Brian walked down the hall toward the maintenance closet and Tony. Olivia’s panic urged speed into his steps. Though he tried to walk quietly to keep from alerting anyone to his and Tony’s activities, the heels of his running shoes squeeched harshly on the white tile. Santa was where he’d left him, still guarding the closet and grinning like an oblivious fool.
A wheelchair draped with a blue hospital blanket blocked the door to the tiny room and Tony was inside, staring down on the cart driver. “Are you sure he’s not dead?”
Brian shrugged and removed the blanket from the chair. “He wasn’t when I left him.” But, sometimes things happened. In truth, it had taken everything he had to not kill the man who’d wanted Olivia dead.
Tony leaned close and sniffed. “He reeks, but I think he’s alright. Help me get him in the chair.”
“You become a weakling lately?”
His friend chuckled. “Yeah, yeah. You’re a regular Bob Hope. Just hold the chair.” He sat up the unconscious man and then, with a heave, lifted and pivoted him. Then he dropped the driver into the seat.
The chair, though locked, pushed backwards, shoving Brian into the hallway. He glanced at the nurses’ desk and saw a physician staring at him. The doctor began walking toward him, white coat flapping with each step.
“I’ll take care of it,” Tony said. One-by-one, he bent the cart driver’s knees and placed his feet on the footplates. He straightened, stretched his back and motioned to the hall. “Go ahead and take him to the elevator. I’ll join you there.”
Brian nodded, threw the blanket over his passenger’s body and pulled the chair back. Tony stepped out of the closet behind it.
“Hey.” The doctor’s voice came stridently down the hall, echoing smoothly off the flat tile. Two nurses poked their heads over the counter of the station desk to see the commotion.
Pretending he didn’t hear the call-out, Brian wheeled the unconscious man toward the elevator. He pushed the button and turned to watch the show. Tony flipped open his wallet to a fake police ID, walked up to the doctor, flashed it and shut his wallet again before anything could be closely inspected. “I’m sorry we disturbed you. This man,” he gestured toward the wheelchair, “escaped his guarded room on the floor below. We’re just lucky we caught him so soon.”
He leaned in conspiratorially. “He’s a murderer, you know.” He clapped his hand on the physician’s shoulder. “Lucky for everyone, we caught him hiding in your maintenance closet.”