Sorry to leave you all on a cliff-hanger (sorry not sorry), but here is your update. Chapter Twelve. C:

Yes, this is sad again. I'd love to lighten the mood a bit, but it's a car accident. I promise that there will be happier chapters, though; this story is longer than I thought it would be. xD

Anywhoooo, ENJOY! (:


Chapter Twelve - Please

"Oh my God," we both gasped, stunned to silence for a fraction of a second. Mal immediately stopped the car, and we both jumped out. A steady crying started from the back seat, clearly coming from Bella. The SUV that had crashed into them drove away, wildly hurtling down the road in an intemperate rage.

"Mal, call the precinct, and get an ambulance, now!" I yelled, running towards the wrecked vehicle. Mal said nothing, but took off running back into the café to use their phone, not bothering to fumble around in the car for his own.

My own personal emotions were completely paused and set aside as I ran up to the car, momentarily assessing the damage. Two steady streams of sobbing came from inside; one Bella, and the other Elissa. I quickly peered into the now-shattered window of the back seat. Bella was bleeding a little, from various scrapes on her arms; but the cuts looked superficial. Nothing would scar. Zach, however, was slumped against the seat, bleeding from a large gash on his head. He appeared to be knocked out cold, if not worse. I hastily reached into the back seat, accepting a few cuts from the broken glass. I grabbed Zach's wrist, feeling for a pulse. It was there, but it was faint. We needed an ambulance within the next five minutes, or Zach's chances of survival would be virtually diminished. I ran around to the driver's side, prying open the dented door. Elissa had her face covered with her hands, and she sobbed loudly into them. She seemed to be physically alright, aside from an apparent gash on her arm; blood soaked through the thin fabric of her sweater.

"Elissa, can you hear me?" I asked, trying to sound gentle.

"Elissa, answer me, are you okay?" I asked again, gently prodding her shoulder. When she didn't respond a second time, I got impatient.

"ELISSA! Answer me, dammit!" She glanced up at me, tears and make-up streaming down her face. She seemed unable to catch her breath, taking small, short breaths in between loud series of broken sobs.

"I'm... I'm fine... B-but... kids... I..." She tried to answer, but broke down in sobs again. She briefly looked away, then stared straight into my eyes with such a weak, hopeless look, that it almost broke my heart.

"Elissa, we're calling the police and an ambulance," I said, firmly gripping her shoulder and returning eye contact. "They'll be here any minute. It's going to be okay. Just breathe." She nodded and tried to take a deep breath, but choked on another round of sobs instead.

"Sweetie. Breathe," I reminded her, reaching in and giving her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. I turned to go catch up with Mal, but she stopped me with a hand on my shoulder.

"Please don't go," she begged brokenly, fear sparkling in her eyes. "Help..." she choked, glancing back at her kids.

"I'm not leaving. We'll get them out of here, I promise." She nodded tearfully, and I turned and ran around the car, meeting Mal on the sidewalk.

"Blaise and Jeremy are on their way, and an ambulance should be here within five minutes. A crowd of concerned on-lookers began to form, keeping a safe distance away.

"Mal, we need to get them out of the car. Elissa and Bella just have minor cuts, but Zach needs an ambulance. NOW." Again, Mal said nothing, but wordlessly ran around the car, trying to force open the door on Bella's side. Several on-lookers ran up to us, asking us what they could do to help. I told a tall, strong-looking teenaged-boy to help me kick and pry Zach's door open. Another well-built man helped us, and together, we managed to get enough of the door off for me to reach inside and carefully extract Zach. Mal had gotten into the other side, and pulled a screaming Bella out from the wreckage.

I heard the sirens of a police car and an ambulance, rounding the corner and stopping with a screech. Blaise and Jeremy jumped out, running up to me.

"Oh my God," Blaise uttered at the sight of Zach and Bella. Her hand flew over her mouth, and she stared in disbelief.

"Holy... Get that kid in the ambulance, NOW!" she exclaimed, urging me forward.

I gently picked Zach up, ignoring the fact that blood was now smeared all over my sweatshirt. I met the ambulance attendants at the back of the vehicle, setting him down on the awaiting stretcher.

"Anyone else?" they asked urgently, motioning towards the wrecked car. I shook my head no; Mal would drive Bella and Elissa to the hospital. The attendants strapped Zach in, wheeled him into the back, then hopped back into the vehicle and took off, lights and sirens blaring.

By now, several on-lookers were trying to get Elissa out of the vehicle; but from the looks of it, she wasn't budging. I quickly walked up to them, politely excusing myself as I pushed between them.

"Excuse me, guys," I said quickly. I pulled the door open again, then reached in and rested my hand on Elissa's shaking shoulder.

"Elissa," I coaxed gently, "You need to get out of this vehicle. You're bleeding, and so is Bella. You need to get to a hospital, now. Do you hear me?" Either she didn't hear me, or ignored me; the latter was more likely, but I persisted anyways.

"Elissa," I said again, sterner this time. "You need to get out of this vehicle. Hospital, now." Elissa removed her hands from her face, but shook her head in denial, choking out sobs.

