My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, April 27, 2001

Smells like love

>> Cartwright Field

HPD OFficer Quinn Ah Sun was happy to turn over responsibility for the senator's overturned Town Car to Sgt. Olga Pimentel and the Traffic Accident Investigation Section.

"And don't you smell lovely," she teased as he signed off on her form. "A perfumed note from some young lovely?"

"Business card, actually," Quinn said, tapping his shirt pocket and blushing.

In fact, gardenias had been wafting up from his pocket since he pulled over a woman in a teal BMW for speeding on the H-1 and she turned out to be his long-lost cousin Lily.

It was even more of a shock because before he knew she was his first cousin, she had affected him in a way that no woman ever had. And her scent of gardenia had been in and out of his nose all day, a constant presence and sensory reminder of her. And try as he might, Quinn could not keep visions of Lily in her form-sitting, few-secrets-if-you-had-half-an-imagination white silk suit from popping up in his mind.

Straddling back aboard his big BMW superbike, he checked her card. It listed work and cell numbers, as well as e-mail. He'd give her a call when he was off duty. After 21 years apart, they had a lot of catching up to do.

>> The Queen's Medical Center

With a needle as thin as a strand of her own silky black hair, Dr. Laurie Tang stitched up the jagged cut in 46-225909's neck, rejoining the skin along its own cellular lines, matching the sides of the tear like a microscopic jigsaw puzzle, which it was. Then she began removing the gleaming fragments of glass in 46-225909's forehead and cheeks. Dr. Tang couldn't help wondering what 46-225909 was doing in the senator's Town Car, a vehicle in which she had been a passenger more than once. But that was not a thought she could afford to dwell on. Surgeons are not permitted painful romantic reminders while on duty.

"She's lucky, whatever made this cut missed the jugular by about an eighth of an inch," said Charge Nurse Van Truong.

As difficult as Dr. Tang's work was, her ER crew had a tougher time slowing 46-225909's heart. She was unconscious, but her heart was speeding with crystal meth. Plus she was legally drunk. They had to bring her pulse down, but not shock her.

46-225909's eyes fluttered open and she murmured: "Please ... save the baby ... "

"Baby?" Dr. Tang blurted.

What Charge Nurse Truong couldn't understand was why Dr. Laurie was taking this case so personally.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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