Disclaimers: See Chapter
One of Storm Surge for all the legal yada, yada.
Alex could feel a hand lightly slapping her face and struggled to comprehend what was happening. The last thing she remembered was Seth Thomas's face as he stared at her, lifting the gun towards the windshield. Opening her eyes, she tried to focus on Donald's face.
It's over Alex. Donald smiled when he saw Alex's eyes open. Although she was still dazed, he knew she would be okay. Sit still, the paramedics are on their way.
Alex blinked several times before she realized Donald was talking to her. She reached up to rub her head. What happened?
Don't worry about that now. I think you have a minor concussion. Donald winced as Alex frowned when he placed his handkerchief against her forehead. I'm sorry, kid. Just try to relax, you have a laceration on your head.
Alex closed her eyes, feeling tired. Donald, Donald will take care of everything.
Catherine was making dinner. She knew Donald would be late but wanted to have something to eat when he got home just in case. She was quietly thinking about the barbecue planned for the next night when she heard her name frantically called from the other room. Dropping the spoon, she hurried into the den just in time to see a stretcher being pushed into a waiting ambulance and Donald crawling in behind it.
Oh my God, what happened? Catherine reached for the remote, turning the volume up.
It's Alex. Catherine, we have to go, she's hurt.
Trying to think, Catherine held up her hand. Hold on. I'm sure Donald has his cell phone with him. Let me try to reach him first. Catherine rushed to the kitchen, pulled the phone off the base, and dialed the number as she returned to the den. Donald? What is going on? We just saw the scene on television. Catherine could hear the siren as the ambulance sped to the hospital. Trying to stay calm, Catherine sat down on the sofa.
Donald looked at Alex's still form beside him. I think everything is okay. Seth Thomas tried to escape and Alex stopped. I don't think it's anything serious, just a mild concussion.
We'll meet you at the hospital. Catherine was already searching for her keys, when Donald's voice stopped her.
NO! You two stay there. Everything is under control. Alex is going to be fine. We still have some loose ends to tie up
you stay there for now, you hear me.
Catherine sighed, Okay, we'll stay, but you call us the minute you know anything
.alright? I love you
Their eyes met, and Catherine could see the terror. She's going to be alright. They think it's just a mild concussion. Catherine filled her in on what Donald had relayed to her. Catherine walked to the kitchen giving herself a little time to recover and started a pot of fresh coffee. It was going to be a long night ahead, she was sure of that.
Donald sat in the ER waiting room for word on Alex's condition. He made several calls as he sat. Robert had taken Alicia to a safe house, and she was now secure. Seth Thomas had been officially pronounced dead. Donald smirked as the thought crossed his mind. There had been ten officers at the scene, and each one had gotten at least one round off before Seth had a chance to take a second shot. Donald had known instantly that Seth Thomas was dead, but legal technicalities and medical science required a licensed physician to make the official pronouncement.
Thinking back over the last few hours, Donald was sure Seth had planned never being incarcerated. To die at the hands of his former comrades was better than living a life of fear and degradation behind bars. The only thing Donald regretted about the outcome was that they would never really know just how deeply Seth was entrenched in the Hernandez Organization, or how much he knew about Sarantos.
He looked up as the doctor approached him. Agent Fairfax, I'm Dr. McLeod. Agent Montgomery is going to be fine. She is one lucky woman. The bullet only grazed her head, and she has a concussion from hitting the steering wheel. She'll have a headache for a while, but other than that, she'll be fine.
Donald released a relieved sigh. Great. Can I see her?
Smiling, the doctor turned and began walking towards the doors leading to the treatment rooms. Sure, come on, I'll take you. I want to watch her for another hour, then if everything is okay, you can take her home.
Donald stopped as he entered the room, taking a minute to look at Alex. She was lying on the stretcher, her eyes closed, and Donald could see the fatigue clearly etched across her face. Walking to her side, he gently took Alex's hand in his. Hey there.
Alex cracked one eye and squinted up at Donald. Hey.
With a teasing smile, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. I can't seem to keep you out of hospitals. How're you feeling.?
Reaching up, Alex touched the bandage on her head. I have a horrendous headache. When can I get out of here?
Soon. The doctor wants to watch you for a while, then I'll take you home. Squeezing Alex's hand he stood up. Get some rest. I'm going to make a few phone calls, then I'll be back to break you out of here, alright?
K. Closing her eyes against the glaring lights, Alex drifted back to sleep before Donald released her hand.
Standing there, he watched as Alex's breathing took on the cadence of sleep. Leaning and kissing her cheek, he whispered in her ear, This will all be over soon, I promise.
