~ Echoes of the Past ~
J. M. Dragon & E. O'Reilly
Part 10
© J.M. Dragon  &  E. O'Reilly 2007


This story primarily features stories involving women. If it is illegal in the state, province, or country in which you live; or if you are under the age of 18, please find something else to read.The events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to actual events and/or people is purely coincidental.

Language - Violence - Hurt/Comfort:  There are elements of strong language, violence,  physical and/or mental, as well as emotional hurt and discomfort in this story.

The events portrayed in this story are fictional and any resemblance to actual events and/or people is purely coincidental. 

Acknowledgments - Thank you Teresa and Alice for your invaluable help in editing this story.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Parker who graciously let us use her name.

Author's Note:   This story the third storyline to J.M. Dragon's When Heaven Meets Hell and Fatal Hesitation. Although it is not necessary to read these two stories it might give the reader more background.

Please Note: Although we have completed the writing of this story, edits are an ongoing process. Rather than have our readers wait until the editing is complete we chose to start posting now.

This story is brought to you by:

JM Dragon author of Define Destiny and New Beginnings (to be released later this year by Intaglio Publishing).

Erin O'Reilly author of Revelations and New Beginnings to be released later this year by Intaglio Publishing.

Chapter 24

Amelia walked around the warehouse like a caged animal. Her gut aching from a combination of emotions, most of which she didn’t understand herself. When Parker shielded them from a perceived threat, she felt terror and when they violated God’s sanctuary, she was angry. However, Olivia’s ignoring her in the presence of danger, caused her the most acute pain.

I guess her confession last night embarrassed her so much she can’t look at me. Knowing Olivia, she’ll want to forget it ever happened. On the other hand, it is possible that her total focus on what she had to do didn’t allow her the luxury of checking on me-yeah right and when has that ever happened since we’ve met. Her stomach reacted violently as she considered the worse possible scenario - Parker’s appearance. Maybe that triggered the old love Olivia once felt. She might want to rekindle the romance. She wrapped her arms around her stomach. If she does, will I be able to cope with that.What a selfish idiot I am not to expect her to look elsewhere. How can I deny her a physical relationship with Parker when I can’t give her what she needs? Take that Jerry woman for instance.

Sophie broke into her thoughts. “Amelia, want any coffee? I need something to do other than wait for Parker to come and tell us that they have that murderer and my stepmother.”

Amelia bit her bottom lip. “Thanks, I’m a little edgy too.”

Ten minutes later, they sipped coffee as they anxiously waited for word of what was happening. A stranger walking in on us might think they’d interrupted a women’s coffee morning. Amelia thought.

Amelia is a nice woman and she gave me her support all morning. I should apologize for my rudeness. “I’m sorry we…that is I, jumped to the wrong conclusions about you Amelia. I didn’t know you were a nun before.”

Stunned at the apology, Amelia didn’t know how to answer. Perplexed, she asked, “What are you saying? If you’re a nun you can’t love anyone else?”

Not wanting to offend the woman again, Sophie replied, “No, no I meant another woman…romantically. It goes against the church teachings doesn’t it? At least that’s what I hear when it’s discussed in the newspapers.”

“Yes it does. Nothing can prevent your mind from ignoring the standards we are taught to believe in…the heart on the other hand is a different matter altogether. Anyway, though not required, thanks for the apology. I wish someone would call it feels like we’re frozen in time.” Amelia diverted the conversation to a different topic. I can’t go there, not now. If I ever did, it wouldn’t be with this woman. I’d be having the conversation with Olivia because she’s the only one that matters.

“I know what you mean. I wish I’d been able to stay for the burial.” She scrunched her face into a frown. “Who am I kidding; I should never have gone and destroyed that final journey for Cammie and her family.” Sophie’s voice rose in her frustration. “I’m just a selfish bitch who always wants her own way.”

Amelia heard the irritation and self-loathing and shook her head. “Hey, don’t beat yourself up. Maybe this way they’ll catch her killer. If Olivia has anything to do with it, all this will be a bad memory by this evening.”

Sophie heard the confident assurance and replied, “You think the sun shines out of her ass don’t you? Why?”

Hmm not exactly the way I’d put it but she’s not wrong. “Because, she always does I guess,” she said. “The only way she’ll fail me or you is if she’s…” She lifted her eyes heavenward. “We won’t go there.”

