Chapter 6

Adam and Daniel returned to the waiting room a short time after detouring to the restroom. Daniel looked better now that he was cleaned up and wearing fresh clothes, he was still too pale though. "Hannah and Becky not back?" Adam asked in a rough voice.

Brian glanced towards the hall, only Evan and Guthrie's hands on his arms kept him in place. He was worried about his wife but he knew that right now he had to trust Hannah to take care of her.

"Not yet, you know how women are Adam," Guthrie joked. Nobody laughed.

Brian looked towards the hall as footsteps were heard. "I'm going to get them," he declared as an unknown nurse walked past the waiting room.

Evan and Guthrie tightened their hold. "You gonna go busting into the women's room Brian?" Evan asked.

"If Becky didn't give you what for, Hannah would."

"I don't care," Brian growled, shaking off their hold and climbing to his feet. "Move out of my way Adam."

"Not until you calm down."

"I am calm."

"Like hell," Adam scoffed. "Look Brian I know you want to make sure Becky is okay but Daniel said she wasn't hurt."

It was Brian's turn to scoff. "If you believe that then you don't know my wife very well."

Adam sighed. "Alright, but physically she isn't hurt and Hannah is better equipped than either one of us to help her right now. Just give them a little longer Brian," Adam advised, "Hannah will take care of her." He hoped his younger brother would listen to him.

"Becky," Brian breathed his wife's name like reciting a prayer. Dodging around his brother he hurried to Becky's side, wrapping his strong arms around her.

For a moment Becky let his strength encompass her, protecting her from every hurt the world could give. "I'm fine Brian," she finally assured him. "Any word on Crane?"

"Not yet." Brian led her to the couch, sitting down he pulled her onto his lap.

Adam had wrapped his arms around Hannah almost as quickly as Brian had gotten to Becky. He could feel a tension in her, more than had been there before. "What?" he asked, looking between the two women, the question drew the attention of everybody else.

Hannah sighed. She had hoped to put this off, at least until they knew something about Crane's condition. In a few short sentences, being as gentle as possible she told them what the boy had said to Becky.

"No," Adam denied the words almost before Hannah had finished speaking them. "The kid's lying or confused."


"No Hannah," Adam nearly yelled, only just remembering he was in a hospital. "There is no way Crane wouldn't tell us if he had a kid. Hell there's no way he wouldn't be a part of his kid's life, if he had one."

"Maybe he didn't know," Hannah quietly suggested.

"She could be right," Brian admitted.

"It would explain why Crane never said anything," Evan pointed out.

"Jesus," Adam ran his hand through his hair. "This is a mess." He collapsed heavily into one of the couches, Hannah sinking down next to him. He was grateful for her presence, knowing he wouldn't be able to handle any of this without her. Especially..."Oh God," he whimpered. Jumping up he ran for the bathroom down the hall.

"Adam," Hannah called, jumping to her feet.

"I'll take care of him Hannah," Brian assured his sister-in-law. He would have rather stayed by Becky's side but since the death of their parents he had been the one to take care of Adam. Hannah had slipped into that role with an ease and depth of love that had amazed him, until he had found his own rock in Becky. But there were some things a man didn't want his wife to witness and Brian had seen where Adam had ran to. "You take care of Becky," he said as he passed her.

"Adam?" he called as he pushed the bathroom door open. He could hear the sound of retching coming from one of the stalls. He waited with a patience that would have amazed anybody who knew him. That patience was rewarded when Adam emerged a few minutes later. "You okay partner?" he asked.

Adam ignored him, stumbling to the sink to rinse his mouth and wash his face. Silently he pulled paper towels from the dispenser, drying his face and hands. Gripping the sink, he stared into the mirror. "It'll be twenty years tomorrow. I can't lose...not again..." Adam's voice broke as he dropped his head.

Brian grabbed his brother's shoulders turning him to face him. "Now you listen to me big brother we aren't losing anybody. Crane isn't going to give up, no more than you or I would. You gonna give up on him?"

"I'm scared," the older brother admitted, his voice sounding small and lost in the echoes of the room.

Brian pulled Adam close. "We're all scared Adam but you can't give into that fear." He knew that if this had happened at any other time of the year his older brother would have drawn on the strength they all depended on. It was only the timing that had him in such a tailspin. He wasn't surprised when his shirt began to dampen with Adam's tears. He didn't say anything, only held the older man tighter, letting him cry out the fear and grief that threatened to consume him.

"Sorry about that," Adam sniffled. Pulling away he ducked his head, embarrassed to have broken down like some little kid.

Brian waved it off. "That's okay, it'll dry," he gestured to his shirt. "Hannah's gonna kick your ass though."

Adam looked up, confused.

"When I tell her you tried to start a water fight," Brian smirked.

It wasn't that funny but Adam laughed, once started he couldn't seem to stop. And then it stopped as quickly as it had begun, but he felt better for it. "Thanks Bri."

"Anytime brother, anytime."

Adam washed and dried his face once more before the two men returned to the waiting arms of their women.


Please feed the muse with reviews.