Chapter 21

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Chapter 21

Joshua

The worst part about being in a hospital is waiting. Especially after your girlfriend has been shot. Dad sat in one of the multiple chairs lining the wall, eyes glued on the TV mounted on the wall. Margaret sat beside him, her leg bouncing up and down nervously as we waited for either Garret to arrive or for the doctor to bring news on Ember's status. Whichever happened first. I paced aimlessly, unable to keep myself still. I tried sitting down, but the thought of Ember in critical condition made me far too anxious. Secret Service agents were stationed around the waiting room. Other people glanced at us, whispering to eachother.

"God dammit! What is taking so long?" I exclaimed, fed up with the barely contained whispers and anxiety of not knowing.

Dad tugged his gaze away from the TV, meeting mine. He looked calm, but there was an underlying layer of worry in his eyes. Ember once gave me a lesson on how to read people's emotions through their eyes and body language. His blue eyes were full of concern. He sighed, standing up and walking over to me.

"Son, I'm positive they're doing everything they can. She is in good hands. These are trained professionals. All we can do is wait. I am aware of how much the waiting is killing you, but there's nothing more we can do for her right now. Think about Ember. She wouldn't want you to be this way, now would she?"

True. Ember wouldn't want to see me this way at all. I sighed, shrugging and looking down at my feet. Dad clapped my shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly.

"You're right. She wouldn't want me to be like this."

Dad smiled a small smile, attempting to be reassuring. I wasn't sure if it was for just me or for the both of us. Sitting back down again, Dad watched the TV. This time, I mimicked him. The TV was set to CNN, who was all over the story of the "Smithsonian Blood Bath." I averted my gaze. I can't watch this story. Not with the uncertainty of whether or not my girlfriend is alive. My leg bounced, like Margaret's. Ariana and Skylar stayed back at the White House with Preston, who managed to make it out unharmed...at least, not physically harmed. As if he wasn't traumatized enough from the events of our summer. All of Preston's class was safe, but three of the chaperones, Miss Star's sister Angela (who worked at the Smithsonian as a tour guide), ten security guards, and four children from another visiting class were slaughtered. The gunman escaped. Eighteen people dead. Many more injured. One of them being Ember. Suddenly, the double doors leading to the ER opened and out stepped Ember's doctor. I shot up. He wore a grave expression on his face. My heart sank. 

"How is she?" I asked.

Dr. Gill sighed, adjusting his golden rimmed glasses. Dad and Margaret stood behind me, waiting as anxiously as me to hear Ember's condition. 

"Well...we had to use the defibrillator. Her heart stopped. She's suffered massive blood loss. We are unsure if there is any brain damage at the moment. Her heart is beating, just barely. We're moving her to the OR right now for surgery. All we can do is wait and observe."

I nodded. 

"Will she be okay, doc?" I asked.

Dr. Gill sighed yet again, looking exhausted. For the first time, I realized the blood on his scrubs and white Reebox sneakers. Ember's blood. My heart raced nervously at the thought of her bleeding out, uncontrollably. My stomach did flips. 

"It's too early to tell. I'll keep you updated on her status. She's lucky. Shot four times to the chest but, fortunately, no vital organs were hit. Now, I need to speak to her father. Is he-"

"Her father isn't here at the moment, but I am." 

Dad, Margaret, and I whipped around at the familiar voice. Addy walked over to us, wearing the same clothes she no doubt wore to work. In her right breast pocket, I could see the top of her CIA ID tag. She shifted the large black purse under her arm, holding out her hand to the doctor.

"I'm Ember's guardian, Addison Montgomery. Garret is currently occupied at the moment with other appointments." 

Dr. Gill shook her hand. Addy looked so calm and collected. Just like Ember. I can see where she got it from. Or maybe it's just a spy thing. 

"Ah, yes, Miss Montgomery. It's a pleasure to meet you. There are some things I need squared away about Ember. Could we speak in private?"

Addy smiled, nodding. She and Dr. Gill went through the doors leading to the ER. Before the doors shut, I saw Addy removing her CIA ID from her pocket and giving it to Dr. Gill. Dad placed his hand on my shoulder.

"Come on, son. Let's go home. Addison is here now."

I shook my head, shrugging his hand off my shoulder. Our gazes met.

"No, Dad. I'm staying here until Ember wakes up."

Dad didn't argue. He didn't try to coax me to go with them. Instead, he sighed and nodded.

"Fine."

Then, without another word, he laced his arm through Margaret's and were escorted out by two of the six Secret Service men we brought along. I sat in the chair Dad had occupied earlier, starting yet another round of anxious waiting. 

(Another cliffhanger! Ah! Vote and comment! Where do you guys think Garret is? He's been acting different, hasn't he? I'm not giving out any spoilers, but what do you guys think? PM me or comment! Bye-bye!) 

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