Friday, October 31, 2014

Chianti Classico - Part III

The image of Joey’s eyes on me as the elevator door close hunts me throughout the next day. I keep looking up even during the most heated discussions, unconsciously searching the crowd for a flash of white blond hair. I catch myself trying to remember the smell of him when we stood close, the feeling of his arm on mine, the dimples that showed when he smiled instead of wearing his usual sneer.

Three's A Crowd Chapter 28

The devastating discovery Shawn made has brought on lots of pain and heartache for both Shawn and Trish.

As Trish parked her car in front of her apartment complex she turned her phone on again and saw three missed calls from Randy, then a text message, “Trish, what is going on? Please call me. I am on my way to Shawn’s house right now.”
She was relieved to read about Shawn’s uncle going to check on him. 

Randy arrived at Shawn’s house and found the front door unlocked as he turned the knob. He walked into the house and when he didn’t see Shawn right away he called, “Shawn, it’s me, your uncle Randy…where are you?”
He walked back toward Shawn’s bedroom and found him on the floor, his wheelchair turned over, and the Crown Royal bottle on the floor next to him. Apparently some of it had leaked out as Randy smelled the alcohol in the room.
Shawn moved some and looked at his uncle with glossy eyes.
Randy leaned down quickly, “Shawn, what the hell is going on?”
He kneeled down next to Shawn and picked him up some. He saw the dark wet spot in the groin area on Shawn’s sweat pants and just when Randy picked him up, Shawn announced with a slur, “I have to puke.”
There was no time as Randy held Shawn upright some and Shawn vomited over himself.
Randy was worried, “Boy, what are you doing? I have to call someone.”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chianti Classico - Part IV

It is sometime after breakfast the next morning when I hear the whispers. Joey had again already left when I woke up. I have not been part of the meeting that took place among a small circle but everyone else seems to be well informed. People standing in groups in front of the still closed conference rooms repeat in hushed voices the words that were apparently shouted across the table, father and son arguing over something. The exact reason for the quarrel changes depending on who tells the story but it all centers around the same.

Three's A Crowd Chapter 29

Shawn and Trish are still going separate ways. After some research though Shawn realizes that maybe Trish being a devotee is not such a sick thing after all. He can't deny that he misses Trish and what they had. A very shocking phone call forces them to face each other again.

The following days were a blur for Shawn. He spent his days in front of the TV, either binge watching shows or playing his Video games. He tried to not think about Trish but it didn’t work too well. He resisted the urge to call or text her. Somehow he felt he needed some other explanation about this “thing” that Trish apparently was. In his head he played over and over all the things she had told him over the last couple of weeks and every way he turned it, he had felt nothing but happiness with her coming into his life. How could it all have seemed so good when apparently it was just some sick game she had been playing with him the whole time?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chianti Classico - Part V

Beard stopples scraping my cheek wake me up. I dimly register that, yeah, Joey is actually still there. I do not find time or energy to wonder why while he continues to plant kisses down my exposed throat and on my naked arm. I groan and tuck it away, pulling the blanket up until under my nose.

Three's A Crowd Chapter 30

Shawn and Trish both want to get to Eugene as quick as possible to see Jesse. A last minute decision by Shawn gives them an opportunity to connect again and also a new starting point for their relationship.

Shawn sat in his uncle’s truck and they were on their way out of town. Just when they almost reached their turn toward I-5 South, Shawn looked over to his uncle, “Uncle Randy…I am sorry but is there any way you can take me to Trish’s place? I know this is stupid and I should have thought about this before you came over but I think I need to ride down to Eugene with her.”
Instead of his uncle being annoyed with Shawn’s last moment decision he just nodded, “Yeah, I can take you there. No problem. We could probably follow each other down there.”

No Strings Attached Chapter 31

Hi my friends, here is Chapter 31 of NSA. Jason is getting closer to his discharge and Ariana is taking care of some business. This chapter is somewhat long again and even though I edit and rewrite and take out some stuff I feel I have to leave some things be. Maybe my story is too detailed, I am not sure, I follow a time line, I guess I haven't figured out skipping time frames in a story. Everything seems important and here is another long chapter and NSA now reaching 31 chapters. Well, as I am writing I am evolving and learning so bear with me...:-) Thanks for your reading NSA and your patience, leave feedback if you are up for it.  Hugs, Dani

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eric and Jessie Part 1


Damn that was a weird dream!  Why hasn’t my alarm gone off?  I haven’t slept in since college but I must admit it’s kinda nice.  Wait, something feels wrong!  My arms, it’s like they are really heavy and fuzzy?? No, that’s not it. 

“Eric, can you hear me honey.  Open your eyes”. 

“Mom, just a few more minutes.  Go away. I don’t feel well”

“I know you don’t feel well, that’s why I need you to wake up.  You were in a bad accident.”

I slowly start to come around out of the fog.  I open my eyes and my mom is standing over me with her red rimmed eyes.

It starts coming back to me.  I spent the day at the zoo with my longtime girlfriend.  We had dinner reservations and I was going to propose that night.  What happened?  I don’t remember anything after the getting to the zoo. 

“Mom! What happened?  Where is Jessie?  I remember getting to the zoo, then nothing”

It was clear my mom was trying to hold it together.  She took a deep breath and then told me what she knew.  We were on the park trolley and it collided with a bus.  Apparently one of the driver’s was texting.  She got choked up again and then continued “You were thrown from the car and your arms got run over by a tram car.”

I cut her off before she can continue “Fine fine my arms will be fucked up for a few weeks, what about Jessie?  Is she ok? When can I see her?”

“Honey, Jessie was seriously hurt but they think she will be ok”  another deep breath “She lost her right leg above the knee and her left leg is very damaged.  They thought for a while she had some spinal cord damage but luckily that wasn’t the case.”

I started to cry, how could the best day of my life end like this? How would she cope with having one leg. She loves to run and hike. Will she get depressed?

