Eric felt nauseous as he shockingly walked over to the stretcher. The paramedics were just about to wheel the stretcher into a waiting ambulance when Eric shouted at them to stop. He walked over to them and just stared at the blanket covered body. The ambulance men realized Eric must know the person underneath.
”We´re sorry, sir”
”Is it…. Is it… Thorne?”, Eric asked with tears in his eyes.
”We don´t know the identity. Would you want to identify the body?”
”I realize this must be very difficult. If you don´t want to, then that´s okay”.
”No… No, I want to see him”.
”That´s fine. Are you ready?”, one of the men asked and laid a hand on Eric´s shoulder.
”No, I´m not. How can you ever be ready for something like this?”
”Take your time”. Eric took a deep breath and made a signal to go ahead. The female paramedic slowly pulled away the blanket from the face. Eric opened his eyes and looked down. Eric took a few quick breaths.
”Sir, are you alright?”
”Yeah, yeah, I´m fine”
”Is this your father?”
”No. I don´t know that man”, Eric said as he realized Thorne could still be alive and his nauseating feelings were gone. The female paramedic gave out a little smile, as she was relived for Eric´s sake. Eric turned away as he started getting himself together again. He had just experienced something no parent should go through, but he had been lucky. He started looking around for Thorne. There was something going on behind Stephanie´s BMW. He walked over and in horror realized he might not have been lucky afterall. Two paramedics were working on Thorne, trying to get him back to life. A defibrillator had been taken out and they were doing CPR.
”Clear!”, a paramedic said out loudly as he shot electricity right into Thorne´s heart. Eric was in shock over this view.
”300… And clear!”. Eric stared at Thorne´s limp body as it moved to the electric shot. He sat down, in shock, at the ground.
”We´ve got a pulse”.
”Sir, you need to move so we can get to the ambulance”
”Is he alive?”
”He´s breathing, but he needs to get to the hospital now”. Eric stood up and moved out of their way.
”Can I go with you?”
”That will be fine, just don´t be in the way. Are you a relative?”
”I´m his father”.
Kristen walked through the elevator door and quickly found Ridge at the emergency waiting area.
”Kristen!”, the two siblings hugged.
”How are they?”
”I don´t know yet. They haven´t arrived”.
And as on que, Stephanie was rushed in.
”Mother?”, Ridge said.
”Ridge?”, Stephanie looked up. Ridge walked over to the stretcher.
”Sir, would you like to step aside, please?”, the paramedics told Ridge and hurried off with Stephanie.
”Oh, my God Ridge! She looked awful!”, Kristen said.
”Don´t worry, Kris. She´ll be alright. You know our mother, tough as steel.” Ridge said as they hugged again. Another woman was rushed in after that.
Massimo was sitting by his desk and wondering about Brooke and Ridge. He called out to his secretary and was informed Ridge had taken off in a rush. Massimo wondered what was going on.
”It better not be an emergency with Brooke”.
Macy came back to Spectra and the new secretary stopped her before entering Sally´s office.
”Ms Alexander, I have a message for you. Eric Forrester called a few minutes ago with some disturbing news. There has been a car accident and Thorne was involved.”
”What? Did he say anything else?”
”No, that was it.”
”Does mother know?”
”No, only that blonde… Darla, was it?”
”I think she went to the hospital”.
”Thank you”, Macy said as she went into the office. Sally was there and noticed the distressed look on her daughter.
”Macy, darling? What´s the matter?”
”Thorne´s been in an accident”.
”My God! Is he okay?”
”I don´t know. But apparently, Darla is with him at the hospital”.
”She was with him in the accident?”
”No, she was here when Eric called”.
”Are you going over there?”
”No. I think I´m just going to call the hospital to find out how he´s doing.”
”Yes, do that”
Macy picked up a phone and made the call. Sally tried getting some information as she listened to what Macy was saying.
”He hasn´t been brought in yet, but Stephanie was”.
”She was there too. The nurse I spoke to said it was too soon to tell anything.”
”I should go over there…”, Sally said and took her purse.
”No, mom. If you want to go see Stephanie, then you should wait a couple of days.”
”You´re probably right. I don´t think the mighty Forresters would want me there anyway.”
Rick got off the elevator and headed inside the ER. In his quest to find someone, he rushed right into someone.
”Oh, I´m sorry”, he told the young woman. He couldn’t see her face, as she had her back towards him. But Rick´s face lit up when she finally turned around to get a look at the rude man who had bumped into her.
