The night pressed in all around him. The wind took on a cooler glare and the stars above were somewhat hidden by darkened clouds. His fists clenched and unclenched at his sides as he made his way into the building.
It was sterile without the same scent that each hospital had. It was strange to know that these walls had known death, panic and everything else in between. He could hear hushed voices, calmed ones that asked questions. He saw huddled families, concerned nurses and doctors explaining things. Out of the corner of his eyes he spotted a young girl softly crying into her hands as an older man knelt before her with comfort. Something tightened in his chest. It wasn’t going to end now. Not like this.
He walked up to the receptionists counter and drummed his fingers nervously on its surface. One of the women noticed him and went to assist him. Her face grew concerned as she took note of his obviously drawn expression.
“May I help you?’ She asked softly. Was she trained to speak with so much compassion? Or did it all just come so naturally?
“I need to know the room of Rowan McCarthy…She was admitted here tonight.” He leaned in closer, his eagerness overwhelming the entire atmosphere.
“Are you family sir?” She seemed to not want to have to turn him away but normal procedure made it that way.
He pushed his hand back through his hair and leaned his elbows onto the counter. “I’m all she has. Please give me her room number.” He pleaded, his insides almost ready to burst from fear, worry and desperate anxiousness.
“Hey, what are you doing here?”
Jared didn’t pay attention at first but when the voice repeated the question and came nearer to him he turned around with a bit of confusion. He looked at the man and immediately recognized him as Rowan’s dad. He internally screamed at himself to calm down, to not act out on impulse. He had to deal with this the right way if he wanted things to go alright. He couldn’t make a mess of things for Rowan to wake up to. But who was he kidding? Something told him that this guy was the reason for Rowan being here in the first place. He had been two and two together when he had seen how afraid Rowan had been of him and then when he had gotten the phone call from Shannon. He wasn’t able to calm down, he was full of every sort of emotion and it was all about ready to tear him apart.
“You were with her earlier.” His voice was sharp like he didn’t like Jared being there. He came towards him and hardened his stare as if he could provoke some sort of fear.
“Where is she? What the hell happened?” Jared demanded, turning to face the man.
“Sir, please keep it down.” The woman behind the counter said with as much concern and calm as she could muster. She had backed away though and inched towards her phone, prepared to do what she had to.
“I don’t want you here. You’ve changed her!” The man declared, his anger evident. He made a gesture towards Jared. There was gauze wrapped around his knuckles.
Jared caught sight of his injury and being unable to resist anymore he went at him, clutching onto his shirt and working off the mans surprise he shoved him against the wall. He was aware of the woman calling for help on her phone but he blocked it out and brought his own face within reach of the man.
“What room is she in!” Jared demanded again, he knew there was an easier way to deal with this but seeing this bastard and his injury made all of his worst fears confirmed and he wasn’t ready to see him walk off like nothing had happened.
“You’re not allowed to see her…Security will be any second I want you gone and they’ll make sure you are.” The mans threat wasn’t empty and his protectiveness of Rowan seemed to rise to the surface.
“Jared? What the hell are you doing?” Shannon called out as he rushed towards them. He struggled at first but eventually got them apart. He made a hard gesture to the man to stay where he was before he turned back to his brother. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Jared looked away, his head hung in helplessness. “He did something to her…he won’t let me see her.”
Shannon let out a sigh as he saw his desperation. He lightly took hold of Jared’s shoulder. “We’re gonna figure this out alright? We’ll clear it up.”
Jared reluctantly nodded and tried to retreat into himself. He looked around a moment and spotted the security. He hoped he didn’t make that much of a mess of things….
Shannon had been right about clearing things up. However no one was really ready to believe that Rowan’s dad- who was ever the grieving father- had anything to do with what had happened to her.
“She’ll be up in the morning…She’s alright. A little injury to the head but no internal bleeding. She’s a bit frail, not taking care of herself too well and those injuries on her arms…well we got them cleaned up, not too much blood loss. She’ll be fine.” The doctor tried to assure them.
“Can he go in?” Shannon asked glancing at Jared who sat beside him.
The doctor thought for a moment, looked down at the silent man obviously wracked with worry before she nodded. “But she won’t be up today….he can talk to her tomorrow.”
Jared nodded and Shannon stood up with him. The doctor led him to the door where her room number 213 was posted.
“Be quiet okay? She needs her rest.” And with that the doctor left Jared to it. One more thing he could thank his fame for.
Jared opened the door and slipped inside closing it softly behind him. He stared first at the opened window where the night comforted the city and the wind made the white curtains dance. He walked himself to the chair beside her bed, sat down and finally brought his eyes to her.
Her eyes were closed and there weren’t any marks on her face. There was a bit of bandaging on her head and wrapped around her delicate arms. Her chest rose and fell gently, her lips were partially opened. Her skin was softly paled due to the lack of brightness. She looked beautiful even then, lying there motionless.
Lightly he danced his fingers across the bandage on her arm, tucked a freed strand of hair behind her ear and caressed lightly over her face. He felt tears rise in his eyes, burning them sharply. He let out a shaky breath before resting his head against her hand. He had never felt pain like this before. Nothing in his life could ever amount to what he was feeling in that moment. Nothing made sense to him. He couldn't shake the fear and the desperation, the helplessness. He gently squeezed her hand and let his eyes close, the tears falling. She didn't deserve this. Not at all.