“Nothing’s broken, no internal injuries, a few bruised ribs is all, so can I get the hell out of here?” Dean asked Kirby petulantly.
“When the doctor signs the release papers and not a second sooner.”
“Come on. I’ll go crazy just sitting here.” Then he smiled. “I can sign myself out you know.”
“You can, but you won’t. I’m just glad they were only trying to hurt you, not maim or kill you. You were damned lucky, so don’t try to press your luck. Stay here until you can move without too much pain.”
“Define ‘too much’.”
“When you don’t wince or groan just shifting to a more comfortable position, if you’re not on pain meds.”
“Well I am on them, right now, so get me out of here. I’m not in pain.”
“Dean…” Kirby said firmly, “you are staying right here.”
“You bet he is, if I have to sit on him,” Carrie said as she walked into the room with an armful of flowers. “What, no vases? What sort of joint is this anyway?”
Jim, who was right behind her, laughed and went in search of a nurse who might know where to find one. Meanwhile Carrie set the flowers down on the dresser before she pulled up a chair beside the bed.
“You look like hell, if you want my personal opinion. I can hardly wait to see you when all the bruising turns the lovely shades of puce and yellow that come next.” She took Dean's hand, squeezing it. “So when do they spring you for real?”
Dean sighed. “Tomorrow, if they think I’m healing all right.”
Carrie nodded then looked at Kirby. “What happens to the two bastards who did this?”
“They’ll be arraigned Monday morning. Until then they sit in jail. They lawyered up, of course, but with the tapes we have of what happened, plus Dean’s testimony, we can hope the judge will deny bail—if for no other reason than that they’re a flight risk since they’re both from Colorado.”
“I hope they rot there,” Carrie spat out in reply.
“Don’t we all,” Jim said as he returned with a vase and put the flowers into it. “Has anyone told you, you look like hell Dean?”
Dean laughed. “A couple of people have.”
Carrie eyed her brother thoughtfully. “So what’s on the agenda once you get out of here?”
“Nothing exciting, that’s for sure.”
“You’re not going to do anything but rest, and maybe work since it’s a sedentary job,” Kirby stated firmly.
Dean arched an eyebrow. “Oh really?”
When Kirby said, “Yeah, really,” Carrie gave Jim a knowing grin.
Jim grinned back. “Doomed.”
“Yeah, for sure.”
Kirby obviously caught their interplay and shook his head. At that point a nurse came in to tell everyone they had to leave as visiting hours were over. Carrie got up and leaned in to kiss Dean’s cheek. Kirby got a bit more personal, brushing a kiss across Dean’s lips before telling him he had better follow doctor’s orders, or else.
After the trio was gone the nurse smiled at Dean. “I think you’re a lucky man.”
“Because I’m alive?”
“No, because you have people who love and care about you.”
“Yeah.” He smiled. “Yeah I guess I do.”