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This page last viewed: 2017-06-21 and has been viewed 4423 times
by Murdocksflychica (Beth)
Warnings: Angst, mentions of violence and torture, descriptions of wounds inflicted, a swear word or two, mention of rape (nothing graphic)
Disclaimer: I don't own them, but I like to play with Murdock from time to time.
Comments: Always welcome. EST stands for Electro Shock Therapy
"Murdock, where have you been," I exclaimed in mock exasperation. After twenty years of working at the VA I felt I had to keep up the pretense of being shocked at his frequent disappearances. The truth was that I felt it was good for him, although sometimes I was concerned at the shape he returned in.
"Aw shucks," he began in his thickest southern drawl. "Just took Billy for a walk is all." He batted those luscious brown eyes at me and my resolve lifted.
"Long walk. Besides I thought you had gone to participate in some research study on PTSD."
"That too." I smiled to myself. All the staff here knew about his friend coming to break him out with various ludicrous stories. Did those two really think we were that naive? The staff just played along for Murdock's sake, myself included. In fact, I guess you could say I was the first victim in some respects.
As the years passed, Murdock became everyone's favorite patient, including my own. Even in the midst of a delusional fancy he was animated, passionate, outgoing, and in a word - fun. But it wasn't always like that. The images haunt my dreams still. Nevertheless, I consider myself privileged enough to have been here since the beginning.
I remember the day when Murdock first arrived vividly, although I'm sure he doesn't. Aside from his other problems, he still suffers intermittent memory loss to this day.
On that fateful day I was handed a manila file to prepare for his arrival. I had an hour or so while he was in transit so I sat down to read. My hands were shaking as I turned the pages.
His name was Captain HM Murdock. He was described as a decorated pilot that had served in Vietnam, albeit with questionable mental status. The report revealed he was a POW for several months.
I had to stop and put the report down halfway through. The descriptions of the torture endured and the resulting wounds were
nauseating. I forced myself to continue on.
At the end of the war his unit was arrested. He had suffered a psychotic breakdown following a helicopter crash in the DMZ - an unauthorized mission. The report concluded with a note about the preceding three months spent neglected in an unnamed mental hospital overseas.
Already I could feel the tears welling up. Never had I come across such pain and suffering, such loss. 'What would he be like when he arrived,' I wondered. I was about to find out.
I expected to hear desperate screaming, to see struggling against the restraints like so many others, but there was only silence as he was wheeled into the ward. 'He must be heavily sedated,' I thought. However, as the orderlies wheeled him past me I could see his eyes were open and bright, but empty.
"What room," one orderly asked shortly and then pushed some papers at me to sign.
"Room 104. Down the hall," I pointed. "Is he sedated," I managed to add already knowing the answer.
"Nope. No need. This guy's been pretty much catatonic since the end of the war from what I understand."
I nodded briefly and followed them down the hall to help my new patient get settled.
Once the restraints were untied from the bed frame we transferred the new arrival over to the bed. I was shocked at the weight, or lack thereof on the 6'2" frame.
I gave the orderlies their cue to go, and proceeded to check the pilot out. "Captain Murdock? My name is Liz. I'll be your nurse
today." There was no response so I continued. "I'm going to check you out before the doctor sees you, okay?" Again there was no response.
I stared into his eyes wondering what was going on in his head. They were blank, revealing nothing. I had to look away before I was sucked through those deep brown windows into his nightmares.
I removed the restraints from around his extremities - after all there seemed no need for them - and gasped at what was underneath. The slender wrists and ankles were chafed red to the point that his skin had started to breakdown and bleed. I quickly cleansed and dressed them, sparing him as much pain as possible.
I pulled down his pajama bottoms, noting a surgical scar over the left kneecap. 'Must be from the crash,' I concluded. My eyes happened on the catheter that was in place. There was a reddened area spreading down beneath his thighs. Curious, I rolled his dead weight over to discover a large, open bedsore. Those monsters in the other hospital must have left him lying in his own filth and in the same position for hours on end!
Horrifically there were faded bruises around his rectum. It could only mean one thing. I quickly cleansed and dressed the wound on his backside, too angry to comprehend the neglect and abuse I was seeing. But nothing prepared me for the sights I saw when I took his T-shirt off.
