He turned away from his friend to look into the room.
“I’ve got Bishop watching O’Klaren.”
“I’m going to kill him.” Until he saw Robin open her eyes, and he knew without a single doubt she was okay, he wouldn’t move.
“Now, I hate to be the voice of reason, but it seems I’ve got to. You can’t just kill him. O’Klaren’s still a cop. You kill him, it’s going to look suspicious.”
“You think I don’t have a plan in place? I do, believe me. I’m going to make sure that son of bitch pays for what he’s done.”
Silence met his promise.
It wasn’t just a promise.
This was a fucking vow to end that bastard for hurting her.
He’d never in all of his life been so helpless. He’d always been able to help Robin, even if it was the little things like buying new clothes, or being there when she needed it.
“Maybe you should go in. Sit with her. It might calm you down.”
“Nothing is going to calm me down, not until I watch the life drain from him.”
“For now, be there for Robin,” Bear said. “She’s way more important right now than you going on a killing spree. O’Klaren didn’t crash your car.”
“No, he gave the order, and don’t worry, I’m going to find the men responsible. I won’t make any mistakes. Unlike O’Klaren, I won’t just kill. I’ll make sure I’ve got everything in place to take him out.”
“Until then, she needs you. Be with her. Not anyone else. She is the only thing that matters right now. Be with her.”
She looked so fragile and helpless. Seeing her like this, lying in a hospital bed, he didn’t like it.
Running fingers through his clean hair, he didn’t want to just stare at her: he wanted to hold her. The hospital had allowed him to shower, but he imagined that was only because he refused to leave the building.
He stared at Robin.
His gut twisted.
There were bruises appearing on her face, and he knew there were several across her abdomen from connecting with the car.
Don’t be a coward.
She didn’t need a man who ran away right now.
Robin needed someone strong.
When he opened the door of her room, Rebecca looked up.
“I’ll go and get some refreshments,” Rebecca said. “There’s been no change.”
He nodded. He didn’t want to make small talk with the woman. He wanted her gone. She didn’t argue with him as she slid right on past him, leaving the room. The door closed behind her, and all he heard was the deathly silence.
He walked closer, and instead of taking the seat Rebecca had sat in, he perched on the edge of her bed.
“Hey, beautiful,” he said.
No notice, not even a flicker.
Her hands were by her sides, and he took one within his.
“I’ve got you. I won’t let you go. I’m going to make sure no one can get to you in here.” The promise, even to him, felt empty, flat.
He shouldn’t be making promises he couldn’t keep.
“I, erm, I promise to you, Robin, I’m going to get the guys who did this. I’m going to make them pay.” He lifted his hand, about to touch her stomach, but didn’t.
There was nothing in there.
“When this is all over, and you’re well again, you don’t have to leave my house. You can stay with us for as long as you want. I like the company. I also like cooking for you. I don’t mind your lame-ass comedy romances either. It’s refreshing. Damn it, Robin, I don’t want you to go.” He ran his thumb back and forth across her hand. “I know you belong to … Bishop … but I like having you around, and believe me, it’s not easy for me to say.”
His throat felt thick. There was no way he was going to allow the tears to consume him, or to get any chance of falling.
He was strong.
He wouldn’t let them fall.
“I’m so freaking sorry I failed you. I wanted this baby with you, and how you handled everything, you were so strong. Randall told me you’d have kids again. Nothing was damaged. I know Bishop will be with you and give you all the kids you want.” He wasn’t going to think about the jealousy spiraling inside him.
It didn’t have a single place.
“You’ll make a good mother one day, but then, you’ve got a great model of how not to be one.”
Just … be there.
“No change?” Rebecca asked.
Bear looked up from where he watched his friend to his wife. Rebecca seemed to be upset by what had happened to Robin, and it was one of only a handful of times she’d shown any motherly concern.
“No, she’s still fast asleep. The doctor did say he’d knocked her out cold.” He looked at the time and cursed. “I’m going to go and get Bishop.”
“Why don’t I get him?” she asked. “I can’t stand to be here, looking at her like this and knowing all the bad things I’ve done. Losing a child, that is … it’s too much, and you need to be here to protect him and her. I can go and grab Bishop, get you a change of clothes. Something for Robin as well.”