“You can be sure I’ll wait for him,” Deputy Armbruster muttered. “Although, frankly, it’s a waste of time patching him up since he’ll be spending the rest of his life in jail.”
She didn’t have an answer for that and was ashamed to admit she’d had the same thought earlier. But the source of the injuries didn’t matter; as health care professionals, they were obligated to save lives to the best of their ability. Even Kurt’s. “There’s a coffee machine over there. Help yourself,” she murmured.
“Thanks. I’ll have to take your statement later, okay?”
“I’ll hang around after my shift is over,” she promised.
“Tell the doc I’ll need to talk to him, too.”
She nodded to indicate she’d pass the message. “Take care.” She turned and made her way back to the ER. She felt bad that Julie and Debra had been covering her patients all this time. But when she glanced up at the clock, she stared for a moment, unable to believe that only an hour had passed since Kurt had trapped her in the trauma bay.
The rest of her shift passed by in a blur. After she gave report to the oncoming nurse, she headed outside, surprised to see the bright sun. The rain from the night before had passed, giving way to a new day.
As much as she wanted to go home, she knew the police still wanted to talk to her and to Gabe.
Just then, Gabe joined her outside. Wordlessly, he crossed over and pulled her into his embrace. She leaned against him, relieved and glad to be alive.
“I’ve never been so afraid in my whole life,” he murmured in her ear. “I’m thankful you weren’t hurt.”
“Me, too,” she said, her voice muffled by his shirt. “I mean, I was terrified he was going to shoot you.”
“Deputy Thomas saved the day.”
She couldn’t argue that one.
The parking lot began filling with cars, members of the hospital leadership team and the public relations department arriving to take charge of the situation. As they streamed past, she felt distinctly self-conscious and tried to pull away, knowing Gabe wouldn’t want to be seen hugging her like this in public.
But he refused to let her go. His arms tightened around her, and when she glanced up at him questioningly, he simply smiled, lowered his head, and kissed her in full view of anyone who cared to watch.
And she reveled in the sweetness of his kiss.
Gabe barely noticed the various pairs of eyes boring into him as he kissed Larissa. Only when he needed to breathe did he break away and lower his forehead to rest on hers. His pulse thundered in his ear, and he realized he didn’t want to let her go.
“I prayed for your safety,” he confessed in a low voice. “And God answered my prayers.”
“Me, too,” she admitted. “I prayed for us and for Annie.”
“At least Annie is safe from Kurt now,” he said. “Kurt will be stuck behind bars for a long time.”
“I know.” Larissa ducked her head and leaned back as if trying to put more distance between them. “Gabe, we’re attracting too much attention.”
“I don’t care.” And he was surprised to realize he truly didn’t care. Larissa wasn’t Rebecca, and no matter what happened, he knew Larissa would never spread lies about him. It was ridiculous it took him this long to realize that. Or maybe he was just hiding behind the idea because it was a good excuse. “I care about you, and I don’t mind if the whole world knows it.”
Her green eyes widened in surprise. “But Gabe, you never date any of the ER nurses. Ever.”
He couldn’t help but smile. “Until you.”
She looked flabbergasted by his response, but Deputy Thomas interrupted them. “Dr. Allen? Larissa? Do you have time to give your statements?”
“Of course,” Larissa said.
He didn’t want to let her go but had to be content with holding her hand. “Could we sit down somewhere? It was a long night, and I’m sure Larissa is exhausted.”
“No problem. Let’s head over to the patio outside the dining room.”
Once they were seated at the picnic table, Deputy Thomas took out his notebook and pen. “Larissa, why don’t you start at the beginning?”