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A Mother’s Love

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Hospital Hallway

The ambulance was racing across town towards the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital. There was a strong smell of bleach which lingered in the air when a few ambulance staff were running, pushing a trolley with an unconscious Miranda Blake on it down a very long hallway towards the operating theatre with Max Winter who was riding on the side despite his own injuries and he was compressing the bullet hole in Miranda’s stomach.

“Single GSW to the stomach, initially unresponsive, lost vitals right in front of us.”

“Stay with me! Don’t die!”

“Switch, we’ve got this!”

“This is my partner, you understand me? She’s my partner.” Max said as he doesn’t relent on the pressure he’s keeping on Miranda’s stomach

“Then let us save her life.” One of the doctors said. “And you need to get your injuries check out.” Max looks at the unconscious Miranda, then regards the doctor. He got off the trolley, watching them take Miranda to surgery, he is exhausted and terrified and he can’t hold back his tears from falling before another doctor put their hand on Max’s shoulder and look him to the treatment room.

***

After having his injured head seen to as he only had a few cuts and bruises Max went to the ICU to see how Miranda was when he got there his poor heart split into two. As he watched the scene unfolded, Miranda was lying in the same position as she was when they first arrived at the hospital, tubs and electrodes trailed from both arms and a brain monitor was attached to one temple. Max couldn’t stay he got up and went away from the area since the doctors wasn’t telling him much and they wanted to interview him about Miranda’s medical history.

***

It was a few very long hours later which dragged on for Max who was after a little bit of an update about Miranda’s situation. A few minutes later he a tall man with short dark hair came up to him with a blank expression on his face which gave nothing away.

“Mr Winter” Max nodded. He still wasn’t sure if he could speak

“Yes?”

“My name is Dr Sanchez, I was Miss Blake’s doctor for the operation and just to let you know is that your partner is out of surgery.”

“Will she be alright?”

“Well, during the surgery she experienced cardiac arrest. Now, we were able to get her heart beating again on its own but we’ll need to watch her very closely.”

“When can I see her?”

***

Awareness arrived on a single breath. The beating of her heart the first focus point. She wouldn’t open her eyes. The clock remained stopped as long as she kept her eyes closed. Once open, it would start again and that would bring with it the return of pain and loss and fear. She became aware of the tightness in her upper chest. Not pain exactly but pain which was subdued but it was waiting to pounce again once the leash of the painkillers faded away.

She was warm, almost too warm and felt the swaddle of blankets around her. She took a deep breath and became aware of something both blocking the entrance to her nose and helping her to breathe. Oxygen. A mechanical beep accompanied the slow, steady beat of her heart and she felt a tightness, an almost-sting in the back of her hand. Then she became aware of her other hand. Something was around it. Something warm and strong. Another hand, larger than hers. She roused herself enough to give it and experimental squeeze and heard the sharp intake of another's breath.

"Miranda," The hand squeezed back. “Hey, are you trying to come back to me?" His voice said with a hopeful tone. She felt the angle of his hold on her change. He was standing now, leaning over her. "Shh, hey, no, no, no, it's ok. You're in the hospital. They're taking good care of you." His other hand brushed the hair away from her face "Miranda, please, open your eyes for me, ok? I've been waiting for so long." His voice broke on this and it was his distress that caused her to finally open her eyes. "Hey, there you are." He was smiling but his voice shook and there were tears in his eyes. His image blurred and he reached for something to the side of her. Tissues. "No, hey, don't cry." He blotted the moisture from under her eyes. "Are you in pain?" She shook her head.

"Max." Her voice came out in a croaky whine and encompassed all she was remembering and feeling right now. He leaned in and kissed her brow

“Shh, it's ok, I'm here, we're here and we're going to be ok, I promise. Here, let me" He grabbed a cup from the side table and poured a glass of cold water before helping Miranda to sip the water but put the glass when Miranda started to gag on the water and Max helped her to sit up and rubbed her back then when the coughing eased he gently layed her back down towards her hospital bed and she nodded her thanks. He pulled back to look at her. "I should, go get everyone now, let them know you're awake." He started to pull away and she felt panic flare inside her. She held on to his hand with all the strength she had which frankly, wasn't much, but he got the message and stopped.

