Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 69

That’s when I find it.
Two twisted beams of metal, a hole in the middle where a vehicle tore through the guardrail.
I lunge for that hole, terrified of what I’ll find. Or what I won’t find. One body has been located, so where are the rest? Where’s my little girl? The one who turned my life upside down and gave me a new reason to live?
I’ve nearly cleared the road to the other side when strong arms band around my torso, trapping my arms at my sides, and haul me back into a hard chest.
“Please, let me go. Please!” I plead. My arms wrap up and clutch the ones that hold me steady.
“You have to let them do their jobs. There’s nothing you can do. Let them do their jobs, and they’ll get Evelyn.” Nathan holds me tight, his forehead presses against my temple and his lips are at my ear. He sways us back and forth while he murmurs to me, his voice steady and strong.
My eyes remain wild, darting around at every source of movement, but the fight leaks out of my body. I clutch Nathan like a lifeline. Tears run a torrent down my cheeks. His warmth seeps into me, replacing the numbness, and making me painfully aware of all the areas that are freezing and exposed.
The shivers come next as I watch rescuers go down into the ravine. I can’t take it much longer.
“Bring me closer. I need to see what’s going on.”
“You have to let them work.”
“I’ll stay out of their way. I just need to see. Please.”
Without releasing me, Nathan walks us closer. I can’t tell if he is holding me for support or to keep me from throwing myself over the side of the road, and frankly, I don’t care. In that moment, I’d let him do just about anything so long as he gets me closer to Evelyn.
“Nathan,” I whisper as we near the edge.
His arms give an answering squeeze.
“That’s not… she’s not the DOA. Is she?”
He swallows loudly. “If I leave you here to check, are you going to do anything stupid?”
“Oh, God.” My head falls back on his shoulder. “N-n-n-no.”
Nathan’s hands cover the backs of mine, and he gentles his hold. “Stay right here. I mean it. You move a fuckin’ inch, and I’ll sedate you myself. I’ll be right there. I’m going to check. Don’t you dare move.”
“Okay.” Terror laces my response.
I don’t want to watch, but I can’t look away. My eyes glue to his retreating back.
It knocks the breath from my lungs once more as he crouches down and unzips the bag. His chin drops to his chest. What does that mean? We all feel compassion for the victims we come across, but is that compassion for me?
I break his rule and meet him halfway, desperate for an answer.
He seems just as desperate to give it to me. He grips my upper arms and grinds out, “It’s not her. God.” He closes his eyes and doubles over. “It’s not her.”
I cover my mouth with my palm and close my eyes too. I open my mouth to ask who it is, knowing there are only two other people in that car, when a voice rings out.
“Move out of the way!”
Seven rescuers rush forward carrying a gurney over the icy snow and to the ambulance.
One glimpse of auburn hair, and I take off in that direction. I catch up to them, and my entire world flips on its axis.
Blood. All I can see was blood. That brief glimpse of auburn hair is the only part not covered in it. Her eyes are closed, and she’s so still I’m not even sure she’s breathing.
“Is she alive?” I ask to no one and everyone at the same time.