Hunter Hagedorn was not used to waiting. He was a detective sergeant with the city police, and people do not usually keep a cop waiting. However, here ha was pacing the halls of the psychiatric ward of County General Hospital waiting to talk to a patient named Angel Zeno. Outside, the weather darkened along with Hunter’s mood. Looking out the windows, he could see the clouds over the hills bunching like a huge fist. It was going to be a nasty night.
Angel Zeno kept his innocent face on for the whole 40 minutes the cop spent with him. He knew the woman did. But there was nothing he could do about it. When Hunter finally left, Angel let his facial muscles relax. The cheeks flattened, the pale eyes narrowed, and one corner of his mouth began to twitch.
Everybody betrayed Angel, sooner or later. His parents refused to hide him when he first got into trouble. The teachers always favored the other kids over him. Then Jackie, who had acted as if she were his girl, walked out on him. Well, he had paid back some of there people. But there were others out there who still had it coming.
Outside the window of the hospital room the sun shone brightly. Gail Talley blinked to the window to adjust the blind. Strange faces looked down at her on the bed. A man and a woman, both wearing white jackets, had blank expressions. Another face, this one familiar, showed concern in the deep straight lines. For a moment Gail could not put a name to familiar face. Then she got it.
“I remember running from him,” she said more quickly. “I ran out the back in the rain. He came right behind me. Then, up by the big tree, he caught me. I fought to get away, but he was too strong. Then somebody else came and…” She faltered. “That’s it. I don’t remember anything else until I woke up here a couple of minutes ago. What happened, Hunter?”