DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
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Pete McGinty moved as quickly as his healing leg would allow him. Ever since the call from his boss he had been frantic. Now he was swiftly making his way to the Intensive care unit of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The lift wasn't moving quickly enough for his liking and he was cursing it. ‘C'mon, c'mon.' As soon as the doors opened he was off again, his leg screaming in agony, but Pete was too focussed to pay it proper attention.
Bruce Davidson was standing in the corridor shouting into his mobile phone.
“I don't bloody care! Get me the CCTV footage now!”
Pete stood rooted to the spot with fear.
Bruce Davidson noticed his chalk white appearance and understood immediately what Pete wanted to know.
“No change, I'm trying to get these bloody arseholes in uniform to get moving on this straight away.”
Pete sighed with sheer relief. He looked for the nearest available seat, he was now realising just how bad the pain in his thigh was. He rubbed the sweat from his forehead.
“Someone has clobbered Anna with a blunt instrument and she is unconscious. That's all we know for certain.”
“A guy who lives in her building, but it was too dark for him to be able to give a good description. As he opened the stairwell door to leave the apartment block, he saw the suspect strike Anna with something. He shouted and the doer ran off. He probably saved Anna from another blow. Guy's a Doctor of all things, called for an ambulance and started treating her straight away.”
“Thank God for that.”
Milne arrived at that moment to join the two men. She had been parking her car after dropping Pete off at the hospital entrance.
“How is she?” asked the young detective.
“Unconscious, no change since she was brought in.”
“Have her family been told?” Milne asked Detective Chief Inspector Bruce Davidson.
“Aye, I rang her parents. They're down in Melrose so will be a wee while yet. Lesley Hamilton is making her way here too. Is there anyone else that you know of?”
Pete looked at his boss as his words registered. “Jesus, aye there is.” Pete pushed his hair back from his forehead. Someone would have to tell Heather Keith.
Davidson was waiting on his reply, but got impatient. “Well, who?”
Pete thought quickly of his options. “Is Anna's mobile here?”
“Of course, I used it to call her family.”
Bruce Davidson handed the mobile phone to Pete, who quickly searched the contact's list. He found Heather's number.
“I'll make the call, Boss.”
Davidson nodded and Pete walked down the hall for some privacy.
He checked his watch; it was just after eleven p.m. so, hopefully Heather would be home. He rang the number.
“ Hello? ” said the distinctly male voice on the other end of the phone.
“Hi, can I speak to Heather please?”
“ Who's calling? ”
“Eh, Pete McGinty.”
“ Hang on. ”
Pete listened to the garbled conversation going on at the other end of the phone.
“ Hello? ”
“Heather, it's Pete McGinty, the officer who worked with Anna.”
“ Oh, is there something I can help you with? ”
Pete hated these conversations and rarely had them since moving to the drug unit almost four years ago.
“Heather, Anna is in hospital, she's taken a blow to the head. Someone hit her.”
“ What! Is she going to be okay? ”
“I don't know yet, she's unconscious, that's all we know right now.”
“ Which hospital? ”
“Glasgow Royal Infirmary, intensive care.”
“ I'm on my way. ”
The phone was disconnected before Pete could reply and tell Heather to drive safely. He walked back to join the others. The group now included two other detectives within whose jurisdiction the crime came under.
Heather ended the call to Pete and stood in shock.
“Is everything alright?” Greg asked.
His question brought Heather back to reality. She had to get to Glasgow . “I have to go.”
Greg looked disbelievingly at her. “Where on earth to at this hour?”
“A friend needs me.”
Greg became suspicious. “Who is Pete McGinty?”
“The policeman who was here with Anna, Pete Thompson.” Heather began to gather herself and started looking for her car keys.
“Why is he calling you here? And where are you going?” Greg was standing right in front of Heather, effectively blocking her path. “What's is going on here!”
“Anna has been attacked, I'm going to Glasgow to be with her.”
Greg was utterly confused with this situation, not comprehending why Heather would be going to see the detective.
“Why would you do that?”
“Because we are friends, Greg.” Heather stated impatiently.
“After all that she has done to us, you are friends?” The disbelief was evident in his voice.
Heather shook her head, “I'm sorry, Greg, I really have to go.”
“Why?” His question was simply worded, but it held so much depth.
“Because, I love her…” Heather started to cry, “I'm sorry, I know you can't understand right now, but I have to be with her.”
Greg stood in stunned silence for a few moments; he certainly hadn't expected to hear that.
“Come on.” He took the car keys from Heather's trembling hands, “You're in no fit state to drive, I'll take you.”
“Greg, you don't have to.” Heather was more than surprised by his magnanimous gesture.
“Let me drive you,” he said sincerely, looking directly into Heather's eyes.
The blonde nodded as she wiped away her tears. “Thank you.”
Greg hugged her briefly then guided her towards the car.
“Yes, we are treating this as attempted murder, I promise you we will put all the resources we have into finding whoever is responsible for this.”
“You bloody better, Paton.” Davidson said to the Detective Inspector in charge.
“Who do you think might have done this?” Paton asked.
Milne, McGinty and Davidson all looked at each other, while Lesley Hamilton wondered what was going on with the three of them.
“You must be able to come up with some names.” Lesley declared, frustrated at their lack of response to the question.
“Okay, okay. The obvious name would be Lachlan Brown and anyone associated with him.” Davidson stated.
The two detectives shared a glance.
“I know,” Davidson replied. “But that's her most recent case. Anything else goes back a good while now. The Lachlan Brown thing is more complicated than just looking at him.”
“What do you mean?” Paton asked.
“We've also got a dirty cop involved, Mark McLaren. I also can't rule out the possibility that there could be another.”
“So where do you suggest we start?” Paton asked.
“Stuart Laing. She arrested him just yesterday, he's out on bail.” He looked to Milne, “What was the other one's name?”
“Yeah, him too. Get them to account for their whereabouts. Get the CCTV footage. Just find this bastard.” Davidson finished forcefully.
“We will.” Paton promised.
“I want to be involved in the investigation.” Pete declared.
“Me too.” Added Milne.
“Sorry, no, we'll keep you in the loop, but that's all, you can't join the investigation.” Paton replied.
“The bloody hell you will, I'm coming with you.” Pete added and voices were raised.
“Chief Inspector Davidson, with all due respect, this is what we do. We don't come around getting involved in your cases.” Paton appealed to Davidson.
He nodded, “Milne, McGinty, back off.”
“Boss!” Pete shouted.
“I said back off!”
