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   Chapter 44 No.44

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 9494

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:25


SCOTT HAD SEEN how panicked Sydney became when she realized Richard had seen her with him, and it hurt. And it angered him. He had taken her under his wing when another love had gone wrong for her. He'd showed her how to be strong and how to get what you want out of life. He'd built up her confidence and taught her how to set goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. The way he figured it, she'd have nothing today had it not been for him. He glanced at her. She clutched her purse with one hand and grasped the door handle with the other.

"I told you I've come into some money recently, " he said, pausing to let her respond. She didn't. "It's a lot of money, Sydney, and I thought how fantastic it would be for us to just pick up and go. We could go anywhere you'd like—anywhere in the world—and you'd never have to work again."

"I don't want to leave here. I love my work and I love my studio."

"You say that now, but you'll grow tired of it. And in a few more years—"

"No, I will not!"

"Trust me. In a few more years, you're going to hate it. Then you'll be wishing you'd come, but it'll be too late, Sydney. This is a once-in-a-lifetime offer." The car stopped for a red light.

Sydney looked at her watch. "I'm sorry, Scott. I really am. But, I—really, I—can't."

"Why not, Sydney?" He raised his voice. "Why not?"

Sydney turned away from him and faced the side window. She knew if she didn't answer, he'd be more likely to calm down.

"Don't think I don't know what the hell's going on here, Sydney." He banged a fist against the steering wheel, and snorted, "I can't believe you could be that stupid!" Sydney checked the time on her watch. "He's a murderer, Sydney. He rapes young girls and then murders them!"

"No he does not!" In one swift move, Sydney unbuckled her seatbelt, opened the door, and rolled out of the car. "You're his attorney and this is the way you think?" The light turned green and the traffic began moving around her. She slammed the door, cut between cars, and stepped onto the median in the center of the six-lane thoroughfare. Up the road she could see her studio through the haze of tears in her eyes. The parking lot was jammed with cars and she needed to be there. Pulling her purse strap over her shoulder, she watched for a break in the traffic.

"Sydney!" a voice called behind her. She turned and saw the face of Sylvia Whitford, one of her students' moms, staring back at her from the window of a white Dodge Durango. "Get in." Sydney rounded the car amid blasts from horns and jumped in. "Going to the studio?" Sylvia asked, the vehicle rolling forward.

"Yes. Thank you."

"What happened to your head?"

Sydney had held up through the accident, the hospital treatment, seeing the stunned look on Richard's face, and Scott's proposition. But now, as her legs

hing here you need to see. Can you run by here? Now?"

"Sure. Be right there."

WHEN I WALKED INTO HIS OFFICE, Scott stood with his back to me looking out a window at the Cape Fear River. He had a drink in his hand. "What is it that you want, Richard Baimbridge?" He sipped from his drink.

"Didn't you have something you wanted to show me?"

He turned toward me. "Out of life, man. What do you want out of life?"

I had to think about that. "I…want…my sister to walk again. I want to get the police off my back. I want to direct theatre on Broadway. I want my dad to get better and come home."

He took a sip of his drink. "What do you want from Sydney?"

The question caught me off-guard. I wasn't sure how to answer. "I just want her to be happy."

He chuckled under his breath, then tossed the rest of his drink down. "Women can be awfully fickle, Mr. Baimbridge."

"I suppose."

"And exactly what is it that you want from Mr. Willett?"

"Who?"

"The man from the beach house. Albert Willett."

"Just his fingerprints."

He continued to gaze out the window. "His fingerprints?"

"I told you. It's for my sister. She's looking for the guy that shoved her off that window ledge and left her paralyzed."

He lifted a file folder from his desk and waved it in the air. "And she thinks it might have been Willett?"

"A fingerprint from that house matched one from her assailant."

"I see." He rotated the folder around, tossed it back on his desk, and turned back to face the window. "Well, you know I can't be involved in anything like that."

There was a yellow sticky-note attached to the folder. I leaned closer to read it. "I understand."

He didn't turn around. "That's the kind of thing that could get a lawyer disbarred."

I leaned further over the desk toward the note. "Certainly. I understand."

The note read, McLeod Hotel. 8 p.m. Room 306.

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