The EMT people came in and rushed Rob onto a stretcher, then loaded him into the ambulance. I really wanted to go with him, but I couldn't leave Kia and the babies here.
There was a second ambulance, of which the EMTs in there checked me out, even after much resistence on my part. They said I had a lot of bruising on my back, but nothing life-threatening.
Rob on the other hand...
Well, I didnt't want to think about that right now.
After I gave them all the information and what happened (I lied, of course. No one was going to be serious with me if I said that a malevolent ghost threw him against the wall and knocked him out. They also didn't ask about the broken chairs and crap.), I went into the next room to check on the infants again (I did right after Suze called 911). They were sound asleep now, not even aware that something huge had just happened.
I smiled at them, sleeping so peacefully, blissfully unaware of the world around them.
Then Kia came over and gave me a hug. "I love you, Mommy," she said.
I patted her head and leaned down and kissed it. "I love you, too, sweetie."
I saw Suze smile at that. "God," she said. "I really want kids. But I'm not even married yet, let alone have a stable job to support a family."
Paul quirked an eyebrow. "What about de Silva? He'll be racking in a lot of dough soon enough, what with being a doctor and all."
I wasn't quite sure what was going on here. I mean, I only just knew there names because of them talking to each other, not because they had introduced me or anything.
"Uh, hello?" I said, trying to make myself noticed.
They both looked at me. "Uh, sorry," Suze said. "I guess we haven't really introduced ourselves, huh? My name's Suze Simon, and this is Paul Slater. As you can, uh, see, we are mediators—"
"—shifters," Paul cut in.
"Whatever," Suze said, waving it off with her hand. "Anyway, we can see, speak to, and touch ghosts. You know, the whole shebang. Only, not in the sixth sense kinda way. I don't really like to be associated with that movie. At all."
I smiled a little, realizing her attempt at making me cheer up. "I'm Jess Mastriani," I said. "But...I guess you all ready knew that."
She smiled too. "Yeah. Hey, you're, uh, Lightning Girl, right?"
That's when I stopped smiling. "Yes, I am. Although, I'm not too hot about the nickname."
Paul turned his blue eyes to me. "So, are you married?"
"Paul," Suze whispered harshly.
"What?" he asked in defense. "I just wanna know if she's married."
"Uh, no," I said. "I'm not married yet. I'm engaged, though." I held up my ring finger.
"You better be something," Paul said, "if you have three kids all ready."
I laughed. "Yeah, I know." And even though he didn't ask about it, I felt the need to explain. "I got pregnant young and had Kia here," I said, gesturing to said daughter. "I left after I found out I was pregnant, but I had to return here after quite a few years, and I fell in love with her father again. And, well, I got pregnant again, this time on purpose."
Suze and Paul were both speechless. When they didn't say anything, I decided to change the subject. "So, if you two aren't together, then what are you?"
They both exchanged glances. "Um, well, we're just friends. Kind of a long story," Suze said. "But I'm engaged, too. My fiancé is back home. He's a mediator, too, but he can't do the whole shifting thing."
"Hence us being shifters," Paul added in.
Suze sent him a warning look, which effectively shut him up.
And even though I had just met these people, I trusted them all ready — Suze, at least. Which was weird, since I had major trust issues.
"Can I ask you guys a big favor?" I asked, while biting my lip.
Suze smiled. "You don't even have to ask. We'll watch them for you."
I smiled gratefully. "Thanks."
I was about to walk downstairs and out the door, when Kia suddenly ran over again. "Mommy! I want to go with you!" she exclaimed.
"Honey, you can't right now. I'm just going to see if Daddy is all right, okay? I promise I'll take you to see him in the morning."
She pouted. "But I want to see Daddy now."
I sighed and then bent down to pick her up. "All right. Come on."
I turned back around to Suze and Paul. "There's formula in the fridge for them if they get hungry. I shouldn't be too long, though. And thanks again."
Suze smiled. "Not a problem."
I know it seems...well, unseemly. I mean, leaving your kids with two complete strangers?
But...I don't know. It was weird. It felt like I knew them all ready, before all of this. It felt like...like they were just long-lost friends and we were recently reunited.
Trust is usually something that I rarely give out, as I'm sure you all ready know.
When I got to the hospital, Rob was in a secluded room, thankfully not in ICU or anything. He was awake when I walked in the room, Kia's hand in mine.
