Chapter Three: A Second Attempt

Bryce frowned as he ate his dinner that evening.

Murray was sitting in a chair next to the bed. They had been discussing that work that Bryce had waiting for him back at the network.

"What's wrong?" Murray asked.

"This tastes funny," Bryce said.

"It's probably just the painkillers you're taking," Murray told him. "Some pills change taste perception."

"Yeah, you're probably right," Bryce decided. He ate a couple more bites. Then he set the plate aside. "I can't eat any more. The taste is putting me off too much. You can have the rest if you want."

"Thanks," Murray said, He wiped off the fork with the napkin, then went to take a bite of the dinner roll when he frowned and hit the buzzer.

"Murray?" Bryce asked.

"How do you feel?"

"Dizzy. And a bit faint." Bryce admitted. Realization hit him as the nurse arrived.

"Yes, Mr. McKenzie?"

"Poisoned," Murray said, shoving the tray at her.

The nurse pressed the com button. "Room 22. Code blue. Poisoning."

She immediately turned her attention to Bryce who was unconscious and began working to resuscitate him. Two more doctors arrived shortly afterward. One shunted Murray aside and began working on saving Bryce. The second pulled Murray into a corner. "What happened?"

"He complained the food tasted weird," Murray explained. "I thought at first that it was probably a side effect of the painkillers, so he ate a couple more bites when I said so. Then he said he couldn't finish and when I was about to try some of it, I noticed the almond smell."

"Cyanide," the doctor called out to the "nitrate/thiosulfate 5 c.c.s."

Murray watched anxiously as the antidote was administered. After what felt like forever to him, he was relieved as Bryce opened his eyes.

"Are you okay?"

"Headache," Bryce told him, painfully. "Murray, I don't want to stay here. What if whoever poisoned the food tries again?"

Murray looked up at the two doctors. "What about it? Can I take him home?"

"Normally I'd require him to stay another day for observation," the older doctor said. "But under the circumstances, I believe he would be safer elsewhere. However, given that you were with him when this happened, I would rather place him with someone else. No offense, but until I know exactly where the poison came fromů"

Murray gave the doctor Edison's number and waited with the other doctor until he arrived.

"Bryce?" Edison asked as he stormed into room, very angrily. "What the hell is going on?"

"Why are you yelling at me?" Bryce asked. "I didn't do anything."

"I'm sorry," Edison told him. "I'm not yelling at you. I'm just angry that someone else tried to kill you."

"Maybe the guy who shot me bribed someone to do it," Bryce suggested.

"We'll run a trace on all incoming calls," the younger doctor said, by way of agreement. "In the meantime, Mr. Carter, we feel that Mr. Lynch here would be safer in your custody."

"I agree," Edison said. "Bryce, go get dressed. I'm taking you home."

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