“Mommy! Daddy!” Elizabeth screamed. Cole joined in.
They wiped their faces and held onto each other to stand up. Dana took his hand and led him to their children. She pulled back a curtain to see Elizabeth sitting up. Her arm was being set in a cast. She had a nasty looking cut above her eye and she was crying.
Dana pulled the curtain on her right open, revealing Cole lying with his arm and leg being placed in a cast. “Thank God,” Edward murmured. He leaned down and kissed his daughter.
“How are you, baby girl?”
“It hurts, Daddy!” Elizabeth cried.
“I know, baby. I’m just so glad you kids are okay.”
“Daddy, you’re crying!” Elizabeth gasped.
Dana moved over to Cole and kissed him as he looked at his father with quiet desperation. He was waiting for his father there was no question about that. Edward stepped over to his bedside and kissed him repeatedly. Dana moved to Elizabeth’s bed and held her good hand while the cast dried.
The kids were both asleep within a half hour. The doctor promised it was a side effect of the pain killers and not an indicator for something serious. They both sighed with relief when they heard that.
Edward closed the curtains in front, but left the middle one open so the kids could be together. He took Dana’s hand and led her outside the curtain. He pulled her into a hug. “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. I would never put the kids in jeopardy.”
“I know,” she said against his chest.
“They attacked me in the donut shop. I left and got in the car. I pulled out and they peeled out and chased us. We got through the light and they decided to speed through the red light and the crossing traffic. They lost control and slammed into us. I tried to grab the kids, but I couldn’t in time. There wasn’t even any space in front to get away from the cars. I am so sorry!”
“Stop that!” she said fiercely. “You didn’t do this! It’s not your fault!”
She took his face firmly in her hands and looked him in the eyes. “You did not do this! You didn’t ask for this! They had no right touching you or plowing through that intersection. They killed Brett, not you! And it’s because of them that two of our children are here, not you!”
He nodded weakly. “You’re going to leave me now….. I’m so afraid of losing you and the kids. How can you stay with me when I put us all in danger?”
She kissed him gently. “I am never going to leave you, Edward. I love you. There is nothing in the world that would make me want to leave you. You aren’t putting anyone in danger. It’s not your fault if people think they own you, do you understand me?”
“Yes. I just…..I feel like you and the kids would have been better off if you had never met me,” Edward said.
She laughed softly against him. “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Edward, you are our family. You’re what makes us happy and whole. You need to realize we had nothing before you, you are everything to us.”
He kissed the top of her head. “You really don’t regret marrying me?”
“No, and I never will. I love you, Edward, and the kids love you.” Dana pulled back to look in his eyes. He kissed her softly.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Pierce, but I really need to get you stitched up,” a young doctor said. Edward reluctantly nodded.
“Do you want me to go with you?” Dana asked.
He chuckled softly. “No, sweetheart, you’ll only pass out.”
“Okay, I’m going to check on the kids one more time then I’m going out to the waiting room. I’m sure Amy and your parents are beside themselves right now.”
“Good idea,” Edward agreed and walked back to his bed with the doctor beside him.
Dana looked over her sleeping children for a few minutes, noting all the cuts and bruises that were now visible on their little bodies. Even asleep they looked very uncomfortable. Elizabeth had bruises up the left side of her body as well as several long cuts that were now stitched up. The left side of her face was swollen and bruised as well. Dana guessed this was where the car was impacted. She was beyond lucky that her children and husband survived.
She looked over Cole. The casts looked bigger and heavier than the rest of his body. His right side received most of the damage. They’d been so lucky today. She only wished Brett had been as lucky. The doctor said he’d died instantly. He was such a good man, fun, loving and honest. She was going to miss him. He was leaving behind a teenage son who he’d absolutely adored. This was going to be hard on him. They would help him in any way he needed. John was a great kid. He didn’t deserve to have his father taken away like this, for something this stupid and reckless, no one did.
“Oh, my God! Edward, I love you!” a woman screamed.
His grip on Dana’s hand tightened. They’d just been kicked out of their children’s hospital room ten minutes ago, but not before they insisted a guard stand outside the room at all times.
Now they were making their way to the limo Amy hired for them. The hospital grounds were now tightly covered by media and fans. People from the media were throwing questions at them while fans were demanding autographs, trying to hug him, and pull on him. He felt anger bubble up in him. A man was dead and they wanted his g*****n autograph, were they kidding?
He couldn’t get the image of John crying on Dana’s shoulder out of his head. Fifteen years old and now he was fatherless. Dana held onto him for more than an hour while the boy broke down. The doctor’s finally had to sedate him when he began flipping out. Dana couldn’t calm him down then. Edward grabbed John and hugged him tightly while the doctor’s injected him with the sedative. He felt John’s body relax in his arms.
Now they were walking through people who were laughing and crying just because they got a glance of him and Dana. They only saw what they wanted, two stars. These fans refused to see what was in front of them, a husband and wife who were almost torn apart, a mother and father who came close to losing their children and now had two seriously injured kids to take care of, and friends who just lost someone very special to them.
They made their way to the limousine, slowly. People were pulling on him, making his stitches sting. He pulled away from them. Tyler was having a hell of a time clearing the way for them. There were dozens of police trying to control the crowd. The hospital already demanded the police clear everyone off the property, but the people kept coming back.