Excerpt Maybe it looked funny to be holding another guy’s hand, but at the moment Brayden didn’t give a shit. He’d figured out fifteen minutes ago that doing so was the only thing keeping Jamie from going totally ape shit.
Jamie was stripped and cleaned up enough to begin assessment of his injuries. There were numerous bruises all over Jamie’s body: torso, legs, arms, and face. There were also a number of cuts and abrasions. His ankles bore the same sort of ligature marks as his wrists, and by the time enough dried blood was removed, there were finger shaped bruises around his throat too. Thankfully there was nothing to indicate sexual assault.
While they waited for X-rays to be developed, the nurse returned to the cubicle to take information. "I need your name and social security number. We’ll figure out about the insurance in a little while," she said.
Jamie gave the woman a blank look and just shook his head a little.
"It’s okay, just give them the information," said Brayden.
"Dunno," whispered Jamie.
"You don’t know your name? Or you don’t know your social?" the nurse asked
"Um ..okay…" The nurse looked sort of mystified.
Brayden volunteered the limited information he knew. "I know his name. We met a couple of months ago. His name is Jamie Ketelsen. I have no idea about his social security number or physical address, but I have an email address and I know he’s employed by the CIA."
"Okay, that’s a start. I’m going to go talk to the doctor about the memory problem." The nurse left again.
Jamie gave Brayden a bleary, glazed stare. "Who are you?"
Brayden heaved a deep breath. This kept getting weirder and more complicated. "My name is Brayden Milbourne. We met about two months ago at a motorcycle rally for charity. We’re …friends." It was a simpler thing to say than lovers, because he wasn’t even sure they knew each other well enough to qualify as that. And fuck-buddies was probably too extreme an idea to dump on Jamie at the moment. "I’m a detective for the Richmond police department."
The nurse returned. "One of the police department’s forensic people is here."
"Send them in. We have to have documentation," Brayden said.
The forensic tech was a black woman named Samantha Reed that Brayden knew from their interaction at quite a few crime scenes. She took several dozen photos of Jamie’s injuries, scraped under his fingernails for trace DNA evidence, and bagged his bloodstained jeans. There hadn’t been any other clothing, not even underwear. That in itself was disturbing.
"Do we have a suspect yet for who assaulted him?" asked Samantha.
"No, I don’t think so. Jamie? Do you remember anything about what happened?"
Brayden laid a hand on Jamie’s leg.
Jamie shook his head. His expression was a tight grimace of denial.
"Just mark it as unknown at this point," said Brayden.
As Samantha left, the doctor came back in . “Are you family?”
“No,” said Brayden. “A friend, but I’m also the police detective that found him . I need some information on his injuries for the assault report.”
"Very well.” The doctor faced Jamie. “I got the X-rays back. You have hairline fractures of two ribs and another on the orbit next to your eye. Nothing’s out of alignment, and they’re not in places we could cast anyway. The one around your eye troubles me a little, because the nurse said you were experiencing memory loss, more than just the few hours surrounding the trauma. You almost certainly have a concussion. I’d like to send you for a CAT scan just to make sure there’s no more serious brain injury, but first I’m going to have you do a quick little neurological test.
Jamie had distinct difficulty standing upright and still if his eyes were closed, Brayden noted. His coordination seemed a little off too. The touch your nose and lift one foot commands given by the doctor reminded Brayden of a sobriety test. Jamie wouldn’t have passed.