Chapters 17 & 18

 

Chapter 17

“Danny, listen to me.  It wouldn’t help if Diane bleeds to death before Ginny arrives,” Nelly tried her best to persuade Danny to let her attend to Diane’s wound when she failed to convince him to give up.

“Shut up!  She will not die on me, unless I want her to,” he shouted with such vehemence that Nelly couldn’t help but feel frightened.  This was a man who would kill to get what he wanted and he seemed to be beyond reasoning, so consumed with hatred that life had been unkind to him.

“It would take awhile before they find her, why don’t you just let me tend to her wound and I’d be gone?” she softened a little; she wasn’t going to give up on her friend.  She moved tentatively forward and was encouraged by the fact that Danny didn’t object.

However, before she could get any further, the door to the rooftop swung open and out came Joseph, the two plainclothes and Thomas, who had been observing the confrontation between Nelly and Danny from behind the door.

“Drop the weapons, Webster,” Joseph instructed as he pointed his gun in Danny’s direction.

“Go ahead and shoot, officer.  She will die with me,” Danny replied with a sinister grin.

Nelly gasped when he shoved the knife harder against Diane’s throat, causing the poor nurse to wince in pain. 

“Danny, don’t do it!  She will die before Ginny arrives if she keeps bleeding like this and they will arrest you.  Your efforts will all be in vain,” Nelly shouted out desperately, standing between the two opposing groups.

Looking at how Diane was bleeding profusely and feeling her weakened considerably made Danny reconsider his options.  After all, Nelly had a point there.  He must get Ginny otherwise his effort would be wasted.  But the police were surrounding him, trapping him; the only way out for him was down but he couldn’t jump off the building, not without Ginny.

Sam, Sarah, Ginny, Mark and the four Divos had arrived and crowded behind the door as they listened intently to the conversation.  Giving an instruction to Sam to stay behind with Ginny, Sarah then walked through the door, “Why are you doing this, Danny?  Doesn’t a human life mean anything to you?  Why are you so set on seeing Ginny?”

“See Ginny?  You think I did all this just to see her?  Are you daft or what?” he bellowed. “I want to do more than see her.  I want her to die…with me!”

Ginny gasped when she heard this.  Sebastien grabbed her hand and would have dragged her back down the stairs if she hadn’t stopped him. 

Sarah looked into Danny’s eyes and saw what she feared most: he was too far gone to turn back.  Life didn’t mean a thing to him anymore.  It was as if he had lost the will to live and he wanted Ginny to die with him.  But why Ginny?  Why did he try to kill her at the restaurant in the first place and not try to get her alone so that they could both die together if he really wanted to die with her?  She put these questions to Danny and waited for his reply, stalling for the team to find the best possible rescue solution.

All this while as they were listening to the conversation, Urs had peeped through the gap of the slightly opened door and looked around.  He noticed some cables hanging over the parapet and realised Danny was very near to the hanging scaffold he had noticed when he rode by the building just a while ago.  The scaffold was there to facilitate some repair work on the exterior wall of the building. 

Urs knew that since they were facing the park instead of the garden of the hospital, the only building tall enough for the sharp shooter to get a good aim was too far away to be of any use.  He whispered his observations to Sam and they both agreed that they need to sneak up behind Danny in order to have any chance of getting hold of him.  Shooting him would pose too much danger to the hostage.

Urs then made a decision that frightened Sam to the core; he would go to the floor below and climb up the hanging scaffold, which he knew was suspended between the roof and the floor below.  They should then try to make Danny let go of the nurse so that Urs could pounce on him from behind. 

“No, Urs, let the officers do it.  They are trained in such rescue operations,” Sam raised her voice slightly out of desperation and was hushed by Urs.

“I agree with her, Urs.  Let the officers do it,” David lent his voice to Sam’s.  Carlos and Sebastien nodded in agreement.

“Somehow I don’t have much faith in your officers, no disrespect to you or Sarah,” Urs retorted.  “If they knew what they were doing, they should have sent someone up from the side of the building by now instead of wasting time staking out at God knows where.  Don’t worry about me, just try to figure out how to make him let go of the nurse.”

With a quick kiss on Sam’s lips and his trademark blinky-wink, he was gone.  David followed behind.  Carlos would have followed too if not for Mark motioning for him to stay while he himself went with the two men.

