Falling Deep Into You (Book One Sample)
“Shots fired, officers down, I repeat officers down!” Sergeant Finley ran over and crouched down. “Miles, can you hear me? Miles?” He placed two fingers on the jugular of his partner’s neck and yelled, “He has a pulse but it’s low." Placing a hand on Miles' shoulder. “Hang on, the ambulance is on the way.”
Miles was falling in and out of consciousness. He could hear Finley talking but he could not respond. Closing his eyes, he tried to remember what happened. Why he was in pain and unable to move? Then everything went silent.
The ambulance pulled up, Karen was the first to approach the victim. The two other E.M.T.’s were pulling out the stretcher, grabbing the defibrillator and a duffel bag. Karen wrapped the cuff around Miles' arm. “His blood pressure is 88/57. Let’s get an I.V. started stat.” She cut off his shirt. “There’s a gunshot wound on the left side of his abdomen and one that looks like it grazed his right temple.” Karen glanced at Finley. “Does he have any other gunshot wounds besides the two visible injuries you know of?”
“There were several shots fired in his direction, maybe five. He complained of severe leg pain.”
Karen lifted Miles' legs. She noticed a puncture wound on the back of his left leg just above his knee. “It looks like a bullet is lodged because I don't see an exit wound.” There was a pool of blood around Miles from the gunshot wound in the abdomen. It was almost too difficult to see if there were any other gunshot wounds. He was still unconscious but with some medication in the I.V. drip his blood pressure was improving. “Shut off the defib, he's coming around. Let’s get him on the gurney, he needs medical attention stat.”
The moment the two E.M.T.’s stabilized him for the move, Miles came around. He tried to look over but his neck was in a brace to keep him immobilized. Somehow, he found his voice and yelled, “Fin.” He coughed. “Fin.”
Finley was talking to Erickson when he heard Miles call for him. “Hey man, you’re back. Glad you could join us.” He placed his hand on his shoulder. “They're taking you to the hospital, looks like today was your lucky day. You decided three gunshot wounds were your magic number.”
“Where’s Eddy?” Miles said and coughed again.
Finely went still, he had to wait to say anything. “They’re checking him out now.” He glanced over just as Eddy was being placed in a body bag. Sergeant Ed Simmons was shot twice, the fateful shot went straight through his skull. He had no chance to feel pain, he went down instantly. All Fin could think about was Eddy’s family, he had two young girls at home and a beautiful wife who was expecting their third child. “You hang tight, okay? They’ll get you all patched up.”
“Fin, don’t lie, man.” He tried to move around to find his partner. “Let me see him, I need to see him.” Then as loud as his voice would allow, he yelled, “Eddy? Where are you, Eddy?” A single tear fell down his cheek. “Eddy? Come on man, where are you?”
Karen the E.M.T. touched his shoulder. “I need you to calm down. If you continue to get upset, you’ll experience more blood loss and you’ve lost too much already. We'll let you see Eddy soon but for now I need you to stay still.”
Miles looked at the woman. “You're taking care of him?" he asked. "He’s okay?”
“We’re working on him, but you both received serious wounds. The next twenty-four hours will be touch-and-go.” They positioned the duffel bag between his legs and placed the I.V. drip above his body. Then they loaded him into the ambulance. Karen walked over to Finley. “Not sure when you plan on telling him the truth, hope it’s soon.”
Finley shook his head. “We’ll tell him. Let’s get him stabilized first.” Then he turned to walk away from the truck. Under his breath he muttered, “Fuck.” He headed over to his partners. “What the hell happened? I thought there were only four suspects on the premises. There were double that and our guys were just ambushed. Somebody fucked up.”
Sanders, Campbell, and Cooper were motionless. Then Sanders grabbed his gun to head back to the squad’s SUV and said, “Somebody needs to let Angie know what happened to Miles?” He turned to Cooper. “Boss, has anyone notified Miles’ wife yet?”
* * *
The door to the hospital room 325 creaked open and a slender figure emerged. Angie was average height and very thin. She had long brunette hair with several areas graying around her face. The one definitive feature were the dark circles under both eye. She married Miles ten years ago and every year since that day was like one ongoing nightmare. She feared for his life every time he walked out the door. If there was any mention of some police shooting or accident, her insides would twist and turn.
When Sergeant Cooper called to let her know Miles was shot, she reached her breaking point. For several months now she thought about leaving him; she wanted to take the kids and settle somewhere far away. She knew it was her nerves talking, instead she had to do the right thing which meant helping him during his recovery. Then, maybe when he was stable enough she could ask for a divorce. Something had to change and soon.
She glanced over at the still figure resting on the hospital bed. Miles was hooked up to a heart monitor and an I.V. drip. He seemed so peaceful lying there beneath the blankets. Cooper had told her on the phone that Miles had sustained three gunshot wounds. It was the one in the abdomen that was the major concern right now. The bullet had made two holes in his small intestines, grazed his kidney, and hit a few major blood vessels. There was internal bleeding, but during the surgery the doctors were able to find the artery and close it off. The next twenty-four hours would be the most critical time because he could still have internal bleeding.