He turned his head to me and I saw he had a huge bandage on his head. It took me a lot to keep myself from laughing. He knew me, though. He knew that I was trying so hard not to laugh.
"Why is it," he said when I took a seat next to him in one of those plastic chairs, "that I always get head injuries when it involves you?"
I rolled my eyes. "You don't always get head injuries, Rob. This is only the second time, you know."
"Only the second time?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
I leaned in to kiss him to shut him up. He quickly accepted it.
Then all of a sudden I heard an 'eww' come from the other side of the room. I pulled away from Rob to see Kia sitting in one of the other chairs, wrinkling her nose at us kissing.
I laughed, as did Rob. Then Kia said, "Kissing is gross."
"It is to you now," I said to her. She just wrinkled her little nose in disgust again.
When she didn't say anything again, I turned back to Rob. "I'm just so glad that you're all right," I said softly.
He smiled at me. "And I'm glad you're all right. You really have no idea how worried I was when I woke up here and you weren't here with me."
"Well, I did have some...uh...difficulties, but everything turned out okay in the end." And then I kissed him again, meriting another 'ew' from Kia.
"Wait," Rob said, pulling away from me, "where are the babies?"
"Um," I said unsurely, "about that..."
"You didn't leave them alone, did you?" he asked.
Affronted, I said, "No! Of course not! Do you think I'm an idiot?"
"No," he said, "I just...well, where are they?"
"A couple friends are watching them. I'll explain it to you when we get home. It's kind of a long story..."
He nodded. "I think it would probably make my head hurt even worse right now anyway."
I smiled. "Yeah, probably. When did the doctor say you can go home?"
He was silent for a minute. Then he said, "Apparently I have a semi-concussion, so its nothing major. I can probably go home this afternoon."
"Oh," I said. "Well, that's good."
I stayed around for a little while, then I told Rob that I should go back and see if Rose and Anthony were all right with Suze and Paul.
He told me it was fine and that he would give me a call when he was able to leave.
God, I could not wait for things to go back to normal.
- § -
When I got home I noticed that Paul was gone. I asked Suze about it and she just said he had to go back to his girlfriend. She kind of sneered when she said 'his girlfriend.'
I gave her a funny look and she just said, "What?" all defensively. "The girl is a total airhead. I mean, GOD, he could do so much better. Although...that seems to be the only kind of woman he is interested in, besides me, of course. That turned out to be a nightmare."
I blinked. What was I supposed to say to that, anyway?
"Sorry," she apologize when she saw my face.
"Um, it's okay," I said.
After a few minutes silence, I asked, "So, are there any other vengeful ghosts I should know about?"
"Nah," she said. "Just that one. But don't worry about him, he won't be coming back."
"How do you know that, though? Can't ghosts walk through walls and things?"
She laughed at my obvious naivéte. "Trust me. I brought him to a place that he can never escape from."
"And where is that?"
"Oh, some place called Shadowland," she said all nonchalant. When I gave her a blank look, she said, "Purgatory as you would probably call it...or limbo. Whichever one you like best."
I nodded. This was good news. He wasn't coming back. He could never hurt or scar me, or my family, again.
And that was something that made me smile broadly.
"So," Suze said, flipping her hair, "when is your fiancé coming home?"
"Probably this afternoon," I said, to which Suze nodded. "He said he'd call when he was free."
And, as if on cue, the phone rang. I picked it up cautiously, just to make sure it wouldn't be ripped out of my hands again (that freaked me out beyond reason, so I'm sure you can understand...or not). "Hello?"
"Hey," Rob greeted me. "I'm being released now. So...you know."
I smiled, even though he couldn't see me. "Okay. I'll see you in a bit."
"All right. I love you, Jess."
I couldn't help the sudden swelling of my heart then. He said it again.
"I love you, too," I said. "Bye."
I drove over there, once again leaving Suze with my kids. She didn't really seem to mind. Actually, she kind of seemed to enjoy it a little. I guess she really wanted one of her own, then, huh.
As I came through the sliding door, I saw Rob waiting by the check-out. Huh, I guess he just could not wait to get out. He kissed me as soon as I got through the door. Needless to say, I was very surprised, but I welcomed it appreciatively.
I pulled away a few seconds later, realizing that people were now watching us. Yeah. Talk about creepy.
"Come on," I said, taking Rob's arm. "Let's go."
