Divide & conquer, p.14
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       Divide & Conquer, p.14
 

         Part #4 of Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux  
Page 14

 

  Ty took a deep breath and balled his hand into a fist, telling himself that throttling the doctor would get him nothing but jail time. “Can I see him?” he asked through gritted teeth, glaring at the doctor dangerously.

  “Of course,” the doctor said immediately, apparently realizing how upset Ty was. “This way. ” He turned and led the way, punching in an access code at a secure door, which he held open for Ty before leading him through a maze of bays to one only dimly lit. The doctor stopped at the entrance by the glass door. “You should have some time. Were taking him for a CT scan soon. ”

  Ty stood at the doorway, looking in at an all-too-familiar scene. They were going to have to make a deal about staying out of hospitals for a while. It was beginning to wear on his nerves.

  “Thank you,” he forced out to the doctor before he moved into the darkened bay. “He has a concussion,” Jameson said. “We dont know how serious yet. He hasnt woken up, but the swelling inside his skull is already subsiding. I think hell be okay. ”

  “You think a lot of things, Doctor,” Ty said coldly without looking away from the bed. “What do you know?” Jameson spoke after an awkward pause. “Special Agent Garrett has a hell of a hard head,” he said frankly. “I expected several skull fractures, but I only found bruising and a split scalp that we stitched up. As it is, his brain got rattled. Were focusing on trying to reduce the swelling, and my hope is that we wont find any internal bleeding. Theres no evidence of any so far. That doesnt rule out other injuries or blood clots. But overall? Your partner is a very, very lucky man. ” With that, the doctor nodded uncomfortably when Ty glanced at him, and he left.

  Ty watched him go, then looked back down at Zane with a sickening lurch of his stomach. He moved closer to the bed and leaned over him, looking at him closely. “Weve done this before, Zane,” he whispered to his partner. “You need to be more creative with your neardeath experiences. ”

  There was no reply. Zane lay absolutely still, the rise and fall of his chest only barely visible under the cotton gown and sheet. He was hooked up to three different IVs, and his head was wrapped in enough gauze to make a turban.

  Ty gave a sniff and looked up into Zanes face again. “Fine, copycat. Dont talk to me, then. Im not leaving,” he said stubbornly as he dragged the heavy chair over from the corner of the bay and sat next to the bed. He crossed his arms over his chest and resolved to sit there until Zane woke, McCoys orders be damned.

  He was still sitting there when two orderlies arrived almost an hour later to take Zane to the CT scan. Ty stood to the side and watched them prepare Zane to be moved. He knew they wouldnt let him go along, even if he flashed his badge around. He smelled of smoke, and his suit was damp and dirty and probably ruined. His entire body ached from head to toe, and he couldnt decipher which injuries had come from his run-in with Tank on the softball field and which ones had come from his foolhardy headlong search through the bomb debris.

  He also noticed as he glanced at his reflection in the stainless steel paper towel dispenser that his face was smudged with smoke and dirt.

  McCoy had been right: he looked like hell. It would do Zane no good if he woke up to find Ty sitting there looking like this. He cleared his throat and touched one of the orderlies on the arm to get his attention. “If he wakes up, will you tell him his partner will be back?” he requested in a hoarse voice.

  The orderly glanced at him, looked him up and down, and then smiled. “Sure thing. ”

  “Thank you,” Ty murmured as he gave Zane one more glance and then went to call himself a cab.

  “IT WAS him!” Pierce shouted, eyes bright with excitement. Graham raised an eyebrow, more and more convinced that his buddy was losing his mind.

  “Who was him?”

  “That asshole FBI agent from the aquarium! He made me drive him to the hospital!”

  “Whatd he do, hold a gun to your head?” Ross asked drily. “No,” Pierce answered, sounding more excited than angry. “He just pointed at me and told me I was going to do it, and I had like this physical response where I had to do what he told me to! It was awesome!”

  Graham frowned. “That doesnt sound awesome. ” Hannah rolled her eyes at them all. She was beginning to grow tired of the game; Graham could tell from the constant sighs she emitted lately. Soon shed be back under a football player from school.

  “The FBI guy from TV was hot. He could tell me to do anything,” she told them as she counted out stacks of money from their last robbery.