Angie pulled a chair over and sat down beside the bed. “Oh Miles, what are we doing? The kids are scared. I’m scared. Please, you have to come around, you have to get better.” She reached for his hand and held it between her own. “Miles, if you can hear me, please wake up.” She tightened her hold and brought his hand to her lips for a tender kiss and started to cry. She was crying for him, his job, the kids. One thing was for sure, he was an amazing man. He loved, cared, and provided for his family. She thought she could handle the cop life, but she was wrong.
A light knock on the door brought her back to the present. A young nurse in maybe her thirties peeked around the door. “Is it okay to come in for a moment?” She was tall, maybe five feet eleven inches. Her hair was up in a messy bun and she had very little make up on. What caught Angie’s attention was her smile. The woman was stunning.
Angie stood. “Please, come in.”
The nurse walked to the dry erase board hanging on the wall and wrote her name in all caps. “I’ll be his nurse for this shift, my name is Preslie. If there is anything you need, please just push the call button.” She walked over and stood on the other side of Miles. “Has he stirred yet?”
Angie shook her head. “He’s been asleep the whole time I’ve been here. Do you think he’ll wake up soon?” She felt her insides twist and turn yet again. It was that feeling she couldn’t deal with anymore.
Preslie was looking over his chart, then checked and recorded his vitals. “From the notes in his chart, he has been asleep for over five hours. He should come around soon.” She placed his file back on the wall. “Would you like something to drink?”
“That would be wonderful. Could I have some water?” The nurse was gorgeous. Why did Angie feel a pang of jealousy? She shook her head and smiled to herself as the nurse was heading toward the door.
Preslie turned and flashed those pearly whites again. “I’ll grab it for you now.”
Angie nodded her head and then settled back into the chair beside the bed. She knew the next few days would be long and exhausting.
* * *
Preslie walked out to the hallway and looked back at the little sign that read room 325. Vikki did it yet again. She made her way toward the nurses’ station, pointing her finger at her best friend. “Are you serious? What the hell, Vikki?”
Vikki giggled. “What?” she said trying to feign innocence. “Whatever are you talking about, darling?”
Preslie grabbed a bottled water out of the patient cooler. “Don’t play innocent with me, girlie. You know what.” Then she ignored Vikki’s protests and headed back to Miles Callahan’s room. She knocked and left the water on the tray beside the bed. She glanced over at the man on the bed, he was handsome as hell with a shaved head, long oval face, and a five o’clock shadow. She could tell he was older, maybe in his forties, and better yet, he was a cop.
She met her best friend, Vikki in college about fifteen years ago, they were roommates. From the moment they met, they were inseparable. When she found out Vikki was in the nursing program, their friendship blossomed even more. Just like any college freshman you had to have a wild side. They attended some serious parties and held each other’s hair after one too many drinks. Secrets were shared, many secrets. There were things about Preslie that only Vikki knew. One of her deepest and darkest secret, her love for cops. Not the “I will marry one someday” love either. No, the sexy, mysterious, dangerous side. It was a long-standing joke between them and one that would never get old. So, the moment Miles was put in room 325, Vikki had her hands in the pot to assign him to Preslie.
As Preslie made her way back to the nurses' station, Vikki glanced up from her computer with a devious smile plastered on her face. Preslie stepped around the counter and settled in the rolling chair next to her friend. “He was brought in last night, right?” She made a few turns in her chair as she thought about the sexy cop only a few doors down. “He is still sound asleep. I would’ve thought he would be awake by now?”
“He arrived up here about midnight. His surgery I guess went well, but he had a lot of internal bleeding. They wanted to keep him sedated.” She turned in her chair and grabbed Preslie’s knees. “So, hot, right?”
Slapping Vikki’s hand away. “Stop!” She stood and noticed a uniformed man heading their way. “Hi. Can I help you?”
Finley loved the looks women would pass his way. If he had on jeans and a tee...nothing. Put a uniform on and women clung to him like a magnet. He placed his hands on the counter. "My buddy, Miles Callahan is here. Is it possible to see him? He was brought in late last night.”
“He’s in room 325," Preslie said and pointed toward his room. "There’s someone in there with him right now though. Do you want me to go let her know you’re here?”
“Is she a thin woman with beautiful brunette hair?”
“Yes, she arrived about an hour ago.”
“Perfect, it’s his wife. I won’t be in there long. My team wanted to make sure he was doing okay.” He tapped his hand on the counter twice and nodded his head as a thank you. Then he turned and headed toward Miles’ room.
He noticed Angie sitting in a chair with her head bent and her hands clasped around one of Miles’ hands. When she lifted her head, there were dark circles under her eyes, tears falling down her cheeks, and her hair looked unruly. “Fin.” Then she went into his out stretched arms. “He hasn’t moved yet. I’m so scared.”
He was rubbing her back to try to sooth her. “It's okay you know he’s a fighter.” He looked over at Miles. “Did they say how the surgery went?”
Angie stepped back and wiped away her tears. “I know. It’s just hard to see him like this, it scares me so much.” She walked over and sat back down. “I guess it went well. The next twenty-four hours are critical though. They have to monitor him to ensure all the internal bleeding was contained.”