"No, please, don't go." He seemed a little uncertain but finally nodded and sat down again. After gazing into her eyes for a few moments, he surprised her by pulling her hand close and softly kissing it in a gentleman fashion.

"You had me worried. I've never been so scared in my whole life." He swallowed convulsively a couple of times and his bright blue eyes were shiny again with unshed tears. "I thought I'd lost you." Before she could respond, his attention shifted. “Do you remember what happened?" She nodded. She remembered everything. "The doctor says it's going to take some time but he thinks you're going to be alright." She kept her eyes on his. As long as she kept her eyes on him, it would be ok. “They didn't want you to have visitors, but I told them they'd have to get security to drag me out, so they finally let me stay. You'd be impressed. I put up quite a fuss." They shared a smile. "Anyway, I guess I should give someone else a turn. We've all been so worried about you, Miranda." She shook her head.

"No, don't go. I don't want anyone else. I just want you." Her voice was tremulous, like a little girl's. He smiled and nodded, giving her hand a kiss again.

"Well, you've got me. You're not getting rid of me anytime soon. Unless, you know, security shows up." She smiled at that.

"Wild horses?" she asked softly. His naturally warm smile grew wide before he nodded softy.

"Yeah, wild horses." He squeezed her hand again. "Do you think you could go back to sleep now for a little bit?" When she looked uncertain he added, "I promise I'll be right here the whole time. I wish I could read to you, but I don't have"

"That's ok."

"But, hey, I can tell you a story." Eyes closed she smiled.

"Ok, Mr Winter, tell me a story." He cleared his throat and began.

"Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess named Miranda” She interrupted him.

"Max?" She was on the verge of sleep before the door opened and a furious Inés stepped into the room with her high heel shoes click-clacking behind her. She icily glared at the dynamic detective duo who looked at each other. “Inés, we…I can explain.”

“Save it Blake.” Inés hissed out. “When are you going stop endangering herself to solve cases?” Inés added before she stepped between Max and Miranda. “This is the 4th time you’ve been in hospital this month.” As Inés went off on a big rant speaking in both English and Spanish. During the rant, Miranda looked at Max with tears brimming in her sad blue eyes which Max understood.

“Just stop it.” Max said as he places himself inbetween Inés and Miranda. “I won’t have you talking to my partner like that.” Inés was about to reply when one of the doctors told them to take it outside.
***
Outside Miranda’s hospital room in the corridor an irate Inés stood at the water cooler with her hands on her hips looking at

“Well, Winter.” Inés said which made Max wince but after 3 years he was used to it. “What happened?”

“It wasn’t Miranda’s fault.” Max said. “It was me. I shot her by accident.” He added with a whisper before explaining how the case which was a simple robbery and using the correct book they managed to located the suspects who were a group of teenage boys as Max and Miranda was about to arrest them; there was a struggle and a split second later Miranda was lying in a pool of blood with a distraught Max trying to help her. Inés was in shock as she registering Max’s words before leaving them behind and she walked back to her car before going straight to her special place nearby the sea. After a few hours and some quiet reflection Inés walked back to her car and drove straight back to her office
***
Inés’ Office

The bullpen was really quiet too quiet for Inés who was lend back in her chair with her eyes close wishing for 3 things. The first thing she wished for is that Max would stop messing with her chair. The second is, she wished that she had taken her antihistamines for hayfever and the last and the most important one is that she shouldn’t made all the hurtful remarks towards Miranda without knowing the full story which Max filled her in. Her train of thought was interrupted when her computer sent a new email sound. Inés opened her eyes before looking at the computer and saw the name ‘Superintendent Abbey Palmer’ she knew that it was Miranda’s old MET boss looking for an update on Miranda’s progress and after Inés typed out what has happened she requested that Palmer send over Miranda’s folder. A couple of long minutes later, her email panged again and with a freshly made hot coffee, Inés clicked on the link and read the file late into the night.
***
The Next Day

Inés took a deep breath before entering Miranda’s hospital room. She was sat up in bed reading a magazine before looking up at the person in her room and frowned when she saw Inés.