Each individual rib poked out of his gaunt body. There were two bullet wounds, one in the shoulder and one in the abdomen, not quite healed. He had hundreds of burn marks, bruises and lacerations caused from what I surmised to be a whip throughout his torso. Every wound looked to be infected. What excruciating pain this man must be in!
On a hunch, I pinched a piece of his skin which stayed tented. The poor soul was severely dehydrated and malnourished. Forget
professional detachment - my tears spilled down my cheeks freely. What had this man been through?
I began the formidable job of cleansing the infected areas with antiseptic. I started and almost dropped the bottle I was holding as the pilot began to tremble. I again looked into his eyes for hope of recognition, of something. The eyes were brown liquid pools.
"Captain Murdock, I know you're in there somewhere. Please don't be afraid. You're safe here," I attempted to sooth.
Maybe I was hoping for a miracle. It didn't come. His silence remained unbroken as I left to go find the doctor to let him know of my findings.
Dr. Richter listened to my report with disturbing silence. 'There's too much of that going around lately,' I thought.
His only movements were to make notes in the thickening file. Finally he spoke, "So Captain Murdock has shown no sign of - " he searched for the appropriate term, " - awareness?"
I shook my head, then halted as I remembered something. "Well, he did start shaking when I was cleaning up the wounds on his torso. And..."
"And he looked as if he were crying, sir." I swallowed almost guiltily as if I were withholding information.
"Alright then. Let's see what we're dealing with." He started down the hall. "Join me please."
I followed without a word, my white shoes squeaking on the freshly mopped linoleum. I was unprepared for his request. Going back into the pilot's room so soon was the last thing I wanted to do. I was afraid I would lose my composure in front of the doctor. My heart was breaking in two for this poor soul.
I had no idea why this man was affecting me so deeply. I had seen similar cases a hundred times in the last month alone. Apparently I wasn't the only one this man would come to touch.
Dr. Richter cleared his throat. "The restraints..."
"I saw no need for them, sir in his present state. His wrists and ankles are bleeding and swollen."
Dr. Richter's eyes fell on the bandaged appendages. He finished a rudimentary exam which confirmed my findings.
He sat down in a chair next to the bed and motioned for me to do the same. I reluctantly did so. The doctor took a deep breath,
sensing the difficult task before him.
"Murdock? Captain?" No response. Dr. Richter attempted to elicit a response from him for over an hour without success.
He sighed in resignation, throwing his hands in his lap. "Why don't we try to get some fluids and nourishment in him. Let's run
some blood tests and we'll go from there." He stood up to leave as I prepared to carry out his orders.
When the needle pierced the skinny arm the body attached remained motionless. I collected the tubes and sent them to the lab. I knew what they'd show - anemia, vitamin deficiency, and hopefully nothing more serious.
Then came the formidable task of feeding him. Although I doubted I would have success, I vowed to try because the alternative was not pleasant. I raised the spoon to the bloodless lips. "Open up," I urged. No movement, big surprise.
"Come on, you need to eat." His mouth stayed clamped. "Okay, let's try something different. How about this one?" I lifted a different spoon up to him, but got more of the same response.
"Hey, I have an idea! Open up for the airplane." I made ridiculous airplane noises, desperately trying everything I could think of.
Nothing was working. Dejected, I laid the spoon back on the tray.
"Okay Murdock. Maybe you're not hungry, but you gotta have fluids." I attempted to start an IV, but it was useless. He was so
dehydrated the veins kept blowing every time I tried to advance the needle.
"Sit tight," I said before I left, then felt stupid for saying what I did. He wasn't exactly an escape risk.
I reported my failure to Dr. Richter who merely stated, "I was anticipating this."
The next day Captain Murdock was wheeled in and out of his room for various tests and procedures. A feeding tube and a central line was placed to allow for food and fluids. The x-ray that was performed to confirm placement of the tubes revealed a clavicle fracture, a dislocated shoulder, and a healing pelvic fracture. The man had without a doubt been abused!
Dr. Richter's face registered total fury when this news was divulged to him. He immediately called over to the medical wing to
have an orthopedic doctor take care of the injuries. He then ordered me to start the tube feeding, fluids, and the nutrition that went
through the central line.
I diligently carried out his orders, and asked for pain medication for the pilot which he granted without hesitation. What horrific
suffering he must have endured! I know I sound like a broken record. But not to be able to verbalize his pain...
