“What?” one of the guys from the front seat ask.
“I see the head!” I repeat.
Kara falls back against the door. I rub her knee; the interior lights come on, so I place her pants across her legs so no one else can see what I’m seeing.
“I don’t think you have much to go,” I say, trying to be encouraging. Kara looks ready to kill me. Her foot goes back in my stomach, this time a little harder than the last, making me grunt in pain. Then she screams so loud that I think my eardrums burst. I look down just in time to see a little face. I look around for something to wrap the baby in. There is nothing, so I rip my shirt off over my head, and hold it out, ready to catch him. Everything happens so quickly after she pushes that I’m not even sure I remember how the baby got into my arms, just that he is there and crying. Kara is laying back against the door breathing heavily. The cord is still attached, and I know that I need to find a way to tie it off and cut it. That’s when I hear the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my whole life. I look through the windshield and can see the lights of an ambulance racing towards us.
“Thank God,” I sigh, as we pull off the road. The ambulance is on the other side. When they open my door and take Kara and my nephew, I feel my first real sense of relief since this day started.
“Where the fuck is she?” I put my head between my knees, trying to breathe. Nothing is working. I can’t take a full breath. I don’t know what I will do if something has happened to her. I look up to see my dad coming down the hall towards me with his phone to his ear. I stand, walking towards him. “Have you heard anything?”
“Liz and Kara are on their way in. An ambulance intercepted a black SUV out on old Spring Place Road. One female gave birth before the ambulance was able to make it to them; the other has suffered a head wound, and is going to need stitches and possibly a transfusion when they arrive.” I rub my hands over my face a few times. Knowing that Liz is on her way here gives me a sense of relief; knowing she is hurt has me pacing back and forth in front of the emergency room doors. I need to hold her and see for myself that she is okay. As soon as I see the lights flashing, I run out the doors. The ambulance hasn’t even come to a complete stop before I’m pulling the door open. Liz is sitting on the bench; Kara is strapped down in the stretcher, holding a small bundle in her arms. The two EMTs look at me in shock when I climb into the back, pulling Liz into my arms. She is cold and pale, but awake.
“Hi.” She starts crying as soon as she speaks. I tuck her face into my neck and hop out of the ambulance.
“Hey, we need—” I turn around, daring him to finish, or to try and take her from me. It will be a long time before I ever let her out of my sight again.
I take a deep breath, the first breath I have taken since I found out that Liz was missing. “I’m just taking her in to the doctor,” I tell him, knowing that he’s just trying to do his job. As soon as I walk through the emergency room door, the nurse is there, ushering us into a room where she checks Liz over, explaining that her blood pressure is a little low due to blood loss; but everything else looks good. She gives me another blanket for Liz to help warm her up, and says that the doctor shouldn’t be too long. I wrap her up and sit in the chair next to the bed. Her hair, chest, and hands are covered in dried blood. I don’t know how much of it is hers; I know my dad said that Kara had the baby before the ambulance arrived. “Did they hurt you anywhere else, baby?” I don’t want to ask, but I notice that she isn’t wearing a shirt. I want to throw up. She shakes her head but doesn’t answer. I don’t want her to think that I would be upset with her. “You can tell me if they touched you.” I lay my forehead against her hand.
“They didn’t touch me.”
“Where’s your shirt?” I whisper, feeling bile crawling up the back of my throat.
“I had to use it to wrap the baby in,” she says, running her fingers through my hair. “The only time they touched me was when one of them hit me over the head with his gun because I was trying to make them let Kara go.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Mayson?”
“Yes.” I stand, wanting to get this over with. I want to take my girl home.
“How’s Kara and the baby?” Liz asks.
“They are both doing just fine. After I get you stitched up, you can see them if you want.”
“Alright. I am going to have you sit on the side of the bed facing your husband.” I help her sit on the edge and stand between her legs, my hands under her jaw, and taking comfort in the feel of her skin under my hands and her body close to mine. “I’m going to numb the area. Then I am going to have to shave the area around the wound and clean it up before I start on the stiches.” Liz nods, but her eyes fill with tears. I hate seeing her in pain, knowing I can’t do anything about it.
“I’m right here.” I whisper softly in her ear, rubbing the underside of her jaw. I try to have her focus on me as the doctor turns on a pair of clippers, the sound filling the small room. The nurse comes in, followed by my dad and another officer, who start to ask Liz questions about what happened. The more she talks, the more my blood starts to heat, between what happened with Tim at the job site, and Kara and Liz being kidnapped, I was ready to hurt someone.
“How did Kai know how to find you guys?” Dad asks her.
“He said that he had been watching for a while,” Liz answers.
“Did he say why?”