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“Why Ginny?  Because she was the only woman I had ever loved,” Danny replied as he took a step backwards, getting closer to the parapet behind him.

“Then why do you want her to die?” Sarah kept up the conversation, hoping to exhaust him as she could see his right hand shaking.  It was still holding the gun, but the gun seemed to weigh a ton on his wounded arm as time went by.  She was also giving her colleagues time to assess the situation and come up with a plan but she could see that apart from jumping on him from behind, there really weren’t many alternatives.  The hostage was as tall as Danny and it would be impossible for any of the officers to get a good shot at him.

“I want to end her suffering, just like I want to end mine.  Where is she?” he asked, his voice sounded weaker than before.

At this moment, Ginny walked in despite Sebastien trying to hold her back.  Sam stood beside her, and Carlos and Sebastien soon appeared, each flanking a lady.

“Ginny, come to me,” Danny eyes lit up and smiled when he saw her.

“Why are you doing this to me, Danny?  You said you love me, but why did you hurt me?” Ginny asked as she faced the man of her nightmares, her voice trembled uncontrollably.

“I’m sorry, love, but I couldn’t help myself.  I promise you it won’t happen again.  We’ll go to a place where we won’t hurt anymore.  We’ll start all over again.  Come with me, Ginny” his eyes had a faraway look as if there was no one else but him and Ginny.

Sarah moved closer to Sam and whispered, “He’s losing it, Sam.  There’s no turning back for him now.”  Realising they were missing two Divos, she asked, “Where are Urs and David?”

“Urs is going to try get to Danny from behind by climbing up the scaffold at the side of the building.  We need to get Danny to release the nurse before Urs jumps on him,” Sam whispered back.

Directing her question to Danny, Sarah asked, “Why do you want to die, Danny?  You could still walk free after serving time behind bars for the crimes you have committed; it’s not as if you’re going to get a death sentence.”

“I will be an old man by then.  What’s freedom when you have no energy to enjoy life again?  Besides, I have nothing to look forward to when I get out of jail,” he replied dejectedly, his eyes showing a hint of regret for all that he had done.

“No Danny, it won’t be too late to start all over again.  With good conduct, you could be released sooner than you thought,” Sarah continued trying to counsel him, hoping all was not lost and that she would be able to save him from self-destruction.

Downstairs in the room almost directly above the spot where Danny stood with his hostage, Urs opened the window, looked out and upwards, assessing the distance between the hanging scaffold and the window.  He decided he could reach it by standing on the windowsill.  He instructed David and Mark to support his weight as he climb onto it.

“Urs, don’t you think this is too risky?  What if the scaffold collapsed?” David voiced his concern as his friend got ready to climb onto the windowsill.

“It won’t if I’m careful enough,” Urs replied confidently.

“I’ll do it, Urs, since I’m taller and can reach the scaffold easily,” David offered.

“Let me go, I’ve done some rescue work before,” Mark offered.

Urs looked them over and said, “No, you’re both heavier than I am, you might tip the scaffold and cause it to collapse.  Just hold on to my legs until I’m ready to swing myself up.”

Both David and Mark complied and helped him up the windowsill.  With a hand holding on to the top of the window frame for support, he reached the other hand out as far as he could and managed to grab at the steel bars of the scaffold.  When he felt he had a firm grip on the bars, he told them to let go of his legs.  In one swift motion, he swung his legs up, managing to get his right leg in between two bars and with a grunt, hauled himself up the side of the structure. 

David and Mark had their breaths stuck in their throats as the structure shifted dangerously in mid-air.  David went so far as to get one of his legs over the windowsill and grabbed hold of the rail to steady the scaffold while Mark held on to him.  And before the scaffold could tip over, Urs managed to climb up over the handrail and onto the platform.  David grabbed at the side of the window to steady himself as he felt his heart beat wildly with fear, slowly willing it to return to normal when he saw Urs safe on the structure.

There was a ledge that ran along the perimeter of the building, about a meter below the parapet of the roof, its width only about one and a half feet long.  Urs considered pressing the button on the control panel to operate the scaffold but it would make too much noise and draw Danny’s attention.  Instead, he made sure that the scaffold had stopped swinging wildly before climbing onto the top rail, and holding on to the rail with one hand, he reached for the ledge with the other.  Balancing himself with both feet on the rail, he hauled himself onto the ledge.  Congratulating himself for having survived the stunts thus far, he stood precariously against the wall with a hand grabbing onto a pipe that ran along the side of the building just to his right and the other on the parapet wall.

