The doctor walked up to a private room away from the craziness of the Emergency Room. I took small sips of my coffee as we went. Reese had a firm but gentle grasp. Peyton was still asleep her face looking like a little fish as her cheek pressed to his firm chest, her hands clutching his shirt. “Right in here. Put her on the bed Reese. Ms. Meyer can you strip her to her diaper for me? I’m just going to go get something. I’ll be right back.” Reese laid Peyton down in the crib as I threw out the little bit of coffee I had left. I gently took the onesie off Peyton, leaving her in just a diaper and her little monkey socks. Peyton’s little hazel eyes stared to open slowly as, my guess like every other time, her stomach started to hurt again. Reese pulled me to him holding me tightly as he saw the tears forming in my eyes.
“It’ll be alright Halyn.” He whispered kissing my head. The doctor walked back in with a nurse and Peyton’s medical file.
“Alright let’s get this little one looked at.” He took one look at her, one good look at her. “Sharon go get me an IV.” She nodded walking over to the medical cabinet in the room. I looked at him frantic as I put my hand into the bed to take her little hand in mine. She held onto it as I stared at the doctor. “I can tell she is dehydrated by just looking at the poor thing. I’m going to take blood from her as well to test to see what’s wrong.” The nurse walked back over holding all of the things they will need. “You might want to stand back for this sweetheart. It’s not going to be pretty.” I pulled away from Peyton as they started to get her ready for the IV. She started to cry as the nurse held her.
“It’s alright baby.” The nurse said as Peyton started to scream as they put the needle into her smooth skin. I turned away as Reese held me close holding my head into his chest as she screeched as they started to wrap her arm so she didn’t hurt it.
“It’s going to be alright.” He whispered. I cried into his shirt as my baby cried for me, screamed for me. Reese held me tightly as I clutched him harder.
“All done.” The doctor said putting Peyton down on the crib. She was still crying, just no longer screaming. “She’ll feel better soon.” I nodded my head not looking at him. “I took some blood. I’ll go get it to the lab to see what’s wrong.” I turned around as he left the room the nurse following. I picked up Peyton and clutched her to my chest.
“It’s okay baby.” I kissed her head as she whimpered moving her covered arm. I could feel the exhaustion setting into my body as Peyton started to fall asleep. I’ve done it before, so I crawled into the crib. I’m a small thing so if I curl up. I laid my head on the cushion on the bar lying with Peyton falling asleep with me silently….
Reese had his laptop on his lap as he sat on the chair next to the crib with his feet up on the other chair. He was typing away on it with the lights on dim. The light from the screen lit up his face. The doctor knocked on the door frame looking in. “Reese? You the only one in here?” He shook his head nodding off to look at the crib where I was fast asleep. “Oh well we got the results to the blood test.” Reese closed his laptop getting up to walk out of the room.
“What is it?” The doctor looked into room at us.
“She has a simple virus, the rotavirus.” He waiting for more as the doctor wrote it down in the file. “I’m going to admit her to keep her here to get her rehydrated. We’ll move her to a bigger room. So Ms. Meyer doesn’t have to sleep in a crib.” He nodded at him.
“She’ll be alright though, right?” The doctor smiled.
“Of course. This is a common virus. Most kids in child care get it. But I’ll talk to Ms. Meyer tomorrow. I’ll be going home now, but I’ll be here later to speak with her.” Reese nodded at him.
“I can’t thank you enough.” The doctor smiled.
“It’s my job Reese. I’ve been your family doctor since before you were born.” He shook the doctor’s hand. “I’ll put it on the family tab.”
“You didn’t have to come out here so late, a call to get her seen would have been alright.” The doctor shook his head.
“Not here. It’s a shame. You have to twist wrists to get seen. Someone needs to take charge here. 5 hours for a sick baby. I wish I could help, but I’m just a visitor here.” Reese looked onto the silent floor as nurses typed away almost silently on the computers.
“You hear the stories but you always think it’s a lie. Till it happens to you.” The doctor patted his back.
“You were always a lucky kid, Reese.” He nodded.
“Yeah. I’ll see you later. I’ll go get Halyn up so she doesn’t hurt her back.” He turned into the room over to the crib. “Halyn?” He ran his hand down my face making me open my eyes weakly to look at him. “Hey Baby, You’re going to hurt your back sleeping like this.” I moved in the bed rubbing my eyes as a nurse came in blinking surprised at me in the crib. Reese gently took Peyton into his arms like she was going to brake at any moment.
“I’ll be showing you to the new room.” I got out of the crib stretching my sore back before standing up.
“Grab my laptop for me please, Baby.” I picked up the fancy laptop and the bag next to it putting it over my shoulder walking mindlessly following them too tired to do much more. We were shown into a hospital room with a bed with a crib right next to it. I remember the nurse telling Reese the room was ready for us. I laid down on the bed curling up and falling right asleep, trusting Reese with my daughter….
Reese laid Peyton, still asleep, into the crib. He pulled the bars up before sitting down on the chair next to the bed. He rubbed his forehead as my purse started to vibrate. He put his lap top back into his bag as the vibrating stopped only to start up again. He sighed and pulled my phone out of the pocket it was in and answering it. “Halyn? Halyn why haven’t you been answering?” A frantic voice said into the phone.
“I’m sorry; Halyn is a sleep right now.”
“Who the hell is this?” Mace’s voice said loudly.
“Reese. I’m sorry I’m not who you were asking for.”
“Where is my sister?” Mace asked trying to be calm.
“She’s a sleep. She’s been having a rough day.”
“I heard. My mom texted me. How’s Peyton?”
“We’re in the hospital right now. Both of them a sleep. Peyton has a virus and just needs some fluids while she gets better.”
“I wish I was there for her. Thank you. Thank you for being there for my sister and niece.” He shook his head.
“I’d be there for her every day of my life if I had to.”
“She was nervous about telling you about Peyton. She’s going to kill me for telling you this.”
“Why? Why would she be nervous?” Reese pulled off his shoes before walking over to pull off mine.
“She didn’t know how’d you take it ya’ know?” Mace sighed. “Peyton is special. She was scared you wouldn’t want her. That she would have to go on without you because you don’t want Peyton.” Reese looked at me as I was curled up in the middle of the bed.
“Why are you telling me this?” He asked softly.
“Because she won’t tell this. She’s a soft spoken girl. She doesn’t speak of it unless it is needed to be spoken of. The opposite of the entire family.” Mace took a deep breath. “But people take advantage of her. They hurt her. I can’t let it happen again. I won’t. You hurt my sister and I will find you. I will find you and kill you. I can’t let someone else hurt her.”
“Hurt her how? What did they do?” Reese asked almost frantic, the need to protect us showing on his face.
“I can’t tell you that. But what I can tell you is she’s broken, in more ways than one.” Mac stayed silent as Reese yawned and sat down on the bed rubbing his forehead. “Look, take care of them. Please. I can’t let it happen again. I have to go, but I’ll call soon. Take my number. Just in case you need something.”
“Thank you Mace.”
“Take care of them, please.” Reese nodded.
“I will.” He ended the call before putting the phone away. He lay next to me on the bed pulling me up to lie on the pillows.
“Hmm.” I mumbled turning to curl up on his arm chest. He kissed my head putting his head back, his mind racing to fast for sleep to grace him with its presence……
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