tagNovels and NovellasLady in Red Ch. 15

Lady in Red Ch. 15


Paula had to smile as she hugged Steve. Lisa wasn't the only female in the family that enjoyed teasing. To his credit, Steve remained very still as her breast pressed against his hand.

"Gwen, you can't begrudge everyone the opportunity to hug this fine young man. Who knew that he could play the piano and sing like he did? He's a very handy man to have around, don't you think?"

"Mom! I know what you're doing and the joke you're making. Now let him go, so we can get home," insisted Gwen.

"Just a minute, Sis. You're not going to try to stop me from getting my hug, are you," laughed Lisa as she stepped into Steve's arms. "You're right, Kate! This guy is very fresh. To think he did this to Aunt Diane, Mom and even Stephanie. Gwen, your boyfriend has been copping feels of the entire family!"

"That's what I've been saying. I hear you enjoyed putting his tie on for him earlier. Well, I'll be the one taking it off tonight. Quit squirming against him and let go. Look how red his face is," pointed out Gwen. "You might put him back in the hospital if you don't release him pretty soon."

"Lisa, let me give the guy a hug. As his doctor, I'll be able to determine if he needs another transfusion," suggested Laura as she stepped in against Steve when Lisa released him. "No problem, Gwen. His blood supply and pressure seem to be excellent. If anything, he may need a little pressure relief. His hand also seems to be working quite well. Steve, I have to insist that you release that little nubbin right now."

Steve's determination to not let the ladies get his goat dissolved as Laura made her joke. He stepped away and turned his back on the grinning ladies as he willed his cock to go soft. He wanted to reposition it, but dared not try it with so many eyes on him.

"That's a job for his care givers, isn't it, Laura? We need to get him home and change his bandages and give him some relief. I'll take the first turn since it's so late and Gwen looks as tired as Steve. By the way, I don't even know how to tie a tie like that, so it wasn't me. But I'll be more than happy to remove it."

Gwen turned to look at her mother who just smiled and shrugged her shoulders. Diane, Stephanie, and Kate were off to the side whispering and laughing as they kept looking at Steve.

"Mother, I'll speak to you later! Lisa, I am NOT that tired and I will be Steve's primary care giver, with emphasis on primary to the point of being the only care giver. Believe me when I tell you that I can handle it all, I mean all of it. I mean I can take care of him!" laughed Gwen.

Steve didn't know whether to laugh or cry at the ongoing bantering directed at his expense, so he hobbled to the car and carefully climbed into the back seat as Ted sat behind the wheel.

"What's taking them so long?" wondered Ted. "Why's everything such a big production with women? How hard is it to get into the car and go home?"

"How about I sit on Steve's lap instead of getting in that little seat in the back?" suggested Kate as the women opened the car doors to climb in.

"I don't think that would be safe right now," grinned Lisa. "He's shown us how well he can play the piano, even with an injured shoulder. He has amazing hands, as we all can verify. He's also under a lot of pressure, so we need to be careful with him. If sitting back there is so repugnant, I'll sit on his lap."

"Lisa, he's been shot, practically in the groin. No one will be sitting on his lap," admonished Paula. "It's time to settle down and give Steve some consideration."

"The two of you singing together was incredible. We've been too busy kidding around to tell you how great you both sounded. People were crying, they were so moved by your performance. I was one of them. I'm so proud of you kids and the amazing things you've accomplished this year. Everyone keeps telling us that they've never seen anything like it. You keep surprising people with new talents and skills. I never dreamed that Steve could play the piano, let alone sing like a cross between Elvis and Paul McCartney."

By the time Steve limped into the Anderson home, he was sore and exhausted. He turned to go into Kate's bedroom. He was using hers so he would not have to navigate the stairs. Kate was doubling up with Gwen.

"I'll be in to change your dressings once I get into something more comfortable," promised Gwen as she headed up the stairs.

Steve closed the door and unbuckled his belt. He allowed his trousers to drop and stepped out of them. With some effort, he bent over and picked them up and laid them on a chair. Then he managed to remove his sling with his good arm, smiled as he untied his tie, and unbuttoned his shirt and removed it. Clad only in his boxers, he gazed into the mirror. His chest was tender but appeared to be okay. The bandage on his right leg was red from blood, as was the right leg of his boxer shorts. This concerned him.

