Authors: Brenda Kennedy
Tags: #romance, #love, #military, #abuse of prescription drugs, #recovery addictions
Book Three of
The Freedom Trilogy
By Brenda Kennedy
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Chad Michael Kennedy
3-8-81 to 3-27-02
I would also like to dedicate this series to
the men and women in our military. Thank you.
Chapter One: To Live or Die
How can I help Raelynn heal
from her mother’s death? I don’t know how to do that! I barely held
myself together after Max’s death.
The doctor comes in and asks to speak to the
adults in private.
I’ll sit here with
Raelynn,” I whisper.
Yes, she’s already asleep.
We’ll stay here, you go and talk to the doctor.”
Thank you, I’ll be back as
soon as I can.”
Alec gently places Raelynn on my lap. She
snuggles close to me, and I hold my breath. I don’t want to wake
I’ll be just a few
minutes,” he says, as he strokes Raelynn’s long brown
I nod and give him a slight smile.
While they are gone, I scoot closer to
Molly’s bed. I feel someone should be near her.
I rock a sleeping Rae side to side. Molly’s
index finger moves and I stop rocking Rae and stare at her hand.
She slightly wiggles four fingers and then her thumb. I lean closer
and look at her face. Is she waking up? Molly blinks a few times
and whispers, “Please, help me.”
Em, there is going to be a
time when someone you meet will need your help.”
Who? I don’t
When the time comes, you
Oh, my God, Max was not talking about
Raelynn! He was talking about Molly!
I lean closer to Molly and just stare at
her. Maybe I imagined her asking for help. She lies still and
doesn’t move. Raelynn is still sitting on my lap as I try to calm
my racing heart. I hold Molly’s hand and will her to move her hand,
her finger, anything, for me.
I stare at her and she doesn’t blink. Her
right index finger moves slightly. “Please, help me,” she rasps,
and I get cold chills.
I push the nurses’ call light that is beside
Molly’s bed. I know the doctor is talking to Alec and Molly’s
parents, but someone needs to come in and check on Molly. The
nurse, the doctor, Alec, Sam, and Bridget all come into the room at
the same time.
Is everything all right?”
the nurse asks as she checks Molly’s vital signs on the monitor.
Molly’s eyes are closed and she appears to be sleeping.
S-s-she moved her right
hand and asked for help,” I stutter. I stand up and walk away from
Alec walks over to me and the doctor joins
the nurse on the other side of the bed. “Molly woke up and asked
for help?” Alec asks, as he takes Raelynn from my arms.
She moved her fingers and
blinked a few times before she said, ‘Please, help
Alec looks at me with concern. “Are you sure
she asked for help?”
I nod as I watch the nurse and the doctor
evaluate Molly. Sam and Bridget stand and watch as the doctor
shines his flashlight into their daughter’s eyes. Molly doesn’t
move, she doesn’t blink, and she doesn’t speak.
I’m sorry, there is no
change in her condition. It could have been a reflex. We’ll
continue to monitor her.” The doctor nods at Alec, Sam, and then
Bridget before he and the nurse walk out of the room.
I’m sorry, it sounded like
she was asking me for help,” I say loud enough for Sam and Bridget
to hear me.
It’s all right, Emma,” Sam
says, as he takes a seat beside his wife near
Alec leads me to a chair and places Raelynn
on my lap. He goes over to Molly’s bed and holds her hand. He
watches her closely as he speaks softly to her. I watch as he
raises one of her eyelids and then the other. He stands over her
bed and moves her hair away from her face, before joining Raelynn
I’m sorry,” I whisper. “It
sounded like she was asking me to help her.”
He takes Raelynn from my lap and gives me a
slight smile. “You have no reason to be sorry.” He sits beside me
and watches Molly and the monitors.
What did the doctor want to
talk to you about?” I whisper.
Alec looks at me and says, “He wanted to
know if we knew the man who was with Molly tonight. He didn’t have
any identification on him when they brought him in.”
I see. Is he here alone?” I
He must be. I think he is
in the room next door.”
I think about him being here alone and it
saddens me. “I need to use the powder room. I’ll be back in a few
I’ll walk with you,” Alec
says, as he begins to stand.
No, stay here in case there
is a change in Molly’s condition.”
Emma, they won’t let you in
to see him.”
I look at him and wonder how he knows I was
heading into his room. “I know, I need to use the powder room,” I
lie. I stand and walk out of the room and around the corner, before
he can say anything. When I hear beeping, I walk in the direction
of the sound. I peek into the sterile room and see a man lying
motionless in the bed. He looks to be in worse condition than
Molly, if that’s even possible.
I stand there and look
around to see if any medical staff are nearby. After several
seconds of not seeing anyone, I decide to walk into his room. He is
lying still with several machines and tubes nearby. I slowly and
quietly walk closer to him. He has an IV in one hand and has tubes
coming from his nose. He is on oxygen
I stand near his bed and just look
at him. He is a tall but thin man. I touch his hand; he feels cold.
