She gave him a mock pout, a little bit of color returning to her too pale cheeks. “Have we met? Of course I want a cookie. If there is ever a question of getting a cookie—you get the damn cookie.”
“Noted,” he chuckled, standing and stretching out his back with a pained groan. “Those reclining chairs were not designed for anyone over five feet tall to sleep in.”
“You should go home,” Sunny said as she sat up a little higher on the bed, fiddling with the controls. “Get some sleep. Dr. Muller, can you let Jesse and Anya know it’s okay to come back?”
As she raised the bed up, he looked around for his phone. “Don’t push it. I’ll go get you food and clean up, but I’m not leaving.”
Now sitting fully upright, she wrinkled her nose. “I have to pee, go away so I can walk to the bathroom. I don’t want you to see my butt hanging out in this hospital gown.”
“Actually,” Dr. Muller said, “You’ll need someone to help you to the bathroom just to make sure you’re steady on your feet.”
“Fine, I’ll have Anya do it,” Sunny replied with a stubborn look in his direction. “I don’t care if we are married, I’m not using the bathroom with you listening.”
“No,” she growled. “I’ll pee this bed first.”
Seeing the familiar stubborn set to her chin, he sighed, “Fine.”
“Knock knock,” came Anya’s voice from the doorway.
Anya, wearing jean shorts and a pale pink shirt that stretched over her baby bump, walked into the room with Jesse close behind her. With a soft cry, Anya rushed over to the bed and wrapped Sunny up in a big hug. The women clung to each other, and his heart gave a soft ache as he watched them both brush away tears as they whispered.
Jesse gave him a meaningful look as he said, “Why don’t we let Anya help Sunny. Dr. Muller said we have marching orders to get Sunny some food. Lord knows Anya could probably use a snack as well. She gets hangry.”
“Hey!” Anya glared at her smirking husband. “I’m growing your giant baby, it’s hungry work.”
Jesse held up his hands and said to Hawk, “Let’s get out of here before she gets violent.”
Hawk wanted to be selfish and stay with Sunny, but he could see she was in good hands with Anya.
It wasn’t until they were alone in the elevator that he noticed Jesse had a dark look on his face as he stared distractedly at the closed doors.
“Hawk,” he said abruptly, turning so they faced each other. “Have you checked your phone recently?”
“No, I can’t find it. Why?”
Rubbing his beard with one hand, Jesse said, “Some gossip shows got ahold of a video of your wedding…and your reception. They—fuck, they’ve put up the video of Sunny having a seizure on the Internet. It’s been viewed millions of times.”
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open to the main floor, the sound rushing in.
He remained frozen, sure he was trapped in some kind of bad dream. “What?”
People gave him curious looks as he stood there in shock.
Jesse hustled him out of the elevator and into an empty hallway.
Keeping his voice low, he put both hands on Hawk’s shoulders and squeezed. “You okay?”
He managed to mumble, “How?”
“We don’t…” Jesse gave him a conflicted look, his eyes swimming in sympathy before he said, “I can’t say for sure, but from the angle of the footage, it looks like your mom’s phone.”
The news hit him like a slap and the pain in his heart had him rubbing his chest. “My mom? My mother sold videos of my wedding to the tabloids?”
Jesse cast a worried look down the hall, where a few people shot them concerned glances. “Shhh, keep it down. The press doesn’t know what hospital Sunny is in yet. So far, we’ve managed to keep the vultures at bay, but it’s only a matter of time.”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Hawk yelled.
“Hey!” Jesse grabbed the back of his neck in a firm grip. “Keep it together. Sunny needs you.”
A poisonous rage tried to consume him, tried to break him, but he held tight. “Sunny needs me.”
“Yeah…shit, they’re filming us. Come on.”
Jesse led Hawk to another set of elevators, and they waited in silence until the doors opened. Once they were inside, he could see a couple people in the lobby holding up their cell phones, their faces clearly showing they knew who he was. He’d bet at least one of them either posted video of him at the hospital on their social media, or planned to sell the footage to a tabloid.
Just like his mother had done.
“Why? Why would she do that to me?”
“We don’t know for sure if it’s her.” Jesse’s tone revealed that he did indeed know it was her. “Maybe…maybe her phone was stolen or something.”