The Rebel's Own (Crimson Romance) (13 page)

BOOK: The Rebel's Own (Crimson Romance)
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“I can’t…I can’t feel my legs or my arms. I can’t move, Ken.” Ryan didn’t hold back the tears this time.

Riley climbed out of Kennedy’s arms before she could hold him back and scrambled through the window and into his father’s lap. “I’m here, daddy.”

“Riley, come out of there!” Kennedy couldn’t hide the hysteria in her voice.

Riley moved further away from her and leaned toward his grandfather. “Grandpa,” Senior grunted his response. “Please don’t die.”

“I won’t, sport.”


Kennedy watched as Ryan struggled to reassure his son. But how could he, when the only thing he could move was his lips? “I’ll try my best, buddy.”

Kennedy looked up when she heard the sirens. The first to arrive at the scene were the police officers then the ambulance and a fire truck. “Riley, you need to get out now so that they can help your daddy.”

“No!” He shouted defiantly and wrapped his tiny arms around Ryan’s torso, his white shirt quickly absorbing his father’s blood.

“Excuse us, ma’am.”

Kennedy stepped back and gave the paramedics room. They immediately pulled Riley out of the wreckage so they could get to work and handed the screaming child off to his mother. She watched nervously as the medics tried to free Ryan and Senior. Her knees buckled and she sank down to the ground, Riley still in her arms, when Ryan’s blood-curdling scream rang out in the air. He sounded as if someone was ripping his body apart. Through the haze of her tears she saw Riley’s terrified face, his hands covering his ears.

“Get him out of here,” she croaked.

“I got him.” Kennedy looked up and saw Matt, the same look of dread on his face.

She watched his retreating back, as Riley cried trying to put up a fight. Kennedy sat there, staring at the crumpled mess as they tried to free Ryan. She sat there, her mind blank of anything except terror for her husband, and soon she was engulfed by darkness.

Chapter Fourteen

“Wake up, Ken.”

Kennedy groaned as she was shaken awake. “What?” she croaked.

“You need to wake up.”

Kennedy slowly opened her eyes but quickly closed them again as the bright lights sent shards of pain through her skull. “What’s going on?”

“You’re at the hospital.” It was Matt talking.

“Hospital. Riley!” Kennedy sat up too quickly and had to fight the vertigo and nausea that claimed her.

“Riley is fine. Ryan is in surgery.”

“Surgery?” Kennedy cried out as the night’s events rushed back, an overload assault to her mind. “He’s not dead?”


She opened her eyes and scrutinized Matt’s face, trying to find any sign of deceit but found none. “What about Senior?”

“He’s in surgery too.”

“I need to see him.”

Kennedy slid out of bed, ignoring Matt who was holding up the stilettos from the night before. She didn’t care about shoes. She stormed out of the room only to get to the hallway and not know which direction she should take.

“Left,” Matt supplied helpfully, and took the lead. As they reached Ryan’s room, a tall man in a white lab coat was just exiting the doorway.

“Doctor, that’s my husband. How is he?”

He took in her hospital gown skeptically and looked to Matt, who nodded.

“You’re Mrs. Carville?”

“Yes,” she said, frustrated and shoved her hospital bracelet under the man’s nose. “What’s wrong with my husband? She peered around him to get a glimpse of Ryan’s body. Some metal sling contraption was hoisting his left leg in the air. “What happened to his leg?”

“He broke it, Mrs. Carville. But it was a clean break of the femur. He’ll be in a cast for about six weeks.”

“Good thing it’s the post-season,” Matt muttered.

Kennedy leveled a menacing glare at him that had him retreating. “Doctor, I remember, last night he said he couldn’t feel his arms or legs.”

“That was due to the shock from the impact. He has a broken leg and collarbone, and he lost a lot of blood, which we already replaced with transfusions. But the more serious concern is that he could have head trauma. He’s unconscious right now.”

“He’s in a coma?” Kennedy’s voice trembled.

“Yes. Right now, we have to wait and hope he wakes up.”

“Hope? Is there nothing else you can do for him?”

“No, I’m sorry.”

• • •

“You should eat something,” Rebecca said.

“No, Mother, I’m fine.” Kennedy watched the rise and fall of Ryan’s chest. It had become her new obsession. She and Riley had finally gotten a change of clothes. She never wanted to see the once-beautiful, now-ruined dress ever again, never wanted to remember that fear and hopelessness she felt when Ryan was trapped in that car. Matt had visited a couple of times, splitting his time between Ryan and Senior’s room. The Rebels had also visited, leaving flowers and fruit baskets behind. She was sick of staring at them, so she gave them away to other patients on the floor.