After administering the pain medication, I walked out to the nurses' station to give my report to the night nurse. When I came to
Captain Murdock she made a face as I passed on the pertinent information. At first I became angered at her response, but softened realizing I had had similar reactions to other patients.
I laid my hand on her arm. "Listen, I know what you're thinking. Please, read the file. By morning you'll feel differently. Trust me."
When morning came, I walked into relieve her. She could only nod with tears streaming down her face. I didn't need to ask because I had already been privy to what evil man was capable of.
Months passed without visitors and without change in the pilot's condition. The lack of change was unnerving. Dr. Richter had
exhausted all avenues of treatment - intensive therapy and endless combinations of medications. None of our efforts appeared to have any effect.
"Well, I see no other choice," Dr. Richter sighed heavily. "Schedule Captain Murdock for EST."
"Doctor, are you sure?"
"No, but I've run out of alternatives. I'll be damned if I'm going to let him waste away the rest of his life as a vegetable. I KNOW he's in there," he added with conviction.
As much as I hated the idea, I knew Dr. Richter was right. I only wished I could be there in the morning for it, but I was slated to work nights for the next couple of weeks to cover for a nurse that was going on vacation.
The night was passing uneventfully. There was still no change in Murdock. The T.V. droned on in the background, "...notorious A-Team escapes. They are suspected to be hiding out in Los Angeles. If you have any information on these three men..."
I paid little attention, stifling a yawn. Little did I know how the contents of that report would impact life here at the VA. I was
awakened from my reverie by terrified screaming. The noise was coming from the direction of Murdock's room.
I hurriedly ran down the corridor, unlocking the door to the pilot's room in haste. He was crouched, backed into a corner on the
bed, shivering and shouting out phrases in what I guessed was Vietnamese.
Murdock's body jerked between sentences, a residual of the EST. I approached him slowly, longing to comfort him as a mother would a child after a nightmare. Nightmares were exactly what Murdock was experiencing. The only difference was that his nightmares happened while he was awake, too.
Finally, I reached the bed. Despite my better judgement, I sat down on the bed next to him and slipped my arms around him trying to shield him from the pain. He slowly relaxed, still trembling like a frightened puppy in my grasp. The screaming and shouting had mercifully quieted. I would learn later on that his friends had calmed him down in the same fashion in the prison camps. He had been reliving his experiences there.
I reported the incident to Dr. Richter as soon as possible. However, when daybreak arrived Murdock was back to his unresponsive self. I didn't know which was more heartbreaking, Murdock in the throes of a waking nightmare or no Murdock at all.
Another week passed by with more sessions of EST. The only thing the EST accomplished was making the nightmares more violent and more frequent. In between Murdock would return to that dark void only he occupied. Nothing or no one could reach him.
He grew thinner by the day, looking more and more cachectic. We feared not only for his mental health, but his physical health as well. Nothing short of a miracle would reverse the inevitable, and then one day the miracle walked in.
A handsome blonde-haired, blue-eyed man approached the nursing station. "Excuse me," he directed towards me. "I was hoping you could help me. I'm looking for a Captain HM Murdock." He averted his eyes as if expecting a negatory response while smoothing down his silk tie. I couldn't help but notice how impeccably dressed he was. He seemed out of place.
A small whimper of surprise bubbled up from my throat. Finally, after all these months someone had come inquiring about the pilot. We were beginning to wonder if he had any family at all. "He's down the hall in room 104," I managed to squeak out.
The man's eyes reflected his relief with unshed tears. "Y-you mean I finally found him? He's here?"
"Yes, but I should warn you he's not in very good shape."
A glimmer of sadness passed over his eyes like a shadow, but he didn't seem surprised. "I'd still like to see him."
I locked eyes with his, trying to read his intentions. All I could see was apprehension and a need to see Murdock. I knew he wouldn't back down so I broke the Mexican standoff by coming out from behind the desk.
I tried to prepare him as we made our way down the brightly lit hallway. I stopped short of the door, fumbling with my keys. "How do you know Murdock, if I may ask?"
"Served in 'Nam together. We got separated at the end of the war. I thought I'd never see him again." He shoved his hands into the pockets of his tailored pants, looking down at the Italian loafers as if lost in time.
"You really care a lot about him, don't you?"
"He was - IS my best friend. We've been through everything together." He sighed deeply.
I nodded in understanding. I had an inkling of what they had 'been through' together if this man was who he said he was. Little by little he was gaining my confidence. Unlocking the door, I swung it inward and allowed him to enter first.
