8. Free at Last
Something creaks, and my heart skips a beat. I brace myself, waiting for the lift to drop again, but nothing happens. Tom reaches up and nudges the trapdoor aside. Light flickers across his face.
"Thank god." He turns to me, smiling "They're here." He thrusts me forwards, and a face appears in the light from the shaft. I feel Tom's hands around my waist as he lifts me into the arms of our rescuer, and he passes me my bag and shoes before climbing up himself. The light is almost blinding after so long in the dark, but I recognise Luke and a few of the new interns standing to one side. They smile.
"I got your note." Luke says quietly "I-I'm so sorry...we should've noticed earlier. I knew something was wrong when you didn't turn up but I thought nothing of it at the time..."
"It's fine." I smile "I was well looked after!" Tom is at my side in a couple of strides, and he wraps his arm around me."
"Surprise!" He says "Now, Luke...I'm buying you and Lou lunch. That's what I came in to do today - I was going to surprise you."
"Well consider me surprised!" Luke replies.
"And you're invited too." Tom turns to me "If you'd like to come."
"I would love to."
"That being said..." Tom's voice drops to a whisper, and his lips graze my ear "We're still on for dinner tonight. Just us."
"Of course." I whisper back "I wouldn't miss it for the world."