At The Hospital

From The Longhorn Affair

Setup After Malcolm shot Henry...

Emma led Brown right up the driveway as close to the kitchen porch as she could get. Alex was waiting. Should have asked Angie to get me some clothes, she thought. Alex yelled, “Are you all right, Emma? What the hell happened?” as he stripped off his shirt and handed it to her.

As she slipped her arms into the sleeves of his shirt, she said, “I’ll explain later. I’m fine. He’s the one bleeding,” Alex helped Henry slide to the ground. When Henry was prone, if not exactly comfortable, Emma knelt beside him and began pressing on the wound. “Push on that,” Emma said to Alex. “I’ll be right back.”

In her room Emma slipped into jeans then grabbed pillows, and a blanket. She placed the pillows under Henry’s knees and feet, raising them, then covered him with a blanket.

Once the police and medical personnel arrived, Emma was kept busy answering questions while Henry was strapped to a board and loaded into the ambulance, and another group of EMTs went to find Malcolm. When one ambulance had left with Henry alive, and another with Malcolm, dead, Emma drove to the emergency entrance of the Saloma General Hospital.

When she walked in, she immediately saw Sharon Covington, whom she had known since first grade. When Emma asked where to find Henry, Sharon wisely chose to ignore the rule that only family members were allowed to be with the patients, and pointed Emma to an examining room. When Emma poked her head around the curtain, she found Henry lying on a gurney complaining loudly while a nurse cleaned his wound.

Henry turned his head to scowl at Emma, “How did you find me?” he demanded.

“Wasn’t hard. I just followed that Harvard accent. Why are you giving the nurse so much trouble?”

“I’m supposed to be on a plane to New York this morning, and that plane’s taken off. The sooner these guys finish up and let me get out of here, the sooner I can reschedule.”

The nurse didn’t look up from her task, but she said, “Now Mr. Fielding, you aren’t going to be going anywhere for a few days. You’ll have plenty of time to reschedule.”

Emma frowned at Henry, “Why are you going to New York?”

“Got to talk to some potential investors about the co-op. Even if I can’t talk any money out of them, I’m hoping I can get them to use their influence for a small share. These people know things that will make or break this deal, things like how to get an organic meat product on grocery store shelves. Got to have them on board!”

Henry finished his rant as the gurney was wheeled out the door. Emma waited in the examining room until Henry returned from x-ray. Luckily the only damage from the bullet was a shattered clavicle and rib. The clavicle had been braced, and Henry had been sewn up and shot full of antibiotics and painkiller. A doctor came in and strongly suggested that Henry spend the rest of the day and night in the hospital, but Henry just as strongly insisted that he was leaving.

As he sat up and swung his legs over the gurney, Henry swayed drunkenly, Emma caught him, bracing him as he stood. His torso was bare, and his left arm was in a sling, so she just draped his bloodied shirt over his shoulders. The doctor came in with a couple of bottles of pills and handed them to Emma. “He’s had a shot for pain, but it will be wearing off in a couple of hours. He can start these pills then. One every four hours. The other is antibiotic—one every twelve hours.”

Emma took the pills and said, “Fine. I’ll make sure he takes them.”

Henry realized he was feeling much better. He said, “I’m right here. Hello?”

The doctor commented, “The pain medicine must be taking effect.”

Emma smiled, “Apparently.”

Henry put his good arm around her, drawing her close, and said to the doctor, “We’re getting married. Isn’t she just the sweetest thing?”

Emma rolled her eyes and said, “Right, come on, Harvard, let’s get you to the car.”

Henry came willingly saying, “She advertised for a husband, and I answered the ad. She can’t back out now.”

An orderly appeared with a wheel chair, and rolled Henry out to her car. Emma followed and after making a quick call to Alex to meet them at the house, she got in herself. When she started the car, Henry looked over at her as though seeing her for the first time. “Nice shirt,” he said. “Little large for you isn’t it?”

“Alex’s,” Emma explained. “I didn’t take time to change. Just rolled up the sleeves and came.” Henry asked, “So, do you want to stop off on the side of the road on the way home for a quickie make out session? I’m still pretty pissed off at you, but I could get interested in that.”

Emma rolled her eyes. “I think we’ll just go straight home and get you in bed.”

“How about stopping at MacDonald’s for breakfast? We could get it to go. I haven’t eaten breakfast, have you?” Emma decided that she was hungry, and since stopping for fast food seemed easier than arguing about it, she pulled into MacDonald’s and ordered breakfast sandwiches.

Once they got to the Pradera, Henry’s eyes were closed. Emma shook his side, carefully avoiding his injured shoulder, and said, “Henry wake up! I can’t get you inside by myself.”

Henry opened his eyes. He seemed to be having trouble focusing. His words came out slowly. “I’m awake. Let’s get this done.” Emma opened the passenger side door and Henry was able to get his feet out by himself. Alex came out and helped Henry stand. The porch stairs were tricky, but Alex got him as far as the couch.

“Wait, where are we,” Henry suddenly asked.

“At the Pradera,” Alex said.

“I don’t live here any more.”

Emma smiled at him and said, “You do now, well, at least while you’re recuperating.”

“But you threw me out, remember?”

“I remember, but you said you would work for me temporarily, and you need someone to take care of you for a few days. Looks like I’m elected.” She added, “Besides, you can’t be all that mad if you are telling people at the hospital we’re getting married.”

Alex grinned at Henry, “You’re getting married? Are you going to remember this in the morning?”

Emma shook her head and said, “If he doesn’t, there are witnesses.” Henry lay back on the couch without opening his breakfast sack. “We’re getting married?” he asked, his voice slurring.

“Well, that’s what you said,” Emma answered, her mouth quirking up on one side with humor as she watched Henry’s eyes close and he drifted off to sleep. She went upstairs and got pillows and a blanket and covered him up. Then she grabbed his breakfast sack. While she ate her sausage and egg biscuit, she fed Cooper the sausage and egg out of henry’s biscuit. Having made quick work of his impromptu breakfast, Cooper hopped up on the couch and curled up beside Henry. Emma was pretty sure Henry wouldn’t remember any of this tomorrow, or maybe she just hoped he wouldn’t.