“Holy f**king shit, tell me she’s okay. I need her to be okay.”

Chad! I shout in my head at the sound of my brother’s voice but my lungs and throat burn too much for words and my neck is so very heavy.

“Are you insane, boy?” another man with a familiar voice I can’t place, demands. “I told you I’d take care of Lara. Get out of here before they come for you.”

“Is my f**king sister okay? I need to know she’s okay.”

“She’s unconscious, but her vitals are good.”

“Then I’m taking her with me.”

“Is she okay, Dad?” yet another male voice asks.

“Get the hell out of here, Luke!” the first man shouts. “Go now.”

“But Dad--”

“Go! You saw nothing and no one.”

“But--”

“Go!”

There are footsteps and the sirens are blasting near my ears now. I tell myself to lift my head. Lift my head. But I can’t.

“You go too, Chad,” the man commands. “Go now.”

“I am not leaving without her,” Chad repeats.

“She needs a doctor,” the man says. “Once I know she’s okay, I’ll get her out of the hospital. You just get that paperwork we need.”

I blink awake with a cramp and I hear Liam’s urgent voice asking, “Is the baby okay, doctor?”

I blink to find I’m in a hospital bed and a man with grey hair wearing blue scrubs is leaning over me. “I need to run some tests. If you could step out--”

“No.” I grab Liam’s hand. “No. I need him here.”

“I’m not going anywhere, baby.” He levels the doctor with a stare. “I’m staying.”

The doctor looks like he wants to argue but focuses on me instead. “How do you feel?”

“I’m still cramping and I think I’m still bleeding.”

He studies me intently. “Were you dizzy when you passed out?”

“I have...another condition,” I comment. “I black out.”

“Her doctor in New York is treating her for it.”

“Can we get her doctor on the phone?”

“I did better,” Liam says. “I have her on a plane headed here.”

The doctor looks startled. “You did what?”

“Dr. Murphy is coming here?”

“Yes. Anything to take care of you, Amy.” He glances at the doctor. “She’ll be several hours but I’ve arranged to have her call in from the plane the instant she’s airborne.”

“Very well,” the doctor says and he touches my arm. “In the meantime, we need to get you into a gown, and run some tests.”

“Does the bleeding mean I’m losing the baby?”

“Not always,” he assures me. “Let’s get those tests done and we’ll know more. When is your due date?”

“June.”

He grabs some kind of spinning calendar and says, “That puts you close to the 3-month mark. We’ll be able to check the heartbeat with some special equipment and do a pelvic exam. Have you had a sonogram?”

I shake my head. “No. No sonogram yet.”

“We’ll do one today. It’s painless and we’ll be able to tell a lot.” He glances at Liam. “I’ll be at the desk just outside when she’s ready.”

He steps out and pulls the curtain, and Liam leans in and kisses my forehead. “Maybe it’s just cramps,” I say hopefully.

“We’ll know soon,” he assures me, tugging my shirt over my head and then sliding the gown over my upper body. I still have on the oversized bra but I don’t care.

Next we remove my pants and when I see how much blood there is, as hard as I try to fight it, tears slip from my eyes. It’s too much blood to just be cramps. I know it is. Looking grim, Liam leans over me and grabs the intercom button, punching it and asking for help.

He swipes at my tears. “Hang in there, baby. We’re going to get through this.”

I cling to his hand for dear life, and looking into his eyes, I see his torment is mine, and while I wish him no pain ever, there is comfort in knowing he isn’t just present, but is as deeply wounded by what is happening as I am.

The nurse appears almost instantly and she places something underneath me and then buzzes the doctor. I grab Liam’s hand again and say, “You’re still not telling me it’s going to be okay.”

He caresses a lone tear from my cheek. “I’m supposed to be here for you even when it isn’t. I’m going to get the doctor.”

I nod and then I endure the pelvic exam but I stay hopeful when the cramps seem to have eased. “Well?” Liam asks before I can.

“Your cervix is dilated. That can be an indication of a miscarriage but let’s do the other testing first.”

I don’t have time to react to the news. A whirlwind of activity follows, through all of which I’m hurting, from heart monitoring to the sonogram, and the doctor and the nurse are incredibly hard to read. Finally, the doctor says, “As difficult as this is, with the level of bleeding, I’m certain that not only are you miscarrying, but I recommend a D & C to ensure you don’t hemorrhage excessively. We can wait until your doctor gets here, but if I can talk to her I’m fairly certain she’ll agree.”

The rest fades in and out. Something about miscarriages being nothing I did wrong. They can’t be explained. I can try again. By the time the doctor is gone, I’m curled on my side. Liam climbs on the bed and wraps himself around me. I explode into tears then, my body quaking with the intensity. And I am crying for more than my child. I’ve lost my brother all over again and have no idea how to get him back, or if he’s even still alive.

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