Sera: I gasped when Thom went down. He let go of my hand. There was a knife sticking out of the right side of his chest. He sat back against the wall as blood quickly soaked his shirt.
“You’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be fine,” I whispered urgently. Tears blurred my vision. I brushed his hair out of his eyes.
Someone touched my back. I turned around and stood up in one sudden movement.
“Rian?” I gasped. I was shocked; I hadn’t seen him in almost three years, not since Thom and I had gotten married.
“Hey, Sera,” he was as impersonal as usual. He kneeled down next to Thom. “Sorry about this,” he whispered as he pulled the knife out of Thom’s chest. Thom groaned miserably.
The man called Klater was running down the hallway. Rian threw the knife and it hit Klater in the neck, killing him instantly. I gasped at Rian’s killer instinct.
“Let’s go,” Rian said. As if I needed to be prompted to leave. He pulled a little red box out of his pocket. It had a screen and buttons. He pushed a few buttons and attached it to the wall. The screen lit up. It read 00:05:00 for a moment before it started counting down.
Rian and I each grabbed one of Thom’s arms and lifted him to his feet. We hurried to the stairs, and half carried, half dragged Thom down the concrete steps. We threw open the door and walked out as fast as we could. But we were still too slow.
The building exploded behind us when we got to the street. We crossed the street and sat down on the sidewalk on the other side. Thom couldn’t handle the stress anymore. He passed out with his head on my shoulder.
Thom: I heard the sirens, the next thing I knew I was being wheeled to the operating room. I heard Sera’s familiar voice. I could tell she was crying.
Sera: Thom was in surgery. The knife had gone between two of his ribs and pierced his lung. I paced across the waiting room, twisting my wedding ring around my finger.
Rian was calmly sitting in a chair. I’d had two coffees in the cafeteria, but they just made me jittery. I longed for some alcohol; it would calm my nerves. I’d been here for an hour. Rian reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a flask. He took a drink, then went to put it back in his pocket. I wrenched it out of his hands and took a long, deep drink. I wasn’t sure what it was. I didn’t really care. It was whatever people put in a flask, I guess, maybe whiskey or vodka. I handed it back to Rian. He looked at me in shock.
Thom’s doctor walked into the waiting room. I hurried over to him, eager for news about my husband.
“His condition is stable, but serious,” the doctor said.
“Can I see him?” I asked anxiously.
“Yes,” he glanced at my arm. “What happened?” There was a large, red burn on my left arm. It must have been from the explosion. I hadn’t even noticed.
“Come with me,” he said.
Thom: The door to my room opened. Sera walked in. She’d been crying. Her arm was wrapped in gauze.
She pulled a chair over to my bed, and sat down. I looked up into her concerned blue eyes. She held my hand, and ran her finger across my palm.
“How are you feeling?” she mumbled.
“Like I’ve been stabbed.”
“Do you remember anything?” she asked, quickly changing the subject. A tear dripped onto my hand.
“Not really. It’s all hazy. I saw Rian though.”
“Yeah, he blew up the building. He’s in the waiting room,” she muttered.
“What happened to your arm?” I asked.
“I guess the explosion got me,” she said carelessly.
I tightly held her hand. “Sera, don’t do this to yourself. None of this was your fault. If I hadn’t met you I’d still be living underground.” She smiled a little.
Sera: Thom was getting out of the hospital today. He’d been there for two weeks. Rian had left the day after the stabbing, and we hadn’t heard from him since.
I waited for Thom with my car at the side of the hospital. I twisted my wedding ring around my finger. A nurse wheeled him out. He said something to her that I couldn’t hear. He slowly stood up and took a few tentative steps forward, then steadily walked toward me.
When he got to me, he wrapped his arms around me, and kissed me softly. I hugged him, but not very tightly. I didn’t want to hurt him. He squeezed me tightly. I held him strongly. He didn’t seem to notice the pain.
“I have good news,” I said, as we got in the car. I smiled.
“Oh, really,” he said. A huge smile spread across his face. As the car started up I whispered my news in his ear. He leaned over and kissed me lovingly.
Thom: I walked over to Sera. She cradled our baby in her arms. He was three months old.
“How’s my little Arik?” I asked.
“He’s good,” Sera said. She kissed me. She was meant to be a mother. I’d always thought she was strikingly beautiful, now she was even more so; her eyes were an even brighter blue than usual lately.
I rubbed Arik’s fuzzy hair. He smiled. He had my hair and nose, and Sera’s eyes and mouth.
Sera’s hair was frizzy and messy; I smoothed it down with my hand. She smiled at me. I kissed her.
I took Arik from her and cradled him gently. He laughed. So did Sera. The three of us sat down on the couch. I looked at my little family and smiled. I could get used to normal life.