By: L. A. Casey

Keela leaned into me and rested her head on my shoulder. “I know. Me too. When he fell... and the noise of him hittin’ the ground. I didn’t know what to do.”

I hushed her. “You got him here, that’s all that matters.”

Keela nodded her head and sniffled.

I frowned and turned so I could put my arms around her.

Out of all of us, she really didn’t need the stress of Kane being ill hanging over her. She had enough going on inside her mind without adding this to the list. I hugged Keela and whispered soothing things to her.

Alec took over for me after a while, so I got up, hugged everyone else in the room, and then sat down in a chair closest to the door of the waiting room. A few hours passed by and I found myself looking out the window of the waiting room, watching the moon as it inched its way across the night sky.

I blinked my eyes and looked at the door when it opened and in stepped the nurse who nearly became Keela’s punching bag only hours before. I was the only girl awake right now. Bronagh was sleeping on Nico, Keela on Alec, and Alannah and Branna both had their heads on Ryder’s thighs as they snoozed. The lads were watching some American football match with the television on mute in the room, but when the door opened, they all turned their heads towards the door.

The nurse nervously swallowed. “My shift just ended, and I’m supposed to tell you that visiting times are over, but I know you haven’t seen your loved one yet. So I pulled a few favours with the night staff, and they’re letting some of you stay with Mr. Slater in his room, and the rest of you can stay in here then switch in a few hours. It’s my way of saying sorry. I-I’m sorry I upset your friend so much, I was only doing my job.”

I reached out and gripped the nurse’s hand. “Thank you so much and I’m sorry. I speak for Keela, too. We acted wrongly. We were just...”

“Scared?” the nurse finished my sentence and gave me a small smile.

I nodded my head in answer to her question.

“I understand,” she said then handed me a sheet of paper. “This has the name of the ward Mr. Slater is on and the number of the room he is in. You will all have to leave this room by morning, as other loved ones of patients in the A&E will need it. The waiting room in the ward he is on is like this so it will accommodate you all if needed.”

“Thank you,” I said and cleared my throat. “We really appreciate this.”

The nurse inclined her head, gave a tight-lipped smile to everyone then left the room. Things were quiet until Alec said, “We should let Keela threaten people more often if it gets us results like this.”

I snorted and shook my head at him then read the sheet of paper the nurse gave me.

“He is on St. Peter’s Ward in room nine,” I said and looked at the brothers, then to the girls. “You all go up to see him. The four of them will stay asleep until we switch.”

Ryder blinked at me. “Are you sure?”

Was I sure?

“Of course,” I said, biting my lip. “You’re his brothers.”

The brothers said nothing for a moment, but nodded their heads in agreement with me and carefully moved the girls off their bodies so they could stand up. Nico had a bit of trouble untangling Bronagh from his body so Alec had to help. Watching them made me laugh. I placed my hand over my mouth and shook with silent laughter until he was free from his sleeping beauty’s grip.

He kissed her head, took off his jumper, and laid it over her to keep her warm. He walked over to me then and playfully kicked my leg when he saw I was smiling. “She has the grip of an anaconda; don’t judge her by her size. She may be small, but trust me when I say she is strong. Very strong.”

“I’ve no doubt, husband.” I winked.

Nico snickered then laughed a little when Ryder and Alec asked what I meant by calling him husband. I grinned, too.

Good luck to you on explaining that one, buddy.

“I’ll explain along the way, come on,” Nico said grinning as he took the sheet of paper the nurse gave me.

Ryder winked as he passed me by and Alec fist bumped me. They gently clicked the door shut behind them as they left and when they did, a veil of silence coated the room. I could hear the girls breathing, and every few seconds Bronagh would snore a little, but other than that, it was silent.

I leaned my head back against the wall of the waiting room and sighed. I folded my arms across my chest, and tucked my legs under my behind then closed my eyes and relaxed as much as I could. I was uncomfortable, but that wasn’t what had me uneasy. Kane did that just by being here in the hospital; it wasn’t so bad because he was alive and stable. He wasn’t okay because he was in the hospital, but he was alive and that was the main thing.

I would take alive and ill over dead and buried any day.


I groaned low in my throat and wrapped my arms tightly around myself, trying to hold onto sleep for a little while longer.

“Aideen? Hey, wake up.”

I felt a nudge on my legs and it caused me to wake with a jolt. I scrunched up my face then slowly blinked my eyes open. I pulled my head back a little when I found a huge clump of tin foil shoved in my face.

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