“If she’s dead…that could happen to Parker too.” Sophie reached out and squeezed Amelia’s hand. “You know when you look at them together with their supreme confidence you can’t help but think it will all work out.”

Amelia closed her eyes for a second at the word dead. Won’t happen, can’t happen…but it might. “Yes.” Her cell rang. “Sorry.” A reassuring smile crossed her face when the caller ID showed Teal’s name. “Hi Teal, what is it…Mr. Ryan again?”

At her end, Teal frowned. “No. Look Amelia, I’ve received a call from St Mary’s hospital.”

Amelia’s heart thudded and then stopped beating. “What’s happened?”

“There was an accident,” Teal said cautiously. “Olivia crashed her bike. I don’t know all the details. They found her business card and rang the office for next of kin.” She laughed slightly. “You know Olivia…she doesn’t take any personal stuff with her…”

“Teal, I need you to get here as fast as you can.”

“What about the office we have…” Teal looked around the reception area. “…three people hoping to get an appointment today.”

Amelia had no interest in the office or the people waiting. “Forget the office Teal! It’s not important right now! I need you to get over here as fast as you can…please.”

The worry in Amelia’s voice communicated down the line. “Ok, give me half an hour tops and I’ll be with you.”

Amelia’s ashen features had Sophie holding her breath in anticipation. By the look on her face, it can’t be good. “What’s wrong Amelia?”

With a composure that she dredged up from an unknown source, Amelia stiffly replied, “There’s been an accident. I need to go out. An associate of ours will arrive soon so you won’t be alone.” She turned away from Sophie and walked with unsteady steps toward her room. Now’s a good time to pray.

All Sophie could do was watch. Just who the hell was in an accident? When she considered the question, she knew it couldn’t be Parker. Amelia wouldn’t have reacted like that.

+ + +

Teal arrived at the warehouse and pressed the side doorbell. Within seconds, she heard the security latch unlock and entered. As soon as she walked into the main area of the building, Amelia pounced on her.

“Is there any more details Teal? Is she badly hurt? What did they say exactly?” Amelia asked with a shrill, agitated voice.

Sophie waited in the wings. Amelia did venture from her bedroom and told her, as she suspected, that Olivia was injured. I wonder what that midget woman has to say. She gave Teal the once over. She has great clothes sense pity about the stature.

“They weren’t very forthcoming with information. They won’t tell you anything unless you’re a relative and the patient consents to them imparting the information. From what I gathered, they want to keep her overnight.” Amelia’s hand shot to her mouth as panic set in with the realization of the seriousness of the situation. “Her injuries aren’t life threatening, Amelia.” Teal said. If she gave me half a chance, I could have told her all this over the phone.

“Oh, ok that’s good…isn’t it? You’re certain that she just needs to spend the night?”


“Then I’ll fetch a change of clothes and her nightwear…what am I saying…she doesn’t have nightwear.”

Teal smiled slightly at that revelation. I wonder how you know that. “You sit down and pull yourself together and I’ll take care of it Amelia. You’re in no condition to drive. Once I’ve pack a small bag for Olivia, I’ll drive you to the hospital.”

“No! I need you to stay here with Sophie.”

With a puzzled frown, Teal looked past her friend and realized someone else was silently watching them. With a nod of acknowledgement, she asked, “And just who is Sophie and why do I need to stay?”

“The case Olivia was working on Teal…remember?” Amelia left for Olivia’s room in search of the items she needed, without another word.

“Oh, not the Shrek case!” Teal watched Amelia leave and shook her head. “I thought I was doing that.” Her gaze fixed on the other woman. “Hi Sophie, I’m Teal an associate of Olivia and Amelia.”

“Hi.” Sophie’s brow furrowed. “What’s all this about Shrek…what’s a Shrek?”

Teal smiled, but before she could answer, Amelia came back and grabbed her car keys. “Thanks for doing this Teal. I will activate the locks from the car.” She pointed to a button on the console. “This is the button that will disarm the alarm. Under no circumstances allow anyone in unless it’s me, Olivia or Parker…Sophie knows who Parker is.” She quickly ran toward her car, climbed in, started the engine, opened the garage door and left with a screech of the wheels.

Sophie stood with her hands on her hips. “I wanted to go too, but she didn’t give me a chance.”

Teal nodded. “Happens like that with those two. Tell me about this Parker person so I’ll know her when she arrives.”

