Divya was tired. Alongside all the drama between the Lawson brothers and their father and Hank getting hurt, she'd also handled all their patients for the day, leaving her with barely enough time to eat anything more than a bagel for breakfast and a salad for lunch. Now that her day was done, she was heading back over to Shadow Pond to check on Hank. Normally she would have also gone over to talk with Evan about the next day's patients but Divya wasn't in any mood to look at or talk to Evan and so she chose to ignore him for the evening, if not the rest of the week.
She pulled into the brick and stone drive of Shadow Pond and parked. Every time she came over, she always felt a little bit awed by the sheer beauty of the castle. It wasn't like what you'd find in a fairy tale- all tall, and possibly foreboding. This castle had a kind of classic grace to it that always had her imagining aristocrats in the 19th century coming over from England and hosting magnificent parties.
Tonight, the castle was all aglow in the cooling September evening. It was warm and inviting – two things she normally didn't associate the castle or its owner with.
The front door opened and Dieter, two of Boris' security as well as Boris himself exited the home, prompting Divya to exit her own vehicle, a smile on her face.
Ever since the whole incident with hank, she somehow felt a little closer to Boris than she previously had. They weren't on friendly terms by any means but she also didn't feel as though she had to be quite as formal as she normally would have been either. She understood that Boris cared about Hank – on what level, she had yet to determine – and therefore she treated him as though he were more than Hank's landlord or friend; she treated him almost as though he were Hank's next of kin.
"Good evening," she greeted as she closer to the nobleman. She stopped in front of him, waiting for him to move to the side so that she could check in on Hank. But he made no move to do so, puzzling her, though she didn't show it.
"Good evening Ms. Katdare," he greeted in turn, offering her a smile that few rarely saw.
Absently, she wondered why she'd never encouraged her to call her Divya when he so freely offered her his first name but she brushed the though aside as soon as it had come. She began to say something, maybe inquiring after Hank but Boris began to speak first, effectively cutting her off.
"I wondered," he said, pausing there to take a moment, probably to think of the appropriate way he could phrase the rest of what he was going to say. After another second's pause, he continued, "I wondered if you would mind joining me for dinner."
Divya's mouth fell open. Normally she abhorred any such action but she was so caught off guard by his request that she hadn't been able to stop her mouth before it had happened. She'd met Hank before he'd even moved into the guesthouse on the Shadow Pond estate and therefore she had known Boris just as long as the doctor had and she had yet to hear of hank being invited to dine with the man; she was at a loss as to why he was suddenly asking her to do it.
It took another few seconds but she finally managed to close her mouth and put the smile back on her face.
"I'd be glad to," she answered, truly meaning it. Since she'd had so little to eat during the day, she was starving now and, though she'd never eaten a meal with Boris, she was pretty sure that he could come up with some very delicious meals and therefore was more than happy to dine with him.
Almost as an afterthought, she added, "But I should probably check in on Hank first."
Boris tilted his head ever so slightly, almost silently asking why. But instead of voicing that, he stepped aside and said, "There is no need. I have just come from checking on him and he was sleeping quite soundly when I left. I suspect the visit from both his father and his brother may have worn him out."
That had Divya stopping dead in her tracks. Had it not been that she didn't want to offend Boris after she'd accepted his invitation, she would have marched down to the guesthouse to give Evan a piece of her mind, despite her determination not to speak to him. Honestly, she was close to done with words and was tempted to smack him upside the head a few times to see if the message sunk in. She doubted it would.
"Evan and his father stopped by?" she asked for clarification.
Boris offered her a smirk as a form of smile, perhaps guessing what she was tempted to do. He motioned her forward with a wave of his arm. "Come," he said, making it more of a statement than a command. "We can discuss it over dinner."
Knowing that Boris was as good as his word, she did as she was bid. Looking forward to what Boris had to say, Divya followed him into the castle, the wooden doors closing with finality behind her.
After dinner, Divya headed up to Hank's room. She felt a little better after hearing how Hank had essentially forbidden Eddie from seeing him. After all, she doubted that Eddie would disobey his son now that he's heard it from Hank's lips and not anyone else's. She did still want to cause Evan physical harm since this whole thing with Eddie was his doing to begin with but she didn't believe that Hank would like that and so she refrained; barely.
