Page 64

Author: Kirsty Moseley

“Are you ok? Does it hurt?” I whispered, fussing with the sheets, not knowing what else to do or say.

“I’m ok. What happened, Riley bear?” he asked, finally turning to look at me.

I closed my eyes, how was I going to explain all of this to him, how could I even look him in the eye knowing that this was all my fault? “Blake, he….he grabbed a knife and he,” my voice broke and his hand gripped mine, squeezing gently. “He stabbed you in the side first. The doctors said that you had a collapsed lung, but they’ve put some kind tube to fix it, they said it was ok now….”

He nodded, “He stabbed me in the back too,” he said, it wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

I nodded, looking at him apologetically. “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry, Clay. This is all my fault. Everything, this whole situation is my fault. You’re hurt because of me,” I whispered, trying desperately not to cry.

He smiled and shook his head, “No, Riley bear. Don’t do that, this isn’t your fault, don’t feel bad, ok?” he pulled me closer to him, so I bent over his bed and tucked my head in the side of his neck, breathing in his smell.

“I love you, Clay, and everything’s going to be fine, I promise.” I kissed the skin on his neck just as the door opened and the doctor walked in with another man hot on his heels.

I pulled back and tried to take in everything that they were saying. Dr Kirk wanted to do the operation almost immediately, there was still about a forty percent chance that it would work, but they had to get in there and see before he would know how much the operation would actually help. The chances of Clay dying were reduced too, his body had recovered slightly while he was in the coma so although there were still risks – as with any surgery – the risks were dramatically reduced.

I felt my body relax slightly when they said that and I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding. They were running through the procedure but I couldn’t listen to that at all, all I let myself hear was that it was six hours long and that after the operation they would have to wait a little while to see how successful it was.

“So, do you want to go in for it?” Dr Kirk asked as he finished explaining everything to Clay.

Clay looked at me before nodding, “Yeah, lets do it, I want to know I’ve tried everything.”

The doctors all left to arrange everything for the operation and he was to go down as soon as there was a theater free. When we were on our own again, Clay smiled weakly at me. “You look like hell, Riley bear. Did you sleep?” he asked, tracing his finger under my eye.

I caught his hand and kissed his palm, pressing my face into it. “I’m fine, baby.” I needed to tell him something, he needed to know this before he went in for the operation. I stood up so I was leaning over him, looking into his eyes so he knew I was serious. “Clay, if you let yourself die in there I swear to god I’m going to bring you back to life again, just so I can kill you myself. You understand?” I said fiercely.

He laughed quietly. “Hmm, I definitely like masterful Riley,” he teased.

“Stop it Clay, I’m serious. If I only ask one thing from you in my life, it’s that you come back to me. I need you to promise me, promise me you’ll survive this. I need to hear you say it and then I can stop worrying because you’ve never broken a promise to me before, so I have a lot of faith in your word.” I gripped the front of the hospital gown he was wearing, I needed him to tell me that so much, my whole body was on edge waiting for it.

He smiled and nodded, his hand moving up to cup the side of my face. “I’ll be fine, I promise,” he whispered, his eyes locked on mine and held a fierce intensity that made my heart start to speed up.

I smiled and pressed my lips to his again lightly for a couple of seconds before putting my forehead to his, just enjoying being close to him.

Half an hour later they were ready for him to go down to theater. I held his hand as they walked him down the little corridor, his fingers gripping mine so tight that I was almost losing feeling in them, but somehow it still didn’t feel tight enough. When we got to the door, they stopped pushing the bed and looked at me expectantly and I knew I wasn’t allowed any further with him.

I could feel the panic starting to rise in my chest that he was going to be out of my sight for so long. I looked at Dr Kirk, looking him over trying to see any doubt in his mind, to see if he was going to be able to save my baby and bring him back to me. He smiled and nodded reassuringly and I begged him with my eyes to keep Clay alive, it felt like this man was holding my whole life in his hands, my hopes, my dreams, my whole future.

I looked back to Clay, he smiled weakly but he was just as scared as I was. I took in a deep breath and pushed my shoulders back knowing I needed to show confidence, even if I didn’t feel it. “I’ll see you when you get out. Don’t think you’re getting out of marrying me again buster, you know I never liked the surname Thomas so I’m sticking with Preston. You make sure you hurry up and get better so we can go straight to the nearest church and get married again, you hear me?” I asked, raising one eyebrow trying to look stern.

