Sophie woke up the next morning with a smile on her face. It had been such a great party yesterday. Victoria and Wolfgang seemed to be getting along better than ever and Camille and Max had really been hitting it off these last few weeks.
Sophie picked up her phone and texted Camille.
The only sour note had been Bradley showing up near the end of the night.
Victoria and Josef sat in the waiting area of the hospital while Sophie went in to talk with Camille. Victoria knew she wouldn’t be welcome anywhere near Bradley, but she was genuinely concerned for Camille and cared for what Bradley and his family were going through.
“What do you think happened Tori?” Josef turned to the woman with sadness in his eyes.
Even though he was far too old, Victoria pulled him onto her lap, “I don’t know little man. From what Sophie said, he’s hurt pretty bad.”
“Will he die like Momma?”
“I sure hope not.” Victoria hugged Josef and kissed the top of his head.
“Oh Camille! I’m so sorry!” Sophie ran to her friends side.
“I know, it’s just awful. We don’t know what happened. Apparently he’s got some fractures in his skull, multiple broken ribs as well as all the bruising and stuff around his face.”
Camille began crying. “I just feel so awful. The way I spoke to him last night you know?”
Sophie nodded but didn’t say anything. “How are your Mom and Dad doing?”
“Mom was horrible. She nearly fainted as Dad drove in to the ER last night. They wouldn’t let me come over until he was settled in a room. They said he was stable last night, but it was close. If he’d laid there bleeding much longer…” she trailed off wiping tears away.
A low moan and gurgle came from the bed. “…ahmille…”
“I’m here, I’m here Bradley,” she soothed as she brushed her hand across her brother’s forehead soothingly.
“Sss..y,” He coughed and moaned in pain.
“What? I can’t understand you,” Camille hovered frantically.
Bradley pointed at Sophie, “…out!” he raged with little breath.
Sophie took the point immediately and gestured for Camille to come over. “I’ll see you in the waiting room Camille. I don’t want to agitate him anymore.”
Camille nodded and hugged her friend tight. “I”m sorry, I’ll be out soon.”
“No, don’t say sorry. I get it.”
“How is he?” Victoria asked when Sophie came out to the waiting area.
“Not good at all. I still don’t know what happened. He’s awake, of course he wanted me out.”
Victoria nodded. “I expect that. Pretty hard feelings between me and him. Not that you have anything to do with that Sophie, but …”
“Yeah, I get it.” Sophie nodded looking down. “He just looks so frail right now. Such a blow hard last night shoving Camille around like that. I felt he lost his mind for a few minutes there.”
“You weren’t the only one hon.”
Victoria, Sophie and Josef waited and about 15 minutes later Camille came out to the waiting area.
“Bradley is sleeping again. My Mom and Dad also came back. So, I came out here to fill you guys in while he sleeps.” Camille began. “So, after we all left the party, Max drove me home. I didn’t have any idea Bradley wasn’t there. I just sorta snuck in the house and went to my room. It was after 2 am that the phone was ringing. My Dad picked up and it was the hospital.”
Sophie took her friend’s hand to steady her.
“They said that some clubbers found Bradley laying in the street bleeding. They called the police who dispatched an ambulance. That’s really all we know. Bradley just said he didn’t get a good look at whoever did this.”
Mr and Mrs Gill came out into the waiting area. “Camille, please ask your friend and her family to leave please.”
“Momma, they were here to support me.”
“That’s good of them sweetheart,” Mr. Gill said absently.
“My son is lying in there fighting for his life,” Mrs. Gill was looking a bit hysterical. “This one,” she said gesturing to Victoria, “Probably knows something about this.”
“Now now, Iliana, I’m sure Victoria is as clueless as the rest of us,” Mr. Gill soothed.
“I found out this morning after Sophie texted Camille, I’m so sorry for Bradley being in here,” Victoria looked sadly at Mr. Gill.
“My son cherished you, and you just went with those Hooligans!” she accused.
“I told him I was sorry,” Victoria said softly. “He wouldn’t listen.”
“My son was probably the best thing to happen to you young lady. You and your entire family are trash. He’s better off without you anyway!” Mrs. Gills eyes were flashing angrily.
Mr. Gill gestured for Victoria, Sophie and Josef to follow him.
“It would be better if you went kids. I know Mrs. Gill is really being out of hand right now, but she’s very upset.”
“No, I understand Mr. Gill. I cannot imagine what this must be like for her. I really am so sorry.”
He nodded. “We are going to post a reward in the paper for any information that leads to an arrest. Please tell your friends ok?” He patted Josef on the head a bit sadly and walked slowly back to the waiting room.