It was a good thing there was a chair directly behind me, because otherwise I would have collapsed to the floor. Instead, I dropped into the padded chair, staring at Jensen lying prone. It felt like the bottom of my world was dropping out from under me. I hadn’t seen Jensen in more than two years and one of my biggest regrets were some angry words I had said before he and Jared had left, and now I would never be able to tell him I was sorry. I could never tell him how much I wished I could have taken back those words, or how much I had missed him.
“He won’t wake up?” I asked, panic and horror causing my voice to squeak. Doctor Hanberg nodded, a sympathetic look on his face. “What about Jared?”
“He was in and out of consciousness for the first few hours, but he’s just sleeping right now,” the doctor said. I nodded. The doctor was silent for a minute while I tried to calm my heart down, then he turned to face the door.
“I’ll leave you alone then, I have rounds to make, but I’ll be back to check on the boys later,” he said. I nodded, not really paying attention, and he left. I stood up and dragged the chair to Jared’s bedside, wanting to be close.
Growing up, Jared had been like my little brother, while Jensen had been like my older brother. It was great growing up with two protectors and friends, but I remembered the day vividly when I realized that my feelings for them had changed. I didn’t think of them as brothers any more, though I still would have done anything for them like brothers. We had become closer than that, everything we had been through binding us tighter than any siblings could ever be. At least, I had thought we were that close, but everything had fallen apart when they had left.
I carefully brushed Jared’s hair out of his face, not at all surprised that he still hadn’t cut it shorter than his eyesight. He had always liked longer hair, while Jensen had like his short and out of the way. It was just one of the many things that were different between them.
Suddenly very tired from all the driving and the emotional roller coaster, I leaned forward and lay on the bed, putting a hand on Jared’s limp hand in front of my face. It felt good to be near him again, the simple touching of hands felt so familiar, like no time had passed…
I woke up with a start when something cold brushed the back of my neck. I sat up, waited until the usual dizziness had faded, then yawned. I glanced at my watch quickly and was surprised to find that it was late afternoon. I sighed, stretched out my stiff back muscles.
I looked around, trying to find what had awakened me, but there wasn’t anyone else in the room, aside from Jensen and Jared. I frowned, feeling the back of my neck. What had been so cold? Had I imagined it?
A moan drew my attention back to the bed. Jared was stirring, and as I watched he opened his eyes. For a moment there was confusion written all over his face as he stared at the ceiling, his forehead wrinkled, his lips pressed together. Then he started looked around, probably trying to figure out where he was. Recognition crossed his face when he saw the medical monitor next to him on the other side of the bed. Then he looked in the other direction and saw me.
Shock that even I could feel replaced the recognition and I had to swallow hard. Was it really that hard to imagine me coming to their rescue?
“Katey?” he croaked, his voice sounding like sandpaper. I smiled, nodding and rubbing the back of his hand.
“I’m here, Jared,” I said, my voice hitching as emotion tried to cram its way through my words. He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
“What happened?” he asked when he looked at me again. I glanced over at Jensen, swallowing hard again, then returned my gaze to Jared.
“You were in a car crash,” I told him. “Don’t you remember?”
He nodded, pulling his hand shakily out from under mine and placing it on top.
“I remember, but why are you here?”
I looked away.
“You still had my name and number listed as an emergency contact,” I said. When I looked up he was frowning.
“You drove all the way here from Connecticut?” he asked. I frowned back at him.
“How did you—“
“We’ve kept track of you,” he said, refusing to meet my eyes. I pressed my lips tightly together angrily. They had kept track of me. I had never been able to find them and they had been keeping track of me. I was about to snap something at him when he started sitting up.
“Jensen?” he called, looking over towards his brother.
“Jared, you need to stay down,” I said, reaching over to push him back down. He resisted and sat up higher.
“Jensen!” he cried when Jensen didn’t answer him the first time. “What’s wrong with him?”
I hesitated, debating whether I should tell him the truth, or that he’s just asleep. But I could never lie to them, even when it would hurt.
“He’s in a coma,” I said quietly, still trying to get him to lie back down. I had to stand up, and I tried to be gently yet firm, but Jared brushed my hands aside like they weren’t anything more than butterflies.
“A coma?” He tried to climb out of the bed, but I hurried around to the other side and pushed against him, stopping him.
“Katey, let me go,” he said, still trying to get past me, but even though he was always stronger than me, he was still weak from the accident and I was able to keep him in the bed. I shook my head.
“No, you need to rest, you won’t do him any good if you injure yourself more,” I told him as I gently pushed him back down onto the pillow. His jaw clenched, and I felt a wave of panic and horror flowing from him.
“I told him we weren’t ready yet,” he said quietly, still watching Jensen. I realized they had been hunting something. That’s how they had gotten in the crash, something had attacked them and the paramedics wrote it off as a crash.
“What weren’t you ready for?” I asked, trying to draw his attention away from Jensen. “What were you hunting?”
He didn’t answer, and I looked down at him. He had fallen asleep.
Frustrated, I walked back around to my seat, feeling tired again. They had been hunting something, and since they were now incapacitated it would be my responsibility to finish what they had started. At least, if I could ever figure out what they had been after.
As I fell asleep laying my head on the bed again, I felt another brush of cold, this time trailing down my scar along my collarbone, and felt someone’s deep affection press against my heart.