A humble heart, p.36
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       A Humble Heart, p.36

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

  Fifteen minutes later he pulled into their driveway. He groaned when he saw Deana’s car in the driveway. Amy wasn’t here and he wanted to avoid her until she calmed down. There was another car he didn’t recognize.

  He jogged up the walkway and unlocked the door.

  “Daddy’s here!” Cole screamed, barreling towards him. He caught his son as he jumped up.

  “You ready, buddy?”

  “Yes!”

  “Eager little thing, aren’t you?”

  “Er?” Cole didn’t know the word and was momentarily stunned. Edward took advantage and hoisted Cole onto his shoulders. Cole went happily. He held onto Edward’s head tightly as they navigated through the house toward the kitchen,

  Susan was cleaning the dishes while chatting with Deana, Brett and Tyler. “Where’s Dana?” he asked. Tyler jerked a thumb towards the pool.

  Edward made his way outside and paused by the sliding glass doors. Dana was holding a very naked Tristan in the water. She was wearing a black bikini and a pair of shorts. Tristan was smiling as he moved his feet and hands in the water.

  The man holding Caleb made him frown. Nick was in swim trunks, holding Caleb in the same fashion. He was talking to the little boy while grinning. Edward was a little shocked to see how ripped Nick was. Nick was easily bigger than him, damn. They got along really well since Edward got to know him. He still didn’t like some of his comments, but Nick had toned it down a great deal since they married.

  “Hey, Edward!” Dana said, grinning at him. “Nick decided to come down for a swim and see the kids.”

  “Well, that and to talk to you,” Nick said. He kissed Caleb’s head. “You have some really cute kids, Edward.”

  “They take after their mother,” Edward said, winking at Dana.

  “Dad, we gotta go!” Cole said.

  “Hold up, little man.” Edward said. He looked at Nick. “Is everything okay?”

  “Everything’s good. I just needed to talk to your lovely wife about something.”

  “Okay, what’s up, Nick. I’ve never known you to anything but straight forward,” Dana said. She supported the baby’s head and let him lay back in the pool. His toothless grin widened as he splashed his mother.

  “They want you to do an interview with Playboy,” Nick said nervously.

  “An interview, that doesn’t sound so bad,” Dana said.

  Edward and Nick shared a look. “I don’t think you understand, Dana. With all this publicity you’ve gotten lately.

  They think it would be a good time to cash in on it.”

  “You want me to pose naked?” Dana gasped.

  “No!” Edward answered.

  “Sorry, I had to ask. They were going to send the new guy Michaels to ask you since Rick is on vacation. That guy makes me blush,” Nick said, kissing Caleb’s head again.

  “She’s not doing it,” Edward said firmly.

  “I didn’t think she would or should. That kind of thing can wreck her credibility with a lot of women and some men.

  She would lose her reputation and parents would forbid their teenagers from reading her material,” Nick said. “Hey, he’s asleep. What do I do?” he asked nervously.

  “Time for you to get down,” Edward said to Cole. He put Cole down and bent over to take Caleb. Cole grabbed a towel for his brother and handed it to Edward who wrapped him up.

  “I don’t appreciate you guys talking as if I’m not here.

  Not that it matters now, but tell them I said no,” Dana said a bit miffed at being handled.

  “Sorry, Dana, I know. I didn’t come out here expecting a yes. I wanted to see you and the kids. It’s been a while,”

  Nick said, pulling himself out of the pool.

  “We’ll see you at one, baby.” Edward said as he cradled his son in his arms.

  “Okay, be careful guys and Cole you listen to your father. No wondering off!” she said sternly.

  Cole nodded and ran back into the kitchen. Nick dried off. “I have to get going too, Dana. Good luck tonight.”

  “Thanks, Nick,” Dana said.

  Edward winked at her before he walked back into the house to hand his son over to Susan. He headed for the door with Cole at his heels.

  “Hold up, Edward!” Deanna said.

  He looked back to see that she was on the phone. “You need to go pick Elizabeth up. She got into a fight.”

  One guess who attacked her. “Was it a little girl named Mary?”

  Deanna nodded. “She’s crying.”

  “Okay, I’m going. Brett, are you coming?” Edward asked. Brett nodded and followed after them.

  Chapter 20

  “Baby, it’s okay,” Edward said soothingly to his daughter as she sobbed into a bloody paper towel. That little brat Mary hit her in the face with a book. The entire front of Elizabeth’s dress was covered in blood. The nurse assured him her nose wasn’t broken.

