I must have fallen straight off to sleep because the next thing I know I am being woken up by Mace, who is gently shaking and calling me. I'm a little disorientated, and automatically presume that we are in bed at home.
"Gran. Wake up baby." Mace is laughing quietly as his finger purposefully travels around my face.
"Stop it, you know that tickles and sends my face funny .. what time is it? The alarm hasn't gone off yet." I mumble but keep my eyes closed as I curl into his warm body a little more.
I feel like shit!!
"Baby go back to sleep, I'm still tired, or are you horny ...." Maces hand quickly covers my mouth and he starts really laughing.
"Stop!! Don't say another word!!" he is now having a fit of giggles "The doctor is here with your meds!!"
"What?!" I open my eyes to look at him lay there laughing, and suddenly realize where we are - in the hospital. "Oh shit!" I mumble as I stare up at him "I thought this was all just an awful nightmare and we were at home, in our bed."
"I guessed." he laughs "I am not sure Dad would want to hear what usually comes out of your mouth next, the doctor either."
I wander why he keeps almost spitting out the word doctor. My eyes search around and I see my Dad is standing by the bed, and he is not alone, Forrest is with him. Dad is laughing quietly but Forrest isn't, his face is like thunder.
I know he is not going to be happy about catching me sleeping with Mace for a second time. Surprisingly, after our last conversation, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty for being in Maces arms this time. I lie still and continue to stare up at Mace while I am waiting for Forrest to start.
"Seriously, this is not a hotel, you should know better than anyone Dr Rock!! One patient to a bed!! I don't know what you do in that Cherry Hill hospital of yours, but here ... this ... is not normal practice." Forrest snaps at me.
"We are not exactly normal patients are we ... Dr Rock" I laugh at him sarcastically "Chill out, you are starting to sound like you have too much starch in your boxers like Mango!!" this makes both Dad and Mace laugh, but not Forrest.
Forrest grabs Maces chair and almost rams it into the bed telling him to get into it. He man handles Mace without a care, dragging him out of the bed and into his chair quite roughly, which I do not like.
"You need to quit with that spiteful temper of yours ... Mace is not a rag doll!! You could have left him where he was, what harm is he doing?!"
"You two need to grow up!!" he snaps at me "Only titty babies need to share a bed, but I guess the drama queen is scared of the dark and can't sleep on his own, just in case the monsters under the bed get him!!"
"Sod off you green twat!!" Mace snaps "Its you who needs to grown up!!"
"Actually it is my fault!!" I snap at Forrest "You of all people should know I am a clingy baby and HATE sleeping alone especially when I'm ill!! And right now I feel pretty damn sick!!"
"Why what is wrong with you?" he frowns at me
"I've been shot remember and my insides have been rearranged." I mumble sarcastically
"Open." he snaps as he thrusts a thermometer in my mouth, glaring at me as he grabs my wrist and checks my pulse.
"Should you be doing that hubby dear ... what about if you make my pulse race!" I laugh at him to try and lighten his mood.
"That is not likely is it!!" he snaps at me "You said our sex life was a joke, remember!!"
He removes the themometer which he frowns at before he grabs my hospital gown unceremoniously and whips it up quickly exposing everything from my chest down.
"You be careful ... arent you supposed to ask before you go stripping the patient like a maniac. My Dad is in the room ... what if I had a problem down there!!"
"Do you ever stop!! Life is just one big joke to you isn't it Granite." he snaps at me, pulling an angry glare because Mace is laughing "It is nothing me and your Dad haven't seen before a million times, and as it goes ... you don't have a problem, so I guess Mace must be losing his touch!!" he makes me wince pressing on my scars a little too hard, more than once.
"OUCH!! Someone has got their claws out!!" I snap at him "Seriously Dr Rock, your bedside manner needs to be worked on, its diabolical!!" I wince again "I hope you don't treat and speak to all your patents like this!! And if you are trying to hurt me on purpose you are doing a damn good job of it!!" I snap at him as I push his hands away from my stomach.
"I'm not as it happens!!" he says in a matter of fact way as he walks away from me and the bed and over to the sink to wash his hands.
"One of your incisions is red, inflamed and weeping, so I don't have to tell you do I doctor, that it is infected, and why it hurts. You also have an accelerated temperature and pulse." he says as he starts rooting around in the medicine cabinet.