"ELISSA," I yelled, becoming impatient. "Get the hell out of the damn vehicle. You and Bella are going to the hospital, right now." Again, she didn't budge, crying harder with every passing second. I sighed, exasperated. How the hell was I supposed to get her to the hospital now?

"Elissa, please..." I pleaded a final desperate time, reaching out and taking her hand. It was wet with tears, but I gave it a comforting squeeze. She weakly squeezed back, and finally turned towards me. I gradually helped her out of the car, sliding my arm around her lower back for support. She was still crying and shaking hard, but I eventually coaxed her into the back of Mal's car. Mal had already gotten Bella in, who was still whimpering and holding her arm. Realizing she would be unable to get in the damn car if I didn't help her, I slid into the middle of the back seat, gently pulling her in. I pulled the seat buckle around her small frame, then pulled mine on, too.

"Mal, drive," I commanded after ensuring Bella was buckled. I reached over and gently pulled Bella to my side, stroking her hair like I had with Madison. She still whimpered slightly, and she looked up at me with huge, green eyes.

"You're okay," I soothed gently, "You'll be okay." She stopped whimpering and fell asleep within minutes, so I slowly pulled away and let her sleep. I then turned back to Elissa, who was still an emotional wreck.

Immediately upon sitting, Elissa rested her elbows on her knees, bawling into her hands. I reached over and awkwardly rubbed her back. I never know what the hell to do when someone I don't know very well, breaks down crying in front of me. Her small frame shook violently, though, and I feared she'd knock herself out or something.

Mal stopped the car as we arrived at the hospital, and unstrapped a sleeping Bella from her seat. He gently lifted her up, careful not to wake her.

"She's going to have to go in," Mal said to me, nodding his head towards Elissa.

"I know," I replied, wracking my brain for what to say to coax her out again. "I'll be in... As soon as I can." Mal nodded tersely, tossing the car keys in the seat next to me. I picked them up and shoved them in my pocket. He then turned around and brought Bella inside. I left the car door open so the light would stay on.

Turning back to Elissa, I gently pulled her hands away from her face. She immediately looked down so her long, caramel-colored hair hid her face.

"Elissa," I said gently, trying to get her to look at me. To no avail, clearly. I suppressed a sigh as I tried again. "Come on... Please. We need to get inside." She shook her head and choked out another sob.

"Liss..." I pleaded again, reaching over and brushing back some of the hair that hung in her face. She turned her body towards me so she was leaning against the closed car door. Pulling her knes up to her chest, she looked into my eyes with a helpless look of pain and dread.

"Please, Elissa," I begged for a final time, taking her hand again. "You need to come inside. Your arm will get infected." She finally nodded, reluctantly allowing me to help her up. Upon standing, her legs almost gave out; luckily, my arm made its way around her waist soon enough.

"Come on, Liss," I encouraged. "You're okay... You can do this; just breath and walk... It's okay..." She slid her arm around me for support, holding on for dear life. If I were to have tripped at that moment, we would have both gone down; and I could bet that only one of us would want to get back up.

Finally, we made it inside. I guided her to a bench beside Mal, where she immediately collapsed.

"Aw, Liss..." he murmured as she slumped down next to him. She looked at him and let out another sob, and Mal reached over and gave her a gentle hug. He looked up at me with concern, but said nothing.

I heard laughter from the corner, and turned to see Bella playing with another little girl around her age, giggling as they played with blocks. She had a few bandages on her arms, but looked to be in good spirits otherwise.

Adreneline fading, I began to grow tired. I pulled my phone out to check the time, and was surprised to see it was only 10:30. It seemed later; much later. Bella walked up to her mother, tapping her on the shoulder.

"Momma, what's wrong? Are you okay?" she asked innocently. Elissa looked down at Bella, then picked her up and pulled her into her arms.

"N-nothing," she choked, setting her back on the floor. "I'm f-fine. Why don't you go with Mal and find s-something to eat?" Her voice shook, and I knew she was going to lose it again. I didn't know it was physically possible to cry that hard, that long. Sure, I'd done a lot of crying in the past week, but my episodes were always short, and rarely were complete breakdowns.

"Okay!" Bella chirped happily, allowing Mal to pick her up. As they walked off, Elissa sniffled, fighting back more sobs. I gently grabbed her hand again and gave it a reassuring squeeze, not knowing what else to do. I felt like I should comfort her, but I was really lousy at that kind of thing. I probably couldn't even console a cat. Not that I'd want to. Cats are evil.

Just then, a middle-aged man in a white lab coat stepped out of the double doors to our left. Elissa's head snapped up as he called her name.

"Ms. Fallon?" he asked, unphased by her emotional state. Elissa nodded quickly.

"H-How is Zach?" she asked hesitantly, blinking tears from her eyes.

"I'm afraid to say that he's not doing well. He has a rather large piece of glass embedded in this skull, several broken ribs, a broken arm, and a few large bruises on his leg. He could make it, but the alternative could occur, too. We're giving him a thirty-to-forty-percent chance of surviving this. I'm sorry," he added, turning and walking away.