“Honey,” she murmured as she shifted so she could cradle his head against her. “It’ll be okay.”
She held him as he cried, wrapping his arms around her too slender body, praying with all his might that she would be okay. He begged God to keep her safe, promised to be a good person for the rest of his days, to never take Sunny for granted. He begged God to be merciful over and over again.
Through the storm of his emotions breaking through his careful control, Sunny rocked him gently and murmured, her soft hands stroking him lovingly.
When he was able to finally draw a breath, his head throbbed and he felt hollowed out inside, but a little better.
Like a blister had burst, releasing the poison inside of him.
“I love you, so much,” Sunny said as she dried his face with the edge of the sheet.
A loud knock came from the door and an older male nurse gave them a chagrined smile. “Sorry to interrupt, but Dr. Vanti wants Mrs. DelRay nice and rested for tomorrow. You’re welcome to spend the night, Mr. DelRay, but she really does need to get her sleep. We can give you a sleeping pill if that will help.”
“No narcotics,” Sunny said instantly, not letting Hawk move when he tried to shift away.
“No narcotics,” the nurse agreed. “Just a simple anti-histamine-based sleeping pill.”
“Okay.” Sunny ran her hands through her short black curls. “When are they going to shave me?”
“In the morning,” the nurse said in a kind voice. “We can either do your entire head, or about half of it.”
She gave a tight laugh. “Think I’ll go for the full head. Otherwise I’ll look like some weird 80s German goth kid.”
The nurse answered a few more questions as he got Sunny and Hawk settled in for the night. Kira had also brought clothes for Hawk, so he had a pair of pajamas to wear. As he’d dug through the bag, he gave a grunt of surprise when he came across a small silver framed photo that Kira must have put in there of Sunny and Hawk’s first kiss at their wedding. Pulling it out, he showed it to Sunny, her huge smile filling him with happiness.
“Look how much you love me,” she marveled as she traced her fingers over the glass.
The nurse peeked over her shoulder as he checked her monitors. “That is a great picture. My daughter would love that dress. She’s getting married this winter. Mind if I ask where you got it?”
Sunny’s happy chatter filled the air while Hawk looked for his phone. He found it in the side pocket of the bag and turned it on, sighing as his screen blew up with notifications. After skimming a few dozen messages and responding to the important ones, he put the rest off until later. His PR lady was already doing damage control for the disastrous wedding reception video, and people he hadn’t spoken to in years had reached out to offer their sympathy.
“Mr. DelRay?” a solid-looking black man in a policeman’s uniform stood by the door. “My name is Sergeant Pierce. Can we talk to you for a minute?”
“Is everything okay?” Sunny asked from the bed as she looked up from talking with the nurse.
“Yes, ma’am. Everything’s fine. We just need to coordinate with Mr. DelRay and his security for a moment.”
“Security?” Sunny asked. “Why would we need security?”
“You know how it is,” Sergeant Pierce said with a bright smile, “celebrities and their entourage, everyone wants to get a look at the big star. We’re used to it ‘round here, with all the politicians and heads of state we got coming in and outta the hospital. Just routine stuff.”
Sunny didn’t look completely convinced, but she nodded. “Okay, but don’t take too long.”
“We won’t,” Hawk promised, giving her a kiss before he left.
Once they were outside in the hallway, Sergeant Pierce led him to a small room and closed the door.
The other man turned and ran his hand over his almost bald head, his eyes tired. “Just wanted to let you know that we’ve got officers covering the entrances to your floor, and will be assigning an officer to your room as well.”
“What?” Hawk’s shoulders tensed at the other man’s dour expression. “What’s going on?”
“We got reporters trying everything they can think of to get a picture of you and your wife. Crazy shit. Tryin’ to sneak on elevators, pretend to be staff, bribe the people workin’ here.” Sergeant Pierce shook his head. “People have no fuckin’ respect anymore, pardon my language.”
“Shit.” Hawk fisted his hands in helpless anger. “Are we in any danger?”
“No, nothin’ like that. Just the bottom feeders tryin’ to suck you dry.”
“Don’t worry. No one is gettin’ through to you or your wife without your direct permission. I’ll need you to make up a list of approved visitors, but let anyone coming know they’ll need ID. Tell them to call the station and talk to Detective Bing, he’ll give them instructions for how to enter the hospital. I know our measures may seem a little extreme, but no one is getting close to your wife on my watch.”