Lesley Hamilton had heard enough and went in search of a doctor for an update.
Paton and Thorburn left the hospital to begin their search.
“This is wrong, Boss, we should be involved in this.” Pete argued.
“And we will, Pete, but we don't want them to know that, so keep your knickers on. We've told them what they want to hear, now we do what we think is right.”
“Lesley, any news?” Davidson asked.
She shook her head, “Still no change.”
Everyone took a seat in the waiting room. Milne interrupted the silence that had descended amongst them. “Does anyone want coffee, tea, something to eat?”
“That's a good idea, Milne. I'll have a coffee, anything for you, Lesley?” Davidson asked.
“Tea for me, milk no sugar.”
“I'll give you a hand with that, Mary.” Pete offered.
“It's okay, you sit down and rest your leg, I'll manage.”
The three police officers sat again in silence in the waiting room.
“How long till her parents get here?” Lesley asked.
Davidson looked at his watch. “I called them as soon as I heard, that was almost two hours ago.”
Lesley calculated the journey, which meant Anna's parents should be here within the hour; they would have left as quickly as possible. She wondered if Liam would be with them, more than likely.
Heather and Greg sat in silence as the car hurtled along the motorway, her thoughts constantly on Anna. Heather knew police work came with added dangers, but it was highly unusual for officers to be seriously hurt. Now in the space of a few weeks, Pete had been shot and Anna was, at that very moment, lying unconscious in a hospital bed.
“How long?” Greg's deep voice broke through the silence.
Heather stared at him, confused by the question. “Huh?”
Greg glanced briefly at her. “How long have you and Anna, you know?”
“Oh, I see.” She took a moment to gather her thoughts, “Not long, Greg. We only reconciled our differences on Monday when I was in Glasgow .”
“But you love her?”
Heather nodded, “Yes, I do. I've had feelings for her for a long time now.”
Greg's jaw clenched, but he remained focussed on the road ahead. Heather could literally see the thoughts running through his head and decided that Greg deserved the whole truth.
“Anna isn't the reason we broke up.”
“No, Greg,” Heather replied gently.
“You said you had feelings for her for a long time, we were together not that long ago.”
“I know. I was never unfaithful to you and this is the first time I've ever had feelings for another woman. Please don't think I was interested in other women while I was with you. Anna is the first. Before you, I only ever kissed one other boy, Greg. That was it.”
“Were you with her while she was here?”
Heather understood why Greg wanted to know all the details. She wasn't comfortable revealing them all, but she would.
“No, I wasn't. I did fall for her while I thought she was Anna Thompson but, at that time, I believed she was married to Pete. I never would have acted upon my feelings. Then she came to me the morning after Jim Wallace was arrested. I still didn't know the real truth about who she was. She was injured and I was concerned about her, somehow we ended up kissing. Then I found out her true identity and felt betrayed. I didn't want to see her after that, or at least, not at that time. I would never have cheated on you, Greg. We came to an end for completely different reasons.”
Greg nodded, “I know, Heather, I believe you.”
“Where's Anna?” Asked a frantic Fay Lynch.
Lesley Hamilton went directly to her. “Come with me, Fay, she's just down the corridor.” Lesley took Fay Lynch by the hand and led her to the room that held the prone body of her daughter.
As they entered a nurse moved from the side of Anna's bed after having made some adjustments to one of the monitors.
“Oh, Anna.” Fay Lynch gasped at the first glimpse of her daughter's unconscious form. She took a seat at Anna's bedside and clasped her daughter's unresponsive hand between her own.
Brendan Lynch watched his wife and daughter from just inside the door. He would give his wife some time alone with Anna before he took his own turn to sit with his daughter. Meanwhile Liam Lynch was outside the room in the corridor talking with Lesley Hamilton.
“All we know is that someone hit Anna on the back of the head. A neighbour of Anna's was coming out of the stairwell just as it happened. He disturbed the suspect who ran off. It was dark and he didn't really get a good look at the person. Anna has been unconscious since the blow. The doctors are running tests.”
“Who would do this?” Liam asked, bewildered.
Lesley shook her head. “Anna has been involved in shutting down the operations of a notorious Glaswegian drug baron. Obviously, he is high up on the list of suspects, but at this point in time we can't rule out the possibility that it was just a random attack. Anna might simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“But you don't think so?” Liam questioned.
“I can't be certain, but it's more than likely the suspect specifically targeted her.”
“So what's being done to catch them?”
“Inspector Paul Paton is heading up the investigation, he is very experienced. He was in here earlier talking to Anna's boss and colleagues. Her boss, Chief Inspector Davidson, will hound them all the way until they get a result. He has hardly been off the phone since he got here, chasing up the uniformed division to interview any potential witnesses and to get a hold of any available CCTV footage.”
Liam nodded, “Okay.”
Lesley hugged him, “I'm so sorry this has happened. I'm sure she will be okay,” Lesley stated, and then whispered, “She has to be.”
“God, I hope so, Lesley, I can't even begin to think about anything else.”
Lesley released her hold on Liam, “How are your mum and dad?”
“Mum's very upset and dad has hardly said a word since we got the news.” He looked straight at Lesley, “If Anna doesn't make a full recovery, I will kill whoever did this.”
Lesley wasn't surprised by his words. Emotions were running high and he was angry because someone had seriously injured his sister.
“We'll get whoever is responsible, Liam. I know you are angry right now, but you have to be strong and calm for your parents. You've also got a wife and kids to think about. You need to keep your cool and let us do our job.” Lesley cautioned.
Liam took a deep breath, he was trained to control and channel his aggression on a rugby pitch, but this situation was completely new to him. Someone had harmed a member of his family and, at that moment, all he wanted was revenge.
“Come and have a seat in the waiting room, you can go in and see Anna in a few minutes.” Lesley suggested to the powerfully built man. He nodded and Lesley led him to the waiting room. There she introduced him to Bruce Davidson, Pete McGinty and Mary Milne.
“Hi Liam, I wish I were meeting you under different circumstances,” said Bruce Davidson.
“Likewise.” Liam shook hands with the three detectives then took a seat. “Have the doctors said anything yet?”
“Only that there's been no change in Anna's condition since she was brought in.” Bruce Davidson replied.
Another hour had passed and there was still no change. Liam sat forward in his chair unable to relax. His elbows were resting on his thighs while his left hand rubbed agitatedly at the stubble on his face. He was deep in pensive thought after having spent some time alone with Anna in her hospital room, when Detective Inspector Paton and Detective Sergeant Thorburn returned.
