Update Forty Weeks too! I'm treating you peoples for being such awesome readers! Please Enjoy! This was my third version of this chapter, the first two were ones I couldn't stand and this was all of them pieced together which is better than what the two originals were!
Her eyelids were dangerously heavy; no amount of trying could fight the subconscious shut in the way of her sight. Her cheek was pressed in something wet and sticky, her hands useless underneath her body as she attempted to move herself for the millionth time. She kicked and flailed, but ultimately was halted by the screaming, constant pain radiating from her aching chest, paired with the tightness in her gut, breathing felt like a less than optimal way to receive the relief she so desperately desired by filling her lungs with the gooey, smelly air confined in this house.
She heard nothing but the swimming in her head and the pounding in her body. She wanted arms wrapped around, ones lanky and ready to coax her awake, ones willing to sit her up and wait and rock her back and forth and back and forth reassuring and loving.
"Daddy, I don't feel good." The little girl rubbed at her glossy eyes, her bottom lip quivering as the sweat sprung from her blonde hair line down her face from her slight fever.
"You don't?" He answered, mocking her pout playfully. He crouched to her eye level, pressing his big hand to her red cheek.
"Everywhere hurts." She whined, reaching her arms out for him to take her up into his.
"Everywhere? I don't think a little girl can hurt everywhere." He teased. "Just come here, partner. Come and sit with me for a little while, we'll drink some water, just you and me." He nudged her with his nose. "Right in my arms…" he whispered, carrying her away into the living room.
She could feel her phone pressing into her thigh and her whole body went numb reaching for it. "Mar- the coughs were similar to someone stabbing her repeatedly, jabbing her rib cage with sharp sticks and blades. She groped, her fingers feeling the molding between the floor and the wall he had shoved her into. Her left arm was practically useless, but she clawed in every direction with her right, dragging her aching body a few inches across the tile floor. She cringed, her eyes burning her mouth dry and scratchy, caked in crusty blood.
It was hazy and blurry. She quaked with chills, her eyes still unable to adjust to the world around her. "Marsh—
Why was she calling him? He couldn't hear her. How come he wasn't here? Had this been her imagination, everything- Marshall, that night… the baby. She shut her eyes tight, although it didn't make a difference whether they were open or not, everything was still nothing but haze. She waited, for anything, focusing every attention she could conjure to her belly, praying for a churn or a flutter or a toss, but everything was still. Her left hand twitched at her side as she pulled herself up with her other, and leaned against the hard, white wall. Her teeth chattered, the perspiration trickling down into her closed eyes. Mary grabbed at her shirt, running her fingers across the protrusion, relief flooding her heart once she realized the paranoia of the possibility of having gone bat shit crazy without realizing flew away. Then why hadn't he come? Her head screeched on her shoulders and the tears mixed with her sweat and poured into her bloody mouth. "Marshall?!" She mumbled, being startled by the phone in her pocket. She dug, patting her leg, wishing she could grab it quickly, "Wait…" She begged to the vibrating machine. "Please.." Her sobs were coming hard and the fear was welling up more and more in her eyes, cascading to her chin. She heard the phone clatter to the ground and a shock wave sent her toppling over back to the floor. "Marshall- GAHHH?!" She screamed, cut off by a yowl escaping her own throat as the pain overcame her. With a splat her cheek lay in the stickiness again, and no one was there to hear the static and frantic calls of the man on the other end of the phone.
"MARY?!" He bellowed into the mouth piece. "MARY!?" Marshall yelled again.
There was no reply, but the phone continued to time the conversation which meant she hadn't hung up or been forced to. His heart flourished and he found it hard to breathe.
Reggie Williams' driveway came into view, but it seemed so far from him, so incredibly taxing to reach Mary's car. Delia came speeding in directly behind him, back up on her tail. He waved them back, kicking in the door without a correct warning.
"MARY?!" He screamed pointing his gun in every direction, feeling angry and ready to blow that bastards head away. The rage inside of him surprised him.
"Mhmm." It was a groan, coming from his right hand side. He twirled to it, falling to his knees beside her. Mary, his Mary was a wreck.
"Mary…" He cried, pressing a palm to her gushing shoulder and wiping at the crimson covering her lips. "Mary, I'm right here." He said, squeezing her hand. She hollered in pain as he positioned her onto her back and the piercing yelp hit him hard, sending the tears rolling down his cheeks at an unfamiliar and unusual rate.
"Marsh…" The rest of it was a gurgle. Cringing, he plopped down in a pool of her blood, resting her head at an angle just so the red spewings could come freely from her mouth and she wouldn't choke on anymore of her words. "My- ch… ches…t" She managed, trying again to open her eyes to look up at him for the expression to match his quaking body.
"What about your chest?" He asked soothingly, his fingertips barely caressing her collarbone when she called out like she was hit.
"Wil—liams.. ki- cked me." She sputtered and felt him tense with her words. She attempted to cover her shoulder, but let her hand fall into his lap once she realized the effort wasn't worth the pain.
"He's not here anymore, Mary." He said, stroking her hair from her forehead. "But Delia is going to find him and his sorry ass is going to rot in prison… I promise you that." His words were dripping with venom and hate and Mary would have laughed at his hopeful disgust if she were feeling her normal self.
"M—the- b-aby." She rasped. "Do y-ou fe-el the –baby?"
Marshall bit his lip, knowing if she couldn't he most definitely wouldn't be able to. "Hush." He replied. "There's an ambulance on its way." He looked up at Delia who had been watching the scene with a cellphone pressed to her ear. "I'm so sorry, Mary." He whimpered, brushing her cheek with the back of his hand.
"Wow." She managed wholly.