Heading to the cafeteria, Donald pulled the phone from his pocket as he walked the long deserted hallway, punching in the numbers for home. Hey sweetie just wanted to give you an update. Alex is fine. She has a mild concussion and a laceration on her forehead, nothing serious. The doctor said I could take her home in an hour or so
Catherine winked at the frantically impatient eyes staring back at her from the sofa. That's great Donald.
I'm going to take her home and stay the rest of the night. She's still a bit confused, and I don't think she needs to be alone.
Catherine smiled into the phone, You stay with her. She needs you right now. Walking into the kitchen for a refill on her coffee and to gain a little privacy, Catherine dropped her voice, I miss you.
Donald smiled as he heard the deep growl in his wife's voice. I miss you too
and, I intend to show you how much, tomorrow night, when I finally get you alone again.
Catherine couldn't contain the grin that spread across her face and it flowed over into her voice. Umm, yeah, me too. So I guess the barbecue is still on for tomorrow?
Donald watched as the vending machine filled a paper cup with hot coffee. Absolutely. I'll call you in the morning, but plan on being there around noon. He lifted the plastic door and retrieved the small cup. Bring me some fresh clothes, too. I desperately need a shower and a change.
They said their goodbyes and Catherine walked back into the den. You ready for tomorrow?
Yes. More than ready.
Smiling, Catherine took the soft hand between her own as she spoke, Then I suggest you go get some sleep. Looks like your going to have a long day tomorrow.
Thank you Catherine. I couldn't have made it through this without you and Donald. I
You're welcome. Now hit the sack.
Catherine sat in the darkened den and replayed the last few weeks over in her mind. Alex had been devastated when she had been told of Conner's death. The recently returned light in her eyes had faded into darkness, empty chasms of grief. She didn't know what the next few days or weeks would bring, but she knew without Conner, a little part of Alex would forever be lost.
Catherine rinsed out her cup and headed to the bedroom. Slipping between the cool sheets alone made her miss Donald even more. Reaching out for his pillow, she held it close to her body. As the faint scent of his cologne permeated her senses, her eyes closed and drifted to sleep.
Rummaging through Alex's purse, Donald found the key, unlocked the back door, and led Alex into the house. Still unsteady on her feet, she held onto his arm as he led her to the bedroom. He hesitated as she sat on the bed, not knowing how much help she needed or wanted. His concerns were quickly dissipated as she lay back on the pillows and instantly closed her eyes.
Donald lifted Alex's legs onto the bed and slipped off her shoes before pulling the cover across her body. He looked around the bedroom, for the first time noticing the absence of any pictures or personal reminders of Conner. Looking at the sleeping woman, he remembered how Alex had responded to Feryle's death a little over a year ago.
Alex had survived that collapse of her world by burying all of her emotions and any reminders of the pain. Sighing heavily, Donald walked over to the window seat and sat. As he glanced about the empty room, then back to Alex he spoke softly to himself, Seems like you're using the same defense this time around, Kiddo. After easing the shoes and socks off his aching feet and removing his tie, he piled several pillows on one end and lay down, looking out towards the ocean waves. He knew how much he missed Catherine if they were apart for only a few days and couldn't imagine the pain Alex had endured the last few weeks. As Donald lay in the darkness, he felt an overpowering need to hold Catherine. As he closed his eyes, a single tear slipped down his cheek. Tomorrow, Alex, I promise tomorrow will be a better day.
Alex woke as the sun broke through the morning clouds. Turning over towards the window, she saw Donald asleep in the window seat. She slowly sat up in the bed and threw back the covers, realizing she was still in the clothes she had worn the day before. Standing slowly, she brought her hand up to feel the bandage across her forehead and winced at the pain. Although it had lessened, she still had a dull aching headache. Padding to the bathroom, she found Donald had placed her prescription on the sink. Uncapping the top, she shook one of the pain pills into her hand and popped it in her mouth before walking to the kitchen to start the coffee.
Donald opened his eyes as his senses took in the scent of freshly brewed coffee. Groaning, he sat up and stretched his aching muscles before trudging into the bathroom. He smiled when he returned to the bedroom a few minutes later and saw Alex. Good morning.
Good morning, sunshine. You look like hell. Alex chuckled but quickly brought her hand up as a sharp pain coursed through her forehead.
Growling, Donald took the cup of coffee Alex had placed on the dresser. Serves you right for making fun of an old man. He took a satisfying swallow of the hot coffee before looking back at Alex, But I'll forgive you this time since you brought me coffee.
