I close my eyes a couple of times on the flight, but I know Wes never does. He is too ready to get this over so that Sam and the baby are safe. I can see the wheels turning behind his eyes and the poor flight attendant had to ask him twice what his drink order was because he was staring off in thought and not paying attention to anything going on around us.
When we finally get off the plane, we don't even have to stop to get a bag since the backpack was shoved in the overhead bin. "Are you hungry?" he asks as if he just remembered as humans we might need to eat. I chuckle and shake my head.
"Later." We can grab food with Sam and the baby are safe. I know he is anxious to see them. He nods his head and we head for the exit doors. Wes taps out a quick text to let his sister know we are here. When his phone receives a response, I see the excitement in his eyes as he quickly tries to see beyond the doors. He's pulling me along as fast as we can go through the crowds of people at the busy airport. I don't mind, I just try to keep up as he tugs me along behind him.
I find myself watching him instead of where we are going. I don't need to worry about any of that, he's got it covered. I can't take my eyes off of him, the excitement and relief so apparent in his features every time he turns around to look at me and make sure I'm all right. When we reach the doors that slide open and let the passengers spill out onto the pavement to be picked up, he stops and I almost run into his back.
His head is slowly turning and then it stops and a huge smile grows on his face. He lifts a hand and I turn to follow his gaze. A woman in a small car is parked near the curb. She has on a big pair of sunglasses and I can see the bandage on her nose that peaks out just beneath them. I turn my eyes back to Wes and see that his once smiling face is now tight with anger and something else entirely, sadness? Rage? A potent mix of both?
He leads me over to the car and his sister unlocks the doors. She steps out and moves around to the front of the car. I let go of Wes' hand and try to keep my tears from falling when his sister slowly lifts her arms in an invitation to hug her and he falls right into them. He's careful in the way he holds her and I wonder if he's thinking about how badly her body must be hurting. She's crying now, I can see the red coloring of her cheeks and the tears that fall quickly, one right after the other. She's gripping him tightly and holding on for dear life. "I'm sorry," she says in a choked voice.
"It's OK," he reassures her over and over every time she apologizes. Finally he lets her go and takes a step back, turning to me and sliding his arm around my waist to pull me to his side. "This is Morgan." Without another word, she gives me a hug.
"Thank you for coming."
"You're welcome." I can feel her ribs through her shirt and notice the various bruises that are all in different stages of healing along her bare arms and neck. This poor girl is lucky to be alive.
"Justin is asleep, but you can sit in the back with him if you want." She motions to the back seat and Wes practically leaps at the chance to see him.
"I can't believe you have a baby," he whispers as he opens the door and leans his strong body inside to look. Samantha covers her mouth and I watch her trying to swallow down her emotions. I rub her back because it feels like the right thing to do and she gives me a smile as she wipes her tears.
"I can't believe I've let him miss so much," she confesses quietly. I feel her regret heavy in my heart.
"You did what you had to do to keep you both safe. He's here now," I tell her.
Wes pops his head back out and I've never seen him so happy. "I'm sitting back her. He's the cutest thing I've ever seen." Then he tucks himself into the small backseat giving both Samantha and I a good laugh as we watch the sight.
"I guess you've got shotgun," she jokes as we move to our doors.
"Perfect," I say, "Let's get this little sweetheart away from that monster."
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When it's Over #Wattys2016Teen Fiction
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