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More like a heartbreak

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After the fire, realizing how bad she was physically affected, and since she was unconscious and not giving any signs of waking up, Red took Liz to the hospital. There, he found out a threat that he could never get rid of. Elizabeth was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease, he’d been told, and from that moment he wished he could keep her in his arms forever and avoid her any annoyances or dislikes that could rip her out of his arms forever.

He had been given general advice like low-salt food and medicines among other things. The most important one was that she had to lead a peaceful life otherwise, it could end in heart failure and after that he knew very well what could happen, so he had soften the road for her. He tried to make things for her as smooth as possible and he even payed some doctors to continue prescribing her the necessary medicines but disguised as something else.

Elizabeth’s decision on becoming an FBI agent was a surprise and a concern to Red but he was a little relieved that she decided to be a profiler because he knew that she wouldn’t be chasing criminals. Red even told Elizabeth’s condition to the FBI assistant director Harold Cooper, who reluctantly accepted to keep her out of harm’s way. He hadn’t wanted for her to know because he knew that she was going to limit herself and keep herself from growing, enjoying and discovering the world, so he decided to do everything in the shadows, and now, he was regretting everything he had done to her that had led to that moment.

 

Present day
Elizabeth was sitting in her office, watching the images of Reddington entering and getting out of the hospital where her father Sam was and exactly in the time that he died. She was feeling anger, disappointment and even desperation to yell at him, but more than that, she was feeling sadness. Sadness because she finally accepted her feelings for him and now, he had betrayed her in the worst possible way, by taking her father from her.

She was sure what to do, she needed to confront him and ask him why, not only why he killed her father but why he broke her illusions of getting to know him. Elizabeth was sure that deep inside, Raymond Reddington was a good, kind and loving man, not only the feared criminal and notorious liar. She was feeling rage, and the hot tears falling down her cheeks, she desperately needed to take out all the feelings she had, so he took her keys and headed towards the post office elevator. On her way to the exit she was greeted by a wave of dizziness so she leaned on the door frame of her office trying to steady herself and her rapid heartbeat. Finally able to walk, she continued on her way to the exit, ignoring the pressure that started to accumulate in her chest. She could only concentrate on what she was going to tell Reddington because she knew that he always found a way to change things in his favour.

The way to the safe house was a complete hell, she couldn’t see very well and she knew that it wasn’t only because of the tears cascading down her cheeks, something was blurring her vision and she nearly crashed. Her head was spinning between the love that she desperately wanted to deny for Reddington and all the anger towards him.

She finally made it to the safe house, the pressure in her chest hadn’t grown but still was there. When she was getting out of the car she felt another wave of dizziness hit her but she thought it was due to all the emotions she was feeling. Actually, it was something worse than just emotions, and it was yet to come.

Reddington was sitting on his peaceful sofa with a book in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other, when he heard a car parking at the front of the safe house and since Dembe was attending business in another city, he decided to check who was out there, somehow knowing who it was but still wanting to see. Right when he stood, a feeling that lodged in his stomach, told him that something was wrong.
The moment he looked through the window, he knew Elizabeth wasn’t okay, she was steadying herself with the car’s door, and had she been crying? He could see that she was pale and a combination of emotions were passing through her face. He opened the door only to find her perfectly composed, but the feelings were still there.

“Lizzie, what brings you here?” he asked, in expectation of finding the reason of her visit at that time of the night.

“I am here for you,” she answered with such a low tone that he barely heard her, and he detected a sad tone on her voice that made his heart twist.

“What’s wrong?” with a concerned and urgent tone he asked, he needed to know what was happening and why Elizabeth was acting like that.

“You tell me.” She gave him the photos in which he appeared entering and exiting the hospital where Sam was. Deep inside Reddington knew that somehow she would find out, but he hadn't thought what to say to her when that happened.
Red knew that an angry and desperate Elizabeth was talking and that he needed to keep things calm for her sake, but it was too late when she started speaking and more than that, yelling at him.

“You were in the hospital when he died.” Liz's eyes were hard with anger. “Did you kill him?” she demanded, furious voice raising and echoing loudly in the stillness around them.

