A/N: Well here it is, ladies and/or gentlemen (can't discriminate now)... The final chapter. I'd just like to thank everone who has taken the time to leave a review in the past few months. I've honestly been blown away by the response this story has gotten. Thankyou all so very much.
Song for this chapter (and i recommend tissues if you listen to it as you read) is "She's" by Ryan Cabrera. It's just beautiful.
"Leon." Letty shook Leon's shoulder, desperately trying not to cry. "Leon, wake up." One hand was pressed over the swollen bump of her belly, the other tightly holding onto Leon's shoulder. "Leon.." her head swum and she squeezed her eyes shut. Tears started to leak from her eyes.
"Please wake up," she whimpered, shaking him.
"Hmm? What is it?" he sat up, rubbing his eyes. He blinked slowly, noting the lamp was on and Letty was sitting up beside him. Crying. "What's wrong?" he asked, concerned.
Letty heard the tenderness in his voice and broke down, clutching her belly. Leon noticed her holding herself.
"Letty.." he started, his hands starting to shake. "Baby what's the matter?" his fear grew as she leant against his side and sobbed even harder, unable to speak. Her tears soaked his neck. Leon felt himself start to choke on panic and stuffed it down.
"Baby, take a breath. Good girl, that's it – now tell me what's wrong." He insisted gently, rubbing her belly. He could feel the baby shift under his hand and he looked down, more nervous now. The baby was moving way too much.
Letty gasped against his neck. "It hurts, Le." She started to cry even harder, "Oh god, it hurts!"
Not knowing what to do, Leon fumbled for the phone beside the bed and hit speed dial one. Bringing the phone up to his ear he cradled Letty against his chest, whispering soothing nothings to her and stroking her hair, her back, her belly. The ringing on the other end stopped and there was a moment of silence.
".. ugh.. hello?"
"Tala!" he almost shouted down the phone, "There's something wrong with Letty. She's crying, pain.." he choked slightly, "Tala the baby." He felt his eyes fill with tears. "Tala help me.."
"Ok, sweetie, it's alright." She sounded wide awake now and he could hear Vince asking her what was wrong. "I know this will be awkward for you, but can you see if she's bleeding?"
"I.. hold on," he nervously checked, then brought the phone back to his ear. "Yes. Lots of blood."
There was a muttered curse and Vince's insistence to know what was going on in the background became more urgent.
"Leon, baby, call an ambulance. Right now. Just hang the fuck up and call an ambulance. We'll meet you there."
"O-ok." He hung up the phone then quickly dialled out again, this time calling an ambulance. Once that was done he wrapped a blanket around her and rocked her against him, holding her tightly as he whispered to her.
"It's alright, Let." He shook as he held her, noticing she was getting quieter now though she still sobbed against him. "Letty, please.." he could see the blood starting to soak through the blanket and started to cry himself. Downstairs he could hear a banging on the door and he gently eased Letty onto the bed, stroking her hair.
"It'll be alright, baby. I'll be back."
He took off in a sprint down the hall, thundering down the diamond plate staircase. He was at the door before he realised his left thigh was sticky with blood and terror gripped him. He flung the door open and back peddled to let the EMT's in.
"Sir – calm down. Where is she?"
Leon pointed up the stairs, still transfixed by the blood covering him. How hadn't he noticed that upstairs?
He stayed back as the EMT's got her onto a stretcher, firing questions at her left right and centre. One of the men turned to him.
"Alright, how far along is she?"
Leon shook, watching her lay limply on the stretcher. "Thirty six weeks." He said quietly. He met her eyes, long fingers reaching down to take hers. Her grip was weak, but she tried.
"Leon, I'm scared." She whimpered meekly.
Leon walked alongside the stretcher as they carried her down the stairs. He stuffed down the urge to just fall down and sob. He had to be strong for Letty and the baby. "It's alright Let – I'm not going anywhere. I wont leave you." He promised. "I swear."
"Leon!" Vince ran ahead of Tala as soon as he saw his little brother. Although he hadn't been prepared for the sight of him being smeared in blood. Nor had Tala. When Leon had said there was blood she thought he meant just a bit, but from the looks of him Letty had lost an incredible amount.
