Lexi couldn't think of a worse way to travel to the bedside of her critically-injured dad than stuck in a Cessna with Brent Sherman. There was a reason they hadn't seen each other in seven years. Brent was a cruel, spoiled, narcissist who never kept his hands to himself. Once Brent landed the plane, Lexi and Hades politely refused his offer to have a drink at the bar, hailing an airport limo as soon as Hades could locate a messenger.
Lexi held tightly to Hades' arm while the limo carried them through the streets of Boston. She never felt more grateful to have him close. He was the calm to her storm, and his scent reminded her of home. Their home. Her mom was crying when they arrived in the ICU waiting room, and the brave face Lexi had put on during the airplane trip melted away as she was suffocated by her mom's hug. For the next few minutes, Lexi sniffled while her mom wailed about the dangers of driving and texting. Dion had also donned his brave face, which Lexi could see right through, and when she hugged his neck, he mumbled something about everything being okay now. Lexi wasn't sure if she had heard him right, but she agreed with the sentiment. Everything was going to be okay now.
"When can we see him?" Lexi asked as she accepted a tissue from Dion.
"We're waiting for the doctor to give us the okay," he said. "He was in surgery for five hours. He's got a ruptured spleen, bruised kidneys, two broken ribs and a fractured femur. His chin and forehead also needed stitches. "
"Oh, my man's handsome face." Lexi's mom slumped onto a couch, pulling Lexi down with her.
"Dad's going to be okay, mom. I'm going to make it okay," Lexi said.
Her mom stared at her through puffy eyes. "Can you heal him, Lexi? Are your powers strong enough?"
Dion crouched in front of them, talking in a spy whisper. "Mom, don't you remember the amazing story Lexi told us about Ares' son, Jules, and the spear she pulled out of his chest?"
"Humans are more fragile than gods, Dion." Lexi's mom didn't look convinced, which Lexi could attribute to fear, but it could also be guilt. Either way, Lexi was never more grateful for her unique gift.
"Trust me, Mom. I can do this. I just need to do it discretely. I don't want the doctors getting suspicious."
"Who cares what the doctors think?" Dion said. "Miracles happen all the time. Who's to say they aren't the work of the gods."
Dion looked pointedly at Hades, to which Hades offered a humble shrug.
The ICU door opened and an attractive, dark-skinned woman walked into the waiting room clad in pale green scrubs and a white lab coat. She stopped between a row of chairs, eyeing the expectant faces of the fifteen or so people in the room. "Is the family of Charles Maxwell here?"
"Yes, I'm his wife. Is he okay? Can I see him?" Lexi's mother stood, speaking rapidly as she walked toward the woman.
"His vitals have stabilized, so it's safe for you to visit for a few minutes. He won't be responsive, so be prepared for that. Only two visitors at a time, please." She offered a warm smile, glancing at each of them in turn before pausing on Hades, her almond eyes rounding. He had that effect on people.
"Thank you, doctor," Hades said as he gave Lexi's hand a squeeze. "Lexi, why don't you go in with your mom, if Dion doesn't mind."
"Of course, not. Go ahead, Lexi. Work your magic."
Dion nudged her in the arm, and Lexi couldn't help responding with a disapproving head shake. He could be so nervy. As she and her mom made for the ICU door, a knot had decided to bind up Lexi's stomach, and when they reached the bed that supported the broken body of her dad, the man who loved and raised her for eighteen years, she almost hid her eyes behind her hand. Tubes stuck out of his throat and arms, and his leg was encased in white plaster, raised above the bed in a sling. The doctor pulled up two chairs, and Lexi and her mom dropped heavily into them.
"Oh, Charles, I'm so sorry... for everything." Her mom reached out to touch the bandages on his head, letting tears flow down her face and into her lap as she opened the flood gates. "It was never my intention to hurt you. I thought we had lost that spark, but it was no excuse for what I did. I want you to know that I haven't... That Zeus and I are history." She glanced at Lexi, her gaze unfocused, but the message was clear in her eyes. Leaning over his body, she wept openly. "I just want you back. I will do anything to get you back."
Pain sliced through Lexi's chest as she listened to her mom's confession. Their spark had faded? How had it happened? When had it happened? Did they ignore a festering problem, or did time snuff it out? Could Lexi and Hades avoid such a fate? With one hand on her mom's back, and the other on her dad's stomach, Lexi called up her powers. Warmth immediately flowed through her and she offered it to both her parents. Her mom flinched under her touch, a reaction to the heat, no doubt, but she remained slouched over her husband. Lexi stood and moved her hands over her dad's body, touching every surface that had been injured and conjuring the image that always came to her when she thought of him; vibrant, clever, laughing. He could give the gods a run for their money.
The doctor returned just as Lexi finished her healing session, and she pretended to straighten the cover on her dad's bed. He still hadn't opened his eyes or reacted to her contact, but Lexi had faith that his body was responding to her treatment.
"I'm afraid that's all the time we can allow, for now." The doctor's compassion appeared genuine as she spoke to them, never breaking eye contact with Lexi or her mom.
"Thank you for taking such good care of my dad," Lexi said. "I am a firm believer that love and a positive attitude does wonders for healing."
The doctor leaned in between Lexi and her mom, whispering her opinion covertly. "And a little magic doesn't hurt either."
Lexi couldn't suppress her grin. "Truer words have never been spoken."
YOU ARE READING
Let's say you found true love. And say you had eternity to spend with that lover. So what if he was the god of the dead and you had to manage his dysfunctional family. You would still count yourself lucky, right? Join Lexi and Hades in the third and...