"You really ought to have waited for back up," Detective Chase stood out of the way, as Cade was being examined by nurse in one of the stalls. In his struggle to get to Amber, he had incurred lacerations, scrapes and cuts- but neither bothered him, his main goal he accomplished - he'd gotten to her.
"Y'know how I feel about waiting," Cade responded, "Not when her life was hanging in the balance."
"I could have had you arrested Cade for trespassing, for breaking and entering, for interfering... " Detective Chase counted on his fingers.
"Have me arrested then, I don't really care. As long as she's safe and in protective custody... I don't give two fucks about me," Cade winced, as the nurse appalled cream to his cuts.
"In other circumstances I probably would, but you saved my life... I'll see to it that no charges are put against you. You know, we could really use someone like you on the force," Detective Chase replied, "You've got instinct, which is important and hard to find..."
"If I need a new perspective, I'll let you know," Cade replied, "What say you of Rick?"
"The bullet you put in him, pierced a lung... his condition is critical but he's stable but who knows, I'm not God, but one less evil person on this earth the better. I have two of my best men on either side of his door, in case some ass hole decides they want to come and rescue the bastard, you never know the crazies here. I'm not taking my chances with having him let out," Detective Chase said, the bite in his words obvious.
Cade winced as the nurse bandaged his forearm; when the blade of Stan's knife cut through him whilst he tried to get to an unconscious Amber. He couldn't forget the blood pooling around her like she was adrift in a bloody red sea. Her blood, not theirs. That made him angry. Her face had been ashen and lifeless. And he remembered the gut wrenching feeling, the knots in his stomach when he saw her. He didn't want to feel that again. The paramedics who had gotten there had said, if she had waited a few minutes longer, she would surely not have made it. The nurse dismissed him and he limped to the floor and made his way to the hall. Detective Chase followed as they walked into the corridor of the hospital.
"She's in Intensive Care, room eight if that's where you're heading? I have three officers standing outside your room. They won't give you grief, rest assured - they know who you are but they'll shoot to kill if anyone so much as tries to get to her," Detective Chase said, as if reading his mind, "I'll be in to check on her later to get her statement."
"So what happens to Rick?" Cade paused mid-step.
"It looks like he'll be thrown in jail indefinitely without parole. I'm working with a couple of my officers to understand how he managed to get out and it's much bigger then we imagined. I definitely have a hunch on some big wigs being involved. Just so you know Cade, Rick's going to prison and he'll rot there, you have my word and his accomplice too. Take care of yourself and I'll be in to see her later," Detective Chase said walking the opposite direction.
Cade entered the Intensive Care Wing of the hospital and noticed immediately the three security officers to room eight. She was protected. One person on either side of the door and one facing him head on. He limped towards her door and wasn't stopped by the security guards, they obviously knew him and even stepped out of the way as he turned the handle of the door and limped like Chase had said. There were bouquets of flowers everywhere, an up lighter was in the corner of the room, spreading a warm glow. Amber was lying in the bed, her eyes closed. She had been stripped to hospital scrubs, a blue dress shirt, her hair like flames around her face. Her arm was linked to an IV and she was motionless. The colour of her skin, not as ashen the last time he saw it. There was evidence of colour there, that he was glad. He took a seat next to her bed and clasped her hand in his, it was lukewarm to the touch. He'd almost lost her. He wouldn't know what he would have done if he had lost her, that, he didn't want to think about.
Holding her hand and knowing she was going to make it, was reassuring. There was hope at the end of the long black tunnel. They'd gone through hell in the time they'd known each other, the bad times outnumbered the good but he was staying, there was no way anyone or anything was going to get rid of him. No way. He could focus on the good times they shared already and work on having more- that's what you did when you loved someone, you were willing to take the risk, throwing caution to the wind. He'd waited so long for a person like her, when some men may be put off by her baggage and her state of mind, it had motivated him to help her, push her in the right direction, the direction to heal, how could he just abandon her when she needed him the most. Love could do that to you and boy, did he love her. He loved her more then he loved himself. Today, he was prepared to be arrested, for her safety and knowing she would never have to look over her shoulder because the son of a bitch was going to rot in prison. His phone vibrated in his pocket and he reluctantly let go of Amber's hand and edged towards the window sill.
"Cade, it's Millie... I'll be there in a couple of hours... have you got any news? What's the update?" A frantic Millie said down the phone.
"She's fine Millie, she's good," Cade replied, he didn't want to worry her best friend and he didn't want to hear a hysterical female on the other end, especially one who would no doubt start crying.
"Any news on Rick?" Millie asked viciously.
"I put a bullet in him, he's under police surveillance in the hospital... frankly I don't know of his situation but I should have put another bullet in him when I got a chance," Cade said angrily.
"The main thing is that Amber is okay, just focus on that Cade, she needs you and I'll be there as soon as I can," Millie said.
The whisper from behind him, broke his thoughts... Amber was waking up.
"Mills, I've got to go she's waking up," Cade said, "I'll see you later."
Cade put the phone back into his pocket and strode over to Amber and as their gazes met she looked at him in horror.
"What happened to you?" she said in disgust.
"I'll explain later, how are you feeling?" Cade sat by her bed.
"Like an elephant's sitting on my head... is... has... Rick... is he dead?" she asked.
"No, but he could have been... he's not going to hurt you... not anymore. I won't let him. When I saw you Amber, it's like I died... I won't let any fucker get near you, I won't," Cade said as an oath.
Amber touched the top of his head, "I know you won't... I believe you... I don't want to even give him a moments thought, not even a second... I've lived far too much of my life in the past and I want so much to live in the here and now, you know? Life's too short... I love you Cade. It's taken me a while to realise it but it's true, I love you... not because you've been so patient and kind and accommodating towards me but because you have been the first person who hasn't walked around me on egg shells, who hasn't treated me like I was broken and needed fixing and because you're just you. You know what you have to do now right?"
"Get you out of here?" Cade replied jokily.
"Soon, once this elephant's vacated my head," Amber grinned.
"So, what do I have to do?" Cade asked.
"You gonna tell me how much you love me yet?" Amber teased.
Cade couldn't help himself, he leaned forward and kissed her.