It was hard seeing his teammate like this and harder knowing one of their own died in the line of duty. When he let Eddy’s family know, it was horrible. His wife beat on Finley's chest and screamed every curse words in the English dictionary. He knew she had every right to be angry. Hell, the whole team was, too. The ambush should never have happened. No one knew why the information was wrong regarding the four suspects in the building. Finley kept running the raid over in his mind. Maybe if he would have been outside he could have protected Eddy or even Miles. He was making himself sick with the what if’s, and the why’s of the whole thing.
“Have you slept at all?” he asked Angie. She always seemed so tired and fragile. Miles had shared with Finley just the other day he was worried about his wife. He said, she was very distant and closed off lately. A few weeks ago they celebrated their ten-year wedding anniversary. Except, they didn’t celebrate, they were home relaxing with the kids. Angie didn’t feel like going out and so Miles the good man he was, stayed home. Finley never said anything to Miles, but he felt Angie was struggling with being the wife of a cop.
“Sleep, what is that?” She shrugged her shoulders. “I've been wide awake since I received the call.” She went to say something, then stopped. Then out of the blue. “Fin, will this ever get easier?”
Finley leaned against the window sill. “Easy? Probably not. But is anything ever easy?”
“Yeah, you’re right. Hey, I need to get home and check on Gracie and Jack.” She stood and headed toward the door taking one last look at Miles before leaving the room.
Finley didn't know how to take that question. He sat down next to his partner. “Hey man, you need to wake up. I’m worried about, Angie.”
* * *
On Preslie’s last round before her shift ended she checked on Miles. The moment she peeked around the curtain, he gave a slight grin. “Well good afternoon, Mr. Callahan.” She stepped up beside him and checked all the machines and made sure his vitals were at the proper levels. “Would you like water or maybe some crackers?
He attempted to speak but paused and took in a deep breath. “Miles.”
She nodded. “Okay, Miles. What will it be, water and crackers?”
“Yes, that would be great. What time is it?”
Preslie paused for a moment. She had a tough time thinking with those bright blue eyes staring up at her. “Um…it…it’s 6:30 p.m. Are you feeling okay? Any abdominal pain?” Shit, those eyes would make thinking straight very difficult. “The doctor is on his way.”
He turned his head to read the dry erase board, “Preslie, right?” He sighed. “Everything hurts. Is there more morphine on the way?”
She touched his shoulder. “It’s okay. I’ll let the nurse coming on know you need more morphine.” She finished writing in his chart and headed out. As she reached the nurses’ station, another uniformed officer approached her.
Sergeant Cooper had finished his briefing and wanted to check on Callahan. “Excuse me. Which room is Miles Callahan in?”
She pointed toward room 325. “Right there sir and he just woke up.” Preslie was ready to put her feet up and enjoy a glass of wine. She grabbed her purse and pulled out her phone to check for any messages. The moment she saw the message, she knew her night had just gone south. As she headed to the parking garage, she called Vikki. “Um, you busy?”
Vikki was at home already relaxing, she sat up in her chair. “What’s wrong? You okay?” Preslie never sounded nervous, unless it dealt with her ex. “Sweetie, talk to me?”
“I think so. Well, I have no fucking clue. I received a text message from David." He was her ex and they had broke up about six months ago. He had this crazy notion they would get married and have the white picket fence together. Where that idea back-fired was when he decided it was okay to control her every move. She stopped it before it got too insane. Thankfully he never hit her but he came close once. “Can I stay with you tonight?"
“Get your ass over here.” Vikki hated David the moment Preslie started dating him. She could tell there was something off about him, but she couldn't tell her best friend how to live her life. They both lived close to the hospital but in opposite directions. If David was at her place, Preslie could avoid him. If David was at the hospital already...her insides twisted. “Are you walking out with anyone right now?”
“There are several people heading out. Why?” When she arrived this morning, there were only a few spots available in the parking garage. She found a spot behind a pillar and off to the side away from all the traffic. Two of her co-workers were heading in different directions toward their cars. “I will be there in a few," Preslie said and hung up the phone. She tucked it back in her purse and pulled out her keys. As she rounded the pillar the hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. She glanced around and noticed one person leaning against the trunk of her car with a shit-eating grin on his face. “David. What are you doing here?”
“Hey, baby,” he said and pushed off her car. “I missed you, so I thought I would surprise you.”
Preslie felt confused. “Missed me? We’re not dating anymore, David. Did you forget?” She knew she was walking a fine line with him. “I need to be somewhere. Is there something you need?”
David stepped closer. “Need? I need you, Preslie.” Then he placed his hands on her shoulders. “You know you miss me.” Then he moved them up and encircled them around her neck. “I thought you would come to your senses sooner. I’m tired of waiting.” He bent to kiss her lips.
Preslie grabbed his hands on either side of her neck and turned her face away. She tried to move out of his embrace but he tightened his hold. “David, what are you doing? Please, let me go.” She was afraid to struggle because he had a serious hold on her neck. She was feeling pain, and it was getting difficult to take in a full gulp of air. In a raspy tone, “David, you’re hurting me.” Her eyes were closed, and she was trying to take in deep breaths. Suddenly his hands left her neck, and she fell to the ground. Glancing up, she about fainted. It was that cop she said hi to just a few minutes ago on her floor.
