The confrontation with Irving is, fortunately, short lived and not as serious as it might have been. Austin does ride to the hospital in the ambulance, due to the injuries he sustained from the shattered sign. Liat gets a ride with Irma the gate guard.
Irma drove off and Liat wandered into the emergency room. Dwight was there already, pacing in the cramped space. He rushed to Liat’s side when he saw her.
“I saw him, he’s fine. Some glass splinters and bruising on his throat.”
“His throat? Why?”
“Bastard tried to choke him with the golf club.”
“What a wretch!”
“Are you Liat?” the nurse asked from the doorway.
“Yes. I am.”
“He’s asking for you. We don’t usually let anyone but family back, but he’s insisting. Seeing it’s Austin, Doc said it was okay.”
“Thanks, awfully!” She followed the nurse back. “Is it because he’s famous?” Liat asked her.
“We saw the interview with Liz,” she replied. “Anyone who does that for strangers deserves special privileges.” She smiled and opened a door to a treatment room.
Austin lay on his belly, his back exposed. He was peppered with bits of glass and debris, his throat mottled red, blue and purple. He smiled feebly.
“They have me all pumped up on something really lovely,” he mumbled. “Feel all floaty.” He wiggled his fingers, flapping his hands at the wrist as if he were flying.
She sat next to him, taking his hand. She kissed him gently. “That was very brave. Not very smart, but very brave.”
He chuckled. “Next time, I’ll call the stunt double.”
“Thank you for protecting me,” she whispered. “And thank you for a delicious time earlier. I hope we can continue that soon.”
“Me too. Was—luscious.” His eyes drifted closed and he snored slightly with his face pressed against the table.
A white clad doctor and a nurse in pink scrubs, walked in.
“I’m Doctor Dickens,” the young woman said, extending her hand. “I’m a big fan. My colleague got stuck with the fat guy.” She smirked. “We flipped a coin.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Liat Vogel, the newest companion—and his girlfriend.”
“You lucky girl!”
“I like to think so. I’ll get out of your way.”
“I’ll let you know when we’re done. Don’t worry. The cuts are superficial and the bruises and swelling will go down in a few days. It could have been much worse.”
Liat kissed Austin once more before leaving. He didn’t stir, but she hadn’t expected him to. Dwight stood when she came out. She was surprised to see a room full of people. Many of the cast and crew members were there, anxiously waiting.
“He’s fine,” she announced. “Minor cuts and some bruising. He’ll be all better soon.” She burst into tears.
Dwight embraced her, holding her close. The cast and crew people hugged one another. A couple of the other assistants went to the cafeteria for coffee and cookies. They brought them back, distributing them. They waited, chatting quietly, for about half an hour. When the door opened and Doctor Dickens walked out, they stood.
She smiled. “He’s doing great. He’ll be groggy for awhile. The pain medication worked better than I anticipated. He’ll be sore for a few days,” she told Liat. “And he shouldn’t exert for about a week. The throat is fine, but he should follow up with his own doctor in the next day or two. Any questions?”
Liat had millions, but wasn’t sure what to ask first. Dwight stepped forward, introducing himself. He asked several questions, clarifying instructions and took all the paperwork.
“I can sign him out,” he told the nurse. “I’ve got his medical power of attorney.”
Liat raised an eyebrow.
“We did it as a precaution,” he told her without her asking. “Since he has no family, he asked me if I’d act as his next of kin.”
“You take such good care of him.”
Dwight held her close. “He says that his job saved him, well mine saved me too. I was in a dark place when he hired me. His friendship has been the biggest blessing I ever had.”
Liat nodded, her cheek pressed against his chest. She could hear his heart beating and it was comforting having his strong arms around her.
Sandy approached, speaking softly. “I know he’s going to ask, so please assure him that this isn’t going to be a problem for the show. We have enough footage for several episodes, so he can take time off with no worries.”
“Thanks, Sandy.” Liat hugged the director.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes