41. What Happened?
I sat on the bed in the hospital. Vincent’s tee-shirt Was pulled over my knees which I hugged to my chest.
I had become almost hysterical when the doctor tried to remove the tee-shirt. I could smell his scent on the tee-shirt, the only thing that was keeping me moderately sane. If he died I didn’t know what I would do.
Damien had told them to leave it, so I eventually calmed down.
I vaguely heard the doctor saying something about mild bruising, and a friction burn. To be honest I wasn’t really listening. I heard Damien say something to the doctor about post traumatic stress, but I just blocked it out.
I kept running over things in my mind, if it wasn’t for me he wouldn’t have been shot. If I’d made different decisions, Christian wouldn’t have betrayed him, and Gianna would be getting married.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she hated me now.
It was easier just to internalize everything. Block out all the sounds.
All I wanted to do was wrap my arms around myself, smell Vincent’s scent, and pretend it was his arms that were holding me, keeping me safe.
But they weren’t. He might never hold me again. The mere thought made tears stream down my face.
So I just sat on the bed, my arms wrapped around me, crying silent tears.
That was until an arm wrapped around me.
“It’s going to be ok, piccolina.”
I looked up at Armando. He looked tired.
I let out a muffled sob.
“It...It’s all my fault...he’s going to die, and it’s all my fault,” I sobbed.
Armando pulled my head into his chest, and stroked my hair.
“Sshh,” he soothed, “no one’s going to die.”
I didn’t no whether he was just saying that to try and calm me down, or whether it was true.
Then he turned his head, and looked across the room.
“You see what you’ve done,” he hissed angrily, “We had a plan.”
I looked up and saw Damien, standing there, his arms folded.
He was still in the uniform that he was wearing when he came bursting into the room.
“It was the only way,” he snapped, “if you’d gone with the FBI plan, then the chances are you would have never seen Rosie again. Not unless she ended up dead in some alleyway,” he snapped.
I stiffened at his words. If Daniel had got to me, would that have been his ultimate plan? I trembled at the thought.
I looked over at Damien, trying to steel myself.
“Wh...What happened? You were supposed to kill him.”
Damien walked over to the bed, and sat down on the edge. Armando still had his arms wrapped around me.
Armando glared at Damien.
“Non ha bisogno di conoscere tutti i dettagli, Damien. Ne ha già passate abbastanza.,” he warned. [She doesn’t need to know all the details, Damien. She’s been through enough.]
Damien sighed and shook his head. Then he took hold of my hand, gently running his thumb across my knuckles.
He glanced at Armando, before looking back at me.
“You knew the plan...what me and my men had intended to do?”
I nodded. It didn’t take Einstein to realise by the look on his face something had gone wrong.
“What we didn’t know, was that Daniel had a contingency plan,” Damien sighed, then continued.
“When Christian couldn’t call Daniel on his normal phone, he used a burner phone, an emergency phone. When Daniel received the call on that line, he knew something was wrong. His backup plan was to send Christian to another location, where there was a decoy. Someone that looked like Daniel. If everything was ok they would continue with the plan, if not, then Daniel knew that whoever was after him would kill the decoy instead. When Daniel didn’t get the second call, he knew that we were on to him. He only had one chance, and he took it. By the time we realised, Daniel was already in your suite.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I didn’t want to ask, but I had to know.
“Christian?” I asked.
“Dead, as well as the decoy,” Damien replied.
I looked at Armando.
“Is Gianna ok? I mean...I know she’s not ok, but...”
“She will be fine,” he hesitated, “and so will you. The doctors have said you can be discharged. So we can get you back to the hotel.”
I shook my head.
“I...I’m not going back there...I can’t...not after...”
I closed my eyes in an attempt to stop another onslaught of tears. I could still remember the taste of metal in my mouth, and the things that Daniel had said he would do.
I took a deep breath.
I had to be stronger than that. Not just for me, but for Vincent as well.
I opened my eyes, and quickly wiped them with the back of my hand.
“Besides, I need to be here for Vincent. I just need some clothes.”
Armando nodded and stood up.
“I’ll take you to him, but prepare yourself piccolina. Remember he is in intensive care.”
My mouth went dry, and I swallowed down the lump in my throat. I just nodded, because if I’d opened my mouth I wouldn’t have been able to keep it together, and I had to.
Armando grabbed a wheelchair, and I sat in it. The medical staff had told him I couldn’t go walkabout in just a hospital gown. He covered my legs with a blanket.
Damien held the door open, whilst Armando wheeled me towards the I.C.U.
When we reached the door he put a hand gently on my shoulder, and gave it a gentle squeeze.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself.
As he wheeled me into Vincent’s room I let out a gasp. He didn’t look like the Vincent I knew. Strong and powerful. He looked small and frail.
One of the nurses came over, and smiled at me.
“It looks a lot worse than it is. We’re just keeping him sedated to help him heal. He’s breathing on his own, and the heart monitor is merely a precaution. Once he’s conscious and can eat, we’ll remove the drip.” She concluded.
I forced a smile and nodded.
“C...Can I sit with him?” I asked, my voice cracking slightly.
“Of course, stay as long as you like...” she hesitated, “but don’t wear yourself out honey. You need your rest too.”
I nodded, and waited for Armando to push me closer to the bed.
As soon as I was close enough, I grabbed hold of Vincent’s hand, and just held it close to my face.
For the next three days, I didn’t move from Vincent’s bedside. Except when Armando brought me clothes, or forced me outside to eat and drink something. I did this when the doctors and nurses needed to get to him. To check on him, and make sure he was still recovering.
They said he was, but I saw no change. Perhaps they were still keeping him sedated. I didn’t know. I was too exhausted to ask any questions, I just let them do their job, whilst I did mine, which was being as close to him as I could, and being there for him when he woke up.
As it turned out, it didn’t work out that way.
It was late, and I sat by his bedside holding his hand, I must have dozed off.
I was woken, by the feeling of fingers, gently running through my hair.
When I looked up, I couldn’t help the tears that flowed down my face.
Vincent looked at me and smiled.
“Sshh,” he managed to croak, as his fingers continued to stroke my head.
I was the one that was supposed to be caring for him, and comforting him. Not the other way around, but as usual, it was Vincent. It had always been Vincent, and it always would be.