Cầu Chúa ban cho con sự thanh thản để chấp nhận những thứ con không thể thay đổi, sự caN đảm để thay đổi những thứ con có thể, và sự khôn khoan để phân biệt những cái có thể thay đổi và không thể.

Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr

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Tác giả: David Baldacci
Thể loại: Trinh Thám
Nguyên tác: The Whole Truth
Biên tập: Dieu Chau
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Language: English
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Chapter 48
WISP OF RISING SUNLIGHT managed to slip by the window blinds, creep across the floor, and end up briefly settling on the bare calf that poked out from under the sheet. Later it traveled ruler-straight across the bed and slid to the floor where it glanced off the empty blue gin bottle lying there, causing beads of swirling, reflected light to kaleidoscope off the ceiling.
The demons had finally caught up to Katie James. The last few days were lost to her in a drunken binge of such mammoth proportions that the only thing she remembered later was the feeling of deep shame. And the worst hangover she’d ever had.
In the throes of some nightmare she kicked off the sheet and lay there in a long-sleeved T-shirt and baggy gym shorts, perspiration rising through her pores and moistening her clothes. Her breathing became normal and she finally grew still, the slight lift of her chest and her pink flesh the only real evidence that she was still alive.
She never heard the front bell, the accompanying knock, the pounding on the door, or the call of her name. She never heard the front door open, or the footsteps traversing the small living room, or the bedroom door swinging wide. She never felt the other person’s presence in the room, never felt anything when the intruder lifted the sheet off the floor and covered her with it.
The slight creak of the bedsprings as the visitor sat down didn’t arouse her either. The quiet call of her name? Oblivious. The gentle shake of her shoulder? No response.
However, the glass of water thrown in her face? Now that got the lady’s attention.
She sat up sputtering, rubbing at her eyes and nose.
“What the—” she began angrily until her eyes focused on Shaw sitting there holding the empty glass and staring at her.
She let out one more gag as the rest of the water that had made its way into her windpipe went down hard. “How did you get in?”
“I rang the bell, pounded on the door, called out your name. I did the same thing when I got in. You never let out a peep. I didn’t think anyone was here until, well, I actually saw you lying in this bed.”
She rubbed at her throbbing temples. “I... I’m a heavy sleeper.”
Shaw picked up an empty bottle of gin. “You’re a heavy something.” He hooked a second empty bottle and then a third and then a fourth.
“You mix gin, bourbon, and scotch?”
“When in Scotland, you know.”
“We’re in France,” he said, frowning.
She ran a hand through her tangles of blonde hair and yawned. “Oh, right, Paris,” she said absently. Then something seemed to strike right through the clouds of alcoholic stupor. “Oh my God, right.” She hastily sat up straighter.
“Shaw, I am so sorry. For everything. For the stupid cell phone, for lying to you.” She paused. “And about Anna.”
Shaw took his time lining up the empty bottles on a bureau set against one wall. “I actually wanted to thank you for coming to see how I was.”
Katie seemed surprised by this. “You didn’t have to do that. Especially after yesterday at the hospital. It was yesterday, right?”
“Actually, it was five days ago.”
She looked stunned. “Five days! You’re joking?”
He glanced over at the line of bottles. “Does your head feel like I’m joking?”
She stared at him, then at the bottles, and sat back on the bed. “I hadn’t touched a drop in over six months, can you believe that?”
He glanced at the line of bottles. “No, I can’t.”
She let out a deep groan. “Well, it’s true. I... I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe I fell off the wagon.”
Shaw looked at the line of bottles again. “It wasn’t a wagon, it was a cliff. I’ll wait in the next room. Get showered and dressed. Then I’ll buy you some breakfast.” He headed to the door.
“Wait a minute, what are you doing out of the hospital?”
“I’m done with hospitals.”
“You really think so?” she said doubtfully, eyeing the bulge under his left jacket sleeve.
“I’m heading to London later today on the Chunnel. But first I wanted to talk to you about Anna.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Why someone would have wanted to kill her.”
Katie stared at him blankly. “But I don’t know anything about that.”
“You might think you don’t. But you also might have seen or heard something when you visited her that could help me.”
“Shaw, do you really think you’re well enough to take this on?”
He turned and fixed his eyes on her, eyes that were so blue and potent that Katie found herself holding her breath, digging her fingernails nervously into her palms like a schoolkid in serious trouble.
He said quietly, “My life is over, Katie. But whoever did this to Anna is going to die. And soon.”
Every hair on the back of Katie’s neck stood straight up and her skin actually goose-pimpled for the first time in years. Her head was pounding and her stomach gave a sudden disquieting lurch.
“Now get dressed. Please.”
As soon as he left the room she sprinted to the bathroom and threw up five days’ worth of liquid hell.
The Whole Truth The Whole Truth - David Baldacci The Whole Truth