My mom breaks my thoughts.  “Honey, there is one more thing.  Both of your arms we amputated between your elbow and shoulders “

I froze, stunned. No, that couldn’t be true.  I still felt them, even though they felt funny. No! it must be some mistake.  How will I live and work?  I can’t possible lose my arms.

I steal my nerves and I slowly turn my head to right and then to the left.  I’m horrified to find matching bandages ending half way between my elbow and shoulder. I want to scream or cry but I can’t do anything but lie there processing it all.  What the hell am I going to do?

My mom bends down to kiss my forehead and she stops trying to hide the tears running down her face. 

Just then the doctor walks in “Oh good you are awake! How are you feeling? Any pain?  I know this is a lot to take in right now but we left you with two good stumps.  They are the perfect length for prosthetic arms.”

He is way to chipper. All I wanted to do was punch him in the face with hands that I didn’t have. “I’m not feeling much pain, can I see Jessie?”

Three's A Crowd Chapter 31

Trish, Shawn and Randy are getting to see Jesse at the hospital and are trying to deal with the reality of Jesse's accident and injuries. Through the bleak outlook though concerning Jesse's recovery, the situation brings Trish and Shawn yet closer and realizing that each other is all they need.

In the foyer of Sacred Heart Medical Center Shawn wheeled right up to the reception counter. The receptionist was an older lady and she had seemingly just arrived to start her day as she was setting her purse down and turning on the computer.
With a friendly smile at the three early morning visitors she greeted them, “Good Morning, how can I help you?”
“Good Morning, I am here to see Jesse Callahan, I am his brother.”
“I am sorry sir but visiting hours don’t start before nine o’clock.”    
Shawn explained, “We actually drove down over night from Washington. My brother was in an accident down here. I think they are expecting us.”
“Oh, that is different of course. I am sorry to hear about your brother. Let me look him up for you right now. You said his name is Jesse Callahan?”
Eventually she typed into her computer and replied, “So Jesse is indeed in our Intensive Care Unit. Only family members are allowed to see him at this time.”
With that comment she glanced from Trish to Randy and Shawn explained quickly, “This is my wife and our uncle.”
Trish tried to not look too surprised at her sudden appointed title by Shawn.
The receptionist didn’t question the relationship status and gave them the directions to the ICU.
As they were out of hearing range from the receptionist Trish looked over to Shawn wheeling beside her, “Wife?”
Shawn just nodded with a smile, “Yeah, remember that while we are here.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 32

After a good nights sleep Trish and Shawn share some very close moments.

Trish and Shawn didn’t wake up until they heard a knock on their door the next morning.
When it knocked the second time Trish jumped out of bed somewhat drowsy and went to the door, peeking through the spyhole and saw Randy outside the door.
She opened the door a crack, “Hey Randy, Good Morning.”
“Good Morning Trish. Did I wake you?”
Trish smiled sleepily, “It is no problem.”

Randy was used to getting up early, sleeping until eight was late for him. His job as a truck driver required him to get up at 4:30 or even earlier in the morning as his routes took him all over the state to various locations. He informed Trish that he was going for a run and would be back in about an hour.

While Trish was at the door with Randy, Shawn woke up slowly and with his hand he felt his briefs quickly. They were soaked and swollen with urine. He needed to get into the bathroom soon.
Trish climbed back into the bed next to Shawn. Where she had woke up in his arms she realized that she had slobbered just a little on Shawn’s chest. She pulled a tissue from the box on the night table and discreetly tried to wipe the moisture from his chest.
He smiled and asked softly, “You actually slobbered on me?”
Trish was embarrassed and Shawn laughed, “Some guys are into women slobbering on their chests…no big deal…I peed in my adult diaper and you slobbered on me…it is all good.”
Trish was happy to hear Shawn joke a little despite the circumstances.
She wiped over his chest quickly and kissed him, “I am sorry for the slobber attack.”
“Don’t worry about it. I have to get up and go to the bathroom and all that.”
“Let me go pee real quick.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 33

Jesse is waking up and Trish and Shawn are there to support Jesse as good as they can.

The following two days Jesse stayed stable and Dr. Runkel informed Shawn that the swelling in Jesse’s brain had gone down and he felt that Jesse could get taken off the ventilator very soon. They were aiming to have him come out of sedation slowly over the weekend.

Ceci made it down to Springfield on Thursday and was happy to see everyone but also devastated to see Jesse in the state he was in. She cried as she first laid eyes on him. Shawn was not able to stay in the room when Ceci started crying and he wheeled out to the waiting area of the ICU. Trish sat down on a chair next to him and she could only take his hand and be there for him. Ceci eventually came back out teary eyed, sniffling her nose and trying to get a grip on her emotions.  

At the hotel Ceci had taken over the room her dad had stayed in as Randy left Thursday evening heading back to Washington. They all had dinner together before Randy got on the road to make the trip back home.

New chapter of "The Outsiders" posted!

Things are still busy, but I love writing this story and I've finally got another chapter for you. Sigrid and Jonas are some of my favorite characters and writing about their adventure in South Africa brings back some of my favorite vacation memories. I can't wait to go back there! :-)

Here's chapter 9 and an updated Table of Contents.

Hope you enjoy it! :-)

A little information about the places Jonas and Sigrid visit in this chapter.
If you're curious about the places visited in this chapter here are some links:
Spier Wine Farm
V&A Waterfront (Where Sigrid's family's apartment is located. It's a vibrant area with lots of shopping, plenty of restaurants and nightlife, museums etc.)
Boulders Beach
Slangkop lighthouse, Kommetjie

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 34

Trish is heading back home and Shawn is staying behind with Ceci. They are nervously awaiting Jesse to come off the ventilator and Shawn is concerned about what Jesse may have to say to him.