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All the while as he was climbing up, Urs was careful not to look down.  With both hands now holding on to the parapet, he turned his face to wipe the sweat off his face.  He crouched low to avoid being seen by the people on the rooftop, balancing delicately on the ledge, hoping that Danny would not suddenly turn to look behind him.  If he did, he would be sure to see a pair of hands on top of the parapet.  The sound coming from the rooftop told him that Danny was just in front of him and he stood up slightly to peer at the scene up there.

Sam saw him first and gasped.  Realising her surprise could arouse Danny’s suspicions she forced herself to look away from Urs and tried to catch Sarah’s attention.  Soon, Sebastien and Carlos saw the pair of hands and a mass of dark hair behind the parapet and realised Urs was behind it.  Very inconspicuously, Carlos moved towards Joseph to alert him to what Urs was trying to do. 

“Why did you try to kill her at the restaurant if you really wanted to die with her?” Sarah kept trying to engage Danny in a conversation as she stalled for time. Then she saw it: a head bobbing up and down the other side of the low wall.  She knew she had to try doubly hard to keep Danny occupied so he wouldn’t notice any movements behind his back.  “Unless you’re lying.  Maybe you didn’t want to die at all, you just wanted to kill her and escape.  You’re trying to make yourself look like a love-struck, helpless man who is doing this out of love, but you’re in fact a coward,” she accused vehemently.

Sarah’s words incensed Danny so much that he shouted back, “I wanted to get her alone.  In fact, I had been following her for weeks but she was never alone, always with that boyfriend of hers,” Danny trained his eyes towards Sebastien, hatred showing clearly in the feverish eyes of a mentally sick person. 

“I couldn’t take it anymore when I saw how happy she was with him at the restaurant so I decided to end her life there and then; I would then join her later.  But he had to get in the way and the other guy who broke my arm…where is he?” he yelled at the top of his voice as he looked around him.

Get on with it guys, Urs thought as he held on, perspiration doted his forehead.  He wondered how long more his arms could sustain the exertion.

“He’s not here, Danny, but I am,” Sebastien stepped forward with a steely look on his face, effectively stopping Danny from scrutinizing his surrounding.  “Let the nurse go, you can do whatever you want with me.  Kill me with that knife or throw me over the wall, it’s your choice.”

“What good would it do for me to kill you?  You mean nothing to me.  Nothing!” shouted Danny.

“Enough, Danny!  I’m sick of your cowardly actions.  Let go of the nurse, I’ll come with you,” Ginny stepped forward bravely, pulling Sebastien behind her.  She knew her time had come when she saw Urs’s head in the background.  He was nodding at her, sending her the signal that he was ready.  This was the only chance she had to make things right for everyone and she was determined to see it through.

“Ginny, don’t!” Sebastien reached out for her, only for Sam to pull him back. 

“She knows what she’s doing, Seb.  Trust her,” Sam whispered to him.  Even though he knew Sam was right, he couldn’t help but fear for Ginny so he hovered near her.  The other officers tried to take up position, but Sam motioned for them to stay where they were.  She didn’t want them to attract Danny’s attention and make him suspicious.

Sarah moved slightly to the left to let Ginny take centre stage, her hand ready by her revolver in the holster. 

As Ginny made her way slowly towards Danny and the nurse he held captive, Urs looked over the wall and assessed the distance between him and Danny.  Satisfied that Danny was well within his reach, he mentally prepared himself for that lunge.

About five steps away from them, Ginny stopped and said unflinchingly, “I’m here now, Danny.  I’m ready to go anywhere with you.  Let the nurse go, she’s innocent.”

Diane could feel his right hand slip from her waist, dropping the gun on the floor.  However the knife was still pressed unrelentingly to her throat.  He raised his right hand towards Ginny, beckoning for her to get nearer.  Urs hoisted himself higher above the parapet, waiting directly behind Danny.  If Danny had not been so focused on Ginny, he would have noticed the movement behind him.  However, he was too obsessed with getting her to notice anything or anyone else.

By now David and Mark had rejoined the group on the roof and all of them held their breath when they saw Urs ready himself for the lunge.

When Ginny saw that Danny wasn’t letting go of the nurse, she charged forward and so did Sebastien.  Danny, caught off-guard by their sudden movements, took a step back and unconsciously loosened his hold on Diane, who immediately seized the opportunity to break free of his grip. 

