Measure of a Mann

Chapter 13

Measure of a Mann

Chapter Thirteen

Four nights later…

Mary was sitting in a chair next to Marshall's bedside in the hospital. He had yet to wake up. He had lost a lot of blood and required two transfusions in order to restore the loss. The wound in his chest was bad. The blade tore through the muscle and caused a lot of damage. However, once again he was lucky that no vital organs were hit. Several ribs were broken and one came dangerously close to puncturing a lung. His chest was covered in bruises. As well as the left side of his face, and there was a circular shaped burn on his neck.

Not only did he have all of the physical wounds, he was also starved and dehydrated. The doctor explained that Marshall was lucky to be alive. He told Mary and Stan that his chances of surviving were slim. Four days passed and his conditioned has not changed at all. Mary remained by his side, except for when Stan had convinced her to go home to go get a few hours of sleep, or when she had gone to question both Marshall's father and Jason Walsh.

Mary was afraid for her partner and barely concentrated when Richard and Jason had explained to her, Stan, and Faber how they had become involved with Martel. Richard Mann had told them the truth about the day he had faked his death, including framing his partner, Tony Combs, and what he has done since. Jason took out the letter that Marshall had asked him to write and handed it to Mary.

Mary read the letter, asking her to clear Tony Combs name and to look up the son, Ryan, so that she could apologize for him for the pain and shame that had been done to his family. The letter was signed, Doofus. Mary knew that the letter was from Marshall because Doofus was a name that only she and Stan knew about her calling him. Mary realized that Marshall had asked Jason to write this for her because he did not believe that he would live long enough to do it himself.

Mary found out where Ryan Combs lived and had gathered the information that was needed to clear his father's name, but she believed that Marshall was going to be all right and that he would want to do this himself.

Both Richard Mann and Jason Walsh were sent to prison for the crimes they had committed, but their sentences were reduced because of the help that they had given. However, they were also given protection in case Martel or his friends try to have them killed and when they get released, they will go into witness protection.

As Mary thought about the letter and what her partner had been through within the last week, she couldn't help but grow angrier and angrier. Those responsible got off easy and she blamed herself for not being there for him like she was when he was shot. Granted, there was no way she could have known that things would become this bad, but if she had gone after him when he ran away from her during the gallery party, she would have been there to protect him.

One day later…

Marshall was finally taken off of the ventilator because he was finally able to breathe well enough on his own. He had yet to wake up, but Mary's confidence that he would, continued to grow. Faber had come by to say goodbye to Mary and she thanked him for his help in finding and rescuing Marshall. Eleanor had decided to stick around for awhile; she and Stan had come by everyday to check on her and Marshall.

Later that evening, Mary suddenly had remembered that Marshall told her about an email he had sent her before he was taken. She pulled out her phone and looked through her emails until she found the one she was searching for. The email was only one sentence long, but she began to cry.

It said, Mary, I need you to know that when I told you that I loved you at your engagement party, I really meant it. Mary thought about that day and remembered the toast he had given. At first she was surprised by what he said, but believed that he told her that he loved her as a best friend. She knew now that she was naïve to think that he couldn't actually be in love with her.

Thoughts came flooding into her mind. Did he really mean it, or did he only say it because he believed that he was going to die? Then, she thought about all the things that he had done for her and had been there for her, when no one else was. He always listened to her, allowed her to vent about her problems, and he always knew what to say when she needed to hear things, whether it was advice, or useless drivel to help to distract her. He knew her better than anyone, sometimes even better than she knew herself.

She knew that he would die for her and it dawned on her that she felt the same way about him too. It was no wonder that she could never fully commit to Raph. She loved Raph, but she was in love with Marshall.

How could she have been so blind? She realized that even Stan and Eleanor must have known that they were in love with each other. During the engagement party, when Eleanor saw the ring on Marshall's finger, she had assumed that it was the two of them that were engaged. Stan knew that they were inseparable.

Before Mary could think about this any further, she looked down at Marshall and saw that his eyes were open and that he was watching her. She gripped his hand asked him how he felt.

Marshall responded, "I am alive, thanks to you. I didn't think that I was going to survive, but I knew that you would find me and catch everyone who was responsible. Thank you, Mary!"

Mary said, "You are always there for me, Marshall. It's the least I can do. I am so glad that you are going to be all right. I was so scared that you wouldn't be. I got the email you sent me. It was short, but I finally got the message. Why didn't you ever tell me this before? You could have died and it would have been too late."

"Too late for what," he asked?

"Too late to tell you that I love you back, Doofus," Mary answered. "I never realized it before, even though you have shown me more signs than anyone should ever have to. I am just afraid that if we get into a relationship, things will change between us and I don't want them to."

Marshall replied, "The only thing that will change is that we will be a couple, instead of just partners. Stan already knows that we're in love. I think that he'll feel like it is about time we realized it. Do you really mean it?

As an answer to his question, Mary leaned down and kissed him on his lips. She had done it before, but only when they needed a cover story. She never thought that she would do it for love. When she leaned back up, he smiled and she smiled back.

Outside the hospital room, both Stan and Eleanor stood back and watched as Mary and Marshall kissed. Eleanor clapped her hands together as Stan just smiled. They planned on visiting Marshall, but decided to walk away to give them their privacy.

As they walked away Stan laughed and said, "It's about time!"

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