“Lizzie, please let me explain,” he said, trying to gain her attention above the screaming.

“What are you going to explain?” she scoffed bitterly past the painful ache in her throat.
“How could you?! He was my father!” she howled her grief.

“Lizzie, please calm down this won’t do you any good.” Reddington replied, with a more anxious voice because he knew that he wasn’t going to win this time, and that threatened Elizabeth’s life.

“Why? What did he do to you that you had to kill him?” Elizabeth couldn't think of something her father would have done that would cause Reddington to kill him.

A moment of silence passed before he could reply something that wouldn’t worsened the situation. “He was suffering, I just released him. Please Lizzie, he wasn’t thinking coherently, the cancer was all over his body.”

“You took the person I love the most in my life! And you are trying to justify it.” She was now out of control, she couldn’t even stand still, the adrenaline was rushing through her body, so she started pacing around the room. Everything that she was feeling was threatening to explode but she wanted to remain coherent and to get the answers that she was looking for.

“He was my friend and I’m not trying to justify anything.”
The moment the words escaped his mouth, he regretted it because now he was also arguing with her, and that was the last thing he wanted.

“We’re done. I’m done with this! With you always keeping things from me and-” she started crying, but she wanted to finish so she continued “and not letting me get to know you, I was finally getting to accept you in my life but you keep hurting me,” she said between sobs.

Elizabeth’s words were like a punch in Red’s gut and he tried to reply “Lizzie, I’ve never wanted to hurt you, I only want you to be happy and safe.” He desperately wanted to tell her everything that he felt for her, he wanted for her to understand that all was true. That he felt a warmth in his heart every time he saw her, that he wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her passionately until they ran out of air. But that wasn’t happening.

“I don’t believe you! I- I-”, she started to sway and her vision was blurry, she couldn't focus but she didn’t want Red to see her like that, weak and defenseless. She tried to move but her foot didn’t respond, everything was spinning around her.

“Lizzie! Are you ok?” Red tried to take her in his arms to keep her on her feet but she abruptly escaped from him, which made him go back a few steps.

Liz didn’t know what happened, she seemed to be recovering from whatever had happened but she didn’t want Reddington to help her so she decided to end it once and for all, avoiding thinking about what she felt for him.

“As I said, I’m done, I don’t want anything that has to do with you, I’ve been trying to really get to know you but you always make it impossible so it’s better if we leave it for good before someone else gets hurt.” Elizabeth couldn’t bare to think how her life would be without Reddington, without his tenderness or his scent whenever he embraced her but what he had done was unforgivable. How he couldn’t understand that? She just wanted him to be honest.

Red couldn’t think of anything that could tell her, she seemed so sure, but he wanted to try so he said “Lizzie, please stay and let me finish explaining, it’s very late and as I see you, you are not fit to drive.” He stood still, not wanting to upset her even more.

“You have no right to tell me what I can do! Leave me alone! You are a monster.”
With that, she turned towards the door to leave when a pain in her chest made her stop short, she felt a great pressure that did not let her breathe.

It was at that moment when Reddington knew that what he had tried to avoid for so long was happening before his eyes.
He rushed to her side.

“Lizzie, what’s wrong?!”

“This is your fault! you- yo” but she didn’t finish. She started to fall and was saved by Red’s arms just before she hit the floor.
“Agh!” She cried in pain, with her hand on her chest. What the hell was that? Did he have so much power over her that she couldn’t even control her body?

“Lizzie! Please talk to me,” he demanded.

“I- can’t- bre- breath”, she said between gasps, trying to inhale some air, but it felt like something was obstructing her lungs and that her chest was on fire or maybe it was her heart.

“You need a doctor right now.” he took her in his arms and carried her bridal style, imagining that he wanted to do that but in different circumstances, maybe in the beach or in any other happier situation, but not like this, when she could die right there. The fact that he wasn’t wearing a 3 piece suit, was really helpful, since he was using his vest and shirt, it made him have more mobility.