“Any leads?” McGinty asked.
Paton replied to the question, “Nothing at the moment. We are back to interview the parents; they might be able to provide us with something. I want to talk to them about Anna's personal life.
Hamilton and McGinty caught each other's eye and Paton didn't miss the exchange.
“If either of you know something I want to hear it.”
Pete deflected his enquiry, “Her personal life is sound.”
Lesley chewed her bottom lip, she wasn't sure what Pete really knew about Anna's personal life and was debating with herself just what she should and shouldn't divulge to Paton.
Pete, who was sitting just inside the waiting room, saw Heather walking along the corridor towards them. He left the room to intercept her and Paton seized the opportunity to talk with Lesley.
“If you know something that could be important to this case, we need to hear it.”
Lesley looked to Bruce Davidson as she considered her options.
“Tell him anything you think could be important, Lesley. We want to get this bastard.”
“It could be nothing, but Anna has recently started seeing someone.”
“Who?” Paton enquired, when Lesley hesitated.
“A woman.” Lesley had no idea if Bruce Davidson was aware of Anna's sexuality, but with Heather on her way, he would probably have a good idea soon anyway.
Davidson frowned, not seeing the need for this information. “And this is important how?”
Lesley cleared her throat. “Ahem, this woman had a fiancé, they split up, so maybe he hasn't taken the news too well.”
“Christ!” Brian Thorburn exclaimed, speaking for the first time. “Now we could be looking for a homicidal ex fiancé or a jilted lesbian lover from the past. You could have mentioned earlier that she is a carpet muncher.”
The next thing Brian Thorburn was aware of were his feet dangling above the floor as the powerfully built man who had been sitting quietly was now staring angrily into his face as he held him by his jacket lapels and pinned him against the wall.
“Jesus, get him off me!”
“Don't you ever talk about my sister like that again!” Liam Lynch hissed through clenched teeth.
Paton and Davidson were trying to get Liam to release his vice like grip on the terrified Thorburn, but they were having a hard time of it. The ex rugby player was strong and, in the circumstances, they were reluctant to use any excessive force.
“Come on, Liam, let him go.” Davidson urged while attempting fruitlessly to free Thorburn.
Meanwhile out in the corridor Pete was talking to Heather.
“Hi, Heather, how are you?” He hugged the blonde briefly.
“I'm okay, Pete, how is Anna?”
“Still no change.”
“Can I see her?”
Pete nodded, “Sure, third door along on the left, her parents are in there at the moment, but they won't mind you going in.”
Heather walked towards the room and Pete turned his attention to the man who had accompanied her. “Hi, Greg, how are you doing, mate?” he asked cautiously.
“Not bad, Pete, how's the leg?”
“It's getting better.”
Greg nodded and an awkward silence descended upon the two men.
“Look I'm sorry about everything that happened, no hard feelings, eh?” Pete offered his hand to Greg, who hesitated briefly before shaking it.
“Sure, no hard feelings.”
Pete was relieved. “So how are things going for you?”
“Not too bad. Heather has been terrific helping me sort out the financial problems I got myself into.”
Pete raised his eyebrows wondering just what was going on. Greg seemed to pick up on his confusion.
“I drove Heather down because she was in no fit state to drive herself. She's been there for me these last few weeks so I thought it was the least I could in the circumstances.” He shrugged.
“That's really good of you, you know, after everything.”
Greg motioned his head towards Anna's room, “Heather says she loves her.”
Pete felt himself relax a little now that the elephant in the room was out in the open. “Yeah, sorry about that, mate.”
Greg shook his head. “I'd already lost her, even before, you know, the two of them.”
Pete nodded, “Right, right.”
The two men looked up as they heard raised voices coming from the waiting room. Pete stared slack jawed at the sight of Liam Lynch effortlessly holding Brian Thorburn in the air, while Davidson and Paton attempted to get him to release the smaller man.
Pete turned back to Greg Moir, “That's Anna's older brother, Thorburn must have said something he didn't like.”
“Christ, the strength of him.” Greg remarked.
Pete nodded, “Come on, we better give them a hand to save the poor bastard.”
Lesley Hamilton watched the fracas from her seat in the waiting room, she made no attempt to assist Brian Thorburn, she decided the little weed deserved it. She looked on as Pete McGinty and another man came to help and finally, the four of them managed to free him from the powerful grip of Liam Lynch.
A ruffled and embarrassed Thorburn stood shakily back on solid ground. He pointed at Liam Lynch. “You're a maniac! I could have you arrested for assaulting a police officer!”
“Shut up, Thorburn, you insulted the man's sister.” Paul Paton stated.
“Let's all calm down here.” Davidson suggested. He looked at the new face in the room waiting for an introduction, which Pete dutifully supplied.
“This is Greg Moir.”
“Are you a friend of Anna's?” Davidson asked.
Greg didn't know how to answer that question, so instead chose to explain his reason for being there. “I drove Heather down from Havensburgh.”
Bruce Davidson looked sharply at Pete McGinty, wondering just what the hell two residents from Havensburgh were doing turning up at Anna's hospital bed.
“A word, Pete.” He said tersely.
Pete followed Davidson to a quiet spot along the corridor where they would not be overheard.
“Do you want to explain to me what's going on here?” Davidson didn't take his eyes off McGinty for one second, he wanted the truth.
“Okay, Boss. Heather is Anna's girlfriend and Greg is Heather's ex fiancé.”
“The same Greg Moir who was a suspect during your investigation?” Davidson asked in a deceptively mild tone.
“Aye, Boss.” Pete cringed as he answered.
“Bloody hell!” Davidson hissed. “I don't believe this!” He whispered harshly, “Just what the hell were you two playing at up there? Bloody holiday romances! This is taking undercover to a whole new level!”
Pete appealed to Davidson on Anna's behalf. “It's not what it looks like, Boss.”
“Oh, it's not? So Anna isn't dating the ex fiancée of a man she once suspected of smuggling drugs into the country?” Davidson held up a finger, “I tell you this, when Lynch wakens up from her beauty sleep she has some explaining to do!”
Pete blinked and said nothing.
“It clears up one thing though.”
Pete was afraid to ask, but went ahead. “What's that, boss?”
“ Hamilton just put Greg Moir in the frame as a possible suspect, but he could hardly be clobbering Lynch over the back of the head when he was sitting up in Havensburgh!”
Davidson stormed off back to the waiting room and Pete rested his head against the cold concrete wall and closed his eyes.
