Next of Kin Part 22 - Little Things

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As Kalia walked into her room with flowers, Lena was sitting up in bed going over some contracts on her laptop. She saw the motion out of the side of her eye, but didn't look over as she asked, "What are you doing?"

"You have flowers."

"Those don't go in here. You know that. There are patients who aren't getting flowers. Take them to one of their rooms." Still not looking, Lena waved at the nurse with the back of her hand, shooing her and the flowers away.

"It has a card."

"The card can go to my secretary. Jess will write gratuities to whoever has sent it," Lena said, flapping her hand again.

"There's no name on the card. I think it's from Kara. It's a poem," Kalia said with a smile.

Lena sighed. "Not yet. I'm not ready."

"Yes, you are. It's been three days since she sent you that letter and you must read that thing a dozen times a day. You're just stalling. You know what you want to do, but you're torturing yourself. You're hurting that kid too. Why don't you take this new note?" When Lena looked away from the out held note, refusing to make eye contact, Kalia said, "Fine, I'll read it to you."

Closing her eyes, Lena rubbed her hands over her face. "Why are you being so a bloody romantic? You don't like Kara. You don't like anyone."

"That's true, but you like Kara," Kalia said, pulling the card out of its envelope and clearing her throat. "Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the pleasant land. Thus the little minutes, Humble though they be, Make the mighty ages Of eternity."

Lena inhaled sharply several times, her breath coming in tiny gasps. "Little Things, by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer."

"Okay, it's not the most romantic poem I've heard, not that I'm much of a judge of..." Looking at Lena's face, eyes wide and staring straight ahead, Kalia asked, "What's wrong?"

Slowly, Lena's head turned until she looked at the flowers in the nurse's hand. It was a basket with the usual sort of spread one might expect from some floral shop. However, in the center, were several bursts of bright, purple flowers with yellow centers.

Licking her lips to get some moisture back in her mouth, Lena said, "Polemonium."

"Lena, what the hell's going on!?" Kalia demanded.

"The flower, it polemonium, more commonly known as, Jacob's ladder. It's a flowering plant. When I moved in with the Luthors, they had extensive gardens in their home in Metropolis. I was utterly fascinated with the flowers. Picking flowers were something my mother and I had done in Ireland, and it never occurred to me that doing so would be seen as anything but a kindness. When I brought my new mother a Polemonium from the garden, her reaction was anything but kind." Lena's lips twitched unpleasantly at the corners as she relived the memory. "Get that thing the feck out of here. It's from Lillian. Call the police. They'll want to take it into evidence."

<><>

It was nearly two hours later before Detective Maggie Sawyer marched into Lena Luthor's room. The two women made eye contact, both looking equally happy to see each other which meant not at all. The last time Maggie had seen Lena on official business, she'd arrested her. Since then things had gotten better between them then worse after the whole Alex and Kara debacle.

"Detective Sawyer," Lena said. "I wasn't expecting...you."

"Yeah, my Lieutenant volunteered me, no offense."

"None taken. You'll need a statement from me?"

"I will. I..." Maggie looked at Lena as if seeing her for the first time. "You're sitting up."

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