En ny Borjan Ch. 07byAddicted2Writing©
Later that afternoon I was finally able to call Vic to tell him about my injuries, and I made him promise not to tell Dad; I would tell him when I got there at Christmas, only if Dad was himself again.
Then I started thinking about Alex, then I worried about Alex, then I cried over Alex. At that point I wished I had the morphine, but the Dilaudid was given by the nurse straight into the I.V. tube so I just had to bear it. Soon the nurse came in and removed the catheter, though peeing hadn't even crossed my mind; I never had to go. She helped me up, and I put a little weight on my ankle to test it, but that wasn't the problem. My broken rib and the place where my spleen used to be made me double over and groan. It was hard walking only because I was using one eye, but I made it to the bathroom, painstakingly slow.
As she walked me back to bed she told me a physical therapist would be in for my first scenic tour of the ward, as was procedure after such surgery. With the pain I was in simply going to the bathroom, I wasn't looking forward to walking more than two minutes.
When I was alone again I stared out the window. Not telling Alex about Steve was a big mistake, I realized then. I vowed never to keep things from him again.
Michelle, the physical therapist came in, first giving me instructions on how to maneuver my ankle to strengthen it. Then she helped me up, gave me the stand that held the bags of whatever it was they were still giving me, and I scooted out of the room like an invalid. After only a minute or so the pain crept in in waves, and I doubled over again. I begged to stop and go back, but Michelle pressed me on. Making it to the end of the nurse's station I was practically in tears. She might have seemed nice at first, but then I was starting to hate her.
"Why don't you get a wheelchair and I'll help this lovely young lady back to her room," came a voice, though I didn't recognize it.
"Mr. Skarsgard, I appreciate–" the nurse started to say.
Forcing myself to look up it was Stellan. I would have smiled if I weren't in so much pain.
Another nurse came up and shook Stellan's hand. "Mr. Skarsgard, I'm Cyndi, the head nurse. I'll be happy to get her a wheelchair." Sure you would. You'd be happy to get him something else too, the way you are getting all googly-eyed over him. "Michelle, get her a wheelchair."
"You look like you need help, Hildie," Stellan commented. "Mind if give you a hand ... arm, actually?"
I shook my head, about to reply when a wave a nausea flooded my stomach, my face suddenly flushed with heat. Groaning, I reached out my hand to nothing in specific, when Stellan took my hand, slid his other around my waist and held me up. "Don't you move," he said softly. "Ah, here's the wheelchair." He helped me sit, but it didn't make the pain any better. "Let's get you back."
"Sir, that's not necessary," Michelle said.
"What's not necessary is keeping this woman in the hallway when she's in so much pain," Stellan told her. I wasn't used to anyone being so assertive; in Virginia everyone is so polite, doesn't argue and just puts up with it.
"If you insist. I'll talk with your nurse to bring you something for the pain, Hildie." She turned to Stellan. "But please, let me get her back in bed. She's still very weak."
"Of course. Thank you very much."
Wow, these Skarsgard men could charm the pants off any woman.
By the time I got back into bed, the pain was unbearable, but only until the nurse gave me Dilaudid. The painkiller made my head light, my body lighter. "Ah, so much better," I giggled then groaned.
Stellan asked the nurse if he could have a few minutes alone with me, so I brought the head of the bed. "I hope you don't mind ..." He nodded his head to the door.
"Not at all. I appreciated it."
"Well, I've got some good news about Alex I couldn't wait to tell you."
"Really?!" My body had grown completely numb, my head was spinning, I could barely keep my eyes open, but I had to stay awake. "How is he?"
"He had another scan this afternoon, the bleeding has completely stopped."
"Oh." I sighed, my eyes moist. "Thank god."
"Indeed. They'll wean him off the Ketamine in the morning, and he should be awake by the afternoon."
I cried happy tears. "Mr. Skarsgard, I am so, so sorry about Alex. I wish there was something I could do."
"That's the other thing I wanted to say. There is something you can do."
I slept well that night, though the pain woke me a few times. The nurse would dope me up again, and I'd go right back to sleep. In the early morning I had my first meal: tasteless, crunchy eggs, burnt toast, a spoiled banana and pulpy orange juice. Okay, not really, but I guessed my taste buds were just messed up.
As sleepy as I was then, two detectives came to ask questions about what had happened with Steve. I told them all I knew, took their card in case I remembered anything more then finally slept again.