"Oh .. so Mace isn't losing his touch after all!!" I laugh at him. Forrest glances over his shoulder and glares at me "Well
you better get me some anti biotics doctor and
quick smart. I'm more susceptible to infection, after all the surgery I've had and especially the transplant!"
"What the hell do you think I am doing!!" he snaps nastily "You obviously know how weak and vunerable your body is right now while it is getting used to some major changes, which is all the more reason why you should not be sharing your bed with another patient!! You could catch anything off your bitch." the way he says bitch makes me laugh.
"Oh don't worry, if I was going to catch anything off my bitch, I would have done it by now, and me and Mace don't mind sharing germs, like we share everything else!!"
"If I had my way, you would be sharing something else ... barbiturates!!" he mumbles as he walks across the room filling a syringe.
"Oh you would just love that wouldn't you!!"
"Yes because when you are in a coma, you don't answer back and I wouldn't have to listen to the drama queens constant whining!!" he snaps as he grabs my notes off the end of the bed and starts flicking through them, a scowl on his face. "It beats me how you put up with his earache all the time!!"
"Excuse me!! The only person whining around here is you!!" Mace snaps at Forrest
"Seriously Forrest, you need to wind your neck in and leave Mace alone!! If you want to take it out on someone, take it out on me by all means, just leave Mace out of it!! And as for me answering back, you had better get used to it ... I wear my own trousers these days, because I've grown a brain and tongue of my own while I've been away from you and your suffocating ways!!"
"Oh shut up Granite!!" he snaps as he comes at me with the needle.
"I am warning you!! Gab me with that like you did earlier .... and I will lose it." I snap at him angrily. "Actually, give me that needle, I don't trust you not to stab me with it ... I'll do it myself!! I snatch the needle off Forrest and I glance at Mace who is already cringing at the sight of the needle. "Baby look away, I don't want you barfing all over me, I already feel off, and you will be having hysterics if I barf back!!"
Mace laughs as he covers his eyes which makes me laugh at him. I roll the sleeve up on my hospital gown and give myself the anti biotic injection. After taking the empty syringe off me, Forrest gives me my meds which I take quickly before I smile at my Dad who has just been standing quietly watching. He has a troubled and concerned look on his face.
"Have you two stopped performing now?" he frowns at me "Only we need to talk about something."
"Seriously Dad, if you have any more bomb shells to drop on me, can they wait until tomorrow. I really just want to go back to sleep. I'm not sure my head can take anything else in and I am actually not feeling too good right now!!" he smiles at me
"I am sorry this one is unavoidable and we'll try to make it quick so you can go back to sleep." he smiles at me "Me, Mace and Slate are being discharged tomorrow."
Straight away my stomach starts to tighten itself into knots as I glance at Mace. I am worried that he will not get bail, especially as I am stuck in the hospital and will not be able to go to court with him. Without thinking I automatically grab for his hand.
"He is going to get bail isn't he!!" I frown at Dad
"Yes, it should just be a formality." he smiles "We need to sort out the living arrangements, only they seem to be a little up in the air again ... Mace will need an address in this town for the court and we can't go in there saying we don't know where we will be living yet because then he won't get bail,
they will class him as homeless and just bang him up." my eyes widen
"Elderberry says, if we are stuck, we can always crash at hers, but there is not room for all of
us like you want."
"Maybe that's not such a bad idea, you Mace and Jasmine staying with El and when I am discharged I'll find us a place to rent big enough for all of us."
"We might have a few problems with that, firstly Slate and Bayleaf have said there is a house shortage in this town as it is, and definitely not any big enough to rent to fit us all in like you plan. Secondly we really need to give them a fixed and permanent address for Mace, they are not going to be happy about him moving about."
"I know a place that would solve all of our problems." I mumble as I glance at Forrest.
"Oh No!! Before you even start ... HE IS NOT living under my roof with us!!" Forrest snaps at me. "Besides don't forget Atlas will be living at mine too."
"Fine!! Like I told you earlier - there is no 'us' and Mace is my boyfriend and staying with me, and I am not having this argument with you all over again, because you don't like my decision. Atlas is not a problem, he could jump in with you."
"Get lost Granite!!"
We are now snapping at each other quite angrily ... here we go again!! Then I remember something
"Actually speaking to Dad earlier, I reminded myself of something!! Technically, it is not actually your roof is it Forrest!!" he frowns
"What are you going on about?!" he glares at me.