When she reached Hank's door, she leaned against it to see if she could tell whether he was still sleeping or not. Having heard nothing, she entered as quietly as she could just in case, only to chuckle once the door was fully opened.
Hank sat supported by a mountain of pillows. His computer was on his lap and some patient files were spread out on the mattress around him. All lamps in the room had been turned on, making it seem bright but not painfully so. Apparently Dieter wanted to make sure that Hank had enough light to read with, per Boris' instructions of course.
"I should have known that I'd find you working," she joked as she closed the door behind her.
Hank turned his attention away from the computer screen, squinted to look at her for a second and then smiled.
"Well, my name is on the business. I figured I'd better keep in touch with it. Even if it is from a bed."
It was great to see him smiling with little sign of strain or pain. Although the squint suggested that he'd been straining his eyes for too long, thus provoking a headache, Divya could tell almost immediately that he felt better and it made her happy to see.
"Yes, well," she said as she crossed the room and closed the computer, "you're done for the night."
"Divya," he began to argue but she wasn't having it.
"Hank, I'm glad that you're feeling better, but you still need your rest and if that squint is anything to go by, I'd be willing to bet that you have quite the headache from the work you've done already. Am I right?"
He didn't answer, but he didn't need to. She knew she was right and therefore proceeded to gather all the files. Placing them on top of the laptop, she put the computer on top of an armoire across the room, where she knew Hank wouldn't be able to get to it without help. It would probably prove fruitless to try and keep away from his work since he obviously hadn't gotten everything for himself in the first place but she felt like she'd accomplished something by doing this anyways.
"Now, how are you feeling? And don't say fine, because I know you're not."
Hank smiled at her, offering her his patented reassuring smile. "I feel better," he answered, obviously settling for a variation of his 'I'm fine' speech. "I think I might be ready to go back to the guesthouse by the morning, actually."
"And how do you propose to get there?" Divya countered, checking his vitals and injuries over. He winced when she applied pressure to the bruise on his stomach but otherwise he did seem to be doing much better. She knew that as long as he remained mostly immobile for another day or so, he would remain that way. But at the guesthouse, he would be too tempted to jump in on a patient examination – should they come to the guesthouse that is – or try to diagnose a patient, or spend the day calling the labs, checking up on tests they'd scheduled and then call the patients and direct them with what to do from there.
"I'm pretty sure that's what crutches are for," Hank asked, sounding confused as to her challenge.
"Hank," Divya said, sitting down next to his left hip. "Do you honestly think that your hand can take using crutches all the way down to the guesthouse?"
Divya watched Hank blank out for a second as he debated the question. Then determination filled his eyes and two words popped up in her head to describe what he was thinking – challenge accepted.
"Yes I do," he answered perfectly seriously.
Divya laughed. She was close to arguing with him but at the moment, she just didn't feel like it. If it was possible his face sobered a little more, making her think that she had somehow offended him but the next words out of his mouth had her face falling as her expression came back down to Earth.
"Evan told me what happened today," he said, crossing his arms over his chest for a second. After making said proclamation, he stayed quiet, apparently observing her reaction. When she bent her head to hide her emotions, he sighed and she then felt his hand take hers.
"You are part of our family, Divya," he reassured.
"Just not where your father's concerned," Divya inserted, cringing when she ended up sounding harsher than she'd meant to.
"I'm beginning to think that where my father's concerned, the only opinion that matters to Evan is Evan's," Hank answered, sounding a bit bitter on that score as well. Still, when she looked up to try and assess what he was feeling, he offered her a smile and hid his emotions behind a door she was beginning to wonder if she'd ever unlock.
Though he hid feelings that were too personal for him, within his hazel eyes, there was a look that Divya found hard to describe. It was almost as though he were trying to will her into believing him. Like he were trying to apologize as well as convince her that she had not stepped over any boundaries and had as much right to say what she had to Eddie as he had.
While Divya appreciated the sentiment, she wasn't sure if she agreed. While everything she'd said to the oldest Lawson had been necessary, it had been said in anger and later, when she'd had a bit of time to stew over the situation, she'd felt bad for the way she'd approached the entire situation. Her mother and father had taught her to step away when she was angry and then speak when she was calmer and she hadn't listened to that training earlier.
