Mike sat next to Kate, her hand gripped tightly in his as the sounds of the breathing machine clicked in the background. The words from the doctor floated through his mind and Mike wondered how exactly he would tell Kate, if she woke. The heart rate monitor beeped again and his eyes flickered to the screen.
"We've put her into a medically induced coma so that her body is able to recover from the blood loss through surgery. With her injuries and the miscarriage…"
His head shot up, his surprised eyes locking with the doctors.
"She was pregnant?"
The doctor slowly nodded his head, "We guessed she wasn't far along, maybe 2 months. But with the stress her body was under, it was amazing she'd kept it for this long."
Mike's eyes dropped, his attention on the cotton blanket covering him. She was pregnant and she hadn't told him. He wondered though if she had even known.
"Is it possible she knew?"
His voice came out, barely a whisper and he wondered if the doctor heard him.
"Most likely not. But we won't know until she wakes up."
Another beep brought him from the memory and he looked back at Kate. He knew the reasons for the coma were to help her but she looked so helpless… so lifeless. It killed him to see her like that and he would do anything in his power to stop it from happening to her again. He let out a sigh, wishing there was some way he could stop her from getting hurt. It was impossible though, their job being far too dangerous for him to prevent anything happening to her. His thoughts turned to Michelle and he wondered what was her reasoning for coming to see Kate. There had to be some ulterior motive, something that would give her reason to come after her daughter. He thought briefly of Mitchell and what had happened with the psychotic mongrel. He had come so close to losing Kate then and even closer this time. His hand tightened about hers.
"Excuse me Sir."
He turned, seeing a nurse standing at the door, her eyes glancing between the two.
"I'm sorry to interrupt but I need to change your dressings."
Mike nodded his head as he let out a soft sigh. He raised her hand, placing a gentle kiss on the soft skin. Reaching out, he ran his thumb along her cheekbone, wishing her eyes would flutter open to look at him. Hearing a noise behind him, he glanced back at the nurse who was fidgeting impatiently. He turned his attention back to Kate before pressing his lips to her forehead.
"Hang on for me," he softly whispered to her.
He felt the nurse start to pull him away and he wished he wasn't so helpless that he needed a wheel chair. He kept his eyes on Kate the entire time, watching as she slowly disappeared behind the wall.
Joyce looked over at Michelle, a questioning look on her face as Michelle's eyes kept flickering to the door and back. She had seen the animosity Mike had shown towards Kate's mother and she wondered what the woman had done to anger her son. She knew that it took a lot for her son to hate someone and nine times out of ten there was a legitimate reason for doing so. She thought to ask Michelle about it all and just when she opened her mouth, the nurse brought Mike back in. Both pairs of eyes locked onto him, watching his every move as they awaited news on Kate. He was slow, careful of his movements but aware of the two watching him.
"She fine. Sleeping I suppose," he said quietly, breaking the awkward silence that had enveloped the room.
Both women let out a sigh of relief, both for different reasons. Joyce was glad that her son wouldn't have to go through the heartbreak of losing a loved one. Michelle on the other hand was more than happy that she would get a chance to make things up with her daughter.
"Excuse me. Would the two of you mind leaving for 10 minutes? I have to change his dressings."
Both women nodded as they stepped out of the room, Joyce throwing her eyes back once to check that her son was in fact, okay. They sat down, the silence once again enveloping them. Joyce shuffled awkwardly as she tried to adjust to the silence. Before she knew it, she found herself asking Michelle the question that had been annoying her since their first meeting.
"Why does my son dislike you so much?"
The words hung between them for a moment as Joyce fiddled and Michelle stared at the wall opposite. At first, Joyce didn't think Michelle would answer.
"He hates me for what I did to Kate."
The words surprised Michelle and she wondered what a mother would do to her daughter that could cause someone to hate her. The question must have shown on her face because before she knew it, Michelle had continued talking.
"When Kate was nine, I brought her over to Australia from England. I followed an opal miner over here and before I knew it, he had ditched us. I tried to raise her but I found myself caught in a vicious cycle. I was drinking nearly every night and bringing home strange men. Most of them were nice and didn't mind Kate hanging around the house. One though, didn't like her at all. It started after he moved in, he would hit her, abuse her like nothing. I did nothing to stop it though."
Her voice wavered as the memories ripped through her minds and Joyce wondered how long this had been tearing Michelle up. She reached over and took her hand, squeezing it in reassurance.
"Before long, he changed. He was drinking more and every night he would come home, only to go looking for Kate. She never told me explicitly what he did to her but from the crying and to sobbing, I could tell. To think that I allowed a man to do that to my daughter, to defile her like some common whore!"
