“The door opened, and Dakota’s brother Maurice walked in with a stricken look. Koko was behind him, cradled by Brayden while she cried. Caden heard the girls all gasp, and then they started to cry, too.
He felt the blood drain from his face as the world tilted. He braced for the worst. They were going to tell him she didn’t make it. No, please, I want a second chance. He had to find out what her desperate declaration had meant in the car. He had to know.
He looked to Maurice for answers. “Tell me please.”
Maurice looked at Caden’s face, feeling sorry for him for the first time in over two years, realizing Caden still cared for his baby sister. He never knew why they had broken up. All he knew was she had been devastated, and he resented Caden for that.
“She’s still in surgery, but they believe she had a stroke on the table. Some Thrombotic—”
“A vascular bleed stroke, probably caused by the removal of the metal piece. It must have torn one of the main arteries to her brain,” Caden finished with the proper diagnosis.
“Yes,” Maurice replied. “The doctor said as much but they don’t know how much damage has been done. That was one of the assisting doctors. The surgeon is still working on her, and will come out and talk to us after he’s done.”
Caden’s paramedic training took over as he calmly explained the diagnosis to everyone gathered around. “They can’t determine the damage until she comes out of the anaesthetic, when they can assess the location of the stroke. The doctors will look for neurological deficits, abnormalities in her mental status, and lack of movement in her limbs. All we can hope for is that they were able to repair the vein and minimal damage occurred.”
“Oh no, that doesn’t sound good at all,” Jocelyn replied on a cry as her hand flew to cover her heart.
“No, don’t misunderstand me,” Caden replied quickly, realizing he was freaking them out more. “Dakota is a very strong, healthy young woman, and that will all work to her advantage. If there is any damage, she will be able to have physical therapy and reteach her body everything she might have lost.”
“She works in conjunction with the physical therapists all the time. She will know how important her therapy is,” Taya jumped in. “I know her; she will have the determination to get better as soon as possible. Girls, remember when her student Naz had his stroke? She went to the hospital every other day to help him work on his physical therapy. If I remember correctly, she performed reiki, too. I’m sure he was back at school months before the doctors projected.”
“Caden watched as Koko’s face changed from concern to disgust as she listened to Dakota’s friends talk about Dakota’s talent in healing Naz’s little body.
“Are you serious? You can’t honestly believe in that mumbo-jumbo crap. Running your hands over someone’s body and pretending to heal it,” Koko scoffed. “I thought you girls were smarter than that.”
Ryder being Ryder, and not used to censoring his speech, spoke out of turn and nearly got them all kicked out. “Hope the witch didn’t park her broomstick too close to my car.”
About the Author
Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons.
She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favourite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams.
She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week.
But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband’s Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.