A Dark Night with a Dark Stranger Ch. 15byBellstoires©
CHAPTER 15- CLYDE'S DECISION
"Ragon?" Clyde said into the phone receiver.
It hadn't taken him long to carry Bell from the Cemetery and to reach his car, but those few moments had been enough for her to lose a lot of blood. Once inside his car, he had sped away quickly, desperate to get to the hospital as fast as possible. Now as he drove he phoned Ragon.
"It's Bell," Clyde said into the phone which was wedged between his shoulder and ear.
He looked down at her, his eyes drawn to the thick dark blood that was seeping from a hole in her stomach.
"Sameth... he attacked her," Clyde said.
He was driving as fast as he could; one hand was on the wheel, and the other still pressed firm to Bell's stomach, trying to slow the bleeding, all the while listening intently for Bell's beating heart.
"I can't put her on," Clyde screamed, his foot pressing down further onto the accelerator as her pulse became thready.
"It's pretty bad," he said, "she's lost a lot of blood, and... and I can feel her heart slowing. I'm about five minutes away from the hospital."
"Wait," Clyde yelled into the phone.
For a few moments Clyde listened carefully, continuing to differentiate between the sound of Bell's heart, the traffic, and the silence at the other end of the line. Finally Ragon spoke again and Clyde took a deep breath.
"What if she can't make it to the hospital?" Clyde asked.
"You know what I mean," Clyde spat a moment later.
The instant he had voiced his concern, a long silence followed. He could still hear Ragon's fast breathing and so waited.
"Fine," Clyde said, hanging up quickly and glancing down at Bell again.
He didn't know why he cared for this mortal so much. Nor did he know why he was so desperate to save her. There was something special about her, something that drew him to her; she reminded him of an old love, one that he had been unable to save. He knew that Ragon hated being a vampire, hated everything that they stood for but how could he honestly think that the alternative was better? He took one quick look down at Bell, drawing similarities from her lifeless face and comparing it to a face he missed more than anything else in this world. Suddenly he heard her heart begin to churn and strain as it fought to continue to pump blood around her body. Instantly he began rolling up his sleeve; he would not make the same mistake twice. There was no way he was going to let her die.
"What happened," the horrified nurse asked, racing towards Clyde as he burst through the hospital doors, Bell clutched tightly in his arms.
For a moment Clyde hesitated. He couldn't say what had happened. How the hell was he supposed to explain that someone he had trusted had stabbed Bell and, that that person was also a vampire. Clyde shook his head, trying to force the anger out, as he focused on controlling his temper. A small snarl had ripped from his mouth and the nurse stepped back looking alarmed.
"I don't know; she's still breathing but..." Clyde said dumbly.
Did it really matter why Bell was bleeding to death; the fact was that she was and she needed help not stupid questions. The nurse had moved over quickly to the phone after she surveyed Bell. She didn't need to reach for her stethoscope or check her pulse to know that she needed a doctor: immediately.
"Calling Dr Ring to the nurse's station, Dr Ring, STAT!" she said and her voice was magnified around the hospital, screaming out through the strategically placed speakers on every corner so that it echoed eerily off into the distance.
In the time it took for the nurse to move back over to Bell, a swinging door was pushed open and a group of three people rushed over to where Clyde stood holding Bell's lifeless form.
"Here," an older man said to Clyde, indicating a mobile stretcher that another man was pushing closer.
In a second Clyde moved over and gently placed Bell onto it. He reached quickly for her hand, as the doctors began carrying her back towards the swinging doors, just as many nurses suddenly began shouting out vBellous vital signs.
"You can't come past here," the doctor said looking at Clyde sternly.
"I'm staying with her," Clyde replied, once again hoping to maintain his calm as his fists shook with rage.