”What a coincidence”, Rick smiled at his mystery girl from the baseball court.
”What are you doing here?”, she asked confused.
”There was a car accident my family was involved in”, Rick said as he remembered again why he was there in the first place.
”Have you heard anything?”
”Not really. I just saw your… stepmother? Stephanie Forrester is your stepmother right?”
”How did you know…?”
”Your family isn´t exactly… how should I put it? Unknown.”
”Maybe not. What about your family?”
”My mom was in the accident. But she´s fine. She called me right after it happened. I´m only waiting for her to come in.”
”You said you saw Stephanie. How was she? Do you know?”
”I didn´t see her, I just overheard it.”
”Rick!”, Bridget said as she walked over to them. “How are they?”
”I don´t know yet. I haven´t found the others yet. Bridget, I want you to meet…? That´s right, I don´t even know your name…”, Rick said to his mystery girl.
”It´s Shannon. Shannon Davis”.
”Shannon Davis, this is my little sister, Bridget Forrester. Bridget, meet Shannon”, Rick politely introduced them and the girls greeted each other.
Suddenly, Eric rushed in together with two ambulance men and a team of emergency staff and Thorne on a stretcher. It all went by quickly and Eric didn´t even notice the others as he followed Thorne, until a nurse stopped him when they reached the end of the line for relatives. Eric stopped at the line and saw the others continue down the hall and finally into some emergency room. Bridget and Rick walked over to Eric.
”Dad!”, Bridget said to get Eric´s attention.
”How is Thorne?”, Rick asked.
”He´s hardly breathing on his own… He´s lost so much blood…”, Eric informed them. Bridget took her fathers arm in hers and led him to some chairs nearby.
”I´m sure he´ll be alright. The doctors here are very good. They´ll have him up and ready to go home in no time”, she said comforting.
”I don´t know, Bridget. He is badly injured, his heart even stopped beating for a minute.”
Brooke got off the elevator and immediately saw the them.
”How are they?”, she asked concerned. Bridget took Brooke aside to inform her of what she knew.
”Oh, Thorne…”, Brooke cried.
”You still care about him, don´t you?”, Bridget asked.
”He was my husband. He will always have a place in my heart. I couldn´t imagine losing him. What about Stephanie, how´s she?”
”I don´t know. But I am going to find out”, Bridget said as she left.
”Dad, it´s going to be alright”.
”Could everyone just stop saying that!”, Eric asked frustrated.
”Eric, we´re just worried about you”, Brooke said as she walked up to them.
”I know, I know… It´s just that it´s so frustrating now knowing what is happening. I hate this waiting.”
”Maybe you won´t have to do that much longer. Bridget went to find out what´s going on”.
”That´s right… I almost forgot she work here”, Rick said.
”Hey there”, Ridge said as he and Kristen walked up to the others.
”Ridge…”, Brooke said as she hugged Ridge comfortingly. “Do you have any news?”
”No, what about you?”
”Thorne was just brought in. I´m afraid it doesn´t look very good… But he´s a fighter. I know he´ll pull through”, Brooke said, as she was trying to reassure herself of that.
”Thank you for coming, Logan”.
”Where else would I be?”
”Louise!”, Bridget said as she walked into the staff room.
”Bridget hi. Were you called in?”
”You can say that… My family was in the accident.”
”Oh, no. That´s right, Forrester… I guess you want information.”
”Yes, my family is waiting outside for news”.
”Come on, let´s see what we can find out”.
Nick Payne had bade Hope and gotten her dressed in her pink jammies for her afternoon nap. As he was ready to put the little girl down, the phone rang. It was Brooke.
”I got things under control here. I was just putting her down for a nap”, Nick reported.
”What would I have done without you?”, Brooke asked.
”Gotten Martha to do it…?”, Nick asked.
”Well, okay. But thank you anyway.”
”It´s no problem at all, she´s such a cutie”.
”Well, good luck getting her to sleep. No one but me and Martha have been able to get her to sleep in the afternoon.”
”I´m up for the challenge. So, what´s happening over there?”
”I don´t know yet. But I don´t think I will be home until tonight.”
”It´s okay. You stay as long as you need. Is there anything else I should do over here? What does she eat?”
”There are cans of baby dinners in the kitchen. But she eats ordinary food too, just make sure to mash the food into tiny pieces and nothing you must chew…”
”I think I got it. What time does she eat and go to bed?”