When he caught sight if the still figure on the bed his face paled, but he held his composure. "Murdock," he whispered as he
slowly approached the bed. "What happened to you, buddy?"
He reached out a trembling hand to touch the pilot, but suddenly Murdock's whole body became rigid and began jerking. The man jumped in response. Unlike previous episodes, the jerking did not cease immediately. Murdock's head thumped the pillow rhythmically as his body continued spasming. Fear a convulsion I turned a foot towards the door to get Dr. Richter.
Undaunted, the young man stepped forward, wiping away a line of spittle from his friend's slack mouth. He soothingly stroke the
thinning brown hair. Murdock's body movements slowed, and his breathing returned to normal.
"You're giving him shock therapy." The statement was an accusation, his blue eyes piercing my demeanor.
"It was the only alternative," I meekly attempted to explain.
"Never," he spat returning his attention to his friend. He spoke again, his eyes' never leaving his friend's. "Do you realize that was one of the tortures they used in the camps? No you wouldn't, would you? Well, you're making him worse."
I hung my head guiltily, feeling responsible in some way for Murdock's condition, however irrational it was. Was it possible in
our desperate efforts to help we made a bad situation worse? "Please tell me, what CAN we do?"
He evaded my question. "Just let me take him outside." Anger edged each word.
"I'll have to clear that with the doctor."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. Now please, go get a wheelchair," he added firmly.
I wasn't sure whether to be scared of or grateful to this strange man for his persistence pertaining the pilot's health. My intuition
told me this man cared deeply for Murdock. I was willing to fulfill the man's request. It seemed our goal was the same, for I had become emotionally invested in Murdock's recovery, as well.
I wanted to see where this was all leading so when I returned with the wheelchair I told him I had to go with him if he was going to take the Captain outside.
He started to protest, but stopped short as he saw I wouldn't back down. Finally his head bobbed in resignation. His head snapped up and he wagged a finger at me. "If you care about Murdock at all, what you are about to see will not leave your lips. Got it?" He gave me a final glare as he moved to put Murdock in the wheelchair.
I was baffled by his statement. Confused, I began to help, but a hand slapped me away. "I'll do it!"
Becoming angered, but simultaneously touched by his overprotectiveness I simple said, "You'll need help with the IV lines
His tight-lipped silence conveyed his grudging agreement. I started gathering up the equipment as he lifted up Murdock
effortlessly. The unshed tears in his blue eyes at his friend's feather-weight, malnourished body did not go unnoticed. "Murdock, if
you lose any more weight you could be the pilot of a paper airplane." Turning to me, "Has he eaten anything?"
I shook my head 'no' as he placed his friend gently in the wheelchair, carefully arranging his limbs. He laid a blanket over
the lower half of the slight frame, then studied his work.
"Where are his belongings?" I pointed to the closet and he walked over and opened the wooden door. The closet was bare save for a bag that had made it back to the States with Murdock. The young man rummaged around for a minute before pulling out his find. He emerged with a blue baseball cap and a brown leather, bomber jacket. With help from myself the two items were placed on the pilot, the jacket hanging on him as a father's jacket would hang on his son. It would be years before I learned the significance of these two items of clothing.
When we were finished, the man made his way slowly and purposefully out to the garden. He pushed the wheelchair the entire
way with me following obediently behind, unsure of the final destination. He finally came to a stop in a grove of trees in back of
the VA which was rather hidden from the public.
I was beginning to get suspicious when his voice startled me. "Hannibal! BA!" he whispered harshly. Two men appeared out of the bushes.
My eyes fell on a menacing-looking black man. He was heavily bejeweled with a mohawk.
"Face, what's this," The silver-haired, older man questioned over a cigar clamped between his teeth.
Face. So that was his name. It was rather appropriate.
"Hannibal, it was the only way I could get him outside short of kidnapping him," he half-apologized.
"I'm Liz." I extended my hand, but their attention turned towards their friend.
"Hi, Murdock. How ya doing, son?"
"Hey fool. Answer the Colonel."
Colonel? Who were these guys?
"Uh fellas..." Face began.
"He's not talked since he's been here," I chimed in.
"How bad is he?"
"Are you relatives? Look, I don't think -"
"I don't care what you think, lady. Out with it," Hannibal commanded.
