Chapter 30:

Janet and Eddie lay side by side after such an emotionally charged morning. Janet had finally told Eddie the truth about what happened to her and everyone really during the hostage situation that resulted in her being shot critically. Eddie was so grateful that she had finally opened up to him but was so overcome by his emotions at all the things that happened to Janet. He wished he could take away all of her pain, both emotionally and physically. They had just made love again and they both experienced such overwhelming feeling of emotions that they felt so connected to each other in a way that wasn't there before they married. There was a bond there in their connection that gave them both such strength that Janet felt for the first time since she awoke after her shooting that she would heal from this. She felt that maybe she wasn't going to be consumed by her guilt forever and maybe just maybe she could forgive herself a little for the part she played in some many injuries and the professors death. As long as she was in Eddie's arms she felt safe for the first time since that day that her world changed so drastically. Eddie continued to stare directly into Janet's eyes and gently ran his fingers along her hair line repeating words of love that he felt for her. It was a moment that neither of them would forget and they would cherish for the rest of their lives.

It was late afternoon at this point and Eddie and Janet hadn't really left the bed all morning. They had talked and made love and now Eddie was literally starving. He didn't want to move but felt as though he would pass out without something to eat.

"I can hear your stomach growling Eddie, don't you think we should go and get something to eat?" Janet said trying to smile and lighten their mood a little. It had been such an emotionally charged morning that she wanted to try and enjoy the rest of the day being a newlywed.

Eddie smiled, "I just don't want to leave this bed but you are right I am STARVING."

"Well at some point we are going to need to Eddie. I need to move around some before my body stiffens up and I am hungry myself. Don't we have leftovers from the reception in the fridge?" Janet starting to move a little in an attempt to get off the bed.

"If memory serves me just a little while ago you were moving just fine." Eddie said smiling wickedly

"EDDIE! You know what I meant. Geez" Janet said playfully slapping him

They both moved and started to get out of the bed. Eddie got up quickly and walked over to help Janet up off her side of the bed. They were both naked and neither seemed to care at the moment. Janet took Eddie's hand and slowly put her feet on the floor. She was sore and in a small amount of pain which she tried to hide a bit but the pain meds did have it pretty controlled. She looked into Eddie's eyes as she stood and she reached up and kissed him briefly. She felt as though she needed to reassure him that she was ok. All Eddie could do was smile. In that moment, he felt the love he had for Janet so strongly it almost felt physical and not just an emotion. He could feel his heart swell for her.

They both walked over to the bathroom and Eddie pulled on some sweatpants with out anything else and Janet grabbed her robe and put it on without anything underneath. She really didn't think she needed anything else with just the two of them there and the intimacy they shared with each other from last night well into this afternoon they truly had nothing to hide from one another.

They walked hand in hand into the kitchen and Eddie immediately went to the fridge and started to pull out containers and placed them onto the island so Janet could go through them and figure out what to eat.

After they finished their lunch and both cleaned up the kitchen they walked back to the living room area and Eddie sat on the couch and turned on the TV. Janet sat next to Eddie and placed her head in his lap and snuggled in close to him. She was very tired likely from all the emotions of the morning and their activity following as well as the pain medication and feeling full from their lunch, she quickly fell asleep. Eddie pulled a blanket from the back of the couch over Janet and soon noticed that she was fast asleep. He just smiled but it did give him a chance to think about the morning and what Janet had told him.

He couldn't understand why she felt so responsible for what happened that day but that was his Janet. The care and compassion she had for others was endless and of course she would feel guilty because Seth was out of control and she couldn't stop it somehow even though she did, she wouldn't see it that way. The thought of her facing a gun to her face made his entire body chill with fear. God, what if that gun had been loaded…they wouldn't be sitting here like this. His life would be so much different. He cannot even imagine living his life without Janet. The depths of despair he would feel beyond his comprehension. He knew after listening to Janet and all the emotions that she felt that she would need to continue to work with the psychologist and he would do everything in his power to help even going with her to her sessions if that is what she wanted. He would do anything to help heal her.

Now was the time however to just be with one another and he was going to show her over and over how much he loved her. He was going to tell her every chance he got that he loved her and that she was safe. He knew eventually they would need to go back to living their lives but he didn't know what that would look like for her. Would she go back to school? Would she go back to work? He thought maybe all of that would be traumatizing to her. He made enough for them to live on and Janet even had income coming in from her house with Phil and Emily living there now. Eddie didn't have to pay on his house except for the changes that they made while Janet was in the hospital and pay the rest of the expenses from the wedding but most of it he had covered already. If she didn't want to go back to work or school she didn't have too but he didn't really know what she wanted to do. A part of him wanted her to stay home and be safe but he knew she wouldn't agree to that once she felt healthy again. Janet had a strong work ethic and she was not about to sit anywhere for long without a purpose. He then thought of the man that came to see him in the hospital and the offer of a job working with the police. He wonders if that man ever contacted Janet. She had never said anything about it to him if she had. He wondered if that course of career would be something that Janet would even contemplate knowing how guilty she felt over what role she played in Seth's death, as irrational as it sounded to Eddie as in his mind Seth deserved what he gone for the trauma he caused so many people, including his now wife.

A few hours later, Janet began to stir in Eddie's lap and slowly sat up. Eddie was watching sports center and just grinned at his wife.

"How long was I asleep?" Janet asked sleepily and stretching her arms out

"Only a few hours…you obviously needed it since I have worn you out" he said raising his eyebrows suggestively.

Janet just smiled, "Yes I guess you did Mr. Latekka."

