Kurtis Hoyt, a distant cousin of the Belles and Newcrest's best doctor money could buy, finished cleaning up the medical supplies and wrapped up the IV that had just been taken out of Clara’s arm. It had been a long and arduous night trying to keep Clara alive.
When he first arrived at the Estate he saw Claudio covered in blood and Clara laying on their bed covered in even more blood than him. He knew exactly what was wrong right off the bat. It wasn’t a secret in their small town that Clara’s parents had come here and they wanted something. It wasn’t everyday that a wealthy pair of foreigners was spotted walking Newcrest’s streets.. Kurtis knew that Clara almost lost the baby because of the stress.
Claudio breathed a sigh of relief as Kurtis explained to him that everything was going to be okay.
“Don’t look so relieved yet, Claudio. Clara has had a very traumatic experience and so has the baby. She needs rest, and lots of it. She doesn’t need to be around anything else that could stress her or the baby out and she needs to stay in bed most of the time. The hardest part will come when it’s time for her to give birth.”
Claudio patted Kurtis’s shoulder,
“I really appreciate you coming out like this Kurtis. I know our family isn’t as tight knit as it use to be but I’m glad you’re here.”
Kurtis reached down to grab his medical bag and grimaced,
“I know, but let’s not talk about that. I’m warning you Claudio, that if you don’t take care of her and make sure she stays out of harm's way you could potentially lose her and the baby.”
As Kurtis left the room he bumped into four very impatient people waiting to know how Clara was doing. He explained what was going on and said that Claudio is getting her changed and cleaned up right now. But as he exited the house he got a chill that ran down his spine, and clouded his mind with a strong sense of foreboding. Something was going to happen, he didn’t know what, or to whom, but it was something bad.
Genevieve rushed into her Grandma’s arms and wrapped her small hands into her shirt,
“Mommy’s gonna be okay then? I told her I knew she was scared but I didn’t think she would be this scared!”
Harley smoothed Genevieve’s hair out with the palm of her hand,
“Yes darling, your Mommy is going to be just fine. We just have to make sure we don’t do anything that stresses her or your little baby brother or sister out, okay?”
Genevieve pulled away and nodded her head seriously,
“I won’t even make a sound when I walk! And I promise I’ll try not to fight with Cullen so much anymore. I just want Mommy to be okay…”
Mason looked down at Cullen. The boy had a serious look on his face but he could visibly see he was shaking. Unlike Genevieve he didn’t start getting his father’s affection until much later in life so he was more attached to his Mom.
Mason grunted in dissatisfaction at the thought and bent down to Cullen’s eye level,
“Don’t worry, son. Your Mom is fine, didn’t you hear Dr. Hoyt? Now you and your sister need to get to bed, you have school in the morning. Give your old Grandpa a hug.”
Claudio had changed Clara into her pajamas and put her back down to rest. He couldn’t though, he couldn’t close his eyes because he was afraid that if he opened them she would be gone. Claudio kept getting flashbacks of her face twisted in pain, and the blood on her white dress. So much blood...he shivered at the memory.
As he ran his fingers through her hair he noticed the toll losing so much blood took on her. Her eyes were sunken and had dark purple rings around them and her face was ashen. Clara almost looked like she was dead, but you could still hear the small breaths she made and see the rise and fall of her chest.
Claudio dropped his elbow and pulled her closer, so her head was resting on his chest. It was time he became a better father and husband. Almost losing Clara was enough to shake him to his core.
About a week had past and each day Clara was getting a little better. She was still bedridden but that Sunday she wanted to get up and move around, at least a little bit.
Claudio placed his hand on her stomach and felt their unborn child kick him. As if to tell him “Hey Daddy, I’m still here don’t worry.” He smiled to himself as he whispered into Clara’s ear,
“It’s time to wake up, love. Let me carry you to the tub and help you get dressed.”
Clara moaned and sat up in bed,
“Ugh...when are you going to stop treating me like a baby?”
Claudio scooped her up into his arms and kissed her forehead,
“Never. I am going to watch over you and take care of you better than anyone ever has. So how about you just deal with it missy.”
Clara sighed and nuzzled into Claudio’s chest to hide her smile. She loved having him around again, even if it was because of what happened to her, he was there now, taking care of her and that's what matters.
Claudio carried Clara down after she had finished getting ready and placed her in the wheelchair he got from the local hospital. The kids hadn’t seen her since the night of the accident so they were eager to see their Mom.
As Clara situated herself in her wheelchair she heard two sets of feet rushing from across the house and the sound of a reprimand from Grandma Harley. As she saw her two children run into the room she couldn’t help but smile at both of them.
“Mommy you’re here! I didn’t think you would come out of your room for forever!”
Clara laughed and reached over to kiss both her children's cheeks,
“Nothing could ever keep me away from my two loves! I’ve missed you both so much.”
Cullen and Genevieve wrapped their arms around their Mom gently and hugged her,
“Please don’t ever scare us like that again Mommy…”
“I wasn’t scared at all! I knew Momma would make it out of it, she’s the toughest person I know!”
Claudio cleared his throat and pried the two little ones off of Clara. “Now is the time to be a Dad, Claudio. You can do this.”
“Okay kiddos. Here’s what we’re gonna have to do to make Mom happy okay? She’s still really weak and needs her sleep so when your Grandma wakes you up for school make sure you’re as quiet as a church mouse, okay? And if your Mom is down here and she starts to get tired I don’t want to hear about you guys badgering her to stay.”
Genevieve and Cullen glanced at each other and shrugged their shoulders,
Claudio breathed a sigh of relief and dropped the tension in his shoulder. “Okay now the hard part is over.”
“So, since your Mom is sick that means I’ll be in charge from here on out. I’ve quit my band and I’ll only be writing jingles for companies or making solo albums from here on out. That means we get more time to spend together!”
Cullen and Genevieve glanced at each other nervously. Even though Genevieve had spent more time with her Dad it wasn’t that much. Neither one of them were use to him being around and had no idea what he liked to do, other than play guitar. Did he even know that Genevieve’s favorite food was Gummy Bear Pancakes? And that Cullen was lactose intolerant?
Claudio noticed the nervousness and apprehension in their faces and laughed nervously.
“This is gonna be harder than I thought.”