Copyright © 2014 Anne Azel
Some one was screaming and it had woke Casey Dillon up. Pain. It knifed through her in stomach turning jabs. She was the one screaming. She tightened her jaw against her agony and the noise stopped. The pain didn’t though. What had happen? Something bad that was for sure.
Okay, focus. She breathed in and out. Painful but she could breath by herself. She moved her fingers and toes. Still had all her parts anyway unless it was just phantom sensations she was feeling. Where was the pain? Everywhere. No, left side from her head to her knee. Carefully, she opened one eye. The other one was bandaged over.
A nurse sat beside her behind a mass of wires and tubes. She was pretty. Long blond hair in a pony tail and remarkably blue eyes. The nurse leaned forward in surprise. “Hi. Good to see you conscious again. I’m Kim. How are you feeling?”
Kim nodded. “We’re doing all we can to relieve it but you are pretty banged up.”
“Field hospital?” Casey managed to whisper.
Kim shook her head and adjusted some equipment. “Military hospital in Germany.”
Casey fought back the nausea of pain. “What happened?”
“I don’t know the details. There was an attack. I understand you were quite the hero.”
The nurse’s face was close now. Smoothing Casey’s sheets. There was the scent of early spring flowers and herbs. Perfume.
“Don’t know. Don’t remember,” Casey managed to say.
Kim smiled. “That’s typical. It might come back.”
Casey struggled to make sense of things but there was too much pain and too many drugs in her system. “What day is it?”
“Friday, February the fourteenth.”
“Valentine’s Day.” At least she remembered that.
“Yes.” Kim was holding her hand. Rubbing her thumb across Casey’s wrist.
“I’ve lost a lot of days.”
“You’ve been in a coma a long time. Doctor will be pleased you’ve regained consciousness.
Suddenly a wave of fear ran beneath the pain. “Angel of Death.”
Casey struggled to explain. “The nurses who sit with soldiers who don’t have family until they die. Angel of Death.”
“I didn’t know that. I hope the worst is over and you’ll pull through.”
Casey tried to move her limbs but she was too exhausted. “Do I still have all my limbs and stuff?”
“So far. There’s concern about your left arm, your skull was damaged, pelvis was crushed and you’ve lost a kidney.”
Casey tried a smile but it felt more like a sneer. She became aware she had tubes running everywhere from her body. “Did my kidney get blown up or did you guys sell it?”
Kim smiled. “That’s classified information.”
“Valentine’s Day. No date?”
Kim hesitated and then sighed. “My partner dumped me for another woman.”
“Bastard. He should get blown up.”
“Yes, but it was a she not a he.” Kim clarified her chin going up in defiance.
“Me too.” Casey groaned out. Trying to shift a bit in bed and failing.
Kim eyes softened with concern. “Is there anyone I can call for you?”
“No. Hard to keep a relationship in the military.” Casey sucked deep from the breathing tube in her nose. Talking was taxing.
Casey closed her eyes against the pain. She could feel herself drifting. “Always wanted - perfect Valentine’s Day. I never got - chance.”
“What would it be like, your perfect Valentine’s Day?”
“Special. You want - my perfect Valentine’s?”
Kim laughed. “Sure. Tell me.”
Casey’s eyes closed then opened again. It was early morning and she could smell the soft perfume of the woman she loved beside her. She smiled, letting her eyes drifted along firm curves. Kim was beautiful. She slipped an arm around her and pulled her closer to drop light kisses on Kim’s neck.
“You are the most amazing woman in the world and I’m the luckiest of women. Happy Valentine’s Day my Special One.”
Kim rolled over in her arms and reached up to pull Casey down for a deep kiss. “Happy Valentine’s Day my wonderful woman.
Casey smiled. “If you look in the drawer of your side table you’ll find a little gift from me.”
Kim raised an eye brow in surprise, rolled away and reached for the drawer in the table beside her bed. Puff! There was an explosion of tiny red hearts that rained down on their bed and the floor. Kim laughed with delight and pulled a small box from the drawer before rolling back to give Casey a kiss.
“You are wonderful, do you know that?”
“Mmmm, and don’t you ever forget it.”
“I won’t.” Kim gave her partner another kiss and then flopped back on her back to open her present. A set of gold wedding bands were nestled inside. Her breath caught.
Casey kissed Kim’s hand. “They are engraved with the words. One heart, one soul, forever. Will you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?”
Tears rolled down Kim’s face. She pulled Casey close and held her tight. “That was about the most wonderful Valentine’s that anyone deeply in love could ever receive. I love you, Casey. Yes, I want so much to marry you.”
“How about tonight? In front of all our friends and family at The Pear Tree Restaurant? Please say yes, because I’ve got it all booked,” asked Casey an anxious frown forming on her forehead.
“Yes!” squealed Kim rolling on top of Casey and smothering her in kisses.