Now she just watched as Riley slept on top of his father’s chest. Anyone who tried to get him off had to endure screaming and crying. Soon enough the nurses had learned to work around him.

“It’s not healthy for Riley to be here,” Rebecca insisted.

“It’s RJ.” Kennedy barely recognized her voice anymore. They had been there for almost two days now. The transplant couldn’t take place, not with Ryan hurt, unconscious and unable to sign the consent forms. She had been fixated on saving her son, never dreaming anything could happen to Ryan. She had instructed the doctor to put Riley back on the donor list. Unfortunately, he would have to wait until they could find a new match, or until his sister or brother was born. She was getting tired thinking about it. She needed Ryan to wake up and help her deal with it. Kennedy hadn’t realized how much she needed him until that moment. She hadn’t spoken to anyone besides the doctors and Elizabeth, and she was angry at her mother. If only Rebecca hadn’t started that fight with Elizabeth. She would have seen the rig and Ryan wouldn’t have had to push her out of its way, and be hit instead. “His father is here, and he won’t leave him.”

“But you’re his mother. He would listen if you told him to go home.”

“I don’t want to fight about this. Just leave him where he is. He’s not hurting anyone. He just wants to be near his dad.” Kennedy had lost control of her tears long ago; they were now in free fall.

“What about the transplant?” Rebecca asked.

“Dear God, Mother! If you want to leave, you can leave.” Kennedy couldn’t take her Rebecca’s questions and criticism. She especially didn’t like how she was referring to Ryan as just another body to harvest from. “Riley is back on the transplant list. I don’t want to hear you mention it again.”

“How is he?” Elizabeth asked, as she slowly walked into the room, Matt behind her. She walked over to where her son and grandson lay and smiled down at them. “He’s a stubborn little tyke, isn’t he?”

Kennedy just smiled.

“He reminds me so much of Ryan when he was little.” Elizabeth wiped a tear away and turned towards Kennedy. “So, Matt tells me you are pregnant. He also says that you refuse to leave Ryan’s side to get a check-up.”

“I just—” Kennedy cleared her throat of the emotion, “He wants to name the baby Robyn.” Kennedy held onto Ryan’s immobile hand and smiled, “He’s so sure it’s a girl.”

“I think it’s too early to tell.” Elizabeth walked around the bed and held onto her free hand. “But we can give him the good news that the baby is healthy. I know you don’t want to go alone, so I’ll go with you.”

Kennedy nodded her response. She gave Ryan and Riley one last look and followed Elizabeth.

She soon was shown to a room and laid back on the examining table waiting for the doctor, but Kennedy couldn’t overcome the feeling that doing this without Ryan was wrong. Still, Elizabeth had a point; she was under a lot of stress and it couldn’t hurt to check. The doctor warned that it might be too early to hear anything with the Doppler radar, and Kennedy was barely paying attention when she suddenly heard the woman say “two heartbeats” and was startled by Elizabeth’s ensuing squeal.

Afterwards, she walked back to Ryan’s hospital room in a daze, on her own, since Elizabeth had gone to another wing to visit her own husband and tell him the news.

“You need to wake up.” Kennedy sat next to Ryan’s bed and stroked his pale arm. “I know that I act tough, but I can’t do this on my own. This is our family. I can’t handle three kids on my own. Please wake up.” She climbed into bed with Ryan and Riley and finally let sleep take her.

• • •

Ryan’s senses were attacked by the pungent smell of blood, its coppery taste on his tongue. The memory of the loud crash and Kennedy’s cry shocked him into awareness. He woke up with a start, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t move. His body ached all over, so that meant that he was still alive. But he couldn’t seem to get this weight off of him. Ryan slowly opened his eyes, his eyelids even felt sore. He was able to take a peek and the sight of Kennedy and Riley sleeping against his chest brought a smile to his face. He wasn’t sure how safe it was to have this weight on him, but he knew that having them so close did wonders for his heart.

He looked around the room; Rebecca was asleep on the couch. For a second he rethought waking her up. But surely the dragon lady would take pity on an injured man. He tried to call out for her, but his throat felt so dry and scratchy that talking was painful. Lucky for him the nurse call button was at his fingertips. He hated to move Riley and Kennedy, but with the pain, he could barely breathe.