"And, while I don't know exactly what was said, I'm sure that my father and Evan both deserved it and more," Hank added when she remained silent and contemplative. He squeezed her hand for extra emphasis and comfort and then he sighed. "Although, while I appreciate the very pit bull-esque way that you're trying to protect me, I don't need you to fight my battles for me. I can do that on my own."
"I know," she granted, feeling a bit ashamed as to how overprotective she'd been of Hank ever since all this started. Only now could she see that she, perhaps, may have been pushing things a bit too much. After all, Hank was injured, not incompetent, and not even too badly so.
"I'm sorry," she apologized, wanting to explain her reasons. "It's just that, seeing you unravel as much as you have since your father came back shook me a bit. And then I get summoned to Shadow Pond only to find you unconscious – it was a bit unsettling."
"I know," Hank granted. He opened his mouth as though to say more then shut it, apparently unable to come up with something to say afterwards. Knowing Hank, he was probably going to apologize for her experiencing that but she supposed that he thought better of doing that and so remained quiet.
"Well," she said, breaking the serious mood in the room. She took a deep, calming breath and then slowly released it, trying to gain her composure back. "I should let you get some rest." She leaned forward and placed a kiss on his temple. "If you need anything – or you think you're ready to move back home – call me."
"You already know that I think I'm ready," Hank answered.
"Yes, I meant call me before you attempt it," Divya amended, rolling her eyes since she knew that Hank had already known full well what she'd meant.
"So that you can talk me out of it."
"Precisely. I think you should stay here at least one more day to heal a little bit more. However, if you want to try and start getting out of bed to move about the room, that's fine as long as you have someone around to help you in case you need it."
"Yes doctor," Hank humored with an indulgent smile on his face.
Divya knew that he already knew this but it couldn't hurt to say out loud in case he tried to claim that she'd never said anything. Hank wasn't the type to lay blame where there wasn't any but he was the type to ignore medical advice or instinct and that meant that he was going to be a hard patient to treat.
"Sleep well," she wished before exiting and going out to her car.
The castle seemed deserted but for her, Hank, and a couple security. It made her skin crawl to think of whom else was around but lurking in the shadows, silently watching her go. Yes, Shadow Pond could be quite beautiful. But it could also be scary if you didn't know where everyone else was while inside it.
Somewhere, within the depths of the castle, Boris watched with contentment as Ivan surrendered his resignation. Peaceful was not a word that was often used to describe the ex-Russian, but as the mask of death floated across his features, it was the only word Boris could think of.
He knew that, to some, it seemed extreme to kill someone simply because they no longer wanted to remain working for you, but Boris had too many enemies floating around – indeed within his own family – to allow anyone to leave with the knowledge of his estate's, his securities, or his own weaknesses.
Besides, everyone wanting to be hired by Boris is told time and time again that once they begin working for him, there is no leaving. It's usually why he takes ex-Mossad. Not only are they expertly trained, but most of them have no families and no lives to return to, so it does not matter to them whether they die in order to quit.
Ivan was such a person and so Boris felt no quilt in having the man killed. Especially since he was still furious about the way the man had treated Hank. Indeed, he felt it was quite the perfect punishment. He only hoped that Hank never found out because there was no doubt in Boris' mind that, not only would Hank find it immoral and wrong, but he would also see Boris in a different light and it would most certainly be an unflattering one.
Evan stood on the patio outside the guesthouse, staring up at the castle that always seemed to be set in a spotlight no matter what time of day it was. His thoughts wandered, going from his brother within one of the rooms, to what Boris was doing, to his father who had left not long ago to go back to Newburg.
Try as he might – albeit not very hard – he could never see their father in the same way that Hank did. Yes his abandonment of all of them hurt to this very day but he found that he was able to forgive him for the past and look to the present, if not the future. He couldn't understand why Hank couldn't seem to do the same.
After his father had left the house, Evan had gone out onto the patio to look at the castle and search his memory for the years immediately following his father's first disappearance. And he came up blank each time. It was frustrating.
With a sigh of annoyance, Evan swallowed the last sips of his second – or was it third – glass of wine. Heading back inside the house, he turned off all the lights, placed the glass in the sink and went up to his bedroom where, just maybe, his dreams would unlock the mysteries that plagued his mind.
Okay, I know this chapter was majorly short but I thought this a good place to end it and since I wasn't sure where to go from here that's what I did, lol.
Hope you enjoy it anyways!
Thanks for reading,