The seat belt was jammed, and the window wouldn’t open, but Liam got her out. He had to break the side glass and cut the belt. He also had to peel her hands away from the steering wheel. His expression was grim, and yet he was being so gentle with her as he lifted her through the window. Phillips was there, too, and he looked almost as worried as Liam. How had they gotten there so fast?
Liam didn’t let go of her. He held her tight against him. She could feel him shaking when he asked, "Are you all right? Are you bleeding anywhere?"
"I’m fine," she said, surprised she could raise her voice to little more than a whisper.
"Whoever did this to you . . ."
Hoping to calm him, she motioned for him to put her down. She brushed herself off and said, "All right, then. I’m going to need a ride."
Phillips actually smiled, a first for him, but Liam still looked as though he wanted to go to war. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders for support and said, "You’re going to the hospital. You could have internal bleeding . . . a brain injury . . . or a-"
"I am not going to the hospital," she argued. "I didn’t hit my head, and my backpack protected me from the airbag." It wasn’t until she got a good look at her car that she started shaking. Then she spotted the remains of her laptop. "My computer . . . ," she began.
"We’ll take care of that for you," Phillips assured her.
It really was a miracle she survived without a single injury. "I’m fine, Liam," she protested. "And I most assuredly am not bleeding internally."
"Unless you have X-ray vision, you can’t know if you’re bleeding or not."
She was going to have to put her foot down. "I’m not going to the hospital. Understand?"
He took her to the hospital. All of her protests were completely ignored, and that didn’t surprise her. He never listened to her. She told him just that as the nurse was pushing her into a wheelchair in the emergency room. She was poked and prodded, x-rayed and scanned, and finally declared perfectly fit. The physician in charge lingered by the side of her bed after giving her the good news.
"Was there something more?" Allison asked. "Have you thought of yet another test you’d like to run?"
He smiled. "No, you’re good to go. I was just thinking . . ."
"Yes?" she asked, wondering why he was hesitating.
"Would you like to go out with me sometime?" He handed her a card with his cell phone number on it. "Call me. Anytime."
She didn’t know what to say. She took the card, thanked him for taking care of her, and decided to get Liam out of there as quickly as possible. He was staring at the doctor and looking quite incredulous.
"I’m standing right here," he announced with a good deal of irritation as the doctor walked out of the cubicle.
"He saw you, Agent Scott," Allison said.
Liam sat on the side of the bed and draped his arm around her to pull her toward him. Had the doctor still been there, he would have kissed Allison, just to let him know she wasn’t available.
He guessed he should let Allison know it first. "We need to talk," he said.
"When did you get back from Berlin?" she asked at the very same time.
He didn’t answer, because the nurse came to discharge her at that moment. Allison insisted that he take her to the office. She knew Phillips would have a hundred questions and she wanted to get the interrogation over as quickly as possible. She waited until they were alone and sitting in Phillips’s office to ask Liam what he had wanted to talk about.
"You and me," he said.
She shook her head. "No, we aren’t. There is no you and me. We’re in a nonrelationship, and that’s over."
He leaned against the desk and smiled. "If we’re in a nonrelationship, how can it be over?"
He would use logic. She shrugged. "I don’t know. It just is." She sat down. "I’m through talking about this."
Phillips entered the office and interrupted. She braced herself for the inquisition.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
She was shocked by the sympathy she heard in his voice. She didn’t want him to be kind to her. She liked him just the way he usually was. Maybe she had hit her head after all, because she wasn’t making much sense. She started to answer that she was perfectly fine, but when she looked down, she noticed her hands were shaking almost violently. "It’s been quite an evening," she began.
"Of course it has," Phillips agreed. "Flying down that hill-"