After Trish was out of his sight Shawn slowly wheeled back into the hospital and headed for the cafeteria where he found Ceci at a table for two by the window. She looked up from her phone when she realized the wheeling motion out of the corner of her eyes and saw Shawn approaching the table. She had already moved the second chair out of the way and Shawn popped a small wheelie as he arrived at the table.
Ceci asked lowly, “Is she gone?”
Shawn just nodded and glanced at Ceci’s coffee.
Ceci inquired, “You want some coffee?”
“Coffee sounds good.”
Shawn was fine with Ceci getting the coffee for him. Balancing a coffee cup in between his thighs wasn’t all the way easy so he waited for her at the table until she came back with a cup for him, “Here you go cuz!”

Shawn took a careful sip from the cup.

Ceci watched him and asked lowly, “How are you holding up?”
He shrugged his shoulders but didn’t say anything and Ceci asked furthermore, “Are you doing O.K. with all of this?”
He looked out the window for a moment, then at Ceci, “I am all right. I have no choice, but all of it seems so unreal though. It is not right for Jesse to be dealing with this. He was supposed to be healthy and working and keeping shit together for us. I am supposed to be the only fucked up one in this family.”
Ceci and Shawn grew up together. She knew her cousin and didn’t mind a curse word coming out of his mouth occasionally. 
She nodded in agreement and replied lowly, “Yeah well, shit happens I guess…”
She sighed and then said more intensely looking directly at Shawn, “You know we are here for you Shawn. We won’t leave you guys hanging, no matter what happens.”
Now Shawn nodded, “I know and I am very grateful for that…I couldn’t do this without you guys.”
Ceci leaned her head sideways a bit and added, “…and you have Trish now. I for one am very happy about that and I hope you are too.”
Somewhat lost in thoughts he replied, “Yes…Trish...who would have thought?”  
“What do you mean?”
Shawn shrugged his shoulders again, “I don’t know…I just didn’t think that a woman would be into me again after what happened.”
“She seems to be very much into you…”

He contemplated for a moment to tell Ceci about the devotee thing but then decided it would stay between him and Trish because it was a special bond they shared and something people probably wouldn’t understand. Just like he reacted very confused and angry when he first found out, others may react the same way. He would always protect Trish and her secret.

Ceci drank a sip from her coffee, then looked back at Shawn, “So what was this fight about that you had with Trish? You never really told me.”
Shawn’s expression was serious, “And I won’t. It is between me and Trish and it is behind us.”
“O.K., I can respect that. I will not ask you about it anymore. I just hope you both are good now.”
Shawn looked at Ceci with dark eyes, “Trish is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love her.”
“I am very happy to hear that Shawnee, she is very lucky to have you.”
“I am lucky to have her.”
Ceci sighed and looked out the window, then back at Shawn, “….and Jesse is going to make it through this and everything will be all right.”

Sunday evening around seven Scott, the night shift nurse called Shawn on his cell phone, “Shawn, Jesse is awake if you want to come see him. He got some good rest and is doing very good right now. Doc said they will take him off the ventilator tomorrow morning.”
“I am glad to hear that. I will be right there.”
Ceci and Shawn were buzzed into the ICU once again and headed straight to Jesse’s room. He laid unchanged, still and quiet, the machines humming around him.
Ceci walked over to the bed and greeted Jesse with a small hug, “Hey Jesse, we are back.”
She took Jesse’s hand and his eyes stayed on her alert for a moment until he heard Shawn’s voice, “Hey bro, how are you?”
With that Shawn pulled his wheelchair all the way up to the bed, it was still low enough for him and he transferred right back on it so he could see his brother face to face. He smiled at Jesse who had his eyes on him.
There was not much they could do but just be there with Jesse.
Shawn told him, “Trish left today. She had to go back because she has to work tomorrow.”
Jesse’s eyes stayed on Shawn the whole time as Shawn tried to think of things to say, “She is still working at the senior citizen community.”
Scott came back a little while later, walked over to the bed and hovered over Jesse so he could see him, “Hey Jesse, are you ready for the night? Let’s make it a good one with lots of rest and good heart beats and an amazing blood pressure…”
Scott laughed and Shawn thought he saw tiny wrinkles around Jesse’s eyes as he was possibly trying to smile.
Ceci and Shawn stayed with Jesse until shortly after nine o’clock and eventually said Good Night to him and headed back to the hotel.

As soon as Shawn was outside the ICU he heard his phone announcing a text message and he stopped to look at it.
It was from Trish, “Hey baby! I just stopped at a gas station to get something to drink. I am in Washington and be home in an hour or so. Hope you, Jesse and Ceci are O.K. Love and miss you.”
Shawn typed his reply quickly and then followed Ceci to her car.

At the hotel he felt strange wheeling into the room without Trish being there. The room felt lonely instantly but he reminded himself it would only be for a few more days hopefully. He had agreed to meet up with Ceci in the breakfast room downstairs at eight in the morning and then head over to the hospital to catch Dr. Runkel.
He spent another hour getting undressed and washed up, then wheeled up to his bed and transferred into it. He adjusted his legs on the bed and slid his body down to lay flat. His phone was in reach on the night table as he waiting for Trish to text or call him when she got back home.

It was around ten when Shawn was aroused from sleep with his phone announcing a text message.
He had dozed off with the TV on and sleepily picked up his phone and saw the message from Trish, “I made it home. In my apartment, very tired, will go to sleep now to be somewhat O.K. for work tomorrow. Miss you and love you so very much.”
Shawn would have loved to hear Trish’s voice but he opted not to call her and clicked on the reply button, “I am glad you are home now. Miss you and love you very much too. I fell asleep in the room with the TV on. I have to be at the hospital at nine in the morning to talk to the doctor. I hope Jesse will come off the ventilator tomorrow. I will keep you updated.”
“That would be wonderful. Maybe we can talk tomorrow morning. I have to see how busy I will be at work.”
“O.K., well, I love you, Good Night and sleep well.”
“You too baby, I love you.”
She included a heart in her message and Shawn set his phone down on the night table. Trish was on his mind when he fell asleep again.

