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Belonging to the Italian Mafia Boss: Chapter 15

Bruce Trullo

The beeping monitors kept me up all night as I waited for her to wake up and come back to me, but she didn’t. With every jump in her heartbeat, I jerked awake. I listened to each of the nurse’s less-than-optimistic reports of her status. Her brain functioned properly. Her organs were working, but she wasn’t waking. Hypothermia did weird things to people’s bodies, and there was nothing anyone could do to predict when she’d awaken.

If she’d awaken, one of the nurses had mistakenly said.

I’d left the room for bathroom breaks, but that had been all, even though she wasn’t the only one in the hospital.

Jamison had been put on life support last night, and despite all odds, he was still alive. His doctor, one of the made-men that I’d personally initiated, gave me hourly updates, but I wouldn’t leave Sabrina. Not without good reason.

The first good reason walked up into her doorway at noon on the second day.

Karsen paused there, looking just as worn down as I surely looked. She leaned into the doorframe and quirked her head, gesturing for me to come into the hallway. I glanced down at Sabrina, taking in the relaxed curve of her face. My eyes dropped to the fingers crossed over her chest, which had finally regained color, and I couldn’t feel more grateful for that. The doctors had been concerned she’d lose them, but she’d been strong.

She needed to keep being strong.

When I made it into the hallway, Karsen was already pacing, and I knew that meant nothing good. “What’s going on?” I asked her.

“They’re encouraging that by the end of the day, we take him off of the breathing machines and see if he can handle it on his own. If he can’t…”

I knew what would happen if he couldn’t, and I knew that Jamison had a DNR order tattooed across his chest and clearly stated in all his medical documentation. If he coded, they couldn’t resuscitate him without impressive motivation, and I knew she came to me because she wanted me to convince them.

“You know that he never wanted to be brought back. It’s against his beliefs. Jamison was always serious about that.”

“But this is different,” she told me, a tear falling from her eye. “He’s the only thing I’ve ever had, and I can’t lose him. Not when he was only there to save me. Please, Bruce. I’ve never asked you for a single thing in all the time I’ve worked for you, but I’m asking you for this.”

Jamison was my best friend, too. He wasn’t just some random employee. He was a second brother to me, and I would have done anything for him.

I just couldn’t do anything when he had already been shot. It was Karsen who thought fast and saved the rest of us from being killed. She’d ended this, and I owed her for that alone, but to go against Jamison’s wishes…

“I can’t go against his wishes, but I can make sure that if it looks like he’s not doing it on his own, the doctor reconstitutes support for a little while longer.”

Karsen nodded slowly and leaned against the wall, taking a deep breath.

“I’m sorry you’re going through this,” I told her.

“I’m not the only one,” she countered. “How is she doing?”

I forced myself to inhale and stop thinking about what had happened and how it had been my fault. “She’s hanging in there as best as she can given the circumstances. Her hypothermia was bad. We brought her in just in time.”

“She was out there a lot longer than me, and I thought was going to die. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her.”

“She’ll pull through,” I told her.

“And the baby?”

I hadn’t told Karsen, but when the paramedics had arrived, I’d been sure that they knew what was inside Sabrina. It didn’t matter in the end. They had to do whatever was necessary to save her life, and I hadn’t asked about the baby since learning precisely how poor her vitals had been. Sabrina was my first concern, but a part of me hoped that the baby was still alive and thriving in there.

“We’ll know when she wakes up. I opted to wait for an ultrasound until then. There was still a heartbeat, but there are a lot of things that could have happened, so we’ll see.”

She crouched, folding her arms over her knees. “A heartbeat means there’s hope.”

I knew that, but I knew that the chances of everything going back to the way they were before were next to impossible. “I should have taken care of him long before he had the chance to do this,” I told her, peeking back into the room and finding Sabrina in the same state as she’d been before I left.

“We can’t live on what-ifs. Killing your brother wasn’t an easy decision, and I don’t blame you.” She paused and looked up at me. I saw every ounce of sincerity that rested on her face as she spoke. “Regardless of the outcome of this situation, I trust you and stand with you. I always have, and I always will.”

I didn’t know at what point Karsen had become a primary part of my group. I didn’t know when she’d become someone I’d call a friend, but I realized that she’d held that title for a long time.