I took a deep breath and motioned for them to follow me into a clearing. I wasn't about to talk about Murdock's condition in front of him as if he wasn't there. Who knows what was being filtered in of the real world? Any negativity might set him back further.
"Honestly, he's not doing well at all. Physically -"
"Look mama, we know what hap'nd to him, but how's his head?"
"I don't think you do," I coolly stood up to the muscular giant. "You might know what happened in Vietnam, but you don't know
the abuse he suffered while a resident in the mental hospital overseas."
I folded my arms across my chest defensively. They responded with raised eyebrows. Looking over my shoulder I saw Face kneeling in front of Murdock, talking to him animatedly. There was yet again, no sign of a response. The conversation was strictly one-sided.
"Well," I was prompted.
Feeling the icy blues eyes on me I had no choice but to continue. I gave them a brief overview, glossing over the graphic details.
Their faces displayed a mix of anger, sadness, and pity. The men known as Hannibal and BA walked past me without another word.
I silently watched from afar as Hannibal knelt down in front of Murdock, and BA took a seat on the bench next to the wheelchair. BA appeared to study his friend. He laid a massive black hand on Murdock's shoulder, dwarfing the already too-thin arm. "It's so good to see ya again, buddy."
I could see the angry-looking man's face soften as he stared deep into Murdock's eyes, registering the emptiness. He suddenly hugged him fiercely, then pulled back just as suddenly. A cry of anguish escaped his lips as he must have felt the bones poking out of Murdock's body.
BA stood up sharply. "Be strong," he said as he stomped away. As he disappeared from view I could hear him mutter, "Ain' right. Jus' ain' right." Silent sobs echoed back.
Face adjusted the tubes that BA knocked out of place in his haste to leave. Hannibal took BA's place on the bench, covering Murdock's bony hands with his own. He winced at the coldness he felt. "Murdock, I want you to know that we never abandoned you. We've never left a man behind, and we won't now. I think you know that deep down. When you get better -" he had said 'when' not 'if', " -you can come with us. We'll come back and visit."
He patted Murdock's limp hand and stood up. He kissed him chastely on the cheek as a father would a son. He then left to go join BA.
Face gave me a nod that indicated it was time to go back. I followed him without a word back to the room.
After getting the pilot situated in bed he turned to me speaking softly, "I trust you won't speak of this to anyone."
I wanted to ask for an explanation, but I remained silent as he continued.
"Look, you may not believe this but I only have Murdock's best interest at heart."
"I believe you." I don't know why I did, but I did. Maybe a higher power was guiding my decisions that day.
"Then you'll cooperate?"
I hesitated for a second, then stared deep into his eyes. "Yes." I wasn't sure what I was agreeing to, but I decided to go along.
He turned to leave, reaching for the doorknob. His hand paused in mid-air. "I need to see him again. Please," he begged.
I eyed him skeptically. "Alright, but if I help you, you have to do it on my terms."
He gave me a quizzical look as I laid out the conditions. I handed him a slip of paper at the end of my speech that had my
upcoming work schedule on it. "These are the days and times I'm here. In other words, when you can come see him. If your visits are so private, the less people involved the better."
He glanced at the piece of paper and then placed it in the pocket of his suit jacket. "I'll be here." He smiled brightly at me. I
couldn't help myself - I returned the smile.
He only got a few steps down the hallway before I called out to him. "Face, don't let him down."
Face came as often as he dared, usually at offpeak hours. I never asked why he preferred the middle of the night. I was just grateful he came. Face seemed to be the only one that could console the pilot after one of his many nightmares.
Over the weeks I grew to trust him more and more to be alone with Murdock. I had never know a friendship so deep. Truthfully, I was a bit jealous. Even when he couldn't come he would call, wanting an update. Unfortunately, there was never much to tell.
One night I observed him kneeling over Murdock's bed with a rosary clutched between his well-manicured fingers. His lips moved in silent prayer. Even though I hadn't disclosed the impending gravity of Murdock's condition, I think Face sensed that if his friend didn't begin to improve, he never would.
I couldn't imagine having to watch my best friend waste away in front of my eyes, losing so much weight that his cheeks became hollow and his eyes sunken. The tube feedings were not enough to sustain the 6'2" frame. Little more could be done.
Now Christmas was nearing and the situation was desperate. Murdock's heart muscle was beginning to feel the effects of the
anorexia, despite our efforts to sustain him. I watched the heart monitor trace erratic rhythms across the screen.
