High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series)

High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock Page B

Book: High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery (The Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janice Peacock
technicians load Rosie into the ambulance, as all the other partygoers stood out of the way.
    “ Is anyone coming with us?” asked one of the medical technicians.
    I looked at Tracy. She was in no shape to go to the hospital, unless she was the one being admitted.
    “Look, I’m going to go with Rosie,” I said spotting Tessa. “Tracy, Tessa is going to get you settled so you can lie down upstairs.” Tessa put her arm around Tracy and guided her back to the apartment. “I’ll call you when I have an update,” I called. This was the last thing I wanted to do tonight, but I knew it was the right thing.
    “ Allen, can you be a wonderful guy and help get the shop shut down and everyone sent home?”
    “ I am an expert at being a wonderful guy,” Allen said with a smile, and I didn’t doubt him. I also didn’t doubt he was looking up my dress and at my shiny black Spanx as I pulled myself into the back of the ambulance. I looked out the back window as we drove away. All of the partiers stood on the street watching us go, wondering what had happened.

    The stretcher, now raised up into a gurney, rolled into the emergency room at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Its huge glass-paneled facade gleamed brightly in the darkness. Since the emergency team had called ahead, there were doctors waiting for Rosie when she arrived.
    “ You the next of kin?” a nurse asked me.
    “ Uh, no, sorry just a friend, you see—” The nurse interrupted me.
    “ You know what happened?”
    “ Well, you know—”
    “She was strangled, so it’s not like—”
    “Medical hist—”
    This time, it was my turn to cut her off.
    “ Look, I have very little information. I can tell you her name—Rosie, officially Rosa I think, Lopez. A necklace was strangling her, and she couldn’t breathe.” The nurse raised a single eyebrow, but didn’t look surprised. I’m certain she had heard it all working in the ER.
    “ Unconscious when you found her?”
    “ I think she was conscious when I first saw her, but as I was helping her, she seemed to have passed out.”
    “Can you describe the item that was around her neck?”
    “ A long strand of beads—it was wrapped tightly around her neck, so we cut the wire that held it together.” I wondered if anyone would think to pick up the beads from the necklace, if they would have been swept up and thrown away after the night’s chaos, or taken by a greedy beader. Poor Rosie wouldn’t want to lose her art glass bead collection.
    “ Wait here,” said the nurse, turning on her heel, rubber soles squeaking as she walked away. They’d taken Rosie back through the double doors and into the treatment area. The nurse had stopped me before I’d been able to follow Rosie back.
    I sat down on one of the vinyl benches in the waiting area, squeezing myself between a boy who looked like he ’d been socked in the eye, along with a woman who was probably his mom, and a man who needed a few stitches on his finger, given the amount of blood soaked into the washcloth he was holding.
    Ew .
    I stared in a daze at the blue-speckled tiles on the floor. I wanted to think, but my brain was on overload. I closed my eyes. My head was splitting, and a few realizations were dawning. It was the middle of the night. I had no money, no ID, no phone, and no way to get back to the shop, or home. I was stuck. Too bad this wasn’t jail, because if it were, at least I’d get to make one phone call.
    A nurse invited me back into the treatment room. Rosie was attached to several monitors and I was shocked to see her looking so small and pale. She had a mask over her face and it was attached to oxygen tanks. They were small versions of what I used in the studio to power my torch.
    “Are you here with Ms. Lopez?” the doctor asked. He seemed grim, and I was hoping that was his general mood, and not an indicator of how badly Rosie was doing. I nodded, and he continued. “I’m Dr. Patel, the doctor

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