A humble heart, p.15
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       A Humble Heart, p.15

         Part #1 of Hollywood Hearts series by R. L. Mathewson
 

  to make sure no one could see anything. His dark blue shirt covered her completely from neck to knees. He took her hand and led her to the make-up trailer to retrieve her clothes.

  “You did a great job,” Rick said. He walked over and kissed her cheek. “They’re going to do the interview tomorrow at your house at three. Is that okay? Amy will be there to make sure things go smoothly. I have to say that was a good choice giving Amy the job,” Rick said, smiling.

  Edward looked confused. She shrugged. “I fired her.”

  His eyebrows shot up.

  “Then I gave her a new position. She’s my representative, basically my agent.”

  “Damn,” Edward gasped.

  “She’s good,” she said honestly.

  He nodded his agreement. “We can share her.”

  Edward led her to his car, rushing her before she could pull her pants on so that she was stuck sitting damn near bare ass on his leather seat. She pulled the shirt down to cover her legs. He looked over and grinned.

  He reached over and took her hand into his while he drove. She gently ran her fingers over his skin. He felt warm and safe. She couldn’t remember the last time she enjoyed holding a man’s hand. She hadn’t enjoyed anything with a man for a while and with Edward it was explosive.

  *********

  “Mommy!” Elizabeth yelled, running towards them through the living room. Dana bent to pick up her daughter.

  “How was your day?” Dana asked.

  “I missed you! How was the photo shoot? What did you wear?” She inquired as she looked to see her mother was wearing nothing but a long sleeve shirt.

  “I wore a black bikini today, sweetie. It was

  uh, interesting,” she said, kissing her daughter’s forehead.

  “Really? Can I wear one like it?” Elizabeth asked excitedly.

  “Over my dead body,” Edward growled, giving Elizabeth a kiss. Dana smiled and put her daughter down. Edward was a sweet man who honestly cared about her children.

  He was so different from Jeff.

  “Cole?” Edward called loudly, walking through the house.

  A high pitched scream froze all three of them in place.

  Chapter 8

  “Cole?” Edward took off running towards the scream that wouldn’t stop. He shoved open the kitchen door to find Cole on the ground, holding his arm against his body. All the color in his face was gone.

  It only took a few seconds for Edward to figure out what happened. The burner was on and a turned over saucepan was on the floor. Water was all over the floor and Cole’s shirt and shorts.

  “Oh god, baby boy!” He ran forward and shut the burner off. He picked up Cole and ran with him to the guest bathroom with Dana hot on his heels. He turned the shower on and set it to cool. He gently stripped Cole’s clothes off.

  Large blisters were forming all over the bright red skin that covered his arm, stomach and leg.

  “Baby, call 911!” he yelled.

  Dana dropped her clothes and pulled her cell phone out from her pants. As the phone rang she pulled on her pants and comforted Elizabeth, who was now hysterical. She watched as Edward placed Cole in the shower and held him down. Cole screamed as the water touched his skin.

  “911, what’s your emergency?”

  “I need an ambulance at 623 Long Point Road. My three year old son just burned himself with boiling water. He has second degree burns covering more than half his body,”

  Dana said, trying to remain calm and put all her old EMT

  training to use.

  “Okay, an ambulance and fire are five minutes out. What are you doing for him now?”

  “My boyfriend has him in the tub cooling his burns off,”

  Dana said, not realizing or caring at the moment what she called Edward. Cole was her only concern.

  Cole’s screams got worse. Edward stepped into the tub and cradled Cole in his arms holding him under the water.

  He kissed Cole’s head repeatedly. “It’s okay, little man. I’m here, I’m here.”

  “Ma’am, what happened?” the operator asked.

  “I don’t know. I just came home. I left the kids with a babysitter from the White Sands agency.”

  “Where is she?”

  “That’s a damn good question. I’m going to find out right now.” She dropped to her knees in front of a sobbing Elizabeth. “Baby girl, where’s the baby sitter?”

  “The green guest bedroom with her friend,” Elizabeth sobbed. Edward’s eyes shot up. There was pure fury in his eyes.

  “Hold on,” Dana told the operator.