Michelle came back, and we took a walk, then I slept, hoping the day would go faster. It didn't. I've never been a patient person at some things, and the day was going by too damned slow. The only thing I had to look forward to was maybe seeing Alex. Stellan had told me that he'd do his best to allow me to see him after he'd woken up on his own. So I justified sleeping so much to make sure I had enough strength to see him.
Only after I finished dinner could I not sleep, strictly because I hadn't heard from anyone about Alex. Staring out the window I watched the sun set, starting to worry that something bad had happened.
The nurse came in to check my vitals. "Looks like you are going on a little field trip," she announced as she checked my blood pressure. She frowned. "Hmm, your BP is a bit high. Let me get you a little something to–"
"No, I'm fine. I'm just ... excited." And I was; I had the biggest smile on my face I think I'd ever had.
"And that's exactly why you need something. You stay put. I'll be right back."
Slowly I sat up to prepare myself to get on my feet, but a man about my age came in pushing a wheelchair; it had a stake with hooks at the top, again for the bags, probably. "Ms. Larssen, I presume." He stopped when he reached the bed and stood beside it. "I'm Bill Skarsgard, at your service."
I was completely taken aback. After Bill's antics with Alex when he called me from Stockholm I thought he'd be annoying. Again, another charming Skarsgard. "Hi. Is Alex awake yet?"
"Yes, he was when I left, and he won't shut up about you, either."
Okay, minus one charming Skarsgard.
"Alright." The nurse came back holding a tray. "Can you meet us outside?" When Bill left she said, "I'm only giving you half a milligram so it won't put you to sleep, just take the edge off."
She put the bags to the hooks on the back of the chair and wheeled me out to the hallway, where Bill took the handles and started to push me down the hallway. As we got off the elevator and went down the hall my heart started to pound. It was pure joy seeing Alex, but it was also nerves; everything I was going to say was forgotten.
Stellan stepped out from behind a curtain and smiled when he saw me. "Bill, I'll take her from here"
"Aw, I wanted to see my favorite brother–"
"And I'm sure he'd want to see the brother he never wanted," I heard myself say, though I didn't apologize. Bill disappeared behind the curtain Stellan had come from. I kept staring at it, wanting to get up and run in there to see him, in theory, anyway.
Stellan laughed. "You're feisty," he said. "Now I know why Alex likes you so much." He took the handles and pushed me toward chairs closer to the curtains. "Hildie, I wanted talk to you about Alex," he said as he sat down. "I didn't want to upset you earlier, but he had a tracheotomy–"
I knew it, something has gone wrong. "What? Why?"
"With him being on Ketamine he needed assistance breathing. No worries. The doctor just took it out." I instantly relaxed, while he chuckled. "The first thing he said was your name. I didn't want you to have any surprises when you saw him." Alex has given me many surprises since the day I met him. "He's still a little ... out of it, but he will be fine. His mother My is in the bathroom, but we'll leave you two alone for a bit."
Okay, this is too much too soon. I knew I'd probably meet them when ... if we made it to Sweden, but not then. He must have read the tension in my face, but he didn't say anything.
"Mr. Skarsgard–" I started.
"Stellan, I told you."
I grinned. "Stellan. Thank you for being so kind and thoughtful and for letting me see Alex."
"My dear," he said as he stood, lovingly squeezed my shoulder then pushed me toward Alex's curtain, "Thank you for making my son happy."
I would have cried if Bill hadn't pulled the curtain wide for us to come in. As Stellan passed Bill, he said, "Bete sig själv, Bill. Hon sparkar din åsna om du inte gör det."
Then I heard a laugh, a familiar, sorely missed laugh, although hoarse. Looking toward the sound I saw Alex sitting up, a huge smile on his face. But when he saw me his smile vanished. "Hildie."
As much as I tried I couldn't speak. He looked okay to me, more than okay, actually. The only indication that he was hurt at all was the cotton neck brace with a little bit of a bandage below it from the breathing tube.
Stellan pushed me beside the bed sideways, lowered the bed rail, then Alex scooted over as close to the edge as he could. "You two take your time," Stellan said. "Holler for me when you're ready to go back to your room, Hildie."
I never want to leave Alex again. I nodded, never losing eye contact with Alex. When we were alone I said barely above a whisper, "Hey."
"Hildie." His voice was heavy with compassion. Looking at the bandage over my left eye he said, "Or should I call you Jackie Sparrow?" I noticed that although he spoke English, his accent was thick with Swedish, a little slurred, but just barely.
