Reese opened his eyes looking into the light room. He blinked as a whimpered sounded on his chest. He smiled running his hand down my back as I curled my fingers in the soft cotton of his shirt. He ran his fingers over my back making me mover in his arms, rolling over his body to lie on his other side. My shirt had risen up so you could see the bruises that covered most of my body. His face dropped as he pulled up the dress like shirt I had on. He pulled it as the purple and yellow bruises turned into black. He pulled the shirt down closing his eyes kissing my head making me sigh happily. He looked over at the crib to see little Peyton standing up on the bed, holding on the bars gently. She smiled at him putting her good hand in her mouth.
“Mama.” She said looking at me. Reese slid out from under me having me mumble and curl back up on the bed.
“Shhh, Mommy’s sleeping.” She put her hands up for him to pick her up like she did with all my brothers. She laid her head on his shoulder looking out into the hallway of the hospital. She smiled up as he sat down in the chair checking his phone for e-mails. He looked up as the door knocked quietly. The doctor smiled holding a baby bottle.
“Ba ba.” Peyton said whimpering at it. Reese kept his hold as she wiggled for her morning bottle.
“Seems she’s getting better already. I put some anti-diarrhea and anti-nausea medication into her IV before I left so it could be in her system for breakfast.” He looked at the bottle as the doctor put the plastic bottle into her hands. She leaned back against Reese putting the nipple into her mouth as she started to drink it. “A little bit more meds as well as some vitamins and minerals so she can get back.”
“She’ll be alright though? Right? Healthy?” The doctor nodded.
“Of course. She’s all good. The blood test came back good. She’s not malnourished at all. She is well taken care of. The bottle is to replace what she lost from the virus. She’ll be fine and can leave today.” Reese nodded.
“Thank you, for everything.” He nodded.
“As I said son. It really wasn’t that much. I’ll put it on your family tab.” He nodded as Peyton looked up at them from the bottle of formula. I rubbed my eyes waking up looking around the room. “Good morning Ms. Meyer.” I smiled at him running a hand through my hair.
“Morning.” Peyton looked at from her spot on Reese’s lap, her back snuggled into his firm chest.
“I’m just going to take the IV out of the little one over here so you guys can leave. If you could go talk to the nurse just outside the room. She will fill you in as well as have you sign some paper work for her.” I nodded kissing Peyton’s head as I walked out. It wasn’t long before I had everything signed and I was in the room readying Peyton to leave.
“Did you sleep good Halyn?” Reese said as I wrapped Peyton up in her fleece jacket again as she fussed. She hated this thing. It was growing small since it was for her as a baby as well as she liked to move around. I sighed as she pulled at it as I tried to zipper her up but gave up. I pulled out a blanket from my purse and wrapped her in it. “Halyn?” I looked up at him.
“Yeah sorry. I slept well. Better than I have in a while.” I held Peyton giving her the ducky blanket I shoved into my purse.
“You’ve not been sleeping well?” He asked putting his hand on my lower back as we left. Peyton smiled at Reese as he ran a finger over her hand. I watched him from the corner of my eye as he smiled at her as she put her hand in her mouth. Reese unlocked his car as I buckled Peyton in as she smiled at me. No longer crying and screaming, just smiling and giggling. I kissed her head as I got into the front seat next to Reese buckling in.
“No.” He looked at me not understanding what I meant. “No I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been getting a lot of nightmares.” Reese put his hand over mine. He smiled at me weakly, the comfort I needed. I looked at my phone and groaned. “Crap.” He looked at me.
“What? What’s wrong?” I sighed.
“I need to go food shopping, but I don’t have a car.” He smiled at me.
“Don’t worry, I’ll drive you.” Peyton looked up out of the sunroof and squealed happily.
“I don’t want to put you out of your way…” He shook his head.
“No worries baby.” I looked out the window as he pulled up to the apartments. My phone started to ring. I picked it up only for my face to drop. I answered it my hand clenched on my leg holding onto the fabric of my dress.
“What’s your problem?” a voice snapped into my phone. “Where the hell are you? You’re three hours late!” I could feel my hand shake.
“I’m sorry, it was an emergency. My daughter-”
“I don’t care!” She cut me off. “You come to work on time! I don’t care if your daughter died. Come to work!” I whimpered slightly closing my eyes. I opened my eyes fighting the tears. Reese snatched the phone from my hand and ended the call. Reese pulled into a spot at the apartments. I looked at him as the tears fell. He fought to find the right words to say. He got out walking around the car to pull me from car into his warm embrace. I held onto him tightly as he rubbed my back as I cried.
“Shhh it’s alright.” He kissed my head holding me tightly. “You’re not ever going to go back there. Shhh it’s alright.” I looked up at him. “Go get change sweetheart, change the baby. I’ll be right back alright relax a little bit. Eat something.” I nodded getting Peyton as she looked at my face. I smiled weakly at her getting out my keys for the apartment. I unlocked the door as she gurgled and put her hand in her mouth blabbering away. I got changed as Peyton lay in her old crib I put in my room for her last night. I changed her into a new outfit changing her diaper as I went. I sat on my bed rubbing my eyes before getting her out of the crib as she giggled at me as I put her in front of the TV turning it on. I got a peach from the bowl on the table eating it. The door knocked after a little bit making me look over and get up to open it. Reese walked through smiled at me as I stood silently shivering slightly as the cold air came in through the door. “Hey Baby.” Peyton came walking from where she was in front of the TV. He smiled at her as she walked over to him before walking to me.
“You ready?” He nodded pulling out something from his pocket as I reached for Peyton’s full jacket as she put her hand in her mouth again. I looked at the bag.
“What’s that?” I asked him. He pulled out the little pink jacket from the bag showing it to me smiling.
“You said it was too small? So I got her a new one.” Peyton walked over to her as he picked her up slipping on the jacket and zipping it up. I looked at him as I handed Peyton a pacifier.
“You didn’t need to Reese. You’ve done so much already…” He shook his head.
“I could do more. It was nothing come on. Let’s go get you some food.” I nodded picking up Peyton taking her out locking the door behind me. We got into the car and made out way to the local grocery store. I put the shopping cart cover over the baby seat on the cart as Reese got out. I buckled her up as she smiled happily holding her ducky blanket as I rolled us into the store putting everything I needed into the cart. I pulled up to the register putting all the items onto the belt. I paid silently as Reese helped to put the bags into the back. We put the bags into the car and putting Peyton into the back in her car seat.
“Reese,” he looked at me. “What did you mean when you said I’m not going back there?” He looked at me.
“I want you to quiet.”
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