”Dinner around 5-6 and she usually fall asleep around 7.”
”Okay, got it.”
”I´ll call later to see how things are going. Again, Nick. Thank you!”
Bridget returned to the waiting room.
”What did you find out?”, Kristen asked immediately.
”Well, Stephanie should be fine soon. No major injuries. She is getting morphine. I checked in with her, but she was sleeping. And don´t worry, it looks worse than it really is. The doctor did an x-ray and there was no visible injuries, which is very good.”
”Thank God”, Eric said. ”What about Thorne?”.
Bridget hesitated for a second which Ridge noticed.
”Thorne was rushed into the operating room right away. The doctor found a little fraction on his spine. They are afraid he…”, Bridget hesitated again.
”What?”, Rick asked, but they had already guessed what Bridget was trying to tell them.
”That he will be get paralysed?”, Kristen asked as a tear ran down her cheek.
”Yes, that is if he even survives. He lost a lot of blood and had eternal bleedings in his back. They are trying to stop that right now. And as his heart already stopped once, they´re afraid it might do that again.”
”Oh, my God…”, Brooke cried. Kristen and Brooke hugged as Ridge went over to his father.
”He´s hanging in there. He won´t give up, dad. He won´t”, Ridge said.
”He´d better not…”.
Massimo was working in his office as his secretary walked inside.
”Mr Marone, I just heard something disturbing on the radio. Stephanie and Thorne Forrester have been in a car accident.”
”What? That´s why Ridge left… Do you know what hospital?”
”I´ll find out. That will be all”.
”Yes, Mr Marone”, the secretary left.
”Stephanie, hang on”, Massimo said as he got the phone to get information.
Eric walked into Stephanie´s room. She was still sleeping from the sedative she had been given. Eric sat down on a chair beside the bed. Stephanie woke up by the feeling she was being watched. She smiled as she saw him, but soon she realized where she was and what had happened.
”You´re awake?”, Eric asked.
”He´s hanging on”.
”Eric, please don´t keep anything from me. I need to know.” Eric hesitated for a while and then decided it was best to tell her now.
”He´s been operated on. He had eternal bleeding and a small fraction on his spine.”
”Oh no, Thorne… I need to…”, Stephanie said as she was trying to get up from bed. Eric stopped her, which she realized was for the best as she was too weak.
”There´s nothing we can do but wait”, Eric said.
”I hate waiting”, Stephanie said and they were silent for a little while.
”What have I done to our son?”, Eric asked.
”You? What are you talking about?”.
”I was the one who started that damn argument. What was I thinking?”
”This wasn´t your fault, Eric. If anyone is to blame, I am. I was the one who drove the car. If I had just focused on that, I would have seen that car in time and none of this would have happened.”
”It´s not your fault. You would have been focused if I hadn´t started the fight.”
”Can we stop this. It´s not helping anything…”
”No it´s not. But I will always feel the guilt. And if Thorne doesn´t make it, I´ll never forgive myself.”
”I know what you mean. Oh, Thorne…”, Stephanie said as she shook her head.
”I´m gonna go see if I can find out any news”.
”Yeah, do that”
”Try to get some more sleep, okay?”, Eric said, reached over and kissed her forehead. Stephanie surprisingly looked up at him. He didn´t say anything, just left.
A few hours later, Ridge had been allowed into Thorne´s room. Only one visitor a time had been the doctors orders. Ridge took a chair and sat down next to Thorne, who was attached to all sorts of machines. He looked very weak and pale, which Ridge noticed right away.
”Hey, little brother”, Ridge said to the comatose Thorne. “How are you?”. Ridge paused for a long while, just looking at his brother. He couldn´t help but remember the time Ridge accidentally kicked a football in Thorne´s head when they were only kids. Thorne cried unstoppably and Stephanie had tried to comfort him. But he wouldn´t stop crying. Not until Ridge walked over to him and hugged him. Ridge smiled at the memory and looked back at Thorne. “I wish I could just hug you and make everything better this time too. But I can´t. This time, you have to fight. Like you have never fought before. Because we can´t lose you. I can´t lose you! I know I haven´t said this very often, but I love you Thorne. You´re my kid brother. And as I am the older, I decide. So you see, you don´t really have an option here. I´m telling you to come back to us.” Ridge paused again. “I love you! So don´t let go. Your life is worth fighting for. Well, I´ll give you some time to rest now. But you remember what I said”, Ridge said as he wiped away the tears in his eyes.
