Chapter Forty Three

Jamie kept his word to Eddie, living like nothing had changed, like he wasn't carrying around the weight of the world in his heart. Henry continued to care for Eddie when Jamie and Sydney were at work. For the most part, Jamie's tours were calm and predictable and Sydney's job required very little travel, though many nights she wasn't home until after Eddie had gone to bed.

That was the situation tonight. Henry put Eddie to bed around nine then left once Sydney arrived home. Eddie heard Sydney check on her then head to bed. A few hours later, she heard her friend moving around the house at a more frantic pace than normal.

"Sydney!" Eddie called from her bed. "Sydney!" She heard her friend get up about a half hour ago. The television was on and Jamie's police radio. She knew that Jamie should have been home an hour ago. Jamie always came in when he got off the night shift to help her turn and make sure she was okay before going to bed. Eddie had an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Sydney appeared in the doorway, her face was pale and she looked a little sick. "What's wrong Eddie?"

"Nothing, I heard you get up and I heard the TV and Jamie's not home. Help me get into my chair, I'll wait up with you."

Sydney had been a supportive friend, she helped Eddie with all of the things that Jamie did, but at times it seemed she resented her presence there. Eddie had already sat up and used her strap and board to be in a sitting position at the side of the bed.

Sydney came over and helped her finish the transfer and secure the belts around her torso. "There's a shoot out going on in Jamie's precinct. Some kind of gang thing..."

Eddie nodded, she remembered that their precinct was ripe for a police/gang shooting before her injury. "I'm sure Jamie's fine, he's a good cop, he's a great shot and he's smart, he knows how to think and keep things in control."

Eddie flexed her arm to start her chair and followed Sydney to the living room where the all news channel was showing living footage of mini war in the confines of the 12th. "Okay, Sydney this is good..." Eddie comforted. "If Frank hasn't shut down media access, and you know he will...things are going okay."

"He's late and he didn't call me," Sydney replied. "I just have a bad feeling..."

"Stay calm," Eddie advised. "I can make some tea. Do you want some tea?" Eddie recently learned to operate the Keurig with a reaching stick and her palm straps. "If you tighten my strap I can make it."

"No, my stomach can't take that, and if you spill Jamie will blame me," Sydney sighed. "I'll get you some juice."

The two women sat glued to the TV. Eddie turned on her scanner and occasionally they were offered the comfort of hearing Jamie's voice over the radio. When shots came across the radio though, followed only by silence, both women gasped. Sydney grasped Eddie's hands, forgetting Jamie always telling her that Eddie couldn't feel her hands. "Oh, God..."

"It might have just taken out he com center, just relax," Eddie soothed but she felt her heart speeding up. "Syd, tip my chair back a little bit."

Sydney focused on tending to Eddie, she dropped the back of Eddie's chair, "Let's just breathe together, like on the yoga tape."

Focusing on each other, Sydney and Eddie managed to calm down. The TV was reporting the shooting of twenty-five NYPD officers from the 12th and neighboring precincts. "Eddie, it's my Jamie, I just know it."

"Sydney, getting all upset won't help Jamie. If something happened, Danny or someone from the detail will come and tell us. Try to stay calm."

Two hours passed before there was finally a noise at the door. Sydney was crying, she'd tried calling Jamie at least twenty times and he never picked up, the phone went to voice mail. Both women gasped when the apartment door opened wide and Jamie came inside.

His eyes fell on Eddie, he could tell by the elevation of her legs she'd had a spike in her blood pressure. Jamie hurried over to her and slid his arms around her body, lifting her up against him. "It's all right, it's just a scratch. I'm fine...I'm fine, everything is fine."

"Oh, Jamie, we were so worried!" Eddie sighed enjoying his embrace. This always was her favorite place and since the accident his embrace made her feel secure and safe. "Are you okay?"

"It's a scratch, that's all...I'll be good as new in a few days..."

Jamie seemed to have forgotten about Sydney but her sob drew his attention. Jamie moved to hug her tight, "I'm fine, Syd. No need to worry, I'm fine. Let me get Eddie in bed and I'll be in."

Sydney headed for the bedroom trying to stifle the tears. She laid on their bed and buried her face in Jamie's pillow sobbing her heart out.

Jamie put Eddie into bed by lifting that night. His leg ached a little bit but his heart ached more. "Jamie," Eddie sighed. "You shouldn't have come to me like that. I know we got even closer since the accident and Jamie I love you so much but you are a married man. You must go apologize to Sydney and make sure she understands you were acting out of concern."

Jamie sighed, "Are you okay? Your head, you're not in pain?"

"No," she replied. "Not in pain at all. Just really tired. Jamie I mean it..."

He nodded and kissed Eddie's cheek. "I'll be in around five to help you turn. Sleep well."

Jamie headed to the bedroom, the sound of his wife's sobs somehow having less of an effect on him that the sight of Eddie in her chair with the back tilted. That bothered him more than the burning pain in his leg. Jamie sat on the bed and rubbed Sydney's back, "I'm sorry, sweetheart. I got home and I saw Eddie was up and you had her tilted so I know...I'm so so sorry."

"I thought you were dead!" Sydney snapped. "I thought you were dead and never coming home! And you went to her! You ran to her and held her!"