At shortly before nine the next morning, Ceci and Shawn arrived at the hospital and Dr.  Runkel met them outside the ICU. After a greeting Dr. Runkel explained that Jesse was stable and they would take him off the ventilator later that morning. They had been decreasing his oxygen supply gradually over the last few days and so far Jesse was compensating very good on his own.
Shawn asked, “Do you think he is going to be O.K. with his head injury?”
Dr. Runkel answered, “Well, all his neurological data has been within the normal range and we will see when he can talk to us. I think your brother will be fine. He really just had a very bad concussion, there was no injury to his skull or brain but merely swelling and that has been going down. Jesse will have to take it easy and not take on too much stimulation at the moment but I think he will be just fine. His leg is really more a problem than his head.”
“Is there any chance he can get transferred to a hospital at home in Washington?”
Dr. Runkel didn’t look very positive, “Not anytime soon. He is not ready to be transported yet and it depends if his insurance would cover a transport like that.”
Shawn didn’t like hearing those news at all, “When do you think he would be ready?”
“I am not sure Shawn, I am sorry. We will have to wait and see.”
Shawn looked over at Ceci who didn’t look very happy either.

He lifted his body up for a split moment, then replied, “Well, I want him to be strong enough before he gets to go back to Washington but it is difficult for me to stay down here.”
Dr. Runkel nodded, “I know, I am sorry. I hope you can find a way.”
They were silent for a moment and eventually Dr. Runkel asked, “Do you have any other questions for me Shawn?”
“No, not at the moment.”
“O.K., well, I will be with Jesse and our team at eleven and we will get Jesse extubated. He may not be too talkative though after that. It is better if you let him rest for now until the extubation. You could come back around noon and probably see him then.”
Shawn remembered the procedure of extubation and it definitely had been an ordeal to have the tubing of the ventilator removed and it hurt in the throat for days. He wasn’t too happy about not being able to see Jesse until later but he understood.

He turned to Ceci, who was reading in a magazine, “I guess we will just hang around here?”
Ceci looked up, “We don’t have to stay here in the hospital. We could probably be back around one and hopefully then Jesse will be O.K. We need to get away from the hospital a bit.”
Shawn wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave, “What if something comes up with Jesse or if there are problems with the extubation?”
Ceci took Shawn’s hand and said in a comforting tone, “Shawnee, he is O.K. You need a little break too. Let’s get out of here. Come on!”
Shawn sighed and nodded, “I know, you’re right. Let’s get out of here.”

Soon thereafter they were on their way over to a waterfront park by the McKenzie River.
Ceci found a spacious parking spot and Shawn was able to get into his wheelchair easily.  
Since it was still early on a Monday morning there were only a few joggers out. Paved paths wound through the park and Ceci and Shawn strolled down to the riverfront and looked out at the water.
Ceci asked Shawn, “Did Trish make it home last night?”
Shawn updated Ceci about Trish making it home safe and sound.

He pushed his rims next to Ceci, who kept pace with his speed. When they found a bench Ceci sat down and Shawn parked his wheelchair next to the bench.
Shawn looked out to the water, “I don’t know how much longer I can stay down here if they don’t let Jesse go to a hospital in Washington. I also don’t want Trish to have to come down here really, it is too much driving and everything.”
Ceci pulled out her sunglasses, “I know, it would make things easier if he could get transferred. I thought I can stay all week but I have to leave on Wednesday. I forgot about a class I have on Thursday. Colby and Danny wanted to come down maybe, but I know Danny is working up North this week and I am not sure if he can make it. I know dad is coming down on Friday again.”
Shawn remarked lowly, “As much as it means to me you guys really don’t need to be down here with me. I can handle it by myself and I know everyone has jobs and responsibilities. I would totally understand if you can’t come back down and Randy, Colby and Danny really don’t need to either. It costs too much money for everyone to travel back and forth.”
“How are your finances right now?”
“It is all right. Jesse made good money for this project down here. I can still live off that for a few weeks I guess. Just throwing my hopes out the window for having anything done to the house or maybe getting a car for me. It doesn’t matter though, I need to be here for him. I will just have to keep cursing at the carpet in the house and rely on everyone else to drive me around. I don’t care about this stuff, I sacrifice all that if Jesse is going to be O.K. I will deal with whatever if I can just have Jesse healthy at home again.” 

Ceci nodded and she felt bad hearing Shawn’s words. She could hear through his words how much he needed his brother and how much he cared for him. She knew her dad and the rest of the family would have no issues with helping them out. In the past they had offered financial assistance to the guys but most of the times Jesse had declined, he didn’t want any monetary help but it had also meant that Shawn had been waiting to get a car and had been waiting to get some things in the house modified for him. There was some unspoken tension about these issues in the past because Jesse felt he needed to take care of everything concerning him and Shawn which led to many hours of work on his part, just making ends meet but keeping Shawn in the waiting for changes in his life concerning mobility or accessibility.
Shawn depended on Jesse and it had caused fights and arguments between the two quite often which usually always ended in Jesse throwing at Shawn that he worked so hard for them and telling Shawn he was ungrateful and impatient.
Ceci started thinking about just overthrowing Jesse’s stubbornness and helping Shawn out soon. He did need a car and he was bound to not only the wheelchair but even the house with no way to go anywhere when Jesse was gone to work.
As Ceci had stayed quiet Shawn looked over to her and repeated, “I mean it…you guys don’t have to stay here with me. I can handle it.”
“Well, we will see how things will develop over the next few days.”