There was a rap on the door and then it opened. "I see you're ready for us to work on your bandages. Uh oh, it looks like you're bleeding some. I hope your artery isn't leaking again," worried Paula as she spread an old towel on the bed.

"Sit on that towel and let me take a look. I'll have to remove this bandage first and..."

"Mom! What are you doing here? I'm perfectly capable of taking care of Steve. I insist that you leave us alone," demanded Gwen.

"Gwen, calm down. I understand your desire to take care of Steve, but this is pretty important and I feel absolutely compelled to make sure he is healing properly. He's under our roof and I don't want any problems with his recovery. I'll help you a time or two and then leave you alone, if you insist."

"You're right, Mom. I'm sorry for being so selfish. Look! He's been bleeding again. Sit down so we can get this bandage off. I knew you shouldn't have been walking around. Hugging every woman in town didn't help any, either."

Gwen carefully cut away Steve's dressings while Paula observed. Once they had the old bandage off, Gwen carefully cleaned the wound the way Laura had shown her. Steve was using his good hand to hold his genitals up and away from the injured area. Paula then handed Gwen the necessary pads and gauze to rewrap the wound.

"That's a nasty injury. I can only guess how it looked when Gwen first tried to stop the bleeding after you were shot. It looks to be healing okay and the blood was from the tissue and not the artery. That's a good thing. Gwen, you did an excellent job. You'll make a very good doctor. Now let's work on that shoulder."

Twenty minutes later, Gwen put the finishing touches on Steve's shoulder bandage and turned to her mother. "Now you have an idea of what Steve went through for the rest of us. Those were bullet holes, Mom. He could have been killed. His chest is still discolored from where that bullet hit the locket I gave him. He came very close to dying!"

"You're right, Gwen. This was an eye opener for me. You did a very good job on his injuries and I feel comfortable letting you take care of him. I want both of you to remember that you're in Ted's and my house, so don't do anything foolish. Just be careful and use common sense, and remember that Kate's door doesn't lock since she and Stephanie broke the latch over a year ago. Someone can walk in at any time. Good night, kids, and don't stay up too late. Steve needs his rest in order to heal."

After Paula left, Gwen leaned in and kissed Steve tenderly. "God, Steve, you do things to me! I've seen you almost die twice, and both times you were helping save the lives of others. You have to be more careful. I don't know what I'd do if I Lost you."

"Kate suggested while you're taking care of me I should tell you how much I love you, Gwen. The problem is that I can't tell you how much I love you because I have no words for that much love. You mean everything to me. I love you as much as a person can love another, and maybe a little more."

"Oh!" gasped Gwen as she leaned in to kiss Steve again. "I love you, too. I can't believe I feel this way. I've never felt like this before and it scares me, but I trust you, Steve, to not ever hurt me. I couldn't stand it if you ever stopped loving me."

Gwen was kissing Steve again when they heard a voice. "I had to get my toothbrush and comb and stuff. Don't let me bother you, as if I could. Remember that I'm the one that's supposed to be sleeping with you, Gwen. Don't come to bed real late and wake me up, unless you want to tell me everything you were doing. Lisa asked me about catching you guys making out the night Mom took Dad shopping. She said that you told her. I was keeping it a secret. You guys want to watch a movie or something?"

"Kate! It's after eleven and Steve's tired."

"Gwen, let's watch one. I can see the TV good from right here and you girls can sit next to me. It'll be good to unwind after that memorial. I haven't seen Kate much this week and I've missed her. Kate, please put a movie on. Gwen, come over and snuggle close to me."

Paula woke up around 1 AM and decided to be sure that Gwen was in bed with Kate. She noticed a light coming from the room Steve was using and went down to investigate. She was only slightly surprised to find two daughters, Kate and Gwen, fast asleep. They were crowded on the queen size bed with Steve sleeping between them. Kate had an arm over Steve's chest and Steve had his good arm draped around Gwen with his hand resting on her breasts. Smiling, Paula turned off the TV and returned to bed.

Kate was the first to stir the next morning. She woke in her own room, but felt someone next to her. Remembering the previous night, she opened her eyes to find Steve still asleep. Her right hand was resting on his chest. Then Kate noticed Steve's left hand was clutching Gwen's left breast through her pajamas. Kate leaned over and kissed Steve on the cheek. His eyes slowly opened.

