Chapter 40

Michaela and Sully are still at the reservation. Sully is catching up with Cloud Dancing as Michaela checks on Morningstar. Morningstar's English is getting better, so she can have a conversation with Michaela without any confusion. Michaela lets Morningstar listen to the baby's heartbeat. She shows her how to put it in her ears and how to place it on her stomach. Michaela helps her move it around her stomach until she hears a heartbeat. Once they get a heartbeat, Morningstar grins. She looks up at Michaela.

"My baby?"

Michaela smiles back at her.

"Yes, that's the heartbeat."

"H-h-heartbeat?" Morningstar asks questioningly.

Michaela nods and smiles.

"The baby is strong and healthy and will be here in a few weeks."

"Soon?"

Michaela nods.

"Yes, soon."

Morningstar smiles as she continues to listen to the heartbeat. Then she feels the baby kick. She grabs Michaela's hand and places it on that spot.

"Baby move."

The baby kicks Michaela's hand and she is taken aback for a minute. She smiles and gives Morningstar a hug.

Meanwhile back at the homestead…

"Maggie, I have to ride out to the reservation and get ma. Aimie is in bad shape and Katie is still unconscious. "

They were afraid to move Aimie's body just in case there were any other injuries so they cover her up with a blanket and keep pressure on the wound. Maggie is staying at the homestead to take care of Aimie and Katie when she wakes up.

"Okay, Brian. Please, be careful."

"I will. I will be back soon."

Brian mounts Taffy and rides off towards the reservation.

Maggie looks down at Aimie and brushes her hair off her forehead.

"You are going to be all right, Aimie. Brian is coming back with Grandma and she will take good care of you. I really wish Dr. Bernard were in town right now and he could treat you until Michaela gets here."

An upset and confused Angela sits next to Maggie and just looks at her twin sister lying there motionless. She has her arms wrapped around herself as the tears fall down her cheeks.

"You have to be okay, sister." Angela says to anyone listening.

Maggie wraps her free arm around Angela's shoulders.

"She will be, Angela. Why don't we say a prayer?"

Angela nods.

She and Maggie bow their heads in a prayer for Aimie.

Meanwhile back at the reservation…

Michaela, Sully and Cloud Dancing are all gathered around Morningstar when Brian pulls up on Taffy.

He doesn't see them as he dismounts.

"Ma, Sully!"

Michaela hears Brian and stops what she is doing.

"I think I hear Brian."

She gets up and calls his name.

"Brian!"

He hears her voice and turns to the sound of his name.

"Ma!"

Brian runs into his mother's arms. He may not be a little boy anymore but the comfort of his mother's arms is just what he needs right now.

Michaela hugs her son with a worried look on her face.

"What's the matter, Brian? What are you doing here?"]

"Aimie is hurt real badly, ma." Brian manages to burst out between sobs.

Michaela grabs Brian's shoulders and pulls him away from her so he will look in her eyes.

"What do you mean, Aimie is hurt?"

"I don't know what happened, ma. Maggie and me came home from our picnic and Katie was grabbing some towels from the cabinet. She fell into my arms and told me Aimie was hurt. She wasn't able to tell me much because she kept fainting."

"Oh my God, I need to get to the homestead and check on Aimie."

She runs to find Sully and leaves Brian standing there, upset.

"Sully, we have to go home, now!"

"Why, what's the matter?"

"Aimie is hurt badly and I need to go check on her!"

Sully just gives Michaela a look of shock as he nods his head and then goes to grab the wagon. Michaela grabs her medical bag and then joins Sully as they head to the homestead. Brian just stands there for a minute and then mounts Taffy and rides off. Cloud Dancing and Morningstar are lost as to what is going on. He has Morningstar go lie down in the teepee as he grabs his horse. He wants to find out what is going on and to see if he can help in any way.

Meanwhile back at the homestead…

Katie has woken up and she sits up, confused. Then she remembers what happened. She gets out of bed and grabs her crutches and heads downstairs. She has to see if Aimie is all right. If Aimie dies, it will be all her fault and she will never forgive herself.

She gets downstairs but there is nobody there, so she heads outside towards the barn. Once she gets there, she sees Maggie and Angela leaning over Aimie's motionless body. Maggie has a bloody rag covering the wound on Aimie's side.

Katie puts her hand up to her mouth and begins to sob. Maggie hears her and looks up at her.

"Katie, what are you doing out here? You need to go back inside and lie down, you are too upset."
Katie shakes her head.

"No Maggie, I need to be with Aimie. She was my responsibility and I allowed her to get hurt. It's all my fault if she dies."

"Accidents happen, Katie. Your mother is on her way here. Brian went to go get her. She will take good care of her."

"I know, but I still blame myself. Aimie can't die. She just can't."

Before Maggie can respond they hear commotion outside. Michaela and Sully have arrived with Brian not far behind.

Sully helps Michaela off the wagon as she starts to head for the house. Brian notices.

"Ma, Aimie and Maggie are in the barn."

