“Come here, please.”

The nurse with a bandaged neck retreated upon seeing him awake. Her phobia of him sent chills down her spine.

“Come. I won’t bite.”

She hesitated all the more when she heard the remark. However, since he was restrained, there was no way he could harm her.

“Can you do me a favor?” Armand asked amiably. “No, not untie me. Of course, you won’t do that.”

“I follow orders, sir.”

“I am counting on it,” he continued. “I want you to listen to the conversations of my lawyer and the doctor whenever possible. Be discreet. Report to me everything.”

“Why?” she asked, wondering if she could ever trust her supposed assailant.

“Go to that shelf,” he pointed to it with his lips. “Open the top drawer.”

What she saw inside immediately convinced her that she was being bribed.

“That’s yours.” Armand was betting that she would find the truth herself. That her sense of justice would make her right the wrong done against him.

She left in haste without taking the money. To Armand, that meant two things: she was a good person and theoretically not an accomplice. She could be trusted.

Outside, the nurse saw the two figures she was asked to spy on. They noticed her coming but paid her no attention. She was considered harmless.

Instead of going straight to the nurses station, she took a turn, hid herself behind a wall, directly overhearing what was discussed. Her curiosity was fueled by the complexities of the situation: the man tied to the chair did not appear violent at all. Something was amiss.

“It’s taking too long. I thought you said a week.” Attorney Abad towered over the diminutive doctor.

“I have to be careful,” Doctor Aran explained. “Any mistake on my part will show in the autopsy. The cause of death might be questioned.”

“I should have done it the way I planned,” the lawyer swore. “If not for that nurse, we would have parted ways quite rich a week ago.”

“You mean …,” the doctor tried to put the puzzle together.

“It was dark so she did not know who bit her. In a way, that bolster the idea that Armand has gone crazy.”

“That explains it,” Doctor Aran finally solved his personal confusion.

“Explains what?”

“Your dog tested negative for rabies.”

“Damn!” Attorney Abad wanted to choke the doctor dead. All the lies and pretenses were for naught.

“I am not at ease with this. We can stop it now and hope he forgets everything in time.”

“You are joking, right? I spent a fortune for this operation. Remember, you owe me big time. That malpractice suit nearly landed you in jail. I saved your hide.”

“I will pay you back. I promise. Let’s just close this while we still can.”

“How can you pay me? They took your licence away.” Attorney Abad maintained his hushed voice even though he wanted to yell at the man knowledgeable enough to kill Armand with less suspicion.

Doctor Aran bowed his head in surrender. The lawyer was correct. His services would pay his debt with a hefty sum as bonus to start a new life somewhere far away.

“In three days, your corpse will be ready.”

“Now, you’re talking real sense!”

Attorney Abad tapped the shoulder of his next victim. The doctor would follow Armand to the great beyond. No loose ends could get in the way of his perfect coup.

(to be continued)



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