~ Chapter Twenty-Four ~
Jedidiah heard dis-jointed voices speaking in low tones. Where was he? Where was Janna? He groaned and sat up, nausea poring over him in waves.
That voice was so familiar. “Wilson?”
“In the flesh.”
“But how?” Jedidiah tried to swing his legs over the bed but was stopped by cold metal. His eyes popped open. A hospital bed? “What is going on here? And how did you get back to the states?”
“They gave me an emergency leave. I’ve been here for a week.”
Jedidiah swung disbelieving eyes toward Janna’s brother. “What are you talking about? Where is Janna?”
“Janna is in a room down the hall.”
Jedidiah’s heart sped up. “Is she…?”
Wilson held up his hands. “She’s going to be fine. David Watkins stabbed her thirty times, but thank God, he didn’t hit anything vital.”
Horror washed through Jedidiah. “Thirty times?” His words trailed off.
“Yes.” Wilson brought a hand up and rubbed at his five o’clock shadow. “She lost a lot of blood and it was touch and go for a few hours but God was with her.”
A thought crossed Jedidiah’s mind. “Where is Jessie?”
Wilson gestured to the other side of Jedidiah’s bed.
His gaze followed Wilson’s hand. A smile spread across Jedidiah’s face for the first time since waking. “Hey buddy.”
“Are you okay Jediah?”
Tenderness welled up inside him, which he tried to squash, but was unsuccessful. The little tike had wormed his way right into his heart. Just like his new mommy. The way he mis-pronounced his name was so endearing…
“I’m gonna be fine. How is Wilson here treating you?”
Bright gray eyes turned and smiled up at Wilson. “Uncle Wilson is fun!”
Jedidiah laughed. “That’s good to hear. Are you taking care of Hairy and the cats?”
“Cats, as in plural?”
“Yeah. Janna has a cat, and the kitten I brought her from the storm.”
“I didn’t see a kitten.”
Sorrow filled him. He wondered what happened to the cute little fur ball. “Can I see Janna now?”
Wilson grinned. “It’s about time you asked. She’s been waiting for you to wake up all week.”
Confusion roiled around in his head. “Why was I asleep again?”
“David Watkins knocked you out with a pipe. The doctors said you would wake up eventually.”
“Was I in a coma then?”
He shook his head. “No, not really. You were responding to stimuli, they just couldn’t wake you up. There was some swelling in the brain. They figured you’d wake up when it went down.”
“I failed Janna.”
Wilson shook his head. “No you didn’t. You saved her Jedidiah, just like I knew you would. If you hadn’t come to her rescue, he would’ve stabbed her to death. Slowly. His plan was maniacal and demented. The police found a diary in his motel room. What he wanted to do to her…” He broke off.
Jedidiah met his gaze. Tears shimmered in Wilson’s green eyes. “He was going to torture her, kill her, and chop her up. Then he was going to spread her body parts all over the city.”
Jedidiah’s stomach rolled and nausea took over. He held up a hand. “Hold on, Wilson. Don’t talk.”
Wilson nodded. “I know. Believe me, I understand how you feel. She’s my sister and the only family I have left. That’s why I needed you to guard her.” He grinned. “I didn’t realize you were going to fall in love with her, though.”
“I didn’t either. They just happened.” He nodded his head toward Jessie, who’d come over and took Jedidiah’s huge hand in his little sticky one.
Wilson shrugged. “Hey, it’s all good. Not only will I be gaining a brother, I’m gaining a nephew. I didn’t think she was ever going to have kids, and here I’ve got one who’s already walking and talking.” He winked at Jessie and he giggled. “Should we go see Janna now?”
Jessie shook his head. “Yes. She’s prolaby lonely.”
Jedidiah chuckled. He loved that little boy.
Wilson helped him into a wheelchair and was in the process of rolling him out the door when a doctor and two nurses blocked their path.
“Hey, where are you taking him? We have to check him over and do vitals. He was unconscious for a week,” the doctor said as he held up a staying hand.
“Look, sir. You’ve waited a week. Can’t you wait a little longer? My sister needs to see him. It’ll speed-up her recovery.” Wilson affected a wheedling tone and Jedidiah admired him. He was quick in his thinking.
The doctor tilted his head to the side, considering. Finally, he said, “You have ten minutes, not a second longer.”
Wilson didn’t need any more affirmation. He wheeled around the doctor and nurses and took off down the hallway, Jessie holding onto his right pants’ pocket.
Wilson pushed Jedidiah through his sister’s hospital room door and immediately, her face lit up. She wasn’t moving very quick yet, but her pleasure was obvious.
“Jedidiah!” Tears popped up in her eyes and slid down her cheeks in silence. “I was so worried about you.”
Wilson pushed Jedidiah over to the side of her bed and helped him get up from the chair. His hands came up and gently framed Janna’s face. “I love you so much. Don’t ever scare me like that again. Promise me,” he whispered.
She smiled. “I can’t promise, but I can promise to try. I was beginning to think you were regretting your decision to marry us and decided to stay unconscious forever,” she returned.
“Not a chance.” He bent his head, brushing his lips across hers. His hands came up and buried in her silky hair. He said, “I was so scared.” And then he kissed her, making sure not to touch any of the many bandaged areas dotting out all over her body.
From across the room, Jessie looked up at Wilson and asked, “Are they married now Uncle Wilson?”
He smiled down at the little boy. “Not yet, Buddy. But I have a feeling they will be.” He picked the child up and settled him in his arms and they looked on at the tender scene unfolding before them; as two people affirmed their undying love for each other. The End