Only You (Red Hook 5) - Page 8

His mind was blank as he looked at her pretty face. His feelings were growing the more time he spent with her. It scared him. What if she rejected him, or worse, felt sorry for him? She was young and vivacious. She was funny and bright. Her black hair shone under the light and he wanted to caress it. “Um, yeah. That was a good shot.”

She stood up and put her hand on h

er hip. She rolled her eyes and put her hand on his chest. “I missed the shot. What were you looking at?”

The grin on her face told him the minx knew exactly what he was looking at. He felt like he was blushing, but since he never done it before, he wasn’t sure. He was glad it was dark. “Um, I don’t know. Must have dazed off for a minute.”

“Aww. Have you been working too hard?” She rubbed his chest with her hand and he wondered if she noticed the growing bulge beneath his zipper. He did. “Maybe a cold beer will help.”

“Tony?” he heard his name being called and snapped out of his memory. Matt was looking at him with concern in his eyes. They were sitting at the station. Matt and Tony had taken a break and had gone to have dinner when Noah called a meeting. They rushed right back to the station filled with apprehension. Tony was afraid to hear what Noah had to say. If Janice was dead, the possibility of Alicia being dead was very real. Nobody said it aloud, but Tony was sure the thought was in everyone’s mind. He tensed his body for bad news. This was the second night with no sign or clue of Alicia or Novak. She had been missing for forty-eight hours. Morehead’s police had found nothing on who killed Janice, or any sign of Alicia or her car.

Noah walked into the room. They all sat and waited, including Helen. Everyone was on pins and needles.

“We had a report from Greene County. A Jane Doe was found wondering the side of the road in bad shape two hours ago. She was taken to the local hospital by a citizen,” Noah stated with tears in his eyes. Tony sucked in his breath and waited to hear the rest. It was hard to sit still and look calm. He wanted to pace the room and get rid of his anxiety. “We put Alicia’s picture on the news and sent it to police stations in several counties. A nurse called Ray earlier and said her patient looked like Alicia. We went over there immediately and it was her.”

“Is she…?” He couldn’t say the word aloud.

Noah shook his head no and Tony felt like he could breathe again. His thumping heart slowed back down a little. “She has some injuries, but the doctor assures us she will be fine with time. An ambulance is transferring her to Red Hook General as we speak. She was sedated so she is not conscious. The doctors assure us that is a good thing. She was dehydrated and confused. Drake and Ray are following them to make sure she stays safe.”

Matt looking relieved and smiled at him. Tony felt like he was in shock. He took a minute to soak it in. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Helen was sobbing into a tissue. Sam was hugging her, but he was smiling, too. Greg had his head tilted toward the ceiling with his eyes closed.

Noah looked at Helen. “I know people have probably heard the news. Plan a conference for the morning. I want to thank all the volunteers who helped us with the search.”

Tony stood up. His pulse was racing and adrenaline flooded him. All his tiredness was gone and he felt energized. He would not feel totally good until he could lay his eyes on her. “When will she be here?”

Noah looked at his watch. “In about thirty minutes. Let’s not forget that whoever did this to her and Janice is still running loose. Let’s not let down our guard. If Novak is behind this, I will not rest until he is behind bars.”

Or dead, Tony thought to himself. He wasn’t sure Noah wanted to hear that thought, so he kept it to himself.

Chapter Eight

Alicia sat up in bed. Her head was thumping and felt heavy. Last night she had woken up unsure of where she was or how she got there. Her head had been throbbing and it hurt to have the light on. An older man she didn’t know told her she was in the hospital and had a concussion. Her vision was blurry so she had nodded and closed her eyes again. She was too tired to ask questions.

The next time she had woken up, the morning light was shining through the large window. The walls were white and not blue like her bedroom. She felt confused and her mouth was dry. Her parents, brother, and sister surrounded her bed. They all looked tired and upset. She had immediately been scared. “What is it? Am I dying?”

Alana had stifled a sob and then laughed. She gave Alicia a cup of water with a straw in it, and Alicia sipped it. It felt so good going down her throat. “Of course not, silly. We’re just glad to see those pretty eyes open.”

Alicia had felt confused. Her memory was fuzzy. “What do you mean? Why am I in a hospital?”

She looked down and realized she was wearing a hospital gown. Every part of her body hurt. “What happened to me?”

Ray stood over her bed. He looked so sad. His dark hair was slicked back as usual, and he wore casual clothes. Was it still the weekend? She was slightly confused. “Do you remember what happened to you?” he asked.

Alicia closed her eyes and had to think. Her memory was fuzzy and her head was throbbing with pain. “I remember me and Janice going to Club Rock. I remember driving home.”

She gasped and looked at Ray with horror. “A car was behind us with bright lights. I remember it hitting us, and Janice screaming. That’s all. We must have crashed.”

Ray tried to smile but Alicia could see it was forced. What the hell happened to her, and why couldn’t she remember? She put her hand to her forehead and felt a bandage. “My head hurts.”

“I’ll get the nurse.” Alana leaned down and kissed her cheek so softly. Her eyes were red and swollen, and that worried Alicia. She wanted answers. “I don’t understand why I can’t remember. I must have hit my head hard when we crashed. Is Janice okay?”

“Wait until the doctor comes in and checks you out.” Her mom stood on the other side of her bed. She looked tired. How long had she been in the hospital?

“Mom, you should rest. Have I been here long? Papa?” Alicia called out with worry when she didn’t see him. Now that they knew he had heart problems, she constantly worried about him.

“I am right here, mija.” He patted her good arm. He was dressed in a dark sweatshirt and jeans. His black hair was sprinkled with silver. He was still a handsome man.

“Are you okay, Papa?” she asked searching his familiar face, a face she loved. He had been a strict but loving father. She didn’t want to be the one to cause him any stress.

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