The moment the nurse went down on the floor, Urs jumped up from behind and grabbed hold of Danny’s left arm, swinging him backwards.  Ginny managed to stop herself in time to avoid running into both men, bent down and helped Diane get out of the way with the help of Sebastien.  Nelly, who had been standing in the background, rushed forward to help her colleague.

Danny’s right arm might be useless, but he had a strong left arm.  He managed to push Urs away and took a few swings at him with the scalpel but Urs managed to deal with it by catching hold of his hand.  In an instant, Danny was pinned against the low wall, his upper body arched over the parapet when Urs put an arm across his chest to hold him down, effectively stopping any forward movements.

The moment Urs had lunged at Danny, the officers had rushed towards the scuffling duo.  Danny, seeing that he was fighting a losing battle, stopped struggling and with a sinister smile, grabbed Urs’s collar and let himself fall over, pulling Urs down along with him.

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Sam screamed out Urs’s name just as Carlos and David scrambled forward to get to him but it was too late; both men tumbled out of sight over the parapet.  When they looked over the parapet, the most terrifying moments unfolded before their eyes.

Danny hit his head against the side of the scaffold on his way down.  Urs, on the other hand, owed his life to quick reflexes as he reached out to grab at the handrail and hung on desperately at the end of it with one arm, dangling dangerously by the side of the scaffold. 

He looked down and saw Danny hitting the grass patch far below, his body lying face down in an awkward position.  Several hospital staff and fire fighter rushed forward to attend to him but it seemed to Urs that it was in vain.  Fears that he might end up like Danny threatened to consume him and he willed himself to look away from the body, reaching out the other hand to grab the rail.

Then he looked up.  To his horror, he saw that Sam had already climbed over the parapet and was standing perilously on the ledge.  He shouted to her to climb back up but with sheer determination, she made her way down onto the platform of the scaffold and held on to his arm.  David was about to climb over the parapet when Carlos stopped him. 

“You might be too heavy for the structure, it might tip over.  Let me go,” he said to David.  David scowled.  It was the second time in a day that someone had told him that he was too heavy and he wasn’t pleased at all.  But instead of wasting time arguing, he helped Carlos over the wall.  Joseph was about to tell them to let his men do the job when Carlos shot him a look that made him change his mind. 

Soon, Carlos made his way down and joined Sam on the platform.  He then stooped down next to Sam and grabbed hold of Urs’s other arm and both of them tried to pull him up.  The scaffold shifted dangerously as the weight was concentrated on one side. 

“It’s going to collapse.  Carlos, please bring Sam back up there,” Urs shouted to his friend even as he held on to the rails, breathing heavily, his arms starting to hurt with all the exertions.

“No, Urs, I will not leave you.  Just hang in there, we’ll get you up,” Sam held on desperately to his arm as tears fell without her knowing it.  She tried to block out the terrifying dream that resurfaced again as she and Carlos pulled hard to haul him up. 

Urs was halfway up the side of the scaffold when suddenly a cable snapped.  He barely managed to hold on when both Carlos and Sam let go of his arms as they were being thrown to a corner.  The structure hung dangerously tilted on one side with Urs dangling at the end of it.  Another cable was sustaining all their weight on their side of the platform and it looked as if it would give way as well.  Sam could almost hear her heart beat against her chest as she realised any sudden movement would send all of them crashing down with the scaffold. 

Carlos grabbed hold of Urs’s arm again, not daring to move too much.  “Hang in there, buddy, we’ll get through this together,” he said through gritted teeth.

For a moment Urs could see his life flash across his eyes; his time before joining Il Divo, the performances with the three band members who had become more than just friends, his first meeting with Sam, and his promise to always be there to love and comfort her.  It was this last thought that made him look into Sam’s eyes as she desperately hung on to his arm and said in between gasps, “I love you, Sam.”

The scaffold tilted again as the other cable started to slowly break away.

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Chapter 18 

When the first cable snapped and sent the two rescuers sliding into a corner, all those remaining on the roof gasped as they looked on helplessly.  Except Sebastien, who looked around the roof and found what he wanted: a big coil of rope that was to be used for the repair work on the building in a corner of the rooftop.  Running to get it, he got Joseph to secure one end of it to a thick pipe, while he ran over to the parapet with the other end of the rope. 

