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Lying next to Trey, Megan’s left hand gradually lost its grip. A young deputy sheriff draped a small blanket over her nearly naked body before picking her up. The shotgun slipped from her hand, dropping into the mud.
“Jack Sutter’s ranch.” Megan mumbled. “The horses…”
“What Miss?” The deputy asked, leaning over her face.
Megan was lulled into near unconsciousness, unable to speak further. The deputy stretched her out on the gurney. Two EMT’s picked her up and wheeled her towards a waiting ambulance. Red, blue and clear lights reflected off the house and trees as they rolled her down the driveway. Looking in the distance, she could see another team of medical personnel working on Trey, still lying in the doorway.
“We’ve got another massacre on our hands!” A deputy exclaimed, standing next to the ambulance’s rear doors. “Looks like some sort of drug deal gone bad!”
The rear doors slammed shut blocking Megan’s view of the men working over Trey. As one of the medical technicians started inserting an IV into her left arm, she lapsed into unconsciousness.
The next thing Megan remembered was being rolled down a corridor into the medical center’s emergency room. Looking up, the rows of fluorescent lights became one long, blurry stream of illumination. Her body felt cold and numb. She could move her hands but her arms ached terribly.
A doctor dressed in green scrubs, walked up to the examination table as the EMT’s transferred her from the gurney. He looked to be in his mid to late fifties. His tousled gray hair matched his short trimmed beard.
“I’m Doc Holliday.” He said, leaning over her and smiling. “No kiddin’! It’s my real name.”
The doctor removed the blanket from Megan, tossing it to a corner of the curtained examination area. Pulling her panties down for a quick look and seeing her breasts and face badly bruised he immediately asked for a second nurse.
“Cut her underwear off and remove her shoes and socks!” He commanded the second nurse. “And get me a rape kit!”
“We’ve got a real mess with this one.” The doctor muttered. “We need to make sure we get the bastard!”
“I shot him.” Megan mumbled.
“You shot him?” The nurse at Megan’s side murmured. “Good for you.”
“Trey……….” Megan mumbled, her raspy voice trailing off.
“This is gonna hurt Miss but I’ve got to see how bad off you are.” Doc Holliday warned, spreading her legs apart.
While one nurse held her ankles, the doctor spread her pussy open with a speculum. Megan’s body tightened up as the pain became unbearable. Crying out, she begged for him to stop. The nurse at her side, held her arms down against the table.
“She’s got severe vaginal lacerating and tearing.” The doctor stated. “She’s a goddamn mess! At least the bastard didn’t inseminate her. That‘s one thing to be thankful for.”
Doctor Holliday gave the nurse instructions on what he wanted and then told both of them to get Megan to the x-ray department for tests and scans. He also ordered a mild sedative and pain medication for her.
Two men burst into the examination area, demanding to talk with Megan. Both middle-age men wore dark suits and ties, identifying themselves as FBI agents from the Santa Fe office.
“She’s not talking with anyone till I say so!” Doc Holliday exclaimed. “So you can quit flashing your badges! I’m not impressed one damn bit!”
“We need to talk with the lady while the events are still fresh in her mind.” One of the agents stated.
“I said NO!” The doctor retorted. “And, no means no. Maybe in the morning. Hell, maybe not even then. No one talks with her till I say so.”
“There’s a break room with coffee and vending machines just off the lobby.” Holliday said, pulling back the curtain and pointing the way. “Get out of my emergency room!”
As the nurses started to move Megan, Christine rushed up to her.
“Oh God, Megan!” She exclaimed, hysterically sobbing and grabbing Megan’s hand. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
Megan was helpless to respond. The pain medication and sedation were taking their toll on her. She tried to speak but she barely got her mouth to move. She wanted to find out about Trey, knowing he was seriously injured.
“John Henry!” Christine shouted with tears streaming down her face. “I want to know how bad she is!”
“She’s been raped, beaten and mauled.” Holliday responded. “How do you think she is?”
Megan drifted off to sleep, not waking till almost noon the next day. Moving her head to the side, she saw Maria sitting in a chair next to the bed.
“Ms. Reynolds, you awake?” She whispered, rising from her chair. “I’ll get Mrs. James.”
“Wait.” Megan muttered, grabbing Maria’s hand. “Trey. How bad’s Trey?”
“Mr. James is down the hall.” Maria replied. “He has bad head injuries. You should talk with Mrs. James.”
Megan lie there waiting for Christina. Although her thoughts were on Trey and his condition, she didn’t know what to say about her other son, Collin and her brother, Brock. Christina entered Megan’s hospital room, closing canlı bahis the door behind her. She looked terrible from lack of sleep. Her face was swollen from crying.
