** SMILES AHEAD **
Brent lay in his hospital bed, hollow-eyed and lacking in that spray-tan glow, while machines surrounded him, signaling his condition with a rhythmic beeping. Lexi swallowed hard as she stared at the scene. She had caused this. All because she lost her temper, and the confidence she gained during her visit with the sick children evaporated like steam from a kettle.
When Brent noticed her standing there, the beeping went haywire. "Get the hell out of here." He spat out the words, and Lexi felt his hatred like a knife to the chest.
"Brent, I'm sorry."
"You tried to kill me. What's your game? How did you do that?" Brent grimaced as he reached for his groin with the arm that wasn't hooked to an IV.
"What I would like to know is why she had to use such tactics to defend herself?" Hades' tone and expression were unyielding as he stood like the Rock of Gibraltar next to Lexi. She touched his arm to shush him.
"Your behavior towards me has always been less than honorable, Brent," she said. "But that doesn't excuse my actions."
"It also doesn't excuse his actions," Hades interrupted again, and not in his quiet voice. "The lout needs a few lessons in respect."
Brent's face pinched and he turned away, directing his gaze at the window. Lexi knew he wasn't going to apologize. In all the time she'd known him, Brent played the victim card, scapegoating his way through adolescence. He never apologized to her or Dion even when his parents punished him for his cruel actions. What story had he given the doctors who treated him? Did he have burns on his genitals? Lexi felt compelled to heal him in spite of his faults. Being a narcissistic jackass didn't mean he deserved to suffer, but she had no way of pulling it off. He would accuse her of accosting him. She settled for visualizing him whole and healed, which may have been more for her peace of mind than anything else.
As if on cue, a tight-lipped woman in a lab coat bustled in, shooting a wicked grimace at Lexi and Hades as she checked the monitors. "Your vitals have elevated, Brent. I think you should rest now."
Brent continued to stare out the window as he nodded. "Yeah, I'm pretty tired, but I want to see my mom as soon as she gets here."
"Of course." The nurse turned to glare at Lexi and Hades as if they were criminals. "You'll have to cut your visit short. My patient needs his rest."
When Lexi entered the ICU waiting room, she felt a morbid sense of relief. Her mom was sitting alone reading something on her cellphone, and Lexi sat next to her, resting her hand on her mom's lap as she read the bold words printed on the screen of her mom's phone. 'Reviving a Stale Marriage'.
"Where's Dion?" Lexi asked.
"He's picking up Stephanie from work. She wants to see your dad before visiting hours end. Then we were going out for dinner. Are you up for that?"
"Sure, but I need a little downtime, if you don't mind. I think Hades and I will head to the house for a bit."
Brushing Lexi's hair from her forehead, her mom leaned over and kissed it. "Of course. I'll text you when we've decided where we want to eat. Are you okay, Lexi? I would hate to think all this stress is upsetting your baby."
"I'm good. And I'm sure the baby is staying blissfully ignorant to all the crap going on out here."
Her mom nodded sagely before her eyes brightened. "Hey, why don't you have an ultrasound done here? Doctor Brennan is on the OB staff. I'm sure she could fit you in. I'd love to find out if you're having a boy or a girl."
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 count yourself lucky, right? Join Lexi and Hades in the third and final...