"I know, I know and I am so so sorry for that, Sydney. I was concerned for her health, stress and blood pressure changes...and..."

"I know, but I am your wife Jamie. I'm your wife and I love you but...can you honestly tell me that now? Can you tell me the same thing?"

Jamie sighed, "Syd, when I felt that bullet slide across my leg...all I could think of was home and what was going on here. Were you okay? Was Eddie okay but the question that bothered me the most...Were you okay with Eddie and what would happen if...I died out there...Syd...this isn't working. The three of us like this, it's not working...I love you, I always have..."

Sydney took a deep breath, "But you are in love with her. She's your soulmate, I'm just a life mate and in this day and age, if you make that mistake, you can fix it. Fix it Jamie...I love you too much to stand in the way."

"So you and Eddie can stay until the end of the lease, I'll pay it up until then, it' got another five months..."

"Sydney..." Jamie began but she held her hand up. "I can't Jamie. It's not fair to me, you or Eddie. It's just not fair. Your heart..." Sydney swallowed hard. "Hasn't belong to me in a long time. It belongs to Eddie now and she needs you."

Jamie nodded, "I'm sorry..."

"Don't apologize. I'm going to be fine and...so are you. Tell her, go and tell her what's in your heart before she leaves and you lose that chance. I want you to be happy, that's all I ever really wanted."

Jamie reached out and gave Sydney a warm hug. "You need anything, you call me. I don't want this to affect your friendship with Eddie."

"Jamie, that friendship," Sydney sighed. "Was for you. I have no reason to continue that. No desire to continue it. Take care of yourself."

Sydney didn't wait any more, she picked up her bag and turned to leave.

Jamie stared after her thinking how to say his piece to Eddie. How did he explain to her that Sydney was gone? How did he explain that to anyone?

Jamie sighed and called his grandpa to ask him not to come to the apartment. He was on leave for his slight injury to his leg and would be able to attend to Eddie.

Jamie made tea for Eddie and coffee for himself before going to wake her. He knew Eddie really needed her sleep but he needed his best friend. Jamie stroked Eddie's hair waking her gently. He knew the stress of his involvement in the shootout had caused some flushes and he was loathe to disturb her rest. Eddie stirred and opened her eyes, "Jamie, are you all right? It's barely sun up."

Jamie nodded, "I know and I'm so sorry to be waking you up, Eddie. I am but I need you."

Eddie pushed up as Jamie adjusted her many pillows so she was sitting up a little with support of the headboard. "What's wrong? Jamie is it your leg? I can't…Sydney would be better…"

"Sydney left," Jamie replied. "She left for good Eddie. We're getting a divorce."

"What?" Eddie gasped. "Jamie why? Was it because of last night? She's always been scared you'd be hurt. I'll talk to her…"

Jamie shook his head, "It is because of last night, Eddie, but it's not because of the shooting it's…" Jamie took a long breath. "It's because…Eddie you said it yourself, you have feeling for me and…last night, when I saw you after that shooting…all that was on my mind was you. That's it…and that's not how it should be for a married man."

"Sydney just got her feeling hurt, in a few more weeks I'll be gone and you can…"

"No,' Jamie said quickly. "Your leaving might make your feelings go away, but it won't make mine. My wife told me that she was leaving and actually did it and I'm not that upset. What does that mean?"

There was a different look in Jamie's eye, a soft look that Eddie could only recall seeing a handful of times, more and more lately. She wished with all her heart she could hold him, she focused her mind and her muscles on her arm and raised it. Her attempt to stroke Jamie's cheek ended up as a slap. Jamie laughed and took Eddie's hand, gently holding it against his face. Jamie tilted Eddie's hand and kissed her palm and took a breath, "I think that Sydney saw something we just wouldn't let ourselves see. I think it's always been there but since we are living so close and doing so many intimate things…you told me you couldn't stay, that you couldn't deny it anymore…I can't deny it anymore either. I love you Eddie. I love you and I want to make a life with you, partners together forever."

Eddie felt tears tingle at her eyes, "Jamie, this is just your emotions talking. You're hurt and…"

Jamie leaned over and gently touched his lips to Eddie's. He marveled at sweet she tasted even early in the morning. Jamie's heart started to beat faster, his blood started to rush to his head…he hadn't felt this way in such a long time, since the last time he kissed Eddie.

Jamie broke the kiss and sighed, "That's my emotions talking. Listen, you told me how you feel and I feel that too. I really want to see where it can go, Eddie. I really want to see where this can take us."

Eddie smiled, "What about everything I can't give you Jamie. How are we going to get through the ups and downs and…"

"That's what love is for Eddie," Jamie replied. "To help us through it. All we have to do is use it and lean on it…the rest…day by day. We'll just have to take it day by day…"

Jamie gently pulled Eddie to him and inhaled the scent of her, he really didn't know how they would navigate this challenge but navigate it they would…side by side, as partners.

A/N: Many of you doubted I would get Jamie and Eddie together by the end of the story but…ta dah!

Thank you so very much for the support. This story is very close to being my most reviewed story, just need 13…I hope I have supporters out there!

Thanks to Lawslave for reading every single chapter and being a sounding board for ideas. Thanks to Yanks20 for helping me with dialogue in some of the more difficult scenes.

Next Update – Coming in mid August – Because You Loved Me – Jamie and Eddie's skittish first date.