He had no intention of leaving Bell, least of all after being told by this mortal. For a moment the doctor seemed to consider insisting, until a few shouted out vital signs made him glance down at Bell, seemingly distracted from Clyde's presence. Still clutched to Bell's hand, Clyde followed the emergency team through two sets of swing doors, trying to be as incognito as possible, while feeling her pulse with his finger. There were too many heartbeats faltering or racing in the hospital for him to differentiate Bell's from the rest and so he kept his fingers firmly in place, feeling the familiar whoosh of blood with each new heart beat.
"How long has she been bleeding for?" the doctor asked, his hands probing her body for any further injuries, while one hand remained firmly pressed against the hole in her stomach.
"Maybe ten minutes; no more," Clyde responded quickly.
"BP?" one of the other doctors yelled.
"Systolic 45," a tall older woman responded immediately.
A moment later and they entered a large theatre; in a second many new people were rushing around Bell, sticking needles into her, or placing intravenous cannulas as they continued to asses her. The feeling of someone's strange warm hand made Clyde jump until he realised that it belonged to one of the female doctors. Before he could stop himself he let out a small growl. She stopped instantly but placed a small probe onto one of Bell's fingers; soon the steady but slow beat of her heart was being displayed by a monitor. As soon as Clyde heard this he relinquished his hold of Bell, accepting the monitor's assurance that she still had a heartbeat. He knew that his holding her hand had been more for himself than her but it had assured him none the less. Standing pressed up against the theatre wall, Clyde watched as they stripped Bell's clothes to reveal the deep slice in her stomach. He was cursing himself for not listening to his gut instincts; he knew he should have given her his blood in the car ride over here, but like a fool, he had listened to Ragon and honoured his plea to give her a chance to survive as a human.
"We need you to leave," one of the doctors said again, when Bell's heart began to falter.
Instantly one of the men standing in the corner advanced on him, but he brushed him asides, holding his hands up in defeat and saying, "I'm going, I'm going."
"Push 2ml of epi; get that crash cart over here now," another of the doctors yelled.
Clyde moved over to Bell quickly; it was now or never.
"Please," Clyde said to the man who was moving back towards him, intent on making him leave. "I just have to say goodbye."
He would have continued anyway but a slow nod from the man gave him permission. The ring of the heart monitor in his ears acted as an enticer, convincing him that what he was about to do was the right thing. Reaching down low, he looked at Bell's white face. She was beautiful, even with torn clothes and stained flesh and, being this close to death. Quickly he kissed her, a soft kiss on the lips. As he did so, he bit down hard on his own lips, his fangs piercing his flesh, as small drops of blood spilled into Bell's lifeless mouth. The nurse standing closest seemed to watch curiously, but he had been careful to make sure they didn't see exactly what he was doing. As soon as he tasted his blood in her mouth he was satisfied
Back in the waiting room he met Ragon and the rest of the coven.
"What the hell happened?" Ragon roared, not noticing the wound on Clyde's lip that was already almost entirely healed as light pink tissue began to weave over the wound, sealing it shut.
The nurse at the station glared over at them, and Ragon lowered his voice, knowing that he could talk without being heard, but wanting to get some of his frustration out.
"What the hell happened?" he whispered again.
"Sameth," Clyde said. "That miserable bastard; he attacked her, stabbed her."
"Jesus! But why?" Ragon asked, his fists clenched by his side as he stared at Clyde.
"How the hell do I know; he's your friend," Clyde said defensively.
Ragon growled. Did Clyde think that he would have asked Sameth to come out to protect Bell if he had the slightest notion that he would harm her?
"How did you know?" Ragon asked.
This had been something that had been troubling him from the moment he had received the phone call from Clyde, telling him what had happened.
Clyde shrugged, "There was just something odd about him; he was so interested about her powers and when he volunteered to look after her tonight, it just didn't feel right, so I followed him."
"Where is Sameth now?" Ragon asked his eyes alight with fury as he scanned the hospital waiting room.
"In vampire hell," Clyde said. "I ripped his head off; his body is at your family mausoleum."
A long silence greeted these words. Everyone was uneasy. Killing a vampire wasn't something that you just did, especially not someone as old and as well connected as Sameth. If the Elders found out about it, there would be consequences.
