Hidden away, p.18
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       Hidden Away, p.18

         Part #3 of KGI series by Maya Banks
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Page 18


  “I can do that. ”

  He drove as fast as possible without wrapping them around a tree. It was about a thirty-minute drive to the hospital. He made it there in twenty.

  “Don’t make a big deal,” she pleaded as he roared into the parking lot. “No big entrance at the E. R. Just park and we’ll walk into the hospital’s front entrance. ”

  “Isn’t this an emergency?” he demanded.

  She gripped his arm and was silent for a moment. Then she took a deep breath and exhaled. “No, it isn’t an emergency. I don’t want to look like a moron. Just park and help me inside. They’ll take me up to the right floor. ”

  Garrett frowned but he did what she asked, although he did make a new parking place right up close to the front entrance. They could kiss his ass or tow his truck. He wasn’t making her walk all the way across the lot no matter what she said.

  He jumped out of his truck and walked around to open the door for Sophie. She put both her hands out to brace on his arms, but again, he just plucked her from the seat and eased her down onto the pavement.

  “Good?” he asked.

  She nodded and took a step forward toward the entrance. The doors slid open and she stopped and held on to his arm for a long moment.

  “Okay, granted I’m no expert on having babies, but are you sure this baby isn’t coming soon? Those contractions seem to be awfully close together. ”

  She blew out and started forward again. “They’re irregular. Some are close. Others are spaced ten to fifteen minutes apart. ”

  “And you’re relying on the kid to realize they’re supposed to be regular?”

  Her sides shook with laughter as an elderly woman in a volunteer uniform hurried over.

  “Are you in labor, dear?”

  Sophie grimaced and nodded.

  “Stay right here with your husband. I’ll call for a wheelchair. ”

  “Yeah,” Sophie said as the volunteer hustled away. “Be a good husband and stand here without losing your mind. ”

  “I’m so going to kill Sam for this. I took a bullet for you. He should at least have to be here for the delivery. ”

  Again Sophie laughed. “Trust you to prefer the bullet. ” But she squeezed his arm and this time it wasn’t because of a contraction. “Thank you. Really. I was scared back at the house. ”

  He gathered her in a hug and kissed the top of her head. “That’s what family is for. ”

  “So you keep reminding me. ”

  A few minutes later, an orderly entered the lobby pushing a wheelchair. Garrett got Sophie settled in, fussed over her a few seconds and then followed alongside them as the orderly pushed her toward the elevator.

  Once upstairs, they were greeted by a smiling nurse who took over the wheelchair and wheeled Sophie into a small room with a rather uncomfortable-looking exam table. Weren’t they supposed to have beds? Like comfortable beds? Geez, childbirth clearly wasn’t for sissies.

  “Is there where you’re putting her?” Garrett blurted.

  The nurse smiled and set a hospital gown on the “bed. ” “No, this is only temporary. We need to see how far along she is. Sometimes we send the mothers back home for a while. False alarm and all that. But if she’s progressed enough, we’ll move her to a delivery suite. ”

  Garrett scowled. “Send her home? She’s in labor. You can’t send her home. Can’t you see she’s in pain? Can’t you give her an epidural now?”

  Sophie laughed. “Calm down, Garrett. We’ve got it handled. I promise. ”

  The nurse patted the gown. “I’m going to leave you to change. I’ll be right back to do an exam and hook you up to a monitor. ” She glanced at Garrett with barely veiled amusement as she walked back out.

  Sophie picked up the gown and Garrett froze. “Uh, you don’t need help or anything, right? I mean, you’ll be okay if I just go over . . . ” He glanced around. There wasn’t anywhere else to go in the tiny room except out. “Uhm, I’ll just step out unless you need . . . help. ” Oh God, don’t let her need help.

  “You can leave or you can turn your back,” Sophie said calmly. “It’s not going to take but a second to slip into the gown. ”

  He whipped around to face the door and raised his eyes heavenward. Where the fuck was Sam?

  He heard the rustle of clothing and even though he was facing away, he closed his eyes and listened for any sign that she was having trouble. Or a thump.

  “Okay, all done,” she said. “I could use your help getting onto the bed if you don’t mind. ”

  Garrett turned back around and kept his gaze averted just long enough to make sure he wasn’t going to see anything he shouldn’t. Slowly he let his gaze travel upward, relieved to see that the gown covered all the necessary parts.

  She was trying to climb up but with her belly and her holding the gap closed on the gown, it looked awkward as hell.

  “You hold the gown, I’ll lift you up,” he said gruffly.

  Her lips twitched suspiciously as she gathered the material in her hands. He lifted her onto the bed and hastily arranged the sheet so she was modestly covered. A few seconds later, a knock sounded and the nurse returned.

  “I need to see how much you’re dilated,” she said.

  That didn’t sound good. Garrett kept his eye from twitching. Barely.

  “I’ll just wait outside,” he said.

  Sophie waved him off and he stepped outside the room. He leaned against the wall in relief. Christ but he hated hospitals. He didn’t even want to know what the nurse was doing in there. His imagination was in overdrive and it was frying his brain.

  He waited. And waited. He started to pick up his cell phone and realized he’d left it in the truck. Just great. If Sam had tried to call, he was probably losing his mind by now.

  Several long minutes later, the nurse stepped into the hallway and motioned for Garrett to step inside again.

  “She’s already dilated to five,” she said in way-too-cheerful a voice. “We’ll be moving her to a delivery room and the good news is she can get her epidural just as soon as the anesthesiologist can be paged. ”

  Garrett looked over to where Sophie lay but she was watching the monitor at her bedside.

  “Uh, so how long does she have? I mean until the baby gets here. ”

  The nurse patted him on the arm. “No way of knowing really. It could be soon or it could be hours yet. We’ll monitor her progress. No need to worry, Dad!”

