"It's okay Mackenzie. Mommy's got you."
Ellyn's eyes crept open and were met with a small light coming from the corner of the hospital room. Her eyes wondered around the room, only to find a scruffy man sitting in an arm chair fast asleep. She tried to call Gabriel's name, but her throat didn't bother to comply.
Looking around trying to find something to make a noise with, Ellyn found a nurses buzzer. She had become very familiar with it during her last trip to the hospital. Once she pressed it, within two minutes, the door opened and the lights were flicked on.
"Ms. Granger! I'm glad you're awake." The nurse looked over at Gabriel who was beginning to stir. Ellyn's eyes followed.
"Oh Ellyn! Oh, I thought I had lost you!" He kissed the back of her hand repeatedly.
"Ms. Granger, how are you feeling?"
"Sore." She croaked. "I have to pee."
"Well, Ms. Granger, you have a catheter."
Ellyn's face muffled into a frown. "So I just pee on myself? Can't I just go to the bathroom?"
The nurse let out a chuckle. "It would feel that way, but it deposits into a bag. And Ms. Granger you sustained a lot of injuries so moving you to the bathroom would be very painful."
"Oh." Ellyn blushed, suddenly feeling shy. She shifted slightly in her bed, but her whole body screamed in pain each time she moved.
"Should we give you some privacy?" The nurse insisted while looking at over Gabriel. Ellyn nodded and the nurse, with Gabriel by her side, exited the room. "I'll go let Dr. Whelm that you are awake." The nurse shut the door, leaving Ellyn alone to empty her bladder.
Within time, they were back at her bedside, along with a man who Ellyn assumed to be Dr. Whelm.
"Well Ms. Granger, I'm Dr. Whelm, and it's good to see you awake. How are you feeling?"
"Sore. Everything hurts and my head is killing me."
"That is normal Ms. Granger. You hit your head pretty hard and sustained a severe concussion. We put you into a medically induced comma to decrease to swelling in your brain and it worked substantially. You should make a full recovery within two to three weeks. I'll prescribe pain medication for the headaches because unfortunately, that’s one of the consequences of concussions, but you shall be fine Ms. Granger."
"And the baby?" Ellyn's heart sinks as she thinks of what she went through that night and the danger her baby might be in.
"The baby is doing fine, nothing to worry about there. Any more questions Ms. Granger?"
She paused and looked over at Gabriel, whose eyes never left her face. He looked like he hadn't slept in days. "Where is Vaughn? The man that attacked me?" She signed so that Gabriel could understand her question.
The doctor looked at Gabriel and he returned the same wry look to the doctor. "Vaughn—," the doctor began, "Mr. Hendrix was pronounced dead at the scene. During the struggle he sustained a bullet wound to the check, which punctured his heart. He bled out before EMTs arrived on the scene." Ellyn let out a sigh and laid her head back on the pillow and stared up at the ceiling.
Noticing her blank expression, Dr. Whelm turned toward the door. Before leaving he turns to face her. "Will that be all Ms. Granger?" Ellyn shakes her head and the doctor exits the room. The nurse checks a few more machines before she finally leaves the room.
Ellyn turns and looks at Gabriel who hasn't let her hand go since he returned to the room. As she looks at him, her mind wanders to his brother. "Oh, please tell me Isaiah is going to be ok? This is all my fault" Her hands are strong enough to lift and place on her forehead.
Gabriel grasps her hand tighter and rubs the back of it with his thumb. "He's still unconscious. It's been four days and the doctors don't know when, or if he's gonna wake up. The surgery to get the bullet out went south which put him in the comma in the first place."
"Bullet? Oh my God! He was shot?" The heart monitor's beeping began to increase.
"Yes, Ellyn. What all do you remember from that night?" He sat on the bed and took her head into his hands.
She raced through her memories, trying to find her last possible memory before she entered her world of piece. "The last thing I remember was Isaiah and Vaughn fighting."
"Why do you keep calling him Vaughn? Do you know the attacker?" Gabriel's face turned to pure, liquid horror.
