A Simple Twist of Faith





Yes I finally have another part done. Thanks for writing (you know who you are) and encouraging me to finish. This chapter is a little short but the last one is already in the works.

My apologies to the few people I promised to notify when this part's posted. My computer had a breakdown and I lost all your emails and addresses!

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The sniper looked through the cross-hairs of his rifle into the bank. From his vantage point on a neighbouring roof he could see the phone in the bank, but no people.

His radio crackled to life and a tinny voice announced, "You are cleared to take the shot once Novacek is in view. Over."

"10-4," he replied.

A flash of movement. He turned, steadying his finger on the trigger, preparing himself mentally and physically to shoot. Someone moved into view and answered the phone, but his face was obscured. Was it Novacek, or a hostage?

A few seconds passed. Suddenly the man turned and raised his gun, pointing it at someone out of his view. Novacek had made a deadly mistake.

The sniper took his shot.

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Peter froze. For some reason he thought he heard two gunshots. He kept his eyes on the bank door, praying that Carter would come walking out. Instead a SWAT team moved in, weapons raised to secure the building.

"Building secure. Novacek is dead," Peter heard the crackly announcement a few moments later from an officer's radio. "We need EMS. A hostage has been shot. I repeat, a hostage is down."

Peter's heart leapt into this throat.

"Sergeant!" he bellowed. "I'm a doctor! Let me go in with them!"

The Sergeant thought about it for a second before nodding his head in Peter's direction. Peter ducked under the yellow tape and jogged to the paramedics. He helped carry the gear and entered the building, fearing the worst.

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The fear was tangible. The heat and the smell of sweat and blood hung in the air, as there were no windows open to allow ventilation. People were huddled on the floor; some staring into space, others being helped out by the SWAT team. Peter's eyes frantically searched the bank looking for Carter.

His heart stopped and he froze.

Over near the far wall the paramedics were working on someone who had obviously been shot, and a civilian whose face he could not see was performing CPR. A gory smear of blood marred the wall adding to the horror of the scene in front of him.

When he found his legs he ran over and felt relief rush through him when he realized the injured man was a security guard. The relief was short lived when he saw the shape Carter was in.

Blood stood out in stark contrast against his pale arms and shirt, bruises covered his face, and there were tears running down his cheeks.

"He's in v-fib," one of the medics announced.

Jumping into action, Peter grabbed the bag containing the defibrillator, knelt down beside the injured man, and charged the paddles.

"250. Clear!" he applied the paddles to the guards body and watched it convulse with the current.

"No change. 300. Clear!" Again no change.

"He's in asystole!"

Carter immediately started chest compressions. After numerous attempts to revive the guard, it was obvious his body had given up the fight. Carter desperately continued the compressions.

"Come on!" Carter yelled. "Don't you die because of me too!"

"Carter," Peter said gently, wondering about what Carter had just said. "Carter, he's gone."

Peter reached out a hand and grabbed the younger mans wrist to stop the compressions. "Lets go get you checked out Carter."

Carter slowly stood up and walked over the where Novacek's body lay, covered by a plastic body bag. A red stain evident beneath the body. His initial feelings, fear, helplessness, were being replaced by an anger that seemed to some from deep within him. How many lives had been needlessly destroyed by this man?

He felt Peter's arm on his elbow, gently guiding him away from the gruesome scene and out into the bright street. A large curious crowd had gathered behind the yellow crime scene tape, hovering like vultures waiting for an animal to die. Cop cars and other emergency vehicles were scattered everywhere, and emergency personnel scurried about performing their assigned tasks.

Peter, who had decided the only blood on Carter had come from the guard, led Carter to his car. He'd drive him to the hospital as opposed to putting him in an ambulance.



The silence was deafening. Carter stared out the window watching the city go by, while Peter concentrated on getting through the traffic. An unmarked police car carrying two detectives picked by the Sergeant followed them to the hospital to secure a statement, among other things from Carter. It was going to be a very long day.

"How many?" Carter suddenly asked.

"What?" Peter had no idea what Carter was referring to.

"How many people died because of me?" Carter clarified.

Peter was glad Carter asked a question where good news was the answer. "No one died because of you, Carter."

"Yes they did. Michael, the two officers guarding me, the security guard and Novacek."

"Carter, you did not kill Michael. Novacek did. And you are definitely not responsible for Novacek. No one was but himself."

"The two officers," Carter interrupted him. "They died guarding me. Novacek said..."

"He was lying, Carter," Peter said cutting him off. "They're alright."

"No they're not!" Carter responded vehemently. "I saw them lying the street! Officer Rudy..."

"Is in the hospital recovering from a GSW to the abdomen. The other officer was just knocked unconscious. Don't believe anything Novacek told you. He knew exactly what buttons to push to upset you."

Carter leaned back against the seat and closed his eyes, giving in to the call of exhaustion. His mind was spinning, replaying bits and pieces of the events over the past couple days. All the terrible feelings he'd been having threatened to overwhelm him. He was still reeling with shock over the fact that Craig Anderson, the man who was supposed to be helping him, had a hand in this. What was his motivation? The pain in his head from being hit came back slowly as the adrenaline started to wear off. Carter couldn't stop the moan that escaped his lips.

Peter glanced over, worried when he heard Carter moan. He was glad Carter hadn't tried to hedge out of being examined. His face looked terrible.

They arrived at the hospital shortly, and as soon as they entered the hospital they were met by a crowd of worried co-workers. Mark, quick to see the shape Carter was in shooed people away, and led Carter, Peter and the two detectives to an empty exam room. He gave them some privacy, and decided Anspaugh and Weaver needed to be notified.



Once Carter was seated on the bed the two detectives introduced themselves and immediately got his side of what happened while Peter examined him. Carter started from the beginning with Michael Benton being injected with the potassium while Peter listened to his breathing and checked his pulse. By the time Peter flashed his penlight into Carter's eyes, Carter was close to finishing his statement.

"Thank you for your time Dr. Carter. And please remember this is not your fault. Most victims either think they're to blame, or they identify with their attackers. I can recommend some good victims groups if you're interested."

"That won't be necessary," Carter interjected too quickly. Peter quirked an eyebrow at him. "I'm fine." His false smile didn't reach his eyes.

The detectives left and Peter turned to Carter. "Alright Carter. Off with the shirt."

"I'm fine Dr. Benton. There's no need ..."

Peter gave Carter his 'do as you're told glare' and Carter silently complied. Peter inwardly winced when he saw the bruises on Carters chest and back, but they were starting to fade and there was no new bruising.

"I'm going to send you for a CT. It looks like you've taken a few blows to the head. Aside from a few bruises and mild dehydration you're fine."

"I wanted to thank you for doing all this. You've stuck with me through this entire thing," Carter admitted while buttoning up his shirt.

Peter hid his embarrassed smile by looking at the floor. He wasn't good at talking about anything personal or emotional with people. Especially with Carter which was unusual because he cared about Carter more than he was willing to admit.

"You're welcome."

End part 12



Part 13
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