  “Stay here with Uncle Edward, sweetheart, and help out.” She made her way out of the bathroom to the guest room. She opened the door to find a very naked babysitter and man passed out on the bed. Liquor bottles littered the floor. She closed the door slowly, deciding to leave them to the police. “She’s passed out in one of the rooms with a man. There’s alcohol in the room!”

  “Is she still there, ma’am?” the operator asked.

  “Yes, I didn’t wake her. Please send the police, I’m filing charges,” Dana said.

  “I’m way ahead of you, ma’am.” the dispatcher said.

  She made her way back to Edward. Cole was still crying. “It hurts!”

  “I know, buddy,” Edward said. He was completely drenched now. He looked up. “Where is she?”

  “She’s in the bedroom passed out with a man, alcohol everywhere,” Dana said, trying to hold back her own anger.

  She’d never seen anyone look more furious that Edward at that moment.

  A loud knock had her running to open the front door.

  Several fire fighters and EMT’s entered followed by two police officers. She showed them where her son was. They each held several bottles of sterilized saline. The officers made their way to the bedroom. They walked in and dragged each adult to the floor, screaming at them.

  Unfortunately they were too drunk to realize what was happening.

  Dana left them to go to her children. She stepped into the hallway just in time to see her little boy passed out with a face mask placed over his mouth and nose. An IV was already in his uninjured arm. He lay limply in a fireman’s arms. Tears streamed down her face as she watched him rushed out of the house.

  Edward walked next to the fireman. He held Cole’s limp hand in his. “Ma’am, the boy’s father is coming with us.

  We’re going to Mercy. Do you know where it is?”

  She nodded.

  “Mommy!” Elizabeth cried.

  “It’s okay, baby,” Dana said as she dragged on her shoes.

  “Ma’am, we’ll meet you at the hospital to take a statement,” one of the officers said.

  She nodded and pulled Elizabeth into her arms and rushed outside in time to see Edward climb into the back of the ambulance. She made her way to her Jeep and buckled Elizabeth in. She waited for the ambulance to leave before driving to the hospital.

  On the way to the hospital she called Deana and told her what happened. Then she called up Amy and asked her to bring a change of clothes for Edward. She explained quickly what happened before she hung up.

  She walked into the hospital with Elizabeth sobbing in her arms and made her way to the triage nurse. “I’m looking for my son Cole Mathews. He was just brought in by ambulance.”

  The nurse looked over her reports. “Have a seat.

  They’ve just started to treat him. As soon as I can I’ll bring you back there.”

  “Thank you. Can you just let him know his mommy is here?” she asked.

  “I think he’s still unconscious.”

  She nodded automatically, placing Elizabeth down on the floor and walked her to the chairs. Dana sat down and Elizabeth immediately climbed onto her lap. She ran her fingers absently through Elizabeth’s hair as she watched the ER door and waited.

  “Dana!” Amy said, running through the waiting room.

  She had a large group of people in tow, but Dana didn’t take her eyes
from the door. She couldn’t.

  “Where’s Edward?” Eleanor asked.

  Dana pointed to the door. Eleanor sat down and put an arm around Dana. “It’s okay, it will be okay.”

  Dana nodded as she began to cry. How could it be alright? Her baby was badly burned in the hospital. “Hey, cutie pie, what’s your name?” a man who was clearly Edward’s father asked Elizabeth.

  “Elizabeth,” she sobbed.

  “Well, my name’s James and I think I’ll call you Beth.

  Come sit with me so Mommy can wait for the doctor, okay?”

  Dana released her hold on Elizabeth and watched as she climbed onto James’ waiting lap. He was an older version of Edward, she absently noted. She looked back towards the door and waited. She heard, rather than saw, Deana run into the ER screaming her name.

  She looked back in time to see Deana throw her arms around her. “How’s our baby?”

  “I don’t know,” Dana mumbled.

  “Do we know what happened?” Deana asked.

  “Cole was hungry. The mean woman didn’t feed us. I was trying to stop him when I heard Mommy come in,”

  Elizabeth said. All eyes focused on her.

  “She didn’t feed you?” Dana asked as softly as she could, but she could see the fear in her daughter’s eyes.

  She shook her head no.

  “Oh my god,” Deana said, sounding on the verge of tears.

  “I had a background check done on the woman. I don’t understand this,” Dana said more to herself than anyone else.

  “Sometimes people slip through the cracks that shouldn’t,” James said reassuringly.

