Book: Red Carpet Diaries
Pairing: Thomas Hunt x MC (Delphine Reyes)
Summary: A detective from Major Crimes shows up to speak with Delphine, and Thomas begins to learn the truth about the car accident. But through the crisis, they finally find each other.
Rating: Teen+ (adult themes, sensitive content such as discussions of miscarriages)
Word Count: 2658
Author’s Notes: Detective Dave Reyes from Most Wanted appears in this chapter. Also, Delphine and Thomas are both multicultural; she speaks Spanish and he Italian.
She had been crying non-stop for the past ten minutes. Dr. Isaacs left the room to give her some time to process everything. Delphine was glad she was gone. She could no longer deal with the doctor’s constant looks of pity. Plus she wanted to be alone, left alone where she could hear her thoughts and the silence not being broken by the annoying ramblings.
She ignored how her sobs awakened the aches in her body. Those aches were the least of her worries. More than anything else, she felt heartbroken. It was the grief that overtook her, and nothing else mattered.
She longed to see him—Thomas—but she was afraid of him seeing her like this. She felt broken in so many ways that she wasn’t sure how she could ever put herself back together. Not after this. Not after what the doctor revealed.
The doctor had left a box of tissues next to her hand on the bed. How considerate. Delphine took one swat at the box, knocking it to the floor.
Thomas hung up from his phone call. As he stood there contemplating his next steps, he saw a familiar face approaching towards his direction. This man was dressed in a brown suit. A police officer accompanied him at his side. Their strides were quick and with a specific purpose.
“Dave?” Thomas acknowledged. Dave Reyes was a detective who was good friends with Ryan Summers. Thomas and he had met at one of Ryan’s parties and had been friends ever since.
“Thomas, I figured you would be here.” Dave stopped to greet him. “This is Officer McKenzie.”
“Evening.” She shook Thomas’ hand.
Thomas studied the two of them and grew an uneasy and suspicious feeling slowly creeping up inside him. He could feel it forming in the pit of his stomach. Dave was a detective for the Major Crimes Unit. He worked on crime cases such as murders. He couldn’t possibly be here about Delphine.
“I’m sorry about Delphine. How are you holding up?”
He is here for Delphine. “I’m sure you don’t need me to explain my feelings.”
Dave nodded. Leave it to Thomas to be emotionally closed off. “Well, hang in there.” He patted Thomas on the shoulder. Thomas narrowed his eyes, signaling to Dave his inappropriate entering of Thomas’ personal space. Dave immediately dropped his hand.
“Will you be sticking around for a while?”
“Yes.” Thomas responded with an annoyed tone. Of course.
“Good. I would like to ask you a few questions. If you wouldn’t mind heading into the waiting room for now.”
“What is this about?” Thomas felt he had a right to know. “Are you here for Delphine?”
“Thomas, friend,” Dave started. “Let’s just go inside here…”
“Don’t treat me like an incompetent child, Dave.” Thomas’ voice rose, his face turning hard.
“Thomas, look, I’m conducting an investigation. I can’t disclose anything at the moment. You just gotta trust me.”
Investigation? Thomas expected the police to show up to get a statement from Delphine about the accident, but now detectives were involved. Dave was involved. Something wasn’t right. Whatever it was, if Dave was on the case, it was serious. Deadly even. And the fact that he had yet to see Delphine made this change in the situation even more stressful and worrisome.
“Dave, please. As a friend, what is going on?” The volume of his voice turned to a whisper. “Is Delphine in trouble?”
Dave sighed and turned to Officer McKenzie. “Go on ahead.” Dave looked through the narrow rectangular windows on the doors, making a mental note of who was in the waiting room. “Keep every there.”
Officer McKenzie nodded and headed inside. Thomas and Dave remained out in the hallway. Once they were alone, Dave decided to talk.
“So what do you know about what happened, Thomas?”
“Just what I heard from our friends and on the news. Delphine and her driver were in a car accident.”
“Accident. Right.” Thomas raised an eyebrow at the detective’s comment. “You see, that’s the issue. It doesn’t appear to have been an accident.”
Delphine had tired herself from all of her weeping. Her swollen cheeks were stained with tear tracks. Some of her tears had soaked into the gauze protecting the gash along her jawline. All she could do was stare up at the ceiling, restless, confused, and uncertain of all of the thoughts racing through her head. Some of those thoughts made her feel guilty for even thinking them.
Voices outside in the hallway drew her focus away from her thoughts. “She’s in here.” From her peripheral, she saw two figures enter and walk towards her.
“Ms. Reyes, a detective is hear to speak with you.” The nurse stated.