Michaela acknowledges her son and then heads towards the barn with her bag in hand. Once she gets there, she is in for the shock of her life. She sees her four year old granddaughter lying there with blood everywhere. She doesn't notice anything or anyone else.
She approaches Aimie as Maggie and Angela move out of her way. Sully picks up Angela and comforts her as Brian hugs Maggie. Katie just stands there as if she doesn't exist.

Michaela examines Aimie to see how bad the injury is and she is glad to know that it is not very deep. It's just a very large gash in her abdomen. She checks Aimie's head for any head injury. There are no cuts on her head anywhere, just a goose egg from when she fell. Sully puts Angela down and picks up Aimie. He lays her in the back of the wagon as he and Michaela drive to the reservation. Michaela has Maggie sit in the back with her so she can keep an eye on Aimie. Michaela wants pressure to be kept on the wound as much as possible until she can stitch it up. Aimie has lost so much blood already. They didn't want to risk moving her or taking her in the wagon, but Michaela doesn't have the proper instruments to treat Aimie at the homestead.

Brian, Maggie and Angela watch as Sully and Michaela leave with Maggie and Aimie until they are out of sight.

Brian looks down at Angela and then picks her up.

"You look hungry and tired. How 'bout I take you inside and get you cleaned up so we can have some supper."

"I don't want any dinner, Uncle Brian. I want to go see Aimie."

"You can't see her right now. Ma is going to patch her up and then we can go see her."

"Is gramma going to fix her up real good?"

"Of course she will, now let's go in and have some supper."

As they are heading towards the house Cloud Dancing comes up.

"Ha ho."

"Cloud Dancing, what are you doing here?" Brian asks.

"I came to see what was going on."

"Aimie was hurt and ma and Sully took her to the clinic to patch her up."

"I will go there and see them, thank you Brian."

Cloud Dancing directs his horse towards the road to town and gallops off.

They all watch him until he's out of sight. Then they head back towards the house. Once inside, Little Wolf is sitting by the door whining.

"Katie, I think Little Wolf needs to go out."

Brian gets no response.

"Katie?"

He sets Angela down to go look for Katie. Little Wolf approaches Angela and puts her front paws up on her.

Angela manages a small smile through her sadness and sits down as Little Wolf climbs into her lap and licks her face. Angela begins to laugh. Animals always have a way to make you smile even when you feel your worst.

Brian continues to look for Katie. He looks all over the house but she is nowhere to be found.

"Angela, let's go take Little Wolf outside and look for Aunt Katie okay?"

Angela nods as she stands up. Brian grabs Little Wolf as they head outside. Brian sets Little Wolf down once they get outside and she immediately runs to her favorite spot to relieve herself. He grabs Angela's hand as they go look for Katie.

"Katie? Where are you?" he yells as he and Angela continue to look for Katie.

Suddenly Brian hears sobbing. He follows the sound and he sees Katie sitting on the stump that Sully uses to chop wood behind the barn.

"Katie?"

Katie looks up at her big brother, her face wet with tears.

"Why are you sitting back here, Katie? We are going to have some supper until ma gets home and lets us know how Aimie is."

"I don't want any supper Brian. I'm not hungry. I just want Aimie to be okay. I just want things back to the way they were. If I wouldn't have been so selfish, Aimie wouldn't be hurt and mama wouldn't hate me."

Brian approaches Katie, still holding on to Angela's hand.

"Why do you think ma hates you? She doesn't hate you."

"She left me in charge, Brian and I messed up. I can never do anything right. I go out in the middle of the night and almost get myself killed and then I'm left in charge of my nieces and one of them ends up getting hurt."

"Katie, accidents happen. Remember when I told you about me falling out of the tree when I was little?"

Katie nods as she wipes fresh tears from her cheeks.

"Ma blamed Sully and then everyone blamed everyone else. It really was nobody's fault. Sully told me not to jump, but I didn't listen and I almost lost my life and lost my sight temporarily. It was just an accident and I learned my lesson."

"I certainly haven't learned my lesson. I keep making the same mistakes over and over again."

Brian lets go of Katie's hand and sits down next to her on the stump. He puts his arm around her.

"Katie, I love you. Ma loves you, pa loves you. Aimie and Angela love you. Look at your wolf over there."

Brian points as Angela goes chasing after her.

Katie looks at where Brian is pointing.

"She loves you. She depends on you for everything. She is happy and healthy."
"What are you getting at?"

"I'm just saying that it doesn't matter if you make mistakes Katie. Everyone does and everyone still loves you. You are good person with a good heart and you are a great little sister."
"Really?"

Brian squeezes Katie against him.

"Yes, the best and you are going to be a great big sister."

"I will be won't I?" Katie replies as she wipes the tears away.

Brian smiles and gives his little sister a big hug.

"Let's go have some supper so we can keep up our energy for when we get the good news about Aimie."

Katie nods as they both stand up. They round up Angela and Little Wolf and go inside to have some supper.

Chapter 41 coming soon…we find out about Aimie's condition…will it be good news or bad news? Stay tuned and find out!