David took the rope from Sebastien and with some help from Mark, he got down to the ledge.  The rope cut into his hand as he hung on tightly to it, reaching down as far as he could with his long arm.  With great difficulty, he managed to loop the rope over the top rail of the scaffold, on the side that was hanging dangerously on a single cable.

With that done, he stood up and threw the other end of the rope over the parapet for the other men to grab hold of and carefully climbed back up to the roof.  It was at this moment that the second cable began to break further but all the men on the roof were already supporting the scaffold by pulling on to the rope, hoping against hope that it would buy some time for the rescue team below to do something.

Down below, hospital staff had already removed Danny’s body from the scene and the fire fighting team was ready to activate the Aerial Ladder Platform to reach the trapped trio.  The ladder would have been activated earlier if it wasn’t for the obstruction of a couple of huge trees in front of the building, making it difficult to get a good spot to anchor the truck.  A rescue cushion had been set up but because Urs was hanging directly above one of the trees, it was unsafe for him to jump as he might still suffer serious injury from hitting the branches of the tree.

“Let me go, Captain,” Nancy, one of the few female members of the fire fighting squad, volunteered earnestly.

The captain considered for a brief moment before giving his consent.  Nancy, who had just earned her qualification to work on the ALP, was ready to prove she was just as good as any man in her squad.  So up the ladder she went.  And as it was hoisted to almost the height of the scaffold, she got a good look at the man hanging outside the structure.

“Oh my God, Urs, what are you doing up here?” she almost screamed.

“Uh…hanging on for dear life, in case you…haven’t noticed,” Urs replied with strained voice.

Nancy immediately gave instructions to the pedestal controller to position the basket so that Urs could easily let himself down into it with a little help from Nancy, who hugged his waist as he descended into the basket.

“Thank you so much, officer,” Urs heaved a huge sign of relief and smiled gratefully at Nancy.  “You’re mighty strong for a lady,” he added when he realised he was looking into the beautiful eyes of a lady.

Nancy blushed at the attention from her favourite Divo, trying to come up with something intelligent to say in return until he broke the haze that had started to form in her head.

“Um, is it too much to ask for help for my lady and my buddy?”

“Oh, of course not,” she muttered, her face turning crimson as she proceeded to instruct her colleague below to reposition the basket so that both Sam and Carlos could lower themselves down into it. 

Sam was the first to climb over the scaffold gingerly, praying that the structure would hold out until both she and Carlos were safe.  Urs reached out both hands to grab her legs as she dangled outside the scaffold.  She let her hands go and slid into his arms.  She would have turned to kiss him if not for Carlos who was still trying to make his way down into the ladder basket. 

The scaffold tilted further as he climbed over the top rail.  Muttering a prayer, he carefully lowered himself until he felt two pairs of hands holding on to his legs.  Nancy couldn’t believe it when she came face to face with the dark, handsome Spaniard, who heaved a hugh sigh of relief.

“Urs,” he said, “next time, leave it to the cops.”

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There were applause, whistles and cheers coming from both the rooftop and the ground as the ladder was lowered to safety.  As soon as all three trapped in mid-air were safe, the men at the rooftop secured the other end of the rope to the pipe so that the scaffold wouldn’t fall and hurt those below.

Sam and Urs were already kissing passionately, oblivious to the audience surrounding them as they landed on firm ground.  Nancy looked on sheepishly at the ardent couple, then turned to Carlos and grinned.  Carlos, in return, raised his eyebrows comically to make her laugh out loudly.

“Maybe you’d like to do the same?” he teased.

“I don’t think my husband would approve,” Nancy replied good-naturedly, “I could use a little hug though.”  And she got a bear hug from Carlos, and a peck on both cheeks.

Urs and Sam finally realised they weren’t alone and parted unwillingly.  Seeing Carlos giving the firewoman a hug, Urs cleared his throat and said, “Guess we all owe you our lives, don’t we, officer?”

Nancy looked straight into his intense hazel eyes and blushed, barely managing a smile, “It’s my pleasure.”  Then as if woken up from a trance, she stood up straight and put out her hand, “My name is Nancy.”

Instead of taking her hand, Urs hugged her and kissed her cheek, whispering “Thank you, Nancy.”  The sincerity in his voice overwhelmed her and Nancy lost her ability to speak once more.  Then before she could recover, Sam hugged and thanked her gratefully, tears of relief glistening in her eyes.  By now Nancy was beaming with pride.  There were many highlights of her life as a firewoman but nothing could ever top this moment for her.

