By the time that Enos and Cletus showed up to take Shawn Kyle away Cooter had gotten close enough to Hazzard to share the news that the Duke Boys had found Kira and had taken her by way of an ambulance to the hospital. So once the law officers left with their prisoner Jesse and Jebb headed to the hospital to see what condition Kira was in. As soon as they arrived Kim took Jebb aside to rebandage his burned, and now bloody, feet while the other men filled their uncle in on just what they knew.
"Jebb, you weren't supposed to be up on your feet, yet," Kim admonished as she did what she could to treat her brother-in-law.
Jebb rolled his eyes while Kim's attention was directed at his feet. "I couldn't just sit in that danged wheel chair and do nothin'. I figured just goin' over to see what's left of the house wouldn't hurt none. Didn't expect to get into a fight while out there. But at least Shawn's been taken into custody, now."
"That is a relief." Kim frowned as she finished cleaning the opened wounds on Jebb's feet. "But I hate to tell you this but you've got a nasty infection starting. I'm going to have to admit you until we get it under control."
"I really don't think that's necessary, Kim."
"Jebb, you're hurt more than you realize. First from the fire; you were borderline needing to go to the burn unit over in Atlanta. If it wasn't for the kids and everything else going on, I wouldn't have hesitated in sending you there, last night. Now you've busted the blisters and the thin skin that was left. You can either be admitted here where I can try to do what I can to keep you from getting worse or I'll sign the transfer papers right now to have you sent over to the burn unit over in Fulton County."
Jebb's mouth hung open, not able to believe that this was the same, sweet, quiet woman who had married his Cousin Bo. She always seemed like such a pushover but here she was asserting herself in a way that left him little doubt that she'd do exactly what she threatened and more if he didn't cooperate. He could now see her still as that young girl who used to routinely exchange insults with Bo when they were all growing up. She could still spit fire if she felt that she needed to.
"Alright, alright. Fine. I'll stay. But what about Kira? What's goin' on with her? Cooter told us that Bo and Luke brought her in. Where is she?"
"She's in surgery right now to locate and stop any internal bleeding." Kim then went on to explain her initial diagnosis for her sister-in-law. "She'll be in for a fight when she gets out. All we'll be able to do is wait and see if she's able to pull through. She'll need more surgeries but we'll address them as her system will be able to handle them."
Jebb swallowed hard after hearing of Kira's varied injuries and the prognosis for her recovery. Kim's tone told him all he needed to know as to what the odds were. "Do me a favor. Since I've got to be here, anyway, could you put us in the same room?"
"I already planned to do that. I asked for a double room since I knew that someone from the family will be here while's she's here. I'll go ahead and get you set up in there. They'll bring Kira in after she's out of surgery." Kim gave a small smile as she left Jebb in the treatment area as she went to get someone to help transport him to the room that will be Kira's for the foreseeable future.
Luke announced to the women and children that he was coming when he approached the Indian Cave that the family was all hidden away in. When he caught sight of his wife he gave a slight nod before he directed his attention to the children. His daughter jumped up into his arms so he carried her back toward the cave as he spoke to the three who had first been hidden away for their own safety.
"Well, I thought that you'd want to know, kids. We found your momma and the person who started that fire last night. Ya'll are safe and don't have anything to worry about, no more."
"Is she okay?" Jay asked since his uncle hadn't said that she was. Just that she was found.
Luke didn't want to lie to the child. He didn't know that Kira would be alright. "Well, she's goin' to be at the hospital for a while so that your Aunt Kim can take care of some things that need watchin' after. Speakin' of which, your dad didn't listen to her about the burns on his feet so she's made him go to the hospital, too. He was up walkin' around after he was told not to be. You know how your aunt can be when folks don't listen to her about takin' care of their health, don't you?"
The kids nodded since they have each seen how their sweet aunt also was very serious about doing what she tells them to do when they were sick or hurt. "So does that mean we go back to the farm, now?" Mikey asked since he was just getting used to the idea of camping out in the cave.
"Well, I was going to let you if you wanted but I thought that since you don't have to go back to school for the rest of the week that we might just go ahead and have fun. Getting a little camping in before it gets much colder. I even have the twenty-twos to go squirrel huntin' if you want."