“Shit,” he mumbled. This night was going from bad to worse. The day had started out so well. He had been promoted, had a few drinks, then talked Mary Milne into joining him at his flat for a coffee. Before he made a move on her, the call came from Davidson about Anna. Now Davidson knew Heather's true identity, and if Anna hadn't been assaulted, Davidson would never have been any the wiser. “Shit.”
Heather entered the quiet room. Inside were a man and woman whom she knew to be Anna's parents. She couldn't stop the tears springing to her eyes as she caught her first glimpse of the woman she loved lying motionless on the hospital bed.
The man, who looked to be in his early sixties, spoke to her, while the woman glanced briefly in her direction before continuing to hold Anna's hand and gaze worriedly at her daughter.
“Are you a friend of Anna's?” he asked softly, his Irish accent very apparent despite his many years in Scotland .
“Heather nodded, “Yes, I came as soon as I heard.”
Brendan Lynch introduced himself and his wife to Heather and shook her hand.
“I'm Heather Keith, I met Anna this summer.”
Liam had informed his parents on the journey up to Glasgow that there may be someone special in Anna's life. Brendan Lynch instinctively knew that this was the girl.
“Fay, let's give Heather some time alone with Anna,” he suggested gently to his wife. There was an unspoken communication between the two and soon Heather found herself alone with Anna.
Sitting in the chair Fay Lynch had just vacated, Heather spoke softly to Anna. “Hey, you.” She took Anna's hand and caressed the back of it with her thumb. Looking over every inch of Anna's long frame, she willed a part of it to move. Anna looked so utterly peaceful. “So beautiful,” Heather whispered as she ran a finger across a high cheekbone.
“Heather, come and sit yourself down,” Brendan Lynch suggested.
Heather already liked him a lot just from their brief interaction.
“Thank you, Mr. Lynch. There is a doctor in assessing Anna at the moment.”
A tall broad man with dark hair walked towards her.
“I'm Liam, Anna's brother.”
Heather's hand was engulfed in his, but his handshake was gentle. Even if Heather didn't know he was a rugby player, she would have guessed from looking at him.
“Nice to meet you, Liam.”
The other occupant in the room greeted Heather.
“I'm Lesley Hamilton, a friend of Anna's.”
“Greg has gone in search of something to eat.”
Heather nodded, she wasn't quite sure what to say in this room full of strangers, so she sat quietly, hoping for some good news about Anna.
The Neurologist who had assessed Anna popped his head into the waiting room.
“Are you the family of Anna Lynch?”
There was a chorused reply of ‘yes'.
“Anna remains in a deep coma, there is still no change in her condition. There is some swelling around the brain, but the good news is that her skull is intact and we don't need to operate. That may change depending on how Anna does over the next twenty-four hours. I'll be back to check on her later and will let you know of any change.”
“Thank you, Doctor.” said Brendan Lynch.
Fay Lynch stood up, “I'm going to sit with Anna.”
“Would you like anything to eat or drink, Fay?”
“No thanks, Brendan, I couldn't stomach anything right now.” She used a hanky to dab at her tears.
Brendan hugged his wife then turned his attention to the rest of the room. “What about you Lesley, Heather, are either of you hungry?”
“No thanks, Brendan.”
“No thank you, Mr. Lynch.”
“I'm going to stretch my legs for a bit, I'll be gone about a half hour, Call me on my mobile, Fay, if there's any change.”
“Of course, Brendan.”
Brendan Lynch stood to leave and Fay was already heading to Anna's room.
“I'll come with you, Dad.”
With the two Lynch men gone, Heather found herself alone with Lesley Hamilton.
“How are you holding up, Heather?”
“I'm okay, thanks, very worried.”
“Anna's made of tough stuff, I'm sure she will pull through.”
“How do you know her?”
“We started in the police force at the same time. We've been friends for more than sixteen years now.”
“I see, I ah, I've only known Anna since June this year. We, ah, have become friends.”
“You don't need to explain to me, Heather. Anna has told me all about you.”
Heather was relieved to hear this. She was feeling awkward and out of place amongst these people, like she didn't quite belong.
“What about Anna's family?”
“They know that you are special to Anna.”
Heather nodded, that was all she needed to know for now.
“You are you know.” Lesley Hamilton said, “Special to her. Anna was really down when she returned from her undercover operation. She told me what had happened and how much she regretted hurting you. She was really affected by you and the village in general.”
“I know. I'm just so thankful we reconciled our differences. She means so much to me and I've hardly even had a chance to really spend time with her.”
Lesley lay her hand on top of Heather's. “She will be fine.”
“I've never met anyone like her, so strong and brave.”
Lesley had to agree; she had seen those qualities first hand. “That she is, I owe her my life.”
Lesley smiled, “Yes.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “We had been cadets together, and then we worked in the same uniform division when we finished our probation period. Anna looked stunning in her uniform, not like the scruffy stuff she has on almost every day working in the drug squad. Most of the time that lot are scruffier than the people they arrest.”
The two women shared a light giggle before Lesley continued.
“There was one night in particular, we had been on the force about two years…”
WPC Lesley Hamilton and her partner PC Nick Fallon exited the police panda car and headed for the maze of concrete buildings that made up the Drumchapel housing estate. They were answering a call that had come over the radio. A tenant had returned home and disturbed two burglars on her premises. It was unlikely that they would find the suspects. They would be long gone. Escaping easily through the many interconnecting vennels that made up the larger concrete network of drudgery that was Drumchapel. Most likely, thought Lesley idly, their suspects were already sitting at home, with their feet up, watching the telly they had pinched.
The two made their way on foot deeper into the estate. The air was damp and cold and Lesley could see her breath clearly with each exhale. Her black waterproof jacket was doing its job on her upper body, but her trousers were no match for the January chill.
Suddenly there was a noise from somewhere ahead of them and the two officers hastened to investigate its source. Two figures clad in dark clothing jumped out from behind a skip and started running towards one of the blocks of flats. Lesley and Nick pursued them and, when the runners spilt up, the officers did too.
Lesley found herself running down a narrow alley, grateful for her Doc Marten Gibson shoes, which allowed her to run quickly. She moved rapidly down a set of steps and was suddenly cast into darkness. She reached for her torch, which hung from her equipment belt. Finding the on switch, she shone the torch ahead of her to get her bearings. She found herself in one of the many underground storage rooms. It was cast in darkness due to the overhead lights having been smashed. She moved carefully forward, avoiding the rubbish and large pieces of furniture and electrical appliances that had been dumped there. The air smelled putrid, a mixture of rotting food and stale urine.