Up on the roof, Joseph was busy giving out instructions to his subordinates.  Sarah just stood and stared over the parapet looking down at Sam and Urs, shaking her head as if unable to believe they were all safe and sound, except for Danny of course. 

Nurse Diane had already been stretched away after being attended to by a doctor and Nurse Nelly.  As Nelly was about to leave the rooftop, Sebastien called out to her.

“Nurse, wait!”

Nelly turned around and waited till Sebastien caught up with her.  Taking her hand in his, he brought it up to his lips and kissed it, saying to her, “Thank you so much for risking your own safety to try to save the other nurse.  You didn’t just save her life, you saved Ginny’s and mine, too.”

“Please don’t say that, Sebastien.  I’m just doing my job,” Nelly replied shyly.  For such simple words that spoke volume of her unselfishness, Sebastien embraced and kissed her soundly on her cheeks, almost reducing her to a puddle on the floor.  And before she knew it, David had come up to her and hugged her as well. 

“You must be the bravest nurse in the world,” he said with the biggest and brightest smile that was his trademark.  It was all Nelly could do to keep her legs from wobbling as she smiled sweetly at him before leaving the place.

Sebastien stood in the middle of the rooftop, hugging Ginny as she sobbed quietly, his eyes red with unshed tears as he reflected on the moment of insanity that almost took his fiancée’s life and his friends’ too. 

“Don’t you ever do such a thing again, Ginny,” he muttered in her ears, his voice rough with overwhelming emotions.

“I love you, Seb,” she looked up to let him see the love written on her face, a shaky smile curving her lips.  Finally her heart was free from the burdens of her past.  “Did I tell you you’re going to be a daddy soon?”

“Really?  You really are pregnant?” Although Sebastien had been suspecting it all along, he still found it hard to believe what he just heard.  Being so choked up with emotions, he could only mouth the words “Oh my God!” 

Oblivious to all those around them, he kissed her fervently and fiercely, so consumed in his own ecstatic emotions.  When David walked up to them, he cleared his throat and muttered, “Get a room.’  Sebastien simply ignored him, leaving him to roll his eyes and shake his head.

Mark went up to David and shook his hand, saying, “Your friend Buhler is really something, isn’t he?  I swear he could have been a member of the hostage rescue team.”

David laughed as he shook Mark’s hand, “No, my friend is just a crazy opera singer who’s learning to sing pop music with his beautiful lyrical voice.  I believe he’s taken up a new hobby now, you know, building-climbing?”

Mark stared at him with a look of disbelief on his face, “You’re kidding!  He looks more like a rocker than an opera singer, and he seemed to have climbed buildings all his life!”

David just grinned and followed the rest of the people out of the rooftop.

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At the ground lobby, the Divos, together with Sam and Ginny, were reunited again. Hugs and slaps on the back went round among the guys while the two ladies cried happy tears in each other’s arms.  Sebastien was particularly grateful to Urs as he was once again his and Ginny’s saviour. 

“I don’t even know how to begin to thank you, Urs.  Twice you risked your life for us. Ginny and I are so lucky to have you as our friend and brother.  Merci beaucoup, mon frère,” he said quietly as they hugged.

“What are brothers for?” Urs replied, patting Sebastien on his back.

Soon they were ushered into a private lounge to rest and avoid the clamouring media that tried to enter the hospital building to get an interview with them.  Before Urs could get into the lounge, Mark walked up to him and shook his hand.

“You’re one awesome opera singer,” Mark said with admiration in his voice.

“Nah, couldn’t have done it without your help,” Urs patted Mark’s shoulder and smiled.  Somehow his dislike for Mark had disappeared when he offered to climb the scaffold.  With that feeling of dislike gone, he was able to look more closely at Mark and realised he was staring at a very young chap.

Mark replied humbly, “I don’t think I’ve done very much.  You should seriously consider changing profession.  I think you’re made for this.”

“Oh no, he’s not,” Sam spoke up hoarsely before Urs could utter a word.  Giving him a serious look, she warned, “No more playing hero or I’m gone.”

Urs grinned and kissed her forehead, muttering, “Yes, Ma’am.  And no more playing heroine for you, too!” 