Sophie’s face softened and she smiled. “Well, she’s a little taller than me with short black hair and a beautiful face. She is keeping me safe from my stepmother…she and Olivia worked together a long time ago and Parker asked for her help on my case.”

Never one to pass up an opportunity, Teal noticed the blush on the woman’s face. “Are you a couple or is she just your protector?”

Sophie felt her cheeks burn. “Well…we have been intimate.”

I knew it! I can always spot them! “Right my dear, the Shrek case huh.”

“Exactly what is a Shrek?” Sophie asked again.

“Does an heiress, a wicked stepmother and a murder sound familiar to you?”

Sophie frowned. “Why?”

“Just come with me and you will learn about all things that is Shrek. You’re in for a treat especially here. Olivia has the best money can buy in the home theatre equipment. Just step this way.” Teal steered Sophie toward a small theater. I get to watch the movie again…lucky me.

Chapter 25

Dan Estevez, with his gun still pointing at O’Donnell, hurried to the spot where the man laid. Even though there was a gaping hole in his head, he nudged the man with his foot and kicked away his weapon before he put his Glock back in its holster. Satisfied that Shamus O’Donnell was dead, he looked toward the area where Parker had stood.

“No, no, no,” he bellowed. He ran toward Parker’s prone body, certain that a bullet hitting her vest only stunned her. “It’s all over Parker we got him.” When he turned her over he saw the blood on her shirt. He shouted, “We’ve got one down.” This isn’t how it was suppose to go down.

Dan ripped Parker’s shirt open and tore at the Velcro straps that held the bullet proof vest in place. Once he exposed Parker’s chest, he took the remnants of her shirt and pressed it against the oozing blood. “We need to get her to the hospital immediately,” he shouted.

From the group of four other agents Stevie Jenkins stepped forward. “St. Mary’s is on Concord about three blocks from here,” she said.

“Damn you, O’Donnell. Why didn’t we know he would use amour piercing bullets? Can someone tell me who the fucked was responsible for getting that information! SHIT! Get me his gun.” His eyes traveled to the large muscular woman kneeling beside him. “Put pressure on the wound while I pick her up?” He secured Parker in his arms and looked at the rest of his crew. “Don’t just stand there like fuckin’ idiots…you know what to do. Make certain that you leave no traces.” He nodded to the blood on the ground. “Especially that.”

The car sped down the road without lights flashing or the siren blaring. They were fortunate not to have alerted the local authorities when they chased O’Donnell. Dan knew that Olivia’s friend, Captain David Tourney, at the police department knew of their mission and agreed to let them deal with O’Donnell. How the hell she managed that is anyone’s guess. He knew if the papers ever got hold of that information a juicy scandal would erupt.

Stevie called the hospital to alert them of their situation. “How are you going to explain the gunshot?” she asked.

“Attempted suicide,” Dan said. “We can’t compromise the mission.”

Parker’s eyes fluttered open and, as the first wave of pain hit, she scrunched her face in agony. “Did we get him?”

“Yes, he’s dead.”

She swallowed. “Good.” Her eyes focused on Dan. “Olivia won’t be happy. Where are we?”

“On the way to the hospital,” Dan said. When he noticed her eyes closing and her breath becoming shallow, he said, “Stay with me Parker. Open your eyes…come on Parker open them.” He breathed a sigh of relief when her eyes blinked open just as they arrived at the hospital. He looked out the window and he saw a gurney and several people waiting for them.

Once Parker was loaded onto the gurney, Dan followed them into the hospital. A man, that Dan thought was too young to be a doctor, examined the wound. “We have an artery bleed,” he said to the other medical staff. “She’s lost a lot of blood…hang a bag of ringers on one side and let’s get some O neg going too. Nancy, type and cross match her and alert OR that we’ll be sending her up.” The doctor looked at Dan. “Who are you?”

“I’m the one that found her.”

“Do you know if she has any allergies or medical problems?”

“I’m certain she doesn’t.”

“How did this happen?”

“She’s been depressed over her boyfriend leaving her…guess it was too much.” He shrugged and blew out a breath. “Is she going to make it?”

“Right now I’d say her chances aren’t good.” The doctor shook his head. “Men usually go for the head and women for the body.” He looked at Parker’s face. “I wonder if she thinks he’s worth it now.” He scribbled on a chart before placing it on the gurney. “Let’s get her to the OR.”

