Soul Purpose Chapter 27
Avery closed the distance between them and gently pulled her into his arms. Still the gentleman he placed a soft kiss on her cheek before letting her go. She was still the woman who’d nearly died on his table, the woman who would change his life and the woman who would make it impossible to love anyone else again.
“You look amazing.”
She fought the tears that she told herself she wouldn’t shed. Seeing him wasn’t a surprise she knew he would be here but her heart fluttered and she couldn’t think or comprehend the moment she found herself in. He hadn’t changed he was still the handsome, serious man she’d left years ago. Life had been lonely without him and she longed for another life that would have made it safe to choose him.
Then shooting a glance at her friend in the bed she moved away slightly. Avery moved to the other side of the bed to allow them both room to breathe.
“What are his chances?”
Picking up Morgan’s chart he hesitated before answering; memories of her stay years ago still fresh in his mind.
“The same as yours were when you first arrived here.”
“That bad, huh?”
“That bad.” Then glancing quickly over to her. “But look at you now.”
“For saving my life.”
“I told you before, you don’t owe me a, thank you. Besides, stealing my heart and taking it with you was payment enough.” He chuckled.
“No, it’s okay…I’m okay and I understand, believe me I do. It just…”
“It doesn’t change the fact that I’m madly in love with you.”
The door opened and Rossi stepped inside carrying two large Styrofoam cups of coffee. She shot an apologetic look at Avery who nodded and smiled slightly.
“Had I known you’d be here, doc I’d brought you a cup.”
“No, no worries. I’ve had more than my share of caffeine today. It’s time for me to go home and get some rest.”
Rossi couldn’t help but feel he’d interrupted something as he nodded his goodbye. Prentiss looked longingly after the good doctor as he made his exit.
“Did I interrupt anything?”
“Oh, uh no of course not.”
“You sure because it sure feels like it.”
“Let it go, Rossi. Trust me there’s nothing to interrupt.”
He didn’t believe it and more importantly she didn’t believe it either. So, silently they both agreed to let it go for now.
“What do we do if he doesn’t make it, Dave?”
“He’s too stubborn not to make it.”
“If he doesn’t Penelope will never forgive us.”
“I hear you.”
Potomac General – Morning –
“What do I have to do to see my husband?”
Her voice was cold and her glare was unfamiliar to him. Hotch wasn’t a part of Derek’s initial plan but he’d been forced to take part as he lay dying on the bathroom floor. It was too eerily familiar to another time and place and he’d sworn to never be placed in that position again. But here he was trying to be firm and in charge in the face of the one person he never wanted to lie to. Penelope wasn’t an agent and she wasn’t trained to make decisions that most people would never be able to make in a split second. He still needed to protect Derek from who ever had tried to kill him. He had to insure that that person believed that he’d succeeded.
“Penelope, Derek’s shooter is still out there. We have no idea who…”
“I want to see him. I need to know that he’s still alive. No matter how bad it is, I need to see him…it may be my last…”
Then the damn broke. Instinctively, Hotch pulled her against his chest. She stiffened in his arms and then pulled away rejecting his comfort.
“Penelope, I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say to make you feel better.”
“You can tell me where my husband is. You can tell me that I can see him, that’s what you can do, Hotch!”
She wasn’t going to change her mind. Hotch saw it in her eyes. This mess had changed her and she no longer was the same Penelope they’d all known and somehow he blamed himself. He watched as she finished putting her things in her bag ignoring him in the process. Solemnly, he turned and headed toward the door. Just before leaving he turned to face her again.
“I’ll arrange for you to see him this afternoon.”
Without waiting for her response he disappeared down the hallway.
FBI Headquarters – Office of Director Martin Tinsley –
Tinsley studied the file in front of him. He’d requested a copy of the coroner’s report on the late, Derek Morgan. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. According to the report the agent had been hit at close range, the crime scene investigators had theorized that he probably knew his attacker because there was no sign of a struggle.
SSA Morgan had been a formidable opponent but when you don’t know who you’re fighting you’re at a deadly disadvantage. Needless to say, the agent had caused a lot of problems for Tinsley and Richard Lynch. Now the two men had to spend a considerable portion of their assets repairing what Morgan had singlehandedly destroyed.
The poor widow would be making arrangements to bury her dearly departed husband soon and he would take great pleasure in watching his body being lowered into the ground. But for now he’d continue to stay very involved in the investigation and to show his support to the family and friends of the departed.
Then Tinsley’s phone rang he frowned at the name flashing across his screen. It was Lynch.
Unknown Medical Facility –
Avery hadn’t slept much. So he decided to start his morning early. His patient had had an uneventful night with no change in his status good or bad. He couldn’t help but remember the early days of Emily’s stay there several years ago. He hoped desperately that the outcome would be the same for the man lying motionless on the bed.
Avery was so preoccupied in reviewing the file and checking the monitors that he didn’t notice that his patient had opened his eyes. Morgan squinted against the artificial light that illuminated the room.
“Penelope.” He whispered.
Avery turned toward the voice and smiled in surprise at his patient.
Confused Morgan looked into the stranger’s face.
“Where am I?”
He tried to move but was held in place by the doctor’s firm hand on his shoulder.
“Take it easy. You need to remain still.”
“My name is Dr. Avery Peterson. Do you remember what happened to you?”
Morgan looked from the doctor to the sterile white walls around him.
“You took two bullets to the chest one was close to your heart and you’ve lost a lot of blood.”
“My wife. I’ve got to…”
“Save your strength. I’ll call your team and let them know you’re awake.”
“Someone has to protect my wife. Please…the man who shot me…if he…”
Morgan fought to stay awake but his eyes closed as his weak body pulled him back into a deep sleep. After checking his vitals, Avery stepped outside of the room keeping his eyes on his patient and pulled his phone from his pocket.
Dave climbed the four steps that led to Emily’s front door. He’d always thought it interesting that she had kept her apartment in the states. She’d purchased it shortly before leaving to take the position with Interpol. It was her tie to the place she considered home and her tie to them. As he waited for her to answer his phone began to ring.
“You’re up early.” He teased.