They stayed at the waterfront for another hour, strolling along and chatting about different things. Ceci found out about Shawn in the beginning not wanting Trish to come and work for them and how he and Jesse got into the bad fight, in which he broke his wrist. She was somewhat shocked that Jesse had went off on Shawn like that but she knew as much as they loved each other, Shawn’s accident had caused so much tension and stress between them. It was really no surprise that Jesse had lost his temper with Shawn.
She also knew that Shawn had been taking to the alcohol too much over the last couple of months and it caused issues all the time. Randy had been talking to Shawn, she had been talking to him about it and it somewhat had stayed a problem.
She asked him at that moment, “Are you still drinking?”
Shawn kept pushing his rims and looking at the ground in front of him, “Only that one night, not really other than that...”
“You need to stay away from that stuff. You can’t drink yourself into a coma every time something comes up or if there are issues.”
Shawn said tensely, “You don’t have to tell me…I know what I have to do.”
Ceci knew he didn’t like hearing about that and she added, “We only say this stuff because we care about you. You have Trish now and that is a chance for you to think about making some changes Shawn. Trish is a good woman.”
“I know that and yes, I want to make changes. Right now though I have to focus on Jesse and that is all.”
Ceci knew Shawn was done with that conversation and she didn’t say anything else about it.

Nervously Shawn and Ceci came back to the hospital around twelve thirty. When they rang the ICU bell and stated who they were, there were buzzed right in and Jesse’s day Nurse Samantha greeted them in the hallway of the ICU.
Shawn asked nervously, “How is Jesse?”
Samantha smiled, “He probably hates us now.”
Shawn looked at her alert and Samantha added quickly, “Well, the extubation isn’t ever fun but he did very good. I am sure he is ready to see you and talk to you as good as he can at the moment. He is still in pain with a sore throat and even though we gave him medication for that it is still strenuous to talk for him but you guys can go in and see him.”
With that she let Shawn and Ceci go and added, “Let me know if you need anything.”
“Thanks Samantha.”

Shawn couldn’t wait to see Jesse now but he was also nervous at what Jesse would possibly have to say to him.
They reached the room, the curtain was draped and door was pulled closed somewhat with only a crack just wide enough for Shawn to wheel through. The first thing he realized was Jesse’s left hand on his chest, he wasn’t restrained anymore and now his whole face was visible with all the tubing and straps gone.
Shawn wheeled in slowly but the soft squeaking noises of the frame of his chair and his wheels on the linoleum floor made Jesse shift just a little bit.
Shawn approached the bed, it was somewhat high again and Shawn hated the fact for a just a moment. He didn’t want to have to mess around with letting the bed down to see Jesse but Ceci was quick in response and with her foot pressed on the pedal she said softly, “I am letting the bed down.”

The bed softly hummed and lowered itself, Jesse now breathing a bit quicker at the realization of Shawn and Ceci being in his room. He still couldn’t turn his head and even though his eyes flickered nervously he didn’t see his brother until Shawn quickly climbed up onto the bed again and leaned over Jesse, “Jesse, hey? It’s me…Shawn.”
Jesse’s face was clean shaven and his green eyes looked tired but he was alert and to Shawn’s surprise his first stuttering and very scratchy words to him were, “I…can…see that. My eyes…still work.”
Shawn had to laugh lowly and he was excited to hear Jesse talk that tears shot up in his eyes. He couldn’t help when a tear actually came rolling out and he was embarrassed for Jesse to see his tears.
He wiped over his eyes quickly, “Jesse…”
He felt very insecure momentarily and didn’t really know what to say.
Really he actually felt like crying and when some more tears came out Jesse actually said, “It’s all…right…Shawn.”

As much as Shawn wanted to say things to Jesse, all the things he had planned to say, now he couldn’t bring any words over his lips as his emotions took over and he could only produce tears and no words.
Jesse lifted his hand and balled it into a fist holding it out to Shawn for a knuckle bump and Shawn gave Jesse a silent knuckle bump. Still his own throat felt like fire as he just couldn’t speak.
Ceci saved the moment as she leaned over Jesse, “Hey love…it is so good to see you Jesse.”
Jesse turned his eyes from Shawn toward Ceci and smiled at her, “Ceci…Hey!”

As much as Jesse felt Shawn being very emotional at the moment he knew the best thing was to let Shawn have a moment to collect himself. It hurt him to see Shawn feeling that way though and he wanted to be cheerful and strong for Shawn, even though inside he felt anything but cheerful and strong but was very scared and desperate as to what was happening to him.
Ceci stroked over Jesse’s cheek, “How are you feeling? And don’t talk if you are in pain or whatever.”
Jesse answered lowly, swallowing in between words, “I…I’m O.K….Glad I…I am off…the ven…ti...lator.”
He was in pain, his throat burned like it was an open wound on the inside but he wasn’t going to let this stop him from talking. He swallowed with a pain stricken face.
Ceci replied, “We are too…everything is uphill from now on.”
“I hope…so.”
Ceci wasn’t going to say much more to him, she knew it was difficult for him to talk.
She assured him, “We are here for you Jesse. Everything will be fine.”
She leaned down and kissed Jesse on his cheek.

Shawn was sitting quietly on the bed, watching Jesse and Ceci and feeling overwhelmed with seeing his brother struggling to talk.
Jesse looked back at him meeting Shawn’s teary eyes and he started, “How…the hell…did you…do it?”
He swallowed and coughed a little. Shawn had no idea what Jesse was referring to and he looked at him questioningly.
Jesse then added with difficulties, “A tube down….your throat….for weeks….”
Shawn realized he was talking about his time on the ventilator after the accident. He had been on it for almost three weeks until he was strong enough to breathe on his own again.
He replied lowly, “I don’t know. I didn’t really have a choice.”
Jesse kept his eyes on Shawn and his face was serious when he asked, “Are…you…all right…Shawn?”
Shawn still couldn’t really talk and his tears didn’t want to subside and he only weakly shrugged his shoulders at the question. He wasn’t really all right either.

