I motion to Davis. Now that he knows George is fine, he needs to get himself looked at. I’d say I’m surprised that he’s still on his feet, but considering his history, it’s understandable.
“Let’s get checked out,” I suggest. I’m pretty sure I’m fine, but it never hurts to make sure.
“Yeah.” Davis lifts his shirt and grimaces at his bullet wound. “That sounds like a good idea.”
We make our way to a nearby medical tent. I realize that my shirt is not in good shape as I strip it off. It’s entirely possible that I have a few scratches I don’t know about. Like I said, better safe than sorry.
It may not seem like my style, but I made a promise, and I keep my promises.
I notice Davis staring at my chest. I chuckle and wink at him. “Making eyes at the old cowboy, huh?” I drawl.
He grins a little sheepishly, running his hand over his head and then pointing at my tattoos. “Just wondering what those mean,” he admits.
I straighten up so he can get a better look, tapping the heart with an arrow through it that’s tattooed right over my heart. “That’s my wife’s name,” I confess, running my finger down the long list of names directly underneath it. “And the names of my babies.”
Davis squints. He probably can’t read the smaller names from where he’s sitting. “Uh, how many names are there?” he wonders.
I can’t help laughing as I answer. “Ten.”
Davis blinks. “You have ten kids?” he asks skeptically. Then he rethinks his question and revises it. “Back up. You got a woman to marry you?”
I bite my lower lip as I smirk. “It wasn’t really planned that way, but I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.” I pat my pockets, realizing that I lost my phone at some point during the rampage. I sigh and run a hand through my hair.
I’d like to hear my wife’s voice. Let her know I’m okay.
I point to the last name on the list. “Tenth one hasn’t arrived yet. She’ll be here soon,” I tell Davis. “I’m eager to get home, especially after everything that’s happened.”
“Right outside D.C. That’s where I work when they’re not sending me around the world after giant animals,” I joke.
“You don’t wear a ring,” he observes.
I shake my head, running my hand through my hair again. “Tattoo’s my ring. She has one too. I just keep it close to the vest because of what I do. I mean, it’s not a secret that I’m married, but sometimes I deal with some pretty unsavory people. Don’t want them to notice and cause trouble.”
“I understand,” Davis empathizes. He falls silent, but it’s not an uncomfortable silence. It’s the silence between two men who are feeling a lot of things they both understand, but aren’t saying.
“I know I said this already, but thanks again for saving me,” I murmur. I tear up, lifting my hand to carefully wipe at my eyes.
Davis moves a little closer and rests his hand on my shoulder. “Don’t mention it. Thanks for having my back even when nobody else would.”
I nod. These usually aren’t thoughts I voice, but I’ve never come closer to death than I did on that plane. There’s no way I would have survived if Davis hadn’t risked his life to make sure I was all right.
“I worry, you know?” I whisper. “I think about some government asshole showing up at my door to tell her I’m dead. They’d say I died for the good of my country and probably give her some bullshit medal. For some reason, they think that soothes people.”
I pause. “She’s never complained,” I reveal, thinking of all the times I haven’t been there. I’ve hardly ever missed any big stuff. I was there for every birth; I delivered all of my babies myself. I do my best to make birthdays and anniversaries. But there have been plenty of moments when she was alone and I wish she hadn’t been.
“She’s strong, Davis,” I clarify. “Stronger than even she realizes, I think. But I don’t know what would happen if she lost me. I’m the one who knows what to do when she’s upset. She’s got different kinds of upset. Sometimes you just need to let her cry. Sometimes you have to tell her how to fix something. No one else would be able to comfort her if I was gone. That thought haunts me. A cowboy’s posturing ain’t worth much if he can’t even take care of his own family.”
Davis is quiet for a moment, and then he slaps me on the back. “Wow, man,” he finally says seriously. “You’re really just a huge pussy.”
I stare at him for a second and then we both start laughing.
Davis might not be big on people, which I get, but his instincts are good. That was just what I needed.
“I will gladly accept the title of pussy if it means I love my family, Davis.” I slap him on the back too. “Thanks. I definitely needed that.”
The medical staff finish patching us up, letting us know that we’re clear. I stand, throwing my ruined shirt back on since it’s the only one I have. “Well, Davis. I am ready to go home and see my wife and babies.”
Before he can reply, a young soldier enters the tent. “Agent Russell, sir? I have someone here to see you.” He turns. “Come in, ma’am.”
My eyes widen as my wife steps into the tent. “Darlin’?” I step forward and immediately pull her into my arms. “What are you doing here?” I rest my hand on her swollen belly. She’s seven months along, and she must have rushed to get here. She had to have left before the rampage was even over.
“I saw you in all the news footage,” she explains quietly, clinging to me. “I was worried.”
“How did you get here so fast? You shouldn’t be pushin' yourself so hard, darlin’.”
“Harvey, I’ve been pregnant enough times to know how much I can handle,” she chides me gently. “Chuck brought me in the helicopter.”
Chuck is our neighbor. We share a helipad between our properties because of work. He gives aerial tours of D.C.
“Darlin’, you hate that helicopter.” She’s afraid of heights, and the helicopter makes it worse.
“It was the fastest way to get here, Harvey,” she counters. Then she starts to cry. “I thought you were dead.”
“Shh, darlin’, shh,” I soothe her, lifting her chin and giving her a soft kiss. “Your cowboy is doing just fine.”
She buries her face in my chest and I shoot a warning glance at Davis. She does not need to know what could have happened on that plane. He nods at me to show he understands.
This is one of those times that she just needs to get it out. I let her finish crying, still holding her against me as I turn her towards Davis. “Davis, this is my wife, Robin. Robin, this is Davis. He helped us fix this damn mess we found ourselves caught up in.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Davis. Thank you for helping my husband.”
Davis reaches forward and briefly shakes her hand. “It was my pleasure, Robin.”
I smile as I feel little Harriet kick against my palm. “How is my baby girl doin', darlin’?”
“She’s fine,” Robin assures me. I pull back just a bit and look at her, running my finger down the line that’s currently creasing the center of her forehead.
“There’s that worry line, darlin’. Everything is golden. You know I keep my promises.”
I promised her that I would always fight my hardest to come home to her. It’s a promise I’m never going to break.
“I know, Harvey.”
“We’re together now. I want you to stop frettin’, okay?”
She nods. “Can we go home, Harvey?”
“I would like that very much, darlin’.”
I glance curiously at Davis. “You wanna have dinner with us? Meet my family?” Dr. Caldwell will be in questioning for a while, and it will take some time to figure out what to do with George. I figure the man deserves a hot meal before more shit hits the fan.
“You know what? I think I’d like that,” he agrees.
I throw him my best shit-eating grin. “Well, then. Let’s go.”