Reddington opened the door as best as he could, since Dembe wasn’t there to help him. They reached the black Mercedes after a few steps. Red opened the passenger door and put Lizzie there as gently as he could, her body was like leather in his arms. He put her in the seat belt and before taking his place at the driver seat, he returned to the house in order to find something that he would have never wanted to use. He even started feeling the sweat on his forehead, he was getting old to do this stuff but he wouldn’t let anything stop him from saving Elizabeth. He didn’t care that it would be the last good thing he do in his life, save her, like he couldn’t through the years. Maybe this time he was saving her from himself.

He opened the first drawer in the house and took a medicine box in which it read digoxin, doctors had given it to him to use in case a heart failure happened.
He took the medicine along with a water bottle as fast as he could, not forgetting to call 7 on his cell phone, a speed dial number that he had only for her in case of an emergency. He arranged it because he knew that one day this would happen, so after he was given a location, he rushed to the driver seat.

Red would never forget that image of his Lizzie in the passenger seat, with cold sweat on her forehead, her hand still trying to lessen the pain and if anything, she looked even weaker and paler. She was still conscious which he thanked, because he knew it was due to her warrior spirit.

“Lizzie, here, have this.” he gave her the pill and then started the engine.

Elizabeth made an incredible effort to take the pill but finally she managed to take a sip of water which nearly made her choke due to the lack of air in her system.

Red tried to comfort her with soothing words “It’s okay Lizzie, it’s okay, just do nice deep breaths, okay?” He had to do everything that was on his power to keep Liz conscious. He saw that some of her features were relaxing but her face was still twisted in pain and he proved that when she winced in pain and tried to press even more her chest with her hand, knowing that that wasn't a good sign, he sped up, getting to the location in less than 10 minutes.

The trip was torture for both of them, for him because he hated seeing her like that, suffering, and for her because she was the one in pain.

Liz was dealing with an immeasurable pain, she couldn't decipher what was causing it but she knew that it was something bad.
Still in that state, questions were running in Elizabeth’s mind like why Red was prepared to give her that medicine or why they weren’t going to a common hospital, her thoughts were interrupted when they were greeted by a team of doctors and nurses that immediately took her inside with a stretcher. The place seemed abandoned as if it had once been a club, but she was in no condition to demand anything, so she had to accept what Reddington was willing to give her.

When Red first had arranged everything to have 7 as Liz’s emergency number, he made sure that it would be a big place, with all the necessary equipment, with the best general doctors and nurses, not to mention the cardiologists and other specialists. He couldn’t make a mistake when it came to Elizabeth, the woman he loved, the one that was his heart, his life and that was fighting for her life, and it was all because of him.

Red was brought back from his thoughts when he heard a doctor calling for him to get inside, another thing that he had make sure was that he could be at Liz’s side every second, obviously not obstructing the doctors, but the nearest he could be.

He entered and his heart turned more sore at the image of Elizabeth with an oxygen mask on, an IV, and a pair of patches attached to her chest, among other tubes and machines. He was told by a doctor that a surgery was needed due to the damage that her heart suffered during the crisis, not only because of this one, but because she had had other crises that she believed were panic attacks so she didn’t mention them to anyone. Although the other times were less serious, this time was nearly fatal, her heart was too damaged and a pacemaker needed to be inserted.

Doctors didn’t know how much time it was going to last due to her amount of damage, a heart transplant was needed but the pacemaker could do for some time. He couldn’t bear to think what would happen if he lost Lizzie, his ray of light in all the darkness that surrounded him. He was willing to do whatever was necessary in order to ensure her a happy and safe life, even when he knew that Elizabeth would hate him for the rest of her life. He wanted to be there for her in spite of her rejection.

Thinking about the pacemaker made him reflect about the fact that Elizabeth wasn’t going to be able to do many things and that made him feel sick because he knew the free spirit she had and no matter how hard he tried, she wouldn’t be happy with that life, so all of a sudden he shouted “Stop!”, and every pair of eyes fixed on him. Knowing that he had their attention, he continued “She is the strongest woman I know, she is smart, beautiful and I know she wouldn't like to live a limited life,” he said and turned to the doctor in charge and asked “How much time can you keep her like this, without operating?”