Crossing the room to the window seat, she tossed the cushions off and lifted the top. Digging through the storage area, she came up with a bundle of clothes. I love you, Donald, but you're in bad need of a shower. Here, take these. They may be a little snug, but they'll sure smell better than what you have on. Smiling, Alex flipped her hand scooting him out of the bedroom. I put clean towels out in the guest bath. If you need anything else, just help yourself.
Donald took the offered clothing and headed across the hall. Walking into the bathroom, he noticed Alex had thought of everything. Of course that really didn't surprise him, knowing her penchant for getting all the details right. He turned on the shower and looked in the mirror while waiting for the water to heat. Dragging his hand across the stubble on his face, he noticed the long creases that had somehow managed to creep into his face over the last year. He brushed his teeth and then stepped into the shower. Leaning against the cool tile wall, he let the warm water soothe his aching muscles. I hope after today, Alex, things will be right with us once again.
Donald's cell phone rang as he was walking into the kitchen. Fairfax.
A grin crossed Donald's face when he heard Catherine's voice on the other end of the line. Good morning to you. Is everything set for the barbecue?
God yes. We've been up for hours. Please don't tell me there's another delay. I don't know if either of us will survive it.
Chuckling, Donald looked out onto the deck making sure Alex wasn't within hearing range. No. No more delays. I'm going to get her down to the beach so you can get in the house. Make an appearance on the deck when the coast is clear and we can come back, okay?
You got it. I'll see you soon. Catherine's voice again took on a low tone. Donald? Just so you know, I love you.
I love you too. Now hurry up, I'm starving.
Dropping the phone onto the counter, Donald slid open the glass door and walked out onto the deck to join Alex. You feeling better?
Much better, thank you. Turning to Donald, Alex lifted a brow and grinned, Damn, I never realized what a nice butt you have.
Donald could feel his face turning scarlet as the heat flushed his face. Stop it. I can't help it if these clothes are too tight.
I kinda like'm Donald. Gives you that dark, sexy, FBI agent look.
You're a pervert, Montgomery. Kicking off his shoes and looking out at the beach, Donald grabbed Alex's hand. Come on, take a walk with me. I need to feel sand between my toes.
Alex stood and followed Donald down the steps. What about Catherine, don't you want to get home to her.
He shook his head. No, don't you remember? We're having a barbecue here today. She'll be here after she goes by the market.
Alex stopped and turned towards her friend. Giving him a warm hug, she looked back into his eyes. Well, it seems like you have my day all planned out.
Grinning back at Alex, he wiggled his eyebrows. I definitely have you day planned, my friend.
Alex punched Donald in the arm and gave him a suspicious glare. You're up to something, Fairfax. Spill it.
Grabbing Alex's hand once again he headed off towards the beach. Me? Up to something, Alex, you know me better that that.
Alex glared back at Donald but couldn't hide the smile that crossed her face. Well, just remember what happens when I'm surprised. I don't like'm and I can't be held accountable for my actions.
They walked a long while, lost in their own thoughts. They passed several couples, holding hands and quietly chatting, along the way and Alex wondered if she and Donald looked like one of them. The air was cool, and Alex snuggled closer when Donald wrapped his arm around her.
Curling her arm around his back, she allowed herself to enjoy the re-budding friendship they had come so close to losing. Donald had always been a close and dear friend, and she felt fortunate to have Catherine and him in her life. She didn't want to think of how life would be if she didn't have their friendship, especially now that Conner was gone.
Donald broke the silence as they neared the house, There she is now. Raising his hand in the air, waving as Catherine walked onto the sand.
Catherine opened her arms and pulled Alex into a warm hug, Damn, you scared us last night. How are you feeling?
I'm fine, just a slight headache. Alex returned the hug, and laughed as she looked at Donald. He was standing beside the two women, looking dejected.
Hello! What about me.
Both women laughed as the pout spread across Donald's face. Wrapping her arms around Donald's neck, Catherine whispered, You'll get your welcome home later, big guy. After planting a small kiss on his lips, Catherine squeezed between Donald and Alex. Taking their hands in hers, she led them back towards the deck. I've got all the makings for a mega barbecue. You two sit and enjoy yourselves. I'm going to start lunch.
Alex and Donald sat on the deck talking about the case and the upcoming extradition of Sarantos back to the States. After a while, Donald excused himself and walked into the kitchen. Is she ready?
Catherine turned and looked at her husband. As ready as she'll ever be. Go get her.
Walking down the hall, Donald lightly tapped, and then opened the guest room door. Come on, I think It's time we get this over with.
Sitting on the deck, Alex couldn't help but wonder what Donald and Catherine were up to. She was standing to go into the house to confront Catherine about the mystery, when she stopped suddenly. Her heart raced as she looked into the face she never thought she would see again.
Part Thirty-One of Storm Surge
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