Cut and run, p.53

Cut & Run, page 53

 part  #1 of  Cut & Run Series


Cut & Run

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Page 53

  Ty nodded as he looked back down at Zane, not even catching that there was more than one meaning to the question. “We’re working a case,” he answered distractedly as he pulled out his badge and showed it to her. The action was completely habitual. “Been a bad one,” he murmured quietly.

  The EMT glanced at the badge. “So he’s your partner at work,” she clarified.

  Ty looked over at her and blinked stupidly. “What?” he asked in confusion.

  The woman smiled a little. “I asked if he’s your partner at work.

  You’re looking a little wobbly yourself. Why don’t you sit down, Special Agent…. ”

  “Grady,” Ty supplied as he frowned. “Yes, he’s my partner at work,”

  he echoed, still confused by her interest. “I don’t need to sit down,” he added stubbornly.

  “Okay,” she said. “I just thought you might want to stick around. He should be out for about thirty minutes. He’s still going to hurt when he wakes up, though. He told me about why he didn’t want the drugs. ” She gave him an even look. “Who are you to him to countermand his decision?”

  “I’m his partner,” Ty answered defensively, beginning to bristle a little under the scrutiny. “You knew as well as I did that he wouldn’t be able to take it. Common sense trumps alcoholism every day of the week, Sunshine.

  He’ll thank us later. ”

  “But you know it’s more than alcoholism, right?” she asked as she instructed another EMT to set Zane’s arm and wrap it up while he was out.

  “That’s why you’re so protective,” she continued as she took Ty’s arm and pulled him gently away. “Of your partner. ”

  Ty was getting annoyed and beginning to suspect that she could tell he hadn’t exactly made it out of the car without injuries either. He could feel the urge to bark at the woman and he stamped it down, just hoping to get away without being doctored. “What’s your point, Princess?” he asked.

  The woman’s eyes flashed. “Honestly? I’m trying to decide if you care enough about him to take care of him after this. He’s going to be a mess for a couple days, at least. Broken bones all over, the sedative and his reactions to it. Seemed to me you were worried enough that he might be more than just a partner. Maybe a friend?” She stood and straightened, not bothered at all that she was more than a foot shorter than Ty. “Now. Tell me what I want to hear, or I’m shipping him off to Lenox Hill. And unbutton your shirt; I see bruising,” she demanded as she pointed at his neck.

  “What do you want to hear?” Ty asked as he pulled the top of his shirt together to hide the bruising from his seat belt, his frustrated voice going slightly higher than it normally did.

  “Grady?” a soft voice called from amidst the crowd of police, firemen, and EMTs. Ty turned distractedly to see Henninger making his way precariously through the crowd.

  “Hold on,” he said to the man with a dismissive wave of his hand, looking back at the woman.

  “Are you going to take care of him?” she asked bluntly. “Or do I need to find someone else?”

  “How about a fucking doctor? That’s what he needs, right?” Ty asked in exasperation.

  “What the hell happened?” Henninger asked as he jogged up to them.

  “Jesus. Is he dead?” he asked as he looked down at Zane.

  The woman shook her head, face hardening. “Go take care of your business, Special Agent Grady. ” She turned away and joined the other paramedic in tending to Zane’s more severe wounds. They worked on the arm, one holding a preformed brace as the other wrapped his now-set arm into it.

  Ty fought back the urge to reach out and throttle the infuriating woman. He looked down at Zane and his features softened unconsciously as he watched them lift him carefully to wrap his ribs tightly. “How long is he going to hurt?” he asked as Henninger stepped closer and peered down at Zane as well.

  Zane was jostled as the stretcher was moved around, wheeling him toward the back of the waiting ambulance. The agent didn’t even protest as they moved him, just sluggishly stared into nothing when he should have been unconscious. “He’s going to hurt for a while. A week, at least. Two is more likely. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s three or four. He’s dislocated his shoulder, broken two bones in his forearm, cracked four ribs, had his brain rattled around in his skull, and his hip is badly bruised,” she said grimly.