“Hello Delphine. I’m Detective Dave Reyes. No relation.” He smiled, but Delphine’s face was blank. “I know this is probably not the best time, but I need to speak with you about what happened.”
“You look familiar. Have we met?”
“I believe we met when you and Thomas Hunt were at one of Ryan Summer’s epic parties this past spring. I swear the room fell quiet when you two entered, like royalty even. If I remember correctly, you were drinking a Chateau Mouton Rothschild. I can still smell that sweet vanilla aroma mixed with black cherry and blackcurrant. Fine taste you have there.”
“Is your detective memory supposed to impress me?”
“Well, I guess not anymore.”
“I’m not in the mood for your trying to lighten the mood. What do you want to ask me?”
Dave smirked. “I see Thomas has definitely rubbed off on you a bit.”
Delphine immediately made direct eye contact with him. “Is Thomas here?” She quietly asked, almost hesitantly.
“Yes. I just spoke to him outside.”
“That’s right.” The nurse interjected. “He had wanted to see you. I got distracted and forgot to tell you.”
Delphine’s nostrils dilated as she pressed her lips firmly together. Her fingers curled into her palm, forming a fist. “Go.”
“I’m sorry, Delphine, but I really need to ask you about…”
“Not you. Her.” Delphine’s strong emphasis on her made goosebumps rise along the nurse’s arms.
“Ms. Reyes, I…”
“You get Thomas in here like you said you would, or I will be asking for a new nurse.”
Wide-eyed, the nurse left the room, leaving Delphine and Dave alone. Dave stood with his hands in his pants pockets, observing the situation. His eyes looked down at the tissue box that was alone on the floor. He picked it up and put it on the table next to Delphine’s bed.
“In case you might need that.”
Delphine didn’t respond. He noticed her chin trembling as she appeared to be fighting back tears. Dave pulled up a chair and took a seat close to her. He reached out to place his hand on hers, but she immediately pulled it away.
“I’m sorry about all of this.” Dave sympathized. “I want to help you. You and Charles.”
“Have you spoken to him?”
“Not yet. I will after I speak with you. Would that be all right? I could even come back and update you on his condition if you’d like.”
“Yes. I need to know how he is doing.”
“From what I know, he’s stable.”
Delphine closed her eyes and sighed. “Good.”
“Delphine, could you tell me about what you remember? Any information you can give will help with the investigation.”
“What do you mean, investigation?”
“The car accident. It is believed that what happened wasn’t an accident. This is based on witness accounts and certain evidence from the scene. I know that by asking this I may be triggering some difficult memories, but your information can help lead me in the right direction.”
Delphine diverted her eyes away from him and fixated on the ceiling.
Not an accident? Of course it wasn’t an accident. How could she tell him about the flashing brights? The car trailing their bumper? The horrific chase where she felt she would definitely not make it out alive? The ramming against the side of the car? The blackness afterwards? How could she tell him this without breaking down? She already felt as if everything was a trainwreck, a trainwreck that saw no end in sight.
“I…” Delphine began to choke, drawing tears again.
“Take your time, Delphine.”
After a long pause, Delphine asked, “Someone’s trying to kill me, aren’t they?”
Dave sighed, “That is what the evidence is leading to. But someone could also be after your driver. It’s uncertain at the time being.”
Delphine was tired of crying, but she couldn’t get the images out of her head. Her heart started to race. “There was a car.”
“Do you remember the color?”
Delphine blinked repeatedly as if trying to recall the memory. “Dark. Black maybe.”
“Could you see the driver?”
Thomas was again on the phone. He was pacing next to the reception desk while eyeing the doors to the hallway that led to the patient rooms, where Officer McKenzie was standing. He was usually quite the patient man, but his patience was surely being tested.
“Two. I need two.” He listened to the person on the other end of the line. “As soon as possible.” His tone was direct but lacked emotion. Teja and Matt had finally arrived and joined the group, and they all directed their attention to him. They were all sitting close together.
“I wonder who he’s talking to.” Matt pointed out.
Chazz shrugged. Seth was silent, studying Thomas’ and the officer’s every move.
“But why is there a police officer standing there like she’s guarding the doors?” Teja asked.
“This is ridiculous! I’m going to go ask Thomas.” Victoria stood up and marched towards the reception desk.
He had just gotten off the phone when Victoria approached him. She immediately saw dark circles under his eyes and his lips were dry and cracked. Strands of his hair were loose across his forehead, the complete opposite of his usual clean and slicked back style. Thomas was muttering to himself in Italian. His tone sounded irritated but had a sense of fatigue.
“Thomas, any updates?” Thomas seemed to be in a daze, as if staring straight through her, his thoughts elsewhere. “Thomas?”
