{nineteen}

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The burst of ice cold water against his skin was just the jolt Dylan needed. He took some more deep breaths, glad his heart rate had slowed. He wiped the sweat from his eyes and splashed some more water on his face. The dizziness had subsided as well.

When Alessandra fell in his arms, his vision went red. Dylan didn't even remember what he'd said to any of the four guards he'd brought with him. Once she hadn't shown up, she was all he thought about. What a scene that must've been with two black guys grappling on the ground, but Dylan had gained the upper hand. He did remember being pulled away from the man.

Then he was disconnected and looking down at himself. At least it felt that way. Shortness of breath and sweating soon followed. It had taken a good ten to fifteen minutes for him to feel better. He didn't know what was wrong. But these episodes were becoming more frequent. If it affected his ability to do his job he'd have to do something.

"You okay?" Healey asked when he'd come back out to the front of the building.

"Yeah. Fine," Dylan said hoping she would buy it. She gave him another once over but didn't say anything. "How's Alessandra?"

"I'll leave that for you to check. She was raising hell when I was over by the ambulance. That was after she insisted on giving me a statement. Speaking of which." Healey held out her hand for a fist bump. "I heard it took three officers to pull you off the guy."

"I saw her like that and I—" Dylan paced by the doors. "If I'd just shown up five minutes earlier all of this could've been avoided."

"I get it." Healey walked over and gave him a pat on the back. "I know it's not any consolation, but he planned everything down to the second. He was the janitor for God's sake. He knew she worked late..." Healey trailed off.

Dylan scratched his jaw. "I know when people want to do something they'll get it done however they can." That wasn't much help to her.

"She got away. And we also got the guy." Healey put her hands on her hips. "I don't know how she did it, but they found DNA under her nails."

Yep. Typical Alessandra. With all of her trouble with this case, she wouldn't want to make it hard to get evidence against her attacker.

"Who is he?" Dylan pulled out his phone.

"Prints came back to Kion Walker. He's got priors for robbery and assault along with attempted battery. The last two were domestic."

That meant he had no problem hitting anyone. Including women. "So he's a coward and an asshole."

His hand clenched around the phone. He would love to reintroduce himself. Let that spineless prick go after someone who was more than prepared to take him on.

"He's stewing in a holding cell right now. I figured you'd want to come with me and I'm sure you want to see how Lessa's doing."

He did. "I'll meet you there."

She nodded and he walked out to the parked ambulance. Dylan heard her before he saw her.

"I'll be fine. Just stitch me up or whatever you have to do so I can go."

"Ma'am you passed out and your wrist is sprained. You need to get checked."

"Don't make it sound so bad. My fainting was because of the adrenaline surge. As for my wrist, it's only slightly sprained. Nothing's broken and I promise I'll go to the hospital. Now will you let me go?" Alessandra asked.

The EMT was about to respond when his partner came over and mentioned another call. He finished with the last of his bandaging.

"You won't need stitches." He applied one last butterfly bandage. "But keep the cuts clean to avoid infection."

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