On his way out, he ran into Darla.
”How is he?”
”He´s hanging in there”.
”Can I go in there?”, Darla asked.
”Go ahead. But the doctors said we can only be in there one at the time”.
”Okay”, Darla said and went inside.
Brooke wasn´t sure if she should go in, or not. But finally decided to take her chance. She stepped inside the hospital room and found Stephanie in bed crying. Brooke had only seen Stephanie cry once before, at the Big bear cabin when Brooke had given her the photo album. Brooke walked closer. “Stephanie?” Stephanie realized Brooke was in the room and dried her eyes.
”What are you doing here, Brooke?”, she asked, still not looking at her.
”I came to see how you were doing”.
”I´m fine. Now you can go”.
”Not yet. Look at me, Stephanie”, Brooke asked. Stephanie turned around and they looked at each other. Stephanie noticed that Brooke had been crying too and relaxed more.
”It´s not Thorne, is it?”, Stephanie asked worried.
”No. I haven´t seen him. Ridge is in there with him now”.
”Is there any change?”
”No, not yet.”
”What if I lose him? I can´t lose him!”
”I know, I know…”, Brooke said and reached over to Stephanie. “I know what you are going through. It wasn´t very long ago when Bridget almost lost her life in this hospital…”.
”I hope Thorne will be as lucky as Bridget was, because I couldn´t stand to lose him now. Especially when it´s all my fault he is here fighting for his life!”, Stephanie said as she did her best to hold back her tears in front of Brooke.
”Don´t blame yourself, it will only make things a thousand times worse. Look, I know we have never had a good relationship. But can´t we try uniting now, for the family´s sake? We can go back to hating each other when this is over.”
”I think that would be for the best. Thorne doesn´t need all the tension right now”.
”Thorne is going to be fine. I know it looks bad now, but we can´t give up hope on him. What would Thorne do in our place?”
”He would reassure everyone that everything is going to be okay”, Stephanie said.
”Exactly. And now, we have to do the same”.
”You know, I always took him for granted. I should never have done that. He needs to know how much I love him”, Stephanie finally burst into tears.
”He knows”, Brooke said as she sat down next to Stephanie and hugged her.
”I don´t know… I haven´t told him that enough. I just let us drift apart. He always lived in his brother´s shadow and I never made him realize he didn´t have to live like that. And now I may never get the chance to tell him. He might die not knowing how much he means to me….”, Stephanie cried out with her voice almost choking. Brooke started crying too.
Kristen was on her way to visit her mother when she spotted Stephanie and Brooke crying in each other´s arms. Kristen was stunned. It was the last thing she expected to see. But at the same time, she was relieved to see this tragedy bringing the family together. She decided to put her visit on hold for a while.
Eric walked down the hall to Thorne´s room. Before he walked in, he got himself together, getting strength not to fall apart. He still had the image of Thorne getting electric chocks on the highway. That picture haunted him. Each time he closed his eyes, he saw it. He was ready to walk inside, but when he opened the door, he heard a woman´s voice from inside. He didn´t recognize the voice at first, so he peaked inside. He saw Darla standing by Thorne´s bedside with one hand on Thorne´s hand and one on her stomach.
”Thorne, our baby needs you. I won´t let him or her grow up without a father. You are not ready to leave this world yet”, Darla told Thorne. Eric quietly shut the door before him.
“Thorne is having a baby with Darla?”, he asked himself quietly.
Ridge spotted Brooke walking out of Stephanie´s room in tears. He walked over to her.
”She gave you a hard time, right?”.
”Stephanie? No. The opposite actually. We decided to put our feelings aside for now.”
”Then why have you been crying?”
”We both did. We comforted each other”.
Ridge was speechless. “Well, that´s great”, he finally said.
”Kristen is in there right now. Did you see Thorne?”
”Oh, Ridge. I´m so sorry”, Brooke said as she could see the pain in Ridge´s eyes.
”He´s my kid brother, Logan. I can´t lose him”.
”You won´t. You´ll never lose him”, Brooke said as she hugged her former husband tightly. Just then, Massimo walked out of the elevator and saw them. His eyes narrowed as he stared at them.
”Oh, no Brooke. I will not have you taking advantage of my son like this. I´ll stop you. I will stop you”, Massimo said as he went to the payphone to make a call.