John sighed and put a hand to his forehead. His mind was heavy with
thought. making hundreds of connections. He pulled Killian aside
while motioning for Bo to run interference with Manning.
"You couldn't have contacted anyone. You didn't have time; one of us
was always with you," John whispered. "Who are you covering for?"
"I did it, brother. I made the call myself. I know you'll be the one
who can set me free," Killian said, not looking John in the eye.
"Killian, you're making it harder for me to help you. When the feds
get here, they're going to take you to prison and lock you away.
They're not going to let me see you. They might not even let
Evangeline see you," John said, moving Killian further away from the
trouble brewing between Bo and Manning.
"They have to let me see my lawyer."
John shook his head and shifted his stance. Both of his hands gripped
his hips. "She's not your lawyer on record," he said.
"And you know she's going to be heartbroken about this. She didn't
even know that I was going to arrest you," John said, regret growing
more familiar with his voice by the minute.
"I know, brother," Killian said, leaning closer to John to keep the
matter fully between them. "Until a few moments ago, I thought I was
covering for you. I thought you were the one who called the federal
officers so you wouldn't have to be the one to put me in handcuffs."
John leaned against the kitchen counter. There was a leak. His mind
went over and over the possibilities. Manning would rather die than
betray the man who had saved Evangeline's life. John was sure Antonio
felt the same way. None of the others knew about Killian until this
morning, except for Evangeline's mother, and Diana had no interest in
seeing Killian come to harm. John broke off his thoughts to tend the
matter at hand: he had to get Killian to safety. He couldn't let the
government have him.
"Bo, let Manning go," John said, nearly laughing at the sight of the
two men chest to puffed up chest, toe to toe, struggling with each
other. He didn't like the idea of putting Killian's well-being in
Manning's hands, but he had no choice for now. He would have Antonio
pick him up later.
Killian left with Todd, only after Manning promised he would have
Bigelow send word to John as to their whereabouts and only after Bo
decided that Manning's word wasn't good enough and decided to tag
along, despite the risk to his career. Nora decided to stay with
John, so they could break the news to Evangeline together.
"You know," Nora said, stopping John as they neared the kitchen
doorway. "There are other implications of this leak. Didn't you say
Killian's heart stopped in the hospital?"
John followed Nora's logic, though he didn't like where it led. "If
someone knew enough about Killian to call the feds, then someone could
know enough about him to have wanted him dead," he said.
"To still want him dead," Nora said, looking into his eyes to see if
he was too emotionally involved in the case. Evangeline had taught
her the trick, long ago, of measuring John's feelings by the size of
his pupils. He was avoiding her gaze.
"Whomever it was, they couldn't get at him a second time because
either Antonio or I was with him after his heart attack. Mostly
Nora reached out to him and put her hand on his shoulder. "Maybe
Antonio noticed something," she said.
John nodded, and Nora turned to go into the living room to find
Evangeline. John had a new worry on his mind: whoever was after
Killian might try to find him through Evangeline. They hadn't been
followed on the way home from the hospital, but it wouldn't be hard to
put two and two together with all of the paperwork Evangeline had
John felt a slight twinge in his stomach. He had to keep telling
himself over and over again that Haver was dead, that he couldn't hurt
Evangeline. "Haver's dead. Haver's dead," John said under his
breath, walking into the living room. "Haver's dead."
Michael couldn't grasp the miracle in his arms. He had stopped
believing in miracles long ago, when the heavens had ignored his
request for the return on his father to the mortal world. And what
little belief he'd had in the supernatural had been excised in medical
school. Now, he would have to reconsider his philosophy of the
universe, with Evangeline's great return from the dead.
He held her in his arms and rocked from side to side as though they
were dancing at a junior high prom. Michael didn't realize he was
exhausting Evangeline, until Marcie gently suggested that Evangeline
had been through a lot and would like to sit down.
"I just can't believe it," Michael said, looking at his would-be sister-in-law.
Evangeline put her head on his shoulder and told him he could believe it.
Marcie reached over and rubbed Michael's knee. She had watched him
grieve for Evangeline in private. They had been devastated together.
Michael could feel the sting of impending tears and looked up toward
the ceiling to fight them. When he felt the tears were unavoidable,
he shook his head and got up from his seat, unable to even speak
enough to excuse himself.
Marcie sat in Michael's vacated seat and wiped her tears away and sat
with one leg beneath her. "He tried to be so strong for his brother
when we thought you were dead," Marcie said, her voice climbing the
higher registers. "Evangeline, I'll tell you: we had a pretty rough
"I'm so sorry to have put you guys through all this," Evangeline said,
blinking slowly. She had dealt with the emotions of so many others
that she felt as though she could sleep for days.
"Don't apologize, Evangeline. From what you've said, you've been
through a lot more than we can even imagine," Marcie said, her eyes
wide. "I guess I'd better go find Michael."
Evangeline smiled and kissed Marcie on the cheek. "Can you help me
up? I think I'm going to lay down and take a nap," she whispered. "I
think I've talked with everyone here."
Marcie laughed and stood. She pulled Evangeline up by one arm. They
shared a hug, and Marcie went off to find Michael.
Evangeline walked slowly toward the staircase, somehow managing to
avoid long conversations with friends who had missed her more than she
could ever know. She reached the bottom of the staircase, sighing as
she looked up at the long climb ahead of her. She smiled to herself
and looked out of the window over her shoulder, thinking of how easily
John had carried her up those stairs the night before. She sighed
again, wishing he was there to carry her at the moment.
Before her right foot hit the first stair, Evangeline heard John
asking for her. She didn't go looking for him; she knew he'd find
her. Maybe he'd carry her after all.
One glance at his face, and Evangeline knew something was wrong. The
instant worry gave her a new energy. She walked toward him and took
her place in his arms. He whispered the whole story into her ear.
The feds know about Killian … John was going to arrest him anyway …
Todd is watching him … everything is under control … there is no need
for her to get upset … calm down … calm … down.
Evangeline had barely opened her mouth to speak when the shooting began.