“How about we go and get some lunch from the cafeteria? We both need a few minutes before we get back to reality, I think.”

I hated leaving Sabrina alone, but I knew Karsen felt the same way about Jamison.

“Are they going to try to remove the breathing tubes when you get back?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said tersely, and I nodded, knowing that it was more than lunch to her. She needed a few minutes away before she experienced the hardest thing she would ever experience in her life.

We made our way down to the cafeteria, and I found myself rushing through the line, but Karsen seemed to be doing the opposite, taking in each second that her boyfriend remained alive. We sat and ate, and I finished long before her. It wasn’t until she finished that she spoke again.

“I need you to know that nothing like this will ever happen again,” she said. “I won’t let it.”

We split ways at the staircase, and I made my way back to Sabrina’s room swiftly. As I made my way into the hallway, I found a squabble of nurses rushing into her room, and my heart dropped as I broke into a sprint. I heard a handful of voices in her room as I got closer, and there, behind all the nurses asking questions, I heard Sabrina’s reply.

I turned the corner and looked at the bed, finding her sitting up with still tired eyes. She looked around at the chaos and spoke in a sexy, raspy voice.

When her eyes met mine, she went silent, tracking me as I swerved through the nurses and stood at her side, gripping her chilly hand in mine. She squeezed, and I’d never felt anything so amazing in my life. Anything so fulfilling.

“How is she?” I asked immediately, looking around at the nurses.

The charge nurse—the one who monitored all the others—replied immediately, speaking directly to Sabrina. “Your vitals are good. Everything looks amazing, but we’ll keep you for an extra day or two to continue doing tests and monitoring. When a person’s body drops below a certain temperature, there can be unforeseen side effects, and we want to make sure that none of those become a problem.”

“The baby?” I asked. “Please, check the baby.”

Sabrina’s head shot toward me. “You know?” she asked immediately.

I only nodded as I stared into her deep eyes. I saw the exhaustion there, but I also saw relief behind her irises. I couldn’t tell if it was relief that she hadn’t had to break the news to me or if it was relief that I was still here with her, but I could see the relief.

The charge nurse looked at one of the younger ones. “Go and get an ultrasound tech and a machine up here stat. It’s an emergency situation.” A younger nurse left the room, and she looked at us. “She has to put in an emergency order for it, but it shouldn’t be long before they get the stuff here.”

They continued taking tests on her, offering her crackers and jello—the only food available until a lunch could be delivered. Sabrina didn’t say anything to me as she absentmindedly stroked her belly and waited, and as promised, it didn’t take long for the nurse to return with an ultrasound technician.

They pressed the wand to her belly and began scanning, and the man behind the machine smiled. “The doctor should be in here momentarily to tell you what he sees, but so far, I see no reason to be concerned.”

He continued taking images and scanning, and the doctor strode into the room, looking first at me, then at Sabrina. He turned toward the ultrasound screen and scanned what the tech showed him, nodding. “What were your goals in this pregnancy?” the doctor asked, looking between us.

“Have a healthy baby, I guess,” Sabrina answered hesitantly. “Is that the right answer?”

“Well, so far, that goal looks good. Despite the circumstances, the pregnancy looks completely healthy, almost as if nothing happened. Dropping the temperature of your body could have put the baby in distress, but if that happened, he has certainly rectified the situation. He’s healthy as a baby could be.”

“He?” she asked.

I’d been so concerned about the wellbeing of the child that I hadn’t thought to ask about the gender, but realizing that the baby in her belly was a boy had me straightening. I was going to have a son. One who could protect Sabrina and take over the business one day. I’d never thought much about what I wanted in a child, but I couldn’t imagine being happier.

I bent down and placed a hand on the top of her stomach where they weren’t working, and my attention cut to the doorway where Karsen stood, a wide grin on her face.

“He’s alive,” I said, knowing the only thing that would have made her smile.

“He is.”

The moment felt surreal, especially when, a half hour ago, I’d thought that nothing would ever be the same again. My best friend had been shot. The woman I loved was in a coma, and my only other friend was devastated. But now, despite everything, we’d beaten the odds.

We all made it.


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