Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(89) by Susan Mallery
The quiet words spoken with such confidence were enough to release his rage. He’d arrived in time—that was going to be enough.
“Do you have any rope?” he asked.
Five minutes later Neil was hog-tied, the police were on their way along with an ambulance, and Walker had examined both Zoe and Elissa for other injuries. The little girl had been punched in the stomach and back, along with the blow to her face. Elissa had been kicked around. The break looked clean. Once he knew what the little shit had done, Walker wanted to kill him all over again.
“How did you know we were in trouble?” Elissa asked as he shifted her into a more comfortable position and wiped her face with a damp cloth. “I thought he was going to…”
Her voice trailed off as she glanced at her daughter, but he knew what she’d been about to say. She thought Neil was going to kill them both.
“I had a feeling,” he said. “I couldn’t get you on the phone, so I came home.”
“I heard the phone ring right after he arrived,” she said, her eyes dark with pain and tears. “I thought maybe it was you, but I couldn’t pick up and let you know. I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t come when you did.”
Zoe watched her mother anxiously. “Don’t cry, Mommy. Walker made us safe.” She glanced fearfully at a tied and moaning Neil. “The bad man is going to jail.”
He was going to make sure of that, Walker thought grimly. He didn’t care how much it cost, Neil was going away. But not before he cut Elissa loose, once and for all.
The next couple of hours passed quickly. The police and EMTs arrived at the same time. While Elissa and Zoe were looked over and prepared for transport to a local hospital, Walker explained everything to the police. The officer in charge took him aside.
“You could have killed him,” the officer said, glancing at a still-tied Neil.
“No, I couldn’t. He’s the kid’s father. I doubt she’ll want him in her life, but I didn’t want her to see him die. Not at my hand.”
“I know what you mean,” the other man said. “I’ve got kids myself. We’ll finish this up at the hospital.”
Walker explained everything to a stunned Mrs. Ford who had just arrived home from a bridge party, then followed the ambulance to the hospital. He found both his girls in the E.R.
“Hey,” he said, stepping into Elissa’s room.
She was white and fading fast. “Where’s Zoe?” she asked, barely able to form the words.
“Right next door.”
“Stay with her, please. I might have to have surgery. She’ll need you. The nurse is going to call my parents, but you’re the one she trusts right now.” She managed a smile. “Even when Neil had us both cornered and hit my arm with that damn baseball bat, she said you’d come rescue us.” Tears spilled out of her eyes. “She said you were the handsome prince, and that the prince always shows up in time.”
His gut twisted and he swore as he took her hand and kissed her fingers. “I’m no prince.”
“Tell that to my daughter.”
She was bruised and beaten, yet he saw the strength and courage in her eyes. “You would have been a hell of a soldier,” he said.
“This feels like war. Everything hurts. They want to check for internal injuries and X-ray the arm to see how bad the break is.”
“I’ll take care of everything,” he said. “Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be with Zoe and handle Mrs. Ford and call your boss.”
“Work,” she breathed. “I forgot about work.”
“They’ll understand. Just rest. Have they given you something for the pain?”
But she didn’t answer. She had faded into unconsciousness.
He called for one of the nurses to come check on her, and was quickly pushed out of the room.
Even as he told himself she was going to be fine, he felt the stiff chill of panic. It was just a beating, he thought, refusing to give in to the need to burst back into the room and take over. It’s not as if he knew anything about making her better.
But he’d seen plenty of guys after fights and she was going to be fine, right? It wasn’t as if Neil had taken the baseball bat to any other part of her body, had he?
A familiar cry of his name sucked him into the next room, where he found Zoe in tears as a nurse put a bandage on the cut by her eye.
“She’s been really brave,” the young woman told him, “but she needs a little comforting.”
Without thinking, Walker moved to the side of the bed and held open his arms. Zoe dived into them and held on as if she would never let go.
“Where’s Mommy?” she asked.
“Getting looked at by the doctor,” the nurse said before he could answer. “They want to take pictures of her arm and then she’s going to get a cast.” The nurse smiled. “I’ll bet she’ll let you be the first one to sign it. Maybe you can even draw some pictures on it or put on stickers. Stickers make it look really nice.”
Zoe sniffed and raised her head, but she didn’t let go of him. “We have stickers at home.”
“Then we’ll use those,” Walker promised, hoping Elissa’s recovery was all going to be as simple as a cast.
The nurse patted Zoe’s back. “You need to stay here, honey, until the doctor releases you, but other than that, you’re good to go. The bast—” The nurse cleared her throat. “That man only hit her a couple of times. She’s okay.”
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