"Good morning! I finally got to wake up with you in my bed! That was awesome. How about a little kiss for me, Big Guy?"

"How about some breakfast, if you girls can pry yourselves away from Steve," offered Paula from the doorway as Gwen began rubbing her eyes. "You'll probably have to release Gwen, Steve, or she won't be able to get up."

Steve and Gwen both looked down to see her left breast firmly grasped by Steve's left hand. Steve quickly released the handful of female charm and tucked his hand behind his back while he blushed. Gwen let out a small chuckle and leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

After the kiss, Gwen whispered in Steve's ear, "I love you!" and then kissed him again. Steve remained still as he waited to see Paula's reaction. She obviously had seen him holding Gwen's breast.

"Girls, get upstairs and get dressed. Steve needs some privacy. And hurry because breakfast is almost ready and I've got plenty. I hope you like bacon, eggs, pancakes, juice, and sausage, Steve."

Steve was on his second helping when the Anderson phone rang. Kate got up to answer it and then called Gwen into the next room. Gwen returned a few minutes later with tears in her eyes.

"That was Jane Booth's father on the phone. He asked if we would sing 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' at her funeral today. I could tell that he was trying not to cry when he asked. I told him we'd be honored to do that for Jane. I hope I didn't overstep my boundaries, Steve, but I just couldn't refuse him."

"You know I won't mind. We were going to go to the funeral today and pay our respects to our friend and classmate. We'll just plan on doing that song. You do such an incredible job with it; I'm not surprised he asked. You were great last night."

So it came to pass that Steve was seated at the old piano in the Methodist church with Gwen standing behind him. She held a microphone and Steve had one placed in front of him. He nodded to Gwen and began playing. Gwen delivered an extremely moving rendition of the song. He joined her for the chorus, the part that he sang solo the previous evening when Gwen became too emotional to continue.

As he finished playing, Steve realized that Gwen had been absolutely unbelievable. Those in attendance were totally silent except for the many sobs that echoed in the church. It was a fairly large church and almost every Sparta high school senior was in attendance. It was actually slightly awkward because many felt that they should applaud but were unsure if that would be appropriate at a funeral.

Jane's parents rose and came forward to embrace a teary-eyed Gwen, and then Steve. "Thank you so much!" sobbed Mrs. Booth as she hugged Gwen. "Jane admired you and spoke of you often. What you've done for this community is beyond description. Keep up the good work."

Steve and Gwen had very little down time before they had to drive several blocks to attend Len Collin's funeral. Gwen cried openly on Steve's shoulder as the minister spoke of Len's life and tragic death. After the service quite a few people thanked Gwen and Steve for their actions that fateful day.

"You kids saved my daughter's life. She's a sophomore and was right above the gym when everything hit the fan. I can't even imagine the pain this community avoided because you two were so level headed and capable," praised a middle aged man with tears on his cheeks. "The Spartan Nation, as we now call it, owes you both a huge debt. Thank you both so much!"

His feelings were echoed by others as Gwen and Steve moved toward the exit. People were grieving for the dead, but were extremely thankful that so many were spared.

"Tomorrow is Tim's funeral," sobbed Gwen as they slowly made their way to their car. "I can't believe how difficult this is. It's breaking my heart, Steve. What would have happened to me if you had died on that gym floor? I wonder if I would have survived. How do we go back to school Wednesday knowing we have friends that we'll never see again? How about going back into that gym? I don't know if I can do it."

"Life is so precious because it ends. We can't change that. We have to live our lives the best way we can and that's all we can do. You'll go back to school, and even return to that gym. The other kids will be watching you, looking to you for guidance and strength. You have to be strong for them. It's a lot of responsibility, but you've earned it with your ability to think and act clearly and decisively in emergencies. For better or worse, you're the face of the Spartan Nation, the unofficial leader."

"If I'm the leader, then what are you, Steve? You're my rock, the source of any strength I may have. I follow your lead and people know that. Before you came to Sparta, I was nothing special in any way. You made me whatever it is that I am. You're the face of the Spartan Nation. I know that."

