Entering his office, Carlisle stopped the wheelchair next to the couch, then stepped around the front & squatted to look Bella in the eyes. Her exhaustion was plain to see on her face. It also showed in her posture. "Honey, it is going to take me a bit to review the x-rays and then gather what we will need. Would you like to nap on the couch until we are ready to leave?"
"Alright, you know the drill by now; just hold still while I lift." As she nodded her head, he was already slipping his arms under her knees and behind her back. As he lifted and settled her onto the couch, Esme assisted by pulling the wheelchair out of the way and then settling a pillow under her head. Esme tucked the blanket around Bella's body and slipped the ball cap off her head. Finally, Esme dimmed the office lights knowing doing so would not hamper Carlisle's ability to work in the least.
In the moment it took to get her settled, Bella's eyes were already slipping closed. So he left her in Esme's care and stepped over to his desk. Logging into his workstation, he slipped the drive containing the x-rays in and began to study them.
The chest x-rays showed exactly what he expected after hearing how the rib injuries had happened. Most of the breaks would heal on their own; however the right side of her chest (where she struck the tree) held several splinters that he would need to remove. Mercifully, she had caught her left ribs on the park bench – if it had been the right side, the splinters could have been driven into her lungs. As it was, removing them would only require a couple of small, simple incisions.
Moving on to the hand x-rays, he was saddened to see that his assessment was correct. He would not only need to re-break several bones in her hand, he would then need to set them with external screws that would later need to be removed. Two of the small bones that made up her wrist would also require pins. The x-ray also revealed a small fracture in her arm, close to the wrist bones. Although the fracture would simply require immobilizing the arm for a time, anger and self-disgust still coursed through him. Victoria's attack, coupled with Bella's forced run and subsequent delay in medical treatment had ensured she would not have full use of the hand again – unless she was someday changed. Worse was the knowledge that he was responsible for her situation. As the head of the family, he alone could have overridden Edward's authority as her mate and ensured the family remained with Bella. Foolishly they had believed themselves to be the only threat to her.
Forcing himself to set his emotions aside, he focused on his task. His infallible memory allowed him to create the list of items he would need for both surgeries as he studied the images without the need to write anything down. Unless an unforeseen complication arose, he decided it would be best to correct both the rib splinters and Bella's hand at the same time. This would minimize the number of times she would need anesthesia as well as the overall healing time. He also considered her numerous other injuries and possible complications from the malnourishment and exposure she had obviously suffered. Combined with her visible exhaustion, these problems worried the doctor in him but he knew they would be easier to resolve. If at all possible, his goal was to avoid Bella making a return trip to the hospital.
Finished with his reviews and list making, he looked up to see Esme sitting on the couch arm nearest their daughter's head. She was gently smoothing her hand down Bella's hair. Studying her face, Bella was asleep but judging by the grimace to her expression, was still in pain. Her heart continued to beat at a slightly increased pace – also another sign of her pain. The pills were enough to take the edge off, but she would need the stronger shot if she was to obtain the deep sleep she desperately needed.
Esme took in the pensive atmosphere that seemed to absorb her husband, "Is the news that bad Carlisle?"
Sighing, he responded, "Not any worse than I had anticipated, I simply wished for better. I will save the detailed explanations for when Bella is awake, but she won't regain full use of her hand. She has suffered so much for our absence."
Walking over to him, Esme wrapped him in a hug. "With you as her doctor and physical therapist, I have no doubt she'll recover as much function as is possible. You'll heal her Carlisle, and you and I will see to it that she gets past this. I won't accept any less," she said this with all the determination she could muster.
"Your faith is a gift my Love. I am going to gather the supplies she will need and secure them in the car. I will also warm it back up before I return for you both, allow her continue to sleep in the meantime – she needs all the rest she can get right now," he gently kissed her lips, stood up and walked over to the couch. Bending down, he left a kiss on Bella's forehead before heading out to gather the necessary supplies.
Esme knew it would take some time before Carlisle could return. He would have to be careful not to be noticed by the humans. Carlisle could easily explain some of the supplies away – he was well known for his willingness to make house calls – but she suspected the supplies he would require for Bella's hand surgery would raise a few eyebrows. Although she knew Carlisle would make an anonymous donation for more than the cost of what he was taking now; none of them could afford the questions that would result.