 

The doctor thought for a few moments and then answered “It’s difficult to say in her condition, many things can change in a matter of seconds, but I could say that maybe 3 hours if everything goes the right way.”

 

Red started thinking about his options and finally spoke “Okay, keep her like that, do not operate now, I’m gonna get a heart for her.” Plans already creating in his mind, he would use all his resources if necessary but he wouldn’t lose this race.

Chapter Text

“But Mr. Reddington, are you sure? It can be pretty dangerous,” the doctor told Red with an urgent tone and hoped that he would change his mind.

“I’m sure, she deserves a better life and I know she’s gonna make it,” he said, knowing how strong Liz was, and with that, he exited the room and called the person that could get that heart in time, who was an old associate that owed him some favors and that Red knew could get a heart.

“Andrew, I know it’s been a long time since we last spoke but I still remember that you owe me something for that time in Budapest, which by the way, I remember well. So I need you to get something for me.” After Andrew agreed, Red continued “I need a heart, it’s for a woman very important to me. She’s 30, has a congenital heart disease and her blood type is negative B, she just had another crisis and is waiting in the operating room, so I don’t need to tell you that this needs to be done fast, you have 2 hours to get it. I'll send someone to pick it up.” Andrew told Red a series of things that he already knew such as how difficult it would be to get the heart in time because Elizabeth’s blood type could only receive from negative B and O and that made it even more difficult and also the fact that it was late in the night. “I know very well what this implies, and I’ll send you all the information required but I also know that you can do it because I’m sure you know what will happen if you don’t.” he hung up, not giving Andrew time to reply, in order to call Mr. Kaplan.

“Kate, you know how much Elizabeth means to me, so I need you to go and get that heart for her in time, and make sure everything is in place. I’m gonna stay here because I can’t separate from her for any more time, you know I love her Kate.” The feeling of love running through his body and causing him a sense of relief and calm, that he knew it wouldn’t last if things went sideways.

“I understand Raymond, and I won’t fail you,” Mr. Kaplan answered with that confidence that always accompanied her.

Red entered the room again and decided to sit at her side. It would be 3 long hours.
He took her hand and noticed how cold it was, he tried to warm it and kept telling her that she was going to make it, but those words weren’t only for her, they were for him too because he knew that they were now in a race to save Liz’s life, and he tried to convince himself that she would make it.

The first minutes passed very slowly, he couldn’t take his eyes off her, trying to guess what she was feeling and thinking at that moment. He turned to the watch on his wrist and realised that half an hour had already passed. Mr. Kaplan had one hour to arrive at the place, one to get the heart and one to return, he hoped and prayed that it would be enough time.

A few more minutes passed, he didn’t know how many because when he opened his eyes again, his head was resting on the edge of the bed. Their hands were still intertwined.
It wasn’t till the moment he started to hear a fast beep that he knew something was wrong, terribly wrong. He could only see everything in slow motion, a nurse took him away from the bed. He had to release Elizabeth’s hand and to him, it seemed that he was letting go of his reason for living. The beating became faster and faster, it seemed like the machine was going to explode, and a few seconds after, a silence reigned in his ears. The beating stopped, replaced by only one sound that meant the worst.

The doctors started shouting, asking for materials, and the nurses gave what they were asked to them. A defibrillator entered the scene and Liz’s body was blown up by every charge the doctors made, one charge and nothing, the second and still nothing, fear began to run through Red’s body and he tensed. He even tasted the blood in his mouth, having bitten his tongue hard due to the pressure, fear and terror he was feeling. When it came the third time, all the room stopped for a second and the beep started again, it was slow and he nearly missed the sound, but he knew it was there. Red saw a doctor that was talking to him, but he didn’t hear, immersed in the moment he just experienced.

“Mr. Reddington, can you hear me?” the doctor asked, believing he was in shock.

“Yes,” Red answered.

