Spark of Insanity
**This story immediately follows "Borderline"**
Matt walked into CJ's office and leaned over to give her a kiss. "Gotta go meet Hoyt. Be back in about an hour. Love you."
She covered the receiver on the phone. "Okay, be careful. Love you, too. Wanna grab some lunch when you get back?"
"Sounds good. Figure out what you want." He kissed her again and headed for the elevator.
"Chris, do you think you can hold down the fort for a while?" He loved to tease their secretary.
"Well, I do it all the time!" She smiled at her boss and watched as he got on the elevator. He had sure been a lot happier the last few months since he and CJ had gotten together and married. Now everyone was waiting for baby news. Both Matt and CJ would be great parents.
In the elevator, Matt was thinking about CJ. They had been married almost four months now and were trying for a baby. He smiled as he thought about what it would be like: CJ with a baby bump. He could already hear her complaining about gaining weight. His best friend, Vince Novelli had been teasing him on the phone a few minutes ago about learning how to change diapers and making bottles. He sure missed having Vince around, but knew that he and his family were happy in Hawaii running their successful Italian restaurant. He had felt a lot of guilt when Vince was shot during a case they were working on together three years back. Vince had been forced to retire due to the injuries, but had sure bounced back with the restaurant that he and his mother Rosa had started. Matt pulled out the keys to his truck as the elevator neared the parking garage level. The doors opened and BOOM!
CJ's phone line went dead as the building shook. Then fire alarms began going off. CJ ran out to the outer office and Chris was standing at her desk with her mouth open. "What was that?!"
"I don't know, but the whole building shook!" The two women grabbed their purses and headed for the stairwell. CJ pulled out her phone and dialed Matt's cell. There was no answer. Her heart was in her throat. She knew he hadn't had time to get out of the building yet. As they neared the first floor and the parking garage level they could smell smoke and heard a lot of commotion. "Chris, I'm going to the garage to look for Houston, you go on outside." The secretary nodded and kept going.
CJ tried to open the door to the parking garage but it seemed to be stuck. She pulled on it with all her might and it finally gave. Smoke billowed into the stairwell. She covered her nose and mouth with the sleeve of her jacket and went inside.
Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw: there in front of her was what remained of Matt's truck, a burning heap of metal. At first she thought she might pass out but knew that there was a chance that he wasn't inside of it. She turned toward the elevator and could see the doors on it opening and closing. When she got closer she could see two legs lying across the threshold – and there were cowboy boots on the feet.
"Matt! Matt!" She ran toward the elevator and sure enough, there he lay sprawled inside the elevator. Kneeling beside her husband she felt for a pulse and thanked God when she found one. She pulled out her phone and called 911 to request an ambulance. After what seemed like an eternity but was only a couple of minutes, two paramedics arrived along with fire trucks and police cars. One of the officers who was first to arrive was Michael Hoyt. He saw CJ and ran over to her.
"Is he okay? What happened?" He took her by the hand and held her as the paramedics began working on Matt.
"He's got a pulse." That was all she could get out. She and Hoyt followed the paramedics out to the ambulance where he helped her get into the back. "I'll give you guys an escort," he told the paramedic who was driving.
"Are you his wife?" CJ nodded and the paramedic began asking a lot of questions about Matt. "No, he's not on any medication. No, no allergies. No history of heart problems." Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. She could hear the wail of the siren, but the pounding of her heart seemed even louder. She looked at her husband. He was unconscious and had cuts and scrapes on his face. His right arm was badly injured: bone was sticking through the sleeve on his blue shirt. His favorite shirt: she had teased him about it just this morning. Matt's right leg was lying at a strange angle and there was blood on the front of his shirt. If he would just open his eyes!