“I believe the lady said you were hurting her. Do you have a hearing problem?” The cop put his arm around David’s neck and pulled him back away from Preslie. Then in one quick motion he had David’s hands behind his back and was placing cuffs on his wrists. “Ma’am, you okay? Is this someone you know?”
Preslie was kneeling on the ground massaging her neck. “Yes officer, he’s my ex-boyfriend.” She turned to David. “Why would you do that David, I don’t understand?”
He stayed silent. The officer shook him. “Care to answer the lady?”
David grinned. “You’ve always liked it rough, don’t lie to the officer.” He lifted his hands an inch. “I think I have rights here officer. Why are you arresting me?”
Preslie knew the officer didn’t have a good reason to arrest him. “It’s okay, it was a misunderstanding.” She hated lying but what else could she do? “I need to go.”
Cooper knew there was more to the story but he couldn’t argue. If she didn’t want to press charges he had to let the asshole go. “I’m letting you off with a warning. If I see you near her again, I will arrest you.” He took the cuffs off and waited as David walked away.
“Talk to you later, baby,” David said and continued to laugh as he got in his car.
“Are you okay?” Cooper asked and checked her neck. It was bright red with deep bruising emerging. “Do you want to file a complaint?”
She shook her head. “No, I want to go. Thank you for your help.” She turned and unlocked her car. Before she closed the door. “He didn’t mean it. He has never done anything like that before. Thank you again.”
Cooper stood there as she pulled away. One thing was for sure, that asshole was too smug and would definitely try to pull that stunt again. Cooper wrote his license plate number on his notepad and planned to make his team aware of the situation.
Preslie was feeling nervous standing outside as she knocked on her best friend's door. She lifted her hand to knock again when Vikki opened it. She knew when Vikki noticed her bruised neck. “What the fuck happened?” She grabbed Preslie's hand and pulled her inside. Before shutting the door Vikki looked around, then closed and locked it. “Um…what’s going on?”
“David. He was waiting by my car. He was talking nonsense about missing me and tried to kiss me. Then he tightened his hands around my neck.” She followed Vikki into the kitchen. “Somehow I was lucky tonight. A cop that arrived at the end of my shift to visit the Callahan guy showed up just in time.” Preslie reached for the wine in Vikki's outstretched hand. “I have no idea what’s going on. For six months nothing, he hasn't called or emailed me once. Now he shows up and wants to be with me while also strangling me.” She took a big gulp of her wine. “I wonder if he's been watching me for a while?” She shivered at the thought. “I have lived in Toronto for almost fifteen years. I love it here. I don’t know what to do.”
Vikki wanted to scream, but she knew that wouldn’t help. Her friend was scared, and she had every right to be. “Did you file a complaint or press charges with the cop?”
“He offered, but I declined. David was making weird accusations about how I like it rough. It would just end up being a he-said-she-said issue.”
“I understand where you’re coming from, but you should've filed some kind of complaint, sweetie," Vikki said and sat down in the chair next to Preslie. “Let me see your neck.” Preslie always wore a shirt under her scrub top, she pulled her collar to the side. “Fuck, Preslie. It bruised quickly and there are a few cuts we need to clean out. Do you own any turtlenecks? Or better yet, a dickie?” They both burst out laughing at the mention of a dickie.
“Who wears those things?” Presile shook her head in disgust. “You have a couple collared shirts and lots of cover up.” She placed her hand over Vikki’s. “I promise it will be okay. I may need a buddy to walk to my car, but otherwise I promise it’ll be okay.”
“Well, I plan to set the schedule so we always work together. You can stay here for awhile, I would love the company.” Preslie was shaking her head no, but Vikki put her palm up. “Nope, not up for discussion.”
“Fine. So now I have to be afraid for my life? This is bullshit.” She stood and headed over to the refrigerator. “Please tell me you have tons of wine? Tonight calls for a cheesy dinner with lots of vino.”
“Cheese, wine and me, you have a perfect night planned.” She wrapped her arms around Preslie's waist. “I promise we will figure this out.” Pulling her in for a big bear hug. “I love you, Pres.”
Preslie squeezed her best friend tight. “I love you to pieces, Viks.”
Across the street David sat in his car watching the door Preslie had just entered. She went over to her best friend’s house instead of going home. Smart woman.
* * *
A light delicate touch was placed on his arm. Then a featherweight brush across his face. At first Miles thought he was dreaming, then he opened his eyes. He looked up into midnight blue eyes and smiled. He made a small sound and the woman looked down. “Good morning, Mr. Callahan.” She continued to re-hook his I.V. bag and ensure the tubing was attached. “From the notes in your chart, it looks like you’re doing much better since the last time I saw you.”
Miles smiled. “Much.” He moved up and adjusted his body into a better sitting position. Looking at the dry erase board on the wall. “Preslie. We’ve met before?”
“Well, technically yes. Your first night here I was your charge nurse.” She gathered up the pieces of paper and little plastic wraps from the tubing. “I hear you are a fan of our banana cream pie. Would you like a slice?”
“For breakfast?” he asked and thought about how he was so ready to get out of this place. Angie would be here this morning with Gracie and Jack. He missed them.
