“I’ll go, you need to be here, Kacy.”
Her smile of thanks was rather weak, but the touch on his hand reassured Dino that she was grateful. She dropped her head, a deep, shuddering breath coursing through her petite frame. That and a renegade sniffle gave away her tears.
“No crying allowed, young lady,” Deacon mumbled.
“I can’t help it. I saw your face after surgery, it was so pale. You looked like you were dead! Like Pete looked when he was— I had this horrible, this awful….” She sobbed, unable to control the emotions welling up in her. “You lost so much blood!”
“I’m fine, except for this bum leg. Must have happened when I slipped off the water fountain, I felt something snap when I landed. I lost my balance, the bad leg gave out.”
“Oh, Deacon, if I lost you, I don’t know what I’d do!”
Dino walked quietly back in the room as Kacy tried to compose herself.
“Nurse says you are being given Demerol and Visteril and due for a dose in a few minutes.”
“How did you get that information out of her?” Deacon was curious.
“I told her you were my half brother, and Kacy was your wife, otherwise we’d not have been allowed in. Cindy and I used to date back in high school.” He shrugged. “Maybe I’ll call her and ask her out again, sometime.”
The door opened and a tall, blonde woman, who was built rather like a Nordic goddess, entered, carrying a syringe full of medication. She smiled broadly at Dino, nodding deferentially to Kacy as she moved toward the bed.
“I hear someone is in pain,” she grinned. Her manner was brisk and friendly.
Kacy turned her head. “I’m sorry, I’m not overly fond of needles.”
Cindy chuckled understandingly. “It’s all right, Mrs. Stewart. We’ll make this quick.”
She put the needle into his IV port, and Deacon felt a cool trickle up his arm.
Deacon grinned “Thanks.”
“So Dino tells me you two are half brothers?”
“Yes,” Deacon lied and tried to sound convincing.
“Same mom,” Dino said. “My folks got divorced when I was little. Remember, my Mom moved away and remarried.” It was partly true anyway, his mom had moved and married again.
“I see,” she looked between the two men who resembled one another in basic build and coloring. She didn’t look fully convinced, but not as if she were going to raise a stink about it either. “Dino, I go on break in about twenty minutes, want to grab a cup of coffee?”
“Sure, Cindy. That would be fantastic.”
He opened the door for her as she went out. His eyes followed her down the hall and he closed the door, the squeak of her crepe soled shoes echoing behind her.
“She’s nice,” Deacon said, his voice sounding tired.
“She’s pretty too,” Kacy added. “You could do a lot worse, Dino. Invite her to dinner soon.”
Deacon made a rather crude suggestion earning him a surly reprimand from Kacy. “Be nice!”
“I am being nice! That’s the nicest thing a man can do for a woman.”
“You only wish!”
“You two sound as if you want to be alone. I’ll cut out. Kacy, get some rest. You’ve been up all night. I’ll bring you some breakfast when I get back.”
“Thanks, Dino. You know where I’ll be.”
He leaned over, kissing her on the cheek briefly touching Deacon’s hand.
“You be more careful. Okay, little brother?” He winked.
“Will do.” Deacon laid his head wearily back against the pillows, the Demerol making him drowsy. “I’m wiped out, Kacy. I’m gonna try to sleep a little. Go home, get some rest.”
“I’m not leaving, Deacon.”
“Have Dino drive you home after you eat, okay? Will you please get some rest? I want you in top form, for when I get out of this place.”
Her smile was tender, tinged with fear and sorrow. “All right. But I’ll be back this evening, if not sooner. I’ll bring you a hamburger or Chinese or something I imagine the food is pretty bad.”
“Pizza and beer.”
“The only beer you’ll be having is root beer, my love.” She kissed him tenderly, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “You rest, I’ll be fine.”
Deacon closed his eyes, Kacy sat beside him, humming softly, songs he didn’t recognize, but they were soothing and sweet. She had a pretty voice. The last thing he was aware of, she kissed him softly on the lips.
When Deacon woke later, the sun was higher in the sky and he heard the sound of the food cart rumbling down the hall. From a distance, the food didn’t smell too bad, but he wasn’t convinced. His tray was delivered, and he was not disappointed in how nasty his meal really was. Soggy scrambled eggs, limp bacon, watery grits and a dry biscuit. A choice of hot tea or orange juice and a warm fruit cup. The tea tasted like old coffee and the biscuit would have made a good floor tile. He moved the items around, pretended to eat and shoved the tray aside.
He found the menu selection beside his plate and looked through to see if there was anything he could actually stomach, marking things at random. “I wonder if I’d get better food if I told them I keep Kosher,” he said aloud.
©2021 Dellani Oakes