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The bitterness, the “woe is me,’ attitude, the self-doubt and recrimination fled from Adriel’s heart and was replaced with a dread unlike any he had ever experienced. Gabrielle was his life, certainly she had hurt him badly with her unfaithfulness and lies but he knew the one truth that she had not declared when she had confessed her transgressions to him. She had pointedly not uttered the simple statement, “You were the one who told me it would be okay if I slept with another man!”

And what if she had slept with this Bill guy? Did she love him less? Was she thinking of leaving him? Abandoning him in his final hour to slip away, alone and unwanted? Not his wife, not his Gabrielle. She was the rock upon which he rested, and he was secure in the knowledge that while human and therefor fallible she was his partner in every sense of the word. And now she was in danger and he could do nothing to help her.

The crackle of radio was just discernible beneath his window. “This is Officer Looney,” the tiny amplifier below him proclaimed. “I’ve located the victim and we should be to the EMT’s in less than a minute.”

“Ten-four,” came the voice of Officer Davies in reply.

“Looks like all your worries about snipers and terrorists were about as groundless as I said,” Davies uttered as he walked away from his position at the house, presumably to meet his partner in crime prevention.

The silence that followed was not long but felt interminable. Faintly Adriel could hear Officer Davies state, “Looney, please take Mr. Diaz to the ambulance. I’ll escort Mrs. Gibeon into her home and then we’ll be right there.”

The next voice that he heard brought a sob of relief from his aching chest. His Gabrielle, his warrior stated bluntly, “I’m sorry, you’ll do what? No one has invited you into my home and since I am a victim here and not a suspect you have no right to enter it without my permission. Why don’t you stop interfering with what needs to get done and let us both do the jobs we have to do?”

Officer Davies’ response was cold, hard and clinical. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll wait for you right outside your door. And ma’am? Come straight out, don’t clean yourself up. We need to take pictures for evidence.”

“Ten-four, good buddy,” Gabrielle said heatedly. “Now get out of my way.”

The key in the lock was a blessed sound and hearing his wife declare from their bedroom doorway, “Oh, Adriel I’m so sorry, sweetie!” was perhaps the most relieving sentence he had ever heard in his life.