Esme took a seat at Carlisle's desk as she watched over her daughter. Listening to the sound of Bella's heartbeat in the background, she thought of all that had been revealed today. How had Bella ended up suffering exposure on the very day Edward had left Forks? Obviously she had to have been upset, but Edward would have explained that since he would never agree to turn her, it was safest for her if the family left her to her human life without interference and threat. Edward had reported she understood their point of view and subsequent decision even though she passionately differed with it.
Had she viewed it as the betrayal Esme felt it to be? For they all knew Bella's opinion on the matter of her change and by leaving they had all disregarded it. Yet even if she had it didn't explain the exposure she suffered or her severe lack of trust in them. Neither did the attacks by Laurent and Victoria or the subsequent betrayal by Paul. For even if Bella felt their family decision to leave was disloyal to her, she knew they had sacrificed to protect her. Paul's treachery was intended to harm her.
Whatever had destroyed Bella's faith in them, Esme knew one thing: she would not allow her daughter to continue to suffer for the choices of others. Somehow, Carlisle and she would find the root cause and make this right. They would be there to support Bella through adapting to life with limited use of her hand, and after that… well Edward would find out just how much immovable stone she and Carlisle were made of if he even suggested they leave her life again when Victoria was dealt with.
Esme noticed Bella's heart rate increasing and her sleep became restless. Concerned she was slipping into a bad dream, and might hurt herself with the movement, Esme slipped back to the couch and attempted to soothe her by petting her hand through Bella's hair. It seemed to take a minute or two, but Bella finally settled into a calmer sleep.
"Carlisle, her sleep was getting restless. I'm concerned she'll hurt herself if that happens," Esme spoke at a normal volume, knowing Carlisle would hear her.
A few minutes passed and then the office door opened admitting Carlisle. He stepped over to Bella and quickly examined her, "The pain medication I gave her is likely wearing off. I am almost done here Love. The car is warming, I just have a few last items to grab, and then we can get her home. She will sleep deeper once I give her the stronger shot."
"Perhaps you can give it to her in the car? So she's not in pain longer than she needs to be?"
Carlisle gave her a sad look as he responded, "I will give her the choice Love, but I think Bella will want to wait until she sees that we have returned to our house with her. She still believes we will send her away as soon as possible."
"You're right, of course Carlisle. I don't want to see her in pain, but I think you're correct to let her decide. She's in this situation because of decisions others have made for her. If we are going to win her trust back, I think we need to allow her to be involved in as many decisions concerning her as is possible."
"I agree. If she gets restless again, go ahead and awaken her. We will be leaving shortly and she will need to be conscious then anyways."
Leaving his office, Carlisle headed to the pharmacy. Signing out a limited amount of pain killers, muscle relaxers, antibiotics and IVs was easy… most were items he regularly requested for house calls. The anesthesia medications required a bit of vampire stealth, however. It really was too bad Emmett wasn't here for this – he would enjoy playing the part of 007. Once he had all the medications he felt may be necessary, he slipped back to the Mercedes, tucked them away in the trunk and returned to pick the ladies up.
Moving back through the hospital's hallways, Carlisle heard Esme waking Bella. She must have become restless again. He really did not want Bella to be in pain unnecessarily. Thinking through his treatment plan he decided that so long as she continued to agree to not move without their assistance, then she could afford to wait before he removed the splinters. This was important for several reasons: firstly he preferred she have another full night of rest before taxing her body with the surgeries; secondly her thinking ability needed to be lucid when they discussed her injuries and treatment; lastly it meant he could offer her more of the non-sedating painkiller now and by the time the discussion was done he could safely give her the shot.
Slipping into his office, he noticed Esme had already helped her to sit up and was assisting her with her jacket. He gave her a concerned look and said, "Esme told me you were getting restless in your sleep." Wondering why this observation caused Bella to blush he continued, "I know the pain must be getting bad again so I have a choice for you. You can take another dose of the pain pills that I gave you earlier, and we can discuss your injuries as soon as we get home. After that it will be safe to give you the more effective shot and you can get some sleep. Or I can give you the shot when we get to the car, and we can save the discussion for after you awaken. The important thing you need to know before you decide is that you have several rib splinters in your right chest. I need to remove them before they end up bumped into your lungs. Provided you're willing to continue to allow Esme or I to assist you with any movement, then it is safe to delay the surgery for the lesser pills and discussion. If you are not willing to allow us to help, then I need to insist on the stronger shot, as soon as you are in the car and putting the discussion off until after the surgery. I can not in good conscience allow you to risk a punctured lung."
