Authors: Leslie DuBois
The Guardian of Eden
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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Copyright © 2011 Leslie
All rights reserved.
Prologue: Man vs. Evil
“Somebody help, please!”
A man in blue scrubs rushed toward me, took my sister’s limp body from my arms and placed her on a gurney. He flashed a light in her eyes and took her pulse as a woman fired questions at me.
“Are you her boyfriend?”
“How long has she been unconscious?”
“She passed out in the car. About 10 minutes. She said her stomach hurts.” My voice, usually deeper than most teenage boys’, sounded shrill, and broken, almost child-like as it resonated against the cold sterile walls of the near-empty emergency room.
“Is she on drugs?”
She’s only 12!” The man and woman wheeled my sister into a room. I tried to follow, but another woman pulled me aside and started examining me, probing me with both her questions and her hands. “What are you doing?” I asked when she lifted up my shirt.
“Where were you stabbed?”
“Yes, I’m trying to find the source of the blood.”
I looked down and gasped at the bright-red stain soaking my shirt and my pants from mid chest all the way to my knees. Trapped in the urgency of the moment, I hadn’t noticed the wetness of my clothing. Now that the adrenaline started to wear off, it came into focus. My shirt stuck to my skin where my sister’s blood started drying. “Oh my God,” I said, allowing my weight to shift towards the wall as I felt my knees weaken. I misjudged the distance and stumbled.
“I think he’s going into shock,” she yelled, trying to steady me with her gloved hands. “We need another gurney!”
“No, no, I’m fine. Just help Eden, please.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, the blood’s not mine. It’s hers.”
Her eyes bulged she stepped back and looked at the amount of blood on me. “Dr. Shepherd we need you in number one,” she shouted as she
away in a blur of white. “The girl’s hemorrhaging!” The nurse charged behind the curtain with an IV pole, a bag of fluid, and a fistful of test tubes. I heard her bark orders from behind the ugly blue fabric. “We need stat labs. I think she’s going to need refill.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw
enter the emergency room and run to me. “What did they say? What’s wrong with her?” she said. I shrugged and placed my head in my hands.
sat down next to me and rubbed my back. “Don’t worry, Garrett. She’ll be fine.”
I shook my head to fight back the tears. Too many had fallen in my lifetime. At seventeen, I was already tired of crying.
“Garrett, she’s strong. She’s tougher than you give her credit for. Both of you have had to be to make it this far. You’ll make it through this too.”
weaved her fingers in mine and lifted my hand to her lips. She tried to comfort me, but her words felt empty and meaningless in my despair. She didn’t understand. Yes, Eden and I had been through a lot of turmoil and survived. I knew how to shield her from all our previous trials. But how do I protect her from what I don’t know? She was already sick. Obviously, danger had seeped in and I wasn’t there to prevent it. I didn’t protect her.
continued to hold my hand as she started chewing on her bottom lip and tapping her foot. Moments later she let go of my hand, jumped out of her seat then paced the floor while mindlessly snapping her fingers. After about thirty seconds, she sat back down, took my hand, and rested her head on my shoulder as if she might fall asleep. In an instant, she was up again and pacing. Suddenly, she stopped and stared at me.
“We should get you out of those clothes. I’ll go see what’s in the car,” she said as she dashed out of the door to the parking lot. She needed to do something to occupy her time and keep her mind off of Eden.
After she left, I walked up to the reception area and said, “Excuse me, but I brought in the little girl a few minutes ago. Can you tell me anything yet? Is she conscious?”
The short brunette shook her head apologetically. “As soon as I find out something, I’ll let you know. You can help things along by filling this out, though.” She handed me a clipboard with some papers.
As soon as I sat down,
returned. She handed me a T-shirt. “This was all I could find.” She sat down next to me and resumed her nervous habits.
I spent the next fifteen minutes filling out forms. I didn’t think to bring Eden’s insurance card so I had to recall the information from memory. Usually, I have a perfect photographic memory, but when I’m stressed, it fails. It took several tries before I could see the numbers on her card in my head. I also wrote down everything I knew about Eden’s medical history. There wasn’t much. Of the two of us, she was always healthier. The only time she had ever been to a hospital was to visit me. When I finished, I went to the bathroom and cleaned up.
“Who is responsible for this girl?” The doctor demanded as he stormed into the waiting room.
“I am,” I said, standing up so quickly I woke
who had fallen asleep on my shoulder.
“And just who are you?”
“I’m her brother.” The doctor raised his left eyebrow and looked me up and down. I knew exactly what he was thinking. “Look, we have the same mother, but my father is black, her father is white. Now can you tell me what’s wrong with her?”
I think it’s time to get the police involved.” The doctor turned his back to me and stepped toward the nurse’s station.
What the…?” I reached out and grabbed his shoulder.
I just wanted him to explain, but the doctor reacted to the motion as a sign of aggression and yelled, “Security!”
“Wait, wait, wait,”
said, taking my hand and stepping between me and the doctor. “He didn’t mean anything. He just really needs to know what’s going on. My boyfriend is very protective of his little sister.”
The doctor studied the two of us for a few seconds. He must have instantly trusted
big blue eyes. Everyone did.
, an honesty, in her sweet round face that melted away doubt and suspicion.
"Let me see some identification from both of you." I took out my wallet and handed him my student I.D. while
fumbled around in her purse. She couldn't find her wallet. She dumped the contents of her bag onto the floor and searched on hands and knees.
"Damn it. I left my wallet," she mumbled as she turned red. Then she whipped off her necklace and stood. "This has my medical information," she told the doctor holding the necklace in front of him. "There's my name and my address and my father's name if you want to call him."
?" the doctor asked. "Senator Bartholomew
is your father?" She nodded. He looked from
to me then back. He knew he needed to proceed cautiously in dealing with the daughter of a Virginia senator, especially when that senator currently occupied all the news headlines. He cleared his throat then waved off the security guard. “Do you have any contact information for your mother?” he asked, trying not to seem uneasy about