What I've Done (Page 58)
She leaned over and kissed his face. “I can never thank you enough for what you did. You saved her.”
“No,” Sharp corrected. “Haley saved me.”
She hadn’t given up on him. If she had, he’d be buried under a burned house.
Eliza walked to the doorway and waved. Haley hesitated at the threshold, then came inside, her eyes filled with tears.
“I’ll give you two a few minutes.” Eliza left the room.
Haley crossed the floor and took Sharp’s hand. “Thank you so much. I don’t know what would have happened if you and Morgan and Lance hadn’t stepped in.” Her gaze dropped to their joined hands. “I don’t remember my dad, but I think he’d be grateful.”
“If your dad were still alive, he’d have handled this himself.” All Sharp could muster was a tiny squeeze of her fingers. “And don’t forget. You saved me too.”
“I guess we saved each other.” Haley nodded, leaned over, and kissed him on the cheek.
She was definitely Ted’s daughter.
Emotions clogged Sharp’s throat. He cleared it. “Your dad would be proud of you.”
“I wish I remembered him.” Haley smiled, her eyes shining with tears.
With his throat tight with emotion, Sharp could only squeeze her hand again.
“I have to go and talk to the police again. I already gave them a statement, but they want more.”
Sharp frowned. “Take Morgan with you.”
“I am.” Haley released his hand and left the room without a backward glance. She was Eliza’s daughter too. That was for sure.
Eliza came back in and sat in a bedside chair.
“You’re not leaving?” Sharp shifted his legs, trying to get comfortable. But the pain was building at a steady pace. Each breath was harder to draw than the last. He should call the nurse, but he didn’t want the interruption.
“I promised Lance I’d stay until he returned,” Eliza said.
“I don’t need a babysitter,” Sharp grumbled.
“I promised.” Eliza settled back in the chair.
The nurse walked in, checked his vitals, and injected a shot into his IV. Sharp wanted to talk with Eliza until she left. Who knew when or if he’d see her again. But in a few heartbeats, his eyelids felt like they weighed eight hundred pounds.
Eliza was gone when he opened his eyes again. A small shape stood in front of the window. His ICU room was Grand-friggin’-Central. His eyes focused on a khaki trench coat tossed over the bedside chair.
No. Who the hell let her in?
This time, it really bothered him that his mouth tasted like a*s. He was not letting Olivia Cruz hold his f*****g water cup. He was going to brush his f*****g teeth and act like a man.
If only he could move his arm far enough to push the call button. His fingers scratched on the bedding.
Not going to happen.
His humiliation was complete.
“I’m glad you’re not dead, Lincoln.” Olivia walked to the bedside. He could hear the rap of impractical skinny heels on the tile. Her mouth curved in a wicked smile. “You still owe me a favor.”
Morgan was going to die, and she hadn’t even had her coffee yet.
“How far have we run?” She panted. The April morning was chilly. Her leg muscles burned, but the rest of her body was freezing. She pulled the sleeves of her jacket farther down over her hands. Under her gloves, her fingers were numb. At seven o’clock in the morning, the sun wasn’t strong enough to provide any real heat yet.
Nearly a month had passed since she’d suffered her concussion, and she was finally well enough to exercise.
“Do you want to walk for a while?” Next to her, Lance was barely jogging. Black running pants and a gray hoodie covered his big, buff body. He moved with the grace of a natural athlete.
Morgan did not.
She felt like a giraffe in running shoes. A lame giraffe.
She sucked in another lungful of damp spring air. “You didn’t answer my question.”
He winced. “About a half mile.”
“That’s it?” Morgan slowed to a walk. Her side cramped. She bent forward and pressed a hand against it, her gait limping and pathetic. She hated running with every cell in her body.
“You want to stretch out the cramp”—Lance demonstrated by raising his hands over his head—“not compress it.”
She mimicked him. The cramp eased a little.
