Chapter 17


Chapter Seventeen

Four weeks had gone by and Mick had yet to wake up as he continued to lie in a hospital bed with a tube under his nose and hooked up to several machines. After ten days, the doctors had taken him out of the ICU and transported him back home to Washington D.C. He seemed to be getting better, at least physically, but the doctors were still unsure if he would recover or not. Whatever trauma he had been through no doubt has left him struggling both emotionally and mentally as well. Sam, Gina, Beth, and Prophet took turns looking in on him.

Lance Bryant remained at the prison cell down in North Carolina where he had committed several of his murders and waited for his trial to begin. The state is planning to push for the death penalty. When the time comes, the RED CELL team will be called down to testify along with Mick, or in his behalf, should he not recover.

Sam sat in a hard chair beside Mick's bed and concentrated on a paper that had been shipped to him from England from an old friend. It stated that a man, whom Mick had tried to convince his old team there that he should not have been released from prison, was once again arrested due to the findings of evidence tampering during the cops' initial investigation.

As he had promised his friend before their latest case that landed Mick here in the hospital, Sam had looked over Mick's notes and the details of the case to do what he could to put this dangerous man back in prison. Sam worked with the British Special Forces over the phone to get the mess straightened out and they rearrested the man once again before he managed to kill anyone else as Mick believed he would.

After sitting there for about a half an hour, Sam noticed Mick start to struggle to wake. He tossed the paper onto the nightstand beside the bed and leaned over as Mick slowly opened his eyes and began to rise in a panic, not knowing where he was. Sam quickly laid his hands gently on his shoulders in order to calm him down and assured him that he was safe.

When Mick saw that it was Sam leaning over him, he quickly stopped struggling, lowered his head back onto his pillow, and pulled the tube off from under his nose as he asked very softly, "Sam, what happened? Where am I?"

Sam responded, "Just take it easy! You're back in D.C. where you belong and your safe now. We found you. Actually, you found us. What's the last thing you remember?"

"I remember everything," Mick answered. "But it's all a bit hazy. I remember being tortured and buried alive and… Oh God, Gina! Coop, is she all right?"

"Gina's just fine thanks to you," Sam replied. "You saved all of us, somehow. I always knew that you had guts. Despite everything you've been through, you managed to save yourself. How did you do it?"

After a few minutes, he finally responded, "Lance was Todd's son. I needed to save him despite the terrible things that he had done. I know he'll get the death penalty and rightly so, but I couldn't kill him. He needed to be arrested and tried by the law. I should have seen this coming. I knew he was angry. All those people, Cooper! All of them are dead because of me."

Sam said firmly, "None of this was your fault, Mick! None of it! Lance did what he did because he was angry that his father left you with no choice other than to kill him. Lance killed those people for revenge, but the anger was misplaced. Those deaths will be on him, not on you."

"I wish that I could believe you right now, but I can't," Mick replied as he turned his head away.

"In time, you will," Sam responded. "How are you feeling, physically?"

"Like I've been struck by lightning over and over again," Mick answered as he turned back to his friend. "I suppose that's pretty close to what actually happened, huh?"

Cooper nodded his head as he reached over to one of the fluid bags hooked up to his arms and said, "The nurses have hooked you up to a morphine drip if you need it. I…"

Mick quickly reached over in order to stop him from pushing the button as he interrupted, "No, don't, please! I'd rather keep my mind focused and I can't do that if there are drugs in my system. I'm fine, I promise. How long before I can get out of here?"

Sam answered, "You have a long recovery ahead of you, Mick. You were beaten, stabbed, electrocuted, and then buried alive. You need to allow yourself to rest. Let the rest of us take care of things for a while."

Before Mick could object, Prophet, Gina, and Beth walked through the door and each of the girls took turns bending down to carefully give Mick a hug. Prophet took Mick's hand in his and shook it warmly.

"It's so good to see you finally awake!" Beth said. "You have no idea how much we missed you."

"You have no idea how much paperwork we've had to do since we finished this case, Man," Prophet added jokingly. "We were all pretty worried about you. I'm glad that you're going to be all right."

Mick replied, "You and me both, Mate. Are you guys all right?"

Beth answered, "We weren't the ones who went through what you just did, but we're good, now that we know you're going to be just fine. The doctors weren't sure you were going to be."

"It will take more than that to bring me down," Mick responded. "Thank you, all of you."

"Anytime," Sam replied as he reached down to pat Mick on his shoulder. "Now, we're going to get out of here to let you get some rest. We'll be back soon."

Sam, Beth, and Prophet left the room, but Gina stayed behind and stood there looking at Mick as she said somberly, "I owe you for saving my life that night. I thought I was going to die. If it weren't for you, I would have…"

Mick interrupted her as he replied, "You would have done the same for me. This team is my family. I did what I had to do to make sure that the monster I created couldn't hurt anyone ever again. You owe me nothing, Gina. I am just glad I was in time."

Gina leant down and gently kissed Mick on his forehead and turned to leave the room. Mick smiled as he watched her leave and then he noticed the newspaper on the nightstand next to his bed. He reached over to pick it up and when he read the article that was on the open page, he smiled, realizing that Sam had kept the promise he had made him the day before their latest case began.

Inside the hospital's parking garage…

Gina had finally caught up with the rest of her teammates and as they were about to get into their car, Sam's cell phone began to ring. When he looked at the caller ID, Sam saw that it was Penelope calling.

He answered, "Hello, Beautiful! What's up?"

In an urgent voice she quickly asked, "How's Mick doing? Is he all right?"

"He's going to be fine, Penelope," Sam replied. "He's finally awake. Is there something wrong?"

"Yes, terribly wrong," she responded. "I just got a message from Kevin, who told me to take a look at Lance Bryant's blog site right away. I just did and apparently Bryant posted a new message a few hours ago for anyone who reads it, which millions of people are because this case is so popular right now. I am trying to get it shut down, but…"

Sam interrupted saying, "Penelope, you're rambling. What is wrong?"

She slowly answered, "Bryant's put a hit out on Mick. He's offering anyone who is successful in killing him once and for all, $500,000."

As soon as Penelope said this, Sam took off running as fast as he could back toward Mick's room. Prophet, Gina, and Beth ran after him. They were all startled and wondered what Garcia had said to make him take off so suddenly. Whatever it was, it wasn't going to be good.

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