{Chapter} 35

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{Chapter 35}

The early morning sun shone through the windows and onto the kitchen table in the Dylan home. Erik and Toni were tired but awake and Erik had Sandy on his knee. Katie was asleep on Adam’s shoulder as he fingered the brim of his hat. Jay was asleep in Aubrey’s lap.

Aubrey herself had not slept all night. The doctor wouldn’t let her back with Wade for some reason she didn’t know, and it was starting to tick her off. She had a right to be with her husband, even if they didn’t think she could handle seeing him as bad off as he was. It had been a long, sleepless night full of nothing but worry on Aubrey’s part. She had comforted Jay for some of it, herself for the rest.

It was unacceptable that she couldn’t see her husband in her own house. They were overreacting, every one of them.

She looked up when Wilkinson came from the back room and walked up the hall. She would have jumped up if Jay hadn’t been in her lap.

“How is he?” she asked.

Dr. Wilkinson looked at the floor. When he looked back up, he was smiling. “He’s out of danger.”

A smile broke out over Aubrey’s face.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery for him, but he’ll be just fine eventually.”

“Can I see him?” Aubrey asked.

Wilkinson nodded.

Finally!

Aubrey gave Jay to Toni and walked down the hall. She stopped at the door before gently pushing it open. Wade lay on the bed with a white bandage contrasted against his bronzed chest. He was asleep, but there was more color to him than the day before. Aubrey walked to stand beside the bed and sat in the chair that was pulled up. She placed a hand on his forehead and found that he was warm. That could be simply because of his injury, or he could be sick. Aubrey decided that if he had been critically ill, the doctor would have told her. She ran her hand down his arm to clasp his hand in her. He had a reassuring touch even when he was injured and asleep. Aubrey smiled, smoothing his hair off his forehead with her free hand. She leaned over and kissed his forehead while a stray tear slipped from her eye. She leaned back in the chair, still holding his hand in hers. Wade’s soft breathing for a time only broke the silence, and then Aubrey got up and went to the dresser and the bowl of water on top of it. Taking a rag, she wet it and twisted the extra water out of it.

Then she turned around to see Wade’s devastating eyes pinned on her and a faint smile on his lips.

“Wade!” She grinned and rushed to his side. “Hey, stranger.”

Wade’s faint smile grew wider.

“How are you feeling?” Aubrey asked.

Wade’s face contorted.

“Been better,” he whispered.

“Well, you just lay there and rest. You need to get your strength back,” Aubrey told him.
Wade nodded a little bit, his forehead creased in pain. Aubrey ran her forefinger down his jaw line and smoothed his hair off his forehead before placing the rag she had wet over it. Returning to her seat, she watched Wade close his eyes, but he didn’t seem to go back to sleep. She rubbed the back of his hand and rubbed his arm.

Then, she figured that she had better notify the doctor that he woke up.

“Wade, I’m gonna go get the doc right quick, okay?” Aubrey stood and started to head for the door.

Wade’s left hand clasped around hers and held her there. She looked back at him.

“Don’t leave me,” he whispered even quieter than before.

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