After parting from Frank, Darlana, and Sheila, the two remaining parents slipped quietly into the room that held their three sons. Under normal circumstances they would have each been put in separate rooms but Zachary had raised such a fuss during the brief times he was really "with it" that the doctors had finally caved in and allowed it. There was nothing wrong with having multiple patients in one room but it wasn’t what Tulsa General normally did.
Diana turned to Walker, pressing a hand against his chest, desperately trying not to cry out at the sight of her three eldest children lying motionless in bodies that looked like they would belong to scarecrows rather then three nearly grown men.
"Oh my god Walker…look at them…our babies…" She finally resorted to burying her face into her husband’s neck to keep from waking her boys with her loud wail.
Walker ran his hand down Diana’s long hair, rocking her from side to side, not caring if she saw the silent trails the tears were making down his face. He felt a soft humming begin in his throat and soon began crooning an unknown tune to comfort his wife for the loss of a daughter and for the pain inflicted on her innocent sons. Every suppressed tear, every sleepless night, every time an offspring came up to them asking when their brothers would be home, all added together in one cataclysmic torrent of sobbing. Diana’s body jerked rhythmically in Walker’s arms as the grief of the previous weeks was released all in one violent moment.
Diana spun on her heels, bringing her hands up to cover her mouth in the process. Taylor’s steely blue eyes were a dull contrast against his pale skin as he stared back at her. He feebly tried to lift his arms to beckon her and ask for a hug but his abused body would have nothing to do with it. His stickly arm fell to the bed, Taylor wincing in response to the tug the I.V. gave him for the abrupt movement.
Diana was rushing to her son’s side in an instant, taking in his dull messy hair, and many cuts and bruises as she approached him, "Oh baby…I’m so sorry this happened to you." Her tears had yet to cease flowing.
Taylor’s body was battered and weakened but the I.V. line was delivering everything his physical being needed. His lips were still dry and cracked but they were slowly turning from white to a soft pink as the fluids began flowing into his system.
He shook his head at his mother, "No, I don’t wanna talk about this… Can I have a hug?" His voice cracked while his face wrinkled up. The barrier he had put up during the entire ordeal now came crashing down and was brought on by seeing his parents and hearing their voices after so long and so much.
"Oh sweetie." Walker and Diana took little time to bury their second born in their arms and cry everything out. The long time not knowing whether their children were living or dead, separated, taking care of themselves, mentally sound, and everything under the sun.
Long minutes ticked by while they shed their heartache and grief. Taylor knew about Star and Tony but refused to acknowledge their deaths until he was ready to handle it. Now was a time for physical healing, now was a time to return to what he was before, and now was a time to look forward. Now was a time for recovery and healing and this process began with the shedding of pent up emotions and tears. The first phase of the nightmare was over and done with but next phase would be kicked into full swing sooner then the young men were ready for.
Dr. Andrews peeked around the corner of the doorframe to see how the family was coming along and was more then happy to see Taylor moving around. It was still too soon for him to be doing so much but she felt it would help in the long run and let them be, pulling the heavy wooden door shut behind her.
Diana finally was able to control her sobbing enough to begin talking but not enough to dry her eyes, "What’d they do Zachary?"
Taylor sniffed in long and hard, leaning back exhaustedly against his while hospital bed, "They almost killed em." He closed his eyes as the screams of a time so recently ricocheted around in his head, "He was screaming and yelling for help… we couldn’t do anything. We were beating the door and trying to get out but he couldn’t hear us! All because Star lied about some family secret."
Diana and Walker watched in horrified silence as the emotions played across Taylor’s face as if he were living them all over again.
"When they brought him back he was unconscious, blood was just…everywhere, coming outta his mouth, his nose, cuts, and just… it was so scary… we had to clean him up the best we could and he threw up so much blood! He just bit his tongue though… and his lips. God… we couldn’t do anything at all after that cause Zac would just, he wouldn’t want to be touched by anybody or have anybody look at him unless it was us. I wish he didn’t have to go through that… I wish we didn’t have to hear it." His voice grew more and more quiet as his body’s meager reserves were used up and the energy he had suddenly disappeared and he fell into an unpleasant slumber.
Diana never took her hand away from her son’s arm as he told his story and she didn’t do so now. Sheets rustled and she turned to see what the disturbance was.
