He had gone straight to the hospital before hanging up with Azarias. Cora followed him as best she could in her car. She didn't have a clue what was going on but by the look on Caiden's face she knew it wasn't good.
"What happened?" She asked as she jogged to keep up with him on the way into the hospital. The drive had taken only five minutes when usually it took fifteen.
"She... she just couldn't have, not after everything. Why would she even think about doing that?" He wasn't even acknowledging Cora now.
"What happened?!" Cora took him by the arm and yanked as hard as she could in attempt to make him look at her.
"She tried to kill herself." He said and it was as if the words had brought him back into reality. "Fuck, she probably was really messed up. No one even knows what happened to her. I swear I will kill whoever did this, whoever drove her to this madness."
With that he ran inside and asked a nurse for her room number. Caiden marched down the hall and pounded on the elevator button, and waited barely a minute before deciding the stairs would be faster. Caiden didn't stop moving until he found her room number on the fourth floor.
Azarias was waiting outside with the woman he had brought with him. He looked sick to his stomach, and the girl looked worried for him. When Azarias caught sight of Caiden he stood up straight and moved in front of the door.
"Move Az." He said plainly. "I need to see her."
"You can't. Right now the doctor is looking her over and he said family only." His eyes were hard and unchanging as he spoke.
"Why?" Caiden asked after a pause.
"I don't know. They said the nurse came in and she was convulsing on the floor and she had a huge fever. It's the weirdest thing though..." Az stopped, the woman next to him shook her head as if to tell him to stop.
"What?" Caiden said loudly.
"Her eyes... they were wide open the entire time they were driving to the hospital and she was crying. But now the doctors say she is in a coma." Az stopped then and he just turned around.
Caiden was stunned into silence. He opened his mouth several times only to close it. Cora stood there behind him, unsure what to do, while the woman with Azarias tried to comfort him.
"How did things get this fucked up?" Az said after a moment. "Nina, go get us something to drink please. We are going to be here for a long time I think." After the woman left, Az continued.
"I would have married her in a heartbeat you know... You were one lucky bastard, still are." There was a little resentment in his voice as he spoke and Caiden felt a twinge of anger.
"Doesn't feel like it." Caiden muttered. "I'm glad you were able to be there for her."
Azarias laughed bitterly and turned his head when he saw Nina returning, his eyes lit up a little when she was in the room, it was something Caiden remembered feeling when Ava walked into a room.
"I almost didn't believe it. I got the call and thought someone was fucking around with me. As soon as I heard her voice, I just knew."
"I should have been there." Caiden thought to himself, but he also wondered why she hadn't called him.
"You didn't know, and Ava had no idea how to get a hold of you, I was just closer."
Just then the doctor emerged and so did her parents. They closed the door softly behind them and took a seat at the benches while the doctor flipped through his papers. Caiden smiled meekly at her parents and gave them both hugs. Her mother was still crying, and her father's face was unreadable. "We've pumped her stomach in time, so she should wake up soon. I am however concerned with her temperature, she is burning up and it seems that the medication has had no effect. We are doing all we can do as of right now and that is keeping the temperature from rising." He paused a moment and her parents only nodded. Caiden watched as they silently accepted the news about their baby girl. He swallowed hard and turned away, he wasn't sure how much of this he could take.
"Nurses will check on her frequently, if she wakes up we will need a moment or two with her before we let you see her. As for right now, you may go in and visit. I must advise though that you need to be calm when in the room, just in case."
With the the doctor disappeared and Ava's parents turned to Caiden and the others. Her father walked silently inside the room, avoiding Caiden's glance and without saying a word; but her mother stood outside. Az put an arm around her shoulder and Nina offered her a drink. She gladly took the soda and patted Azarias' back.
"Come inside." She whispered.
As she stepped through the threshold of Purgatory, the door slammed shut behind her and disappeared. Ava spun around and in place of the door was a large beast. It resembled a beast described in The Inferno. Ava was increasingly impressed and disturbed how accurate certain things from Dante's works were. She didn't hesitate to run.
