When Hades and Lexi arrived in the waiting room, Lexi's family was missing. Before Hades had a chance to ask the clerk about them, Lexi headed straight through the doors of the ICU without bothering to get permission, and Hades followed her in. Dion and Charles were sharing a joke when they arrived at Charles' bedside, while Lilith tried to keep them quiet, but all three were clearly enjoying themselves. Charles beamed at Lexi as he stretched out one arm for a hug, the other arm being disabled by tubes.
"Daddy, you're awake." Lexi's voice trembled as she squeezed him around the neck.
"Yes, thanks to you," he said. "Your mom told me what you did. The doctors are already claiming I'm the recipient of a miracle." He glanced up at Hades and offered a salute. "I'm sorry I spoiled your visit. I hope you two still manage to have fun while you're topside."
"Don't give it a second thought, Charles. I'm glad to see you awake and smiling. Lexi has some news to share with you that I think will broaden your grin."
Hades gestured to Lexi, who leaned over her dad and spoke against his cheek as she kissed it. "You're going to be a grandfather."
It took a moment for the news to register, then Charles' offered a restrained whoop before glancing around to make sure the nurses weren't running to his aid. "You never cease to amaze me, baby girl, although I guess I won't be able to call you baby once you've had one of your own."
"It's okay, dad. You can call me baby girl as long as you want to."
Hades slipped his hand into his pocket, toying with the velvet box he'd picked up during his errand run. He had not yet decided on an appropriate moment to deliver it to Lexi, but now seemed like a fine opportunity. "I would like to add to the joy of the moment, if I may," he said as he reached for Lexi's hand. A smile had claimed her face, which triggered his pulse. "Lexi, my enchanting goddess. You have my heart, my body, and my soul. While I know you are not concerned with tradition, I feel compelled to embrace an age old custom and profess my devotion through this traditional offering."
He pulled the box from his pocket and opened it, presenting Lexi with the ring he had purchased from the finest jeweler in Boston, according to the taxi driver. Hades was adamant about finding a ring with sapphires to match Lexi's eyes. The stones were set in white gold, nestled inside an eternity band, reminding him of a mother protecting her offspring.
"Hades, you are so... I can't even..." Lexi blinked a tear onto her cheek as Hades removed the ring from its velvety cushion and held it out, allowing Lexi to slide her finger through the band. "It fits perfectly. How did you manage to..."
"It was fate. Let's leave it at that." Hades lifted Lexi's hand to his mouth and kissed her ringed finger. "I love you more than you can fathom. You have saved me, Lexi. Saved me from an eternity of loneliness."
Lilith sniffled as she stood and dragged them both into an embrace. "You two are an inspiration to lovers everywhere. I'm so happy for you."
The doctor whom Hades had met earlier arrived at the bedside, and the Maxwell's were blandly reprimanded for overwhelming their patient then swiftly herded through the doors into the waiting room.
"Well, at least we were able to sneak five minutes of family time into our visit," Lilith said. "I have a feeling your dad will be coming home well before any of the doctors anticipated." She swept Lexi into an embrace. "Thank you, Lexi. You have bloomed into a gifted goddess with a deeply compassionate heart."
Lexi pulled away and glanced at the floor as she grudgingly accepted her mother's compliment. It was easy to sense her anxiety. Hades knew she was still feeling the sting of the incident with Brent.
"Something happened to Brent during our walk," Lexi said, her voice barely above a whisper. "He's being admitted to the hospital right now."
Lilith's eyes grew round and her hand cupped her mouth. "What happened? Is he going to be all right?"
"He should be fine. It was my fault."
"No, it wasn't, Lexi." Hades tugged on her hand, prompting her to meet his gaze. "He attacked you and you were acting in self-defense."
"He attacked you?" Dion growled as he balled his hands into fists. It was the first time Hades had seen Dion show any kind of aggression. "I've been looking for a reason to murder the son-of-a-bitch. Which room is he in?"
"Calm down, Dion. You can't go punching people who are already down." Lexi reached out to untangle Dion's fisted fingers, forcing him to soften his stance.
"I just can't stand the thought of that asshole hurting you."
"I know you've always had my back," Lexi said to her brother. "But, I can handle myself pretty well. Unfortunately, I let my gifts get the better of me with Brent, and he... he got burned."
Lilith gasped. "Oh, Lexi. Is it bad?"
"I'm not sure, Mom. Everything happened so fast." She turned to Hades with a pleading look in her eyes. "I want to visit the children's cancer unit. Will you come with me, please? Then we'll check on Brent."
Lexi spent the next hour visiting with the sick children while sneaking in a few healing embraces. She was in her element there. It was something Hades noticed when they visited the homes for the dying in India. Lexi's light grew brighter when she was bringing joy and hope to people who had very little of it. It was close to dusk when they asked the clerk which room Brent had been admitted to, and Lexi led Hades through the hospital with determination. This was the Lexi he had fallen in love with. The goddess with compassion enough for everyone and the determination to see every challenge through. He would want no one else attending his wounds should he ever find himself in such a predicament.
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Lexi's Promise [Bk 3]Romance
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 count yourself lucky, right? LEXI'S PROMISE is the final chapter...