Then the ambulance stopped and she realized they were at the hospital. When the doors opened, there was Hoyt waiting for them. They followed the gurney into the emergency room. CJ tried to go into the exam room with him but they wouldn't let her. Instead she was given a clipboard full of forms to fill out. She sat down on a bench in the hallway with Hoyt and was trying her best to fill out the forms, but her eyes kept filling up with tears and her hands were shaking way too badly to write. Michael took the clip board from her and began filling out the information that he knew, then asked CJ what he didn't know. In a few minutes, they had the forms completed and walked up to the counter to give them to the nurse.
"Alright, CJ, the doctor will be with you as soon as he knows something, okay?" She looked up at the nurse and then realized that she knew this woman. Her name was Simone, and she had teased Matt and CJ for years about getting married. Every time Matt ended up in the emergency room after a fight, gunshot, broken ribs or whatever else took him there, she was there.
Simone came around the counter and gave her a hug. "Come on and sit down, sweetie. You know they'll take good care of him. He's one of our best customers after all." She gave CJ a reassuring smile and helped her back to the bench. Hoyt put his arm around her.
"CJ, has anyone called Roy?" She shook her head no. Hoyt pulled out his cell phone and pushed Roy's number on speed dial. He answered after a couple of rings. "Roy, this is Michael. Look, Matt's at the hospital. I'm not exactly sure what happened but there was an explosion in the parking garage at his office. He's been injured. No, we don't know yet, they're still in the exam room with him. Okay." He hung up. CJ was no longer crying but she looked completely lost and was shivering. He took off his jacket and put it around her. "Roy's on his way. He should be here in about fifteen minutes, okay?"
CJ nodded her head. She was thinking about this morning. Matt had suggested playing hooky today and, as he liked to call it, "work on the baby". She had told him that she had things to do, but that they could work on it that night. Now she wished she could go back in time and tell him yes. Then he wouldn't be lying in the emergency room hurt.
Dr. Metcalfe came walking out of the exam room and looked around, spotting CJ and Hoyt. He walked over to them. She appeared to be in shock. "CJ, why don't you and the lieutenant come with me, okay?" He took her by the hand and he and Hoyt helped her into the little room that was used for consultations.
"How is he?" She still felt like everything was in slow motion, including her brain.
"Well, his right arm has been broken in two places and his right leg is broken. He also has a concussion, and various cuts and abrasions, and a lot of severe bruises on his back and shoulders." The doctor took off his glasses and absentmindedly began cleaning them on his scrub top.
"But he's going to be okay, right?" CJ managed to speak.
"He will. He'll need surgery for the arm. But nothing he can't handle. But he is going to be in some serious pain for a while." He smiled at CJ. She still had a shocked look on her face.
"He's going to be okay." She looked at Hoyt and started crying again. "He wanted to stay home and play hooky today and I told him no. Why didn't I say yes?" Hoyt held her close and patted her back.
"Matt's going to be okay, CJ. He's alright. You forgot that you married Superman, didn't you?" He smiled at her. She smiled and started to laugh, but then the tears started again and she laid her head on Hoyt's chest. The door to the room opened and Simone led a very pale Uncle Roy inside. Dr. Metcalfe stood up and shook his hand and explained Matt's injuries to his uncle.
Roy walked over to CJ who jumped up and into his arms. "It's all my fault, Uncle Roy! He wanted to stay home today, and I…" She dissolved into tears again. Roy shushed her. "You didn't do anything wrong, CJ. And he's going to be fine, okay? Just calm down. Now what would Matt say if he saw you crying like this right now, huh?" He continued to hold her and pat her back.
CJ started to calm down and looked at the doctor. "When can we see him?"
"Well…" He started to tell her not until he was out of surgery. But he knew this pair and how close they were. "I can let you in to see him now, BUT…he is unconscious and he's going to be that way for a while, so don't expect him to open his eyes, okay? We've been getting him cleaned up some, and we've got him scheduled for surgery in about twenty minutes to fix that arm." He led the three of them to the exam room: he knew that Matt and Hoyt were almost as close as brothers.
