By: L. A. Casey

I just had to know.

Plucking up the courage to actually check what the result was turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. I was about to peek at the test results when my phone buzzed for what had to be the tenth time in the last five minutes. I didn’t look at it when it first rang because I thought it was Gavin. Giving up, I took it out of my trouser pocket, glanced at the caller ID and saw it was Keela.

I clicked answer.

“Aideen! Finally!” Keela’s voice cried.

I froze. “Keela? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“No,” she whimpered. “It’s Kane, he collapsed.”

My heart stopped beating, my stomach churned, my throat closed up, and my head spun. I was acutely aware of how I felt at that moment—I was absolutely terrified.

“What the hell do you mean Kane collapsed?!” I shouted into the speaker of my phone.

“I mean exactly that. We were in Tesco and he just dropped. No warnin’ at all—he just fell. The ambulance is here and the paramedics have him on a stretcher. I’m goin’ to head to the hospital with him. Can you let the brothers know and tell them to get their fuckin’ arses to the hospital right away? None of them are answerin’ their bloody phones.”

My voice was raspy as I asked, “What about the girls? Did you try them?”

Keela hissed, “Their phones are ringin’ out, too. I’m goin’ to fuckin’ kill them all. I’m scared shitless and none of them are answerin’ their poxy phones.”

I blinked my eyes and was surprised when tears fell onto my cheeks.

What the hell?

I quickly wiped under my eyes then took a few deep breaths to calm myself. I would be no good to anyone if I freaked out. I was pretty focused until my best friend showed signs that she was cracking. I squeezed my eyes shut when I heard Keela sniffle on the other end of the phone.

“It’ll be all right, Kay,” I said, hoping the comfort I offered helped her because it did shit for me.

“Just get the brothers and meet me at the hospital, please.”

She hung up and for a long moment, I sat unmoving and tried to process what she’d just told me, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. It was probably best because I quickly sprung into action by jumping up and running out of the bathroom and out of the Slater household without a backward glance. I sprinted across the road and crashed into Alec and Keela’s front door slamming it open in the process.

“Lads! Omigod, lads!” I screamed as I ran into the sitting room.

“Aideen!” Ryder shouted and grabbed hold of my shoulders when I stumbled into the room. “Calm down and tell us what’s wrong.”

I inhaled and exhaled a couple of times trying to get my breath back. When I did, I looked from Ryder to his brothers and back again.

“Keela called me from the supermarket.”

Alec moved closer. “Is she okay?”

I nodded my head. “She is.”

Nico moved closer, too. “And Kane?”

Tears gathered in my eyes. Again.

I shook my head. “She said it happened so fast. He was standin’ beside her one second and on the floor the next.”

All the brothers widened their eyes, and from behind them Branna and Alannah gasped.

“She tried to ring, but no one answered their phones,” I continued. “She is on her way to the hospital with him. We have to go there right now.”

The next few minutes were a blur of activity with the lads shouting and the girls crying. We all ran out of Alec and Keela’s new house and piled into cars. I went with Ryder and Alec, and Nico went with the girls to get Bronagh.

“He’s goin’ to be okay, isn’t he?” I asked the lads as Ryder flew down the bypass with Nico following close behind before he turned down the road to go get his girl.

I felt a comforting hand grip tightly onto my shoulder. “He is going to be okay.”

I hadn’t talked to God in a long time—not since my mother died when I was little—but on the drive to the hospital I prayed we’d find out what was wrong with Kane and if he was okay. I prayed harder than I ever had before, and I begged Him to let Kane be okay.

I jumped when my phone rang, but I quickly answered.


“Where are you all?” Keela cried.

She was sobbing; I could hear it in her voice.

I broke down with worry. “We’re nearly there... is he okay?”

The brothers held their breath when I asked the question we were all thinking.

Keela bawled, “I’m tryin’ to find that out, but I’m not related to him so the brothers need to be here.”

“Why?” I asked, terrified to hear her reply.

“Because they won’t tell me if he is dead or alive!”

When we pulled up to the entrance of the A&E department of the hospital, both of the brothers jumped out and sprinted through the automatic doors that led to where Keela was... and to where Kane was.

I froze to my seat. I couldn’t move at all. Keela said on the phone that she didn’t know if Kane was dead or alive. I knew that didn’t mean he was dead, but it meant he could be and the possibility of his death was enough to frighten the life out of me. I couldn’t be there to hear if he was dead. I think I’d cease to function if he was gone, and I couldn’t even fully explain why I felt like that because Kane... well, he pissed me off all the time.

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