Soul Purpose Chapter 26
Rossi spotted her among the crowd of travelers. Even from his distance he saw the fatigue and worry on her. She carried it in her shoulders as she drug her luggage behind her. Like the rest of them sleep would be delayed for her as well. She managed a slight smile at the sight of his hand raised and waving in the air.
Emily welcomed his strong arms as he pulled her into him. They both seemed in need of the contact between friends who were more like family. They stayed in that place longer than they would have had circumstances been different. Then pulling away from each other they saw the sadness and the mess that their decisions had caused swimming wildly and shamefully in their eyes.
“Welcome home, Emily.”
“Thanks, I wish I could say that I’m happy to be back…not like this…not like this.”
“Let’s get you to your apartment…”
“No, I want to see Derek.”
“It’s late you must be exhausted.”
“Please Dave, I need to see him.”
He looked into her eyes for what she was not telling him.
“Okay. We’ll go see Derek.”
The two waded through the crowd and out into the chilly night air. Dave headed toward his car placing her luggage in the trunk. She stood watching him as he closed the trunk not quite ready to face what lied ahead.
“Are you sure you don’t want to wait?”
Emily turned and hopped into the car as Dave hurried around to the driver’s side and got in. The sound of the engine lulled her into a false sense of security as the car headed away on to the expressway.
“We really fucked up this time.”
Shooting a quick glance at her then smiling he shook his head in agreement. Yes, they had royally fucked up.
“This is what Derek wanted…”
“Yeah but we should have tried to talk him out of it.”
“When does anyone talk Morgan out of anything?”
“You have a point there.” She exhaled before speaking again. “So, how are the others?”
He smiled again before answering.
“My wife will probably never forgive me. She won’t even speak to me. Penelope passed out and now she’s in the hospital. Reid he’s…well, I don’t have to tell you how he took it…”
“Okay, yeah I get the message.”
“Avery is going to be happy to see you again.”
“Don’t even start, David Rossi!”
“What? I’m just saying…”
“No, you’re just meddling in business that doesn’t concern you.”
“Okay, okay, it’s just for two people who were…are so in love…I don’t get it. You think they did something to us agents when we signed up for this job!”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can’t keep a marriage together if it were tied to my arm, Morgan and Garcia going for a decade without acting on their feelings, you and Avery throwing away a love so strong that he literally willed you back to life and…”
“And now you’re a relationship guru on top of everything else you do so well?”
Dave smiled and focused his attention on the road.
“No not at all. It’s just that three failed marriages and one on life support…you learn some things.”
“Tell me what did the great Dave Rossi learn?”
“I learned that when you find love you don’t let it go without a fight.”
“So does that mean you’re going to fight for Fran?”
“Damn right I am.”
“It’s not going to be easy, you know that right?”
“Yeah I know but no matter what it takes, I can’t give up…I can’t let her give up on us either!”
“Good, glad to hear it.”
The next few seconds were spent in silence. Dave wasn’t finished with this conversation either. So he spoke again.
“So, are you going to give up?”
“Are you going to give up on the good doctor?”
She wasn’t sure how to answer his question and she wasn’t ready to admit that there hadn’t been a day that had gone by since leaving for Europe that she hadn’t thought about Avery. She’d regretted leaving him behind and what she had gained paled in comparison to what she had lost. Emily was afraid to even think that she could have it all again…afraid that the man who’d loved her enough to let her go, would still feel the same about her.
“Dave…I swear you just don’t know how to let things go, do you?”
“Just asking is all…just asking.”
Potomac General Hospital –
Penelope was happy to see her little girl peep her head around the curtain and slowly approach her bed. JJ followed close behind lifting the precocious toddler onto the bed. Penelope gobbled her up in her arms and hugged her tight. She mouthed a big thank you to JJ as she held onto Saraya for dear life.
“How’s mommy’s angel doing?”
“Mommy, are you okay?”
“Mommy is just fine.”
“What happen to you, mommy?”
“Mommy just felt a little sick but she’s fine now.”
Penelope kissed her daughter on the head as she fought back the tears.
“Mommy how come Auntie JJ picked me up? Daddy was ‘sposed to pick me up. Today is i’cream day for me and daddy!”