Only when I took his hand and squeezed it did I get his joke. "Ms. Sparrow will be just fine." I laughed then groaned loudly from the pain in my stomach.
"Hil, baby, are you okay?" he asked alarmed. "What happened to you? I was so worried about you. Nobody told me a fucking thing, other than Dad saying–"
Holding my side I said, "It hurts when I laugh, is all. I'm better now that I'm here." Without looking at him, I told him when Steve kicked me he broke a rib, and when he pulled me a few feet the rib ruptured my spleen. I said my ankle was fine, but didn't know about my eye, but planned to ask the doctor when I next saw him.
"Did ... Did he touch you?"
"What? No, no. You came–" I looked away to avoid him seeing my own eyes tear up. "I didn't mean for you to get hurt, Alex."
With his other hand he put his palm on my right cheek, his fingers behind my ear and pulled my head to face him; I closed my eyes. "Hildie, look at me." His voice was so soft and melodic, since he still had his accent. I couldn't look at him, I just couldn't; I was too ashamed. "Hildie Larssen, I said look at me."
I shook my head before I opened my eyes, focusing on his nose. He brought his head down a little so our eyes did meet, his face grimaced in pain. "I never believed one word of it, what you said about not loving me."
"I know why you did what you did. But I wasn't going to let you get away that easily. Seeing you on the floor killed me; it should have been me."
"No, no. Don't say that." A tear fell down my cheek, and he wiped it away with the back of his fingers. "I didn't want you involved at all." He moaned and laid his head on the pillow, my hand still in his, both of us holding tightly. "I'm so glad you're okay."
"I'd be much better if I could get a kiss." I smiled. "God, I've missed your smile."
"You forgive me?"
"Kiss me, and I'll think about it." He smirked.
I had only been up for ten minutes, but I was starting to hurt a little. It didn't matter. I wasn't going to pass on giving him a kiss, considering all I'd put him through. Taking a breath, I let go of his hand, gripped the arms of the chair and pushed myself up. I was shocked at how weak my arms were; they were shaking. Leaning forward my stomach screamed at me. I groaned and fell on the mattress, my arms holding me up.
"Easy, easy, Hil."
"Hold ... on a second," I moaned as he took my arm. Resting more on my right side, I found a halfway comfortable position right by his head. Without a word I managed to bring my right arm around, took his hand and barely brushed my bottom lip to his. Immediately he took my upper lip between his, placed his hand on my cheek and began kneading my scalp right below my ear. I settled in as we kissed, all of my worries and pain gone.
Then suddenly, and for some odd reason I started crying. He pushed my head away, just inches from him and cooed, "Hey, hey. You need to get back to bed if you're hurting."
"No, no. They're ... happy tears. I didn't ... I don't want to lose you, Alex."
He kissed my forehead. "You won't lose me, baby. Now please, get back in the chair. Dad?"
I hated hearing his name; I wasn't ready to leave Alex. But Stellan came in and exclaimed, "What the hell happened?"
"Dad, it's okay. She's alright," Alex told him, though now his voice was weak and tired.
Stellan helped me back in the chair, and only then did I realize how weak and tired my own body was. What was worse was I felt a headache coming on.
"Come on," Stellan said, his voice light. "Back to your castle."
He turned the wheelchair but I stopped him when I said, "Wait. Alex?" I was turned back around to face him. "I love you."
He smiled, his body melted into the mattress, and he replied, "I love you too, Hildie."
"And with that," Stellan started, "I whisk thee fair princess away."
"Dad," Alex complained before he chuckled.
We passed Bill and a woman in the hallway, stopping beside their chairs. "Hildie, this is My, Alex's mother."
"Hello, Hildie. I hope you are feeling better." Although her voice was genuine, her facial expression spoke otherwise.
"I am. Thank you."
"Bill?" Stellan said, looking at his son.
He cleared his throat. "Alex is my older brother, Hildie. I look up to him, and sometimes I can be ..."
"A shit?" Stellan intervened.
"Yes, at times. I apologize for–"
"Bill, thank you, but there's no need for that," I told him, yet with every word my head pounded, and I had to put my head in my hand, my elbow on the arm rest. "I have an older brother, and I tease him relentlessly too. Don't worry about it."
Bill smiled, his mother wished me goodnight, and Stellan told them he'd be right back. As we got on the elevator, I asked him what he had said to Bill that made Alex laugh. "Ah, I told him to behave himself, or I wouldn't stop myself from Alex kicking his ass."