He looked over at Ceci and she understood the look, “I will give you guys some time.”
Jesse moved his eyes over to Ceci and she said, “I love you Jesse.”
Jesse managed a low, “I love you…thanks…Ceci.”
She walked out and in passing she touched Shawn’s shoulder lightly.
Shawn nodded at her and when she was out of sight Jesse looked back at Shawn, “Shawn…are…you O.K.?”
Shawn didn’t want to lie and he shook his head. Tears still rolled over his cheeks.
Jesse said lowly, the pain about seeing Shawn that way making it hard for him to stay positive, “Shawn…hey…I need…you…to be strong…you hear.”
Jesse touched his hand to Shawn’s arm and he added, “Every…thing…will be O.K.”
At that sentence Shawn had to laugh lowly again, tears streaming down his face even more now.
He barely managed, “That has been your motto forever!”
Jesse smiled weakly, “Yes, the only…way…to look…at it.”

Shawn wanted to hug Jesse, he wanted to tell him how much he loved and needed him and how terrified he was of anything happening to him but instead he could only nod and asked lowly, “You are not mad at me anymore?”
Jesse turned serious, “No, I was….wrong...I am….sorry.”
Shawn didn’t really care anymore about the arguments and the fights he had had with Jesse. They both had made the wrong choice in words and actions in the past. The only thing that mattered now was Jesse coming out of this and coming back home.
Shawn looked down, “I am sorry too.”
Jesse then asked lowly, “You…really…love her?”
He nodded and answered lowly, “Very much.”
Jesse looked at Shawn intensely, “That’s good.”

For a moment they were quiet until Shawn started lowly, telling Jesse how he found out about the accident and that he came down with Trish and Uncle Randy initially and in the end he informed Jesse, “Uncle Randy is talking to an attorney for you.”
Jesse listened quietly and eventually he asked lowly, “Shawn…I didn’t…fuck up…my Spinal Cord…did I?”
Shawn shook his head and answered, “No, your right leg is in bad shape though and you have a bad concussion, there was swelling in your brain and they had to cut into your skull.”
“Why…can’t I…move…my head?”
“They are holding your head still with a cervical collar so you can’t move it and mess up anything.”
Jesse slowly moved his hand up to his head and felt the bandage on it, “Fuck!”

His eyes travelled back to Shawn. Shawn’s tears had finally subsided and he just looked at Jesse.
Jesse asked him, “How…is…your…health?”
“It has been good, just issues with spasms as always.”
Jesse glanced at Shawn’s casted hand, “Still…in a…cast?”
Shawn nodded, “Yeah, actually I should be getting it off this week.”
“I am…sorry.”
“It’s all right. I deserved it.”
“No, you…didn’t.”
They were quiet for a moment again.
Jesse took another deep breath, ”A lot…of….stuff…ha…happened the…last…couple of…weeks…”
Shawn nodded and he also felt Jesse needed to stop talking. He took gasping breaths and his chest was visibly rising up and down.
“You shouldn’t talk so much. You probably need to rest again.”

Shawn shifted on the bed, he felt slight spasms travel through his legs and adjusted his legs in a different position. Jesse watched him closely as good as he could.
“I am…really…glad…you are…here. I missed…you and…your...atti...tude.”
Shawn grinned at him, “Really?”
“Well, I will stay here as long as it takes for you to be better or go home with me.”
“She understands.”
“But don’t…you…want to be…where she is?”
“Yes, I want to be where she is, but I need to be here with you and that is what I will do, however long it takes.”
Jesse smiled, “You…don’t have…to pay me…back…for when…you…were at…Harborview, you…know?”
“It’s not like that, I want to be here…just leave it at that Jesse.”
Jesse heard Shawn’s voice somewhat tense and stopped but held his fist out for another knuckle bump to ease the tension. Shawn smiled at Jesse and replied the knuckle bump.

Ceci eventually came back into the room. She leaned over Jesse and talked to him a little bit.  He was getting tired though and his words came out with more difficulties.
Samantha checked in on Jesse and all the vitals were showing regular activities.
It had been a long day and Jesse seemed exhausted. Shawn stayed on the bed the whole time, listening to Ceci, Jesse and Samantha. He just wanted to be there with Jesse through all of it. At the same time he wished very much that Trish could have been there with him.
Jesse’s eyes kept travelling over to Shawn and the two brother’s eyes would meet and Shawn nodded reassuringly a few times.

Around seven Shawn announced, “We should probably head back to the hotel. You seem tired.”
Jesse’s eyes glanced over to Shawn, “I am…tired, but…you…don’t have…to leave yet.”
“It is probably better Jesse. We will be back tomorrow. You had a lot of stuff going on today. You should get some rest now.”
Just when Shawn shifted to get off the bed, Jesse reached his hand to Shawn’s arm, “Shawn…I am…glad…you are…here.”
He took a couple of heavy breaths and Shawn smiled at him, “I am too. I will be back tomorrow morning all right?”
Shawn shifted again and Jesse stopped him again, “Shawn…”
Shawn looked over at him again, “Yes?”
“When…you…talk…to Trish…tell her…Hi from…me. It…was…good…seeing her…down…here. Tell her…Thank you and tell her…I am sorry.”
Jesse was struggling taking breaths now and his blood pressure went down some on the monitor.
Shawn looked at him worried, “I will tell her. You need to take it easy now…It’s all good.”
Jesse tried to nod a tiny nod but couldn’t really. His chest was moving up and down quickly as he was trying to breathe but was obviously somewhat distraught.
Shawn leaned over him one more time, “Don’t worry about anything, O.K. I need you to get out of here soon and I know Trish wants that too. We missed you Jesse and when all this is over, everything will be good.”
Jesse nodded again but couldn’t speak anymore.
The blood pressure monitor beeped and Scott came in, “What’s going on with the blood pressure?”
Shawn then moved over to the edge of the bed, pulled his wheelchair over some and transferred down, “We are leaving. Jesse needs to rest I guess.”
Scott was at the monitors and then hovered over Jesse, “My man Jesse, try to relax, O.K. Take some good breaths for me.”
Ceci leaned down over Jesse, kissed him on his cheek, “I will see you tomorrow sweetie.”
Jesse tried to smile but he had a hard time breathing now, his ribs hurting with every breath he took.
Shawn was in his wheelchair and took Jesse’s hand in his one more time, “See you tomorrow bro. Get some rest now.”
Scott stayed behind with Jesse, keeping an eye on him and saying Good Bye to Ceci and Shawn as they were leaving for the day.