When the last sentence was out, there was a moment of silence between them.  It was then that Urs realized he didn’t want Sam to get into another dangerous situation like what they had just gone through.  Somehow her encounter with Big Ben was easier to bear but perhaps it was because he hardly knew her then.  Then there was the moment when she ran after Danny on her own, that almost tore him apart as he had to choose between staying with Sebastien and going after her.  But that was nothing compared to the moment when he saw her climbing down to the scaffold, risking her own life just to save him.  He knew he would never forgive himself if anything had happened to her.  And he knew he couldn’t live without her.

“Sam, would you give up your job to travel with me?” he asked quietly.

“I don’t know, Urs.  This job is what I’ve been dreaming of doing since I was a kid,” she replied, eyes pleading with him to understand.

He understood.  Her passion was what made her who she was and without that passion, he wasn’t sure he would be attracted to her so soon after having his heart broken.  He decided he would respect her decision if she chose to continue with her line of work, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t try to persuade her to choose him instead.  A wonderful idea lighted up in his head and he gave a smug smile, prompting Sam to look closely at him and asked with a frown, “What’s that smile for?”

‘Babies, that’s what,’ he thought.  But he simply shrugged and said with an enchanting smile, “Nothing.”

Sarah appeared and announced that Danny was certified dead from head injury suffered from the knock against the scaffold and fall from height.  She looked at both Sam and Urs and asked, “So, when is the big day?”

Sam turned towards Urs and waited expectantly.

“Soon,” was all he said.

Sarah hugged Sam and congratulated her, and offered Urs her hand for a handshake.  Instead of shaking her hand, he gave her a gentle hug.

“Thank you,” he simply said, and kissed her on her forehead. 

Being the bubbly character that she was, she asked playfully, “Do you suppose I could go in there and collect as many Divo hugs and kisses as I can?”

Urs laughed heartily and replied with his trademark blinky-wink, “Go ahead, I’m sure you’ll manage a few more.”  And so she did, getting hugs and kisses from the other three Divos.

Nurse Diane was treated for slash wounds on her neck and a loss of blood, but her condition was stable.  All four Divos visited her later that day when she regained consciousness after being treated.  Nelly was there by her side and was greeted with the smiling faces of all four Divos who chatted amiably with both the nurses. 

“I heard from the officer that you volunteered to go up and talk to Danny,” Urs told Nelly. 

Face to face with her favourite Divo, Nelly could only nod her head.  For the third time in a day, she almost fainted when Urs embraced her, giving her a smacking kiss on her cheek.

Nurse Diane wasn’t forgotten either as she got kisses from all the Divos for the pain and trauma that she had gone through.

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As Urs had been in the thick of action and almost fell to his death, Patrick told the hospital to give him a thorough check-up to ensure that there wasn’t any serious damage to any part of his body, especially his arms which were feeling the strain of all the exertions.  There was worry that there could have been some ligament damage and he was given a series of scans and checks. 

At the end of all those procedures, it was found that there was indeed a small muscle tear in his right arm and the lady doctor ordered that he be warded for the night for observation.  Further tests the next day will determine the best course of action to treat the injury.  He might have to undergo extensive treatment such as rehabilitation exercises to speed up recovery.  This did not sit well with Urs and he insisted on going home.

“No, Mr Buhler.  It is best that you stay and undergo some treatment to speed up your recovery.  We have the best rehabilitation programme and it could be tailored to suit your need to recover as quickly as possible.  Besides, you have gone through a traumatic event, almost losing your life.  Our psychiatrist will be attending to you to assess your condition, to make sure you are not suffering from any acute stress disorder,” Doctor Louise looked at him through the glasses perched on top her nose bridge, his case file in her hand. 

Damned, she had almost lost control of herself when she did a physical check on his body, her professionalism almost being called into question as she prodded and touched and lifted his arms for checking.  In all her life she had never seen anyone with features and body as perfect as his, and hearing him speak in his melodic voice sent shivers down her spine.

“It’s just a muscle tear.  I’m sure with enough rest I’ll be fine again.  As for the acute stress disorder, I think I have a very good physician to help me with that,” he replied almost cheekily as he turned to look at Sam who blushed a little.

“You’re right about recovering with enough rest, but I was told by your manager to give the best treatment available as you have a wedding coming up,” the doctor raised her eyebrows at him as she tried to get confirmation about the wedding.  Damned again, she thought, that look could melt the snow on the Swiss Alps.