Lesley's heart beat a little faster as she ventured farther into the dark space. She heard a noise to her left and swung her torch in that direction. She flicked her police baton out to extend to its full length and cautiously approached the area. She noticed an old brown, faux leather sofa, nestled near the back wall. Used glue bags strewn around it, testament to one of the favourite pastimes of some of the local youth. Lesley shone her torch behind the sofa and jumped back as a cat hissed its disapproval at her intrusion. Breathing a heavy sigh of relief, she reached again to her utility belt for her radio. Pressing the button she attempted to contact Nick, but all she got was static. She cursed as she remembered that the reception in these basements was often greatly reduced. Lifting her jacket to put her radio back in her belt she froze as she felt a hand cover her mouth. Then she felt the unmistakable press of the cold steel against her throat.
“Well lookie here.”
Nick Fallon was frantic. He had lost the suspect he had been chasing and now he couldn't contact his colleague on the radio. He made the decision to radio in his location and request assistance to help look for her. After making the call, he continued to search furiously for Lesley Hamilton.
WPC Anna Lynch heard the call come over the radio and immediately put on the flashing lights of the panda car she was driving. As she screeched to a halt on one of the roads into the estate, she took off on foot to find her missing colleague and friend. She came across a pale looking Nick Fallon who breathlessly explained what he could to Anna.
“She could be underground.” Anna stated. “If her radio isn't working that's a possibility!” She took off, leaving a stunned Nick behind her.
Anna entered the dark space cautiously. She didn't put her torch on and listened intently for any sign of life. She thought she heard the scraping of feet over concrete, then a muffled voice. She didn't hesitate, flicking on her torch she moved quickly forward. As she turned a corner, she could see two bodies on the ground, one on top of the other. Another person was crouched at the head of them, his back towards her. Anna didn't even stop to think about it, she ran straight towards them. Reaching them just as the crouching figure began to turn. She tackled him full on, bringing him down hard onto the concrete floor and rolling on top of him.
“Get the fucking bitch off me!” He screamed.
Anna smacked him in the head with her torch, but before she could get in a finishing blow he landed what felt like a heavy punch to her back. Anna rolled with it and got to her feet, turning to face her assailant who was now standing. He came at her again, but this time she was ready. He ran at her and she spun him then propelled him back into the wall. Anna brought her fist up hard under his chin. She didn't stop to watch him slump boneless down the wall. She was already turning to the second man. The sight of him fumbling to pull up his zipper sparked a reaction deep within Anna. With a flurry of movement and a roar of rage, she had him on his back on the concrete as she attempted to squeeze his neck while pounding his head against the cold, hard ground.
“Anna, stop. Please stop.” Lesley had managed to crawl over to where Anna was. She put her hands onto her friend's shoulders.
“Anna, you have to stop. Please, Anna.” Anna froze as Lesley's voice finally managed to penetrate her hate filled mind. She turned her gaze on Lesley; momentarily unable to comprehend why she was there. Suddenly she snapped out of it and got up from the figure lying prone beneath her.
She bent towards her friend, quickly taking in her bruised and bloody features.
“Oh, God, Lesley.”
Lesley sobbed in reply. “I don't want anyone to know. Please, Anna.”
“Shhh, I promise you, no one will know.” Anna soothed.
Anna assessed the situation quickly. She took in Lesley's dishevelled appearance and made a decision she hoped was the right one. She removed her own black trousers and underwear and helped her friend to put them on instead. Stuffing Lesley's torn underwear into her coat pocket, she then tied her shoes up for her, wincing at the sharp pain she felt in her side as she did so. Anna herself, then put on Lesley's trousers, which were a little short, but she doubted anyone would notice.
Grabbing her handcuffs from her belt, and Lesley's from hers, she quickly cuffed both the still unconscious suspects.
“I'll be right back. I'm just going to radio for an ambulance.”
It was only when the ambulance and backup arrived that the true extent of the injuries was revealed. Anna had been slashed down her side, but one of the suspects had a six-inch blade embedded in his abdomen. He died on route to the hospital.
Lesley finished talking and looked at Heather. She hadn't revealed every detail to the younger woman. The rape would remain forever secret between herself and Anna, as would Anna's loss of control. “The knife must have ended up in the suspect's stomach during the scuffle.”
“Oh my goodness.” Heather declared. “What happened to Anna after that?”
“She was shaken up, we both were and obviously there was an internal investigation into the death, but Anna was exonerated of any blame.”
Lesley frowned as she considered that incident, then found herself staring wide-eyed at Heather. “Oh my God!”
“What? What's wrong?”
“I'll be right back.”
Pete walked into the room that held the desks of his colleagues. He felt rough, not having slept well and his concern for Anna's wellbeing was evident. He was greeted with a few nods and mumbled “good mornings”. Pete wandered over to the coffee machine in desperate need of an injection of caffeine; Raouf Danesh met him there.
“How is Anna, Pete?” he enquired respectfully.
Pete let out a slow breath, attempting to ease some of the tension from his body. “She's still unconscious, the next twenty-four hours are critical. If she hadn't been treated so quickly…” He trailed off, unable to complete the sentence.
Raouf gave a sympathetic nod.
“Any leads?” Asked Drew Jackson, looking up from where he was sitting. A Sergeant in his mid forties, his developing gut and ruddy complexion were already showing the wear on his body.
“No, nothing yet. Looking into Lachlan Brown as a possibility.”
“Maybe we should start checking out her ex-girlfriend's, eh?” Jackson joked.
Pete moved so quickly, that Drew never saw it coming, until he found himself pinned to the wall still in his chair, with Pete McGinty's strong hands holding tight to a fistful of his leather jacket. Drew started clawing ineffectually at Pete's hands, while attempting to draw in enough air.
“You think that's funny? Anna's lying in the hospital in a coma and you want to crack jokes?” The spittle flew from Pete's mouth with the combination of anger and frustration he felt in that moment.
The other detectives in the room were reacting to the turn of events and helping to prise Pete from the oxygen deprived Drew Jackson. The room was silent for a few moments as Pete sought to compose himself and Jackson gulped air into his lungs.
“Jesus Christ, man. I was just making a joke!” He declared indignantly.
Pete glared at him, “One of your own has been seriously assaulted, if that means nothing to you, then maybe you had better leave this job.”
Drew Jackson gave Pete a strange look; “You were making comments like that everyday before you went off on your little husband and wife undercover operation.”