To her credit, Bella took her time to think through all that he had just told her. After a few minutes had passed she responded, "I don't mind keeping still and letting you guys move me and I would prefer to hear what you found before the surgery." He noticed a hesitant look cross her face before she continued, "I'd prefer to be awake for the car ride. Would it be alright to go with the pills now and the talk when we get to the house?"
Even though he expected it, it still hurt to see the signs that she didn't trust them yet. Careful to keep any negative reaction from his face, he grabbed a fresh bottle of water and dispensed two more of the pills. Handing them to her, he assured her, "Of course Sweetheart. Once you take these we will finish getting you bundled up and head home."
It wasn't long before Bella set the bottle down and allowed them to transfer her to the wheelchair before slipping her hat, scarf and gloves on. He once again reminded her to breathe through the scarf to avoid further harm to her lungs. He squeezed her shoulder in reassurance when he saw her tense up as he wheeled her into the hallway. Just as before, most people were focused on getting to their destination and paid them no heed. The few who did were clearly looking at Esme and himself, barely sparing a glance in Bella's direction. When they were close to the exit, Esme slipped ahead to pull the Mercedes up and Carlisle slowed his own pace to avoid a wait in the lobby.
Reaching the exit doors to see the Mercedes in place, Carlisle double checked that Bella's scarf was still covering her nose and mouth, then quickly wheeled her out the door and once again gave the appearance of struggling to lift her. Once Esme had slipped in back with her, he returned the wheelchair to the lobby, slipped into the driver's seat and they were heading home.
Bella finally felt herself relax when they pulled back up to the Cullen's current residence. Now that it was obvious she hadn't been left behind at the hospital or any other facility, she finally felt she could trust that they would not put Charlie at risk. Whether or not they turned her out with Victoria still out there remained to be seen. She wanted to believe them, but she couldn't forget how they failed to show up each and every time her life had been threatened these past six and a half months. She refused to believe Alice did not see each event, and she knew the Cullen's didn't keep secrets from each other. Yet she had no explanation for why Alice wouldn't have forewarned Carlisle that Bella was heading for Ithaca. Lost in thought, the drive went by fast and before she knew it Esme was whisking her into the living room while Carlisle brought the car to the garage.
Bella held still as promised while Esme set her on the couch and tucked her in with a pillow behind her back and another each under her knee and ankle. She then settled a warm blanket over her. "Thank you, Esme."
"Oh you're welcome dear. I suspect this conversation will take some time and I prefer you to be comfortable. It is already early morning and you must be hungry by now; Carlisle is asking if you would prefer a sandwich and some soup again or perhaps eggs and sausage?"
"If it isn't too much trouble, eggs and sausage sounds wonderful, please," to Bella it seemed as if her last repast was days ago. She guessed her stomach was making up for all the missed meals.
"Of course it won't be too much trouble. Your forgetting how quickly we can work. Would you like tea or hot chocolate with it?"
Moments later Carlisle walked in carrying two trays. One held several ice packs and the other was laden with a generous helping of scrambled eggs, sausage links, toast, hot tea, and a glass of water.
"Here you are Bella. I brought the ice packs to help bring down the swelling in several of your injuries." As he explained, Esme moved the coffee table to directly in front of Bella and Carlisle set the trays on it.
"Go ahead and start eating while I arrange the packs, then we can discuss my assessment of your injuries."
As Bella dug into her breakfast with her good hand, Esme took a seat on the loveseat across from the couch and Carlisle wrapped the ice packs with towels, setting two each around her right knee and ankle. He then used a decorative pillow to rest her injured hand on with another ice pack for it. When he was done, he resettled the blanket over her and then walked to the window. He stood there looking out at the night wishing he had better news for his daughter. Hearing her set the fork back on the tray, he turned around and requested her attention, "Bella."
He waited until she looked up at him, with her hand wrapped around the mug of hot tea, "Sweetheart, this isn't going to be easy to hear."
She held a hand up to stop him and spoke quietly, "Carlisle, you know I'm no stranger to broken bones… from the moment Paul ran me out, medical treatment wasn't an option. I knew the damage to my hand was likely to end up permanent. I really appreciate everything your doing for me, but please… no more lies… I can take the truth. Regardless of what it is."
