretty good after all the excitement tonight. You've done a good job for us. That was some excellent intelligence you managed to discover. I expect we'll be able to root out the entire organisation after this."
Rickie glanced over to Meaghan, standing immobilized by the window. He nodded towards the man.
"Meaghan, this is my former boss and Director of the Special Branch of the BKN, Datuk Seri Abdul Bakar bin Ali."
Meaghan made a nervous bow and tentatively reached out to feel her hand enveloped in his grasp.
"En Torno, thank you for your wonderful assistance in this endeavour. I can see you decided to follow in your parent's footsteps. We are sorry for their loss; it was a blow to our division. You're the exact image of your mother, you know. And Rick here had always admired your parents. In fact, he trained under them. You must be proud of the job they performed for their country."
Rickie winced, realizing he had never told her about his relationship with her parents, or the organisation they worked for under the guise of consultants; his old supervisor had just pulled the rug out from under his woman.
Meaghan was having trouble comprehending what had been said. She looked back and forth between the two men. Rickie's expression was guarded, as if he had bad news. The other man glanced questioningly at Rick, then schooled his features into neutrality. He gave nothing further away in his expression, and she felt the floor tilt, as if the world suddenly shifted it axis.