+ + +

After making the necessary calls, Dan paced the floor of the waiting room. If she dies, Olivia won’t be the only one to kick my ass. He looked at the wall clock and snorted. I guess she’ll be in there for a while. I better find Olivia and face the music. He picked up the hospital phone. “Can you tell me what room my sister Olivia Santos is in?”

He stood at Olivia’s door and before he entered he took a deep breath. “Hey how are you doing?” he asked tentatively.

Amelia looked up at the man who had a grim expression that belied his upbeat greeting. She gave him a weak smile and turned back to her friend before she answered the man’s question. To a stranger, Olivia’s hooded expression would make one wonder if she knew the man, but to Amelia it was obvious that she did. “The helmet took the brunt of the hit and she’s bruised from head to toe, but otherwise ok. The doctor that examined her said she was lucky. When the medics got to her, she had a problem remembering so the doctor wants her to spend the night for observation.”

Olivia grimaced, “I’ve not been stricken dumb Amelia.”

Amelia winced at the censure then gave her friend an apologetic smile before she squeezed the larger hand. “Sorry, I guess you being here kinda makes me nervous. Why don’t I go get a coffee while you two visit?”

“Your business partner?” Dan asked.

Olivia blinked at the man she knew as a friend and gave him a dour smile. “Yes she is. Have we caught O’Donnell?”

“She seems nice.”

Her head was pounding and all she wanted to do was sleep. I just know if they’d let me sleep everything will be in order again when I wake up. “And the mission?”

Dan shuffled from one foot the next. Damn, Parker should be here explaining this not me. “Hum, yes, but we had to kill O’Donnell.” He saw Olivia’s eyebrow rise in question. “But, Parker got him to tell her who he was working for.”

A spark of interest flickered in her eyes. Way to go Parker. “You got a recording of his deathbed confession I assume?” Something isn’t right. Someone like O’Donnell doesn’t do confessions.

He averted his eyes. “No, but we all heard him…the Durant woman was definitely involved. Apparently he also killed a woman that worked in Parker's office."

“Christ Dan, didn’t you learn anything when we worked in ops together? You can’t convict a person on hearsay…especially if they’re dead.” Olivia allowed the frustration of being confined to the hospital transmute to anger toward the man. “When Parker gets here she better have a plan set in stone that will get that bitch.”

Dan sucked in a deep breath. “She won’t be coming…O’Donnell shot her.”

A myriad of emotions tumbled in Olivia’s already scrambled head as she tried to take in the blunt statement. “Dead or alive?”

“Someone neglected to find out about that shit using armor piercing bullets, Olivia. Parker took a hit in the chest.” He could see the concern on her face. “She’s in surgery…it doesn’t look good,” he said.

Olivia closed her eyes. Oh my god I should have known. Why didn’t I take that precaution into the equation? “How close was she?”

“Ten feet, she managed to get a shot off before his bullet hit her.” He saw a moment of horror cross Olivia’s face. “She missed.”

“She missed, how the fuck did she miss that close? No, don’t answer that Dan. Why, in god’s name did you allow her to get that close? You heard my instructions clearly didn’t you?” Olivia’s voice dropped to menacing tone as she glared at the man.

Dan felt his face flush. I’m in deep shit so I’d better watch where I step. The mission is uppermost so I need to keep with the plan. “She wouldn’t listen. With you out of the picture and another helping you we were short by two.” He closed his eyes. “She was amazing Olivia, you should have seen her. She tracked him and got the drop on him without him knowing she was there. She missed because my bullet hit him first.” He took a deep breath. “I take full responsibility.”

I need to see Parker and not lay here like a dumb melon. “I need my clothes. Throw me that bag over on the chair,” Olivia shook her head in an attempt to clear the cobwebs and let the light in. “You said you shot him…exactly where?”

“The head.” I know where she’s going with this. Never mind, I know what to say.

Olivia’s eyebrows knitted. “You did know that we needed him for information didn’t you?”


“Then why the fuck did you go for a head shot?”

Dan wiped a hand over his face. “He was going to kill Parker and I wasn’t going to let that happen. At the time, a kill shot seemed appropriate.”

“No one is so important that we jeopardize the mission,” Olivia growled. “When will she be out of surgery?”

Amelia chose that moment to re-enter the room. “Hey, what’s going on?”

