"You know what you're doing," Ricky growled once we were in his car. "You know the ropes. Famous last words?"
"Almost," I admitted groggily. The loss of blood, the drugs and the fact I wasn't running on an adrenalin high any more were getting to me. I leaned my head back, closing my eyes.
The next thing I knew, someone was trying to get me out of the car. Now realize, Ricky is three inches shorter than me and a good forty pounds lighter. That didn't stop him from having me halfway standing. I came fully awake and damned near punched him before I realized who it was.
"Down, tiger," he said with a slight chuckle as—with his help—I was finally on my feet.
I looked around. "Why here?" We were in the parking garage at his place.
"I figured it would be safer than your house."
"Let's hope they didn't have someone at the hospital," I replied with a worried frown.
"If they did, they got a grand tour of the city," he told me. "I took more turns than a corkscrew before I decided it was safe to come home."
He put his arm around my waist, even though by then I was able to walk by myself, and that way we made it up to his apartment on the fourteenth floor.
"Get to bed," Ricky ordered the minute he'd closed and locked the door and armed the security box.
I had no problem with that. Believe me. At least until I found out he actually expected me to sleep. I protested. He told me to suck it up. Unfortunately he didn't mean that the way I wanted him to.
"Walt…" he said sternly, "you're in no condition to do anything but sleep and you know it."
He was right of course. With his help, I managed to get out of my blood-spotted jeans and the T-shirt he'd brought with him to replace the one I'd been wearing. When I asked, he said he'd rescued my cargo jacket which was a damned good thing. My camera was in the pocket and I really did not want to have stakeout Carmichael's place again.
When I was safely under the covers he joined me. We shared a few kisses—of course—but nothing more.
Then he pulled back, leaned on one elbow and looked down at me. "If you ever pull something like that again…"
"Like what?" I stared back at him innocently.
"Setting yourself up to be attacked again. You know that's what you were doing"—he jabbed a finger against my chest—"and so do I. Next time…"
I put a finger over his lips. "There's not going to be a next time. I'll come up with another plan."
"It better include body armor and…"
A kiss shut him up. Followed by a few more.
"I mean it!" he said a couple of minutes later when we pulled apart. "When you called… It scared the hell out of me."
"I'm sorry," I replied contritely. And I was. When you frighten the man you love that way—well it hurt to see the fear in his eyes and know that it was there because of me.
"So you promise no more playing the lone wolf?" he asked.
"I promise." I almost added 'Unless I have to' but I knew that would earn me a ten minute lecture on stupidity. All I wanted right now was to fall asleep with his arms wrapped around me. I got my wish.