"What did the doctors say?" Sandra asked, moving from the seat she had been sitting on to join Ragon and Clyde.
Clyde shrugged and Ragon was instantly suspicious.
"Well?" Sandra asked her hands on her hips.
"Not good, but they kicked me out. And I can't tell her heart from everyone else's here," Clyde said in frustration.
Ragon sat back down slowly onto the hospital waiting chair, his head in his hands. Right now he hated himself. The only girl he ever loved was fighting for her life and it was his fault. He reached one hand up to his hair and pulled hard, desperate for some sort of pain to act as a distraction. He didn't know how long he stayed like that. He didn't care that it would be morning at some point; he welcomed the sunshine that would bring an end to his suffering. But he couldn't give up on Bell yet. She was tough, a fighter and she was special: she couldn't die. After an unknown amount of time passed and when the frustration of not knowing overcame him; Ragon raced over to the nurse's station, trying to restrain himself from blurring towards it.
"How may I help?" the young nurse asked, double taking when she looked up to see Ragon.
Ragon looked at her indifferently. She was young, around 22, with long straight hair tied into a high pony tail. She had large dark eyes and an olive complexion.
"Bell Sol," Ragon said, his gut churning as he spoke her name. "She's here; she's been here for a while, but we don't know... how is she? Can we get someone out here to talk to us?"
The nurse was instantly sympathetic, reaching for the mouse in front of her computer.
After a moment of scrolling through a list of names she said, "Dr Wilson is her surgeon; she is in theatre 3. I'm sorry but that is all I know."
"Can't you get someone to come in here and tell us what the hell is going on?" Ragon asked, unable to keep his voice calm.
A family sitting near his coven turned to look at him and Sandra quickly moved over to the nurse's station and said, "I'm sorry honey; he's just really upset."
The nurse smiled sympathetically up at Ragon, who looked away. He was infuriated. He wanted to reach across the table and rip this girl's throat out and then rush to theatre 3 to be with Bell, killing anyone and everyone who stood in his way. Right now he didn't care if everyone knew what he was; or if Bell became a vampire, not if it meant that she was alive and they were together. He hated himself for telling Clyde not to turn her; it had been stupid, and now it was too late to change her, not without exposing what he was to a theatre full of surgeons. Trying to justify his actions bought on another wave of guilt and anxiety. It wasn't that he didn't want Bell to be a vampire; given the choice between being a vampire and being dead, he would have chosen vampire any day. The real reason was that he hadn't wanted it to be Clyde to change her. Glancing over at Clyde, who was sitting next to Cambridge looking out the window, he knew what he needed to do. Purposefully he walked over to him.
"Thank you," Ragon said simply, when he was standing in front of Clyde.
Clyde looked up at him. There was no smile on either of their faces. Clyde considered something for a moment; he was just about to confess that he had given Bell his blood, when suddenly a man undoing a face mask and wearing a long green surgeon's gown, walked purposefully towards the group. Everyone looked up in response.
"The next few hours are critical," the doctor said to the group. "She has lost a lot of blood; that kind of loss, even after we replace it, takes a toll on the organs. If blood was lost for too long..." he began, but seeing the stricken faces said, "I can't give you anything more than a guarded prognosis, I'm sorry; I have done everything I can. But there is still a chance; it's up to Bell now. One of you can visit her but only one. She is in an induced coma, please be gentle with her and no more than five minutes."
"I will go," Ragon said, but Clyde stood up.
"I bought her here; I saved her! Why should you be the one to..." Clyde began.
The surgeon looked from Ragon to Clyde, his face dropping as he considered revoking his offer to allow a visitor.
"Clyde," Larissa hissed, "this isn't funny! Ragon actually cares about Bell; don't ruin this chance for him. God forbid anything happens..." she said trailing off.
Clyde looked murderous for a moment but then moved towards the exit, hiding his broken face from the coven. The doctor seemed satisfied and so went back to the ward, where his other patients were waiting for him to complete his rounds.
