We’ve officially been moved out of the ICU on day eight and a half and into a regular room. Now Ryann can have unlimited visitors.
After I broke the news of the loss of our child, Ryann didn’t want to see anyone. She essentially shut down in a sense, and I broke every hospital rule imaginable to keep Ryann comfortable. I laid in bed with her, I held her, we cried together, and we talked to one of the hospital’s staffed grief counselors. I think both of us talking to someone really helped. Especially, Ryann, she’s starting to feel and act like her old self again. Enough so to finally allow visitors up into her room.
Her family still doesn’t know about the miscarriage. The only people who do are Val, Xayla, Travis, and Andrew. When Dr. Turner first broke the news, I collapsed to the cold laminate ground because I thought for sure he was mistaken. That he was looking at the wrong chart. But when Val sat on the floor in front of me, she took my hand into hers. Tears were running down her face fast and hard as she tried to make me see the truth.
“Thomas,” Val whispered. All I could do was shake my head in despair. “Thomas, she asked me to pick up tests.” When I finally made eye contact with her saddened blues, everything inside me broke. “Ry suspected while you guys were in Vancouver. She was going to sneak off to my room and take it.”
And every fucking day, Val’s words play on a constant damn loop. She suspected. I went out and bought her tests. If she suspected, why didn’t she tell me? She should have told me. Having kids, the idea never crossed my mind until Ryann. With her, I can see a future, my future. Our future. Kids and all.
And we will have that. I know we will. One day soon, we will make a family of our own. I will ask Ryann to marry me, and we will enjoy all the finer things life has to offer. I will give her what she needs. What she deserves, and she’ll forget every fucking hardship that she ever had to endure, including this fucking accident that has change our lives forever.
But we will never forget the loss of our child. Ryann and I both have made that abundantly clear. Ryann even gave our child the name of Sloane. We didn’t know if our baby would have been a boy or a girl, and she came up with the name after doing some research. Ryann said the name is Celtic and means warrior. And I couldn’t agree more with the name and the meaning, and it’s fitting for our child and a name that will forever be cherished in our household.
“Thomas,” snapping my attention up to the doorway, I see Travis standing guard. He’s been at the hospital almost 24/7, standing guard outside of the room. After Max’s inability to keep his personal rage in check, Travis is refusing to leave the hospital, and the one time I managed to get him to go back to the hotel room, he sent Jonathan to stand guard. I want all three members of my security to go back to their hotel, get a good night of sleep, or have a day off. But I know with the added detail that Travis has implemented, none of them are getting much sleep. “They’re here.”
“Thank you, Travis.”
He nods his head as she closes the room door behind him. Looking over to Ryann, she’s fast asleep. Her arm is still slung up for at least another day or two, but they finally allowed her to take a shower after fighting with the nurses and the doctors. Ryann has refused any sponge baths, and with some help from a nurse standing outside of the bathroom door and me, Ryann was able to bathe in the shower as she sat on a shower bench. And with the handheld showerhead, I washed her hair and gently washed her body with the nurse peeking in to look at Ryann’s incision site. I’m assuming the nurse wanted to make sure that Ryann’s surgical site wasn’t infected or to make sure I’m not fucking something up.
She also had me attempt to put her hair up into a high bun of sorts.
Erm....it’s a bun of sorts. Lets just say hair is not my forte.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, I lean over and place a soft kiss to her forehead, causing her to stir slightly. “Hey, babydoll. Your family is here.”
Ryann groans out, “It’s already two?” I nod my head as I brush away the loose strands of hair that have fallen from her updo. “How long have I been asleep?”
“Only for a couple of hours. Are you still tired?” She nods her head softly. “Just give me the word, and we’ll kick everyone out, okay?”
“Hmm, can I give you the word now?”
Laughing, “Unfortunately, no. I think your mom is about to have a coronary if she has to talk to me one more time.”
“Nah, she loves you.” Ryann muses. “And you promise no fighting with Max?”
Ryann noticed the burse along my jawline the following day, and I had to break down and tell her about the fight between her best friend and me. Well, the one punch I allowed him to have only because Travis had me fucking restrained. I even had to break down and tell her Jen was the one who broke the news of our relationship to everyone just to get Max to listen. I knew telling Ryann everything that had transpired would upset her, and it did, but lying to her would have only pissed her off more.
“Please,” she begs. “Thomas, for me. Don’t fight Max. At least, not here.”
Hovering over her lips with an arrogant smile, “Fine, I won’t fight Max....here. I love you.”
I catch her lips twerk into a slight smile, “I love you.”
Placing a kiss to her lips, we let it linger as everything between us is transferred. All of the days that I went without kissing her lips, I’m making sure she knows that there will never be another day that will go by without me kissing her beautiful, soft, luscious lips.
