He felt himself hit the ground with a hard thud.
He was cold. So, so cold. He had no idea of how much time had passed but he knew he was getting weaker. They needed to find him. And fast.
He could hear her calling out for him. She sounded so scared and that scared him. He wanted to call out to her but couldn't. All he could do was hold on. For her, for them.
She was coming closer. She had found him just like he knew she would. He felt her hands on him and he knew he was safe. If she was here then he knew Frank, Lee & Bill would be close behind her. He felt himself drift further away.
There were soft voices somewhere nearby. His hand was wrapped up in both of hers. He had no idea how he knew she was there. He just did. He was warmer now but still so tired. He faded out again.
The next time he returned to his senses, his mother was talking to him. She sounded so broken. It reminded him of when his father was injured. He hated doing this to her, to them.
"That's a strong woman you've got there son. Lizzy's been so determined through all of this but I'm worried about her. She loves you so much, just like I loved your father. I need you to get better. Not just for me but for Elizabeth, she won't recover if she loses you."
He fell asleep thinking of Elizabeth and their journey. He had so much more planned for them.
The room was warmer the next time he came to. He could hear his mother telling Elizabeth about the time he got sick as a child. He didn't think it was fair for her to lose him and his father. He willed himself to fight. He heard his mother leave the room before he felt Elizabeth lean closer to him.
"Jack. I know things haven't always been easy for us. But from the first day I met you, I knew that no matter what, we were meant for each other. I'm sorry for everything I ever said or did that hurt you. If I could, I'd take it all back. I know God meant for us to have a life together. That's why you can't leave, not right now."
He heard her cry a bit, and it tore at him, knowing he was the reason. She leaned closer to him, her hand on his shoulder.
"Please stay with me. Please."
He sunk back into a slumber with Elizabeth on his mind and her love in his heart.
He must've been out for longer this time but he felt stronger. He tried to open his eyes, and found they responded. He could hear Elizabeth. Her voice sounded clearer now. He wanted nothing more than to be held by her and to see her. But more than anything, he needed her to see him awake, to know that he was going to be ok. She started to speak, her words washing over him, calming him like a balm to his soul.
"I wish you could see what's happening out there. The whole town's praying for healing, for you to get better. Can you could do that for them? How about for me? It's alright, I can wait. For as long as it takes"
Hold on Elizabeth, not long now.
"Do you remember our New Year's resolution? To be patient, to be kind. Not to rush, but to take our time."
His voice responded before he had finished the thought
"But not... not to take too much time"
His eyes slowly opened, revealing a very relieved yet slightly stunned Elizabeth. She looked so tired but yet she was still the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was a blur and she beat down to shower kisses all over his face, causing him to groan. She quickly apologized before kissing him again, the relief pouring off her.
She pulled back slightly, taking him in, giving him the chance to just look at her. She whispered a soft "Hi" before leaning down and taking his lips in hers. He gave in to the feeling, thinking to himself that he was home, she was his home and he wasn't going to wait much longer. He was going to make her his, the way God intended.