CJ took a deep breath and composed herself before walking into the room. Matt was lying on the table. His face had been cleaned and the small cuts had been treated and covered. He had a big bruise on his right cheek. They had his right arm covered up, there were leads for the heart monitor on his chest, and there was an IV in his left arm and left leg. She reached up and gently ran her hand over his left cheek and traced the jawline of the face that she enjoyed waking up to every morning. And there was the ever-present stubble. She had teased him this morning about growing a beard and smiled as she thought about that. He looked so much like a little boy when he was asleep. She leaned over and kissed his cheek. He was so still. Matt was always moving, always into something and was rarely still.
Uncle Roy reached over and patted his head. He remembered how Matt used to run up to him as a little boy and jump into his arms and demand a piggyback ride, and how he loved to go fishing. He was happier outdoors than in. Roy felt tears sting at his eyes. This man had been through more in his life than any ten people that Roy knew. But he was still the same, sweet, lovable kid that had demanded the piggyback rides. He and CJ stepped back so Hoyt could see him.
Hoyt looked at the man that he now called his best friend. He took his left hand and squeezed it, hoping that he would squeeze back, and felt a deep pain in his chest when he didn't. "I promise you, I'll find out who did this. I promise." He squeezed Matt's hand again.
"I'm sorry, CJ, but you'll have to go. We have to get him ready for surgery." Dr. Metcalfe led them back out into the hall. One of the nurses followed them out and handed CJ a bag that contained Matt's personal items. His cell phone began to ring. CJ pulled it out and looked at the caller ID. It was Mama Novelli, Vince's mom. With shaking hands CJ answered the phone.
"Hi, Mama. No, you dialed the right number. Well, Matt, uh, he's…" She broke down crying again. Uncle Roy took the phone. "Rosa? It's Roy. Matt got hurt earlier today but he's going to be alright." He walked up the hall a little ways and Hoyt took CJ by the hand and led her back to the bench. A couple of minutes later, Roy came back and handed the phone back to CJ. "She was calling to give him a recipe that he was asking Vince about this morning." Roy smiled. "He had big plans of cooking dinner for you Saturday night." He knelt down in front of CJ. "I need to talk to Michael for a minute. Will you be okay here?" She nodded her head and was dabbing at her eyes. Roy patted her on the knee and he and Hoyt walked a few feet away.
"Vince is on his way and he is major league pissed." Roy looked at Hoyt. "He wants to help me track down whoever did this." Hoyt nodded. "Good, because I think we're going to need help. But he's going to have to be your responsibility." Roy nodded. They both looked back at CJ who finally seemed to be calming down.
Hoyt turned back to Roy. "I'm going to go see what I can find out, but I don't want to leave her alone."
"I'll be here with her. But keep me in the loop." Roy headed back down to sit with CJ and Hoyt followed. He knelt down in front of her. "CJ, I'm going to go get to work on this thing, okay? If you need anything, anything at all, you call me, okay?" She nodded, leaned forward, and gave him a hug. "Thank you, Michael. I don't know what I would have done without you." She handed his jacket back to him. He patted her back and gave her a kiss on the cheek, then walked back out to his car.
CJ sat thinking for a minute. "I need to call Chris." She pulled out her phone and dialed the secretary's number. "Chris, Matt's at the hospital. He's got a broken arm and leg and a concussion, but he's going to be alright. They're taking him to surgery now to work on his arm." Roy watched her. She was getting control again. After a couple of minutes she hung up the phone, then called Hoyt's number. "No, no word yet. Look, I just talked to Chris. She's upstairs in the office gathering the security camera footage for you. Okay. Bye." Roy smiled at her.
"Aha, the private detective is back in action, hey?" He put his arm around her. She shook her head. "No the extremely angry wife wants to know who the hell did this so she can get her hands on them." The look on her face said that whoever was responsible wouldn't be walking away.
"That's my girl." He hugged her to him. "Would you like for me to pull the old cliché and ask if you want some really bad hospital coffee?"
"Actually, that would be great right now." She smiled at him. He got up and went down the hall for the coffee as CJ sat there and prayed for Matt.