“Fuck,” we both say at the same time.
The cruiser slides into the parking lot and I’m out before it’s even fully stopped. I’m running flat out as fast as I can just as I hear her scream.
The scream makes my throat raw, but I ignore the pain and fight like hell. Suddenly I see movement out of the corner of my eye and Franky’s painful hold on my arm burns as he tries to tug me into the back of the truck.
Suddenly the back doors are flung open and I hear people shouting. I’m partially in the back of the truck, but it’s been flooded with light and for a moment I’m blinded.
“Robin!” I want to sob at the sound of Anderson’s voice. He’s here, everything is going to be okay.
“You let her go or I’ll put a bullet right between your eyes,” I hear Kent say. “The truck is surrounded and you’re not going anywhere.”
Relief and fear mix together as Franky pulls me closer to him. He doesn’t have a weapon, but he’s a big guy. I breathe, trying to remain calm as my eyes finally clear and I see Kent with two officers standing on either side of him. I can’t see Anderson, but I swear I can feel him, because my panic begins to calm and I know it’s all going to be all right.
“I said let her go,” Kent says as he takes a step towards the truck.
“You’re nothing but a whore anyway,” Franky says to me and his grip loosens.
I gasp when there’s a kick to his back and he’s knocked forward and face down. I gasp as Anderson scoops me up in his arms and Kent descends on Franky. Anderson must have come in the back door of the truck.
I’m swept out of the truck and brought into the diner where Millie is inside with other people watching the whole thing happen. I glance over to see Charlotte still asleep in her car seat and a wave of relief hits me.
“Are you okay?” Anderson asks as he sits me down in a chair and kneels down in front of me. He rubs his hands up and down my arms as he looks me over. “Did he hurt you?”
“No, you were just in time,” I say and burst into tears as all of my emotions overwhelm me at once.
“Don’t cry, beautiful.” He pulls me to his chest, and I hear the chime on the door ring as Kent comes in.
“Robin, are you okay?” There’s a mix of panic and relief on his face. I nod. He leans down and has to hug me around Anderson because he’s not moving.
I feel a hysterical bubble of laughter come out of me at both Anderson and Kent wrapping me up and making me feel better.
“I’m so sorry, I know I was an asshole,” Kent says as he steps back and looks at me. “I was wrong to keep butting in, but you’re my baby sister.”
“I get it,” I say and smile up at him. “I’m sorry, too. Let’s just put it all behind us.”
“Agreed,” Anderson says and reaches out to shake Kent’s hand.
“Next time just let me know before you go in and drop kick a suspect,” Kent says, but I don’t think he really means it.
“Where is Franky?” I ask as I look around Kent to the police cars crowding in.
“There’s a team of officers here to take him across county lines and back to where he’s wanted. You’re lucky, Robin.” He shakes his head for a second and then lets out a breath. “When I think about what could have happened.”
“I’m safe now,” I say when I feel Anderson’s arms tighten around me. “I have a feeling I’ll always be safe.” I look into his eyes and I’ve never been more thankful for him.
“I want to take my girls home,” Anderson says, not breaking eye contact with me. I nod when Kent says he’ll be in touch if the other team has questions.
I give my brother another half hug on the way out because Anderson still won’t release me. He even insists on putting me in the car and buckling me up while Millie carries our sleeping little girl and puts her in the backseat.
Once we get to the house, Anderson puts Charlotte in her crib so she can finish her nap and then he puts me in the bed.
“I don’t know if I can sleep right now,” I say as he strips off my clothes and pulls back the covers.
“You don’t have to sleep.” Anderson turns off the lights, and though it’s still daylight outside the sun is beginning to set. “But I want you in bed for the rest of the night and I want you to take it easy. Let me take care of Charlotte and you worry about yourself.”