  “So why is this exciting?” Graham asked, ignoring her comment. Pierce grinned manically and dug out a pair of keys from his pocket, holding them up and letting them dangle. “Because he left his keys with me. ”

  “That was kind of stupid of him, but I still dont get it. ” “Hes a fucking monster—hes got to be like six and half feet tall and eats nothing but steroids and babies. ”

  “Dude. ”

  “Hes like Moby Dick and Im Captain Ahab,” Pierce continued with relish. “Third-year AP English,” Hannah grumbled.

  Graham frowned. “Did you finish that book?”

  “No, why?” Pierce answered distractedly.

  “No reason. ”

  Pierce nodded, looking smug. “Im gonna kill him,” Pierce said as his eyes lost focus.

  “Wait, what?” Hannah exclaimed, sounding just as alarmed as Graham was.

  “Come on. Weve got work to do,” Pierce said to Ross, and the two of them left together, strutting out of Grahams kitchen. Graham and Hannah shared a look. Graham wasnt sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the bombings had become more important to Pierce than the robberies. And now he wanted to kill someone?

  Graham frowned as Hannah bit her lip and looked away. Neither of them had the nerve to buck Pierce, and they both knew it. WHEN Ty returned less than an hour later, just after the lunch rush, he proceeded immediately up to the fifth floor, punched in the code hed seen the doctor enter to get access to the secure area, and walked straight to Zanes bay, hoping hed be back from the scan. The last time Ty had suffered holding still for one of the damn things, it had only been about ten minutes, all told.

  When Ty arrived, there were two doctors—neither Dr. Jameson— and a nurse already in the bay. He hung back, practically vibrating with the need to get information and see how Zane was doing. Then he saw Zane slowly turn his head away from the door toward one of the doctors, who was talking to him in low tones. Zane was awake.

  Ty held his breath and stepped into the bay. The nurse must have seen the movement out of the corner of her eye, because she turned to look at him in alarm.

  The doctor turned as well. “And you are…?”

  Ty merely flipped his badge open to show it to the doctor. He could be an officious ass too. The doctor wasnt impressed. “Unless youre Special Agent Garretts family, you shouldnt be here, sir. Ive been informed of no guard assignment. ”

  “Consider yourself informed,” Ty said to him in a low voice. “I must insist—”

  “Ty?”

  At Zanes soft word, the doctors and nurse turned back to their patient. Ty stepped closer to the bed, looking at Zane with a mixture of relief and guilt. “Hey,” he responded weakly.

  Zanes hand shifted and his chin turned, but he just blinked lazily and stared out into the bay with unfocused eyes. “You okay? You were in the truck,” he said. The words were so garbled it took Ty a few beats to decipher them.

  “Yeah,” Ty answered carefully as he studied Zane. He knew that look. It took him a long moment for it to register, but he knew it. It was the same one his great-grandmother had always had when hed been little, staring past him as she listened to the sound of his voice. “You cant see,” he blurted.

  “Excuse me,” one of the doctors interrupted. “Special Agent Garrett, is this man okay to stay with you? Do you know him?” Zane blinked slowly. “Hes my partner,” he said, the words coming out a little m
ore clearly, though still labored. “Tell him. He was in the truck. ”

  “Tell me, my ass. He cant see,” Ty grunted to the doctor as he pointed at Zane accusingly. The second doctor spoke. “You are correct, Agent…?” “Grady,” Ty told the man in annoyance. “Why cant he see?”

  “Ty,” Zane said softly, the tone clear, asking Ty to calm down and let the doctors explain. The first doctor flipped a page on the chart. “As we were just explaining to Agent Garrett, there was a lot of swelling from the blow to the head. While most of it has subsided and weve confirmed there is no further internal bleeding, we think there was enough to form a few blood clots. We started him on the appropriate drugs, and in a couple of days, well run another CT scan to determine the extent of the damage. ”

  “The clots are very near the optic nerves, possibly even inside them,” the second doctor said. “Thats why he cant see. ” Ty stared at them, trying to decide if he was justified in hitting one or both of them. He didnt suppose he was. “Clots,” he repeated. “So its not… permanent, right? It can be fixed?”

