Week 143 – Finally, ever after

It was hard to believe that only hours had passed since he had last been pacing up and down a hospital corridor waiting to be allowed to see Lacey.

After killing her ex-husband, Connor had had to take out another four men before he was finally able to call for an ambulance, and by then Lacey had been unconscious, her skin had been burning up, and the gunshot wound on her leg enflamed and clearly infected.

He had never been so afraid in his life.

A crazed, obsessive madman he could stare down without blinking, guns and knives didn’t faze him, his own life hanging in the balance was nothing, but the fear of losing Lacey brought him to his knees in a kind of cold, vicelike grip that threatened to tear him to shreds. She was special, the kind of special that you built a lifetime on, and he wanted a chance to see if there could be something between them that could make them both happier than they could contemplate.

Finally, ever after seemed like something he didn’t have to dread because he might actually get a happy ending. He was tired of his brother and his friends all getting married, living out their dreams, while he went home alone to a cold bed each night.

Now it was his turn.

“Detective Zaal?”

He stopped pacing to face the pretty woman standing before him. The doctor didn’t look stressed, or concerned, so he let himself relax. “Yes. Can I go and see Lacey now?”

“She’s resting, we’re giving her antibiotics via IV and she’s probably going to need to spend a few days here,” the doctor explained.

“But she’s going to be okay?” As far as he was concerned that was all that mattered, the doctors could do whatever they needed to do make sure that happened.

“She’s going to be okay,” the woman nodded.

He might have mumbled a thank you as he took off for her room, he wasn’t really sure, he just knew that he needed to see her. Half his brain expected to find her bed empty, like it had been last time, but when he opened the door to her room he found her there. She was lying on the bed, her skin as pasty pale as the sheets, her eyelashes fanned out on her cheeks, her blonde hair framing her face. Even unconscious in a hospital bed she was stunning.

Careful not to disturb her, Connor pulled the room’s one chair over to the bed and carefully picked up her hand.

At his touch her eyelashes fluttered, and he whispered, “Sleep, Lace, you’re safe now.”

Instead of drifting back to sleep, Lacey’s blue eyes blinked heavily open. “Connor,” she murmured with a smile when she saw him sitting beside her. “Was it a dream? Is TJ dead?”

“It wasn’t a dream,” he assured her running his fingers through her long, blonde locks. “You’re really safe now, he can never hurt you again.”

“Thank you,” she said, her eyes tearing up. “You saved my life more times than I can count.”

“It was nothing,” he said, waving off her gratitude.

“It wasn’t,” she said firmly. A frown creased her brow and she lifted her free hand to touch one of the cuts on his face. “You’re hurt.”

“I’m fine,” he promised, while she’d been whisked off as soon as they’d arrived in the ER he had reluctantly allowed a doctor to take a look at his wounds, he was battered and bruised but perfectly fine. “Lacey,” he began.

“Yes,” she said immediately.

“You don’t even know what I was going to ask.”

“You were going to ask me out and the answer is yes,” she smiled, before her eyes drooped closed. “Stay, please.”

“Wouldn’t dream of going anywhere.” Connor still held her hand, and as she drifted back off to sleep, he tilted his head back, resting it against the back of the chair, and closed his own eyes. His happily ever after was sleeping beside him, and with a smile on his face he joined her in slumberland.

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