Dan looked at his watch then at Amelia and nodded in her direction. “Is it ok to speak?” When he saw Olivia nod, he said, “She will be out of surgery anytime now. It depends on how much damage the bullet did.”

“The moment she’s out of recovery I want you back here with a wheelchair. Then you will escort your sister to the room. Once we get there, you will ensure that no one disturbs us until I’m done. Do you think you can you follow those instructions to the letter?” Olivia snarled.

“What’s going on? Which room, why?” Amelia felt the sparks of anger flying from Olivia’s bed toward the man - her brother.

Once Dan left the room, Amelia looked squarely at Olivia. When she caught her partner’s eyes, she was unable to prevent her frustration and anger from showing.

“It doesn’t concern you Amelia. Your priority right now is to go home and keep Sophie safe.”

Amelia didn’t like Olivia’s tone or the expression in her friend’s eyes. “I’ll do no such thing until you explain what’s going on Olivia?”

Olivia glared in annoyance at Amelia. No one speaks to me like that! “For god sake, will someone today just do what I ask? Maybe then we won’t have anyone else hurt.”

“All I want is a simple explanation as to why you want me to leave. Won’t Parker be back at our place by now checking on Sophie?” In all the time that I’ve known Olivia, she has never been this cruel.

The crack in Olivia’s fragile emotional balance appeared as she bleakly stated, “Parker was shot. Her chances aren’t good. Please, just do as I ask Amelia. Right now my place is with Parker…I owe her that much.”

Amelia’s hand shot to her mouth as she realized the enormity of those few words. She moved instinctively toward her friend’s side and placed a hand on the one clutching the blanket. “I’m so sorry Olivia. Can’t I stay please…for you?”

The touch ignited that flame inside of Olivia that gave her extra strength. Right now, I need it for Parker. Amelia will have to understand that. “I don’t need you Amelia. Please go.”

Amelia blinked back tears when she heard the final dismissal in Olivia’s voice. “I understand…you still love her don’t you.” Without waiting for an answer, she rushed out of the room as eyes unshed tears flowed.

+ + +

In an operating room a voice said, “She’s losing pressure.”

“We’ve got a bleeder,” the surgeon said.

“Pressure is 80 over 60.”

Another voice said, “Her heartbeat is erratic.”

“Damn it we’re losing her.” When the monitor gave a long, slow steady beep the surgeon said, “She’s crashing.” He took the internal cardiac paddles and pressed them to her heart. “Clear,” he said watching the monitor for any sign of life. “Again.” After one more try a steady beep, beep filled the room. “Hang more blood and let’s get her closed.”

+ + +

Dan looked up and saw the surgeon heading toward him with a grim expression. He said, “How is she?”

“We nearly lost her several times. I repaired what I could. The bullet exploded inside causing extensive damage. We did what was necessary to keep her alive. Once she gets stronger, we’ll have to go back in and repair the rest. We found the biggest fragment of the bullet lodged near her spine. I won’t lie to you, she’s critical and right now she’s lucky to be alive.”

“Can I see her?”

The surgeon patted Dan’s shoulder. “When she’s out of recovery they’ll move her to ICU. That should take an hour or so.”

“Thank you,” Dan said softly. He sent up a silent prayer. Once he was out of the waiting room, he made a phone call. “She’s out of surgery…it doesn’t look good.”

Dan entered Olivia’s room with wheelchair in tow. “The surgery is over and she’ll be in ICU in about an hour,” he said to the obviously agitated Olivia.

“Good that gives you time assemble the team while I contact Parker’s parents. I want Stevie, Chris and Sally to go to Philadelphia and locate the Durant woman. Once they set up surveillance, I’ll want to know if she so much as sneezes.” Olivia moved off the bed too quickly causing her to close her eyes as a wave of nausea washed over her.

“I’ll set that in motion and when I get back I’ll take you to intensive care.”

“It’s wheels up for the jet. I want them to pick up Parker’s parents. Tell Tom to head southwest and when you come back I’ll give you the exact coordinates.” Olivia turned her back on the man. “Get going and make sure the rest do their jobs too.”

+ + +

Before Dan walked out of the hospital, he sent a text message to the rest of the team to meet with him at a predetermined location.

Stevie was the first to arrive. She looked at the man sitting next to her in the command center van. His voice said calm and collected, but his face said something altogether different. “Is she pissed?”

Dan sighed. “Yep, but we expected that.”

