Everything else happened so quickly. I looked up to see Alex, who was in the process of lifting the door from the ground. I knew the thing was heavy, but to him, it seemed like nothing at all. Johnny, taking his attention from the knife stuck in his leg, looked up just in time to watch Alex run toward him, the door held up like a shield.
Johnny raised his pistol and fired, the shot panging off the door. It was the only one he managed to fire. I ran into the nursery, nearly tripping over the fallen dresser Johnny had pushed over moments earlier to get to me, just in time to watch as Alex slammed into Johnny hard, using the door to completely knock him off his feet.
They were both still wailing, and I hurried over to each of them to calm them and let them know Mommy was there. Johnny groaned and yelled, Alex still on top of him, pressing the door down.
More commotion sounded out, and before I could step out into the hallway to see what it was, a swarm of police officers poured into the condo. The noise was deafening as they pulled Alex and the door off Johnny, getting the men apart as other officers removed the gun and the knife.
I stayed between the girls and the chaos, holding my arms out to make sure no one got near my babies. The world became blurry, and I felt dizzy. My hand shot out toward one of the cribs and I grabbed the side, trying to stabilize myself. The wailing of the girls blended with the hollering of the police officers, and the hits to my head caused an intense throbbing.
I felt woozy, like I wouldn’t be able to keep myself upright. Through it all, I spotted Alex. He saw me, saw that I was in a bad state, and broke away from the cops, running over to me.
He didn’t make it in time. I fell into a heap, my eyes closing, the world descending into a deep, dark black.
Acouple of hours later, I was at the ER of Pitt Medical with Jerry and Michelle, who’d just arrived. I’d told them the story on their drive over as I stayed in the waiting room, letting the staff on duty handle Georgia.
I’d been worried as hell at first, but when Melanie had come out to let me know she was stable, I allowed myself to relax a bit.
“She’s going to be fine,” Melanie said as Jerry and Michelle approached. “Just a mild concussion from getting hit in the head.”
The mere mention of what Johnny had done to Georgia was enough to send a fresh wave of rage through me. I wished Johnny were there right then so I could really make his sorry ass pay for what he’d done.
He was in custody. That would have to be enough. Beating some piece of shit to a pulp would hardly be the right way to start a new life away from the world of New York underground crime.
“Is she up now?” Michelle asked, worry in her voice.
“She’s a little groggy, but in the waking world,” Melanie replied. “I’d give her another hour before you go in to see her.”
“And the girls,” Jerry asked. “Are they here too?”
“They’re with Haley,” I said. “She’s watching them while we’re here with Georgia. She might need a relief crew in a few hours from now.”
Michelle nodded. “Here or there, it doesn’t matter, we’ll go wherever we’re needed.”
I allowed myself a small smile. Michelle and Jerry were still a bit apprehensive about me, and for good reason. That aside, I was pleased to see how much they loved our girls, how they were on the small team of people who’d do anything for them.
“Doc, you’re welcome to come in and take a look,” Melanie said.“She’s down in room fourteen.”
Melanie left the three of us.
“You’re the doctor,” Michelle said. “Go check out our little girl, and we’ll be waiting here when you’re done.”
There was more to be said to them before I left.
“Michelle, Jerry… I wanted to tell you both that I’m sorry. All of this that happened, it’s because of me, because of my dishonesty. I’ve led a life that I’m not proud of, but one I came to Evergreen to leave behind.”
The two regarded each other for a long moment.
“I can see that you’re sorry,” Jerry said. “And I won’t lie, it’s going to take some time before you’re back in our good graces.
“But you were there for our little girl, our littlegirlswhen it counted. And you’re here now. Let’s make sure Georgie is back on her feet, then we can talk about where to go from here.”