Lance pivoted and jogged backward in front of her. “You don’t have to do this. It was your idea.”
“Improve your fitness if that’s what you want to do, but don’t feel like you need to do it for me. You’re perfect. I wouldn’t change one thing about you.”
“But I can’t keep up,” she gasped. “I can never keep up.”
“Physically, maybe not. But your brain runs circles around mine. And in Haley’s case, if you had run after me, we’d all probably be dead. You used your head. One of us has to remember to do that.”
The cramp seized up again. She stopped to catch her breath. She wanted to be fit. If only getting in shape didn’t involve so much effort.
“Maybe next time we should try this later in the day, after you’ve had your coffee.” He stopped next to her.
“I need to be done before the kids get up,” she wheezed.
“Just stop for a minute.” He took her hand. “Catch your breath.”
“What?” She swiped a piece of hair out of her face.
They’d followed the path that ran along the river behind her grandfather’s house. With Lance’s place burned to the ground, he was still living with her. She never wanted him to leave.
Lance looked down at her. “I love you.”
She smirked. “I know.”
He rolled his eyes. “You love me back.”
“I do.” More than he’d ever know.
“This might not be the most romantic place in the world, but this is probably the only time we will be alone all day.”
“With three kids underfoot, that doesn’t happen too often.” She laughed.
“I’ve noticed,” he said dryly.
The river flowed next to them. Water tumbled over rocks. The trees around them budded with new foliage. Despite the morning’s crispness, the air smelled of spring.
“And I think this place is very romantic.” She waited for a kiss, but Lance just looked down at her, his face turning contemplative.
“I know we haven’t been together that long, but I’ve known since the beginning that you were it for me. I want you by my side for the rest of my life. I love you and your kids and the rest of your family. I will never try to replace the girls’ father with you or them, but I promise to be the best husband and parent I can.”
Husband? Was he going to propose? Her breath caught in her throat.
His face went serious. “When that prosecutor in New Jersey called, at first, I didn’t want to be the reason you turned him down, but now I don’t care. I love you, and I want to be with you more than I need any stupid gesture of pride.”
“I never thought I’d find love again.” Morgan’s heart fluttered. “Now that I have, with you, I will not give it up. There is no job in the world more important than you. You make me happy. You are a priority in my life, whether or not you want to be. You’ll just have to live with that.”
“I think I can manage.”
She settled her hands on his shoulders. “There are many reasons I didn’t want to interview for that job. But you are one of them. I love you. But I also like being my own boss. When I’m not on a big case, I’m home every night to be with my kids. ADAs work night and day. I’d barely see my girls. I don’t want to leave my grandfather either. He took care of me most of my life. Now he needs me. It’s my turn to look after him. Plus, this is my girls’ home. They’ve already had one big shake-up to their lives. I won’t drag them away from their family without a damned good reason. And I want to be with you too. I like working together.”
“We make a damned good team.”
“We do.” She took his face in her hands. Happy tears dampened her cheeks. “But if you were the only thing keeping me in Scarlet Falls, I still wouldn’t leave. I would not walk away from you. You are enough.” And she couldn’t believe her good fortune in finding him.
“In that case . . .” Lance dropped to one knee and took a small box from his pocket. Inside, a diamond ring nestled on black velvet. “. . . marry me. I want to wake up with you every morning for the rest of my life.”
They’d talked about commitment and the serious nature of their relationship, so his proposal wasn’t a complete surprise. But she hadn’t expected it this morning. Joy bloomed through her. It didn’t matter that her hair was a mess, she wasn’t wearing makeup, and she was all sweaty.
She’d found a good man, one she loved, one who accepted the extra responsibilities of three small children without any hesitation. How did she get so lucky?
“Yes. I will marry you.” She didn’t know what she’d done to deserve a second chance at love, but she wasn’t going to waste any time mulling it over. Life was short and filled with uncertainty. She was going to seize her opportunity and hold on to it with every ounce of strength she possessed.