“No.” She shakes her head, and I can tell she’s lying. “Is my brother okay?”
The other police officer answers, “He’s fine. The guys who kidnapped you today went to your brother, showing him a picture of you and Kara. When your brother saw the photo, he attacked one of the guys, overpowering him. The next man pulled a gun and shot your brother at close range in the side. He’s awake, and with his wife and son.”
“What?” she gasps.
“It’s just a flesh wound, Mrs. Mayson.” Her body sags in relief when she hears he is all right. “What happened to the guys who took us?”
“Both of them are in custody. Seems they were trying to get your brother to go back with them willingly,” Dad says.
“They wanted him to tell the DA that the evidence that your brother had gathered against Max Tavero was all planted.”
When the doctor finishes the last of the stitches, I say, “If you don’t need anything else, I am going to take her to see her brother, then home.” I look at my dad, who nods his head. He hugs Liz, and promises that he and Mom will stop by tomorrow. The nurse comes back in with a top for Liz to wear. I take her into the bathroom and help her get cleaned up. When we make it to Kara’s room, Tim is standing outside her door, talking to someone I don’t recognize. Liz’s hand flexes in mine; her steps falter, putting me on guard.
“That’s Kai,” Liz whispers.
“Go in the room with Kara and close the door.”
“Trevor, he saved us.”
“I know, baby, but I’m not going to risk something else happening to you, so do what I say.” When we reach the door, I block her as she goes into the room and closes the door behind her. Once I know she is safe, I go in for the kill. I’m not going to have this shit go down again. I shove Kai into the wall, my forearm going into his throat. “What the fuck is going on?” I’m done playing games. I have no idea what he wants from Tim, but I’m going to make it perfectly clear that he is never going to get the information by threatening Liz.
“I’m going to let you get away with touching me this one time because I understand that you’re upset about what happened to your wife. But in the future, if you think about touching me, I will end you.”
“Do you think I give a fuck? I want to know that I’m not going to have to deal with this shit again.”
“I took care of it, Trevor,” Tim says, pulling my arm. I step back, shrugging off his touch.
“You took care of it, Tim?” I shove him against the wall. I don’t give a fuck that he was shot. “My wife was kidnapped, along with your then-pregnant fiancée, Tim. She delivered your son in the back of an SUV while bleeding from a head wound. You told me that this shit wasn’t going to follow you to town. You said that the police were handling everything; so tell me, what the fuck happened?”
“They were going to use Liz and Kara against me. They wanted me to go back with them so that I would agree to talk to the DA. They didn’t know that Kai had contacted me already, and informed me of what was going on. He didn’t know that the girls were going to be kidnapped, just that they were going to convince me however they had to, to do what they wanted.”
“As I was just telling Mr. Hayes, nothing like this will happen again, so he doesn’t need to concern himself.”
“How do you know that?” All I want to know is that Liz will never have to go through something like she did tonight ever again.
“You never bite the hand that feeds you. Now, I am sure you would like to get back to your families. Tim, thank you again; and congratulations to you and Kara.” And with that, he turned and walked off.
“Tim, I need to know that Liz is never going to be in danger again.” I run my hands down my face. I had been with Tim at the hospital when I found out that Liz had been taken. I never wanted to feel as helpless as I did in that moment again.
“She won’t be.” He opened up the door to the room. Kara was sitting up in bed; Liz was in the rocker holding her nephew.
“How’s he doing?” Tim asks, walking up to Liz. He runs his hand over her hair, before kissing her forehead.
“He’s sleeping,” she says, handing him over to Tim, who takes him carefully from her arms. He walks over to the bed where Kara is.
“Let’s go home,” Liz says softly, grabbing onto my hand.
“Yeah, let’s go.” I pull her into me, drop her hand, and kiss her. As soon as our tongues touch, I’m lost in the feeling and taste of her. This is what I could never live without; this is what I will always fight for. I pull my mouth from hers, kissing her bottom, then top lip. “Let’s go home,” I repeat. I kiss her forehead, wrap my hand around hers, and take us home, leaving the day behind us.
One year later.
“Baby, wake up.”
“Trevor, please, I’m trying to sleep. Go away.”
“Baby, you need to get up and go to the bathroom.”
“I don’t need to go to the bathroom!” I cry, shoving my head under the pillow when I feel sleep slipping away from me.
“Baby, I need your first urine.”
“What?” I shriek, sitting up and looking at Trevor, who is wearing a white t-shirt, sweats, and a huge smile.
“I need your first urine. Well, that’s what this says.” He holds a giant piece of paper in front of me, waving it back and forth. I’m following it, trying to see what the hell he is rambling about. “See, it says right here.” He points at a small section of writing on the giant piece of paper. “You should use your first morning urine.”