That Sunday night I slept as well as I did when I'd sleep with Alex in my arms. The following morning Dr. Nguyen came in to check on me and was satisfied that my wound were indeed healing properly with the stitches. He told me I didn't need to be plugged into the bags anymore, took the bandage off of my eye then checked it with a pen light. He said the eye looked fine but to notify the nurse if I lost vision. Before he left he wanted me to get up and walk more, and if I did he was hopeful I'd be home by Tuesday. So I ate breakfast, which actually tasted a little better, which I attributed to knowing Alex was going to be okay.
Michelle came by for my walk around noon, but I had to use the bathroom first. Trying to avoid the mirror, I did catch a glimpse as I passed. The bruise next to my eye, covering my upper cheek, was about the size of an orange; the purple-blue-black spot spread under my eye, both areas swollen. I groaned, hoping maybe makeup would cover them.
As I took more steps out into the hallway, Michelle kept a light hold of my upper arm, though the pain wasn't as bad as it had been before, but my broken rib still reminded me not to push myself too much.
Just as we reached a few rooms past the nurse's station a woman, My as it turned out, rushed up to me screaming in Swedish, her finger right at my nose. Her eyes were red and swollen, as was her nose; she'd been crying. In a way she had every right to be upset with me, I understood that. But for her to be in my face like she was, that I didn't understand.
Michelle stepped between us, telling me to go back to my room. I wanted to know why she was so upset, yet something told me I didn't want to know. "Michelle, wait. Mrs.–"
My didn't even hear me, she just kept yelling as she started to cry. "You! Alex!" She was clearly livid, her face now red with rage. I knew there was no talking with her, so I turned to go back to my room. She got in my face again, but I couldn't look at her. Suddenly her voice got strained as it faded a little.
"I'm sorry, Hildie." When I did look Stellan was pulling My down the hallway, speaking in Swedish, and he wasn't pleased either.
Michelle took me back to my room and I was as upset as My was. When she left I tried to calm down, but so many thoughts ran through my head. I wanted to call Alex's room, though I didn't know how, and I knew the nurses wouldn't tell me anything if it was Alex. It couldn't have been, though, he was fine last night. But why would Stellan have pulled My off of me? Why was My angry with me?
The nurse came in with a syringe, but I didn't want to sleep. Although all I wanted was to know what the hell had just happened, I didn't object when she inserted the needle in the tube taped to the back of my hand at my vein. I went right to sleep.
When I woke up later the sun was still out, and there was some kind of food on the tray, dinner; food was the last thing I wanted. I wanted Alex. I stared out the window, praying for him to be alright.
"Hildie?" I heard, though I ignored them. There was a scooting of a chair on the other side of the bed from where I was staring. I recognized it was Stellan from the corner of my eye. "Hildie, I apologize for My's behavior. She was just upset over Alex." Oh, no kidding. "Listen, I am going to be completely honest with you. Alex is her baby, being her first child. She had hopes for him that were ... not what he wanted. She has a little trouble ... accepting his girlfriends. Accepting his girlfriends? It's not her choice, I was thinking, but kept quiet.
He waited until the orderly that came in removed the tray of untouched food and left before he continued. "You know he loves you, and I can tell how much you care for him. But–"
"You don't want me to see him anymore." I hardly believed those words came out of my mouth, but when they did my voice cracked, and I started crying.
"Oh, no, no, Hildie." He stood up and put his hand gently on my shoulder. "I'm not saying that at all." He sighed heavily. "It's just ... After you left last night Alex complained of a severe headache. They gave him aspirin, but within hours he had a seizure."
I sharply turned my head to look at him. "What?!"
"With medication it stopped, and they took another CT scan. A blood clot formed where he was hit, but he had surgery and they were able to remove it."
"Is ... he okay?"
"Yes. Yes he is. I wanted to wait until a little later tonight to tell you, but My spoiled that. He's awake and talking and asking about you."
Only then did I sigh in relief and relaxed, though tears kept falling. "Tell him ... Please tell him I'm thinking about him, and hope he's feeling better."
Stellan nodded but then I heard, "You can tell him yourself."
It took me a second to focus on Alex through my tears, who had walked in the room and stood beside his dad. He was wearing a blue and light tan paisley, knee-length robe. Looking over his face he was as pale as Eric Northman, dark circles under his eyes, but his eyes were bright.