“It’s 11:00 a.m., so technically it’s lunch time. Plus, you're an adult you can have dessert before your meal.” She walked over to the little waste basket to throw the trash out. Turning back toward him. “I think your doctor will be in soon. You may get to go home today. While we wait, I'll grab your lunch…and pie.”
She was wearing a white button down shirt under her scrub top. The collar was almost covering all her neck but there was about a half-inch exposed. A large purple spot caught his eye. “Are you okay?”
“Um…yeah, why?” she asked and grabbed the door handle.
“Sorry, that was rude of me to ask. I don’t even know you.” Rubbing the top of his head. “Maybe pie would be good.”
She knew her bruises were angry with a deep purple hue today. Miles may have noticed her neck. She placed her fingers on the collar of her shirt. "I will be back in a flash." It was hard to hide the wounds, cover up only went so far. When Preslie arrived back to work after a few days off, she was a little nervous to be around everyone. Vikki was amazing and let everyone on their floor aware of the situation. She had changed the schedule around, hired more security for their unit, and found a few co-workers that could car-pool with her. If David made an appearance, he would be in for a big surprise. There was a photo of him at the nurses’ desk and everyone had memorized his face.
“Pie is always the right answer, I'll make sure it’s on your tray. Is there anything else you need?” She was glad he dropped the subject. She was not in the mood to discuss her personal life with a patient.
Just then two light knocks were made on the door. Then two little heads peeked around the wood structure. There was a little girl who looked about five or six with long, wavy brown hair. The little boy who was shy and was three or four. Miles held out his arms. “Hey, come and give me a hug.”
Preslie smiled and excused herself. She walked around the frail woman that was his wife. “Let me know if you all need anything.” Then she headed back to the nurses’ desk.
“Boy have I missed you two.” He made a slight movement and flinched at the pain. “Sorry, Daddy still hurts.” He reached for Angie's hand. “Hi honey, I missed you, too.”
“Hi there, how are you feeling today?” Angie asked feeling uncomfortable in the hospital setting. “The nurse at the desk said you may get to go home today.”
Gracie and Jack jumped up and down and cheering. “The doctor will be in soon and hopefully will clear me to leave. I’m ready to be home.” He squeezed her hand. “You okay?”
Angie was always a skinny woman. She could eat her weight in food and still never gain a pound. Lately though, the numbers on the scale said differently. Her clothes were baggy and looked two sizes too big. She was ready to tell Miles she needed a divorce. Yet, the thought of telling him was eating her up inside. She put on that fake grin. “I’m fine. Why?”
“Nothing. I wanted to make sure you're feeling okay.” He pulled her hand closer and kissed each finger. “God, I miss you all.” He turned to Gracie. “Tell me how is school?” Then he poked her in the stomach and they both giggled.
Angie combed her hand through Gracie’s hair. “We’re good, I’m good. Just ready to have you back home with us.” She sighed. “The unusual schedule has thrown us all off. My appetite has been next to none.”
“Babe, you need to eat.”
“I know, I know.” Walking over to Gracie. “Hey sweetie, I’m going to run and grab some coffee. Tell Daddy how school’s going.” Angie turned and walked out of the room. Once she was in the hallway, she leaned up against the wall and rested her head back. This had to end soon, she needed to tell him.
* * *
“Well that can’t be good?” Vikki nudged Preslie and nodded toward where Angie stood. “I see tears and something else going on with her body lang...” She noticed Preslie had that look. “What?”
Preslie shook her head. “Girl, you need to stop living in your soap opera world.” She glanced at the wife and noticed she looked like something was wrong.
They both turned toward the Callahan room when a tall figure stepped in front of their view. Preslie cleared her throat. “Um, hi.”
“Well, it’s good to see you smiling. How are you? I thought I would stop by and check on you.” Cooper had let the team know of an issue brewing. They had the suspect’s license plate number and image in all their cars. If the victim did not want to press charges their hands were tied. “I see bruising that started, any injuries?”
“Yeah, a lot of bruising and several cuts.”
“Hi, I’m Vikki. You must be her knight in shining armor?” Vikki said and reached her hand forward. She nudged Preslie. “You didn’t elaborate on who helped you.”
“Nice to meet you, Vikki. I’m Andrew Cooper, most just call me Cooper.” He turned to Preslie. “I wanted to wait to talk to you. Do you have a moment?”
“Um, sure. We’re just waiting for the lunch trays to arrive.” She glanced over at Vikki giving her best friend a telepathic message. “What do you need to talk about?”
“Should we talk privately?”
Vikki waved her hand. “Nah, we all know and plan to kick David’s ass if he enters this building.” She stood and walked to the cabinet with his image tapped to the door. “We have the asshole’s picture tapped on several of the cabinet doors. I even hired more security. Plus, I’m making sure my girl’s safe.” She walked over and wrapped her arm around Preslie's shoulders.
“Well, I guess I don’t need to worry about your safety?" He teased and leaned on the counter. "I still wanted to give you an opportunity to file a formal complaint.”
“She will, right?” Vikki said and then looked at Preslie for confirmation.
“Viks, I can’t. It’s a matter of he-said-she-said and no one was around when it happened. Well, officer Cooper showed up at the end...but still. David would twist and turn the story. Something he’s always been good at. I’m sorry officer Cooper, I appreciate you taking the time to come down here.”