He is covered with an all-white hospital blanket. Lowering my head,
I say a prayer that God will give him another chance. I pray that
they find his family soon and that he will soon be surrounded by
loved ones. Before I leave his room, I get an extra blanket and
cover him up. I pull the blanket up to his chin, the way that I
I turn around to leave and I jump when I see
Alec standing in the doorway watching me.
Did you get lost?” he asks
as he leans against the door frame.
Yes, silly me, I thought
the restroom was in here.” I walk past him without looking at
Turn right, it’s down the
hall on the left,” he says as I scurry past him.
Thank you.” I stay in the
restroom longer than I need to. Alec is probably waiting for me on
the other side of the door so he can see why I was in that man’s
When I am done I walk out of the restroom.
Sure enough, Alec is leaning against the wall waiting for me. He
doesn’t say anything and neither do I. I take his hand and we walk
down the hallway to Molly’s room. I stop outside of the man’s room
and look in. The doctor and a nurse are standing at his
Alec looks in the room, then looks down at
me. “All we can do is pray for him.”
I nod and squeeze his hand.
We sit at Molly’s bedside waiting for a
change, any change, in her condition. The detectives come in; they
want to talk with Molly’s parents. Anytime there is an overdose,
they need to investigate it to see if it was accidental or
intentional, not to mention investigating to find out anything
about the illegal drugs that were used.
Alec, would you mind
sitting in the interview with us?” Sam asks.
Emma, would you mind?” Alec
No, of course not. I’ll sit
here with Rae.”
They leave the room and I sit with Molly as
I hold a sleeping Raelynn on my lap. I stare at Molly and will her
to wake up. I pray that God gives her another chance and the
strength to fight. I also pray that God helps her friend. I watch
Molly, the machines, and the clock.
Alec, Sam, and Bridget come back into the
room and take their seats. Bridget cries and Sam hugs her. I look
at the floor. I can’t stand to see her so sad. Alec takes Raelynn
from me and holds her close to him.
Is everything all
I know it’s not, but I don’t know
how else to ask what the detectives said.
Alec looks at me sadly and says, “The
detectives said they got Molly’s toxicology report back and she
overdosed on several different kinds of pills.” He rearranges
Raelynn on his lap and adds, “They said she had pain pills and
anti-anxiety drugs, along with alcohol in her system.”
Oh, Alec. I am so
Me, too. They were also
asking about the guy she came in with. They are having a hard time
identifying him.” He looks over at Molly, and says, “Maybe they’ll
have better luck after they get his fingerprints.”
I hope so. I hate thinking
about him being alone.”
Me, too, but there isn’t
anything we can do about that.”
Throughout the night Molly has several
seizures. They medicated her with IV Valium and Dilantin. They also
gave her Narcan to counter-react the drugs that she overdosed
After several hours the doctor informs us
that Molly is stable, so Emma, Rae, and I leave to pick up James
and go home. Sam and Bridget continue to stay at the hospital and
wait for Molly to regain consciousness.
We walk into my parents’ house and James is
awake and sitting at the breakfast table. He smiles when he sees
us. Emma walks over and hugs him and sits down beside him. Mom and
Dad have breakfast and coffee already made when we get there.
Thanks, mom,” I say, taking
two cups of coffee from her. I walk over and hand Emma her cup and
ruffle James’ hair. Raelynn is sitting on the other side of James,
filling her plate with hash browns, sausage, eggs, and pancakes. I
smile and walk back over to the island where my mom is
Is there any news on
Molly?” she whispers.
No change; she is still
unconscious but stable.”
Oh, that poor girl,” my
mother says and shakes her head. “How are Sam and Bridget
Exhausted; they are still
there with her.”
John and I will go up and
see Molly in a bit. Maybe they can leave and go home and shower and
eat or just rest.”
I know they will appreciate
that, mom. Thank you.”
It looks like Emma is
waiting for you to eat. Go eat and we’ll talk
After breakfast I get a call from
It’s Sam. I hate to bother
It’s no bother, what’s up?
Is she awake?” I ask.
No, there’s no change. The
detectives just left. They said the hotel that Molly was staying at
called and they need someone to pick up her things. Is it too much
I interrupt him and say, “No problem, what
hotel is it?”
I write down the information that I need and
tell him, “I’ll get over there soon.”
Thank you, Alec. You’re a
good man. I’ll call the hotel to
know that you’re coming.”
You’re welcome and I’ll be
After breakfast, Emma and I take the kids
home and I quickly shower before I have to leave to clear out the
room Molly was staying in at the Comfort Inn.
Do you want me to go with
you?” Emma asks.
No, Baby, stay here and
take a bubble bath. I shouldn’t be long.”
She kisses me before I leave.
I pull up at the address Sam gave me and
look around. I walk inside the run-down lobby of the hotel and
explain who I am and what I am doing here. I also explain that
Molly’s father called and spoke to them about me coming.