The nurse walked into the room and an exclamation left her lips. “Oh my God.”

Kennedy woke up with a start, her elbow digging into his chest, and a yelp escaped his lips. “Ryan?” He managed to smile at the incredulous look on her face, “You’re awake.”

She cupped his face and rained kisses on him. “RJ, wake up. Daddy is awake.”

Ryan knew it would take a couple of seconds before Riley came round. The boy lifted his head but his eyes were still closed. He groaned in protest for a while, but just as he was about to lay his head back on Ryan’s chest, Ryan spoke up. “Buddy.” He sounded hoarse, his voice foreign to him.

“Daddy!” Riley’s eyes opened up, wide as saucers. “I knew you wouldn’t die, I knew you wouldn’t leave us!”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Carville, but I have to ask you to get off the patient! Your son, too,” the nurse cut in anxiously.

“Are you in pain?” Kennedy asked, scrambling off the bed and pulling Riley into her arms. Worry lines scribbled on her forehead.

Ryan nodded, afraid if he opened his mouth it would be another yelp.

“I’ll go get your mother.”

“No, I’ll go,” Rebecca volunteered. “You stay here with your family. Welcome back Ryan.”

Ryan smiled, unsure how to handle a kind Rebecca. He protested as Riley and Kennedy were also ushered out so the doctor could look him over. For a second, all he could think was that he was alive, that his family was fine. But then fear gripped him as he thought of his father. No, if he were dead, Kennedy would have told him. He tried to sit up, but a heavy weight on his leg stopped him. He looked down at his cast-enclosed shin and groaned.

Right after the doctor left, Kennedy and Riley came back in. A few minutes later Matt, Rebecca, and his parents followed. Senior was in a wheelchair and Ryan couldn’t get over the guilt of seeing his father hurt.

“I’m sorry, Dad.”

“It’s alright, son. I wasn’t awake for most of it, so I guess I lucked out.”

“I had to push them out of the way,” Ryan explained. “I’m sorry we didn’t make it clear too.”

“It’s fine. I would have done the same thing.”

Ryan’s gaze shifted to Kennedy and Riley, “I just couldn’t watch them get hurt. They are my life now.”

Kennedy choked on the emotion clogging her throat. She gripped his hand for dear life. There was no way anyone was going to separate her from this man.

“That’s fine. Kennedy has something to tell you about the baby,” Elizabeth put in.

The fear of loss claimed his heart once more. He shook his head in denial. But Kennedy didn’t look like she was sad at all. In fact, she was smiling. “What is it?”

“We’re having twins!” She smiled and cupped his cheek. “So it looks like you are going to have to come up with another name.”

Gratitude filled him once more and Ryan pressed a kiss into her palm.

“Thank you.”

Chapter Fifteen

“Are you nervous?” Matt asked, beads of sweat lining his forehead.

“Apparently not as nervous as you are.” Ryan stared at his uniform. This would be first time he wore it since the day of the accident. That day would forever be marked in his heart; he almost lost everything that day. “This is stupid, Matt. My leg is in a cast, I can barely move around without help. What makes you think I want to go to this stupid party wearing my jersey?”

He looked down at the stiff brace that was supposed to free him to him walk around without crutches while still protecting his healing leg. He hated feeling so inadequate. “I just got out of surgery.”

“It wasn’t such a big surgery and that was four weeks ago. Besides, all they did was take some of your bone marrow. And before you say it, you are not going to use Riley as an excuse.” Matt waved his finger sternly at him. “He’s already out there, giving the guys hell.”

“My wife is pregnant, and she can’t handle a party.”

“Funny, I think she’s looking forward to the party. She was the first one at the barbeque.”

“She’s pregnant,” his lips parted into a slow, proud smile, “with twins.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. You are the best stud this side of the equator.” Matt rolled his eyes. “But, uh, apart from the physical stuff, how are things between you guys?”

“I think she loves me; I know I love her.
knows I love her. Why else would I drive in front of a truck?” Ryan felt an ache in his soul that no amount of drugs and physical therapy would help. The fear of losing his family still haunted him. He would wake up in the middle of the night, plagued by nightmares, only to have Kennedy calm him down. She had been his strength and his source of comfort. But he was still waiting for her to admit that she loved him.

BOOK: The Rebel's Own (Crimson Romance)
5.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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