Stevie shook her head. “Was she more angry with you killing O’Donnell or the serious injury to one of the team?”

“Both.” He looked past the woman. “I think an operative being shot wasn’t something she anticipated…I know I didn’t, not with someone like Parker.” His eyes rested on the younger woman and saw no emotion on her face or in her cold blue eyes. “Do you feel anything?”

Stevie shook her head. “No, I don’t. It is part of what we do Dan. We save people and sometimes a death or injury occurs. I can’t allow myself to dwell on that…I couldn’t do my job. ”

Dan shrugged. “Yeah you’re right.” Inside he felt sorry for the woman. So jaded…I guess that makes this job more palpable. I’m glad I don’t go out in the field that often anymore.

The rest of the team arrived and gathered inside the roomy van. “How’s Santos doing,” one man asked.

“She has a mild concussion along with bruises and minor lacerations. They want to keep her overnight.”

“What about Davis?”

“Not good.”

Dan looked at the group and cleared his throat. “Tom, I need you up in the air as soon as possible and head southwest. I’ll radio you with the exact coordinates within the hour.” He looked at Stevie. “I want you, Chris and Sally to go to Philly, find the Durant woman and keep tabs on her until Olivia arrives.”

“She’s going after that woman without any concrete proof of her involvement?” Stevie said. “Am I missing something here?”

Annoyed, Dan flexed his jaw. “We agreed to help Olivia on this mission and it is not finished yet. The Durant woman needs to be brought to justice.” He gave Stevie a hard stare. “If you don’t want to piss off Olivia more than she already is, I’d get my butt down to Philly. Eric, you need to speak with Olivia’s contact at the police department and make sure they bury the shooting. I told the doctor it was a suicide attempt so he’s obligated to report that to the police...we don’t want them snooping into our business.”

“No problem Dan. I know David Tourney well. He cooperated with us at the funeral so I see no reason for him not to now.”

“Good. I take it that you have cleaned the site.” Everyone nodded. He said, “Ok. Tom let me know when you’re on the ground. I’ll expect reports from you three when you’re in Philly and Eric let me know if we need to persuade the police by calling in a few favors.” Dan blew out a breath. “Ok, you all know your assignments…you’ll be advised of any changes.”

Dan opened the door to the van and slid out. He took a quick look at his watch before taking a deep breath. “Man, I hate this.” When he reached the door to the hospital emergency room, he went inside to face Olivia again.

+ + +

Olivia sat in the wheelchair beside Parker’s bed. The low lighting embellished by the monitors checking her vitals and the odd beep from the equipment were her only companions. Her eyes cast to the clock on the wall of the intensive care nursing station. Unable to hide her frustration anymore she said, “It’s been over an hour why the hell aren’t you waking up Parker?”

Parker was in a dream state. As she felt her consciousness wanting to leave the beautiful visions, she tried to fight it – she lost. When she opened her eyes she stirred slightly and saw Olivia sitting next to her. Why is she here?

The movement of the eyelids had Olivia glued to Parker’s face. The relief she felt when the eyelids opened and she saw Parker’s disorientated brown eyes gaze at her was palpable. The tears she’d kept in check slowly ran down her cheeks. “Hey Parker, at last. Bet you thought you’d skip town on me before I got a chance to speak to you huh?”

Her dry mouth made it difficult to form words. “O,” was all she could whisper.

A thousand things traveled through Olivia’s mind at that precise moment and she didn’t know what to say. She closed her eyes briefly then gave Parker a small smile. “Do you need a drink?”

Parker nodded slightly. “Yes.”

Olivia poured water into the paper cup on the bedside table and gently placed the end of a straw against Parker’s lips. “I’d better call the nurse. They wanted to be informed if you woke.”

With a shaky hand, Parker grabbed Olivia’s wrist. “No…I want to tell you…that I have…” To weak to continue, she closed her eyes and could not stop the lone tear that trickled down her cheek.

“Hey it’s ok. What do we need the nurse for anyway? I know you’re going to be back on your feet in no time. What do you want to tell me?”

Parker heard the words from the one person she trusted with her life and struggled to open her eyes. She stared into the blue pools that once held so much love for her and more tears fell. “I love you,” she said.

Olivia felt a constriction in her throat as she heard those three words.

It took all Parker’s energy to continue speaking. “I never stopped.” She closed her eyes.