"Who's name is on the deeds?! MINE not yours because you was too busy to drop what you was doing when the solicitor phoned when the house came through!!" I snap at him sarcastically "Who actually paid for that house?! Not you, it was my inheritance money so technically Dad paid for it.
"And?!" he snipes
"I get now why you have sat wallowing in that house for the past twenty years .... it's not like you can actually sell it!! You have been stuck there, you needed me with your name not on the deeds, so really you don't have any right to tell me who can and can not live there!! The law will tell you I have more right to be in that house than you do!!"
"Oh now you are just being childishly petty!!" he snaps
"And you are not!!" I laugh at him. "You would love nothing more
than Mace to be banged straight up and not get bail!! Well, it is your own fault Forrest if you are being so totally unrealistic about our relationship, which I shouldn't have to remind you, ended twenty years ago!! You playing your games is not going to get me back or split me and Mace up so you may as well quit now!! I have just as much right to be living in that house as you do, and I would much rather upset you than have Mace banged up before he needs to be!!" I snap at him "So Me, Mace, Jasmine, Dad, Slate, Bay ... we will be moving into MY house and if you don't like it ... MOVE OUT!!" I snap at him "I am too sick for all this shit, and I already have enough to think about without having to worry about us all being homeless and Mace not getting bail!!"
"Can't we just go home until my trial? I hate this town anyway!!" Mace mumbles "We could get you transfered to our own hospital!!"
"I'm sorry Son, as much as we all would love to get out of this town, I think you know yourself that is not possible." Dad says to Mace as he sits down "I expect a condition of your bail will be to remain in this town until the trial, and might I remind you ... your false identity ... you don't actually have a valid passport yet do you Mace." Mace just pulls a face. Dad turns to me "Of course there is always the other house, I'm not sure my nerves or head can cope with the agro going on between you three." he mumbles thoughtfully "I could give the court the address and explain the situation. Mind, the tenants would have to be given notice, a month at least to be fair ... we could always move in there, we would have to live separately for a month but after that we can all live together."
"What house?" Mace and Forrest both frown and ask at the same time.
"Dad still owns our old house here on Rasberry Avenue." Forrest's eyes nearly pop out of his head.
"Actually Granny ..." Dad laughs at me "I don't own the house ... legally, you do."
"I had it transfered over to you after your Mother faded." he
laughs as he pulls something out of his pocket. "I brought this with
me, because I was going to give it you, we just never got round to talking about it properly earlier, because you was getting tired and soft lad came in." He hands me the papers.
"Tell me you are joking!!" I laugh at him as I open the house deeds up and stare at them in disbelief, my name there in black and white. "I don't know what to say ..."
"It was the logical thing to do with it, so it couldn't be traced back to me and my new identity uncovered. If I had actually faded, when your Mother went it would automatically have gone to you anyway, being the oldest, and you was the one that I expected to need the house to fall back on the most." he smiles at me "When I gave you the deeds I was going to give Gravel the account with the accumulated rent in it .... I guess I should give that to Slate now as he has lost everything because of Gravel."
"Actually that's not such a bad idea. I can't take this ... it will just tempt me to stay here and I know that is not what you want." I smirk at him and he laughs at me "Can I transfer the house over to Slate, if that's okay with you. He needs it, when I already own two, I don't need another one."
"That's fine, I know he is really worrying about having nothing because of those babies, and yes it is a good thing to remove any temptation." Dad smiles at me "The house and the money will take a huge weight off his shoulders, even if you two do what I hope and he doesn't get to live in it, he will have it as an investment. "
"I will get it transfered over to Slate as soon as I get out of here.
One of my first jobs is to sort out Mace a decent solicitor for the
trial" I pull a face at Mace "As well as get all yours and our joint shit put into your right name." I thump his arm.
"Well I guess my shopping days are over, you finally get to snap up my cards." he grins at me which makes me laugh at him.
"Who is renting that house now?" I frown at Forrest who I notice is watching me with an amused look on his face.
"Affair and Cherry." I frown at him as I shrug my shoulders. "Preludes colourless son, his wife and their three toddlers." his face drops "Please tell me you are not thinking of kicking them out so you can move in?!"
"It doesn't look like you are giving us much choice does it!!" I snap at "Well isn't this peachy ... on paper I own three houses and I can't live in any one of them!! I can't go home. I am not having earache off you or Prelude beat me up for turfing his son out onto the streets, he's a phyco. Then we have your shit, splitting everyone up because it suits you better!!" Mace laughs
"We also have my house in Apple Hill" he grins at me. "There is nothing stopping us from moving in there."
