Chapter Twenty-Seven Part Three ~Maddie~

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He looks up, his eyes meeting mine, and a small smile curves his lips. "Thought I'd never see you again."

I turn and glance up at Travis, "Did you...?" but he looks almost as surprised as I do.

"Thought we could use some back up, so why not someone who's just as invested as us? Someone who wants to be here for the same reasons that we are." Sanders answers no one in particular as the elevator dings and the doors slide open.

Travis's expression is unreadable as he nods in understanding, a blank face lost to his thoughts, but his demeanor quickly changes, and he smiles as he looks at his partner, nudging him in the ribs with his elbow. "You couldn't have shown up at a better time fucker," he pats him on the back, "Thanks man."

Sanders shrugs, "I got your back, bro."

They both step up to the open doors of the elevator, keeping their backs against the wall as they stretch their necks out, searching the area.

"All clear, let's move," Travis says.

Sanders heads out first, gun in hand, and the rest of us file out behind him. Travis reaches for me, wrapping his fingers around mine, and we begin jogging down the long room, passing the never ending row of hospital beds. He keeps his gun in hand too and I'm glad. It means we won't be taking any more chances when it comes to running into someone.

"So how do you guys know each other? I've never seen him before, and believe me, I would remember that face," I overhear Danielle asking.

Alex laughs, "He's my brother. Maddie and us, we met on the outside. Ran together for a while...before we got caught," she answers between breaths.

We finally reach the end of the room and slow down, coming to a stop at an emergency exit. Travis releases my hand to grab his badge, walking up to the door. I glance back at Aiden, and as many questions as I have for him and of all the things I want to say, all I can seem to do is stare at him.

He's here. He's actually, really here. I can't believe it.

"Get over here," he reaches an arm around my shoulder, pulling me into his side, "I missed you too," he laughs softly, leaning down to kiss the top of my head.

I wrap my arms around him tightly, "I'm so, so glad you're here."

"Shit," Travis mutters, pulling my attention back to him. "My cards not working. Try yours," he says to Sanders.

He scoots in and swipes his through, but the light flashes red. He tries again with the same result. And again...and the same red light flickers on.

"Dammit!" Travis yells, slamming his palm against the door. "They must have figured us out. The building is on lockdown."

"Isn't there another way out of here? Without needing access?" Aiden asks.

Travis shakes his head, "No, this was our last way out."

"What if we go back? Try the other stairwell again? It would be empty now, right?" Danielle asks.

"We could try," I push, not ready to give up.

He nods in response. "Yeah. We don't stop trying until it's over. Let's go."

We all turn to head back just as the elevator dings, its doors sliding open. Tall, sleek stilettos exit and click across the floor in a haste.

"You should have been gone by now! What are you still doing here?!" Dr. Reesen half whispers-half yells at Travis, not at all concerned with how this all looks.

His brows furrow in confusion, matching my feelings exactly. "What are you saying exactly?" he asks her.

"It doesn't matter, we need to get you out of here and quick. Point your gun at me."

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