“How’s Trey?” Megan asked as Christina made her way to the side of the bed.
“He’s going to be alright.” Christina replied. “He’s got a concussion and some scalp lacerations. He took a bullet but luckily it just crazed his right shoulder. They’re gonna keep him for awhile for observation.”
“I’m…I’m sorry about what Collin did to you.” The woman muttered, wiping her tears. “I’m so sorry about all of this.”
“It wasn’t your fault.” Megan murmured, grasping the woman’s hand. “Everything just got out of hand.”
“How’s Clint taking it?” Megan inquired. “He must be taking it hard.”
“We haven’t told him yet.” Christina replied. “We unplugged the television in his room and we’re not allowing anyone in. The doctor’s going to help me get him through this.”
“How’s my patient doing this morning?” Doc Holliday inquired, smiling as he entered the room. “Much better I hope.”
“I…I’m ok.” Megan mumbled. “How soon can I get out of her?”
“Well, let’s have a look at you.” Holliday responded. “It’s certainly not going to be today if that’s what you’re shooting for.”
“You might want to step out while I examine Ms. Reynolds.” He suggested to Christina.
“If it’s alright with Megan, I’d rather stay.” Christina replied, still holding her hand.
Megan nodded her head for the doctor to go ahead and examine her. Uncovering her from the waist up, Christina gasped seeing her covered with bruises. Seeing her reaction, Holliday ordered her to leave.
“She doesn’t need to see anymore.” The doctor said. “She’s gone through enough hell.”
Although Megan had quit bleeding from her vaginal wounds, she was still sore and in alot of discomfort. With the aid of a nurse, the doctor treated her internal wounds and ordered more pain medication.
“Those FBI guys are still waiting to talk to you.” Holliday stated. “You feel like talking to them so they’ll leave or do you want me to try and hold them off another day?”
“Let’s get it over with.” Megan responded. “I want them to go away.”
The two FBI agents entered the room. Christina was right behind them. They introduced themselves, displaying their badges and identification.
“We’d like to ask you some questions but it might be better if Mrs. James weren’t present.” One of the agents stated.
“It’s alright with me if she stays.” Megan responded. “It might be better. I won’t have to keep answering questions over and over.”
“We’d like you to start from the beginning of last evening.” One of the agents said. “Tell us exactly that happened and everything that was said.”
“Don’t leave out any details.” The other agent spoke up. “We need to know everything.”
Megan started with her and Trey driving out to the ranch on Spider Road. She slowed down try to relate the conversations and everything she overheard. Going into details about the rape, she stuttered and stammered, remembering the terror, pain and mauling. Talking about the shooting, she changed one detail, stating she had shot the sheriff from her position lying on the floor. One of the agents caught her in the deliberate lie.
“You shot him with the same gun that killed Collin James. Is that right?” The agent asked.
“Yes. The Glock .45.” Megan replied.
“According to the Coroner’s report, the sheriff was shot with a .38. Can you explain that?” He inquired.
Megan didn’t answer his question. She didn’t want Christina to know it was Trey who had shot her brother.
“Did Trey James shoot the sheriff?” He asked. “If it wasn’t you, it had to be him.”
Megan withheld answering; knowing the agents already knew the answer.
“Let’s say it was Trey so we can go on with your story.” He said. “It’s not the most important thing as to who shot who.”
Megan continued with her story, concluding with the shootout at Elaine Sutter’s home on the east side of Taos.
“We should have all the information we need for now but we’ll be contacting you in the near future, I’m sure.” One of the agents stated. “Where can we reach you?”
“She’ll be home with us on the Rockin J.” Christina spoke up before Megan could answer. “You can phone her there. But, only if you absolutely have to!”
As the FBI agents left her hospital room, Megan looked over at Christina standing next to the bed.
“I didn’t want you to find out about Trey shooting your brother.” Megan said. “I figured it best if I took the blame.”
“I had a chance to talk with the Coroner early this morning.” Christina commented. “He told me everything that was in his reports. I figured it had to be Trey who fired the shot.”
“I made arrangements to have Collin’s body cremated.” She added, her hands trembling. “They’re going to take him to Santa Fe as soon as they release his body to the funeral home.”
Holding hands, neither one said anything more, knowing words couldn’t soothe their emotional aches bahis siteleri and pains. Megan drifted off to sleep late in the afternoon, before the doctor and Christina left to inform Clint of the bad news.