"I think you know Apple Hill is way out of the question Mace!!" Dad frowns at him "Why do you think the armed guards are outside soft lad!!" he laughs "It is not really safe for us to be here as it is and Apple Hill is the last place we need to be right now, especially you Mace!! Every man you have helped to put behind bars ... their wives, children and families will be after your blood!!"
"Oh boy!! Four houses between us and we are homeless!!" I laugh at Mace. "You better get sucking up to your best mate Elderberry, to make sure she sits on her phyco when we evict his Son and Grandchildren .. I think Raspberry Avenue is the best option for all of us.."
"Okay, Okay!!" Forrest snaps "You can all move into mine, as long as you leave Affair and Cherry alone, but I am warning you Granite, keep your bitch out of my face or I won't be responsible for my actions!!"
"Fine, and I am warning you, make mine, Maces or Jasmines life hell and you'll be the one out on the streets!!" I glance at Mace with a smirk on my face "Where is my wallet and chain bitch?"
"HE has them!" Mace points at Forrest
Forrest goes into his back pocket and pulls out my wallet and chain which amuses me.
I take them off him and open the chain so that I can get the key and Maces ring off, which I hand to him. I leave my wedding and engagement ring on the chain.
"Where's my watch?" I frown at Mace
"Turmeric has taken it to a jewellers in Sugar Falls to be repaired." I frown at him "Somehow it got smashed, we think ... when you was shot and you dropped and hit the floor." he looks at me sheepishly
"I told him not to bother, because you don't really like that watch, I know you
only wear it to keep me happy. You don't have to if you don't want to anymore."
"It's fine, its kind of grown on me." I laugh at him as I pass him the key.
"The front door key." I smile at him as I take my credit card out of my wallet and hand it to him along with my chain and house deeds. "Put those in your handbag." he laughs at me "I take it you are up to a shopping trip with Dad tomorrow." he smirks at me "You'll have to go to Sugar Falls and get everything we need, socks and boxers especially we didn't bring many with us - no labels ..." he laughs at me "I've hardly got any aftershave left and you need to do some food shopping while you are there, you really aren't going to like the supermarket in Sugar Valley, it only sells basic stuff. Don't forget the honey, peanut butter and lemon curd." I smirk at him
"Stop it!!" he laughs as he thumps me "Anything else?"
"Yes, you will have to get us a double bed ... and not one of your princess beds before you even ask!!" he sticks his lip out but laughs. "We could do with a small wardrobe, I don't want to live out of a suitcase ... and get anything that Jasmine needs ... Slate too, you should take him with you, he might need a few things as the police have only left him with the clothes on his back."
"And where the hell do you think the wardrobe and bed are going to go?" Forrest snaps
"The dining room ... clear it out so we can turn it into a bedroom, it will be ideal for Mace especially having a downstairs bathroom." Forrest just pulls a face at me "I bet that room is still not used, so it is not like it is going to inconvenience you in any way!! You will need to get a ramp put on the front door so he can get his wheelchair in and out, those steps are going to be a nightmare."
"Anything else?" he snaps sarcastically
"Yes, the shower? Do you have one downstairs now?"
"No. I only need one." he snaps
"We are going to need a shower putting in ... one big enough to get his chair into." he pulls a face "You don't need to worry yourself, I'll pay for it and Mace can sort it all out, he's good at renovating and redecorating."
"Seriously!?" Can't he just have a bath like any normal person!!" Forrest snaps
"Mace doesn't do baths! He needs a shower."
"No he doesn't like sitting in dirty water." Dad laughs "Not even his own."
"Twat!!" Forrest snaps sarcastically "Anyway, it's about time he went back to his own room and bed!"
"Oh No!! he is sleeping in here with me tonight!"
"No he can't .. Slate is in that bed." he snaps "Mango won't have it, you two sharing a bed, not in his department ... "
"I don't give a shit what you or Mango have to say!! He's sleeping in with me tonight and if anyone wants to kick up a fuss about it, then I'll just discharge myself." I smirk at him "That's all doctor, you have wasted enough of your time in here already, I'm sure you have other patients to see too!"
"Fine, but you can drop your arrogance, you are not Head in this hospital!!" he snaps as he starts to storm out "Don't say I didn't warn you!!"