Carlisle was shocked. Bella had requested 'no more lies.' While he knew Edward was in the habit of toning information down, or attempting to keep it from Bella entirely; to his knowledge no one in their family had lied to Bella since she had begun seeing Edward. Prior to that, the only lies she had been told were those necessary to keep their secret. To what could she possibly be referring?
As tempted as he was to ask, he knew that would lead the conversation to the questions Esme and he were waiting to have answered. That discussion would almost certainly become very emotional. As Bella's doctor, he didn't feel she was ready for it. No, best to add that to the list of items needing to be cleared up after Bella had recovered some.
Walking over to the couch, Carlisle moved the coffee table back and took a knee in front of Bella. Taking her hand in his, he looked her in the eye, "Bella, I promise you that I will not lie to you, sugar coat or withhold the truth. Furthermore, from this point forward, Esme and I will do our upmost best to involve you in any and all decisions that affect you."
He waited as she once again searched his eyes. Finally, she looked down at their hands and spoke quietly, "Alright Carlisle, I believe you."
When he heard Esme sigh sadly, Carlisle could not help chuckling in despair, "Oh Isabella, one thing that has not changed in the last six months is your inability to tell a convincing lie." The blush his family so enjoyed seeing on Bella began to color her face. "We know you still expect us to throw you out and for some reason you are also convinced we will lie to you. Why you believe that of us, I do not understand, but we will save that topic for when your health is not in jeopardy. I promise you that you are safe to give honest answers. You will not suffer for doing so, nor will you anger us. In time, you will see I am speaking the truth. We have much to discuss tonight and I know you are in pain. So let us start with your injuries and my treatment plan…"
He waited until she looked up at him and nodded. Moving to sit on the loveseat beside Esme, he resumed from where she had interrupted him, "The x-rays of your hand revealed multiple breaks in each of your metacarpal – palm – bones. Since they were allowed to begin healing prior to being set, I will have to re-break each. Most will require pins and metal alignment bars to ensure they heal as straight as possible. In your case, I intend to set them externally, so they can be easily removed after the bones have healed. Then I will use a 3D printed cast that will be easily removed so I can ensure the areas around the pins stay clean while immobilizing your hand and arm for the majority of the time."
Pausing to let that sink in, he then continued, "I believe most of the fingers will heal correctly as the breaks are clean, the long term issue is with your wrist. The fracture directly above it is also a clean break that will heal easily however there are two broken bones in your wrist that I will have to set with internal pins. These pins will also be removed after the bone has had time to heal. Once you are through with the cast stage, I will become your physical therapist. I will do my utmost best to help you regain as much mobility as possible; however the reality with this type of injury is that you will never regain 100% mobility unless you should one day undergo the change. That is also partly the reason I've chosen external supports."
He watched as Bella's face paled some when he mentioned the change. He had hesitated to do so, but was adamant that he would keep nothing from her. Was it disappointment over Edward choosing to leave her since he never wanted to risk her soul by changing her? Or something more?
"May I ask what the other reason for the external supports is?"
"Of course Sweetheart. I chose them because removal will be less invasive. This will lead to less recovery for you and be easier for us vampires to handle. By the time they are ready to be removed, Esme and I will have asked some of the others to come help defend against Victoria. They can maintain a perimeter during any surgeries, but they will still be forced to handle some of the scent of your blood."
By now he expected it when Bella's heart took off with the same fear she had displayed in his car when she thought the rest of the family was in Ithaca. She still believed they would blame her for disrupting their lives. Knowing what the fear was about did nothing to dampen the pain in his heart. She had obviously learned to trust him some after the successful hospital visit, but not enough to believe she was not an unwanted burden to any of them. Even Rosalie – despite her gruff exterior – would be horrified to hear what Bella had been through. Rosalie would likely never admit it, but Paul's betrayal had torn Bella from her life just as she had been torn from her own. The manner was vastly different, and depending on how things went with Victoria, Bella had a chance of returning to her own life, but the two girls had much in common right now.
Softly, he reassured her, "We spoke about this already Bella. I know you think that the others will be angered that you may lead Victoria to us. I promise you that is the furthest from the truth. They will each be horrified to learn we left you in danger."
