The final Chapter...

Chapter 23

Hanson's head rolled to the right and then to the left as his eyes began to flutter open. Once awake his eyes then registered the sight of the beautiful angel sitting in the chair next to him. She was sleeping soundly. Her hair falling loosely around her creamy colored face, her jacket was draped over her as a makeshift blanket. The officer slowly reached his hand out and touched her gently on the knee. She jumped and then saw where the hand was coming from.

"Tommy…" She stood up from the reclining chair her jacket falling in a heap in the floor at her side. Gently she reached up and took the officers hand in her own. "How are you feeling sweetie?" Her radiant smile glistened from ear to ear. She was happy to see him awake again. She was better than a mother. She was his Aunt Angie! He wondered silently to himself, would mom and dad's brothers and sisters been like this?

"Tired… hurts a little right now… just really tired." He answered quietly. He hadn't quite gotten his voice back. He was still able to squeeze out a slight smile. The effort to move was still slightly difficult and if he moved to quickly the recently stitched knife wound in his stomach would sing "Dixie". The knife may not have killed him, but there were times he was thinking that the pain just might. It was intense from time to time. He was thankful that Angie had been there when he woke up. He was beginning to feel a little Closter phobic in the white washed walled room. She could make him feel better with little to no effort. She was so amazing. She made him feel safe. Angie and mom would get along so well.

Angie's eyes glimmered as she looked down at the young officer. He was such a brave young man. She had been so proud of how the three boys had been so protective of each other during the whole ordeal in Waylon. She knew that they were used to a different kind of police work. They had come into this town sure that there could be nothing that would be harder than what they dealt with in the Metro area. She knew that being in the country was not the kind of place they had wanted to go and spend anytime. Adam Fuller had called to check in on them and she had talked to about the boys to him. She had laughed about "Officer Milk Carton" and at how Hanson had not wanted to be the younger brother. She felt tears pricking at her eyes as she thought about how the young men would be departing and returning back to their lives in the city soon. She had grown to love the boys so much and Tom… well Tommy Hanson had stolen her heart. He was exactly who her son would have become today. Quickly she blinked back the tears as she responded. "Doug and Dennis will be here later. Dean made them go home and get some sleep. They protested at first, but it was obvious they were exhausted. They weren't in the door ten minutes and they were both asleep." Angie stroked the young officer's hair as he looked up at her with his sleepy brown eyes. "You look much better young man." Her eyes glittered as she leaned over and kissed the young man on the forehead. "Now, close your eyes sweetie and get some rest. I'm going to head out for a second and then I'll be right back in here."

"Angie…" Hanson's raspy voice was just above a whisper. "Could I have some water?" He asked. Angie looked at him and then around the room for a cup and a straw.

"Of course baby… I'll get you some. I'll be right back." Gently she reached up and ruffled his hair and turned to walk out the door, pulling it closed behind her. The bed was soft and warm, as Tom pulled the white blanket tighter around his neck. Booker and Doug were ok; he knew they would be in later. He was sure that Fuller would also be in later that day. He could feel his eyes drooping again as his connection with reality started to go away. He yawned as he looked around the room one last time, his eyes settled on the white marker board in front of his bed. The smeared letters next to the words "NURSE ON DUTY: TIFFANY" caught his eye. He smiled slightly as he closed his eyes and fell asleep again.

The End… For Now

Sorry... I know "It's too short..." but, I felt that this was the best place to end it... BUT... there will be a sequal... you had to have see that coming:-) Thanks again for all of your VERY kind comments, it ment the world to get them. I am very proud of this story and I loved writing it. I am really hoping that you will enjoy the sequal as much as this. Thanks again... you are all so nice to me:-)