I quietly slipped down the hall and into Murdock's room. "Face," I said softly so as not to frighten him.
He raised his head, and I saw tears in his eyes. "I - I don't know what else to do. I've tried everything I could think of. Music,
reading to him, taking him outside, holding him, talking to him. Nothing's working."
"Face." I sat down next to him and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I think you need to be prepared to let him go."
"I think Murdock's given up. His heart can't take much more."
"NO Goddammit! Never! I'm not giving up, and he's always been a fighter." He looked out the window and traced a raindrop down the window pane. He suddenly lunged at the bed. "You hear me loud and clear Captain? I'm not giving up so don't you give up!"
Murdock began whimpering in the throes of his fitful sleep. A look of guilt passed over Face's features, as if had caused his friend's nightmare. He swallowed over the lump in his throat as his resolve began to crack.
To my surprise, he climbed into bed with Murdock, positioning the pilot so he was cradled in his arms. Face had one arm wrapped around the tiny waist and another on his friend's forehead playing with the thinning brown hair. He lovingly passed over the shaved areas resulting from the preparation for the EST. Ever so gently Face began rocking him, whispering to him.
I could only catch bits and pieces of the one-way conversation. "Come back...not in the camps...safe here...here for you." The words blurred together as if my tears were filtering them.
I stood as a deer caught in headlights, blinded by indecision. I wanted to give them privacy, but also wanted to see Murdock's
response, if any.
Mercifully, Murdock's breaths slowed and his eyes opened. Unable to contain himself any longer, Face began sobbing into his friend's head.
As if in a dreamlike state, a hand reached up and touched the flaxen hair. Face started up expecting to see me nearby. We gasped in unison as we realized who the hand belonged to. The hand fell weakly down on the bed as Face repositioned himself to get a better look. "Murdock?"
Although Murdock did not answer with words, his eyes locked with Face's eyes. He blinked long and hard as if awakening from a long and terrible dream, which I suppose he had. Recognition flickered in the brown eyes, darkening them.
"Oh God, Murdock. Tell me you see me. Talk to me, buddy. Tell me I'm not dreaming," Face pleaded with a shaking voice.
Slowly the hand came up and reached out. Face gripped it fiercely and kissed it. "Welcome back."
It took awhile for Murdock to speak, and even longer for him to eat and regain his strength. Luckily his heart had suffered only
minor irreversible damage. Nevertheless, the months of intensive therapy and medication regimens turned into years.
As the years passed all the staff grew to love Murdock in their own way - as a brother, a son, a friend, and at times a lover. There was one thing that was for certain, never had a patient so touched and won over the staff like Murdock.
He was always so cooperative and so cheerful, always cracking us up. In those rare moments of depression he would retreat to his room to be alone. We became aware of his moods as he became aware of ours. It was a dance that we perfected over time.
After awhile it was hard to believe that his delusions weren't really just elaborate, imaginative jokes - unless you had been there
since the beginning as I had. But there was no doubt that he couldn't have been promoted to outpatient if he really wanted. It was
just necessary for him to have a safe place to return to at the end of the day, I guess.
So we let his friends "con" him out of here from time to time, knowing how it important it had become to Murdock's recovery. We do it for him because he deserves that happiness and to get a glimpse of the outside world. And reality becomes too much to bear, his room will be waiting for him as it is now.
"...Earth to Liz. Come in Liz." I focused at the sound of my name and a hand waving in front of my face. "Boy, and people think I'm on another planet."
" 'Bout what, sugar?"
"You," I answered honestly.
"Oh yeah? What 'bout me?" He directed a sly grin at me.
"About how you're going to take me flying one day, Captain."
A look of unadultarated surprise crossed his face. Then with a deadly serious expression he stated, "You know they took my pilot's license away. I don't fly anymore."
"Yeah right, and I'm Mother Theresa," I chuckled.
"I think you're tryin' to get me in trouble," he said in his thickest southern drawl, attempting to charm the pants off me. The
attempt was successful. "What else you know 'bout me?"
"Oh, I know all your secrets Murdock," I teased, but helf-serious.
"Well then," he sighed in mock exasperation mimicking me. He broke into his infamous silly grin. "Let's fly away from here."
'Someday you will, Murdock,' I thought. 'Someday you will. But I won't be going with you. That's one flight you have to take on your own.'
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