47 - Reunited: Day Sixty-Two (Continued)

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The van screeched to a halt outside the emergency entrance of the local hospital. Simon lifted Melanie out of the van and rushed her toward the building with the group following quickly behind. She groaned and wriggled in his grip as she regained consciousness, but he held tight until he got her inside.

Doctors and nurses immediately sprung to action, pulling a stretcher toward Simon so he could set Melanie down. He anxiously requested Penny or Sandra's presence as he attempted to get Melanie on the stretcher, holding her tightly as she kicked at the stretcher to keep from being set on it.

Not wanting to cause a scene, the hospital staff guided Simon and the musicians to one of the private emergency rooms. Simon continued to hold Melanie in his arms, struggling as she continued to kick her legs out and tried to push out of his grip. As soon as they got into the room and closed the door, he carefully set her on her feet and let her go. She pushed him away and attempted to step back, but her legs gave out.

"We're not going to be able to get her to lay down," Lucy warned one of the nurses as Simon caught Melanie to keep her from falling. She informed the nurse of Melanie's condition, watching as the frantic girl pushed away from Simon and tucked herself into a corner of the room.

"If she's refusing treatment, we can't force it on her," the nurse replied apologetically. "We'll have to wait until she's calm enough to consent or if she loses consciousness."

"It's all right, Mary," said Sandra to the nurse as she raced into the room with Victoria, who had filled her in on Melanie's condition. "She's a bit of an exception." She greeted Simon and the group of musicians, looking sympathetically at Melanie as she cowered in the corner. She knelt in front of her, watching as she shrunk away, sobbing and trying to back herself further into the corner.

"She's going to be a handful," Simon warned tiredly as he wiped the sweat from his palms onto his trousers. "She was able to give myself, a police officer, and three bodyguards a run for our money yesterday. I honestly don't know how she's still going."

"You poor thing," Sandra breathed sympathetically as she sat on the floor in front of Melanie in an attempt to appear less threatening. "I heard you were going to be in court today. That must have been absolutely awful, seeing those horrible men again after we all promised they couldn't come near you." She continued to speak in a soothing voice, taking a visual assessment of Melanie as she did so.

"Is she speaking yet?" she asked as Lucy sat on the floor next to her. Lucy shook her head.

"She was until a few days ago," Simon sighed tiredly, looking regretfully at Sandra. "We seem to have gone back to square one now, though." Sandra nodded and struggled to get Melanie's temperature and blood pressure while the girl pulled away and protested. Once she had the results, Sandra turned to Mary, who had been standing at the door, and she requested a cooling blanket to get Melanie's fever down.

"We're just going to get you cooled down a bit, sweetheart," Sandra explained as Mary returned with the blanket. "We'll try to wait until you're ready before we do anything else, but you need to understand that what you're feeling right now is really dangerous and we're not going to let you get worse, ok?"

Melanie kept her head tucked into her knees, shrugging away from Sandra and pushing the blanket away as it was draped over her shoulders. Sandra sat back and sighed, thinking for a minute before motioning for AJ to join her.

"Please, don't force anything on her," Emma begged as she watched AJ pull Melanie away from the wall and tucked himself in behind her as she protested and cried. He straddled her and wrapped the cooling blanket over her shoulders, then wrapped his arms around her waist to keep the blanket on her as he calmly assured her she was going to be all right. She fought against him and clawed at his arms, her screams alternating between panicked and desperate to frustrated and defeated.

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