  Cole reached over and took his big sister’s hand into his. “It’s okay, Elizabeth. I’ll take care of you.” She nodded slowly, but didn’t stop crying.

  “You guys want to stop and get donuts?” Edward asked, hoping it would cheer them up.

  “Yes!” Cole said, he was the little garbage disposal in the family after all.

  Brett handed Elizabeth a clean paper towel and took the soaked one away. “Did you hit her back?”

  “No, I don’t want to hurt anyone,” she said through sobs.

  Edward groaned. The girl was too sweet. No doubt she was going to be a target for bullies. “It’s okay, sweetie.”

  He left the kids in the car with Brett while he went inside to buy donuts.

  “Oh my God! Edward Pierce!” a teenage girl screeched.

  He ignored them. Sometimes the only thing that helped was to act like they had the wrong person. That didn’t work with this particular girl. Her and three friends walked towards him, running would be a more accurate description. She threw her arms around his shoulders and kissed him, hard.

  “Get off me!” He pushed her away. She wouldn’t let go.

  Another girl grabbed onto him from the side.

  “I love you!” she yelled, trying to kiss him, too.

  He pushed away from them and made a run for the door. They were on his heels. He groaned as he spotted what waited for him. The paparazzi picked a great time to show up. They were surrounding his car and snapping pictures. He made his way to the door and jumped in.

  The girls from the shop jumped into two cars and waited for him to make his move. He did, reluctantly pulling past them. They peeled rubber behind him.

  “Edward, you need to get away from those girls before they do something stupid,” Brett said.

  Cole and Elizabeth looked out the window nervously.

  “Daddy, the cars behind us are all over the road,” Elizabeth said anxiously.

  “I know, sweetie.” The light in front of him was yellow. He floored it, hoping to leave the girls behind. He made it and stopped behind another long line of cars waiting for the new lights to change.

  “Daddy!” Elizabeth screamed.

  He saw the cars racing through the intersection too late.

  They were speeding and lost control of their cars while trying to avoid the cross traffic. One of cars was sliding towards Elizabeth’s side.

  Edward turned in his seat to grab the kids when the car was slammed from behind. They were rammed into the car in front of them and to the right of them. They slammed hard.

  He heard the glass shatter and saw it pour on the kids.

  Elizabeth’s head snapped back. Cole put his hands over his face and was crying. He reached to take his seat belt off to grab the kids when they were hit again from his side.

  The car was crushed in, slamming into Elizabeth’s body.

  “No! Elizabeth!” he screamed at the same time his door was slammed into his back. Cole’s arm slammed with a sickening crack into the door as Brett’s head went through his window.

  *********

 
“The boys are sleeping, Susan. I need to start lunch,”

  Dana said.

  “Dana, you need to get to the hospital,” Deana sobbed, stepping into the kitchen and motioning for Dana to follow her.

  “What?” she asked, walking into the living room.

  On the television screen a “Live” caption flashed in the corner of a video of a crushed silver car. Edward’s picture was in the right hand corner. “A deadly crash on Lincoln Street occurred a half hour ago when crazed fans raced through an intersection after actor Edward Pierce. Reports indicate there were two children in the car with Mr. Pierce at the time as well as a bodyguard. We do know that one of the adults is dead. We will let you know when clearer reports come in. We’ve been told by eye witnesses that one of the children was dragged out of the car and police tried to revive the child. We are not sure of their status at this time.”

  “Susan and Deana, watch the twins! Tyler, get me to the hospital!” She was out of the house and running towards the car with Tyler on her heels by the time the last word left her mouth.

  “Please God!” she muttered repeatedly.

  Tyler drove them as quickly as he could to the hospital.

  There was already a large crowd waiting outside the hospital when they got there. Dana pushed her way through, ignoring screaming fans and intrusive reporters. Tyler had to push people away from her so she could make her way to the emergency room. She ran right for the triage station.

  “Edward, Elizabeth and Cole Pierce and Brett McCain!”

  she said, gasping for breath.

  “Are you family?” the nurse asked in a cold professional tone.

  “Yes, goddammit! Where’s my husband and kids?”

  “Ma’am, you’ll have to wait in the chairs for the-hey, you can’t go in there!”

  Dana pushed through the emergency room doors and ran towards the nurse’s station. “Pierce, where are they?”