Later that evening, Megan got a visit from the deputy sheriff who’d been first to arrive on the scene at Elaine Sutter’s home. Removing his western-style hat as he entered the room, he asked if he could speak with her. Megan was apprehensive at first until she remembered his face. He was the young man who had covered her with the blanket.
“I want to thank you for covering me up.” Megan said. “Guess I was putting on quite a show.”
“Well, mostly everybody looked at the mess inside the building.” The deputy responded. “We don’t see many scenes like that here in Taos County. At least, I haven’t anyway.”
“The reason, I stopped by was to let you know, I remembered you mentioning Jack Sutter’s ranch.” He added. “It’s down in Socorro County.”
“You were right. Your horses were there. At least, all but three of them according to the theft reports.” He stated, smiling. “But, I’m sure we’ll find them.”
“That’s wonderful!” Megan exclaimed, reaching out to hug the young man. “Mr. James will be so happy!”
“Well Miss, I gotta be getting back on patrol.” He said, blushing when Megan released her hold on him. “We got so many federal agencies down at the county building, we can hardly find a parkin’ place.”
“Federal agencies?” Megan inquired. “Which ones?
“FBI, DEA. Even the ATF have got some people in town.” He replied. “We ain’t used to all this commotion.”
“ATF!” Megan commented. “Are they looking for firearms?”
“I’m not sure what all they’re lookin’ for.” The deputy responded, grinning. “Seems like they’re doin’ more arguing amongst themselves than getting anything done.”
The following morning, Christina came in to see how Megan was doing. She was smiling as she approached her bed. Megan took it as a good sign.
“How’s Trey?” Megan inquired. “Can I see him?”
“Trey’s much better this morning.” Christina replied. “He’s eating without getting sick to his stomach. Clint’s sitting in his room with him.”
“You told him what happened?” Megan muttered. “How’s he taking it?”
“It hit him hard at first, losing Collin and all.” She replied. “But now he knows that Collin WAS involved in the horse thefts and smuggling drugs in from Mexico.”
“He said he’s till got Trey.” Christina added. “He’s thankful he still has one son, an heir to the ranch.”
“But Trey’s not his biological son.” Megan mumbled, looking away from Christina. “It’s not the same. It‘s never the same.”
“Trey’s my son. Over the years, Clint’s adjusted to that fact.” She said, rubbing her hand over Megan‘s. “Right now, he’s probably closer to Trey than ever before.”
“Did you hear they found our horses?” Christina asked. “They were down at Jack Sutter’s ranch near Socorro.”
“Yeah. One of the sheriff’s deputies stopped by last night an told me they’d found them.” Megan replied. “All but three he said.”
“Clint’s given me some phone numbers to call to see about getting them transported back to the ranch.” Christina commented. “I think I’ll wait till I get you home so you can help me. Ok?”
“Yeah, that’s fine.” Megan answered. “I hope they’ll release me today or at least, by tomorrow.”
“Not today!” Doc Holliday said, entering the room. “Maybe tomorrow and that‘s just a big maybe.”
“I can rest at the ranch as well as I can here.” Megan pleaded. “I can take care of myself. I need to be doing something instead of just lying here in bed.”
“Bet you just want one of those damn cigarettes, don’t ya?” Holliday remarked, grinning. “Well, you may as well kick the habit right now!”
“I will eventually.” Megan commented. “My butt’s getting tired from all this lieing around.”
“Can you stand up without help?” The doctor asked. “You wanna give it a try?”
After lowering the safety railing, Megan swung her legs over the side of the bed. A sharp pain shot up her back causing her to cringe. Grasping the bedsheets, she pulled them loose.
“It’s gonna be a couple of weeks before the back pain goes away. It’ll gradually ease up.” Holliday stated. “I’ll give you some pain medication to help you through it.”
With Christina’s assistance, Megan took her first steps in days. Her legs muscles ached but she put on a false smile trying to fool the doctor.
Sitting back down on the side of the bed, she asked the doctor if she could be released.
“I’m willing to make a deal with you.” Holliday responded. “You spend another day in the hospital and I’ll release you tomorrow morning. But, only if you’ll agree to my terms and come back in three weeks for a complete physical. And, you have to quit cold-turkey on the smoking and absolutely no alcohol whatsoever. Drink lots of water, no soft drinks!”
The doctor ran down a whole list of demands, getting Megan’s nod to each. Holliday told her she should walk with the aid of a cane until she could steady bahis şirketleri herself without effort.
“Ok, I can handle all that.” Megan stated, smiling. “Anything else?”
“Well, no sex for a month, at least vaginal sex anyway.” Doctor Holliday replied. “You’ve got to really take care of yourself from now on.”