  “We chose a very successful drug for dissolving clots,” the first doctor said. “Once we have a chance to repeat the CT scan and run a retinal exam, well have a better idea, but I would say its only temporary and wont require surgery to resolve it. ”

  Through this conversation, the nurse was changing out an IV, and Zane didnt even flinch as she set in another port. “Can I get you anything, Mr. Garrett?” she asked. “Are you in any pain?” “Headache. Ill live,” Zane slurred.

  “Well, Agent Garrett, try to get some rest,” the first doctor said. “You may find it easier to just keep your eyes shut. I hesitate to cover them until we know more about your condition. Well be back to evaluate you in a few hours. ” With that, the two doctors nodded at Ty and left.

  The nurse slid the call button cord inside the curve of Zanes arm. “If you need anything, just buzz, and Ill come running. My names Bree. ” Then she left them alone.

  Ty stood in place, uncertain of what to do. He couldnt fight the feeling that this was all his fault somehow. If hed just gone in with them….

  “Stop it,” Zane murmured.

  “What?” Ty asked defensively.

  Zane turned his face toward Ty. “Stop beating yourself up. Are you okay? You were in the truck,” he repeated for the third time, his voice low and exhausted.

  “You really do have a concussion, huh,” Ty murmured. The heavy chair hed sat in earlier had been put back in its corner, so he moved to the bed instead and perched on the edge. “Im sorry,” he offered lamely. “I should have been in there with you. ”

  Zane shifted his hand against Tys thigh. “Bothd be here. ” His tone conveyed that it would be a bad thing.

  Ty didnt respond other than to lower his head and look at Zanes hand. “Does it hurt?” he finally asked.

  Zane grunted. “Headache. Ill live. ” Ty would have smiled at the absurd repetition, but he knew Zane couldnt help it after that hard of a knock on the head. He nodded silently, belatedly remembering that Zane couldnt see him. “You cant see anything?” he asked tentatively. “No shadows, nothing?”

  Zane was silent for a long moment as he blinked his eyes over and over. “Nothing,” he whispered. Ty reached down and took his hand, squeezing it hard. McCoy had ordered him to go home, but what good was he there? On the other hand, Zane needed nothing but medical care, and Ty knew that when he was in the hospital himself, he hated having people with him. “What can I do?” he asked, feeling helpless and useless.

  Zane licked his bottom lip and opened his eyes, turning his face toward Ty. “Dont leave me alone. ” His voice actually shook. Ty looked at him worriedly, and he put his other hand on top of Zanes, holding it with both of his hands and letting his fingers slide up his arm. “I wont go anywhere,” he promised.

  Zane nodded; it was a jerky, uncomfortable motion. He squeezed his eyes shut as if it would help. “Im a little rattled,” he rasped. Ty petted his arm ineffectually. He had no idea what else to do. “Were going to have to find a third wheel to take care of us when we get hurt,” Ty suggested. “Were not very good at this. ”

  “Too good. This is new,” Zane said with a soft huff. “Headache. ” “Hey, I prefer my run of unlikely finger injuries,” Ty responded as he ran his thumb along Zanes wrist. “And its not new, its just more epic than what I did in New York. ”

  Zane snorted and seemed to shrink into himself as the silence lengthened. “Sucks,” he finally muttered.

  “Think of it as… special training for your other senses,” Ty instructed, faking cheerful.

  Zane frowned and took a steadying breath. “If I could see you,” he enunciated, “I would slug you. ”

  “Must be my lucky day then,” Ty responded wryly. Zane opened and closed his fist between Tys hands, flexing his fingers before letting them rest, curling around Tys wrist. “What now?”

  Ty opened his mouth to respond, trying to find either a joke or a silver lining or a nice whitewashed lie. But he could only manage a few soft sounds before closing his mouth again and shaking his head. “I dont know,” he answered instead. “I guess we just wait it out. ”

  “Wow,” Zane murmured tiredly, head lolling back against the pillow. “Youre scared shitless if thats the best you got. ” Ty pressed his lips together and looked at Zane helplessly. He met Zanes eyes, knowing Zane couldnt see him. He was glad for it, though. Zane didnt need to see his fear. If he was this scared, he couldnt imagine how Zane was feeling.
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