BONUS CHAPTER-Deleted scene #4

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🎉🎊I have reached another milestone!🎉🎊 I feel honored to have ⭐️200k reads⭐️on The Dangerous Ones, thanks to all of you!!❤️❤️❤️To celebrate, I'm adding another deleted scene!🤸🏻‍♂️🤸🏻‍♂️🤸🏻‍♂️

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This takes place just after Simon is arrested, chapter thirty-seven. If you recall, a young man named Gerry arrives at the police station right around the same time Simon does. Virginia's disappointment in seeing him there seems like a punishment on its own. When Gerry mentions that his mother is sick, Virginia promises to check on her. This is that scene:

The front door of the Los Palos Gardens apartments was unlocked, providing no security for its tenants. The dark, musty lobby was a far cry from what it used to be—in its heyday, the place had been considered grand. Back in the thirties and forties, the building had been a family-run hotel. With the removal of the street rail system in the early fifties, the hotel lost its popularity and eventually the family sold it. New owners allowed the building to fall into disrepair as gangs moved into the area and scared most of their business away. Eventually, it had joined the public housing system; although looking at it now, she wasn't sure how it was passing its inspections.

She bypassed the elevator, doubtful of its current condition, and took the well-trodden stairs two at a time to the second floor. The hallway that greeted her showed tiny traces of its hotel history. The carpeting, stained and thread bare in places, revealed a hint of its original royal blue color along the edges where neglect had no reach. Luxury wallpaper had yellowed over the years and was peeling in places, hanging down like the head of an elderly, infirm man humiliated to be seen in such a reduced condition. Half of the hallway was in shadows, the bare bulbs of long-ago broken fixtures needing replacement.

Passing doorways with little soundproofing, the racket of televisions and screaming children filled the hall. One door opened a crack upon her approach, slamming shut once the person peering through it got a gander at her shirt.

Police were not trusted in these places.

She knocked on the door of Darla Smith's apartment, hearing coughing coming from the other side.

There was a weak "hello?"

"Mrs. Smith, it's Lieutenant Robins. I wanted to check and see how you are doing."

More coughing, the volume increasing as the woman got closer to the door. The peephole darkened, followed by the sound of locks turning. The door swung open slowly.

Darla Smith was a tiny woman to begin with, but hunched over as she was, the quilted blanket pulled around her shoulders seemed to be swallowing her up in its soft bulges.

"Mrs. Smith, your son Gerry told me you were sick. How long have you been like this?"

Darla motioned for her to come in as she lurched her way back to the couch. "I don't know. It started out as a cold but it keeps getting worse." The effort of talking set off another round of coughing.

Virginia cursed herself for not having stopped by earlier. Court duty had been eating up her time so she had not been walking her usual beat. "Did Gerry pick you up anything for that cough?"

"Yes, he is a good boy."

"Have you been to a doctor?"

"We don't have any insurance; my application has been submitted three times to Medi-Cal. When we phone, all they tell us is it has been rejected due to lack of paperwork."

Darla's lips were slightly blue. Tired eyes periodically drifted downward, forced back open with a slight shake of her head and a shift of position—she was fighting to keep herself awake.

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