“I was trying to help Annie,” Larissa said with a note of defiance. “You’re the one who keeps hurting her, not me.”
Gabe silently urged Larissa to be quiet. There was no sense in making the guy mad.
“What do you want, Kurt?” Gabe asked, desperate to get the man’s attention focused back on him instead of on Larissa. “I can’t help you if I don’t know what you want.”
“I want you to get out of here,” Kurt shouted. “If you don’t, I’ll start shooting!”
Gabe glanced helplessly at Larissa, trying to think of a way to stall. Kurt might be drunk, but considering his hunting background he didn’t dare bank on the fact that Kurt might not hit his target. Especially considering Larissa was in close range.
Where were the sheriff’s deputies? Shouldn’t they have been here by now? What was taking them so long?
“Now!” Kurt said, firing the gun for emphasis, the sound echoing through the trauma bay.
“Get down,” Gabe shouted to Larissa as he dropped to the floor. He rolled and then came up in a small crouch, ready for the next gunshot.
Larissa must have sensed what was about to happen, because when he glanced over, she was hunkered down in the corner of the room holding the small metal bedside table turned sideways so that the tray protected her chest. He didn’t see any blood, so he hoped and prayed that meant she wasn’t hit. Thankfully, she had some cover.
“Kurtis Hinkle! Drop your gun and come out with your hands up!”
Kurt spun around toward the doors leading in from the ambulance bay, where the sheriff’s deputies were located. Gabe took advantage of Kurt’s momentary distraction to dive toward Larissa. She clutched at him, and he held her tight for a fraction of a second before he shoved her behind him.
“Stay down,” he whispered. A bullet could still go through him to get to her, so he used the metal bedside table as a shield while hoping for the best. He took heart in the fact that he could see a deputy standing just outside the door he’d come through earlier.
The cops had Kurt and the trauma bay surrounded. But the danger was far from over.
“Go away or I’ll kill them both!” Kurt shouted.
“What do you want, Kurt?” one of the deputies shouted. “Do you want to see Annie?”
“Annie’s dead!” Kurt screamed, his face mottled with anger.
“Annie’s not dead,” Gabe said and hoped he wasn’t lying. “She’s at a hospital in Madison. The deputies can arrange for you to see her.”
Gabe probably was lying since he doubted the deputies would take him anywhere near Annie. It was clear they believed Kurt was the one who’d run Annie down. But they needed to get Kurt to surrender his gun before anyone got hurt.
“Do you want to see your son, Tommy?” the deputy asked from outside the ambulance bay doors.
“Leave my son out of this!” Kurt grew even more agitated, pacing back and forth in front of the ambulance bay doors. “Stay away from him, do you hear me?”
Gabe realized that Tommy was a lever they could use, and hopefully the deputies knew that, too. Because right now there wasn’t much between him and Larissa and the madman with a gun.
And Kurt could easily shoot them both before the deputies would have a chance to stop him.
Larissa had prayed almost non-stop since Kurt had cornered her in the trauma bay. And the fact that Gabe was here, too, made her feel even worse.
She didn’t doubt for a minute that Kurt had been driving the car that slammed into his wife. Annie had clearly been trying to get away from him. Hadn’t Kurt admitted that much already?
This was her fault, Kurt was right about that. She should have spent more time with Annie the night she’d come in for her broken wrist. She should have convinced Annie to get away from Kurt right then and there. She could have taken Annie to a safe house, at least for the night.
But she hadn’t. And now she and Gabe were both in danger. Trapped in a corner where Kurt could easily kill them. The fact that Kurt hadn’t shot either of them yet was nothing short of a miracle. Maybe his being intoxicated was actually working in their favor. He didn’t seem to be thinking too clearly.