Ellyn nodded, embarrassed. She had never gone into detail about her past to Gabriel because she never had to. When she was around him, it felt like her past was just a feather blowing in the wind. Now the time had come for her to break the news to him. "You might want to sit down for this."
Ellyn began to sign and explain Vaughn and his influence on her life just how she did to Faven and just like how Isaiah over heard.
"Vaughn was a friend of my parents." She began. "He and my father worked for the government, but I'm not exactly sure, to this day, what they did. When I was younger, they never spoke of it, but when my dad came home one day out of the blue without the ability to hear, hence why I can sign, they had to give me something. My mom always told me my dad and Vaughn went out to find the bad guys in the world and turn them in, but neither one of them gave me a full explanation. I think that’s what made my dad my hero. The fact that he was out their making a difference in the world and changing people's lives for the better.
"As time went on, Vaughn and my dad grew to be like brothers. He always came over and not till later did I notice that he use to always keep an eye on me. One day things turned ugly between him and my dad. Vaughn was fired at his job. Unfortunately, he blamed my dad. It hurt him to see one of his closest friends walk out of his life, but Vaughn was a very stubborn man.
"And then," Ellyn paused her hands and sighed as tears swelled up into her brown eyes. "The day that changed my life forever happened." She stopped and looked up at Gabriel, who was bracing himself for what came next.
"The fire. It feels like it happened yesterday. I was in my room sleeping soundly, when the smell of smoke woke me up. It was seeping into my room from the hallway and I immediately hoped up. I called for my mom but there was no answer. I walked down the stairs to the first floor, only to find the kitchen and living room engulfed in flames. My parents lay unconscious on the floor, just inches from the burning flames. They were right there. I could have grabbed them, but..."
"But what Ellyn?" Gabriel uttered in the most sincere voice she had ever heard. "He pulled me away from them. Vaughn pulled me out of my house and away from my parents. I watched as the very house the contained every bit of the beginning of my childhood fell to the furry of the fire and I never saw it again."
Gabriel stared at her blankly waiting for her to continue. "Vaughn ended up taking me in and that’s where I met Nikola. You know her as Viviane."
His eyes darted open. "You knew Viviane before all of this? And her name is Nikola? Did Isaiah know about this?"
Ellyn shook her head. "Not until a few weeks ago. That’s what spawned the whole break up, and I'm sure she thought they broke up because of me."
"Why would she think that?"
"Before Vaughn took me in, Viviane was his first lady. She was his right hand man; she stood beside him, helped run the business and probably would have killed for him. Once I came into the picture, he began to prefer me over her."
"What business?" Gabriel interrupted. Ellyn sighed.
"He was involved in trafficking women, but he used the business he owned, a strip club, to cover it up, but Nikola and I were only kept for him and him only; that’s how we became friends compared to the others. We were like his personal sex slaves." Ellyn stopped again as her voice cracked at the last two words, but continued. "Eventually, Vaughn took more of a liking to me and began to push Nikola away, and soon enough Nikola began to hate me. One day, they got into a huge argument and he kicked her out on the street with nothing. Before I knew it, I was being brainwashed into being his 'first lady'. I was stuck for a very long time in that hole, until I finally came to my senses and escaped. Now, here we are."
Before she knew it, the tears were raining down her cheeks and Gabriel was at her side almost immediately.
"So there. Now you know. That’s who I am. I should have told you sooner—"
"Oh Ellyn." He climbs into the hospital bed with the vulnerable woman and pulls her into his arms. "I love who you are and who you were. As long as you're connected to it, I love it. I want you to always remember that." He places his hand on her belly, as she leans her head against his.
They stay like that as Ellyn falls back into the peace of Gabriel's arms, but as she falls; she can't help but see Isaiah's face slipping away into the darkness.
Yeah, 4 months. I know, I know.
But hey, My freshmen year is over & I'm home for the summmaa!
So, hopefully I still have readers left..
If so... thank you all so much and hopefully the 4 months was worth the wait!