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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Uninvited Guest (2)

Kiara waited calmly at the front door. She felt a pang of guilt for having pressed the doorbell seeing as it was so close to midnight but the act had been involuntary. She finds herself reflecting on how easily daily habits run amuck when one is sleep deprived and starving.

She took the sound of a car starting up and driving off in the distance to mean Marko had caught wind of her approach and made his escape again. It didn’t matter though; the doctor was in and prone to waiting up for her patient. What’s another day without sleep… she thinks to herself as Nick opens the door. He smiles wide and says “Well hello!” She smiles back and gives him a hug that consists of her whole body crashing into him half awake. Nick nods his head even though hers is buried in his shoulder. “Yeah, I know the feeling. Let’s get you inside.” She grunts in approval and shuffles in under his arm. Eliot is seated back at his desk typing furiously, no doubt to make up for lost time. Kiara lands sidewise on the coach where Nick had slept just moments earlier, to which he shrugs and takes a seat moving her feet up and over to rest on his lap. She is staring at the tall white ceiling of the room when she regains her sense of gravity and time. She turns her head to the side and sees Eliot intensely focused on a note pad yet aware of her gaze. “Hey Kiara.” She smiles and responds “Hey Elizar. How far in advance did he know I was coming this time?” “Probably five minutes. Maybe more. It was well before Sean saw you pull up.” Replies Nick. Kiara looks over in his direction. “Sean’s back? I should probably see if he’s ok. At least to see how his trip went.” Eliot looked up at her for the first time then back to a note pad struggling with the thought before he tore off a page handing it over to her. She tries to read it but the combination of hurried writing and her own delirium blur the words into funny pictures. She cringes perceptibly and Nick kicks his own feet up onto the coffee table taking the paper from her, and says, “Nothing to worry about Kay, he wasn’t scratched. Just tired. Soon as he finished hunting he drove straight back.” She was relieved to hear it. Nick continues, “Eliot has been keeping tabs on Marko’s vitals too, all while he’s asleep. Major creeper status thanks to you.” Kiara drives her heal into Nick’s thigh. “Hey, relax doc. Everything’s ok. Ian too. I mean the last I heard of him he was in LA keeping house. Scott found a lead in New Mexico.” Kiara thought for a moment, perhaps a moment longer than she would have liked consider her tired state. “And you guys?” Eliot stopped typing for another moment and sighed. “Nick and I have been working in here when we can afford to. He keeps us connected to the rest of the world; I keep them up to date. This last report was on the Eastern seaboard, they wanted another look at Marko’s vitals.” Kiara frowned. “They don’t know everything do they?” Nick looked at her and shook his head. “Do we?” All three of them were silent for a full minute reflecting on the past three months. It is Kiara who speaks up. “At first all I worried about was how Ian and Marko were physically, and I mean that on top of the daily grind that all of you go through. It’s a miracle that everyone is still alive.” “Not everyone.” Eliot reminds her. “That’s just it Eliot. You, Nick, Sean, hell even I have acknowledged it. But Marko... He obviously knows she’s dead, but he carries on like she never existed and in no way does that remotely feel healthy.” “See that’s the problem Kiara. We don’t really know how this is going to affect Marko or Ian in the long term. They just inherited a great deal of power. Now that’s not something either one is approaching lightly but it would sure be nice to see Marko demonstrate some form of emotion. All things considered.” Kiara let Eliots words digest. She thought long and hard on a way to break through and see if their humanity was still intact. But she knew that there was no medical school in the world ready for this kind of illness, and it’s on those thoughts that she slowly drifts off to sleep. As she does she can barely make out the faint hum of keys gently rebounding on springs. Eliot was typing as gingerly as possible. So considerate…

She recognized the fact that she had slept, however it was all too apparent that this sleeping business was no longer yielding rest. Nick had gotten up from under her feet without waking her and Eliot was standing with him in the hall. They stared out the front door, both framed in curiosity. She made two attempts to get off the coach before joining them.

Outside Marko was face to face with this strange woman he knew was following him despite the fact that he was behind her last he checked. Some sort of familiarity was now pulling at his ankles like a restless child.  “Um.. Hi.” Spoke the stranger. “Yup.” Replied Marko. “Look, I’m so sorry. I know it’s late, or I mean early or… Um, see I finally found your address in one of her uh, address books. Soon as I realized that it was really you, you… I drove all night to get here and I didn’t even think about when I would arrive or if you even still lived here and… Oh boy.” Marko was piecing together what she was saying a lot faster than she was saying it. “You’re her sister.” The words were calm, spoken very coolly, catching the woman off balance entirely. “I… we’ve… I mean she never introduced us. She talked about you a lot though. But I guess it’s kind of obvious when you have a babbling stranger at the door talking about… I don’t mean to impose, and I’ll find a hotel if you need me to but this is about the point where I think I need to lie down for a minute before I ramble myself to death.” 

“Let her in.” The girl turns around to see who Marko is talking to when in mid scan the door opens and three more strangers look remorsefully in her direction. Kiara is first to come outside. she hugs the girl tightly and whispers, “My condolences. We’re all so sorry for your loss.” The embrace lasts a full minute. Nick and Eliot both repeat a less tender version of the same gesture with her. Eliot walks over to Marko all the while looking at him to get his attention. “It wouldn’t kill you to say something else to her right now.” And so he does. “Yeah. Sorry. Come in will ya?” Nick leads them on while Kiara introduces herself, “It’s nice to meet you Kiara, I’m Alicia.” Sean was awake and glaring at the procession as everyone walked past the living room and into the kitchen. “No, you’re all fine here. Don’t go in there on my account.” Sean motioned to the living room turning on the lights as he was leaving. Kiara and Nick followed to stop him. 

Sean heard Kiara call to him as he was settling down in the command center. Her and Nick stand at the double doors, Sean tilts a hat down over his face as he speaks through it. “I know. Rebecca’s sister is here.” Kiara looks at Nick mentally asking for help. Nick in turn says “Hey, don’t do that. Come out here with us.” Sean remains silent. Nick turns back to Kiara and frowns. “You wanted to stir up Marko emotionally. Make sure he’s not completely gone. I’m going to say being in the same room as your dead girlfriend’s sister should elicit some kind of reaction.” Somehow Kiara wasn’t hopeful.

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