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Книга EchoPark. Страница 118

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He missed by a mile.

39

KIZ RIDER CAME THROUGH the double doors in a wheelchair. She found it embarrassing but that was the hospital rule. Bosch was waiting for her with a smile and a bouquet of flowers he had bought from a vendor at the freeway exit near the hospital. As soon as she was allowed by the nurse, she got up and out of the chair. She tentatively hugged Bosch as though she felt fragile, and thanked him for coming to take her home.

“I’m right out front,” he said.

With his arm across her back he walked her out to the waiting Mustang. He helped her get in, then put a bag of cards and gifts she had received into the trunk and came around to the driver’s side.

“You want to go anywhere first?” he asked once he was in the car.

“No, just home. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed.”

“I hear you.”

He started the car and pulled out, heading back to the freeway. They drove silently. When he got back to the 134 the flower vendor was still in the median. Rider looked down at the bouquet in her hand, realized that Bosch had gotten them as an afterthought and started laughing. Bosch joined in.

“Oh, shit, that hurts!” she said, touching her hand to her neck.

“Sorry.”

“It’s all right, Harry. I need to laugh.”

Bosch nodded his agreement.

“Is Sheila going to come by today?” he asked.

“Yeah, after work.”

“Good.”

He nodded because there wasn’t anything else to do. They lapsed back into silence.

“Harry, I took your advice,” Rider said after a few minutes.

“What was that?”

“I told them I didn’t have a shot. I told them I didn’t want to hit Olivas.”

“That’s good, Kiz.”

He thought about things for a few moments.

“Does that mean you’re going to keep your badge?” he asked.

“Yes, Harry, I’m keeping the badge… but not my partner.”

Bosch looked over at her.

“I talked to the chief,” Rider said. “After I finish rehab I’m going to go back to work in his office, Harry. I hope that will be all right with you.”

“Whatever you want to do is all right with me. You know that. I’m glad you’re staying.”

“Me, too.”

A few more minutes went by and when she spoke again it was as if the conversation had never lagged.

“Besides, up there on the sixth floor, I’ll be able to watch out for you, Harry. Maybe keep you out of all the politics and bureaucratic scrapping. Lord knows you’re still going to need me from time to time.”

Bosch smiled broadly. He couldn’t help it. He liked the idea of her being up there one floor above him. Watching out and watching over.

“I like it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a guardian angel before.”

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