  “Right this way, Mrs. Pierce.” a nurse said with a look of recognition. She took Dana’s hand and led her to the open Emergency room. Several rooms were hectic with doctors and nurses running in and out.

  “Where are my children?” Edward yelled. “Let me see my kids, now!”

  Some of the pain in her heart went away when she heard Edward’s voice. Now she needed to find her kids and Brett. “Where are my children?” she asked the nurse.

  There was no question by her tone that she would not be refused. The nurse pointed to the two rooms in front of her.

  Large curtains were the only thing that separated the beds.

  Dana pushed through one curtain and saw Cole crying.

  He was covered in dry blood and strapped to a long board.

  “Oh thank god,” she mumbled.

  “Mommy! Daddy!” Cole screamed. He couldn’t see her so she pushed her way to him. “Baby, Mommy’s here.” She kissed his cheek.

  “I’m scared,” he whimpered.

  “It’s okay, baby. I’ll be right back. I have to go find your sister first, okay?”

  He nodded weakly against his straps. “I love you, Cole.”

  She kissed him again and looked at the doctor working on him.

  “Tell me my son is going to be okay.”

  “I think he has a few broken bones, a concussion and bruises, but other than that I think he’ll be fine,” he answered with a soft reassuring smile.

  “Time of death 12:57.” She heard from the bed next door. She moved automatically. Her heart pounding violently in her chest. She pushed the curtain aside and sighed with relief, a teenage girl.

  She drew the curtain back and looked at one of the nurses. “Where’s my daughter? Elizabeth Pierce and our bodyguard Bret McCain.”

  “Doctor,” the nurse said nervously.

  A man turned around and faced her. “Let’s step outside, please.”

  *******

  Edward fought against his restraints. No one would tell him anything. “Let me out of here or tell me how my kids are, now!” he demanded.

  “Please calm down, Mr. Pierce. Your scans came back negative so we’re going to release you from the board, but I need you calm down so I can stitch up those cuts,” a doctor said.

  He made no promises as he waited to be released.

  They expected him to relax and stay in the bed when his two children were close by in pain? No way in hell. As soon as the last restraint was removed he pushed off the board and sat up.

  “No!” he heard Dana scream. “No!”

  “Dana!” he yelled. He stumbled to his feet and pushed past the doctor and the curtain.

  Dana was in the middle of the emergency room, on her hands and knees sobbing hysterically. A doctor was bent over her trying to soothe her. Someone was dead. He stumbled over to her and pushed the doctor’s arm away from her. He took her into his arms. She latched onto him tightly.

  He looked at the doctor. “Which of my children is dead?” his hoarse voice broke several times.

  The doctor looked like he aged a hundred years in the last few minutes. “Neither. Brett McCain has passed away.”

  Dana squeezed her arms around him tighter. She sobbed into his neck. A huge part of him sighed inwardly with relief. Then the sense of loss hit him. Brett was dead.

  He was a good friend and part of the family. He’d protected his wife and children on a daily basis.

  “Your children are going to be fine, Mr. Pierce. A concussion, broken bones, cuts and minor internal bleeding, but I believe they will make a full recovery. I’m sorry about your loss,” he said softly and walked away.

  “Oh god, Brett,” Edward mumbled. He began sobbing against her shoulder. They held each other for several minutes, ignoring the world around them.

  “Mommy! Daddy!” Elizabeth screamed. Cole joined in.

  They wiped their faces and held onto each other to stand up. Dana took his hand and led him to their children.

  She pulled back a curtain to see Elizabeth sitting up. Her arm was being set in a cast. She had a nasty looking cut above her eye and she was crying.

  Dana pulled the curtain on her right open, revealing Cole lying with his arm and leg being placed in a cast.

  “Thank God,” Edward murmured. He leaned down and kissed his daughter.

  “How are you, baby girl?”

  “It hurts, Daddy!” Elizabeth cried.

  “I know, baby. I’m just so glad you kids are okay.”

  “Daddy, you’re crying!” Elizabeth gasped.

  Dana moved over to Cole and kissed him as he looked at his father with quiet desperation. He was waiting for his father there was no question about that. Edward stepped over to his bedside and kissed him repeatedly. Dana moved to Elizabeth’s bed and held her good hand while the cast dried.

  The kids were both asleep within a half hour. The doctor promised it was a side effect of the pain killers and not an indicator for something serious. They both sighed with relief when they heard that.

  Edward closed the curtains in front, but left the middle one
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