And we did. We went home, and he started kissing me again. I couldn't really refuse. He was injured and it was mostly my fault he was like that...so you know.
But then someone cleared their throat behind us and we broke away. In the midst of our kissing, I forgot that someone besides our kids was actually in the house.
Rob turned around and he looked at Suze in confusion. "Um, sorry to interrupt," she said. "But I've really got to go."
"Oh! Of course. Sorry to keep you here..."
She smiled. "No, it's fine. I'm happy to have helped out. But Jesse kind of wants me back and everything. He wants to take me out for lunch."
"You don't need to explain. Thanks for all of the help."
She smiled again and then disappeared. I smiled to myself and then turned back to Rob, who was just standing there with a complete look of shock on his face.
"What?" I said.
He blinked. "She...she just disappeared."
I laughed. "Yeah, that's one of the things I have to explain to you."
He groaned. "Oh, this is going to be a long day."
I moved closer to him. "Oh, I don't think it'll be that bad," I said. Then I stood on my tippy-toes and kissed him.
"Maybe not," he said when I pulled away. But as soon as I did, his lips were back on mine again.
Despite the fact that he had a semi-concussion, he was still as turned on as ever. As soon as we got up the stairs he was peeling my clothes off of me. But then I had to remind him that I had to check on Kia and Rose and Anthony. He just groaned and got under the covers, waiting for me. So I took the rest of my clothes off and threw my robe on. It would be a lot easier that way.
So I went and checked on them. Rose and Anthony were sleeping peacefully. Kia was in her room watching some TV. When I came in she smiled at me. "Daddy's okay, right, Mommy?"
I smiled at her. "Yes, Daddy is fine. He's just got a little boo-boo on his head."
"Oh," she said. "Well, I hope it heals fast."
I came over and patted her head. "Me too," I said. "Me too." Then I sat down and watched some TV with her. After a few minutes of that I got up and told her I was going to talk to Rob for a bit, then I would make lunch for her.
She nodded and I walked out of the room and back to our room.
I walked in and shut the door and locked it. Rob was waiting on the bed impatiently. "What took you so long?" he asked, irritated.
I just rolled my eyes. "You are so impatient." I walked over to the bed and started untying the tie on my robe.
He smiled. "Only when it concerns you." And then he got out from under the covers and grabbed me, pulling me onto the bed with him.
"Aren't I the lucky one?" I asked sarcastically.
He finished untying the tie for me and pulled open my robe. "No," he said. "I am."
- § -
"This is weird."
I smiled at Rob. "Maybe...but then again, what I do would be considered weird to some people."
"Yeah, I guess," he said.
I had told him everything — about Suze and Paul and who the ghost was. He was a little disbelieving at first about the whole ghost thing. But then when I explained to him all of the things that happened after he was conked out, he believed me. And, well, he was a little mad that I was hurt, too; but not nearly as bad as him, though.
There was one thing that I left out, though. The thing about Kia. I wasn't sure if I should tell him yet. You know, it might be a bit of an overload for him right now.
But I ended up telling him anyway.
"You know," I said, "we just thought Kia was telekinetic, right?"
He glanced over at me — he was originally just laying on his back, looking at the ceiling. "What that's supposed to mean?" he asked suspiciously.
"Well," I said, inching over to him and settling my head on his chest. "She can see ghosts."
He just about had an aneurysm. "What?"
"I know it's a shock, but she said she could see the ghost that was attacking me. She told me to duck at all the right moments, so I wasn't as injured as I could have been."
He didn't say anything for a few moments. When I said his name and asked if he was okay, he just said, "Yeah, I'm fine. It's just a little to take in, that's all."
Then he started stroking my hair. It felt really good for some reason. I guess it's because I was really tired out from what Rob and I had just (ahem) done, and it was soothing.
"You realize," I said all of a sudden, fiddling with my engagement ring, "that marrying me will have a drastic affect on your life."
"Like it hasn't all ready?" he asked in a joking tone. "Jess, my life has been turned upside down. But you know...I wouldn't change it for the world."
I smiled, even if he couldn't really see it. Just those words, spoken so truly. I don't know. It just made me love him even more, if that was even possible.
I turned around all of sudden and moved myself so I was straddling his lap. Then I leaned down and kissed him, hard, on the lips. "I love you," I said when I pulled away, and I saw the obvious grin that had taken place on his lips.
"I love you, too."