Hero Inside

Chapter 14

Late in the evening…

Danielle had just finished putting her daughters to sleep, when her phone rang. Her husband was still at work and she was expecting him home anytime. As far as she knew, Annie was still out of town on her business meeting. So, she expected that a phone call at this time of night must be her.

As Danielle answered the phone, her assumption of it being Annie was right, except her sister sounded terrible. Athens was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, or so she had been told by Annie. Danielle wondered what made her sister so upset that she wasn't enjoying herself.

As she got off the phone, her husband walked in and Danielle ran over to him and told him that she needed to run to the hospital. She only explained that Annie needed her and that she would be home when she could. First, Danielle ran upstairs to grab her sister a change of clothes and then she ran out the door and drove to the hospital as quickly as she could.

As soon as Danielle saw her sister, she realized that Annie did a good job holding in the pain she was now obviously feeling. Annie looked much worse in person. However, she still had yet to hear the reason for her being here and looking like she did. There was blood all over the front of her blouse, as well as on her pants.

Danielle pulled her sister into her arms as she suddenly broke down and finally asked, "Annie, what happened? Are you all right?"

Without lying, Annie replied, "No, it's Auggie. He was shot. I wanted him to know how sorry I was for treating him so badly the other night, but before I got the chance to tell him, a bullet hit him. I'm so scared, Danielle. What if he doesn't make it? He lost so much blood. The wound looked so bad."

Danielle said, "I hardly know him, but I can see that he is someone special. You two are supposed to be together, which means that he cannot die, now. You'll see. Do you have any idea what happened or who did this?"

"Auggie heard the click of the gun hammer before I did," Annie answered. "He pushed me out of the way as the bullet hit him. I don't know if that means that the bullet was meant for me or not, but he saved my life. I've already talked to someone about what happened. They will let me know as soon as they find out what happened."

"Have the doctors told you anything about his condition," Annie's sister asked? "How long has it been since the incident?"

"It's been just over three hours now," Annie replied. "It is taking them forever."

Danielle handed Annie the change of clothes she brought for her and responded, "Well, while you are waiting to hear from them, go and get cleaned up. I'll let you know if a doctor comes out."

As Annie did so, it was then that she realized that Joan and Jai had both left the hospital, probably to go back to the office to make sure that Richert's capture was run smoothly. Annie figured that they knew she didn't plan on leaving him. Annie didn't usually disobey orders, but she figured that the orders for her to go home and get some rest were a way of showing their concern.

Annie's thoughts were suddenly interrupted as Danielle walked in and said, "There is a doctor wanting to speak with you about Auggie. He called you Mrs. Anderson?"

Annie quickly remembered that she lied about being Auggie's wife in order to learn of his condition when the doctors came out and responded, "I had to tell the doctors that we were married in order to get any information from them. They won't tell anyone except for family, or if we were cops."

"Doctor, how is he," Annie asked as she and her sister walked out of the bathroom and over to the doctor waiting for them?

"I am afraid that his condition is critical, as I am sure that you imagined, and will be for the next seventy-two hours," the doctor answered. "A bullet wound to the abdomen is very serious. Honestly, I am surprised he lasted this long after what the paramedics told me. He has lost a lot of blood. We have given him a blood transfusion in order to help to restore what he lost, but he will need another one in awhile. As for the wound itself, it hasn't caused much damage to any vital organs, but there is an infection that is spreading. We moved him into ICU. We will keep our eyes on him and do all we can to help him. All in all, I'd say that your husband is very lucky. I am optimistic. Hopefully, you'll be able to feel the same."

As the doctor finished telling Annie and her sister of Auggie's condition, Annie just continued to stare at the man in front of her. Auggie was critical and yet the doctor seemed to think that he was going to pull through. Annie could only pray that it was true.

Danielle spoke up asking, "Doctor, will it be all right if my sister and I went to his room to see him?"

The doctor nodded, "Yes, Ma'am. If you ladies would like to follow me, I'll bring you to him."

Once they got to the room, Annie was the first to walk in. As she saw Auggie for the first time since the paramedics took him away, she collapsed in the chair next to his bed and pulled his hand into hers. He was hooked up to numerous machines and the noises coming from them were the only indications that showed he was alive. He looked so lifeless.

The doctor told Annie's sister that they were welcome to stay for as long as they wanted to and then left them alone. Danielle turned back to look at her sister and the man who had finally helped her to heal from the loss of her previous love, the man who had also saved her sister's life. She stayed in the room, but stood in the back, not wanting to disturb Annie as she began to talk to him quietly.

She said, "Auggie, I don't know if you can hear me, but I need you need to come back to me, to us. We need you more than you know. I am so sorry about the things I said to you the other night. I didn't mean any of it. I have just been so afraid to open myself up to someone else ever since Ben. When he left, it hurt so much, but I finally let him go. I buried everything I had of him in my backyard, like I buried everything else I have ever needed to let go of. I never thought that I could love someone else like that again. I was wrong. I am in love with you. I am sorry that I couldn't tell you sooner. Please, don't leave me now."

Danielle cried freely as she listened to her sister. A few minutes later, she saw something that put a smile on her face again. Auggie's hand being held by Annie's closed around hers. It was then that she knew that he was going to be all right, and so was her sister.

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