Bella was quiet for a time and when she finally looked at him it was with such a dead look in her eyes that his heart broke all over again. When she spoke her voice was equally deadened, "I wish I could believe that Carlisle, I want to believe you when you promise not lie to me but all three of us know you just did." It was as if she had accepted defeat and there was no fight left in her.
If he was honest with himself, he was a bit offended. How had his integrity become so impugned in Bella's eyes? He forced himself to remember the pain she was currently in and her need for sleep. As much as he ached to resolve this here and now, it had to wait.
"I can see you truly believe that Bella, and that saddens me deeply. Since now is not the time to delve into why, do you at least believe me when I say I personally will continue to protect you regardless of how you believe the others will react to your situation?"
Bella hesitated with her response, "I want to say yes. You could have easily left me behind at the hospital if you wanted nothing to do with this…but the past tells me you all must have known."
"I will accept that answer for now honey. In time, I feel my actions will reveal to you the truth. Let us continue on with the medical discussion so you may get some much needed sleep."
At this Bella sighed dejectedly but nodded her head. Esme choose that moment to speak up, "How about a fresh cup of tea Sweetheart? Maybe something soothing… I have both lavender and passionflower?"
"Lavender please Esme. Thank you, more hot tea would be nice." She still spoke in that dead voice, and her demeanor had not improved, but to Carlisle it showed a small victory. Bella at least was comfortable enough with them to now admit she did not believe them. She also trusted that Esme would not be put out to provide the tea. And she had admitted to wanting to believe him. Small changes, but Carlisle would take what positives he could find in this situation.
"Alright Bella, while Esme sees to the tea, let us speak about your ribs. In my professional opinion, they pose a most significant threat to your health at this time. Overall there are more broken ribs than I hoped to see but on the left side of your chest, they are all clean breaks that will heal without intervention. As hard as Jacob's body would have been, it still would have flexed during the impact. Obviously the same cannot be said for the tree which you impacted with your right side. While most of the breaks in your right chest will heal on their own, three shards have splintered off. To be quite frank Bella, had you impacted the park bench on the right, rather than the left, they would have been driven straight into your lung. They are why your ribs will remain wrapped and you immobile until after the surgery. Until I have removed them, your lungs will be at risk. The good news is that they will only require a simple incision to access. Once they are out we will forgo any rib wrapping to avoid increasing your risk for pneumonia."
He could hear the water for the tea beginning to boil. He knew Esme would have used the time to compose herself after the pervious turn of conversation. He blamed himself for the distress Esme was surely feeling. In allowing Edward's decision to rule, he had failed them all. "Esme will be in with your tea in just a moment, let me go ahead and move these ice packs off your leg and up to your ribs. The tea will keep you from getting too chilled, and they will help with the swelling."
Laying the blanket aside he plucked up each ice pack. He then tucked each ice pack around her ribs and recovered her with the blanket. By the time he was done, Esme was handing the tea cup over to Bella. He watched as she took a careful sip.
"Thank you Esme, it's perfect as always."
"You are very welcome Bella." Giving Esme's hand a gentle squeeze, they both retook their spots on the loveseat.
"Alright Bella, do you have any questions before we continue?"
"When will you actually do the surgeries," Bella asked nervously.
"Given how the hypothermia, frostbite, lack of proper food and sleep affected your overall health, I would like to see you achieve some decent rest in between meals today, and most of tonight. We will plan the surgery for before you awaken tomorrow morning. That will allow your body some time to recuperate before we stress it further."
"And that leads me into the remainder of your injuries. Other than the multitude of bruise, aches and pains I know you are suffering from, your right knee and ankle are the last of the concerning items. Once the swelling has gone down, I intend to apply a brace to each. Given how you were understandably forced to use both joints after Victoria's attack, the injuries are aggravated and you will require the braces for a significant time. To that end I have selected more of a walking boot for your ankle; I will ask that you wear that whenever you desire to be active."
"Thank you Carlisle, I would be like to be able to move around on my own should it be necessary."
Carlisle read into Bella response and understood her to mean should she be left to her own devices for her survival. Nodding his head in time with his response, "I thought you might feel that way. However, I would like to see you rest your right leg for at least several days before you try. And then only with my assistance to ensure you do not suffer further injury."
"I don't want ask either of you to do more than is necessary, I'm sure I will heal well enough without waiting several days."