“The situation has turned more serious.”
“Is Delphine all right?”
“I…” Thomas repeatedly rubbed his brow with his fingers as if kneading dough. Before he could respond, the doors opened and the nurse from earlier greeted him.
“Mr. Hunt, she’s asking for you.”
The entire gang stood up from their seats. Victoria saw all the color drain from Thomas’ face. She placed her hand on his arm. “Go to her.” She whispered. “We’ll be waiting right here.”
“Mr. Hunt,” Officer McKenzie stepped in front of him. “I need to check you before you enter.”
“Are you kidding me?” His eyes narrowed as he frowned.
“Fine.” Thomas lifted his arms as McKenzie patted him down.
“Ok. You’re clear to enter.”
Thomas followed the nurse who was leading him to Delphine’s room. He ran his hand through his hair the closer they approached.
“This is her room, Mr. Hunt.”
Dave looked over his shoulder and made eye contact with him. But Thomas wasn’t looking in his direction. His somber eyes were solely focused on one person. Dave stood up to leave. As he passed Thomas, he stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and gave it a quick squeeze. Then he left to go speak with Charles.
Nothing reached Thomas’ senses. Not the sight of Dave in the room, not the feeling of his comforting gesture against his shoulder, not the feeling of the fluorescent lights that illuminated the room, not the sounds of the chatter from the nurses and doctors in the hallway. All he saw was a woman alone in a bed with bandages covering parts of her face, her thick, curly hair disheveled against the single pillow with its reddishness adding a splash of color to the white pillowcase, and the distinct and curved lines of her body protruding from under the blanket.
Her head turned in his direction and their eyes locked. They were those same greenish hazel eyes that met his when he woke up next to her in the mornings. Those same greenish hazel eyes that radiated a gentle warmth that made his heart fill full whenever she looked at him with a smile. Those same greenish hazel eyes that quietly said I love you far across a crowded room. Those same greenish hazel eyes whose colors changed to a pure greenish hue when she quietly stared him down in anger. Those same greenish hazel eyes that ignited in ecstacy when his intimate touch brought her great release.
Now those same eyes were seeking for him. Calling for him. Yearning for him. He found himself standing over her, not remembering how his body got there. But it didn’t matter. He was finally there with her. He reached for her hand, feeling its new texture of varying degrees of cuts against his own skin. Her hand felt weak within his. He held it tightly, signaling to her his presence. His free hand caressed her bruised cheek, letting her face drop into his hand, his comforting touch. Her eyes began filling with tears as he cupped her cheek.
“Thomas…” His name caught in her throat. “I’m scared.”
Thomas sat on the edge of the bed and leaned towards Delphine, meeting his forehead with hers. “It’ll be OK.” His voice quivered. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.” He kissed her forehead before his eyes met hers again. His eyes were red with tears collecting at their edges.
Thomas whispered to her in Italian, a secret message that only she understood. It made the edges of her mouth slightly curl up. She then replied in Spanish, continuing their secret. They had been together long enough to the point where there were things—feelings—they could communicate with each other in their respective cultural languages. It was an additional way that they expressed their intimacy. Thomas gently kissed her, sealing their secret.
Thomas sat up finally taking in Delphine’s injuries. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m just glad you’re here.” She gripped his hand tightly, afraid that if she let go, he would somehow disappear, proving to her that she was only imagining him. But he truly was there, and his touch was like a long-awaited rainfall that brought new life in the spring after a long winter full of desolate land.
She began explaining the injuries the doctor had mentioned. She paused at times to cry as some of the injuries brought back difficult memories of the incident. But there was one that she waited to tell him.
“I do need to tell you something.”
“I know. Dave told me. I have bodyguards coming. And I’m going to work with Dave to make sure you’re protected, especially once you’re released.”
That wasn’t what Delphine wanted to say. The earlier conversation with Dr. Isaacs was in the forefront of her mind now.
“Were you aware of your pregnancy?”
Delphine bit her lip and glanced away. “I have… an appointment next week… actually.”
“Well, because of the accident, we had to check for internal bleeding. We did an ultrasound. It looks like you’re about six weeks, but…”
Delphine raised her hand. “Please… I don’t think I can take anymore bad news.”
“It is important for me to tell you that you have a high risk of a miscarriage. Your body went through a lot. It’s been under a lot of stress. That’s why we want to monitor you, keep you stable.”
You have a high risk of a miscarriage.
She couldn’t tell him that she was pregnant. That they could lose this chance of having a child together. Not then. Not when it was clear that he knew she was in danger. She didn’t want to add any additional worries to the list.