Location: Motel 6 – Harrisonburg, Virginia
Ketra and Horus, watched the elderly doctor apply the last sutures, sealing the ugly gash that wrapped around Meghan Castella’s slender shoulder. The wounded lady let out a soft moan as the pain made its way to wherever her consciousness lay resting, beneath the layers of sedation that would keep her from waking, for a few more hours.
The elderly doctor, done with her work, approached them. Her silver grey hair was held in a neat short ponytail and her kind brown eyes still sparkled with wit and enthusiasm, despite the pronounced wrinkles of age around them.
“How is she, Maddy?” Horus asked.
“Hurt. Traumatized. Broken. But other than that, she’s recovering nicely.”
Horus’s gaze fell to the floor and he let out a deep breath before meeting the old woman’s gaze once more.
“My dear. Whatever is weighing that poor heart of yours down, you can let it go if you would only face what you’ve been running from.” The elderly doctor advised.
She placed a motherly hand on Horus’s cheek.
“Thank you, Maddy.” Horus said as he clasped her hands in his. “I think I’ve got it from here.”
Maddy turned to Ketra.
“Young lady, you’ll take care of him won’t you. He’s never got it. Ever.”
Ketra could barely suppress a chuckle.
“I’ll be sure to, Maddy.”
Maddy nodded and picked up her bag, before walking out of the hotel room.
Once the door shut behind her, Ketra turned to Horus. He had already walked out of the room and was standing on the balcony overlooking the parking lot sandwiched between the back wing of the hotel and the front. They had ditched Meghan Castella’s car a while back, and wiped it clean. There would be no strand of hair, or prints for the forensics to analyze. Horus had paid for three days in cash. It would buy him time to think of a plan – whatever the plan was. Ketra walked up to him and they both stood in silence for a while.
“How long have you known her?”
“Since I was a kid.”
Ketra nodded and kept quiet. Horus sighed. He knew she was waiting for him to continue. There was no need keeping the truth from her. She deserved to know this much.
“Meghan was my friend, my sister, my family… she was everything. We grew up underneath the rubble of New York, along with our friends. We somehow survived on broken and torn up streets that offered nothing but despair. The only thing that kept us going was our dream… of a better life. A happier life. I swore them… her… that.”
“What happened?” Ketra asked. “How did you two get here?”
Horus looked back at Meghan Castella who was sleeping peacefully on the bed. He hoped she was sleeping peacefully. The next few days would be severely lacking in peace. At least she would be alive – as long as he could keep her that way. He turned back to Ketra, who hadn’t taken her eyes off him.
“I ran out of time… and she left me. She never… looked back.”
Horus took another deep breath and began walking away from the balcony.
“We need to get some sleep. You can take the other bed, I’ll crash on the couch.”
Ketra caught his hand and gently pulled him back to her.
“We’ve got all night. Tell me everything.”
“I don’t want to go down that road.” Horus said, shaking his head.
“Horus, I’ve known you for five years… and I adored you for five before that. In all that time I have tried to figure you out and prided myself in being able to understand you. To get you and see the man behind the monster everyone fears. I’ve tried to…”
Ketra shook her head and gazed into his eyes, before speaking again.
“Horus, I’ve never seen you in love. I’ve never seen you so torn either. It hurts, and it is not going to get easier. I don’t know what you are doing, and I don’t think you do either. However, you are going to keep coming face to face with the woman who broke your heart for quite a while now, if we make it that far. You need to start shedding the weight a bit. I need you as focused as you can be… so let it out.”
Ketra gasped when she saw his eyes sparkle with tears he struggled to hold back. Horus turned around and ran a hand through his hair.
“What have I done, Ketra?”
“I don’t know. But we’ll figure it out together. Like always.”
For the first time in a few hours, Horus allowed himself a genuine smile.
“You know something… I am really glad you followed me.”
Ketra beamed at his words and looked up to the sky to prevent him from seeing her cheeks burning.
“Where do I start?” Horus asked.
Ketra dropped her gaze to him and they both sat side by side on the balcony.
“From the very beginning.”