A/N: Chapter 5 turned out to be a bit too long so I decided to split it in half. So there’s another one coming. Don’t kill me!
+ I warned you it will be angsty.
My sincerest tanks to all of you that take time to comment, and also to the ones that have the patience to read. I am very grateful to all of you!
Tagline: “One day I fell asleep, and I never woke up.”
“I’m telling you Jo, that guy is a total creep. You deserve better.” Hanson tried to convince her, but with no success.
“You’re overreacting.” Jo replied, trying to get him off her back. She was not in the mood.
“I’m not overreacting, you are being reckless.”
“Reckless? No…you’re not overreacting.” she tried to fight him with sarcasm.
“You are heading head first into a relationship YOU KNOW it’s not good for you. Tell me again how this is not reckless?”
“And what would you have me do? Wallow in self-pity and live the rest of my life alone?”
“Of course not, but you deserve someone better, someone who cares about you not about sleeping with you.”
“Mike… I … I just need something, someone to distract me.”
And Andre was the first guy that came to mind. He was available, and interested in a relationship, and she did sleep with him exactly the day before she met Henry.
“What happened, Jo? Does it have anything to do with Henry?” Hanson was spot on, he was a detective after all. And just when she was about to open her mouth … “Don’t lie.”
A heavy sigh escaped her lips. “I … just can’t be around him anymore. I can’t trust him.”
“I guess you won’t have to worry about avoiding him anymore then.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“The Doc just put in his 2 weeks notice.”
Jo froze. ‘He’s leaving.’ she thought and suddenly she felt faint, her stomach turning. This wasn’t happening. Without saying a word to Hanson she turned on her heels and headed towards the elevator.
“Where are you going?” Mike shouted, then mouthed to himself “Didn’t she just said she can’t be around him?? … Women…” he sighed.
“Oh, this is a special occasion, Dr. Morgan.” the man replied with a smile on his lips “I had to see it with my own eyes. I had to see you with my own eyes.”
That’s when Henry’s smile dropped, and a knot prevented him from talking. Not only this man hired someone to kill him, but this man also knew his secret. This wasn’t possible, this was just a very, very bad dream.
“What do you want?” the immortal man’s tone was now dark.
“Nothing … nothing else than I already told you last time we met. I knew there was a reason you believed me, what I didn’t know, nor expect was who you really were.” But the reply was interrupted by Jo’s voice which seemed to have been listening on the conversation for a while.
“Am I interrupting something?”
“Detective Martinez! What a pleasure.” the man in the wheelchair saluted turning to look at the detective. “I was just passing by and thought I should pay the good doctor a visit.” Then he turned back to Henry smiling “I’ll see you later, Dr. Morgan.”
And with that Aubrey Griffin was out of the morgue.
“What was that all about?” Jo begun.
“Nothing you should worry about, Detective.” Henry tried to brush it off. Griffin was the one that tried to kill him but he couldn’t tell Jo that. She was in enough danger with him around, he didn’t want her to try and protect him too. What he didn’t know was that she and Hanson managed to trace Griffin as the man who hired the assassin that shot Jo on the trap case. It was only a matter of time before he would get arrested. Even so, Jo needed to know why he wanted to leave so badly.
“Hmm…then why are you leaving town?”
“I have some business to attend in London.” he lied not daring to look her in the eyes.
“You’re lying…again.” the tone of her voice was filled with disappointment and Henry felt his heart constrict. Oh, how he hated lying to her.
“I have to go…” he whispered “You moved on, it’s time for me to do the same.”
Yes, far away was best, for him, for her, for everyone. If he left everyone was safe, if he left, she’d be happy. Or that’s what he hoped.
“But promise me one thing.” Henry continued as he stepped closer to her, peering deeply into her eyes.
“What?” she spoke in a faint voice, feeling as if his gaze was burning into her very core.
“Next time you get the chance to go to Paris, go! And maybe, if you wish, you could stop by in London so we could drink a cup of tea together.”
Jo could feel tears burning down her cheeks, it was one thing to avoid him, but it was quite another to not know him there, as much as she hated it, she loved him, even though it was a one way highway and he will never return the feelings. And it was still him she wanted to go to Paris with. It broke her heart to know it will never happen, to be certain it will never happen. She choked back a cry, and stared at her feet, avoiding his face. With inhuman effort she managed to take a step back, but before she could turn she felt the warm brush of fingers on her cheek, pulling her forward into a haste kiss that made her soul almost burst out of her chest. The gesture took Jo by surprise but she responded with the same hunger, with the same yearning that was kept in check for far too long. It lasted no more than ten seconds, but it was enough to stir every emotion that stood hidden or dormant inside them. The brush of his lips over hers was demanding, almost desperate, but when they finally parted, the young woman understood this was a goodbye kiss.
“I never wanted to hurt you.” Henry breathed into her ear as he left the morgue, leaving behind a trembling, teary-eyed and very confused Jo.
Once she got home she could finally think. She threw her bag and jacket on a nearby armchair and threw herself into the pillows of her couch. Her hands reached for her lips. He kissed her … why? While she put her feelings on a platter he only said he cared about her. He made it clear, on various occasions that he wasn’t interested in her. So why did he kiss her? And why did it feel like they ripped a piece of each other for safe keeping?
It was so damn hard to make sense of this mess. ‘What the hell is going on?’ she thought. Then a thought bloomed in her mind … what if he did mirror her feelings, but was afraid to say it? What if he told her the truth and she didn’t want to listen?
‘Oookay, what do you think happened?’ he asked with a smile on his lips, while she lay in her hospital bed.
‘I thought you both fell off that roof.’
The flashback was still fresh in her mind, as was the memory of them falling off the roof, right after Henry got shot. Could have she imagined all of that? She was pretty sure she didn’t then, so why would she believe otherwise now? And his lack of self-preservation …
Before she could finish the train of thought, her cell began ringing. On the display Abe’s name flickered.
“Hello.” she answered.
“Oh, hey Jo. Sorry to bother you at this hour, but … do you happen to know if Henry stayed in late or if he said anything about where he was going?” Abe asked, his voice betraying a hint of worry.
“Ugh…no. He left work a few hours ago.”
“Oh no.” now he sounded really worried.
“Listen, Jo. I know he’ll probably hate me for telling you this, but it’s for his own good. I think he’s in trouble. Remember that night when you came by and Henry said he bumped his head on the table?”
“That was a lie.”
“Why doesn’t it surprise me?” she asked sarcastically.
“Someone shot at him.” the older man’s voice was now grave.
She almost asked him if the bullet met his target when she realized she knew where he might be. “I think I know who has him.”
A/N: Sorry for letting you hang, but I had to split the chapter somewhere and still keep you interested about what’s coming.
Next: Jo discovers Henry’s secret. Warning, it’s going to be uglier than you imagine, and it’ll probably make you cry. Sorry …