Alex swept his arm across the seat and Miriam’s body as the front of the cruiser slammed into the riverbank.
The airbags deployed and water washed over the front of the car and toward the windshield.
Dazed from the impact of the airbags, he shook his head to clear it, but the loud sound of an engine still hummed in his ears. A loud crack sounded, and he shouted, “Get down!”
Another gunshot rang out in the night air, shattering the back windshield of the cruiser and sending glass flying into the car. Lily barked and strained against the harness securing her in the back seat.
He turned to examine Miriam, who was slouched against the steering wheel. Fear gripped him that she’d been shot.
“Miriam.” She didn’t respond and the car lurched forward, sinking farther onto the soft riverbank. The sound of squealing tires told him their attacker had fled.
He rushed from the car and to the driver’s side. His feet slipped on the wet stones and dirt, making him grab the car door to keep from falling. The vehicle shifted forward again, warning him that he didn’t have much time to get Miriam and Lily out of the car.
Reaching in, he unbuckled her, and she moaned softly. “You’re okay,” he said as she roused and grabbed his hand to escape the car. Once he had her out, he opened the rear door and freed Lily, who jumped out and scurried to her side.
He half carried Miriam to the road, Lily chasing after them. He could see another police cruiser heading their way, but no sign of the pickup that had rear-ended them.
A police cruiser shuddered to a stop, and he helped Miriam over. She leaned on the side of the vehicle, unable to stand on her own. Lily stayed close to her legs, obviously worried about her partner.
He examined Miriam. She had a cut at her brow and blood trickled down the side of her face.
“I’m going to call for an ambulance,” Dillon said and reached for his radio, but Miriam waved him off.
“I’m okay,” she said, but Alex countered with, “You were out cold.”
“I’m fine,” she insisted and accepted a handkerchief from him to blot away the blood on her face. She winced as she placed it against her brow, but at his questioning look, she repeated, “I’m fine. We need a BOLO on a white pickup. A Ford 150, I think.”
Dillon looked at him for confirmation. “Ford 150. Older model. I couldn't get the license plate info. Driver was a white male. Older, I think.”
Dillon called in the BOLO and once he had, he peered at Miriam again. “You really should get that looked at.”
“I’ll be fine. We should return to the station,” she said, but Dillon shook his head.
“You need to get home and get some rest. You’re going to be sore as heck in the morning.”
Alex recognized the defiant tilt of Miriam’s chin. He’d seen it often when they’d been together, but surprisingly she relented. It warned him that she wasn’t feeling as fine as she said.
In no time, Dillon drove them to a home on the edge of town, not far from where Miriam’s family and his had used to live. The old Victorian sparkled with fresh paint and colorful winter pansies edged the walk.
Alex helped Miriam from the car and took hold of Lily’s leash. When Miriam stood on the sidewalk, it was impossible to miss that she was still shaky.
As he met Dillon’s gaze, it was obvious the other man realized his intent and when Dillon nodded, Alex dipped his head to confirm he shouldn’t worry.
Miriam unlocked her door and he walked her and Lily in, but when he closed the door behind him, she shot him a puzzled look.
“I’m not leaving you alone tonight,” he said.
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