Bella had been gentle with her insistence, but Carlisle was happy to take every opportunity to teach Bella that she was no burden to them, "Sweetheart, you will be recovering from two significant surgeries, and the lingering effects this past week has had on your body. Not only will you be in no condition to attempt walking, I find I must insist you allow Esme and myself to care for you until I deem it safe. Even then Esme and I will enjoy continuing to assist you. I assure you, you are not putting us out."
Not giving her a chance to argue further, Carlisle moved the conversation forward, "Now, before we get you settled into bed with the stronger medication, we have one last topic to discuss. While Victoria remains a threat I will not take the risk of leaving you two while I hunt, nor do I wish for Esme to hunt alone. We will need to do so within the next week." Gentling his voice, he reopened the previous distressful topic, "I understand your fears Bella, but I need to ask some of the family to come home. I would like your input on whom I should contact."
He watched as understanding followed by shock crossed Bella's features, "You're asking me who you should call?"
"Yes, Bella. I promised you would be involved in making any decisions that affect you. This is decidedly one of them. With whom will you be more comfortable?"
Not quite ready to answer, Bella responded with another question, "You must have someone in mind already?"
"Honestly Sweetheart, any of our family members will help to ensure the outcome of a battle with Victoria. That said Jasper does have extensive experience in this area. However, if his presence is too upsetting for you…"
"Oh no Carlisle! Of course not! Please tell me Jasper knows I didn't blame him for that night?!" Her impassioned plea was the closest they had seen to the old Bella since that fateful night. While Carlisle knew from his conversation with her then that she considered only her innate clumsiness to be at fault, it was gratifying to see her opinion had not changed with time.
"Jasper knows Bella. He finds it difficult to believe, but he does know. May I take this to mean you are comfortable with the thought of Jasper's presence here?"
"Yes, but…" Bella wrung her hands before she continued, "that would mean Alice would come too, right?"
"Yes, do you not wish to see Alice?" Carlisle carefully asked.
The exhaustion Bella felt became obvious when she forgot her audience and mumbled, "I'm sure the feeling is mutual."
This time it was Esme who knelt in front of the couch, grasping Bella's hand in hers, "Oh no, Bella dear. Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Alice would love nothing more than to see you."
Tears began slipping down Bella's cheeks, further widening the cracks in both their hearts, "Please, stop Esme. I.. I know that's not true."
"Alright dear, I will let the subject rest for now. Would you prefer we call Emmett and Rosalie then?"
After making the suggestion, both Carlisle and Esme stayed quiet to give Bella a moment to think the decision through. Finally, she answered, "No. Somehow I think that will be worse. I'll just do my best to stay out of Alice's way."
"Alright dear, if you are sure?" Esme gave Bella's hand a supportive squeezing, and then waited for Bella's nod before standing up.
Bella wiped her eyes and then looked up at Carlisle, "May I ask if you will be calling anyone else?"
Carlisle wondered who she meant until it occurred to him that she must wish to not use Edward's name. Deciding it was best to follow her lead given her reaction to Alice, he worded his reply carefully, "Not at this time. I do not think you are ready to handle that reunion just yet."
When she nodded he took that to mean she agreed. "Alright Sweetheart, it has been a long day for you. Let us get you up to bed and resting soundly. Remember to hold your torso still and allow me to do the work." As he spoke he had stepped toward the couch and already had his arms slipping under her back and thighs. Esme had slipped the blanket off, so it was a simple matter to lift her up. Moments later he was beside the guest bed lowering Bella into the waiting sheets.
Slipping his arms out from under her, he ensured her knee and ankle were properly supported before tucking her in. He turned around to remove the pain medication from his medical bag which Esme had carried up.
"Carlisle, I'm sorry."
Not knowing to what Bella referenced, he asked, "What are you sorry for Sweetheart?"
"I didn't mean to seem ungrateful earlier. I really do appreciate everything you have both done for me already."
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he picked her hand up again, "Sweetheart, not once have Esme or I thought you ungrateful. It gladdens me that you are feeling comfortable enough to be honest with us."
Giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead, he stood up, "Are you ready to sleep?"
Bella looked up at him with suspiciously wet eyes, "Yes, I'm more than ready for the stronger medicine."
Moving at his normal speed, he was finished administering the medication before she even noticed the needle in his hand, "Sleep tight honey."
He and Esme stayed and watched over their daughter as she drifted off to sleep.