"I want to go see momma," Crystal whined as she thought about her choices. She didn't want to stay in the cave anymore if her uncle said she didn't have to. And she wanted to see her mother.
"Your Aunt Kim said that no one will be able to see your momma today. Maybe tomorrow," Luke said though he knew that the kids would be prepared for the fact that Kira won't be awake when the kids eventually went to see her. But he'd save that for later. Fortunately, Daisy spoke up.
"Well, since we don't have to stay out here in the chill, anymore, how about I take you and Jimmy back to the house. I think we could use a nice, warm bowl of soup."
"Tomato?" Jimmy asked his mother. "With a cheese sandwich?"
Daisy smiled at the simple request. "With the crust cut off."
"YAY!" Jimmy grabbed Crystal's hand before they got ready to run in the direction of where his mother's Jeep was hidden so that they could head back to the farm.
"I want to stay with the boys," Faith said as she looked up at her mother and then her father. "Can I?"
Luke grinned since his daughter had the tendency to want to do whatever her older cousins did. "Boys? What do you say? Are we goin' to camp out?"
Jay and Mikey both mulled over their options. Their home was burned down so they would likely be going back to the main farmhouse. With both parents in the hospital, yet not allowed to go there tonight, they really didn't think that they wanted to just go back to the farm and worry about chores and listen to their little sister play with their cousins. And it had been a while since they'd had squirrel stew. So they would camp out. But they wanted to see their mother as soon as they were allowed.
Jebb got settled in the double room that he and Kira were assigned in the hospital. The hospital was starting to phase out the multiple occupant rooms in favor of more private rooms just as other hospitals around the country were. Tri-county still had a few double occupant rooms, though, for those who couldn't afford the more expensive private rooms. Once in the room Jebb was left alone while waiting for Kira's surgery to finish. When she was finally rolled into the room and transferred over onto the bed in the room Jebb was starting to drift off to sleep. Though the moment that the nursing staff brought her into the room all thoughts of sleep were forgotten. He stayed on his side of the room while the nurses got Kira transferred from the gurney to the bed and got her settled.
Once he was alone with is unconscious wife he carefully got up from his bed as he listened to the quiet of the night. Kira had been in surgery for several hours. No doubt Kim and Bo had seen Kira while she was in post-op before she was brought to the room. Jebb sat on the edge of the bed, partially due to the pain emanating from his burned and bandaged feet, and got his first look at the damage that Shawn Kyle had inflicted on his wife. Kim had told him that Kira had turned onto her left side during the attack while she was in the trunk of the car that she'd been found in, thus protected much of that side but had left her entire right side open to the assault. Both her right arm and leg had several breaks in them. He knew that Kira also had multiple broken ribs, as well.
The most startling evidence of the attack, however, was Kira's face. It was swollen beyond recognition. Now he understood why Kim had stated that she would need at least two surgeries to reconstruct her face. Briefly he thought about the children. If they saw their mother like this it wouldn't alleviate their concerns for her at all; in fact it was likely to scare them. He knew that it had that affect on him, actually.
How had she been able to survive the attack this far? Jebb gingerly brushed some of Kira's hair aside, almost afraid to hurt her further just with his touch.
"Kira," Jebb whispered as he caught a crack in his voice. "I don't know if you can hear me but if you can, fight. I know you've fought for most of your life but you need to fight more now than you ever have. The kids need you. I need you." Jebb watched for any reaction to his confession. "I still don't remember everything, Kim told me that I likely have regained most of what I can, but I remember enough. Enough to know that we had a happy life and that life without you wouldn't be the same. I've heard it said that there is someone out there for everyone and if you are lucky then you find that one person that you're meant to be with. I've been lucky. I was a fool to know realize that sooner. And if you'll just wake up and let me, I'll make it up to you for all of the pain that you've been through for the last several months."
Jebb knew that Kira was still heavily sedated but that didn't prevent him from being a little disappointed at the lack of response that he got. The only sound in the room was the rhythmic beeps of the machine monitoring her heart rate as well as the one doing the breathing for her.
"That's alright. Sleep. Rest. Do what you have to do to fight your way back. Until then, you won't be alone. You'll never be alone again."