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Danny stayed quiet on the whys of everything, and he felt so badly for Emilio. This was going to be a hard road. “He wants to see you.”

“Let me ask someone to cover for me,” the woman said. “My manager, she understands. She is married to an ambulance. EMT, I mean.”

“Do you need a ride over?” Anne asked.

“Yes, I take the bus here.”

Danny swung his keys in his hand. “We’ll wait for you.”

As Josefina headed for the back, he stared at Anne. She was looking around the place as if she’d never seen it before, and he wondered whether that was a good or a bad thing for her. She seemed to want to leave everything behind. Him included.

Then she faced him. “Moose told me the fight here was with some yachtsmen because they insulted her.”

“They were being disrespectful. They got less than what they deserved.”

“You always were protective.”

He pictured someone doing Anne a wrong. “I still am.”

There was a pause. “I really don’t think I should go to dinner on Saturday.”

“There will be other people there.” Or at least, there would be when he told Moose he better damn well invite half the town. “It won’t just be us. And I’ll make sure folks know that it’s not a case of ‘us.’ Besides, you’re missed.”

“I’m not a member of the crew anymore.”

“We do hang around with outsiders, you know. Particularly ones with a good sense of humor.”

“I’m sorry. I just can’t. It’s not appropriate and you know it.”

“Worried you might want to have sex with me again?” Danny didn’t bother hiding the bitterness in his voice. “We both enjoyed it.”

“No.” Her jaw tightened. “I’m not worried about anything.”

Liar, he thought.

“Suit yourself.” He nodded toward the exit. “I’ll go start the truck. It’s cold as ice tonight.”

Outside, he took advantage of a break in the downpour and lit up, even though the cig got soggy fast on the short walk to the truck. As he got in, his phone went off. When he took it out and saw the text, he cursed.

Great. The chief wanted to see him first thing in the morning.

Looked like he was getting fired sooner rather than later.

Chapter 26

Anne didn’t want to be rude. But by the time Danny got Josefina to the glowing entrance of the emergency room, she had a pounding headache and a knot in her stomach that might have been hunger but felt like a bowel obstruction.

The fact that she was sitting in between the two of them didn’t help. The entire trip back, which lasted all of ten minutes but felt like twenty-five years, she’d had Danny’s leg bumping against her own. Just like old times in the engines.

Not what she wanted to be reminded of, especially after what they’d done at his apartment.

Danny found a parking spot right by the ER’s entry, and Josefina fumbled her purse as she got out, dumping everything over the pavement. Anne immediately dropped down to the pavement help the woman gather keys and wallet, Tampax and makeup bag.

“Listen, I’m going to let Danny take you in.” Anne passed over a Kleenex pack. “There are a lot of people here already.”

“Thank you for coming and getting me.”

Anne looked away from those teary brown eyes. “No problem. Take care of him.” Straightening, she looked over the truck’s hood at Danny. “I have to go.”

His eyes were in shadow, and that was just as well. She didn’t want to see what was in them.

As she waved and headed for her Subaru, she felt like she was dumping the whole situation on him—and that was not perception; it was fact. But she was a distant relative to all of this now, and she needed to respect the boundaries.

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