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Dangerous Justice

Written by Terri Reed

Chapter Eight

Fiona's heart stopped. Her ears hurt from the deafening noise from Lewis's gun. The floor of the rehab center shuddered. She stared with horror at Chris and the councilman. Neither man moved.

Was Chris shot? Or was it the councilman?

She prayed Chris wasn't hurt. Or worse dead.

Oh, Lord, please, no.

She forced herself to a standing position. Her arm and shoulder throbbed but the pain was eclipsed by the ache in her heart. "Chris?"

He shifted and slowly rose to his feet, the gun in his hand. His gaze lifted to her. "I'm okay. We're both okay."

Lewis sat up, cupping his ears.

Fiona blinked. There was no blood on either man. On the floor was a huge black hole where the bullet had imbedded itself in the wood. Her knees went weak. She sank back to a sitting position. "Thank you, God."

Chris tucked the councilman's gun into his utility belt and then hauled Lewis to his feet, turned him around and cuffed his hands behind his back.

The front door of the facility banged open and police officers rushed in with their weapons drawn. Seeing the situation had been handled, the officers holstered their guns. Chris handed Lewis off to an officer.

Chris knelt down beside her. "Let's get you to the hospital."

With the hand of her uninjured arm, she cupped his face. "I was so afraid I'd lost you."

One side of his mouth lifted in a half smile. "Never."

Her heart thumped. What did he mean? She stared into his blue eyes. The affection she saw there made her pulse erratic.

Dutch licked her face, relieving the moment's tension.

Chris helped her to her feet. She hugged her injured arm to her side as he led her outside. The cold night was lit up with red and blue flashing lights. Their captain and his partner Glory met them at the bottom of the facility stairs.

"I'm glad you're both okay," Gavin stated, though there was no mistaking the concern in his eyes.

"We're alive, that's what matters," Fiona said, hoping to ease the captain's worry.

"She needs to have her arm looked at," Chris said. "Lewis roughed her up."

"He'll pay for what he's done," Gavin ground out in an angry tone.

"My vehicle's wounded though," Chris said. "Took a few bullets."

Gavin handed over his keys. "Take mine. Glory and I will ride back in the tow truck."

"Thanks." Chris palmed the keys then put his arm around Fiona and drew her to his side.

Feeling safe and warm against Chris, she tucked herself closer as they made their way to Gavin's vehicle. Once they were all inside and headed to the hospital, she closed her eyes and sent up a silent prayer of thanks.

At the hospital, the doctor X-rayed her arm and shoulder. Thankfully nothing was broken or torn. The muscles and ligament were badly strained. She would need physical therapy but would regain full use of her arm.

Chris insisted on taking her back to his aunt's. Not that Fiona would have refused. She wasn't ready to return to her apartment, to being alone and lonely.

But she knew the time would come when she and Chris would go back to being colleagues only. He wasn't looking for long term and she wouldn't settle for anything less.

# # #

The next morning, after packing her belongings up and saying goodbye to Teresa, Chris and Fiona went to the White House and met with General Meyer in her office. This was Fiona's first visit. She was excited and intimidated at the same time. As she sat across from the general with Chris at her side, Fiona fidgeted with the hem of her fuzzy pink jacket. Chris put his hand over hers, calming her nerves. She slanted him a grateful glance. Dutch sat at attention next to Chris.

"I want to thank you for exemplary work on this case," the general said. She sat behind her desk, her intense blue eyes magnified by her horn-rimmed glasses. "You make a good team."

"Thank you, General," Chris said. "But it was all Fiona."

He squeezed Fiona's hand, drawing her gaze away from the general to meet his gaze. The look in his eyes was warm and tender, making her want to melt. She forced herself to glance away. "He's being too modest."

"I see." An amused twinkle entered the general's eyes. "Whatever the case, I appreciate what you've done. Carol's family will have the closure they need, and Councilman Lewis will be going to jail. I can't imagine what that man was thinking."

Fiona ached for Liam and Mrs. Lewis.

After leaving the White House, Chris drove Fiona home. Her hand tightened around her key fob as she opened the door of her apartment. It was still a chaotic mess, like her life. She let out a deep sigh. It was time to put things back in order. The first step was to let Chris go on his way.

"Thank you, Chris, for everything," she said, taking a few steps away from him, hoping the physical distance would help her find emotional distance. "I'll see you back in the office tomorrow."

He made no move to leave. "She's right, you know."

"Who?"

"The general." He closed the distance between them. "We make a good team."

Her heart beat in her throat, making it difficult to find her voice. "I know you were reluctant to accept the protection detail, but you did it well."

The odd expression on his face made her pulse pound. "It wasn't that I didn't want to protect you that made me reluctant."

Her mouth went dry. "No?"

He tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. His hand traced her jawline sending delicious shivers of awareness over her. "It was that I did want to that scared me."

Confused, she stared at him. "You did?" He was scared?

"You have no idea how beautiful and smart and funny and wonderful you are," Chris stated, his voice dropped to a husky tone.

Her toes curled. She didn't know what to say or what to think about his words. Did she dare hope he cared for her more than a friend?

"I like you, Fiona." He let out a self-effacing laugh. "Who am I kidding? I've fallen in love with you."

The world tilted. Had she heard him correctly?

"I think I've been in love with you from the first day you walked into the Capitol K-9 Unit. You smiled at me and took my breath away."

"You never let on," she said, thinking about all the times she'd tried to gain his attention.

"I was too scared."

"Because you've been hurt before."

He nodded.

She placed her good hand on his chest. His heart thumped beneath her palm. "I understand. I've been hurt in the past. But if we let the past rule our lives then what is there to look forward to in the future?"

"I'm done being scared." He put his hand over hers.

Happiness filled her to overflowing proportions. "I've had a crush on you since that first day."

He lifted her hand to his lips. "Does that mean you still have a crush on me?"

"Oh, yes, most definitely." She went on tiptoe. "I love you, Chris."

Joy exploded across his handsome face. He dipped his head and met her lips in a tender, love-filled kiss.

Dutch barked and nudged his way between them. Fiona laughed. "Does he know how to share?"

Chris grinned. "He'll learn."

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About the author

At an early age I discovered the wonderful world of fiction and declar...

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Terri Reed

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