“You’re sure she’s okay?” Dean asked. Demanded really. And the young doctor quivered in her shoes. He should ease up on her but seeing Tayla lying unconscious in his arms, blood trickling from her nose, her whole body contorting in pain even as she passed out had shaken him.
Seeing Tayla like that had stirred hidden feelings.
Feelings he’d thought he’d buried deep enough to be gone forever.
“She’s okay,” the doctor assured him.
“When will she wake up?”
“She’s awake now,” Tayla’s weak voice floated from the bed behind them.
Dean whirled around and stalked over to her, she’d just about given him a heart attack, collapsing like that, and terrified as he was he didn’t know what to do with those feelings so he fell back on terse.
“You feeling okay?” he demanded.
Tayla shrunk back into the mattress. “Are you going to take me back to jail?”
He sighed and scrubbed his hands over his tired face. He had to calm down, he was scaring her and that was the last thing he should be doing, when she learned what he and his partner suspected was really going on she was going to have plenty to be afraid about. “No, we’re not taking you back to jail.”
She relaxed a little but her face was still drawn and tense, and the tight lines around her mouth said she was still in pain. “What’s going on? What happened to me?”
“Can you give us a minute,” he said to the doctor who hurried out of the room. Pulling over a chair to Tayla’s bedside he sat and prepared himself to explain. He hated the fear in Tayla’s gorgeous eyes, hated that he was partially responsible for putting it there.
“Dean?” she prompted when he didn’t speak.
“Mara Mason wasn’t the first of your patients to be murdered. She was the fourth. There were three deaths that had been deemed suicides, we didn’t put it together until Mara. All four of them had reported being ill the day of their deaths, we think that whoever killed them poisoned them then when they were weakened he killed them. He must have gotten frustrated that we hadn’t noticed the deaths so he stopped making it look like suicide and stabbed Mara.”
“D-do you think I k-killed them?” Tayla stammered.
“No, I don’t think that you killed them, I think …” he trailed off, not wanting to verbalise his theory because it felt like once he did it would become real.
Tayla gasped, her honey coloured eyes growing wide. “You think that its me he’s really after? If you hadn’t taken me down to the station I would have gone home alone and he would have gotten me too.”
As much as he wanted to allay her fears and deny her theory he couldn’t.
Because that was exactly what he believed.