Max heard the running before he realised the officers had ran in the direction of Miranda’s room.
He dropped their food and ran after the officers. Fearing the worst.
Miranda struggled under Carzon’s weight. His grip was too hard, too tight for her to get him off. She scratched and struggled but he moved his face away from her hands, smirking down at her, “Niall won’t pay me unless you’re dead…you must’ve really ticked him off Miranda. You and that stupid German idiot boyfriend of yours. He's offered me a cool million”.
Miranda wheezed and could see dark spots at the edge of her eyes.
No, no this couldn’t be it.
She had to stay alive, just had to.
“No” she croaked out, “Max”.
Carzon laughed, “I’ll kill him too. Niall said I’d get extra if I did. And what’s one more body ey? You and him killed Luis and Prasco. Make it even. An eye for an eye and all that”.
Miranda’s grip on his arms weakened as he pushed down on her throat. His face contorting into a manic grin.
“I’ll tell your boyfriend he was your last words” Carzon smirked as her arms dropped from his, her eyes closing.
A shot fired into the air.
Carzon lost his grip on Miranda’s throat and slumped to the floor as she coughed and spluttered.
Wheezing as Max ran to her side.
“Hey, it’s okay…it’s okay” he said and held her against his chest, blinking away tears as she clutched him tightly. He kissed her head and sniffed, “It's over. It's all over, I’m here. I’m here now Schatz”. He held her tightly and kept repeating the same words over and over, "I'm here Schatz. I'm here", fearful if he stopped, she'd disappear entirely.
Max had taken the gun from the nearest officer, snatching it before the man could react. Upon bursting into Miranda’s room he saw her bed looking dishevelled and her arms fall down. Carzon loomed over her, hands tight around her throat.
He didn't have to think twice.
He fired once at Carzon’s head. Wincing at the blood that hit the stark white wall, before he tossed the gun aside and ran to Miranda’s side. Now curled and spluttering on the bed. He held her close, feeling so scared that if he let go he would lose her for real this time.
They remained held against one another until Inés gently informed them that Miranda’s throat needed a scan to make sure nothing else had been damaged, her voice was hoarse as she put up feeble protests. Max had been moved to silence, but he’d held her hand and kissed the top of her head.
The protests died on her lips as Max looked at Inés, “give us a moment alone?”
Inés nodded and left the room.
Someone had taken Carzon’s body away whilst Max and Miranda had been locked in one another’s arms. The blood stain’s were still there and he supposed he’d be on a suspension for killing him. But that was of little consequence to him. Miranda’s safety was paramount and at that moment in time it was compromised.
“Max?” she whispered. Touching his hand.
He looked at her and smiled.
The question and the way Miranda had struggled to speak saddened him to the point that he couldn’t help but reply, “of course Schatz. Just one test…then we’ll get Inés to pull her strings and we can be at home again. Safe”.
“You…saved…me” she smiled.
Max smiled and stroked her face, “now we’re even”.
She leaned into his touch and kissed his palm, holding it against her cheek she nodded, “home”.
Max’s heart fluttered at the intimacy, “you are my home Schatz” he smiled and kissed her head.
“I can’t promise how much help I’ll be but I’ll help you get dressed so that we can get going straight away. Besides I think they might want to clean this room soon”.
Miranda nodded and looked at the blood on the floor.
“Oops” he shrugged.
She shook her head but was smiling.
“Carmen sent over a bag, I think there are some shorts and a shirt in here. So… I do shorts you do shirt?” he grabbed the bag from the cabinet and placed on her bed. Looking into he saw that Carmen had packed what he had packed for Miranda a few days ago. It seemed like a lifetime since then.
She shook her head and gave him a pointed look.
“I’m helping you dress not undress” he laughed.
She shook her head took the shorts into her own hands.
“Ahh you do shorts, I do shirt yeah?”
She nodded and he took the shorts gently from her, holding them up high as she protested, pointing at her side.
“If you can’t put a shirt on you most definitely cannot bend over to put shorts on”.
“Max” she protested and poked his stomach.
He laughed and leaned in close, “that is cheating” he grinned at her, “I’m helping you. And Boy Scouts honour I won’t peak. Much”.
She shook her head but stroked his face, “fine…no..boy..scout”.
He snorted, “I was too. I didn’t finish any of my badges and I got distracted a lot, but I took part and that is what counts”.
Miranda rolled her eyes but grabbed the shirt from the bag and rested it over her lap as she dangled her legs off the edge of the bed, ready for Max’s help with the shorts.
Once dressed, and after hitting Max’s shoulder for his hands lingering in certain places for too long, Max called Inés back into the room.
“She’s going to come home with me tonight. I don’t want her staying here any longer and neither does Miranda”.
Inés took one look at Miranda’s backwards cotton shirt and then looked at Max. His eyes alive with a tenderness she had never seen before.
“I will allow it under one condition”.
“Anything” he said.
“You are suspended for one week full pay, and Miranda is on sick leave until she heals, full pay. Comprender?”
Max nodded, “thank you Inés”.
She nodded and looked at Miranda again, “if I see you anywhere near the station before you are fully healed I will not hesitate at putting you both under house arrest. Do you understand DC Blake?”
Miranda nodded and smiled as Max mock saluted her before she left the room.
He grinned across at her, “well that went well”.
She rolled her eyes but got off the bed, wincing as her side protested at the movement. He met her halfway, a thousand worries flew across his face before she pulled him into a kiss.
He smiled into it, deepening it, knowing if was hurting she’d let him know.
She smiled and pulled back, staring at his lovestruck face.
“We need to get you to the test” he said, “then we can continue kissing…in bed- no I know no sex but I can still kiss you” he smiled, “kiss you and hold you; cause now I know you’re a hugger in bed, oh Miranda” he teased, “I won’t ever let you go. Not for anything. We've got time on our side Schatz, time on our side”.