  “Looks like his knee may be out, too. He’s a mess. I don’t know how he expects to operate without painkillers. ”

  “So he’s out of commission,” Ty muttered with a defeated look at Zane as they moved him.

  She shrugged in answer.

  “But how…” Henninger started, but glares from both Ty and the EMT shut him up.

  Ty was torn. He’d already stepped over the line by forcing the anesthesia on Zane, though why the EMT hadn’t just done a local he couldn’t guess. She obviously knew more about it all than he did.

  Should he call Burns and let him know Zane was out of service? He certainly wouldn’t be much good to the case now. Perhaps Ty should have Burns send someone new in. Or he could keep going on his own until Zane recovered, although he knew he couldn’t do this alone. He wasn’t as smart as the killer. He didn’t know what to do, and the indecisiveness was as annoying to him as it was uncharacteristic.

  “Garrett can’t work like that. You’re going to have to call in and have him taken off the case,” Henninger advised as he watched Ty think it over.

  “A case is the last thing Special Agent Garrett should be worrying about,” the EMT offered.

  “Hmm?” Ty asked them both distractedly. “How did you get here, anyway?” he asked the young agent with sudden annoyance.

  “I was waiting to meet you, heard about this mess over the radio, and got a bad feeling about it since you were late. When you got later, I decided to drive up here just in case and I saw you standing by the wreck,” Henninger answered defensively. He glanced to the EMT uncertainly, and she rolled her eyes and walked the few steps to climb up into the truck with her patient.

  “Look, Grady,” Henninger continued. “Catching this serial is more important than keeping Zane Garrett on the job. ”

  Ty was shocked that he almost found himself agreeing with the sentiment. He blinked at the man and then looked over at Zane, who was obviously struggling with the effects of the drugs. “You ever been asked the question ‘Who would you choose to save? A hundred strangers or one family member?’” he asked softly.

  Henninger drew back in surprise and a hint of concern. “No,” he said cautiously. “But I’d answer a hundred strangers. That’s our job. ”

  “That is the noble answer, isn’t it?” Ty murmured as he looked back at Zane.

  “We have a responsibility. If that’s noble, then…. ” Henninger shrugged, frowning as he noticed Ty’s attention wavering. “You know it’s the right thing to do,” he insisted.

  “What do you care, anyway?” Ty asked him in slightly desperate whisper.

  “I care about catching the guy who’s going around cutting people into such small chunks you could make Hamburger Helper with them!” Henninger retorted. “I’d care about that more than I’d care about one man who I can barely stand to work with. ”

  Ty was still aware enough of his surroundings not to argue that point.

  “Do you have your car?” he asked Henninger hoarsely without answering.

  Henninger blinked at the sudden change in topic. “Yeah,” he answered warily.

  “Can he ride?” Ty called out to the EMT inside the vehicle.

  “If you can make him sign this release, he’s all yours,” the woman yelled back.

  Ty cringed and looked back at Henninger. “Go get your car,” he told the kid softly. “We’re getting him the hell out of here,” he muttered as he headed for the ambulance.

  Before Ty could get there, Zane stepped down out of the truck, holding tightly to the grab bar
as the paramedic held the clipboard and the signed release form up behind him for Ty to see. Zane’s glazed eyes were blazing with anger, and he was trembling from the pain and the drugs. “You goddamn piece of shit,” he said thickly, obviously trying to throw off the effects of the sedative.

  “I know,” Ty agreed unapologetically as he reached out to support Zane. How the man was walking, he didn’t know.

  Zane was wobbly and weak, and he hated that he felt like he was moving through water and seeing through a haze. A red haze, but still a haze.

  He had to lean heavily on Ty when the other man slipped under his good arm.

  He thought about cussing some more, but all that came out was a hiss of pain, and his knees tried to give out on him. “Bitch gave me a shot, goddammit,” he muttered mostly to himself. “I am so fucked. ”

  “I know,” Ty repeated as he tried to support him without hurting him or himself. “You’re gonna be just fine,” he promised. “Henninger’s got cigarettes for you,” he said as if in consolation as he nodded at the kid.

