By Barbara Delinsky
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Tom lifted the gauze from his cheek, glanced at it, put it back. " Tom looked at Bonner. " "That's nice and generous, thank you, but Bree won't have any part of it. She's an independent sort. Besides, don't feel guilty. " Tom asked. " Redemption was the word that came to mind, and it didn't sound right. But he did know, for all he was worth, that this time he couldn't turn his back. The Ashmont Medical Center was small and relatively new, a two-story brick building at the end of a long drive curving back behind the old stone town hall.
It's October, for Christ's sake. " Tom might have said what he thought of that if the ambulance hadn't circled the town green just then. Its engine was all business, giving it away even before it pulled around the corner, red and white lights flashing, and ground to a halt. Leaning over Bree, Tom felt a fast relief, a sharp fear, and something almost proprietary. He talked softly, telling her that help had come, that she was going to be all right, that she shouldn't worry about anything. He wasn't pleased when the ambulance crew hustled him aside, or when one of them threw a blanket around him and poked at his face.
The Ashmont Medical Center was small and relatively new, a two-story brick building at the end of a long drive curving back behind the old stone town hall. Tom remembered the parking lot as being neatly landscaped, but the peaceful feeling he remembered, from things green and flowered, was gone. Halogen lights on the snow turned the scene a garish yellow. There was a small emergency entrance at the side of the building. The ambulance stood there, empty. Within seconds of the Blazer's pulling up behind it, Tom was out.