“How are you feeling?” Inés said perching on the bed. “I'm sorry." Inés said as she reached out her hand to Miranda in a sign of comfort & Miranda accepted it. Inés sighed before reaching for her purse which was inside her handbag. It was a few seconds later when Inés pulled out an old photograph. “For what I said to you. It was incentive.” Before Miranda could reply a doctor came into the room and he was carrying a pen and Miranda’s medical history folder.

"Miss Blake, I need to check your blood levels again." The doctor came over towards. Inés looked at her and waited for her report. She smiled. "Her level is normal. She's over the worst of it now. Feeling better?" he said over his shoulder as he took the bag down off the pole.

"Much better, I think I'm completely cured now."

"Good," the doctor said, laying the bag on her nightstand. "Then I think we're done with the blood transfusions." Miranda watched while the doctor bent over to her arm. She winced when he pulled the needle out of her arm and set the needle on top of the bag. He reached into the pocket of his jacket and brought out some gauze and surgical tape. He put a bit of gauze on the puncture wound and wrapped the tape around it a couple of times to secure it.
"Leave that on for a while till the wound heals," the doctor said as he cleaned up before him leaving the room and let them two talk. The silence was awkward at first but Miranda decided to break the ice by noticing that Inés was holding a picture.

“What's that you're holding?”

“It’s a picture of my late daughter.” Miranda couldn’t believe her ears.

What the hell? God Miranda is that you hallucinating again? But I’m sure she said, no it can’t be could it? She was flabbergasted and it showed on her face, Inés hung her head “I’m sorry what did you say?” Miranda said

“Look I know it sounds crazy and you’ll think I’m losing it but before you and even Max came to the island.” Inés explained slowly. “My ex-husband and I called her Ramona, after my mentor but we shorted it for Mona.” Inés smiled sadly. “She was always a rebellious, passionate, dedicated and always running headfirst into danger without a single thought for her own safety.” A single tear dropped down Inés’ face as she remembered how her daughter died. It was from a stray bullet from a shootout between Inés and a suspect. “She died in my arms." This was the first time Miranda had heard about any of this; her Spanish boss never talked about her private live.

“Ok” Miranda managed to croak. Inés back off away; leaving Miranda there trying to digest what she’d just said. “Inés, I’m sorry.”

“Apology accepted Miranda.” Inés said before looking away. “Do you want to get out of here?” Miranda nodded before Inés said something about deal. After a few minutes later, Miranda nodded confirming that she would agree to the deal then she bent over with some difficulty due to her stiches and scars and grabbed a box of biscuits which Roberto and Luisa sent over via Max and snapped a Crespell, a local Mallorcan biscuit, in two which sealed the deal. A few hours later one of the head nurses rang the bell which signalled the end of visiting hours and Inés and Miranda said their goodbyes to each other before Inés left.
***
The End Of The Week

The week dragged on very slowly to slow for Miranda who was nervous and happy. The latter was because Miranda hated hospitals as too many bad memories but she was nervous as Inés had ordered Max to look after her until she has fully healed. Miranda lay in the bed in her ward recovering from her ordeal. Miranda was resting comfortably, no longer feeling weak or ill. She had her eyes closed when she heard her door creaking open. She opened her blue eyes and raised an eyebrow when a medium side teddy puppet came around the slightly open door.

"Hello," Max said in a goofy voice while he made the puppet talk, "My name is Ringo, I heard you were feeling ill so I came to cheer you up!"

“Max!" Miranda said with a chuckle. Max stuck his head around the door before he smiled warmly and came into the room. He laid the stuffed bear down on her nightstand “Thanks for the teddy.”

“You’re welcome,” Max said. “Let’s get you out of here.”

“Max, I think you've read my mind.” She smiles as she walks up to him but as she reaches for Max’s hand, she stops, doubles over slightly and winces. It doesn't stop her and she keeps on getting up.

“Surgery?”

“Yeah. Sometimes the scar pulls a bit.” She explained. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine.” Max said but as she tried to walk she started to trip up on a loose tile but Max manages to catch Miranda before she falls. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” He said with a smile which Miranda smiled back but unbeknown to Max and Miranda, there door was still open a crack and Inés could hear every word and saw every action. Those two! Why didn’t they just admit they are hopelessly in love she thought and spare the rest of us all the soppy glances, goo-goo eyes and the flirty banter?