Disclaimer:JE owns the characters.
A/N: This is for Rae. Happy Birthday, Babe!
An Unlikely Lover - Part One
"Run it by me again."
I grinned. He was testing me to make sure that I'd actually paid attention to his game plan. "Binkie's picking me up at five. We'll drive over to After Hours together and enter as a couple. Vince will be behind the bar. Hal and Woody are going to be posing as other customers. Binkie will turn into an ass and leave me high and dry once our skip arrives. I do my thing and bring him out the front where you, Tank, and Ram will be waiting to grab him."
He smiled and nodded the whole way though. "Just remember to call him Aaron. This is a yuppie bar. Not a lot of people are going to go by nick names like Binkie."
I saluted Lester and he laughed. "I've got to pick up Mooner and then I'll head home to get cleaned up."
"Don't get too clean," Lester said as he walked with me out into the street to open my door for me. "You have to look like you spent the day in an office. Aim for rumpled, sexy secretary."
I laughed. "Relax. I've done this before."
He leaned against my door instead of opening it. "I heard you had problems with a skip yesterday."
"Lee Marvin," I said with a nod. "He managed to get out of his house and I chased him for a bit before he lost me."
"Want to try again tomorrow and I'll go with you?" Lester asked, a slightly concerned look on his face.
"Is there something that I missed when I did my search on him?" I asked as I started to get a hinkey feeling. The guys usually didn't offer to help me until I was already covered in garbage.
"No," he said with a sigh. "I was just offering."
"I wanna try one more time on my own. If I can't get him, then I'll call you."
Lester nodded as he straightened up and opened my door. "I can round up a full crew and we'll surround his house SWAT style."
My heart froze in my chest as I heard a familiar pop followed by a burning sensation in my arm. In the blink of an eye, Lester had his arms around me and both of us on the ground. Neither one of us moved until we heard the squealing of tires just down the street.
I patted Lester's back and said, "I think we're clear."
It wasn't until I brought my hand up to check the back of my head that I saw that it was covered in blood.
"Lester?" I whispered.
He didn't respond. He started to grow heavy as he lay on top of me and my stomach tightened. I turned my head to the side and grabbed his face to turn him to look at me. His eyes were closed and it looked like his skin had grown slightly pale. My right hand slid down to his neck and I checked for a pulse as my heart rate climbed.
"Lester?" I said, slightly louder after I found a pulse.
"Call 9-1-1!" I shouted towards Lula on the other side of my car. "Lester's been shot!"
My attention went back to Lester when I heard her make the call. I ran my hands down his back and felt where blood was starting to seep out. Fearing that moving him would cause more damage, I wrapped my arms around the two wounds to try and staunch the blood flow.
"Let me help," Connie said as she came around the car with a large black towel.
She kneeled down next to us on the street and arranged the towel over the wounds, pressing down hard. My hands came up over her's to help add more pressure. I pushed the pain in my arm out of my mind and focused everything I had on Lester. Nothing mattered other than the man in my arms. Not the pain in my arm, not my ribs crushing into the pavement below me, not the lack of air that my lungs were getting. Lester had saved my life. The possibility of him losing his for protecting me was not lost on me at all.
The sirens in the distance grew louder. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black SUV screach to a halt. Seconds later, Bobby was kneaing beside Connie, pulling the towel back to get a better look at the bullet wounds. His face turned grim and my eyes instantly started to burn.
"He turned me around and saved me, Bobby," I whispered when he looked down at me. "I won't be able to live with myself if he dies because of me."
Bobby's hands went to Lester's back and he pushed down hard. My breath rushed out of my lungs and I had a hard time getting air back in. Bobby relaxed slightly, but he pushed back down when I shook my head for him not to do that. I brought my left hand back up to the side of Lester's face and moved it over to rest against my cheek.
"Hang in there, Lester," I whispered. "I don't want to lose you."
The paramedics arrived a few seconds later. Within five minutes, they had assessed Lester and gotten him on a gurney. I bullied my way onto the ambulance, sighting that I had to go anyway to have my arm looked at. The EMT in the back took one look at me and nodded his head. I'm not sure if it was the bullet wound on the side of my arm that was still bleeding or the crazed look in my eyes. Either way, I got in the ambulance and held onto Lester's hand as the guy continued to work on him.
"You have to let go, Ms. Plum," a nurse said once we had Lester wheeled into the emergency room. "We need all the room we can get. So you have to let go of his hand."
"I've got her."
One of Bobby's arms came around my waist as his other hand pried my hand away from Lester's. He pulled me back and into the next curtained area. A nurse went to close the curtain, but Bobby stopped her with a simple look. My eyes stayed glued to Lester as a doctor came over to look at my arm. I faintly rememeber signing a waiver to have him stitch up my arm, but the process never registered to me as I watched doctors and nurses continue to prep Lester for surgery.
"It doesn't look good, Bobby," a male doctor said as he walked away from Lester. "One went right into his kidney. That's not bad. Worst case, we just remove it. But the other is lodged right next to his spine. We won't know the extend of the damage until we get in there."
"Is Tracey on tonight?" Bobby asked, his voice was flat.
The doctor grinned. "I called her as soon as I saw where it was sitting on the x-rays. She's on her way in right now. We'll have him preped in the OR and ready to go by the time she's done scrubbing in. Xavior is already scrubbed in and waiting."
"Who are Tracey and Xavior?" I asked as I watched Bobby sign a form that the doctor had held out to him.
"Xavior is the best urologist that we have on staff at the hospital," the doctor, J. Abrams as shown on his name tag, said.
Bobby turned to me and said, "Tracey is one of the top five neurosurgeons in the world."
"And she's working here?" I could hear the incredualism in my voice.
"Closer to her family," Abrams said as he took the form back from Bobby. He turned to the nurses that were still working on Lester. "Let's get him upstairs quickly, ladies."
Bobby put an arm around my shoulder as we watched the nurses and doctor wheel Lester away. I was scared. Lester was a good friend and he had sacrificed himself for my safety. The weight of the severity of his situation started settling in my chest. Bobby's voice was no match for the fog that had taken up residence in my mind. The world started to tilt just as everything went black and I passed out.