"What the hell am I supposed to do?" She muttered to herself as she stumbled through the woods. She could hear the heavy footsteps of the beast following after her. She didn't dare glance back; or stop after the footsteps faded into the distance. Ava ran for what felt like hours until she found a familiar place.
She found herself in the den from the beginning of her adventure. The rocks were still piled off to the side and twigs were piled next to them. Ava knew that this wasn't a good place to stay, but it was a start. Ava sat down and took a minute to relax and gather her thoughts.
'I said you had to retrieve it, and that you must.'
His words echoed in Ava's mind continuously; but she couldn't figure out how she was supposed to do that. She didn't even know what to look for... then it dawned on her.
Red Eyes opened his palm and a ball of blue-white light appeared in his left hand. Ava felt a tug from inside her, her entire body was screaming at her to snatch it from him.
She had seen the fragment of her soul. It had been in his hand the entire time. Ava couldn't trust that Red Eyes had let it leave his sights; for all she knew, he still had it in his pocket, or even around his neck.
"Come on!" She shouted. Loosing what little hope she had, Ava began to throw rocks and twigs into the creek.
For a time everything was silent, and that got Ava's attention. Things in Purgatory, were never quiet. She listened closely for the next couple of minutes, for any signs of predators. Eventually, bushes began to rustle nearby. Ava stood and ran, letting her legs carry her in any direction away from the noise.
In the end Ava ran through the woods aimlessly for hours, in search of the sliver of her soul. She cam up empty handed at the end of the night. There was no way she would be able to find anything in the dark, especially if the beasts came alive.
Ava's body ached from head to toe as she climbed up a large tree. When she was happy with her height, she stopped and tried to rest. There was no way she was going to find it.
Six people sat around Ava's bed, listening in silence to the steady beep coming from the monitor next to her bed. Her fever had broke and she was running a normal temperature now. Still however, she had not woken up. Caiden couldn't help but notice that her beneath her eyelids, Ava's eyes were moving rapidly, which meant she was dreaming.
That's a good thing right? He thought to himself.
"The doctor said she would wake up soon, it's been long enough hasn't it?" Ava's father muttered. He was holding his daughter's hand, looking off into the distance.
"I'll go get the nurse." Nora said softly. She closed the door behind her softly. Azarias watched her go and then turned to Ms. Holland.
"You should get some rest Ms. Holland, you as well Mr. Holland. The doctor will call if anything changes, it won't do any of us good to sit here while she's sleeping."
"Az is right," Caiden whispered. "I'll stay awhile and if anything changes I will call you immediately."
"No." Mr. Holland said sternly. "Last time she was alone with you she got taken."
"Hush." Ms. Holland said, eyeing her ex husband wearily. "Don't listen to him darling, we don't blame you."
"Speak for yourself." He growled.
"I shouldn't have come," Cora whispered to Caiden.
"Don't be ridiculous." Ava's mother said gently. "Caiden's friends are ours."
"Again, speak for yourself."
"I swear! Get out of here, these people are here for our daughter. Let whatever has happened in the past be, they are here now and that is all that matters." Ms Holland said in a hard voice.
Everyone in the room froze. The door had just been opened and Nora dropped her coffee. Caiden jumped from his chair and leaned over Ava.
"Alright, we get it. We'll shut up and get along." He cooed.
Everyone was quiet then for about another hour. Then one by one, people began to leave. Cora left, followed by Az and Nora.
"I'll be back in the morning Ava, I love you sweetheart." Her father said as he left.
"Caiden, we should get going." Ms. Holland said softly. She looked more tired than ever.
"In a minute."
After everyone had gone, Caiden laid his head onto her bed and just held her hand. Her skin felt clammy against his, but her breathing was steady. He just listened to the ambient beeps as he looked at her sleeping face.
"Ava, I am so sorry."
Then he left.
Alright darlings, here is another chapter. I have some news. If you like my stories I have a joint account with a good friend of mine and we have just posted the first chapter of our story, Flowers in the Storm, the account is PrincesaColor, it can also be found on my profile. As always give a like, comment and follow.