  Henninger watched them with wide, confused eyes before nodding quickly and fishing for his keys. “In the car,” he told Zane agreeably.

  Zane grimaced. “Why does everything hurt when just one side got banged up? And why did it have to be my gun arm?” he half-whined as Ty got him walking, albeit unsteadily, to follow Henninger, who took off ahead to get his car and move it closer.

  “I used all your ammo anyway,” Ty grumbled. “And then threw your gun at a car. Have fun filling out that paperwork. ”

  Zane managed to clear through the haze enough to look at Ty as they struggled through the crowd. “Are you hurt?” he asked.

  “If I say yes, will it make you not mad at me?” Ty asked almost teasingly, his voice slightly strained under the bigger man’s weight.

  “No,” Zane bit out. He went quiet as they walked several steps. “I asked you to get out of the car. ”

  “Must not have heard you,” Ty murmured in response.

  “I begged you,” Zane said weakly, but his hand tightened on Ty’s arm. “Bastard. ”

  “I know,” Ty repeated softly, looking around at the various pods of people being tended to and interviewed as they made their way practically unnoticed through them, following Henninger toward the concrete barrier.

  Henninger pulled up nearly in front of them as they broke free of the perimeter of the wreck site on the other side of the closed-off highway, and Ty groaned as he looked at the two-foot-high concrete median wall.

  Henninger hopped out and stood on the other side indecisively, unsure of how to help.

  Zane focused on the wall and sighed. “Shit. It’s never easy, is it?”

  Taking a deep breath, he blinked hard and lifted his weight off Ty to stand up straight. By force of will he walked the two steps to the barrier and stepped over it. Both Ty and Henninger had their hands out around him, hovering protectively and looking like parents watching their firstborn take a step. Zane couldn’t help but chuckle at the two of them as he took the three more steps to the car and sagged against it. “Okay, I’m done,” he whispered as the pain from his whole right side echoed through him.

  Ty hopped the barrier behind him as Henninger opened the back door for him. “Where to?” Henninger asked worriedly as Ty helped Zane into the back.

  “I don’t care,” Ty answered in a low growl. “Somewhere safe. ”

  Zane sagged back against the seat and closed his eyes, holding his arm close against his chest protectively. His jacket sleeve hung loose over the sling, sliced in several long pieces.

  Nodding, the young agent pulled into traffic and got them moving.

  “You’re going to need help, Grady. Should I call Sears and Ross?”

  “No,” Ty grunted in answer. “You’re gonna help me,” he said in a low, even voice.

  “Me?” Henninger bleated, looking into the mirror again. “I don’t have field experience. Sears and Ross would be a lot more help since Garrett can’t—” Ty was glaring at him in the rearview mirror, and he trailed off and cleared his throat. “All I’m saying is we need backup,” he continued quietly.

  “You don’t think your presence in New York is going to be all over the Bureau now that this shit has gone down?”

  Ty rubbed his eyes and looked out the window, then back at Zane once more. He had laid his head against Ty’s shoulder and wasn’t moving at all, and Ty thought he might have passed out. “Call ’em,” he grunted softly.

  Henninger nodded. “What are you going to do with Garrett?”

  “I don’t fucking know!” Ty answered in frustration as he fought with the decisions. “Any suggestions?”

  Henninger looked at him hesitantly. “Could take him to my place,” he offered. Ty frowned at him, nodding. Zane trusted Henninger, and for the most part, so did Ty. They could leave Zane at his place with a guard detail and then they would go after the fucker. There was a hot trail to follow, and part of Ty resented the fact that he was in this car with his injured partner rather than on that trail right now.

  “It’s secure,” Henninger assured him. “Key card to get in, that kind of thing. ”

  “Take us there,” Ty ordered as he pulled his mind off the man who had gone slack against him and back on the man who had once again almost killed them both.

  A thirty-minute drive through thick traffic later, Henninger parked the car in the garage under his building and turned to look at them. “How are we getting him upstairs?”
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