Pete got right up in his face and Jackson flinched. “Things change. If I had my pick of people to work with, Anna Lynch would be my first choice every time.” Pete stared at him a moment longer, “Just remember, I only ever joked to Anna's face, not while she is lying unconscious in a hospital bed.”
“Right, take it easy, was just a daft wee joke. I never meant anything by it.”
Pete's anger eased. “I know, look I'm sorry, Drew, I'm just a bit on edge.”
“No need to apologise, I was out of line. Just trying to make light of it, is there anything I can do to help?”
“I'm just waiting on the Chief Inspector to arrive back, see what he wants done.”
“We'll get the bastard.” Jackson declared.
The loud banging on the front door of his penthouse woke Lachlan Brown from his slumber. He looked at the blonde lying next to him, still sleeping off the excesses of the previous night; she hadn't even stirred despite the racket downstairs. He rolled away in disgust; in the cold light of day he just wanted her gone. As soon as he got rid of whoever was at the door, he would have one of his men drop her wherever she wanted to go. His mobile was now ringing and he picked it up.
“ It's the police at the door, boss. They wouldn't wait until I rang you. ”
“Tell them I'm on my way down.”
Lachlan Brown stood, naked, from his bed and quickly pulled on a pair of trousers, efficiently zipping and buttoning them as he walked to his door.
“Alright, I'm coming.”
The banging on the door continued until he opened it.
“About bloody time!”
“Chief Inspector Davidson, good morning.”
“I want a word with you.”
Brown stood at his door and waited.
“Can I come in?” he asked impatiently.
“That depends. Do I need a lawyer?”
“Off the record.”
Brown stood aside to allow the policeman access to his home.
“Still living in the lap of luxury I see.” Davidson remarked, as he took in the opulent surroundings.
“I'll give you the number of my interior designer. Can we get on with this?”
“One of my officers has been seriously hurt, she's lying in a coma in the Royal Infirmary.”
Brown shrugged, his hands in his pockets. “How is this any of my concern?”
“Because I think you had her put there!”
Brown shook his head, “Nothing to do with me.” He walked towards his kitchen and started the coffee machine.
Davidson followed, “I think you had one of your henchmen do the deed.”
Lachlan Brown turned to face Davidson. “You're barking up the wrong tree.”
Brown studied Davidson for a moment. “You said off the record right?”
“I did, so let's hear it.”
“This isn't personal for me. I understand the police have a job to do and I have no problems with them doing it.”
“Rubbish! You are responsible for violence all across this city!”
“You're missing the point. Going after a police officer isn't my style. There are plenty more of you. Don't mistake me for you.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Davidson watched as Lachlan Brown put two coffee cups on his marble worktop.
“You made this personal and because of that you're always missing the point. That was your biggest mistake.”
“It's my job to put you behind bars.”
Brown knew that whatever he said was hypothetical and off the record. He wasn't under caution and he was standing in his own home.
“You get rid of me and you think you are solving a problem, but more will just step up and take my place. You're being shortsighted, thinking you can cut off the supply and the demand will disappear. People like me only exist because of the demand. The answer to the problem doesn't lie with getting rid of people like me.”
“No? Then where does the answer lie?”
Brown shrugged, “Why do people use drugs? Maybe to escape shitty lives, maybe to block out some terrible event they can't cope with. Whatever the reason, these people are always looking for a means of escape and, until a viable alternative to drug misuse is found, you will be forever pissing your budget up against a wall and chasing your tail.”
“So now you're a philosopher with all the answers, as well as a drug lord?” Davidson hissed.
“Better the devil you know, Inspector. You should think about who could be replacing me. Like I said, it's never personal with me, but that's your biggest flaw, you made it personal. For the record, I never had your officer whacked, but if I disappear, the next guy might.”
The coffee machine gurgled and Brown went to pour himself a cup. “You want one?”
Davidson gave him a withering look and Brown shrugged.
Davidson decided he had heard enough, he didn't need a lesson in police work from this man. He couldn't resist a parting shot. “Mind not to choke on it.”
Brown smiled as he sipped from his cup, watching Bruce Davidson retreat he had one last piece of advice. “You know, you should have stuck all the charges on Jim Wallace, it was your best chance.”
“Wallace is an idiot.”
“Maybe so, but he would still be a good result.”
Davidson walked out of the penthouse and into the cold October morning, he was angry. He had once again let Lachlan Brown get under his skin, but he refused to listen to his rhetoric, he still wanted to nail him. Even before he reached his car, his mobile rang and he answered it immediately hoping to hear news of Anna.
“Sir, it's Lesley Hamilton. ”
“Any word about Anna, Lesley?”
“No change, Sir, but I do have something you might be interested in. I think that Jo Jo McNeil might be the attacker. ”
Davidson recognised that name from somewhere, but just couldn't place him. “Why?”
“ He was released from prison a few days ago, it was his twin brother that died in that incident with the two of them and Anna and myself back in 1996. ”
“And he has only just been released?”
“He had time added on to his original sentence for murdering his cell mate. ”
“I want him found immediately.”
“ Already on it, Sir. I have uniform on their way to his address now and I'm about to inform Paton. ”
“Good work, Lesley, I'm on my way to the station now. Let me know if there is any change with Anna.”
“ Will do, Sir. ”
Heather sat in the hospital waiting room, she was tired and hungry, but she didn't want to leave the unit until there was news of Anna. Greg had left to drive back to Havensburgh, as he was due out on the boat the following day. She looked across at Liam Lynch who had fallen asleep and was now snoring. She could see the family resemblance.
“He claims he doesn't snore, can you believe that?” joked Anna's father.
Heather smiled at the genial man, whose spirits remained high despite the current situation.
“Don't look so worried, Anna's made of tough stuff, she will pull through this,” he added, his voice full of conviction.
Heather nodded, “I know.” She hoped with all her heart that he was right.
The room fell silent again; it's occupants weary from a night with no sleep. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity in the corridor and Heather observed two doctors entering Anna's room. Fay Lynch gasped, her hand automatically covering her mouth. Heather felt an ice-cold fear take hold in the pit of her stomach and slowly release itself into her veins. Time seemed to stand still as all their eyes remained on the door to Anna's room. It was less than two minutes later when Anna's nurse came into the waiting room to speak to them.
“Don't worry folks, it's good news, Anna is showing signs of improvement. She woke briefly whilst I was in with her and the doctors are in there now carrying out some more tests. One of them will be in to see you when they have finished.”
“Oh thank God.” Fay Lynch declared as she hugged her husband.
“Liam! Waken up, Anna is showing signs of recovery.”