Penelope saw JJ’s eyes widen as her hands covered her mouth. Penelope had no idea what to say to satisfy her daughter.
“Daddy had an emergency, Saraya baby.” JJ interrupted. “He had to go away to fight a very bad man.”
“Why didn’t you go?”
Her goddaughter was too smart to fall for a flimsy lie like that and JJ knew it.
“Well, because the rest of us had to stay and fight some bad guys here.”
“But you guys always go together.”
“Well, sometimes we have to split up. Like this time.”
Saraya lifted her head and looked at her mother then at JJ. Penelope mustered a smile and shook her head in agreement. Reluctantly Saraya settled back against her mother’s chest. Again, Penelope mouthed, thank you to her friend.
JJ came closer and sat on the foot of the bed.
“So are they discharging you?”
“The doctor says I can leave in the morning.”
“I hate profilers.”
“He wants me to take it easy for a few days…”
Both women were crying now. Tears streamed down their faces a mixture of joy and sorrow. Neither had fully digested the news of Derek’s ‘death’ and most recently the news that he was not dead at all.
“JJ, I am so confused…so…”
Then they both looked at Saraya. This wasn’t a conversation to be had in front of her child. Even though the little tyke was wise beyond her years this would be too confusing and unsettling for even her little mind to process.
“Hey, why don’t Saraya and I let you get some rest? I’ll come pick you up after I drop her off at daycare in the morning.”
“Thank you, JJ. I’d really appreciate that.”
Saraya was starting to doze in her mother’s arms. Penelope kissed her daughter again nudging her to wake up. She didn’t want to let her go, didn’t want to feel the emptiness in her arms but it was late. She dreaded the thought of spending the night alone…afraid of not knowing where her husband was or how he was doing. There was so much she needed to tell him; that she was worried and angry but in that moment as her daughter was pulled gently from her arms she realized that no matter how angry she was, she loved her husband more now than ever before.
Unknown Medical Facility –
Not much had changed. The building’s old worn exterior masked perfectly the modern well-kept interior. There was no hospital in the world that came close to what lied beyond the walls of Avery’s facility. He’d spent most of his professional life creating a safe haven for critically injured patients who needed a safe place and discretion as much as they needed healing hands. She’d benefitted from the secret place and for that she was both humbled and grateful.
Dave used his pass code to gain entrance and they quickly made their way to Derek’s room. She remembered her days here but still it didn’t prepare her for the sight of her friend lying still on the bed. The raspy sound of the ventilator kept an odd tempo against the heart monitor as they worked together to confirm that Derek was still alive. She stood watching from the hallway, looking with disbelief through the large glass window. Dave noticed her reaction it was the same one he’d had hours before.
“I’m going to let you have some time alone with him while I go find us some fresh coffee.”
Emily nodded in silence then stepped inside. This wasn’t a scene she was used to seeing. Derek was so strong and capable of keeping himself and everyone else safe. It was unsettling to see him so weak, and vulnerable…he had to make it, he had to otherwise she’d never feel safe again.
Avery had one more thing to do before leaving for the evening. He wanted to check on his patient and give last minute instructions for his care. His thoughts had been distracted all day anxiously waiting for Emily’s arrival. Even though he knew she was coming, he still wasn’t prepared to see her again. Quietly he watched her from the window. She was beautiful…more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her if that was possible. His feelings for her hadn’t changed and he realized that the last several years of denying that fact hadn’t made his heart long any less for her. He’d practice the words he’d say when and if the time came when he saw her again. Now all the words were gone and his mind was a blank. All he wanted was to hold her and touch her and make sure she was not just a figment of his imagination.
He wasn’t sure how his feet had managed to get him into the room against his will. She was so deep in thought that she hadn’t heard him enter. He saw Morgan’s hand engulfed in hers as she stared intently at her friend. Had he not known their connection he’d been jealous but he knew what they meant to each other what they’d all meant to each other and that was what he envied. Never in his life had he experienced a friendship like Emily had with her team.
“How’s our patient this evening?”
The familiar voice made her heart stop. Slowly she turned to face the man that had saved her life moments before he’d stolen her heart. She stood although she didn’t know how already her knees were trembling.
“A-Avery…” She whispered.
“Welcome home, my love…welcome home.”