“After we transferred Annie to Madison, I needed a moment alone, so I went outside and stood beneath the overhang just outside the ambulance doors. I guess I must have been out there longer than I thought, because when I came back in, the trauma bay was already clean, and everyone was gone. I was about to head back to my team of patients when Kurt came in.”
“Did you see him outside?” Deputy Thomas asked.
“No, but I probably wasn’t paying attention. I will admit I thought he was the one who drove into his wife, but I never expected that he’d come looking for me armed with a gun.”
Gabe couldn’t bear the fear underlying her tone, and he gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.
“Then what happened?”
“I tried to talk him into putting the gun down, but he just kept coming closer and closer. I didn’t have a way to call for help, but then the door leading from the arena opened, and I saw Gabe standing there.”
“And you went inside?” Deputy Thomas asked, a deep frown furrowing his brow. “You’re lucky he didn’t kill you.”
“I couldn’t just stand there while he took a shot at her,” Gabe said. “Besides, I figured I could get him to talk. I needed to try and stall long enough for you and your guys to get there.”
Deputy Thomas didn’t look happy, but he spared Gabe a lecture, asking a few more questions before he closed his notebook. “I appreciate your time. Thanks.”
“That’s all you need?” Larissa brightened. “We can go home?”
“Yes, you’re free to go home.”
Deputy Thomas walked away, and Gabe glanced at Larissa. “How about I drive you home?” he suggested. “We’ll pick up your car later.”
“I’d rather just drive my car home now, if you don’t mind.” Larissa tucked her hair behind her ear and avoided his direct gaze. “But thanks again, Gabe. For everything.”
He didn’t want to let her go, but he couldn’t very well force her to allow him to stay, either. He frowned as she walked to the parking lot alone.
Why was she was pushing him away?
Maybe after everything that had happened, she needed some time alone. So he’d give her a few hours to sleep and to recharge.
Then he was going to make his feelings known by asking her out on a proper date. And he could only hope and pray she wouldn’t say no.
Larissa dragged herself out of bed after five hours of sleep, determined to get back on a regular schedule since she had day shifts scheduled after her day off. Her ankle was a little sore, so running was out of the question.
A boat ride would have been great, but she quickly veered away from thoughts of Gabe. She was still struggling with everything that had happened with Kurt. The way he’d accused and threatened her brought back terrible memories of life with George.
She hadn’t told anyone about the abuse her mother had suffered. Larissa hadn’t mentioned the time George had broken her arm, either, since that one injury had been nothing compared to everything George had put her mother through.
She’d prayed for the strength to forgive George, but seeing Kurt in the trauma bay made her realize she really hadn’t forgiven George. Or Kurt. Or Rolland, who hadn’t hurt her physically but who’d tried to control her just the same.
And she needed to forgive all of them.
Or she’d never be able to move on from her past.
When her buzzer went off, she dragged herself over to the intercom. “Yes?”
“Larissa? It’s Gabe. Can I come up?”
She hesitated but then acquiesced. “Sure.”
The apartment wasn’t too messy, and she smoothed her hair back, wishing she’d put on a touch of make-up. When Gabe knocked at her door, she took a deep breath and opened it.
“Hi.” Did he look nervous or was she just imagining it? “I wasn’t sure if you’d be up yet.”
“I like to try and get back on a day schedule if I can.” She closed the door and followed him into the living room. “Can I get you a soft drink?”
“No, thanks.” Yep, he definitely looked nervous. “Larissa, would you go out to dinner with me tonight?”