“I’ll see that she does everything you’ve asked her to, John Henry.” Christina remarked. “I’ll keep an eye on her.”
“There is one other thing I think you should know.” Holliday said, grinning. “We’ve been running some test on your blood and body fluids.”
“You’ve tested positive twice for pregnancy.” He added, smiling. “You’re gonna have a baby.”
“Oh my!” Christina exclaimed, shocked. “We’re gonna have a baby!
Megan sat stunned in disbelief. Her eyes dropped to the floor as she absorbed the disturbing news.
“Megan, this is wonderful! Christina shouted.
“I’ll know more in three weeks.” Holliday commented, putting his hand on Megan‘s shoulder. “I’ll get you some brochures on prenatal care and things to do and not do during pregnancy.”
“I can’t be pregnant.” Megan mumbled. “I’ve been taking my pills.”
“Well, birth control pills aren’t a hundred percent effective.” Holliday remarked. “But, I’m sure you knew that.”
“I can’t be pregnant. I just can’t.” Megan responded. “I have to get out of here and back to Philadelphia right away.”
“Megan, you can’t leave!” Christina exclaimed. “You can’t just up and leave. There‘s no way!”
“It’ll be another month or so before you start showing.” Holliday stated. “Is that what you’re worried about?”
“I don’t want anyone to find out!” Megan exclaimed. “Especially not Trey! He’ll think I did it on purpose! I know he will!”
“He won’t think any such thing!” Christina responded. “I’ll kick his butt if he does! He’s got just as much to do with this as you!”
“Got just as much to do with what?” Clint shouted, pushing the wheels forward on his wheelchair as he entered Megan’s room.
“You talking about Trey or me?” He inquired, grinning.
“Promise me you won’t say a word.” Megan whispered to Christina.
Christina nodded her head even though she desperately wanted everyone to know. She was thrilled at the exciting news and wanted to share it with someone.
“How about everyone clearing the hell out so Megan and I can talk in private?” Clint suggested, rolling up alongside the bed.
With just the two of them in the room, Megan felt trapped. She didn’t know what to expect from Collin’s father.
“Mind telling me what you’re crying about?” Clint asked. “I know you’re worried about Trey but he’s gonna be alright. It’s just gonna take him time to get back on his feet.”
“I know. Christina’s been keeping me posted.” Megan responded. “I thought I’d walk down and see him later today. I guess he still wants to see me.”
“Hmmm. Mind telling me what that’s supposed to mean?” Clint curiously inquired.
Megan shook her head, not wanting to answer. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she attempted to change the subject by talking about recovering the stolen horses.
“The hell with the horses!” Clint exclaimed. “Let’s talk about you and Trey and the Rockin J. That‘s what‘s important.”
“I don’t know what there is to talk about.” Megan remarked. “I need to get the airplane back and then I’m going back to Philadelphia where I belong.”
“Fuck that goddamn airplane! Put that out of your mind!” Clint retorted. “You’re not going anywhere but back to the ranch! I won’t have it any other way!”
Clint spun his wheelchair around, hurriedly proceeding towards the doorway. He appeared to be quite angry.
“You know, I’m getting used to this contraption.” He stated, spinning around and staring at Megan. “Soooo……..you better get used to living at the ranch.”
“I have spoken!” He said grinning. “And, I’m still the boss!”
Early that evening, Megan paid a visit to Trey in his room down the hallway. Christina walked with her to help steady her. The pain medication was making her weak and dizzy.
“We still have a promise to keep, don’t we?” Megan asked. “About my being pregnant.”
“Yeah. I just wish you’d accept it better.” Christina replied. “Trey deserves to know. Clint would be dancing! I know he would.”
“Maybe some day, just not now.” Megan commented before entering Trey’s room.
Trey was lying on his side. The left side of his head had been shaven and heavily bandaged. His bruised face smiled when he saw Megan approaching him.
“Finally decided to come pay me a visit.” He quipped. “Thought maybe you’d forgotten about me.”
Megan didn’t reply to his remarks. Lowering the safety railing on Trey’s bed, she climbed on the bed with him.
“Scoot over. Quit hoggin’ the bed.” She murmured, stretching out next to him.
“I don’t think the hospital’s going to let you two get away with this.” Christina commented, raising the safety railing.
“Give us an hour or two alone.” Megan muttered. “We need some time together.”
Christina left the room, closing the door behind her. Trey put his arm around her, pulling her in snug to his warm body.
“I love you.” Trey whispered in her ear, placing his hand on her tummy. “I should have told you much sooner.”
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