It took Ben a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room, but there she was. He felt a hollow twist in his gut as he quietly moved toward the bed. She looked so fragile. He could barely believe she’d been able to sneak out of the hospital.
The only thing Ben wanted to do was hold her in his arms and never let go. Swallowing hard, he forced himself to turn away and let her rest, though what he wanted – more than anything – was to hear her speak to him.
As he reached for the doorknob he heard a rustling from the bed.
“Fraser” Meg rasped, thinking she had to be dreaming. If it weren’t for the pain she was in, she’d have no choice but to believe it. She watched as he paused and hesitantly turned towards her again.
Relief welled through her as she looked at him. He was here and that’s all that mattered. Forcing a small smile, she spoke. “You look like hell.”
Ben was frozen by the door. He never meant to wake her, but now that she was awake; the relief of having her chastise him! He wasn’t certain of his welcome. She told him he looked like hell and he realized how much he missed her.
Clearing his throat he took a few steps towards the bed. “Yes Sir, I suppose I do.” He agreed.
Meg held her hand out and Ben gently held it in his. She tugged him closer still, and he found himself sitting on the edge of the bed, trying not to jar her.
“I’m not going to die, Fraser. You don’t have to look at me like that.” Meg joked, grateful to feel his strong, warm hand encasing hers.
Ben looked down at their twined fingers. “I’m sorry.” He choked out. “I didn’t… I never intended for you to get hurt.”
Meg shook her head. “It’s not your fault, Ben.-“ She coughed and looked towards the cup of water on the nightstand. Ben quickly reached for it and held her up while she drank. He carefully eased her back to her pillow when she was finished.
Meg let out a sigh as she looked up at him. “Someone set you up, Ben. The files… everything, is missing. We need to find who…”
“I know Sir.” Ben replied, though he still knew he was ultimately responsible for not checking out the boiler when she asked.
Meg grimaced and Ben twisted slightly so he could take in the rest of her, though the blanket covered her legs. “You know, Turnbull is under the assumption that you were discharged from the hospital,” he paused, watching the play of emotions across her face. The first being panic, and he knew she was trying to think of a suitable story. “I believe we both know that’s not the case.” He finished, and watched as she accepted the fact that she wasn’t going to be able to pull the wool over his eyes. Instead, she gave him a small smile.
“I don’t think he needs to know all the details.” Meg said, hoping he’d agree. The last thing she wanted was for Turnbull to go into a panic.
“When was the last time your dressings were changed?” Ben asked, and had to suppress a smile when he saw her fidget. “I thought so.” He also noted how tired she was. He reached for the Motrin on her nightstand and poured two into his hand. He handed them to her and helped her sit up again, all without a word. Reaching over, he grabbed the cup and held it to her lips again. Once he settled her in he straightened and took two steps away from the bed.
“In the morning I’ll change your bandages.” He stated, and for once he was the one in charge. Meg opened her mouth but before she could protest he cut her off. “It’s either that, or I get Turnbull in her to do it.”
Meg closed her mouth and after a moment, Ben nodded once and headed for the door. When he was in the hallway he turned to look back. “Rest. We’ll get to the bottom of this.” Meg nodded and her eyes started to drift shut. In a more quiet voice, he added, “I received your letter. Thank you.” Before she could reply he gently closed the door.