Liam woke from his slumber, initially disorientated, but his father's words soon sank in. He stood up and hugged his parents.
Brendan Lynch walked over to Heather and hugged her. “I told you she was made of strong stuff,” he whispered fiercely into Heather's ear. It seemed he was finally able to release some of his pent up emotion.
As promised, Anna's neurologist made an appearance a few minutes later. He told them Anna was responding well to various stimuli and he expected her to regain consciousness within hours.
“You can go in and see her again now,” he added, before leaving.
“Thank you, Doctor,” Brendan Lynch shook the man's hand. “Fay, you go in and I'll call Lesley and tell her the good news.”
Fay Lynch nodded her agreement to her husband's suggestion, then turned to Heather. “Would you like to come in with me?”
Heather was initially stunned by the offer; she hadn't spoken more than two words so far to Anna's mother.
“I would love to. Thank you.”
The two women entered the quiet surroundings. Anna looked no different, but they now knew she was showing signs of regaining consciousness. Heather watched as Fay took Anna's hand and gently kissed her cheek. She took a moment to observe the woman. She was well turned out and, despite the night they had spent worrying about the woman lying in the hospital bed, Fay Lynch still looked elegant. She was a beautiful woman and looking at her now in profile, she could see the similarity to Anna's nose and chin. It was the eyes that were different. Anna had her father's eyes.
Fay Lynch turned to look at Heather and smiled. “I just felt her hand move.”
“She knows you're here, she squeezed my hand again when you spoke.”
Heather smiled broadly.
“Come on, sit down,” Mrs. Lynch encouraged. “What do you plan to do? Will you be staying on in Glasgow for a few days?”
“I, ah, I hadn't really thought much beyond being here for Anna.”
Fay Lynch nodded, “She will need someone to look after her when she gets out, she is a big baby when it comes to being sick.”
“I thought, I mean, I didn't…” Heather's words trailed off, unable to complete her sentence.
Fay smiled, “I'll be around until she is well enough to go home, but I don't think it's me she will be wanting to spend her time with when she gets there. Will you be able to stay around for a few days?”
Heather smiled, “Are you sure?”
“Thank you, Mrs. Lynch.”
“Call me Fay.”
“Look there he is.” Declared a young male officer looking through the CCTV images.
Lesley Hamilton looked closely at the footage. “That is him leaving the scene. We need to follow his movements if we can, look for footage that we can identify him from.”
She had several officers looking at the monitors, now they had located what looked to be the suspect; they had a time and location, now they needed to follow his movements if possible. After a further hour they lost him, and not one of the cameras had caught an image they could use to identify his face.
“This is hopeless, that could be anybody. Blue jeans, white trainers and a black top with the hood up. Take your pick, there are hundreds of people wearing exactly that.” Lesley took a moment to consider the options. They had more CCTV footage of the surrounding area than they knew what to do with. Though helpful, because of the sheer volume of footage, it was a time consuming exercise. She drummed the table with her fingers. “What time did he arrive? Anyone?”
The officers looked at each other, no one able to answer the question.
“Let's pinpoint his arrival, see if we get anything from that.”
Meanwhile, Bruce Davidson was watching the video feed of the interview taking place downstairs. Uniform had picked up Jo Jo McNeil at his home address and he had agreed to come into the station for questioning. He had little option but to co-operate since he was on parole.
“Where were you between nine and ten o'clock last night?” Detective Inspector Paul Paton enquired.
McNeil made a show of considering his whereabouts before answering. “At home. I'm no allowed oot after seven. Terms of ma' parole and that.” He leaned back in his chair and yawned.
“So you weren't in the Merchant City area last night?”
“Naw, no me.” He sat sprawled in his chair with his arms folded.
“Who was at home with you?”
“Nae'body, jist me.”
“What did you do at home?” Thorburn this time asked.
McNeil leered, “Watched porn, it's been a while, ken.”
Davidson huffed, this was going nowhere. They would have to prove he wasn't at home, but that wouldn't be easy.
“Sarge, I've got him.”
Lesley went to the monitor and looked closely at the image. “That looks like the same person we saw leaving the scene, what time is that?” She checked the onscreen digits herself; it was almost two hours before the attack took place.
“Hood is up, head down. Let's start looking backwards and trace his route to this point. All of you get on it.”
It took them almost another two hours before they had a breakthrough.
“Run that back?” Lesley demanded.
“How come he just appears in the middle of the street? Run it back again?”
All eyes were on the monitor when it suddenly became apparent.
“He took a bus! What number is that?”
“Can't tell, Sarge.”
“What bus runs from his address to that street? Come on!”
There was a flurry of activity as officers keyed in the route and checked the Greater Glasgow bus timetable. Finally, one bus was agreed upon.
“Get on to the Bus Company and have them give us the footage from last night for that service. Now!”
Lesley's mobile rang at that inopportune moment. “Hello?”
“Lesley, it's Brendan.”
“Anna is showing signs of recovery. The doctor says she should regain consciousness sometime today.”
“Oh, thank goodness, Brendan. That's fantastic news.”
“You sound busy?”
“Yes, I have a lead I'm following as we speak.”
“I won't keep you back then.”
“I'll be in later, Brendan, bye.”
“Sarge, have the company, they are getting the footage for us.”
“Go and collect it from them, speed them up a bit.”
When the footage arrived, an officer forwarded it to the time they wanted to look at.
“There he is, we've got him! Looking right at the camera as he goes downstairs to get off the bus.”
Lesley looked at the image she was being shown. There was no doubt it was Jo Jo McNeil. They had him.
Lesley, Pete and Bruce Davidson all watched the monitor as Paton and Thorburn returned to interview McNeil with the new evidence they had just viewed. They all watched avidly as Paton began.
“So, Jo Jo, remind me again where you were last night.”
“Like a' says, I wiz in ma' flat watching porn.”
Paton leaned in really close, loving this moment. “So, you weren't sitting on the sixty-one bus travelling into the city centre?”
Jo Jo McNeil's entire posture changed, he sat forward in his seat, his previous laid back demeanour now changed to one of aggressiveness. “Naw, I fuckin' wisnae.”
Paton smiled, his face no more than five inches from McNeil's. “Has nobody told you since you've been inside so long? All the buses have cameras in them. I've just watched you walking off the bus and looking right into the lens.” Paton sat back in his chair, “You better get yourself a lawyer. Joseph Johnstone McNeil, I'm charging you with the attempted murder of Detective Inspector Anna Lynch. You do not have to say anything but, it may harm your defence if you do not now mention something, which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say, may be given in evidence.”
