Chapter Seventeen

After what seemed like days, but in reality was a few hours, the doctor finally told them that it was okay to see Ivy, so long as they only stayed a few minutes; she needed plenty of rest. Sam told the rest of the family to go in first while he waited outside. He had used the excuse that he wanted them to have some alone time with their mother.

Sam was a brave man, but the truth of the matter was, at that moment, he was afraid to see what kind of shape his wife was in.

Kay walked out of the door first, large tears threatened to spill down onto her cheeks as she silently sat down next her father. Sam said nothing as he put an arm around and she let out a small choked sob. Again Sam was afraid; afraid to ask about the condition of his beloved wife. He was fearful that Kay's silence and tears told him everything he didn't want to hear.

Ethan came out soon after with everyone else close behind.

Sam rose to his feet as Ethan made eye contact and approached him. He looked at Sam before hugging him and struggling to get out the words that would answer Sam's unasked question, "She's still unconscious, but she's moving around a lot like she's agitated. Maybe you can get her to calm down." Ethan pulled away and smiled, "The things that you asked for are in a box by the bed."

"Thanks for the favor, guys," Sam said looking first at Ethan and then at Fox who nodded in response.

It was then that he felt a pair of unfamiliar arms wrap around him, "Thank you for taking care of her," Ashtyn said. "She never had that with my father; she always had to fend for herself. When we were home she tried to be strong and hide what Father...the way he...she was hurt, so unhappy..." Ashtyn trailed off, not knowing how to put into words the few times she had seen through her mother's tough front to the misery that had lain within for so long.

Sam gladly returned the embrace in the fatherly manner he knew Ashtyn had never felt before but needed more than anything right now. "Well, things are different now," he assured her. "Your mother's really grateful that you came back into her life, you know," he looked at the others, "Thanks for being here with her through all this."

"We wouldn't have it any other way, Sam," Fox said.

Sam nodded and suggested that they all go home and get some rest; he would stay with Ivy. He watched as they left and closed his eyes as he turned to the doorway of Ivy's room. Knots instantly formed in the pit of his stomach as he closed his eyes and walked through the door. Finally, he mustered the courage to open his eyes. Ivy didn't look as bad as he had expected, but she did appear terribly weak and flushed as she tossed uncomfortably, almost feverishly in the hospital bed.

He slowly approached the bed and took her hand. "Oh Ivy," he brought her hand to his face, where he could still faintly smell a hint of her Jasmine perfume. As much as he wanted to sit down and keep an eye on her as she slept fitfully, he had to get things ready for before she woke up. He gently laid her hand back down, kissed her thin cheek, and smiling, he noticed that she begin to calm somewhat after his kiss. Sam then turned to box near the bed and got to work.