"Gwen, I didn't make you anything. You were brave, strong, smart and beautiful before I came to this town. You already had a great voice and were trained in dance. All I did was give you the chance to show how you could shine. You're the product of a loving family that gave you great genes and opportunities that you honed into the woman you are today. You don't need me to be great. It's inside you and it's being drawn out by circumstances beyond your control. I watch how you are with people and marvel at your skills. You're amazing!"

"Let's compromise then," suggested Gwen. "Together, we're doing pretty well. We complement each other very nicely. You're brave, tough, smart, decisive, and compassionate. You help fill in the voids and inexperience I have. We're at our best when we're together, and don't you forget it!"

"Excuse me?" politely asked a man that had worked his way through the crowd to speak with Gwen and Steve. "I'm Tim Reynolds's father. I heard you perform at the memorial last night and again earlier today at Jane's funeral. Would it be too much to ask that you sing that 'Let it Be' song tomorrow at my son's funeral? We're Baptist and sing a lot of hymns and spirituals, and that song would fit right in. It's a mostly black church, but you'd be welcome for sure."

"Sir, a black friend saved my life in that attack. He took two bullets intended for me. Steve told him that they're brothers now. We have absolutely no concerns about attending a mostly black church or function," assured Gwen.

"I'm a military brat," added Steve. "Growing up, many of my friends were Hispanic, black and even Muslim. I learned long ago to judge a person by their words and actions and not by race or religion. We'd consider it an honor to play at Tim's funeral, and we're deeply sorry that this tragedy ever occurred. He was a good guy."

"Thanks! You've no idea what this'll mean to my family. My wife insisted that I ask you. She was worried that you'd be uncomfortable in a black community church. What you two managed to do the day of that attack was incredible. I see how you limp when you walk and that your shoulder's in a sling when you aren't playing the piano. I know you were hit pretty hard a couple times that day, yet you managed to kill those men that killed and hurt innocent students and teachers. I'm praying that I'll be able to forgive them someday, but right now, I'm just glad that they're dead."

Lisa was the only one at home when Gwen and Steve returned to the Anderson's. She immediately picked up on how saddened Gwen and Steve were.

"I have to leave for school in a little while. I took a couple days off to see if I could help you guys through a tough time, and to be sure Steve would be okay. When I heard you were shot twice in that attack, my heart just about stopped. When I saw Gwen on television rallying the Spartan Nation to donate blood, my heart almost burst with pride. You are both incredible individuals, but together you're absolutely amazing.

"Steve, go get undressed and Gwen and I will redo your bandages. Wait a minute and I'll undo your tie," teased Lisa as she stepped close to Steve and began fumbling with his tie.

"I know what you're doing, Lisa. I was the one that tied it this morning, although I almost had to fight mother for the chance. You seem to be taking an awfully long time, and you're not even wearing a bra! Steve, can you find it in your heart to forgive my sister?"

"I'm sorry, Gwen. Were you talking to me? I'm having trouble concentrating, and I feel light headed," grinned Steve.

"Well no wonder! You've sent what little blood you have away from your head, your big head, that is. You'll need another transfusion if Lisa doesn't back off pretty soon!"

"Sis, I'm getting the impression that this guy doesn't have a little head! He has a big head and a bigger head. You're such a lucky girl! There, I'm done. Now go get undressed and we'll be in to take care of you."

Steve was once again stripped to his boxers as he waited for the sisters. He felt some concern that Lisa would tease him too much and embarrass him, but knew he had to be a good sport regardless of her words. He loved her. He knew that. He also knew that Gwen was the sister he loved and wanted the most, and that would never change.

He was quite surprised when the girls came into his room wearing bikinis. "I've spent some time in hospitals lately and I've never seen nurses dressed like that. Is that supposed to raise my spirits and help me heal?"

"I'm thinking that we'll raise something. Call it spirits if you like," responded Lisa as she glided into the room. "Gwen, is he allowed to wear those boxers? I thought we'd have to have him naked to do this right."

"I think it's best if he keeps them on. I trust him and I trust me, but you get a little goofy when you're around Steve. Sit down Steve and we'll cut the old bandages off. I don't see any blood this time, so that's good."

Steve once again sat with his left hand holding his package out of harm's way as Gwen removed his dressings. Lisa watched with amusement as he made a serious effort to keep everything hidden.

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