“Miss Keen just had another crisis, we could stabilize her but her heart is too weak, the anesthesia is getting out of her system, we are gonna sedate her in order for her to be calm because it’s safer that way, but the sedation won’t last long either. We need to watch her every second because we don’t know if she’s gonna resist another heart failure.”

“You must keep her alive,” he said with an urgency in his voice.

“We are doing all we can. But despite that, you need to be prepared.”

“You don’t understand, you need to keep her heart beating until the new one arrives!” Red replied, almost pleading, the last thing he thought he would do in his life.

“Yes, we are going to do the best we can”.

“You better because if you don’t, you are gonna face the consequences,” Red answered, gaining some composure. The threatening tone returned, the one that he used when he wanted something desperately.

After saying that, Red returned to his seat beside Liz’s bed, this time it was entirely different, he was more alert than ever but he also felt more guilty than ever and even a little helpless for not going himself for the heart, but he wasn’t willing to leave Elizabeth.

He couldn’t believe that Liz had already died, although just for a couple minutes, he couldn’t bear watching her like that. The beautiful woman that always was helping others, trying to discover her past and dealing with everything that tormented her, was now lying on that bed, fighting for her life.

The room changed too, there were even more doctors inside, and Reddington could smell sweat, blood and despair mainly.

He couldn’t do anything, just stay with her and pray for the heart to arrive in time. Since he was overwhelmed by everything, he decided to talk to her, and to blow off steam of what he had been feeling for her. He didn’t know if she could hear him but he hoped she could, because he wouldn’t confess everything being face to face with her, looking at her precious and electrifying blue eyes, penetrating his soul and weakening him, so he decided to speak now.

“Lizzie, I don’t know if you can hear me, but I want to tell you everything I’m feeling now. More than everything, I feel guilty for causing you this. I’m terribly sorry for everything I’ve done to you. You have no idea how much I regret killing Sam, hiring Tom and all the other things that have put you in danger. I know I’m a threat to you but I can’t help it because-,” he stopped to take a deep breath, stroke her hair and give her one of the sweetest kisses on her cold knuckles.

“I can’t help it because I love you Elizabeth, more than everything in the world, more than myself even, I can’t live without you.” Sincerity could be heard in each of his words.
“I know that I’ve done many horrible things, I’ve killed and I’ve lied. I’m a criminal, the dark side of the world, and you are my light, my solace, and I would give my life for you if it were necessary,” he continued stroking her hair and caressing her hand with his.

“I don’t have words to tell you how much I care about you, I know that you have questions and believe me when I tell you that I have questions too, but unfortunately I don’t have answers. Who killed my family or why they think I’m a traitor when certainly I’m not. But you also need to know that whatever those answers are, they don’t matter anymore.” He wanted her to understand that he was telling the truth and he hoped she was willing to change her mind once everything ended.

“I’ve spent many years trying to find the truth and that has only brought me bad experiences and I don’t want that for you. I know that you desperately want to know your history, your past and I’m willing to help you get those answers but not in a way that could get you hurt. Despite that, I think that you really need to move on and prepare to welcome what is yet to come. It may not be with me at your side but if you would allow me, I could make you discover what you are capable of and many other wonderful things that live and the world can provide you with.” he paused, imagining how his life could be with Elizabeth at his side, travelling around the world, having dinner in France or a gondola ride in Venice. Raymond Reddington was a dangerous man but Elizabeth was the one who softened him and he would give her the world if she asked for it.

“All those things that you deserve to discover because you are young and strong and also because you have all a life ahead.” Red couldn’t help it anymore so he stood up and made his way to her side, with one purpose in mind. To do what he had wanted for so long and could not.

He slowly approached where her face was, he stared at it for a moment, she seemed at peace like she was just sleeping, he took it in his warm hands and pressed the gentlest and softest kiss that he could on her cold lips with both of them with their eyes shut. Red could even feel that Elizabeth was responding to the kiss but that couldn’t be possible since she was sedated.