  “This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken the day off. This is my fault,” Deana said, wiping frantically at the tears that poured down her cheeks.

  “No, it’s not,” Dana said weakly. She was starting to become light headed.

  A doctor stepped out of the ER. He looked very upset.

  Dana’s stomach twisted painfully.

  “Ms. Mathews?” he asked. “I’m Dr. Newton. I’m treating your son Cole.”

  “Please tell me he’s alright,” Dana whispered, fighting not to pass out.

  He smiled. “Thanks to the fast thinking of your husband he’s going to be more than fine.”

  She didn’t bother correcting him about Edward. “Can I see him? Please.”

  “Yes, I’m afraid one at a time. Your husband can stay.

  Cole is clinging to him and refusing to let him leave,” he explained.

  Dana left Elizabeth in very capable hands and made her way into the ER. She wiped her tears away and took a deep calming breath before walking into her son’s room.

  She found Edward sitting in a chair, cradling Cole in his arms. Cole was wrapped up in gauze and wore a large diaper. An IV was pumping fluids into his small body. He looked a little out of it and she figured they gave him something for the pain.

  “Hey sweetie, how are you?” she asked Cole, dropping to her knees in front of him.

  “Mommy?” he said thickly.

  “I’m right here, baby. You gave us a heck of a scare.”

  She kissed his face.

  “I’m hungry,” he complained.

  She wiped away a fresh tear. “I know, baby. I’m so sorry you know I would never leave you with someone like that on purpose. She’s in big trouble, honey. Don’t worry about it, you’ll never see her again.”

  “Good. She was mean,” Cole said, burying his face against Edward’s bare chest.

  “How are you holding up, sweetheart?” Edward asked.

  “Okay. Thank you for taking care of him.”

  He reached over with his free hand and wiped away her tears. “Always.” He pulled her forward and kissed her gently on the lips. She kissed his cheek and then Cole’s.

  “We’re going to keep Cole overnight and monitor his burns and watch for infection,” the Doctor said an hour later.

  Dana nodded and thanked him. She waited with Cole.

  Edward left a half hour ago to change into clean clothes and talk to his family.

  Thankfully Cole was now asleep. His little tummy was now happily full and he dreamed in his mother’s arms. “We need to move him upstairs now,” a nurse said quietly.

  Dana stood up. “I’ll carry him if you can manage the IV,”

  she said, not giving the nurse a chance to argue. There was no way she was putting him down. He needed to be held now more than ever.

  “I’ll take him,” Edward said, walking around the nurse to take Cole. He took Cole from her as if he was the most precious thing on earth.

  “Mom and Dad are taking Elizabeth for the night.

  They’re getting some food into her stomach as we speak.

  The police came by and we talked to them. You’re all set for now,” he told her.

  “Thank you for everything,” she said, wiping away a stray tear.

  He smiled at her and kissed Cole’s sleepy cheek as he carried him towards the patient elevators.

  ********

  Dana knelt over her sleeping son. It had been two weeks since the accident and he was already looking better. He came home a week and a half ago and she’d been babying him ever since. He was still in pain and needed constant care.

  Edward’s family immediately fell in love with the kids and was around every day to help. Edward stayed over every night snuggling up with Cole on the couch. Tonight for the first time since he came home Cole was asleep in his own bed.

  For the past two weeks they passed the time by studying their scripts. When she wasn’t doing that she was running, cooking, or cleaning. She had to keep busy or she would go crazy. The studio pushed shooting the movie off for another week for Cole. They were amazingly sympathetic.

  She was due to start shooting tomorrow. Edward was going to start shooting his own movie tomorrow as well. He would be away most nights for a few weeks then he was off to England for ten weeks.

  He needed a break and she felt horrible for all the stress and sleepless nights he’d suffered recently for them.

  She was also afraid there was no question about it any longer. She was madly in love with him.

  There was no doubt in her mind that she had never really been in love before. That had been infatuation.

  Edward made her feel beautiful, loved, and adored and he was great with the kids. He showed them nothing but love and patience. More than their father ever had.

  She tiptoed out of Cole’s room and into the living room to find Edward passed out on the couch. He wore his usual outfit when he was at her house, pants and nothing else.

  His perfect chest rose gently with his relaxed breathing.

 
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