Seeing Jesse and talking to him had been difficult for Shawn too but he didn’t want Jesse to know. Now he wheeled silently out the door of the ICU and toward the elevator.
In the elevator Shawn stared at his hands in his lap and Ceci asked lowly, “Are you all right?”
Shawn looked up at her and with a deep breath he replied, “I am just freaking worried about him and how everything is going to be. He can’t work anymore for a while. His leg is fucked up and it is going to take months for him to be back to normal if everything even works out and heals the way it should. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that. Jesse shouldn’t have to go through this. I am so pissed off.”
The elevator door opened on the first floor and Shawn wheeled out somewhat angry, Ceci behind him, “Shawn wait up!”
Shawn spun his wheelchair around and Ceci looked at him with serious eyes, “It will all be all right. Jesse can make it through this and at the end of the road he will be back and you guys will be all right. You need to have faith that things will work out, you hear?”
Shawn nodded, “Yeah, I know…I just hate seeing him like this.”
Ceci walked over to Shawn and leaned down to hug him, saying again, “Things will work out Shawn and you know we are all here for you guys.”
The hugged and then headed out to Ceci’s car.

On the way to the hotel they stopped at a Fast Food place and ordered some food to go. Shawn hung out at Ceci’s room for little while eating and chatting with her. They called Uncle Randy and talked for a while. Randy had another appointment with the attorney on Wednesday and they would discuss further process.

The Police Investigation was still ongoing at the time and they were waiting for the autopsy results of the driver’s cause of death. All this took time and meanwhile Jesse was recovering in the hospital. There was not much they could do in taking the next step and maybe taking this to court.

Cascadia Construction had contacted Shawn the day before. Jesse’s boss Ray Carver had known Jesse for over five years and Jesse had been one of his best employees, reliable, flexible and hard working. Mr. Carver had told Shawn that he would still be paying Jesse the full wages for the project. He wanted to help the guys out and was devastated about the accident and Jesse having been seriously hurt. All the guys in Jesse’s crew had sent their get well wishes and were still working hard on finishing the Interstate expansion. Everyone had been shocked by what had happened and they all missed Jesse very much.

That night Shawn was in his hotel bed, propped up on the pillows with his head leaning on the head board. It was after nine and he touched Trish’s number on his phone and shortly after it was ringing on the other end.
Trish answered, “Hi baby?”
“Trish, hey!”
“What are you doing? How is Jesse?”
Shawn explained to Trish how he had talked to Jesse and Trish was very relieved when she heard what Jesse had said and that he wasn’t mad at Shawn, “I am so glad about that.”
“Me too, he seems to be doing all right.”

On the other end Trish was laying in her bed after a long day at work and still tired from the weekend and all the things that had happened, “I miss you already Shawn.”
“The hotel bed is way too big for only myself.”
“Oh baby, I know…I am planning on coming down on Friday night or Saturday.”
“I really hope Jesse can get transferred once he is stable enough.”
“Hopefully soon.”
They talked for a while still until at almost ten o’clock they said Good Night and hung up.

Shawn couldn’t fall asleep, too many things were running through his head and he had not brought any sleeping pills with him. His legs were spastic under the sheet but he tried to go without taking his Baclofen again and just riding out the spasms for now.
He thought about Trish and Jesse and as his eyes adjusted to the darkness he could make out the silhouette of his TiLite next to his bed and it was almost like the wheelchair was watching over him somehow, just a piece of aluminum and wheels but at the same time having had such a huge impact on Shawn’s life for the past two years.
He wondered how things would have been if he would have never been in that accident but it was hard to remember himself walking and standing. He used to work full time in construction just like Jesse making decent money that supported all his activities outside of work, drinking, going out, on occasion smoking pot, switching out the girls by his side all the time and making sure his truck ran good and would take him wherever he needed to go. It was strange to remember how his life used to be and how it was now.
Whereas he used to feel anger and frustration though at the memories of his old life, now he felt content and somehow like it was all meant to be this way.
He stared at his wheelchair in the darkness and lowly into the room he said, “You won!”

Pondering in his thoughts and turning on his phone once more to look at Trish’s pictures he finally fell asleep at almost midnight.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 35

Trish is coming back to Eugene and with Jesse off the ventilator he finally  gets to tell both Trish  and Shawn how he feels. As Shawn and Trish are trying to relish in the little time they have together they enjoy some more steamy moments in intimate closeness.

The following days showed some more improvement in Jesse’s condition. Ceci left on Wednesday and Thursday Colby and Danny came down to see Jesse and be with Shawn until Sunday at least. Shawn enjoyed the company of his two cousins. During the day there was life in Jesse’s room with all the young men. Colby and Danny loosened up the situation with their conversations and jokes, making Shawn feel somewhat at ease and also getting Jesse to smile more and more.

Jesse didn’t recall anything from the accident and had some trouble remembering some things that came up during their conversations. Shawn worried about this very much but no one said anything about it. Some examples of what Jesse couldn’t remember was their cat’s name, what kind of truck he drove and their house number at home.

The moment the cat name came up Colby was humming the Rocky theme trying to get Jesse to remember but he couldn’t get the name. Staying seated in his wheelchair Shawn was now able to look at Jesse who sat slightly reclined in his bed and could now see what was going on around him. There was no injury to his back or spinal cord. The main issue was his fractured ribs and at times he would make a pain stricken face with deep breaths that hurt in his chest. He had to stay in the neck brace because of his head injury. The doctor didn’t want him to move his head too much but at least he was sitting up. He also still had his right arm angled in the brace for his collar bone to heal.  No one mentioned Jesse’s leg injury and it stayed hidden under the thin sheet, strong pain meds keeping Jesse from even knowing how bad his leg was.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 36

Trish and Shawn's cousin's have to leave again but Shawn and Jesse get some good news.

