Slowly the darkness stopped being as suffocating and I started clawing my way through the cotton haze towards consciousness. I could feel a weight beside me, hear a steady beeping noise, smell the sweet scent of my mate even if it was mixed with worry. As I got closer to consciousness, I got my arm to move and wrapped it around the body beside me. I had little doubts that it was Nova lying there, I just hoped that it was because he was worried and not because he was hurt.
"Tell me you're alright..." I rasped out, opening my eyes slowly.
"I'm fine," Nova said, instantly moving up to give me a kiss. He didn't linger long, but it was definitely nice to feel his soft lips. "How do you feel, love?" he asked, brushing my hair back some.
"Like I was hit by a truck," I murmured. "What time is it?" I asked softly, rubbing his back with the arm I had around him since there was still an IV needle in the other one.
"Late," I answered. "Your fathers should be back around in about ten minutes or so. They're rotating between rooms
" he said, carefully laying back down against me again. "I was so worried for you, Aiden
" I kissed his forehead softly.
"Better me than you," I murmured. "I don't know what I'd do if I lost you and our children... Speaking of... have you eaten?" I asked, trying to get the rasp out of my voice and failing miserably. He shook his head some.
"I was too worried. Conner tried to make me eat, but I couldn't seem to do so," he said, wrapping his arm around my waist.
"Well, you're not worried now," I murmured. "You should go put something on your stomach. And by the time you get back, I should be as good as new." I didn't really want to send him away, but I knew he needed to eat and I couldn't shift in front of him. He sighed some and gave me a kiss.
"I'll be worried for awhile yet, I think. But I can take the hint," he said as he carefully slipped off the bed and made his way to the private kitchen down the hall. Once he was gone, I pulled the IV out and took the hospital gown off. I removed the leads, making the stupid machine monitoring my heart scream that I'd flatlined. I ignored it, closing my eyes as I focused on shifting down to my lupine form. Even after two hundred years, it was still weird to feel my bones breaking and reforming into a different skeletal shape and once I opened my eyes, I could see Conner and my dad standing in the doorway.
"Sorry," I muttered. "I didn't want to stress Nova out any longer than I had to," I explained before forcing my body to shift back.
"What happened?" I heard Nova ask from outside the doorway and Conner turned.
"The leads to his heart monitor came off during the shift," he explained calmly. "It made the monitor scream as if he'd flatlined. He successfully scared the shit out of us." I chuckled a little, getting out of bed to go to the doorway and bring Nova to me.
"Come in here and eat, papillon," I said softly. Nova carefully moved past Conner and Dad and went to sit on the edge of the bed, using the rolling tray as a table. Conner came in and proceeded to check me over, making sure that the shift had managed to heal my wounds sufficiently.
"Looks like I got all of the silver fragments," Conner muttered. Dad nodded some.
"Good. Are you sure you're alright, Aiden? I don't want you pretending you're fine if you're not. If something's off you tell us," he said, clearly worried quite a bit.
"I promise, Dad. I feel fine now," I said, trying to give him a smile. "Nova said you and Dani were making rounds... Who else got hurt?" I asked, unable to stop from worrying a bit about my siblings and cousins. "And do we know what happened?"
"James and Mikhail both got hit as well as Conan. Galen actually took a rather serious bullet to the chest but it only gave him a small hole because of being what he is and all. And I haven't bothered to find out what happened yet. Jinx has taken the men we captured to the Lower Levels. He said he'd call me when he broke them," Dad supplied.
"They're going to be okay, right?" I asked, turning to look at Conner since he probably knew best right now. I could feel a twinge of guilt for not having gone to try and protect my siblings, but my immediate concern at the time had been for my children. Conner nodded.
"Like Tarot said Galen barely got hurt and is already healed. Mikhail took one in the back protecting James while James got one in the shoulder and another in the leg. Conan got off light with just a grazing on his stomach and should be healed in no time," he informed. "You were the one I was most worried about though. The bullet came awfully close to some vital organs." I nodded a little, glancing at Nova. No wonder he'd been so worried.
"What about the humans?" I asked, hating the way the word sounded right then. "And the kids?" Conner sighed, running a hand through his hair slowly.
"Four dead, dozens injured, some seriously," he said softly. "But... the kids... Well, apparently they were all down in the basement playing Hide and Seek when the shooting started. They're all fine."
"Why would they do something like this?" Nova asked, unable to keep quiet any longer. "And at a child's birthday party
how can anyone be so heartless?"
"Humans can be very heartless," Dad replied simply. "There doesn't have to be a reason why."
"Was it Kross's idea for the kids to go into the basement?" I asked, going over to sit beside my lover and wrapped a comforting arm around him. "Did he know it was coming?"
"Seems that way," Dad replied. "Of course he hasn't said too much but what Brad's managed to make him say seems to point in that direction. The basement was off limits after all and Kross wouldn't go against his father's orders if there wasn't some real reason." I nodded some.
"When can we go home?" I asked, wanting to get Nova back into a calm environment.
"You... not for a few days unfortunately," Conner said with a heavy sigh. "It's a media frenzy out there and I don't want to cast any undo suspicion on our family's ability to heal by letting any of you leave sooner than normal for your injuries. The only benefit is that the media can't get into this ward so they won't be able to see you walking around like nothing happened."
"A few days?" Nova echoed somewhat worried. "Does that mean I have to leave him here? Or can I stay too? I don't want to leave if Aiden's not with me."
"You can stay here too, Nova," Conner said, a bit of a smile creeping onto his face. "I'll be here mainly so I can still keep tabs on you and your babies." I smiled, nuzzling my mate's neck a little. Dad's head snapped up at that.
"Babies? As in twins?" he asked, eyes somewhat wide. Nova blushed some as his eyes flicked over to my little butterfly.
"As in triplets, Tarot," Conner correct and Dad's eyes widened even more.
"Triplets?" I nodded, reaching over to rub Nova's swollen belly.
"Yeah, triplets," I said. "Saw them myself on the ultrasound machine. Still look like jelly bean sized aliens though."
have there ever been wolf triplets?" Dad asked, looking over to Conner who shrugged a bit.
"I'll have to ask Hides' family to see if they know but not as far as the Moon/Armstrong lines are concerned," the doctor answered.
"We'll get through it, Dad," I said with all confidence. "You'll be a grandpa all over again in a few months." I would make sure of it, even if I had to confine Nova to a bed through the next seven months, I would make sure our children were born healthy. Dad looked a bit uncertain, but nodded anyway.
"I'm doing my best to do whatever Conner tells me. The last thing I want is to risk my children's lives," Nova said and Tarot sighed a bit before nodding again and excusing himself to go check on James and Mikhail again.
"It's going to be hard on him," I murmured. "But it's all the more reason to ensure that our babies stay nice and healthy. So finish eating, papillon. Then we'll get ourselves some rest." He nodded some and turned back to his food. It didn't take him long at all to polish it off and push the tray to the side. While he was eating, Conner finished checking me over and then left, leaving Nova to curl up against me. I turned on my side so that I was facing my mate and wrapped my arms around him. It was easy to fall asleep with him even after having been unconscious most of the day. He was just that comfortable to hold in my arms.