Pushing the swinging doors open that he had carried Bell through what felt like an eternity ago, he said, "You should know, just because you told me to, I wasn't going to let Bell die."
The coven watched as Clyde walked out of the hospital; realising what he had done.
"Where are you going?" Larissa asked his retreating back.
"To clean up my mess," Clyde said, not turning around as he left, thinking about the vampire parts that were in the Ragon's family mausoleum.
The very instant that Ragon saw Bell he broke down. She was whiter than a ghost, her skin perfectly matching the sterile hospital walls, with tubes coming and going from her in every which way. For a moment his hungry eyes raked a thick red tube that was going into a vein in her arm. The blood smelt sweet tasting but foreign, but he still had to restrain himself from unsheathing his fangs. When he was quite certain that he had his urges under control, he inched towards her. A shaky hand touched hers and he was shocked to feel how cold she was, even colder than he. Kneeling down besides' her bed, he forced her flaccid hand into his. She did not stir and so he let the tears which had been clinging to his eyelashes fall free, hoping that she wouldn't wake to see him crying but at the same time, desperate for her to open her eyes and be alright.
For a few moments these giant tears escaped him and he clung desperately onto Bell, his hand tightening against her white fingers. He loved her. Yet now as he looked at her, it became more painfully obvious than ever before just how fragile she was. For a moment the image of a rose flashed to him; the delicate red petals, so easily bruised, even with the slightest of touches. This was how he now saw Bell: like a china doll. And he was a child who wanted so desperately to love it. But there was no one to keep the toy out of reach, no one to restrain him, or protect her. It was up to him to make sure that nothing like this ever happened again, from himself or otherwise; she meant too much to him.
At this point Clyde's words flashed to his head, and he looked at Bell curiously. If she didn't make it; if she didn't survive, did she still have a chance at existing as a vampire; just like him? But he couldn't think about that; he had spent too long protecting him from his world, to let her drown in it now. 22 years ago, when Bell had been a few years old, he had saved her from Kiara. He had spent the years that followed watching and protecting her, by making sure that no harm came to her. Now as he looked at this miraculous girl, he couldn't help but love and fear for her more than ever. For a while he continued to stare at her, desperation plaguing his face, until a soft knock on the door had him standing on his feet defensively. It was the pretty nurse who he had spoken to before.
"I'm sorry to interrupt but the doctors told me that you will need to leave now," she said quietly.
"Can't I just stay with her?" Ragon pleaded, looking back down at Bell's empty face.
"I'm sorry, they told me only five minutes and it has already been fifteen," the nurse said, looking down at her shoes sheepishly.
Ragon sighed. Brushing the tears away from his face he lent down and kissed her on the cheek, hovering for a moment near her face so as to breathe in her perfectly mortal scent. There was a large tube coming from her mouth and into a ventilator, for a moment he watched the bag attached to this rise and fall, as her chest followed its lead. The nurse who had been watching held the door open for him, when finally he was able to pull himself away.
"We need you to fill in some forms for us," she said, gently touching her hand to his shoulder.
Ragon nodded, still looking at Bell, until the door was closed behind him.
It was just before sunrise when Ragon left the hospital.
"You're no good to her dead," Sandra had whispered at him, after he had insisted on staying.
Eventually the combined efforts of Cambridge and Thomas were enough to drag him from the waiting room and he sat between Larissa and Sandra in the back of the car, feeling more miserable than ever before. As soon as he got home he went straight to Bell's room and closed the door. He didn't want to see or talk to anyone. For a while Sandra remained in the living room, pacing along the hallway, as she fought with the desire to check on him, but as soon as the sun began to come up she ran up to her bedroom and quickly closed the door.
Inside Bell's room Ragon hugged a pillow. His mind was troubled; why the hell would Sameth betray him like this? Why would he want Bell dead? It didn't make any sense. But it wasn't just that; what was she? How was she able to slow down time? This he felt, was the key to everything.