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The aftermath of the heat of passion in a thunderstorm.
Nicolao sat in the recliner chair he had moved next to David's bed and watched him sleep. He was beautiful, even in the eerie lighting of the machines. David had no remembrance of the day. He wondered about Benjamin finding Dee, but he couldn't be insane enough to come to the hospital, and the floor was secure. The fifth floor provided care for those who wanted more than a standard hospital stay, and who could afford to pay. Cameras lined the halls and between the common area and patients room was another camera monitored by the nurses. Nic's thoughts wandered to the cost of everything, but before his musings went far he was asleep. He woke up a short time later from a familiar feeling.
Nic straightened, "Hello to you. Shouldn't you be resting?"
David looked at him. His throat was still sore, and when he spoke it was slow, and deliberate. "Was in a coma you said. Think that was my rest for today."
"Funny." Nicolao declared and he forced a wan smile for Dee's effort. He leaned forward and grasped his hand.
"You sleep, I'm okay." David squeezed his fingers, hating the change he saw in his lover.
"That's my line, and I was asleep."
"I won't fit, but I did think about trying."
"Nic-", David tried to shift his weight, and he grimaced with discomfort.
Nicolao was on his feet immediately, "Are you in hurting? I'll get the nurse she said you can have more meds to manage the pain."
"No more." David wanted to explain his fear of too many drugs, but couldn't connect with the words. "Sit. Sleep."
Nic acquiesced. He watched as David's eyelids closed. "Thank you for coming back to me. Bossy."
"Had to. I love you. Ham." Dee didn't open his eyes, but smiled.
Nicolao did laugh at his retort and eventually leaned the recliner back and joined David in slumber.
The long cast for David's leg was signed by everyone before they left for home early Sunday. Natanaele Sr., Hilaria, and Nerina stayed behind the first week; Nate, Nieves, and Narisco the next. Their attention was overtly geared toward David but Nicolao, they feared, would neglect his own needs so they equally cared for him. Under their constant attention grated against Nic but he knew better than to resist. He did balk when Narisco or anyone would pick David up. The bulky cast provided him opportunities to carry Dee without protest.
David had to adjust to his existence. Benjamin had shot Nicolao and wrecked their car almost killing him. His agonizing headaches mercifully lessened as the weeks progressed. But he tired easily, and thoughts were sometimes as hard to hold on to as water in his fist. There were doctor's appointments, therapy sessions and Evangelistas in every waking hour.
Nerina was a stern caretaker who took any opportunity to put things in his mouth, food, tea, or medicine. Her kindness held the same intensity as her disdain. Nieves gave him mani-pedis and insisted they watch horrible movies. Nate read to him, he would nod off to awaken and the gentle voice would pick up the narrative upon his stirring. Narisco told outlandish stories that often left them laughing at some shared memory. David's struggles with his injuries were made easier as he was buoyed by the nurturing of a family. Without their constant presence the schedule would have taken a horrible toll on Nicolao. He learned his place in his new family. The question that plagued him was where was his place with Nic?
Nicolao hadn't touched David as more than a nurse since they returned to their home.