Zac’s big brown eyes washed over them warily but with a drawing look in them. He turned his head away to control himself and looked back at his bringers of life and opened his mouth to speak but couldn’t quite utter the words he wanted to say. His heart ached as much as his haggard body but he couldn’t quite bring himself to lift his arms enough to beg his mother to come and comfort him. He needn’t have thought of asking, his mother and father were at his side at once, giving him the kind of love that only a parent could give.
Zachary had not felt so safe for such a long time, tears were coursing their way relentlessly down his chaffed cheeks. He buried his face into the mounds of long, wavy hair his mother possessed and smelled his father’s strong cologne as they were crushed together in one long hug that none of them ever wanted to end.
They stayed that way; locked together in an embrace that was borne of weeks of absence of one another, it seemed like hours but surely it was no more then a minute. Zac’s body was just as, if not more, haggard then Taylor’s and he, too, fell into silence.
Diana felt his strong arms go lax, resting against her back and around her shoulders. His heavy body, though depleted of muscles and baby fat, was quite heavy and she had to obtain help from her husband to remove their son’s hefty body from hers. He whimpered loudly, nearly wailing in his sleep, but soon enough he settled down as he felt the reassuring touch of his mother and father along his arms and shoulders. Diana smoothed her hand over Zac's hair, laying a gentle kiss on her son's forehead, fearing she might break him in the process, but still unable to hold herself back.
Isaac had yet to make a move. The doctor had explained to them that his kidnappers had forcibly given him too high a dosage of sedative and he'd also had another, more appropriate dosage, of dopamine to keep him under for their exams. He was still trying to sleep off the combined effects of both.
"Di, I have to hear something from him… I gotta hear his voice." He raised a fist to his mouth, biting down on a knuckle in a lame attempt to control his emotions.
"Oh baby…" She pulled his head against hers, looking deep into his eyes, "He's fine…that monitor tells us that…" But she understood what he had really meant. They were both curious if Isaac was as mentally sound as Taylor and Zachary seemed to be.
"I suppose if we talked loud enough he'd hear us?" Diana questioned, tugging on a strand of her hair.
"Maybe we should ask the doctor-."
Walker was cut off by his wife, as she waved her hand in the air, "It's not going to hurt him Walk… don't worry." She smoothed a hand over his freshly shaven face before turning around to get to Isaac's bed.
She stooped down low, brushing her hand over his partially exposed chest and, with a hopeful look at her husband, started speaking, "Isaac… Isaac it's mom, can you hear me?" She latched onto his hand, "If you can hear me squeeze my hand… squeeze my hand baby!" She stated, louder this time.
"Mmmomm…" His chapped lips parted enough for that word to slip from his mouth. His eyelids slowly peeled open, but it was easy to tell that he was fighting a losing battle. He lifted his head off of the bed momentarily, trying to get a good glimpse of his parents but the drugs in his body were too much, and his head dropped back down like a lead weight.
"We won't stay long sweetie, we just wanted to say we love you and that we're gonna be sitting here right next to you and your brothers' beds ok?"
Again, Isaac tried in vain to lift his head from his pillow to acknowledge his parent's whereabouts, but with the heavy sedative moving through his veins he was quickly losing all capability to remain conscious. His head thumped lazy-like back onto his bed a he was brought back into the confusing darkness, the peaceful obscurity did not allow thoughts to wander further then basic concerns of his body.
Walker leaned over and laid a brief kiss upon his son's brow, smoothing the curly locks from his forehead, and gave his arm a soft squeeze. Diana hung back, watching her husband with a loving expression on her face. Her cell phone went off, jerking Walker's head towards the sound, but she waved him over to Isaac, taking the call in the hallway.
"Hello, Mrs. Hanson speaking…" She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. Another suspect has been apprehended and imprisoned. He confessed to everything and explained what their plans had been. There're no other suspects involved that are directly connected to your sons. I've contacted the Moffatt family with our news. Congratulations, Mrs. Hanson, and good luck." He ended the call there before Diana could get a word in.
"Oh my goodness…" She flipped her phone shut, dropping it into her purse, and pushed her hands over her face.
Walker chose that moment to exit the room and saw his wife's expression.
"It's over Walk… they got the last asshole who kidnapped our babies…" She broke down into tears, and Walker knew this was his turn to become the shoulder to cry on, the sturdy one.
Together, they walked down the hallway towards the cafeteria to meet up with their friends and family.
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