Sunday morning Trish and Shawn met up with Danny and Colby in the breakfast room of the Motel.
As everyone except Shawn had to work on Monday they would go back to Washington that afternoon. Over breakfast they decided that Trish would leave at the same time Shawn’s cousins would leave. That way she didn’t have to drive back by herself.

At the hospital Jesse was awaiting them and a smile brushed over his face as they all trickled into his room around eleven.
He looked like he felt good. He had been on strong pain medication the whole time. So far the temporary external fixator was holding his femur bone together and his tibia was braced but since the swelling was going down, the surgery would have to take place in the next few days.

The guys greeted Jesse with a hand shake and Trish leaned down and planted a kiss on Jesse’s cheek. He was obviously happy to see everyone.
Shawn wheeled up to the bed, “How are you today?”
“All right.”
They all pulled up chairs and sat around the bed. Colby and Danny talked about their night out and Trish and Shawn sat there holding hands and just listening.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 37 Part 1

Jesse is back in Washington in the hospital and his family is glad to have him back.  Shawn is excited to see Trish again.

Nurse Meghan introduced herself to Shawn and Jesse. She was going to take care of Jesse until seven that night. She also informed them that the orthopedic surgeon would come by in the morning to talk to Jesse and plan for the surgery on Friday.
Shawn had texted Trish and his uncle about Jesse’s arrival and where they would find him now. Everyone texted back that they would be there that evening.

Meghan adjusted all the medications according to Dr. Peterson’s orders from Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. Nothing would be changed at this time. Meghan filled the room with her chatter and liveliness making things look not so bad anymore.
Jesse didn’t say much, he merely nodded or shook his head at her comments or questions, he still felt drowsy from the sedative. Shawn had found his parking spot between the bed and the window, out of Meghan’s way so she could do her job.
Jesse agreed on a light dinner when Meghan asked him what he wanted to eat.
“I will be back in a little while. Don’t hesitate to push the call button if there are any issues.”
Shawn nodded a Thank You and Meghan smiled at the guys and left out of the room.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Three's A Crowd Chapter 37 Part 2

Jesse is nervous with the upcoming surgery and Shawn is worried when Jesse has some more moments of memory loss.

On Thursday Trish dropped Shawn off at the hospital on her way to work.  
Shawn wheeled into the elevator and made his way up to Jesse’s room. Jesse was sitting up in his bed and Shawn was surprised to see the bandage around his head was gone and he looked freshly washed and shaven and just all around like he was feeling good.
Jesse glanced over at his younger brother wheeling into the room, “Hey!”
“What’s up?”
Shawn wheeled up to the bed and fist bumped Jesse, “Not much.”
From the window in the room the view showed a beautiful day outside, the sun shining over the rolling hills covered in evergreen trees.
“I see they took the bandage off your head.”
Jesse nodded, “My head is all messed up on the side.”
“What do you mean?”
“Come around to this side.”
Shawn wheeled around the bed and saw the area on Jesse’s head where his hair was shaved and at least twenty visible stitches.
“Man, it does look fucked up.”
Quickly he added, “But your hair will grow again and the stitches will go away or they will take them out.”

Jesse nodded.

New Novel Available Now - UnConventional!

Hey, everyone! I know I've been absent from the blog for awhile, but that's because I've been busy working on the third season of In/Exhale and the publication of my first novel, UnConventional, which released last week!

Unlike I/E, UnConventional is just that for me--while the focus of my online fiction is largely the two brothers and is written in third-person, my novel is told exclusively from the female narrator's POV. But if you enjoy the deep, layered characters of I/E, I think you'll fall in love with Santiago (and Di, too).

Curious what the book is about? Check out the blurb below:

Santiago Durán walks straight out of Di Monroe’s dreams–crutches and all–into her heart. There’s only one problem: she’s already married. 
Di’s parents died suddenly when she was nineteen, leaving her shattered and grateful for Stephen’s rescue. Over the past ten years, her identity has faded into her husband’s logical, controlling shadow, but with familiarity lies comfort. 
When she heads to  New Orleans for an editing convention, she meets Santiago–handsome, smart, and despite being affected by Becker’s muscular dystrophy–someone who sees the real Di, who appreciates her and wants her to shine. Pregnant after their one-night stand, Di realizes putting her ‘mistake’ behind her won’t be easy. 
Caught between her loyalty to her husband and the uncertain paternity of her baby, Di soon begins falling for Santiago, drawn to his strength and confidence, yet also his compassion and vulnerability. With Santiago’s help, Di experiences new passion, kindles hidden desires, and uncovers the sheltered part of herself she thought she’d lost long ago. Together, they discover that love is more than mere chemistry, but instead, means you’ve found the person with whom you can be yourself.
The MC is a dev, and so since it's her POV, there are a lot of devy details for you to enjoy, although I did try to write the book so even non-devs would enjoy it.
UnConventional is available from most major ebook retailers, including Amazon and All Romance eBooks, or you can buy it direct from the publisher (where you can read the first three chapters for free!). You'll also find the book (and me!) on Goodreads, and as always, you can follow my musings (including my 2014 NaNoWriMo project) on my blog or on twitter. I've also become a bit addicted to Pinterest.
If you enjoy the book, don't forget to leave a review on your site of choice! It really helps and encourages me to write more :D!
PS - I'm working hard on S3 of I/E and on the ebook of S2 (sorry for the delay!) and hope to have both ready soon. Right now I'm knee-deep in prepping for my interpreting midterm, too, so that's taking a lot of my time, but I'm hopeful I'll still be able to get everything done that I want to!