His suspicions were confirmed when he felt a cold hand on his face, he opened his eyes only to be greeted by Elizabeth’s beautiful blue eyes. The kiss wasn’t cut, instead of that, it deepened which made Red wonder if Elizabeth had heard everything, but in a moment, he cut off the kiss because he could hear through the monitor that her heartbeat was faster and faster and that wasn't good for her, so as gently as he could, he separated from her.

"Lizzie." was everything he could say after the great change of emotions he just had. He couldn’t believe what was happening. She just kissed him in return! He couldn’t be happier.

Chapter Text

“Red,” Elizabeth answered, not knowing if she said it or thought it. She felt like she was floating and in a state of great peace.

“You’re awake.” Red stroked her hair like he couldn’t believe that she really was there. “But that wasn’t supposed to happen because-” he was interrupted by the voice of the doctor that was standing in front of him. Red didn’t even notice when he moved there.

“Yeah Mr. Reddington, that wasn’t supposed to happen but 2 hours already passed and we can’t sedate her anymore or at least not right now because that could cause other damage. They better hurry up if you want her to live”

2 hours? Well, it certainly had been fast for Red, but he needed to hurry everything because with Elizabeth awake, the risk was higher.

“I will make sure that everything is going the right way and that they can come as soon as possible,” Red answered as calm as he could, heading to the door when Elizabeth’s voice made him stop.

“What do you mean by saying that if he wants me to live?” Elizabeth asked, addressing the doctor. Panic rising through her body, thinking the worst. “Doctor?” she said and as she saw that no one answered her she continued asking for an explanation “Please someone answer me!”

Red watched as Elizabeth pleaded for an answer. God, how could he forget that she didn't know anything about her condition. The doctor had instructions not to say anything to her. So as cautious as he could, he started by saying “Lizzie, first, please calm down, I’m gonna explain everything but you have to promise me that you will remain calm, it’s for your sake.”

“I can’t promise anything to you because if I remember correctly, I already told you that I don’t want anything that has to do with you and yet, you are here. Since I suspect that all of this has to do with you, I have to listen in order to understand but don’t ask me to stay calm because I don’t know how serious it is.” Elizabeth said.

“I think that works for me. But first please let me call someone.” Red could see that Elizabeth wasn’t willing to give him that chance so, he replied.
“Please Lizzie, it’s very important, it has to do with you and your well-being.”

After thinking for some moments Elizabeth finally spoke “Fine, go ahead and I hope I get the whole truth when you return”.

Red started preparing himself for what was yet to come. The secret that he’s been keeping for so long was going to be revealed and that scared him. Elizabeth’s reaction scared him. He put those thoughts aside and went straight to call Mr. Kaplan in order to know how everything was going. He didn’t even have to wait for the second ring when the woman’s voice came through the speaker.

“Raymond, I’m afraid I don’t have good news for you.”

“What do you mean? It can’t delay any more. Elizabeth is awake, they can’t sedate her at the moment and I’m about to tell her about her disease and you tell me that you have bad news?!”

“Please calm down, I’m sure the doctors can do something else. Secondly, you already knew that the moment of truth would arrive so you go there and explain to her everything about her condition and why you hid it from her. She can live with that.”

“I know Kate, it’s just this it isn’t that easy. Not when it comes to her.”

Before Red could continue, Mr. Kaplan interrupted him.
“Before you continue telling me your concerns, let me tell you what’s going on.”

“Yes, sorry, please go ahead.”

“As I was telling you, we have a delay.”

“And why is that?”

“Andrew warned you that this would be difficult. It seems he didn’t even try, we can’t find him.”

“What?! That’s not possible, we don’t have more time Lizzie-”

“Calm down and listen to me. I’ve already called some of our contacts here and just one was able to help.” Mr. Kaplan cut him off, with a steady voice that made him stop mid-sentence

“Please don’t tell me that it’s who I think it is.”

“Yes Raymond, it’s Robert.”

“He’s willing to help?”

“But only with one condition.”

