“Dr. Werner,” he said, rising to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Dr. Jacob Werner?” The female voice on the other end was cold, detached. Someone from the hospital, he guessed. He mentally flipped through the names of his near-suicidal patients, but they’d all been doing well this past week. Or so it had seemed. He ran a hand through his hair, stifling a yawn.
“Yes,” he said, standing to reach for his pants. “Who is it? What happened?” Propping the small phone up with his shoulder at an awkward angle, he thrust one leg, then the other into tan khakis.
There was a pause on the other end while he zipped and buttoned. “Do you have a patient named Megan Hunter?”
He sat back down on the bed, nearly dropping the phone. Megan? She wasn’t even a patient, just an intern, studying psychology and profiling at the local college while working a second job at the grocery store. She was smart, and very observant, which would serve her well in her chosen field.
“She works with me,” he said, closing his eyes. “Is she going to be okay?”
“I’m sorry, Doctor – I can’t discuss her case with anyone other than immediate family. We found your card in her wallet, and thought you might know how we can reach someone for her.”
Jacob rubbed his forehead. “She doesn’t have any immediate family. Who’s the attending?”
“Doctor Stanik. But–”
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” He disconnected and slid the phone into his pocket, then pulled a t-shirt over his head. Topping it with a brown sport coat, he slipped his bare feet into a pair of brown leather loafers and grabbed his keys off the dresser.
“Where are you going?”
He looked back at the brunette sprawled half-naked in his bed and tried to remember her name. “I have to go to work. You’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like though – just lock up when you leave.”
“You’re not going to call me, are you.” Her statement halted him at the door and he paused for a moment. It was a trick question they both knew the answer to. He considered playing along for half a heartbeat.
He leaned on the tall counter and held his right hand out. “Dr. Jacob Werner,” he said, not really surprised when she didn’t take his hand. “I’d like to speak with Dr. Stanik.”
“He’s not available at the moment, but there is someone here who’d like to speak with you. She’s in room 1158, back down that hall, take a left and it should be on your left. Just go on in. She’s expecting you.” She took a stack of files off the counter and turned her back to him, effectively ending the exchange. Maybe Megan wasn’t so bad off if she was up to visitors, but if that was the case, why had they been looking for next of kin?
He turned and retraced his steps, easily finding the correct room. He pushed the door open to reveal a small blond dressed in an uptight black pantsuit standing at the head of a conference table. She looked up from the electronic tablet in her hand, peering at him over small wire-rimmed glasses before pushing them up farther on her nose.
“Dr. Werner – please have a seat.”
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