Susan wrote part 3 —
Staring into the phone screen, Cathy dared not look up to see if the nerdy guy had that, Oh, so this girl is crazy look on his face. Her heart beat painfully in her chest and she felt short of breath. She heard the rustle of fabric and flinched seeing the guys hand reach for her phone. Panic beat wings against the walls of her stomach and her feet obeyed the command for flight. Turning, her face met the edge of the open door behind her. Her boots struggled for purchase on the shiny institutional linoleum and the weight of her backpack sent her head banging onto the cold tiles of the floor as fireworks exploded behind her eyes. As everything faded to black, Cathy thought, That sounded just like a bat hitting a homerun ball.
The sensation of floating registered as awareness crept back over her body. Then the realization of being held in someone’s arms sent her eyes popping open. The world tilted and shimmied as the man carrying her bent forward preparing to drop her. Cathy jackknifed upward and began climbing over the shoulders of the man holding her.
“Hey! Whoa. Stop it. I’m not going to hurt you.” Strong hands clasped Cathy’s waist as she scrambled for a foot hold and grasped blindly for something to aid her climb. Her right foot connected with something soft as both her hands twisted soft strands of hair. She began to fall backwards and instead of fighting to get loose she wrapped her legs and arms around the man and tried to twist to land on top. Physics conspired against her as her head once again met an unyielding surface and the finale of all fireworks blasted behind the night dark sky of her eyelids.
Something icy landing on her face brought jolted Cathy into awareness. Her hands flew up to remove the dripping lumpy mass covering her hammering forehead, sightless right eye, throbbing nose and fiery jaw.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” A very grouchy male voice growled to her left. Cathy squinted with her one good eye and gasped seeing the nerdy guy from the hallway sitting in a wingback chair with a loosely tied bag of ice draped over his head and another planted on the vee of his legs.
“What happened?” Cathy croaked as she warily watched the man adjust his ice hat.
“You mean other than me trying to help you and bringing you here to recover from your fall and in thanks you practically kick and claw me to death and then try to knock me out with that pointy chin of yours, nothing.
“I don’t have a pointy chin.” Cathy said before realizing how ridiculous, in light of her circumstances, it sounded.
“Right. This lump on the top of my head says otherwise. Never mind. Whoever you are hiding from is not going to find you here because I already disabled your phone’s GPS. So unless you want me to call the cops to sort this out and they bring the paramedics to check you out and take you to a very public hospital, you should tell me what is going on. I have resources you can’t imagine and, being a card carrying nerd, I have the knowhow to sneak into places and find things like a modern day Sherlock Holmes. By the way, that happens to be my name.”
Cathy sat up and the ice bag plopped onto her lap soaking her jumper with icy condensation. “Your name is Sherlock Holmes?”
“Only part of it. Holmes Connan Darrow to be exact, but my friends call me Con. Sometimes they call me the Wrath of Con. Get it. Like Star Trek, because I like my revenge served cold over a computer keyboard.” He said with a smile and an amused twinkle in his dark eyes.
Cathy felt herself relax for the first time in days. Maybe meeting this guy was just what she needed to get out of the mess she was in.