“Can I at least put something in your record? That way we have a starting point. He’ll have no idea you filed any kind of complaint.”
“Yes, please put something in her file. We need to make sure this never happens again.” She put her hand up to stop Preslie from talking, “Nope, you need to have something in writing. Look at your neck. Holy shit, Preslie. We are just trying to protect you.”
Preslie was scared, she had been from the moment it happened. Vikki was making the situation easier. “Okay, fine.” She put her hands up in surrender. She hoped nothing else would happen. When she was dating David, he seemed fine in the beginning, then he turned controlling. Thankfully they never had a physical argument. Although, there was a time in the end of the relationship where it was escalating to a physical argument. Somehow the Gods were on her side at that moment and she calmed him down. Then a few days later she broke it off because she couldn't take it anymore. He was pissed but never contacted her until six months later. All she could think about was, what changed? Why six months later? She had always questioned if David had a drug problem. He never showed signs of being high. The night he was almost physical with her, he showed a slight change in his demeanor. Either way, she was scared. Having Vikki was her saving grace. Her friend would go through hell or high water with her and she would do the same. Cooper tapped the counter once with the palm of his hand. “Okay, I'll put the incident in your file. I think it’s for the best.” He looked over toward Miles’ room. “How’s my partner doing today?”
“He’s doing much better. His family is visiting right now.”
“That’s great.” He turned to head to the Callahan room. “You made the right decision. I hope you’re right and he doesn’t bother you again.” He nodded and headed to room 325.
“Boy does that man have a perfect set of buns.” Vikki sighed and rested her head in her hand.
Preslie burst out laughing but covered her mouth to mask the noise. “Only you would say that.” She reached over and hugged her friend. “Thanks.”
“For what, protecting my girl? That’s my job.” Vikki tightened her hold on Preslie. “No, admit it, that man has a fine ass.”
Preslie shook her head and kissed Vikki on the cheek. "I need to deliver lunch." The trays were being brought in and she needed to grab a banana cream pie.
* * *
As Dr. Kymanski walked away from the nurses’ station, Preslie stood to head to Mr. Callahan’s room. The doctor had put Miles on bed rest for another week; then he needed to start physical therapy immediately after. His leg was a concern since the bullet had lodged in the bone. Plus, he needed to build up his abdominal strength after the injury he sustained from the gunshot wound. She had the release papers for him to sign as she entered his room. His two little kids were sitting on the end of the bed. Angie, his wife was looking solemn and sitting in a chair beside the bed. Miles had a smile on his face as he watched his kids draw pictures. “Well, good news, you can go home today.” The kids looked up and cheered! “I need to go over your paperwork, then we can get you all set to go.” She walked over to the other side of the bed. “Dr. Kymanski wants you on one more week of bed rest.”
As Preslie was going over the papers, Angie was screaming inside. She had one more week before she could say anything to Miles. She knew this next week would require help, maybe from chocolate and wine.
When Preslie finished, she handed the papers to Miles to sign. “Thanks for everything," Miles said and handed the pen back. "You all have been great. Do you know if PT is here in the hospital?”
“I’m glad we could make you comfortable during your stay. Yes, PT is downstairs close to the main entrance.” She touched his shoulder. “I will get an assistant to take you to your car. Mrs. Callahan, you can bring your car around to the front entrance.”
Angie nodded. “Sounds good. Should I go now?”
Preslie shook her head. “No, give us about an hour. We need to unhook his monitors and I.V.” She smiled and turned to head out. “I’ll send someone in to help you get dressed, Mr. Callahan. Plus, lunch just arrived if you want something to eat while you wait.”
“Okay, sounds good,” he said. “Finally, I can get out of this place.” He looked at Gracie and Jack. “Are you both going to keep me entertained while I’m on bed rest?”
Jack raised his hand high. “Yes me, Daddy.”
Gracie shook her head. “Yes, we can color and play games.”
Miles laughed. “That sounds like a perfect plan.”
They had arrived back at home about an hour ago, Angie was in the kitchen pouring herself a glass of wine. Miles had a brace from the top of his leg all the way down and only needed to use one crutch. The injury to his abdomen was still tender, so he carefully made his way to the kitchen. When he reached the doorway, he froze. Angie was standing at the kitchen island with a wine glass in her hand and tears flowing down her cheeks. “Angie, baby, what’s wrong?”
She wiped away her tears. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to see me like this.”
Miles made his way to the kitchen island. “Like what? I don’t understand? You know I’m okay, so why the tears?”
“It’s just been a long week.” She took a sip of her wine. “Should you be up and walking?”
Right as Miles went to say something there was a knock at the back door and his band mates all piled in one by one. Seth was the drummer of their band Torn Pieces, Julian was the bass guitarist, Ricky was the lead guitarist, and Frankie played on keyboards. Miles was the lead singer and could also play the guitar and piano. They had been together for over twenty years and mostly played at clubs and sometimes opened for smaller bands when they were in Toronto. Miles had decided a long time ago that being a cop was his number one goal. His father and grandfather were both cops, but it was nice to take your mind away from the intensity and just sing.