  “I’m not her husband. I mean, I’m not the father. I’m her brother-in-law. The father should be here any time. ” Where the fuck was he?

  “Oh, well, then just relax and help keep Sophie calm and comfortable. There’s nothing to worry about. The baby is doing just fine. ”

  A commotion outside the door had Garrett turning. He breathed a huge sigh of relief just as Sam barreled inside, a crazed look in his eyes.

  “Sophie? Baby, are you all right?” Sam demanded as he rushed to her bedside.

  Sophie raised her head and smiled. Her entire face lit up and Garrett could see the tension ease in her expression. “I’m good. Really. Garrett took good care of me. ”

  Sam took her hand and then leaned over to kiss her. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there. My damn phone went down and we were out looking for Rusty. I never should have left you. I didn’t think I’d be gone but a few minutes to Ethan and Rachel’s and then Ma called. ”

  Sophie put a finger over his lips and then followed with a soft brush of her mouth. “Shhh. I’m fine, Sam. Garrett was great. ”

  Sam turned to look at Garrett for the first time. “Thanks, man. I’m glad you got home when you did. ” He studied him for a long moment. “Everything okay with you?”

  Garrett nodded. “Yeah, now that you’re here. ”

  Sophie laughed. “He was afraid he’d have to coach me through delivery. He was pretty green there for a while. ”

  Sam settled into the chair beside Sophie’s bed and la
ced his fingers through hers. “No chance I’d miss this. ” He smoothed a hand over her swollen belly. “I can’t wait to meet our little girl. ”

  “I hate to interrupt, but we need to move Mrs. Kelly to another room now,” the nurse said from the door.

  The nurse moved forward to unhook the monitor. Sam helped Sophie from the bed and she walked awkwardly toward the door after the nurse. Not knowing what else to do, Garrett followed the group down the hallway to a larger, much more comfortable-looking room. The bed was certainly bigger and it didn’t look like a slab at the morgue.

  As the nurse settled Sophie into the bed, Sam stepped back to stand beside Garrett. Garrett turned to his brother. “I should probably leave now. ”

  “You aren’t going to stick around for the birth of your niece?”

  Garrett swallowed. “You want me to watch?” He tried to keep the horror from his voice but knew he failed miserably.

  Sam laughed and slapped him on the back. “You can stick around until the messy part comes and then move into the hall. Hell, before it’s over with, I imagine the entire family will wind up here. ”

  Garrett ran a hand through his hair. He needed to get with Donovan and figure shit out about Sarah. And he needed to get on the road, but how could he leave when his niece was about to arrive? Donovan would want to be here, not stuck in the war room on his computer looking for Sarah.

  Sam’s eyes narrowed. “What’s going on with Sarah Daniels? Besides the fact she gave you the slip. ”

  “Someone broke into her cottage and scared the shit out of her. So she bolted. ”

  “And what is this about keeping Resnick in the dark?”

  “How about you worry about Sophie and let me deal with Resnick and Sarah Daniels. ”

  Sam frowned but the nurses were moving away from Sophie and Sophie looked over to find Sam. Sam left Garrett and returned to Sophie’s bedside. He took her hand and kissed each finger, his smile warm and contented.

  Garrett leaned back against the wall and wondered how the hell he’d gotten himself in the middle of childbirth.


  SEAN Cameron turned his patrol car onto another county road that led away from the lake and scanned the tree line and farther down the dirt road. It really pissed him off that Rusty had pulled this crap after all the Kellys had done for her. He’d questioned some of the students at her school and had been told she drove off with Matt Winfree after school ended.

  When he got his hands on both of them, he was going to wring their necks. Especially Rusty’s. Marlene and Frank were sick with worry and now Sophie was in the hospital about to deliver. Something that should be a joyous occasion for all the Kellys. They should all be at the hospital, not scouring the countryside looking for an ungrateful twit.

  When he rounded the bin, he fishtailed to a quick stop, coming only inches from running over a person in the road. He looked up to see Rusty staring at him through the windshield. Her hair was a mess. She had blood trickling from the corner of her mouth, and her eyes were wide and frightened.

  As soon as she recognized him, her expression grew hard and cold. Her lips twisted belligerently and she limped past him and continued down the road. He shot out of the car and charged after her. He grabbed her arm and spun her around.

  “What the hell happened?” he demanded. “Where’s your car?”

  Her nostrils flared. “Get your hands off me, copper. ”

  “It’s either my hand or the cuffs. Take your pick,” he snarled back.

  He pulled her back toward his car and pushed her against the side. She trembled underneath his fingers and he let go, standing in front of her, arms across his chest in an intimidating manner.

  “Start talking, Rusty. ”

  She refused to meet his stare. “It’s about a mile up. ”

  “Did you wreck it? Where is Matt Winfree?”

  Her head popped up and anger burned through her eyes. “What do you know about Matt?”

  “I know you left school with him when you should have been going home. And that you took off without telling anyone where you were. Damn it, Rusty, the Kellys are worried sick about you. Sophie’s in labor and the family should be with her but they’re all out looking for your irresponsible ass. ”

  Her face fell and for the first time he saw beyond the belligerent front to the pain that lurked deep in her eyes. He frowned as he took in not only the trickle of blood but the redness of her face. His gaze swept downward to take in her torn shirt and the welts around her neck.

  “Son of a bitch,” he bit out.

  Rusty flinched away and would have taken off but he put his hand on the car to block her.

  “Talk to me, Rusty. What the hell happened? Did that little bastard hurt you?”

  She shook her head mutinously and Sean blew out his breath in frustration. “Get in. Show me where your car is. ”

  He walked around to put her in the passenger side and she looked briefly up as she slid in. “Not going to make me ride in back like the other prisoners?”

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