“What?” Red asked, nerves already growing in his body little by little. He knew very well that Robert wasn’t a man to trust. Just remembering what happened that time in Mexico with the Sinaloa Cartel. All the resources that he put on that mission in order for them to gain territory, made him dizzy, because Robert betrayed him in the worst way possible. That was the only time that Raymond Reddington, The Concierge of Crime, has felt defeated and vulnerable. Robert tricked him in a way that he hasn't been able to understand to this day and that was what made him so dangerous.

“Raymond! Are you still there?,” Mr. Kaplan asked, startling Red and taking him out of the thoughts that haunted his mind at the moment.

“Yes Kate, what were you telling me?”

“I told you that Robert won’t cooperate or say what he wants till he meets with you.”

No! Raymond thought, what could a man like Robert possibly want? He had everything: money, power, he even was Red’s constant competitor and also the one closest to surpassing him.
That was it! Either he wanted his empire or the other thing, or rather person, that he could want would be: Lizzie.

That could make sense, he was a lonely man, Red never met anyone important to him that would care and love him like he hoped Lizzie loved and cared for him. That was the last thing he would do, give Lizzie away after all those years protecting and loving her. About his empire, he wasn’t so sure, he knew that when it came to Elizabeth, he could do anything for her but if he got rid of his empire, he wouldn’t have the resources to continue taking care of Elizabeth. That made him extremely vulnerable, just how he felt all those years ago, with the very same person.

“I tried to convince him that I could meet with him, but he refused, he even told me that he was your salvation and if you didn't accept, he would make sure to make Elizabeth what that heart failure couldn’t, ” Mr. Kaplan continued, after taking a deep breath “I think the best chance we’ve got to save Elizabeth is that you meet with him. I could try another way if you want, I know what this means to you. But I’ve tried many ways and it seems this is the only option.”

At that sentence, Red went cold, because Kate Kaplan was not a woman who agreed to do things easily, or at least not without having fought to get what she wanted. This was the worst possible scenario, if he agreed, he would have to lose a lot, maybe everything, and if he refused, he would lose Lizzie because he knew that Robert always carried out his threats and he would rather die than allow that to happen.

“Kate, it’s okay, I appreciate your concerns but Elizabeth doesn’t have much time. I must do everything in my power to save her, even if that means meeting with Robert again. But it has to be as soon as possible.”

“Okay Raymond, I’m gonna prepare everything,” Mr. Kaplan replied, with an uneasiness in her voice that clearly meant that it wasn’t something she wanted.

“Wait Kate,” Red said before she could hang up.

“Yes, Raymond?”

“I guess I’m leaving soon but I still have to explain everything to Elizabeth.”

“I’m already on my way Raymond, I figured you would have to get going and wouldn’t want to leave Elizabeth alone.”

“Yes Kate, but it’s more than that. I need you to explain to her why I hid this from her, maybe she will listen to you. I’ll tell her what her condition is but I’m not sure she will want to see me again after that. I want you to make her understand that everything was for love and that this is for love too. I’m trying to give her the life she deserves, without restrictions. Please Kate, please-”

The moment that words escaped Raymond’s mouth, he knew that tears were rolling down his cheeks and that he wouldn’t be able to continue telling Mr. Kaplan what he wanted.

Kathryn Nemec wasn’t a woman who broke easily but hearing her employer, friend, and the person she was most loyal to, talking, pleading like that, made her want to cry. She had witnessed everything Red had done for Elizabeth and now he was terrified that he would lose her in the worst way possible, and that hurt her deeply because before being his employee, she was his confidant and friend.

“I promise I will do the best I can and don’t worry, Elizabeth will be well cared for till your return.” Oh God, how could he not love this woman, she always knew what to do and say, even in situations like this she was always supportive. Despite not having any friends, Red knew that Kate Kaplan was a woman in whom he could trust and the closest he had of a sister.

“Thanks Kate. I knew I could trust you with this and I will be eternally grateful,” Red said, having regained his composure a bit, and expressing pure sincerity and gratitude.

“That won’t be necessary dearie, just do what you have to do--the right thing. I will be there soon. Goodbye Raymond.”

“Goodbye Kate,” Red replied and hung up, in order to face Elizabeth again but now to explain everything to her.