“Hey guys.” He looked over at Angie and had an apologetic look on his face.
She shook her head, grabbed her wine glass and headed out of the room. “How's it going?” He knew something was wrong with Angie but now was not the time to talk about it.
“How are we doing?" Ricky said laughing. "It’s more like, how the hell are you?”
Miles walked over to the table and pulled out a chair. “I think okay. I’m still not sure what happened, Cooper hasn’t filled me in yet.” He shook his head. “I need to go see Eddy’s family. I’m pissed I missed his funeral.” Eddy had been a part of the team for over ten years. They had worked closely together. Their families were close. Eddy’s niece Kylie babysit Gracie and Jack. Miles didn't know how to process the last several days. One thing was for sure, he planned to catch the son-of-a-bitch who killed his partner.
After about thirty minutes. “Listen guys, I think I better go talk to Angie." He turned to Ricky. "Did you cancel the shows for the next few weeks?”
“Yup, all taken care of.” Ricky walked forward and placed his hand on Miles' shoulder. “We'll stop back by later this week.”
Miles lived in a one-story home, thank fuck. If they had a two-story home, he had no clue how he would get around with the damn crutch. He made his way to their bedroom at the end of the hall and found Angie sitting with her back against the head board. She looked lost and was still crying. He sat down beside her. “Baby, I’m worried about you.
She sat her wine on the end table next to the bed. “Miles, we need to talk.”
The “we need to talk” line was never a good sign. “Um, okay.” He placed a hand on her thigh. “What is it?”
She moved away from his touch, needing the space and took in a deep breath, “We have been together for ten years now. I can still see the day you asked me to marry you. It was the best day of my life.”
“It was the best day for me, too,” he said feeling confused.
“I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I married a cop, but I think I was lying to myself. Every time you leave the house I worry what will happen. Will this be the day he gets shot?” She sat up and placed her hand on his leg. “For ten years you never got hurt and I’m thankful for that. When I got the call from Cooper, it was like a dam broke. I realized at that moment I couldn't do this anymore.”
Miles was feeling light headed. Could this be happening? He gets shot, loses his partner, and now getting divorced possibly. What next? He tried not to think about a what next. “Let me get this straight.” He stood up needing some distance. “You married me ten years ago and seemed happy. We had two kids together. Again, you seemed happy about the kids and our life.” He noticed he was yelling, so he took in a deep breath and let it out. “Yet, you were never happy.” He knew yelling would not help and the kids were right down the hall. “Help me understand, Angie?”
“I know this doesn’t seem fair or make any sense. Hell, I’m trying to process it myself. I try every day to be the best wife and mother. I love you and I always will, but I can’t live like this anymore. The stress is affecting my health.” She stood and moved closer to Miles but he stepped back. “When I went for my physical the other day, the doctor said I have the beginning stages of depression. When you got shot and we lost Eddy that was my breaking point.” She sat back down on the bed and put her hands over her face.
Miles had no emotion for his wife, no desire to console her at the moment. His wife of ten years just told him she was never happy. How was that even possible? He saw her face every morning. Made love with her most evenings. They would play games with the kids and she would laugh. Her smile would give him the strength to go deal with the craziness of his job. What the fuck was happening? “When I asked you to marry me, I also said you were marrying the cop life. You said you were okay with that as long as I was there. Now, today, you tell me that was never how you felt? You were scared the moment we got married? Why did you marry me? Why did we have two kids together? Why wait ten years to tell me all this bullshit?” His voice went up a few octaves. “Angie, what the fuck?”
“Please, don’t raise your voice, you will scare the kids. I thought the feeling would go away. I thought feeling scared was just part of the marriage process. Hell, I was giving up my freedom. I had lived on my own for so long.”
“Bullshit. Angie, be honest, did you ever want to marry me? Were we living a lie all this time? Because here’s the thing, I love you with every fiber of my being. I love our kids. This life we created, it’s been fucking fantastic for me. So, imagine what I must feel right now hearing your bullshit, and please try to understand why I feel betrayed and fucking furious right now.” He headed for the door. If only he could walk faster, goddamn brace on his leg.
Angie ran over to him and grabbed a hold of his arm. “Miles please, I tried.”
Miles moved her hands off his arm. “You didn’t try hard enough.” He walked out the door, but stopped with his back facing her. “I love you. I’m sorry that was never enough.”
* * *
Miles headed to the kitchen to grab his phone to call Ricky. “Hey man, can I stay at your place for a few nights?”
“Um, sure. I'll be right over to grab you.” When Ricky arrived a few minutes later, Miles was sitting on the porch. He walked up the couple steps. “Everything okay?”
“Not here," he said and stood up. "Will you help me get down these damn steps?” He grabbed a hold of Ricky around the waist, “I need to get out of here.”
“Should we let Angie know you're leaving?” Ricky asked taking each step down slowly.
Miles was silent for a few beats. “Have you ever wondered why people can’t be honest? Or are the marriages you see real? I mean, when we look at a couple they look happy on the outside, but are they really happy?”
As Miles was getting in the car, the front door opened and Gracie ran out. “Daddy, where are you going?”
“Hi baby girl, your uncle Ricky and I were just going out. I’ll be back later, okay?”