The words pierced Olivia’s being, slicing her in half. For a long moment Olivia was speechless. Should I say what’s in my heart or not? “I called your parents, they’ll be here soon.”

“Mom’s gonna be pissed.” Parker tried to smile. “Bet she cries,” she said. Her eyes drifted in and out of the clouds that kept calling her name.

“Yeah, Ruth’s not going to be easy on me for putting you in a situation that might get you…,” Olivia said. She refused to think of Parker in any way but alive and well.

“I knew the risks. Dying is the chance we take.” She knew she needed Olivia to know what went left unsaid for ten years. She dug deep down for the strength to continue. “You didn’t do anything O.” She struggled to continue. “I betrayed you...” She couldn’t stop the onslaught of tears. “…I love you.” Parker heard her own words echoing around her and desperately wanted to say more. Don’t leave me she screamed noiselessly before her mind sank deep into an abyss.

The bleakness of the words and their meaning wasn’t lost on Olivia as she took Parker’s hand and lifted it to her lips and kissed it reverently. “Don’t you know that I’ll always love you Parker? You were my first love and until the day I die you always will be, that can’t ever change.” She buried her face in the hand trying to stave off the tears that threatened to flood the sheets.

For what seemed like an age, Olivia remained in that position until she realized that Parker’s breathing was shallow. Something’s wrong, her mind warned as she hit the button for the nurse.

A nurse, dressed in brightly colored scrubs, came into the room, pushing past the man standing in the doorway. “What’s the matter?”

“She woke up and now she’s gone again - do something.”

Calmly the nurse checked Parker’s vitals. “Ms. Davis can you hear me.” When she had no response, she took Parker’s hand. “If you can hear me Parker, squeeze my hand.” The nurse turned to Olivia. “I need to get her doctor.”

Olivia’s eyes fell on the pale features of her old lover. Don’t you dare leave me Parker…I still have things to say to you. “Why…what’s wrong?”

The kind eyes of the nurse smiled at Olivia. “Let me get Dr. Holmes. She’ll answer all your questions.” She patted Olivia’s shoulder. “This is not unusual when there’s been massive trauma. I’ll get the doctor.”

Something inside Olivia snapped at the words massive trauma. For a few seconds her eyes drank in the sight of the woman who, whenever she thought of her, was certainly not like this reflection of a waxwork. Her image had been one of intense vitality and a trust of the world at large. This isn’t right and I know who’s responsible. “Dan, get in here…there’s work to be completed.”

As Dan started into the room, a woman with a long white lab coat over green scrubs stopped him. “You can’t go in there. I need to examine my patient.”

Dan looked through the doorway to Olivia and shrugged.

Dr. Holmes looked at Olivia hovering near the patient’s bed. “Please step out while I examine my patient.”

“I’d have been gone if you’d allowed him to come in and push me.” Her glanced passed over to Parker one last time. “Take good care of her Doctor,” she said.

The doctor looked sharply at Olivia. Was that a threat or a plea? “I’ll let you know when I’m done with the exam. Will you be close by?”

Dan quickly took the opportunity to retrieve Olivia and wheel her toward the door. Olivia quietly answered, “I’ll never be far away.”

As they entered the corridor, Dan switched his cell back on and immediately it bleep with a text message. Once he retrieved the message, he showed it to Olivia.

“That makes my mind up…get me out of here now. Let’s go.”

“Don’t you want to wait to see what the doctor has to say?” Dan asked. As if on cue the double doors opened and Parker’s doctor came out.

Dr. Holmes looked at the dark, pensive woman who she was sure she didn’t want to cross. “Right now her mind has shut down while the body heals.”

Olivia nodded. “How long?”

“No way of telling.”

Olivia sucked in a deep breath. “Thank you.” Once the doctor left, her eyes flashed up to Dan. “Nothing I can do here now, but, I can do something that will make Parker happy when she wakes. I’m going to Philly. Take me to the heliport then come back and watch over Parker. When her parents get here, I want you to speak with them directly about what happened. Under no circumstances should they hear from the doctors that Parker tried to commit suicide.” She thought for a moment. “You should tell them she was on a covert assignment and that was the reason you told the doctor’s suicide.” She leveled cold blue eyes on the man. “Nothing happens to Parker or her parents. Is that clear?”

“Yes,” Dan said. “I won’t let you down.”

“You already did when you let her go after O’Donnell.”

To be continued

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