Leon saw Vince coming but couldn't bring himself to move. He remained slumped against the wall, his face itchy from tears shed in the ambulance, his limbs heavy.
Everything hurt yet he'd done nothing to become injured.
"Le – what's going on?"
He shook his head, staring at the blood on his leg. "I don't know," he answered softly, tearing up again. "She's in the OR now – they wont tell me anything."
Tala sat on his other side as Vince settled down to his right.
"Did they say what was wrong?"
Leon rubbed at his face tiredly. "Something about her being abrupt." He looked at Tala hopefully, but he had a sinking feeling in his gut. "That – that's not so bad is it?"
She took his hand, stroking the back of it. "That depends on the severity of the case."
Vince looked at her over Leon's head. His expression clearly spoke volumes. He knew that the amount of blood on Leon told of the amount of blood Letty had lost. One look at Tala's face and Vince almost crumpled. Things weren't looking good.
"I don't know how long she'd been trying to wake me up," he said, staring straight ahead. "I was just so tired and I only got home from work just after one. I didn't know she was trying to wake me up."
There were people rushing about everywhere. Some were doctors, some were nurses and orderlies, others were family members of people being admitted. The room was bedlam, save for the quiet corner where Leon sat with his head against Vince's shoulder. Both Vince and Tala had one of his hands in theirs.
Tala let go of Leon's hand and stood up. Not knowing exactly what was happening was killing her. She had no idea how Leon must have felt. "I'm going to see what's going on." She told Vince softly.
He nodded, wrapping an arm around Leon's shoulders.
She had barely gotten three steps away from the brothers when a doctor came out of the OR. Judging from the scrambling sound behind her it was the one who had been operating on Letty.
Leon appeared at her side, chewing his nails. "What's going on? What – please.."
The doctor gave him a gentle smile tinged with a hint of sadness.
"Leticia suffered what's known as a placental abruption."
Leon frowned. "I'm a fucking mechanic, not a doctor! What does that mean?" he demanded.
Tala took his hand, stroking his knuckles. "That means that the placenta came away from the wall of her uterus, Le."
He shook slightly, his entire body fraught with tension. "Are – are they alright?"
The doctor smiled. "You have a beautiful little boy, Mr. Orello. Despite his ordeal he seems perfectly healthy."
"A boy – it's a boy." He looked up at Vince. "It's a Cade."
All three froze and Leon slowly turned to look at the doctor. "-however?" he asked, paling. Vince's arm curled around his waist and Tala's fingers squeezed his.
Tala could feel the dread building up in her chest. She knew that look. She'd worn that look before.
"Leticia lost a considerable amount of blood. Between the abruption and the emergency caesarean she was struggling as it was."
Leon swallowed thickly. "You said was." His voice was almost a whisper.
The doctor nodded sadly. "I'm sorry, Mr. Orello. There was nothing we could do for her."
Vince gaped. "She's-?" at the doctor's nod he hung his head. There would be time for his own tears later, but now he had Leon to worry about. The younger man was eerily quiet and was just staring at the doctor.
Finally, "Did – did she see him?" his breathing was rapid and shallow but his face showed no sign of emotion.
"I'm afraid not."
Leon looked at the floor and shook his head, silent. Tala and Vince hugged him from either side. No sooner had both wrapped their arms around him did his legs give out from underneath him and the three sunk to the floor in the middle of the waiting room.
"I want her to come home with me..." he mumbled into Vince's chest. His voice cracked. "I want her back."
Tala rubbed her hand up his bare back as he shook silently against Vince, tears streaking down her cheeks.
"Jesse will take care of her for you, Le." Vince whispered, kissing his hair. "She's in good hands."
Leon lay against him, stunned. Everything was coming crashing down. Letty was dead. His heart swelled with love for the child he hadn't seen yet, but burned with the knowledge that he would raise him alone. For the second time in as many years one of the most important people in his life had left him. He felt sick. Letty was dead.
"I want her back."