I’ve been deaf since I was a child through a rare ear disease that needed operations and amputations so I depended on lip-reading without really noticing. When I went blind, my better ear became sharper at picking up sounds but my worse ear only picks up sounds through bone conduction. That’s because the ear hears through vibration and without the tiny moving bones attached to your ear drum but with healthy nerves, you pick up sounds through your jaw, skull, mouth, nose, eyes which is why noise cancelling headphones don’t always completely block sound. For someone with normal ears, you don’t notice but when you have a deficit, disease, infection etc. the bone conduction is higher and, my consultant recently explained to me that the deafer you get, the more likely you are to have a lower level of noise tolerance.
When I went blind, my ears tried to compensate. My good ear became clearer (yay) but my worse ear amplified more sound through my bone. I was visiting my consultant because I developed another infection and they need to assess if the previous disease is active again. He felt that the disease or an infection may well have caused my blindness particularly when I described the symptoms I had which was probably combined with the heart medication which is known to cause permanent hearing problems. I had seen another consultant in the same area… actually a few… during that period (because the symptoms of the disease tend to be very similar to the very serious brain infection they cause.
The problem when you see any doctor is that they view only the exterior of the ear up to your ear drum. Most problems with the ear live there with some clues to infections further in… but not all conditions. Those need scans and operations and for medical personnel to listen even when they can see no common appearances of disease.
This is a battle that many patients face and the value of a good doctor means the difference between early, simple treatment in comparison to permanent disability or worse… thankfully, this consultant is keen to help and offer ways to help; the same with my recent visit to the neurologist and very special GPs who have been desperately trying to help me through some very, very tough battles. Good doctors, when you can find them, are keen investigators with empathy, kindness and patience. They are able to explain and answer questions without ignorance or arrogance and without patronising the person suffering.
Yes, a good doctor, is like a good investigator which leads me to this week’s scene from Full Circle.
Ah, Abby. She’s been through some tough conflicts between grieving over Renee and then realising Renee was alive but had been hurt… and then was in love with someone else. She’s a character that can seem hard and career focused but then I haven’t had the chance to show you how different she can be.
When I wrote Renee & Frei: A New Assignment, it was the lead up to this scene which starts Abby’s own story in Full Circle.
Full Circle exclusive.
Copyright © 2018 Jody Klaire.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any means, electronic or mechanical without permission in writing from the author and publisher.
Please note: all scenes are the intellectual property of the author and that online exclusive scenes may differ from the published version.
Abby Fleming wasn’t going to win a popularity contest. She’d long ago resigned herself to not being admired by the people she investigated; not being admired by some of her colleagues who resented her position; not being admired by her own team after gossip had spread about her “working” the boss… and well, she’d never ever been admired at home.
She was used to it. Her skin had hardened so much that she barely noticed the barbs these days but, sometimes, it got tiring.
In the Washington office of the FBI, inside a plush long office bigger than her own, she tried to shake off the tiredness and focus on her latest suspect, the head of an FBI task force supposed to bring down vultures, who sat behind his nice big desk grinning at her.
“You think I’m gonna talk to a cheap tart like you?” Derek Lavelle said, his suit pants tighter than was good for her stomach, and his cigar unlit slid between his chubby finger and thumb like a confirmation of manhood. “Why don’t you take your pretty little hind somewhere more appropriate?”
Gould, her right hand agent, stood with her legs shoulder width apart in her impeccable skirt suit and eyed the guy like she wanted to light his cigar for him, then jam it somewhere that would smoke for hours.
“We have questions for you,” Abby tried again, keeping her voice nice and polite and her smile sultry.
“Only question I want you to ask is ‘what can I do for you, sir?’” Lavelle smirked as if he was untouchable. He would think that after thirty years in the FBI. He did what he liked when he liked, courtesy of being one of her father-in-law, Hewitt’s, favorites.
“You know Hewitt would prefer you to be cooperative.” She kept the smile on her face mostly because Gould had dropped hand to her gun and may shoot if she didn’t.
“No, but he has you nice and cooperative from what I hear.” Lavelle smirked again and stuck the unlit cigar in his mouth, eyes glinting as he pointed to the picture he had of him and Hewitt being given an award for their service.
Abby was used to working people but she longed for honesty. Was that too much to ask? “What do you think, Gould? How is my affair with my father-in-law going?”
“According to most?” Gould tilted her head to the side, long auburn hair not moving an inch above plain gold earrings and bright, intense eyes full of irritation. “You’ve had a baby by him, he pays you two hundred dollars an hour, and one thread says that you vacation with him in the Canaries.”
Busy then. “Only two hundred? I must be losing my touch.”
Lavelle sniggered. “Bet you’d give it away for free.”
Gould’s hand slid around the butt of her gun.
“Derek,” she said, perching on his desk and taking the cigar from him. “Gould has PMS and is armed.” She held his gaze and nodded. “If you call me anything other than ma’am again, we’ll rip your nice life from underneath you.”
Hmm. Maybe being more honest was worth a shot.
Lavelle screwed up his beady eyes. “You got nothing on me, girl.”
Gould pulled a file from inside her immaculate suit jacket and handed it over.
Abby held up the file and smiled as Lavelle kept his cocky grin in place. “Here is a picture of you buying underage girls. Here is you selling underage girls.” She placed the surveillance shots down. “Here is you with Jäger, a man who has just been jailed for life oversees for countless murders, trafficking charges, sexual assaults…” She placed a piece of paper down. “Here are witness statements from fifty plus people all saying that you sold, assaulted or bought them.” She placed another set of papers down. “Here are the divorce papers from your wife.” She placed down a final sheet of paper. “Here are the list of charges I’m arresting you for.”
Lavelle’s smirk disappeared. Funny that.
“Oh, ma’am,” Gould said, clearing her throat. “I would like to add that we also have a recorded phone conversation between the suspect and a girl who was found dead last week at his rented estate near Baltimore.”
Abby tidied her skirt. “Do you have anything you’d like to say?”
“He screwed me?” Lavelle glared at her. “I’ve covered his ass for twenty years and he screws me?”
Abby nodded, although that was a partial lie. Hewitt had no idea what was going on. The wonder of a young woman called Jessie Frei, her mother, and… well… Renee.
Lavelle grunted. “Bastard.”
“Yes.” Abby smiled at Gould who looked like she might take a picture for posterity. “However, we could lose some of these charges… for information?”
Lavelle nodded. “I’ll tell you everything you want.”
Gould let out a wistful sigh.
Yes. Sometimes their job just felt so right.
“I want to know how Hewitt is involved.” She smiled into Lavelle’s wide eyes. “Yes, I want you to rat out the boss.” She broke the cigar in two. “Or I tear you to pieces.”
“Deal, but you keep me out of prison.” He shook his head. “We made too many friends over the years.”
“Oh, you can count on me, Derek,” Abby said—a blatant lie but she couldn’t be honest all the time—and she leaned on the desk, handed him a pen and blank piece of paper and nodded to Gould who sent Jessie a message to confirm they had Lavelle.
She threw the cigar in the trash with a satisfied smile. It was a pleasure to assist Frei, Jessie… and yes, Renee, bring down a man who had bought, sold, and harmed so many.
Being admired was overrated.