Sometime later a very relaxed and satisfied Casey whispered into Kim’s ear. “How about walking down and having breakfast at O’Neil’?”
“I have to check first,” Kim stated suddenly leaping out of bed and running from the room. She was back in a minute with a Valentine’s card. “Okay, its here. Let’s get dressed and go for brunch but first, I want you to open your Valentine card from me.”
Casey sat up in bed letting the sheets fall in a puddle around her waist. The terrible scars were still red against twisted skin. Kim came over and kissed her shoulder. Much pain today?”
“A little less each day.” Reassured Casey seeking another kiss. Then she opened her card. Out of it fell a car key.
“Didn’t you get the okay from Doctor Gage to drive again? There’s a little something that got delivered to our driveway this morning. Happy Valentine’s Day, Casey.”
Casey eased herself off the bed and grabbing her cane for balance she limped out to look through the curtains to the driveway. A red jeep sat there.
Casey turned and found a beaming Kim right behind her. Gathering her close, she gave her a long, deep hug. “Thank you. You are amazing. Wow, I don’t know what to say. Yes, I do. We’ll call her Cupid.”
Kim laughed. “Cupid? So that’s how it happened. Just a thought, Casey, standing naked in the window hugging your future wife is not a great idea.”
“Oh shit!” Casey took Kim’s hand. Come shower with me.”
Kim sighed and checked the monitors beside Major Dillon’s bed again. Her vital signs had been deteriorating rapidly. It was hard to believe that only an hour ago she had regained consciousness and asked a few questions.
Doctor Chan bustled into the room on rounds. Behind him was Barb Coles, the nurse who would take over from her.
“Hi, How’s the patient doing?” asked Chan.
“She woke about an hour ago. Asked where she was and what day it was. She seemed to understand my answers. I asked her to tell me about Valentine’s Day but she drifted off again. Since then her vitals have been destabilizing.”
“Incredible that she was able to communicate considering the damage to her skull. The mind, nurse, is an amazing thing.”
“Yes, Sir. She said she was in pain.”
Dr. Chan looked over the chart and checked the monitors then shook his head. “She won’t be for much longer. I’m surprised she’s lasted as long as she has. Call me.” He said quietly. He nodded to the two nurses and walked out.
Barb and Kim went out into the hall to talk. “Nice of you to keep her alive for my shift.”
“I didn’t want you to miss out on the fun. I’m going home for a shower and sleep. Some of us are meeting at Cargale’s for dinner at eight. You want to join us?”
“I’ll see how it goes here,” replied Barb, nodding towards the room. No nurse likes to lose a patient especially a soldier who had put it on the line for others.
Kim yawned. “Excuse me. Long night. I’m out of here.” She walked down to the nurses’ centre and did the needed paper work and then headed into the back room to wash her hands, change and get her stuff.
In the mirror, she saw a pretty face with big blue eyes now dull with the lack of sleep. She looked at her hands. A gold band was on her finger. No, she didn’t wear a wedding ring. She was seeing things. Yet it was there. It slipped off easily from her soapy finger and she held it up to read the engraving inside. One heart. One soul. Forever. Thoughtfully, she slipped the ring back on. It felt like it belonged and yet she’d never worn a gold band on her finger before. Something deep inside her soul struggled to get out. Something important. Love! Kim turned and ran.
She came around the corner into Major Dillon’s room to find the doctor filling in the chart and Barb taking the monitors off a still body.
“No! Casey! No! Remember your perfect Valentine’s Day. Your promise. Come on Casey!”
Barb came and put her arm around Kim. “I’m sorry. Did you know her?”
Kim pulled away and took Casey’s hand. The ring was no longer on her finger. She’d imagined it after all. No, she wouldn’t believe that. Something special happened. She was sure of it. “No I don’t know her but I will. Casey, your promise. Come on!” Tears rolled down Kim’s face.
There was silence in the room. Barb looked at Doctor Chan. Nurse’s cracked under the strain sometimes. It happened. In a military hospital, they saw way too much pain. “Come on, Kim, I’ll get you some hot tea,” Barb said softly.
A ragged gasp. A bleep on the monitor. They all turned as one and looked at the patient. “Get her back on support!” snapped Chan and they all worked quickly to stabilize Major Casey Dillon’s condition. A half hour later, they stood watching. Casey’s vital signs were slowly improving.
“Its not possible,” stated Chan shaking his head. “She was gone.”
Barb smiled, giving her friend a one armed hug. “Kim did it. I don’t know how but she did.”
Kim smiled still holding on to Casey’s hand. “It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s the magic of love.”
Anne Azel’s Award Winning Novels
Encounters, Seasons, Three Doses of Murder, Murder in Triplicate, Journeys, Gold Mountain, Iron Rose Bleeding, The Little Book of Big Christmas Stories, America, Tides and coming soon The Dark Matter Corps Series.
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