He laughed quietly, “Whatever you say, Riley bear.”

I kissed him softly, savouring the feel of his lips and I prayed that this wasn’t the last time I got to speak to him, that this wasn’t the last kiss we ever had. “I love you Clay,” I said, brushing my hand down the side of his bruised face.

He smiled his beautiful smile and gripped the back of my head, pulling me closer to him as if he was going to whisper in my ear. With his other hand he gripped my chin and turned my head to the side. Before I even had a chance to work out what he was doing, he sucked on the side of my neck, hard. I giggled and he pushed me away slightly, a big smile on his face.

“Just marking my territory,” he stated as I rubbed the freshly made hicky on my neck, trying to pretend I was angry but I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face.

The doctor cleared his throat and I pulled back and stood up, smiling down at Clay as they pushed the doors open and wheeled his bed down the corridor. Just as the doors were about to close, Clay shouted me. “Riley?”


“I love you more,” he said fiercely. My heart throbbed and the doors to the corridor slammed shut leaving me on my own, staring at the place where I last saw the love of my life. I couldn’t stay strong anymore, I sank to my knees and sobbed into the floor.

The six hours were like physical pain, I felt like I was sitting balanced on the edge of a cliff, one wrong move and I would go tumbling over into a living hell. My parents and Clay’s were sitting in the waiting room with me, no one really said anything and I was grateful that I didn’t have to put on some sort of act for them. I just didn’t have the energy anymore, I was so tired that my head was throbbing, my eyes were stinging. While everyone else dozed in their chairs, I kept my eyes locked on the doors where he would come out of, willing the minutes to pass quicker.

Just after ten pm the doctor walked out of the door, his eyes locked first on Linda and then on me. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, this was it, his next couple of words would shape the rest of my life, either Clay survived the surgery or he didn’t. At this point I couldn’t bring myself to care about if the operation had worked, all I needed was Clay by my side, however he came I didn’t mind, just as long as I still had him.

The doctor walked up to our group, everyone else jumped out of their chairs but I couldn’t, if I stood up now I would fall to the floor, I could feel it. The doctor smiled and nodded, “It went very well. He’s in recovery right now, there’s a lot of swelling so we won’t know how successful it was until that’s gone down, but the early indications are that there’s a good chance of success,” he said.

Richard grabbed Linda into a hug, Brian slapped the doctor on the shoulder laughing and my mom looked at me, grinning from ear to ear. I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief, my tired, aching muscles relaxing slightly. “He’s ok?” I croaked. My heart was racing in my chest, my whole body was tingling slightly, it was over, Clay was alive. We had a little while to wait to see if it had worked but he was alive and that was all that mattered to me.

“He’s ok,” Dr Kirk confirmed. “He’s strong, he’ll be out of it for a little while until the anesthetic leaves his body, maybe an hour or two. When he wakes up it’s best to keep him as calm as possible. The surgery was very invasive, he needs to relax and let his body recover. Tomorrow we’ll run some tests and see how successful it was.”

I gripped the arms of the chair and pushed myself up, immediately being grabbed into a hug by my mom. “But you think it went well? The surgery I mean?” I asked hopefully.

He nodded, “It went without a hitch, we just need to see how his body reacts to the repair now. I’d better go, they’ll bring him out soon and move him back to his room.”

“Thank you, thank you so much,” I whispered, looking at him gratefully. How would I ever repay this man that has hopefully saved my baby from a life that he’ll be miserable in?

“You’re welcome Mrs Preston,” he said smiling, before walking away towards the nurses station.

I laughed at the name, at least he was acknowledging our marriage. I gripped my wedding ring tight in my hand and turned to Linda and Richard. I needed to get this sorted out before Clay woke up, I needed to keep him calm and seeing his parents wouldn’t really do that at the moment.

“I think it’s best that you just stay away for a little while. I’ll talk to Clay tomorrow, but the doctor said he needed to rest. I don’t want him upset again, so just let me talk to him before you see him, ok?” I asked, praying I wouldn’t have another fight on my hands about this, I really didn’t have the energy for that right now.

Richard nodded, “Yeah. Thank you, Riley. We were only trying to do what’s best for him. I hope in time he sees that.”