She ran up to him and hugged him around his waist. His injury on his abdomen was still tender, but he didn’t react to the pain that shot through his chest. He bent down and hugged her back. She smiled. “I love you, Daddy.”
He wanted to punch something, anything. His little girl's beautiful smile made this whole situation harder to deal with. He brushed a few strands of hair away from her face. “I love you, too, sweet angel. Now head back inside before your Mom gets worried about where you went.” He patted her behind and she scooted off toward the door giggling. He slid into the passenger seat. “Think the guys would be up for a practice session? I need to blow off steam.”
“They all went their separate ways earlier, but let’s see what they’re doing.” He pulled out his phone and sent a group text. “Studio? Fifteen minutes?” They all replied about the same time. “Yes.”
Miles didn't say anything for most of the car ride. When they were almost to the studio, he blurted out. “Angie wants a divorce.”
“What? You’re kidding, right?” Ricky swerved to the right.
“Easy there. I wish I was kidding. She said my injury was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I guess she has always felt scared about my job. Living with a cop was too much for her to handle. She said she hoped the feelings would subside but instead they got worse. What the fuck, Ricky?”
Ricky pulled into the studio driveway. Seth was standing outside smoking a cigarette. He threw it to the ground to step on it and go help Miles out of the car. “We thought you would want lady time?”
“No, no lady time tonight. Singing sounds like more fun.”
Seth looked confused, so Ricky spoke-up. “Hey guys, how about we head inside?” He patted Seth on the back. “Let’s chat about the music tonight.”
* * *
Preslie was sitting at her computer entering patient notes. She placed her hands on her belly as her stomach continued to rumble. “I guess it’s lunch time. You hungry?” She was tiring of always having a chaperone but her ex could still be lurking. “Want to just eat here today? I have tons of notes to enter.”
The young nurse in her mid-twenties nodded. “I have been craving a big salad. Let’s go make a dent in their salad bar,” Ella said.
Preslie worked with Ella or Vikki for every one of her shifts. “Who needs green leafy stuff when you can have a big burrito.” They both were laughing as they headed to the cafeteria. Ella didn’t live far from Vikki, so they would car pool to work. Preslie was still living with Vikki for the time being. As they made their way down the long hallway. “You want to hang with Viks and I tonight? It's wine and movie night.”
“Isn't it always wine and movie night at Vikki's house?" Ella teased. "I need to take a rain check though. I have a date with the new guy.”
“Things are going well then, eh?” Preslie asked not paying attention to who was around them. For some weird reason she felt before she saw him. The guy with the gunshot wounds who was brought in a few weeks ago. What was his name? Calla something? She looked over and noticed he was ambling with one crutch. He glanced her way and caught her staring right at him.
Miles had only stayed with Ricky for one night and then decided it was his home, too. Angie stayed in their bedroom and he crashed in the spare room. The kids were confused, but they both tried to act like everything was normal. He had PT three times a week at the hospital. It had been three weeks since the shooting. His abdomen felt better. Physical therapy was helping but slow poke was still his nickname for now. As he made his way toward the entrance, he caught a whiff of lavender and citrus and turned to see where the mystery person was standing. It was the nurse with midnight blue eyes. What was her name?
“Hi, Mr. Callahan." His name popped in her head. "It’s good to see you up and about. Are you feeling better?”
“Um...” He looked down at her tag. “Preslie. Doing great. Just heading home after a grueling round at PT.”
Ella placed her hand on Preslie's shoulder. “Hey Pres, I will go on ahead and grab us a seat.” She then smiled at Miles and excused herself.
Preslie didn’t feel comfortable being left alone with a man, but this man was different, he had a leg injury. After the incident in the parking garage, men were not high on her must-have list these days. “I’m glad to see you’re feeling better.” She didn’t know him, so she didn’t know what else to say. "Well, it was good to see you. I better go find, Ella.”
“Yeah, I need to get home. All My Children starts soon,” he teased. They said goodbye and turned in opposite directions. Miles stopped. “Preslie?” This was crazy, what was he thinking. His mouth was talking before his mind could stop him. “My band plays at the Flying Monkey Bar next Friday, we start at 9:00 p.m. You should come watch the show and bring your friend. I can leave two tickets in the will-call.”
“Um, sure. I'll have to see what my schedule is next Friday. Thank you for the invite.” She nodded and continued making her way toward the cafeteria. She had to hold in her grin. The image of Miles a cop in a band was sexy as hell.
* * *
“Who the hell was she talking to? She better wipe that smile off her face or I will do it for her.” David was standing off in the distance, watching Preslie talk to some guy. She was supposed to be with him. He waited for six long months but she never contacted him. So, he had to take matters into his own hands. When he meet her by her car, he was only going to scare her. Then it felt good to hold his hands around her neck and just squeeze. Fucking cop that showed up. If he would’ve been a few minutes later, she would not be an issue anymore. She deserved what she got, leaving him was unacceptable. They were supposed to get married and have kids together.
Now he knew where she would be next Friday evening. Perfect. He needed to plan things out, approach her at just the right moment when the crowd was focused only on the band. Then no one will hear her scream. She knew way too much, it was time to end this and now.