"What?" He said confusedly, adjusting himself to place her head more comfortably on his lap.
"I m-ust lo-ok like shi-t if you're apol-ogizing." The hacking came after that, the blood spraying his jacket as he covered her mouth as not to get her clothing grubbier than it already was from lying on the floor.
The sirens echoed in his ear drums as he rubbed her side, squeezing her shoulder tighter, feeling the warmness flowing freely from her arm, the feeling of protruding bones, and the brokenness/ "I love you, Mary." He whispered, leaning down to kiss her sweaty, hot head..
"I-lo-ve…" This time she spat, clearing her mouth and her throat. "I love you too." She rasped.
The paramedics rushed over, checking her vitals and nearly shoving Marshall away. Mary was up in the gurney and pushed into the ambulance in a blink of an eye. He climbed in, his face being a perpetual frown as of late he would do anything to know what a smile felt like again.
The men did the medical work, sliding gauze into her wound, covering her mouth with supplemental oxygen while feeling the same stillness in her belly the two Marshal's had both experienced. He shuddered, and waved to Delia to begin the search for Williams and finally, all Marshall had to do was hold her hand. That's all he had wanted to do…. was just hold her.
Her head felt like a heavy weight, weighing her neck down and she struggled to lift it from her pillow. The feeling of her greasy hair matted to her head was overwhelming and her body was extremely stiff. She felt tight everywhere.
"Woah, woah, woah.." Marshall whispered in a light scold, guiding her head back to the pillow. "Mary, you need to rest. You've been through hell the past seven hours. Let's get some sleep, okay?"
"Wh- She was trying to force the words from her mouth, attempting with every fiber of her being, but it came out broken and jittery. "W-here's N-orah?" She asked hoarsely, realizing she definitely couldn't move her body, realizing that the fluorescent lights were suddenly burning her half open eyes and her mouth was stinging and searing as the saliva soaked into her soar cheeks and dry throat.
"With Joanna." He stated softly, moving a few strands of hair from her face. "Don't worry, she's fine." It was more of his way of telling Mary she, herself was okay, not Norah. Marshall was hell bent on conveying that nothing more was to happen to her and nothing ever would happen to Norah, he was just afraid to directly promise such things, for he had before and now they were here, she was in pain and he couldn't bear to see her this way.
"A-nd- the— she coughed and her chest and shoulder screamed in unison, the pain was sharp, steadily throbbing and for a moment she was on the verge of slipping into darkness again. Determined to stay awake she managed to open her eyes even more, her brow furrowing as the light poured into her overly sensitive eyeballs.
"The baby is fine for now." Marshall stated grimly. "Only if you keep being fine, though Mary and I know that's hard for you, but you absolutely need to rest. Can you do that for me? Please?" He was nearly begging, gripping at her hand as she blinked excessively against the sights of the room.
"Y-yeah." It was a short answer, but all she could say. Suddenly, the noises of the monitors and machines beside her were more noticeable, the sounds hit her ear drums and the beeps pierced her thoughts.
The feel of his large hand against her soar fingers and his soft breathing in the air was the most comforting things she could focus herself on. "C-an y-you do m-e a f-favor?" She asked, glancing at him, moaning as she attempted to turn her head.
"Of course." He replied. "Anything." He scooted closer to her.
"L-ay with m-me." She stuttered, still trying to find her whole voice.
"Mary, I can't—
"Please!" It was a demand not a question, she wasn't begging, it was a command and who was he to decline?
Hesitantly, he walked around the bed to the opposite side, avoiding her shoulder wrapped tightly in the bandages and the wires stringing her to the machines. Awkwardly, he lay on his side, resting his right ear on the pillow as she struggled to move over the slightest bit. "N-ow t-tell me the da-mage." She said glumly, gulping, her eye shutting to concentrate on listening.
"Then you have to rest." Marshall stated firmly. Mary moved her head in somewhat of a nodding manner and he shuddered. "Your shoulder is the worst of it all. The bullet was through and through barely skimming you. But your collarbone was broken in two places when he…kicked you." He was gritting his teeth now. "The damage to your chest was enough to knock the wind out of you, give you a wicked contusion, and you chomped down on your tongue and your cheek which explains the blood coming from your mouth. Because you were lying down it seemed much worse…" He trailed off, watching her lift her left hand, it was shaking, intertwining their fingers again and managed to place it to her bulge.
"Shhhhhh.." She whispered, halting his words with her gentle statement.
Marshall waited ever so intently as did the woman beside him. Her heart jumped excitedly as the bubbles and the ripples began and his finger twitched in hers. He chuckled sweetly and then took his other hand to smooth her blankets. "I told you the baby was fine.. You have to trust me." He said kindly.
"Y-you kno-w th-that's hard for m-me. We've be-en ove-r thi-s a d-dozen ti-mes." Mary snapped. "They were so still…" She mumbled completely, her voice breaking and her lip quivering.
"Okay Mare…" Marshall soothed. "Okay… Now it's time for sleep. Jinx is coming soon and you need to look like you. We both understand how she gets. Especially when it has to do with your work and Brandi has been blowing up my cell with her worries too. Don't you fret, I'll fend them off." He grinned, pulling her hair away from her face.
She felt him, hard and warm against her. Pressed against Marshall she felt safe, relaxed, and was soon well off into pained dreaming. He was most content with this moment- not just because of the bubbling and rippling under his fingertips or just the calm noise of her breathing and the soundness of her slumber, but because he knew once Jinx arrived to take his place beside Mary he would be well on his way to ABQ Police Department where Reggie Williams sat in a cell awaiting to be interrogated, by Marshal Marshall Mann himself.
Sooooo, what do you think?