“Where’s Edward?” Eleanor asked.
Dana pointed to the door. Eleanor sat down and put an arm around Dana. “It’s okay, it will be okay.”
Dana nodded as she began to cry. How could it be alright? Her baby was badly burned in the hospital. “Hey, cutie pie, what’s your name?” a man who was clearly Edward’s father asked Elizabeth.
“Elizabeth,” she sobbed.
“Well, my name’s James and I think I’ll call you Beth. Come sit with me so Mommy can wait for the doctor, okay?”
Dana released her hold on Elizabeth and watched as she climbed onto James’ waiting lap. He was an older version of Edward, she absently noted. She looked back towards the door and waited. She heard, rather than saw, Deana run into the ER screaming her name.
She looked back in time to see Deana throw her arms around her. “How’s our baby?”
“I don’t know,” Dana mumbled.
“Do we know what happened?” Deana asked.
“Cole was hungry. The mean woman didn’t feed us. I was trying to stop him when I heard Mommy come in,” Elizabeth said. All eyes focused on her.
“She didn’t feed you?” Dana asked as softly as she could, but she could see the fear in her daughter’s eyes. She shook her head no.
“Oh my god,” Deana said, sounding on the verge of tears.
“I had a background check done on the woman. I don’t understand this,” Dana said more to herself than anyone else.
“Sometimes people slip through the cracks that shouldn’t,” James said reassuringly.
“This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken the day off. This is my fault,” Deana said, wiping frantically at the tears that poured down her cheeks.
“No, it’s not,” Dana said weakly. She was starting to become light headed.
A doctor stepped out of the ER. He looked very upset. Dana’s stomach twisted painfully.
“Ms. Mathews?” he asked. “I’m Dr. Newton. I’m treating your son Cole.”
“Please tell me he’s alright,” Dana whispered, fighting not to pass out.
He smiled. “Thanks to the fast thinking of your husband he’s going to be more than fine.”
She didn’t bother correcting him about Edward. “Can I see him? Please.”
“Yes, I’m afraid one at a time. Your husband can stay. Cole is clinging to him and refusing to let him leave,” he explained.
Dana left Elizabeth in very capable hands and made her way into the ER. She wiped her tears away and took a deep calming breath before walking into her son’s room.
She found Edward sitting in a chair, cradling Cole in his arms. Cole was wrapped up in gauze and wore a large diaper. An IV was pumping fluids into his small body. He looked a little out of it and she figured they gave him something for the pain.
“Hey sweetie, how are you?” she asked Cole, dropping to her knees in front of him.
“Mommy?” he said thickly.
“I’m right here, baby. You gave us a heck of a scare.” She kissed his face.
“I’m hungry,” he complained.
She wiped away a fresh tear. “I know, baby. I’m so sorry you know I would never leave you with someone like that on purpose. She’s in big trouble, honey. Don’t worry about it, you’ll never see her again.”
“Good. She was mean,” Cole said, burying his face against Edward’s bare chest.
“How are you holding up, sweetheart?” Edward asked.
“Okay. Thank you for taking care of him.”
He reached over with his free hand and wiped away her tears. “Always.” He pulled her forward and kissed her gently on the lips. She kissed his cheek and then Cole’s.
“We’re going to keep Cole overnight and monitor his burns and watch for infection,” the Doctor said an hour later. Dana nodded and thanked him. She waited with Cole. Edward left a half hour ago to change into clean clothes and talk to his family.
Thankfully Cole was now asleep. His little tummy was now happily full and he dreamed in his mother’s arms. “We need to move him upstairs now,” a nurse said quietly.
Dana stood up. “I’ll carry him if you can manage the IV,” she said, not giving the nurse a chance to argue. There was no way she was putting him down. He needed to be held now more than ever.
“I’ll take him,” Edward said, walking around the nurse to take Cole. He took Cole from her as if he was the most precious thing on earth.
“Mom and Dad are taking Elizabeth for the night. They’re getting some food into her stomach as we speak. The police came by and we talked to them. You’re all set for now,” he told her.
“Thank you for everything,” she said, wiping away a stray tear.
He smiled at her and kissed Cole’s sleepy cheek as he carried him towards the patient elevators.
Dana knelt over her sleeping son. It had been two weeks since the accident and he was already looking better. He came home a week and a half ago and she’d been babying him ever since. He was still in pain and needed constant care.
Edward’s family immediately fell in love with the kids and was around every day to help. Edward stayed over every night snuggling up with Cole on the couch. Tonight for the first time since he came home Cole was asleep in his own bed.
For the past two weeks they passed the time by studying their scripts. When she wasn’t doing that she was running, cooking, or cleaning. She had to keep busy or she would go crazy. The studio pushed shooting the movie off for another week for Cole. They were amazingly sympathetic.
She was due to start shooting tomorrow. Edward was going to start shooting his own movie tomorrow as well. He would be away most nights for a few weeks then he was off to England for ten weeks.
He needed a break and she felt horrible for all the stress and sleepless nights he’d suffered recently for them. She was also afraid there was no question about it any longer. She was madly in love with him.
There was no doubt in her mind that she had never really been in love before. That had been infatuation. Edward made her feel beautiful, loved, and adored and he was great with the kids. He showed them nothing but love and patience. More than their father ever had.
She tiptoed out of Cole’s room and into the living room to find Edward passed out on the couch. He wore his usual outfit when he was at her house, pants and nothing else. His perfect chest rose gently with his relaxed breathing. She took a moment to admire him before she made her way to her bedroom.