With the sound of the door opening, I reluctantly pull away and press my forehead to hers before entirely withdrawing myself from her bed. Standing, I help Ryann recline her bed up and help her get situated in a comfortable sitting position.
Betty is the first to hug her daughter, wrapping her tightly into a loving motherly hug. “Ohhh, I was so worried.”
“Mom,” Ryann groans out in pain. “I love you, but you need to lighten up on the hugging.”
“Sorry,” Betty says suddenly as she lets go of her daughter and holds her at her shoulders. “How are you feeling, dear?”
“Like I got hit by a drunk driver.”
Jen lets out a little snicker. Val shakes her head with amusement, and Max looks like he’s eaten a permeant sour apple. I watch Betty’s eyes go wide with annoyance at her daughter’s sense of humor. Humor that I get because sometimes it’s easier to make light of a serious situation instead of wallowing in the sympathetic attention that will be thrown your way. “Ryann Marie Anderson, that is not remotely funny.”
I watch Ryann deflate, “Sorry, Mom. You know me.”
Betty pushes another loose strand from Ryann’s face. “I know, dear. Making light of a serious situation. But seriously, how are you doing?”
“I’m a little sore and tired still. But I’m ready to get the hell out of here.”
“Are you getting any sleep?” Ryann nods her head. “How is the pain?” Betty asks.
“Nothing I can’t handle,” Ryann says softly.
I know Ryann is having breakthrough pain, and at times she’ll be restless and ask me to lay with her. But she doesn’t want any additional pain medication. She only wants the minimum and says that she can handle the pain. I know Ryann can take more than people believe is physically possible, but I think her refusal of any additional pain meds is out of fear. Fear of relapsing or fear of getting the wrong type of pain medication that could send her spiraling.
“And who did your hair?” Jen asks, changing the subject because the worry in Betty’s eyes is telling that she had more to say, and I think Jen knew what was to come next. A motherly lecture of concern, I’m sure. “I mean, Thomas, if you’re gonna do my sister’s hair, you need to learn the basics of how to do a simple ponytail before tackling a bun,” Jen says with a soft laugh.
Again Val snickers, “Ahh, I think it looks good for what would be his first attempt at doing hair.” Val enjoys poking fun when I’m forced to step out of my comfort zone. But for Ryann, I’ll jump from a fucking plan if I had to.
“Gee, thanks,” I say dryly.
“Hey,” Ryann says as I watch Jen take the hair tie out of Ryann’s hair and starts to finger brush the strands out. “He didn’t do that bad of a job. It’s up and out of my face. That’s all I wanted.”
“Can I braid it?”
If Ryann could swivel her head quickly, she would have because I don’t think Jen braiding Ryann’s hair has happened in a while.
“You want to braid my hair?” Ryann asks, wondering what the catch is.
Jen smiles at her sister, “Only if you want me to. That or I can put into a high bun or a high braided bun.”
“Umm...okay, but please don’t tug.”
I watch Jen gently brush out the knots before her fingers come to a stop at the laceration on Ryann’s head containing four sutures. Her fingers gently graze the area, and I know she has questions, but Jen doesn’t ask them. Instead, she continues with braiding Ryann’s hair.
Betty makes her way towards me and takes a seat on the couch next to Val. Leaning slightly forward, she looks over to me. “Now, this is a sight to see—my two girls acting like sisters again. Ohh, I could cry. How did you two do it?”
Val shrugs a shoulder, “I don’t think we did anything.”
“Ryann has always loved Jen. I just think she wanted Jen to come to her on her own terms after attempting to make things right.” I offer up, knowing that the healing between Ryann and Jen is far from over. The damage and hurt that Jen inflicted will take time because there is no instant remedy to fix what she’s done.
Betty shakes her head, disagreeing with us. “No, you two did something. Because Ryann stopped trying to please her father and sister, she was starting to look after herself and standing up for herself.” Betty pauses as she looks over at the laughter coming from Ryann and Jen. “I’m not going to lie, but I wasn’t keen on Ryann moving out to California and being your assistant. I didn’t like the idea of her working with someone who was a known partier and playboy.”
Trust me, no offense takin’.
“But I’ve seen the good my daughter has done for you and the good that you’ve done for her. Thank you, both of you.” Betty says as she pats Val’s knee.
Val looks at me, slightly surprised, “I...I didn’t do anything.”
Betty laughs, “Yes, you did. You risked your job to stay with Ryann in New York. She’s never had a friend who was willing to drop everything like you did and fly across the country to help her....”
I hear Max scoff in protest with a look like he’s been punched in the gut and insulted. The room suddenly goes quiet, and the glare coming from Jen is enough to set the room ablaze while Ryann is silently pleading with him to stop.
Come on, Ryann, give me the signal, say the word, and I’ll have Max removed from this room.