“Attempted murder? Is the bitch no deid yet!” he screamed.
Davidson smiled, “That will do nicely, let's go see Anna.”
Anna opened her eyes and tried to take in the unfamiliar surroundings. What was that beeping noise? She was aware of someone holding her hand. Was that a blonde head leaning on her bed? She squeezed the hand holding hers and two eyes peered at her wide with shock. Heather was here, all would be fine…
Heather's felt her hand being gently squeezed and her eyes flew open. She found herself staring straight into the open eyes of Anna. Before she could even part her lips to say her name, Anna's eyes were already closing. Heather sat up ad rubbed her eyes; Mr. and Mrs Lynch had gone to the cafeteria with Liam to grab a bite to eat, leaving her alone with Anna for a short while. She had obviously dosed off for a few minutes, she wondered if Anna had been awake long. Heather smiled as she looked down at the taller woman. The machines surrounding her indicated that her heartbeat was strong and steady. Heather had felt that heart beat faster as they had held each other close a few days ago. The thought that she almost lost Anna before they had even really begun was almost too much to take in.
“Welcome back, Anna.”
Anna could hear voices. Her parents were in the room. What on earth were they doing in her bedroom? She opened her eyes and found her Father's staring right back at her.
Anna tried to talk but found her throat was dry and her words came out just as a croak. She then tried to sit up, but found her mother was gently preventing her from doing so. Not that she felt capable of offering much resistance.
“Where am I?” God, her head hurt.
“You're in hospital, Anna, you took a nasty bump on the head.”
Anna frowned, well that explained the pain at least.
A nurse arrived and fussed around her.
“Nice to see you have finally decided to join us.” She stated cheerfully, before encouraging Anna to sip a little water. Not that she needed much encouragement. “The doctor will be in to see you shortly.” Then she was gone again.
Her mother had said a nasty bump, had she fallen? Anna couldn't remember. “What happened?”
“Don't worry about that at the moment, Anna, you just concentrate on getting better.”
Anna tried to recall what she was last doing, but her mind felt fuzzy and she was getting tired from the effort. Had Heather been here, or had she just imagined that? “How long?”
Brendan Lynch knew what Anna was asking. “Since about nine-thirty last night. It's almost six pm.”
Anna thought about that, she didn't even know what day it was, but she had been unconscious for almost twenty-four hours. She could feel her eyelids becoming heavy and she couldn't find the energy to keep them open.
Brendan Lynch left the room when his daughter fell back asleep, and went to inform everyone in the waiting room that Anna had regained full consciousness and spoken a few words.
‘Oh yeah, I'm in hospital,' Anna remembered as she opened her eyes again.
“Back for another visit are you?” Her father joked.
“How long was I asleep?”
“Couple of hours. There are some people waiting to see you, you up for visitors?”
Anna nodded and immediately regretted it. She grimaced at the pain.
“Take it easy now,” her Father cautioned. “I'll let them know they can have a few minutes, unless you get too tired.”
Lesley, Pete and Bruce Davidson entered the room.
“Welcome back, Anna, we were all worried about you.” Lesley stated.
“Aye, good to see you awake.”
Pete nodded his agreement with his boss.
Anna looked at the three of them. “You all look like shit, but thanks.”
The look on their faces was priceless, but Anna was in no condition to laugh.
“You would too if you had just been through what we have for the last twenty-four hours,” Pete protested.
“Yeah, about that, will someone tell me what has actually been happening?”
Lesley spent a couple of minutes explaining to Anna what had happened and by whom. When she had finished Anna just stared unblinking.
“Are you okay, Anna?” Lesley asked.
“Yeah, I never saw that coming.”
“Well obviously or you wouldn't be lying on your back in a hospital bed with a six inch gash on your head.”
Anna's hand flew to the back of her head at Pete's words. She was horrified by what she felt. “Where the hell is my hair?”
Davidson cleared his throat, “Ah, they had to shave around the wound, before they could put the staples in.”
Anna could feel the staples. “Come look at this, Lesley, tell me what it's like.”
Pete rolled his eyes and Davidson decided the wall was more interesting.
Lesley did as asked and looked at the wound. “Honestly, Anna, it's not that bad. They haven't shaved all your hair, so the top layer covers the part that is shaved.”
“Let's hope it's not windy in the next couple of weeks.”
Lesley glared at Pete.
“What? She got me shot and I can't poke fun about her being bald?”
Anna and Lesley both stared daggers at him.
Pete held his hands up, “Okay, okay. I never knew you were so vain, I mean, you can wear a baseball cap or something. Anyway, it's time I was going, I'll catch you during the week, Anna.”
“I'll be off as well. Listen you take as much time as you need, Anna, but I insist on at least a week. Two would be preferable, you need it.”
“Right, Sir. I'll take the time I need.”
The two men left the room, leaving Lesley alone with Anna.
“Anna, I am so sorry about this. All these years later and you nearly, well, God I'm sorry.”
“Hey, there is nothing for you to apologise for.”
“It just seems that night will never really go away. It's still haunting me.”
Anna took Lesley's hand. “I know you feel guilty about what has happened and it's brought back some terrible memories for you. What happened to me yesterday is not your fault.”
“If I hadn't let myself become vulnerable, if I had stuck with Nick Fallon that night, none of this would have happened.”
“You're not to blame for any of it, Lesley. Those scumbags made the choices, one of them is dead and the other is about to go back behind bars for a long time. They can't get to us again.” Anna said with total conviction, she knew Lesley needed to hear that from her. “We can't change what has happened and God knows, Lesley, you have done an amazing job of getting on with your life. I don't know if I could have. We put this latest incident behind us and we move on.”
Lesley smiled fondly at Anna. “I've met Heather. I really like her.”
“She is here? It wasn't a dream?”
Lesley nodded, ‘She's in the waiting room. She came as soon as she heard and has never left.”
Anna was chuffed. “She's cute isn't she?”
“Yeah, she's cute and she's also anxious to see you. I'll go get her.”
Anna felt sleepy, but this time she was able to stave it off because she wanted to see Heather. She smiled as the younger woman stepped into the room.
“How are you feeling?”
“All things considered, not too bad.”
Heather sat next to Anna's bed. “I was so worried.”
Heather shook her head. “Not your fault.”
“Will you, would you lay with me until I fall asleep?”
Heather could not resist the request and gently slid onto the bed beside Anna. “Are you comfortable?” She asked.
Heather kissed Anna on the lips before laying her head on her shoulder. Both women were fast asleep within minutes.
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