Despite all those irrelevant thoughts going through her mind, Urs thought she looked unmovable and with a sigh of resignation, he gave in.  Sam smiled gratefully at the beautiful doctor who flashed her pearly whites in return.

“Well then, I’m sure you will be standing at the altar looking dashingly handsome and ready to say ‘I Do’ in no time,” Doc Louise turned to smile at Urs.

Sam laughed out before correcting her, “It’s Seb’s wedding, doc.  Urs will be his best man while I’m the maid of honour.”

Louise looked from Sam to Urs, a question just hovering on her lips when Urs volunteered an answer, “She’s right, Seb and Ginny are getting married.  Being a Divo, I will naturally have to be there, best man or not, don’t you think so, doc?”

Sebastien was also given a thorough check by his doctor, who confirmed that he was none the worse for wear, and though Sebastien had requested to be discharged immediately, the doctor managed to persuade him to stay for one more night for further observation.

Urs woke up in the middle of the night, wondering where he was until he saw the familiar hospital equipment by his bedside.  He must had slept the rest of the day away after checking into his room as he couldn’t recall what happened after the conversation at the doctor’s office.  He sat up and scanned the darkened room, barely making out the form of someone sleeping on the couch.  Sam.  He smiled and left the bed.

He sat gently down beside her and stroked her hair.  She stirred a little but didn’t wake up.  She was tired, just like him.  The events of the day had taken its toll on both of them and he wished they were back in the apartment where they could sleep more comfortably.  But he admitted to himself that his arm was hurting very badly and he did very much want to be fit and ready for his wedding.  Bending down to kiss her lightly, he covered her up with the blanket and went back to sleep in the bed.

Sebastien rose early the next morning after a fitful sleep.  He couldn’t shake off the feeling that he had almost lost Ginny and Urs and his sleep was filled with dreams of knives and tall buildings; that much he could remember or see in his dream but it was enough to make his heart beat faster.

Ginny slept on the couch despite Sebastien telling her to go home for some rest.  He walked over and bent down to kiss her, waking her up in the process.

“Good morning, sweetheart,” he muttered, a big smile adorning his handsome face.  She sat up and stretched, and he felt his heart skipped a beat.  How he loved her, he thought. 

“Good morning, my prince charming,” her radiant smile greeted him.  She had a troubled sleep when she finally dozed off after letting the event of the day run through her mind but just before she woke up, she dreamt of rainbow and sunflowers and that brightened her mood.  Of course, seeing Sebastien the first thing she opened her eyes made her even happier.

“I’m hungry,” she said sheepishly when her stomach growled loudly.  Seb chuckled and pulled her on her feet.

“Let’s go to the canteen.  Hope they serve breakfast this early,” he said.

“I’m not leaving this room looking like an old hag.  Let me go and freshen up.  Besides, don’t you think you need to brush your teeth, Seb?” she asked sweetly, her eyes sparkling with mischief.  Sebastien didn’t need another invitation.

When they finally made it out of the bathroom with flushed faces, they were surprised to see Sebastien’s doctor waiting patiently at the foot of his bed.  Doc stifled a laughter at their look of embarrassment and proceeded to check on Sebastien’s wound.

“Well, Mr Izambard, looks like you’re perfectly well enough to be discharged,” he tried to sound professional but somehow Sebastien thought he was still laughing at him.

“Really?” Sebastien raised his eyebrow in question.

“Yes, really.  Your wound has healed very well, even after what you had gone through yesterday.”  And this morning, he wanted to add but decided against it.

“Oh yes!  Home, here I come!  Woohoo!” he shouted and grabbed the doctor’s hand, shaking it merrily, “Thank you, thank you, doc!”

Ginny stood and giggled at the sight of Sebastien behaving like a little boy who had just received the biggest present of his life.  Her heart swelled with pride and happiness at the thought that he was going to be the father of her child.  With so much love and affection in him, he would be the best father a child could ever have.

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2 thoughts on “Chapters 17 & 18”

  1. It’s a good thing you posted two chapters, or I would have had to hunt you down to
    get the second one. 😀 Urs’s bravery is something else, and I held my breath when
    he and Danny went over the edge, and again when the cable snapped when Sam
    and Carlos were on the scaffolding trying to rescue him.
    Loving this as much this time as I did before.

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