"Any time Mrs. Latekka…by the way." He said smiling

"So is there anything you would like to do today?" Janet asked realizing that it is later in the afternoon

"No I am perfectly happy here sitting with you. I have missed us just being together like this…it seemed so simple before but when you were in the hospital I really missed it." Eddie said more quietly

Janet looked at Eddie and realized how hard it must have been for him as well watching her go through all that she did. She knew that it affected him in some way but looking at his face now she realized just how much his life was impacted by that day at the Duf.

"To be honest Eddie I feel kind of lost right now…I am so used to having so much to do that I don't know what to do with myself…I have no job right now or at least I don't think I do and school is out for now due to the shooting and everything so I am not sure what any of my days are going to look like, maybe for the first time in my life." Janet said looking at Eddie

"You know Janet I can take care of you so you really don't have to do anything if you don't want too, you know that right?" he said wondering if she would want to just stay at home.

"Eddie you know that is not me…I have to do something with myself. I want to go back to school at some point and finish my schooling…it is important to me that I finish what I started…I had put it off way too long the first time…I have to face what happened there as well. I just don't know when that will be possible. The other students who came to visit me in the hospital said that they have suspended the rest of the semester so we can't go back until the start of the next which is still a few months away from now. I don't know honestly about my job in Grand Springs…I don't know if they have replaced me or what…I imagine they had to because they needed someone to do the job…crisis's don't stop just because I got shot." Janet said somewhat chuckling but serious as well.

"I really hate hearing that sentence Janet. You have no idea what that phrase 'I got shot' does to me on the inside but honestly they never really said anything about your job. Which reminds me did you ever get a visit from the chief of police about a job?" he asked

"I'm sorry Eddie I don't mean to make light of it but I have to deal with it and it helps a little to joke about it…that is what the doctor said to work through my feelings about it to come to terms with it all and accept the situation for what it was, I guess saying it out loud just sounds insensitive, doesn't it?" she asked placing her hand on Eddie's cheek.

"Yeah it kind of does but I understand you have to deal with it as you can but can we not joke about it because there is nothing funny about what happened that day." Eddie said softly once again.

"Yeah Eddie I won't do that again, and for the record I just want to say thank you for everything that you did for me and being there for me throughout this whole process…I don't know if I said thanks enough to you but I would not have been able to get through all of this without your love and support, really Eddie, you were my rock when I really needed it and that isn't easy for me to say since you know how fiercely independent I can and need to be." She said

"You don't have to thank me Janet, there was nothing that would have stopped me from being by your side trust me…you have been there for me so many times over the years I cannot even count them…truth be told I kind of like being able to take care of you…that independence scares me sometimes." He said looking into Janet's eyes.

"Why Eddie?" she asked really not understanding why he would be upset with that part of who she was.

"Because Janet, you are able to do a lot of things for yourself and have been that way since I have known you but it is hard being the sort of person that likes to take care of others it is hard for me to realize that you can take care of yourself just fine, even when I wasn't there with you, it just makes me feel like you could survive without me and that scares me because when we were apart I barely survived without you." Eddie said, finding it very difficult to communicate what he truly thought.

When Eddie and Janet got back together they talked about a lot of things but she never understood that he had difficulty in his life when they were apart. He was still working and going out with his friends, she always thought that her experience was worse because her heart was so broken…she got a job out of town just so he couldn't see her fall apart. It was something that she worked very hard to hide from everyone as much as possible.

"I didn't know that you had such a hard time Eddie, I'm sorry for what I did I really am." Janet said with tears beginning to form in her eyes.

"Please Janet I am not telling you this to upset you I just can't go through that again. Losing you once was bad enough but this time was devastating because I didn't know what was going to happen from day to day. You had good days and then some bad ones…a few times we almost lost you and all that was running through my mind was that I wouldn't be able to survive if you…" eddie couldn't bring himself to finish that thought.

"Eddie, look at me, I am fine. I am right here and I am not going anywhere" she held up her ring finger that was graced with the most beautiful ring and continued, "I made a promise to you that I would always be here for you, to love and support you and together we are going to build a life together ok so no more of this talk…there is always going to be a part of me that can take care of myself and there are going to be times when I will need that ability but we are together Eddie, husband and wife and from now on we are a team, together not independent but together in making decisions and figuring out the future…so don't worry. I couldn't make it through one day without seeing this beautiful and ruggedly handsome face or feeling these very strong hands on my body or those incredibly sexy lips not touching mine at least 20 times every day…so please trust that not a day will go by that my existence isn't affected by you because it not only is affected by it but it depends on it…I love you Eddie, more than I can say or show sometimes but the feeling is so strong, nothing is going to change it, ok?" Janet said looking into Eddie's eyes and placing her hands on his cheeks in a loving gesture.

Eddie looked into Janet's eyes and saw everything he wanted for his future. He thought that it didn't really matter what the future held, school or working or whatever because he knew that Janet would come home to him and spend her life with him regardless of what she chose to do. He understood fully that Janet's love for him was just as strong and dependable as his feeling for her and now he truly felt at home because his home was Janet and she was right there with him. He let out a deep breath that he didn't realize he was even holding.

"I love you so much Janet. I guess maybe you weren't the only one who was traumatized by Seth. I didn't realize how affected I was but I know now that we are going to be ok even if it takes a bit to get our bearings back we will figure it out. I just want you to know that I support you 100% in whatever you decide but for now, let's enjoy the moment of peace and relaxation, sound good?" he said pulling her gently against him again so they could snuggle.

"It sounds perfect to me" as she snuggled against him feeling like there was nowhere on this planet that she would rather be then exactly where she was in this moment. She thought, "maybe I don't have to figure everything out today maybe for now this is enough."

With that the two snuggled into each other and began flipping through the channels and decided on mindless reality TV because neither of them cared about what was on the TV they were more concerned with connecting with each other.