The words shocked Joyce, who tried to stifle a gasp. Joyce's eyes locked onto Michelle's and she saw the self-pity that flooded her green eyes.
"You think I'm a horrible mother don't you."
Joyce shook her head, unable to comprehend that any mother would willingly allow their daughter to go through that.
"You couldn't stop it. Some men are absolute bastards and obviously this one was one of them."
"Excuse me, you can come back in now," the nurse quickly said as she walked out of Mike's room.
Both women stood up and walked back in, the hostility almost instantly hitting Michelle as Mike glared at her. Joyce knew she had to put an end to this immediately.
"Mike, you stop this immediately. Michelle has not done anything to Kate that you should hate her for."
Mike's glare turned from Michelle to Joyce and she felt what it was like to be on the receiving end of one. His face was emotionless and Joyce was once again struck by the hate in his eyes.
"I have every right to hate her. She was the one who brought that mongrel into Kate's life and if you knew what it was that she went through as a result of him, you'd hate Michelle too."
The words hung in the air, suffocating, like a heavy blanket had been thrown over the room.
"Mike, I know you hate me but I'm here to try and make things right though," Michelle said quietly.
For a moment, Mike's eyes softened, Michelle's words hitting a chord in him. It was brief though, the moment lasting only a second before the vision of Kate lying in a coma flashed through his minds eye. He let out a sigh.
"It's not me to decide whether or not to forgive you. That's Kate choice and when she wakes, she'll make that decision."
Mike sat next to Kate, her hand tightly grasped in his own. He watched as she slept, her chest rising and falling softly with each breath. A small smile crossed his face as he gently caressed the back of her hand. The doctor said that having brought her out of the medically induced coma, she should wake sometime today. It had been close to a week since the situation with Harris and Mike had felt he had finally received the wake up call he had been waiting for. He leant over, giving her a soft kiss before getting up to leave.
The call was soft and barely spoken, but it was heard. He turned around, his eyes locking onto hers. He fell back into the seat, taking her hand back into his. Relief filled him as she smiled at him.
He was speechless, unable to put into words what he was feeling. Instead, he leant over, kissing her softly on the lips.
Her words were innocent enough, but grief and guilt ripped through him as he recalled what the doctor had told him. He looked back into her eyes and seeing the affection held in them for him, he hesitated.
"Your stitches split. You lost a lot of blood and they had to take you back into surgery."
She nodded her head looking around the room before locking her eyes back onto his. She saw a brief flicker of something else, but thinking it was just concern for her, she let it pass.
"There's something else…"
She looked at him in surprise, wondering what he was keeping from her.
"You're mother is here."
She froze, the words taking their time to process. She didn't know how to react to what he had just told her. She hadn't spoken to her mother since she had left when she was young.
"What does she want?"
He looked at her, wondering if it was the best thing to be telling her this now. She had just woken from a coma. He shouldn't be doing this.
"She wants your forgiveness but I'm begging you to think about this after you get out of hospital. I'll tell her to come back then."
She nodded her head, accepting the idea before she stared at him, a look on her face one of amusement.
"You're talking to her? You're sounding more like a husband than a concerned partner."
He looked at her, like a deer caught in headlights. He wondered how it would feel to actually be referred to as her husband.
"Is that such a bad thing?"
He started to fidget, unable to get the words out.
"Well, what if I were your husband? Would that be such a bad thing?"
A small smirk crossed Kate's face and she read for his hands, taking them into hers before squeezing them slightly.
"Are you asking me to marry you Mike Flynn?"
She saw the slow smile that crossed his face and felt her heart flutter a bit. He stood up, leaning over her, his breath tickling her lips.
"Are you accepting Kate?"
She let his hand go, letting it rest instead on his cheek. Without a word, she pressed her lips against his.
Harris staggered as he was thrown into a cell, the look on the policeman's face, one of disgust. The cop slammed the cell door shut before stalking off, leaving a pissed off Harris standing in the cell. There was a stench in the cell and wondering what it was, he turned around, glancing around the cell. His eyes landed on a large hulk sitting in the corner and he figured that's where the stench was coming from.
"What are ya staring at," the hulk growled.
Harris shrugged before sitting down, knowing it was better to ignore than to anger.
"Ya pretty well groomed for a cell mate."
Harris looked at the hulk, wondering what was with the questions.
"Your pretty nosey," he fired back.
The man snarled before standing up and for a moment, Harris thought he looked familiar. He'd seen him somewhere before, but couldn't quite place where.
"What ya in for?"
Harris smirked, wondering if this was how the criminals found their clique.
"Attempted murder on two Naval officers."
The man's snarl turned into a smile and he held his hand out for Harris to shake.