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A Lover’s Lament

By:KL. Grayson and BT Urruela

g around and taking off toward a woman standing outside of another ICU room.

My eyes are gritty and swollen from crying, but when I look down at what the little girl gave me, a tiny spark of hope ignites deep in my soul.

A rosary.

From the mouths of babes, I think to myself. Lifting my gaze to Navas’s, I hold up the beautiful white rosary. “I need to find the chapel,” I whisper, my voice hoarse from crying.

He doesn’t say a word, merely grips my hand in his and leads me out of the ICU. I follow behind him as he weaves down hallways, through doors, and when we eventually end up in front of the chapel, he pushes open the wood door and motions me in. The door shuts softly behind me, but I have no idea if he followed me in because right now I’m on a mission.

Sliding into a front row pew, my hands drop between my knees. The rosary hangs from my fingers as I say the most important prayer of my life to date. Except that when I give the sign of the cross and drop my head between my shoulders, it isn’t the Apostles’ Creed that runs through my head, it’s a prayer to the first man who ever loved me … a man that I know would literally move heaven and earth to help me out.

I need you, Daddy … Devin needs you. I’ve prayed to you a lot over the past several months, but this time it’s life or death. I’m not sure if you’ve got any pull up there, but if you do, right now would be the time to use it. Because I’m not ready to hand Devin over. I’m not ready to live the rest of my life without him, and I honestly don’t know how I would do it. I will be a shell of a woman without him. He means everything to me, Daddy. He’s my life, my heart, my soul and I need him more than I need my next breath. Our baby needs him. He or she deserves to grow up with a daddy as great as you were, so please … please let him be okay. Stand beside him, give him strength, and if he tries to find his way to wherever it is that you are, push him back. Tell him it’s too soon … tell him he has a family here waiting for him—

“Katie …” The soft sound of a woman’s voice floats through the air, and I twirl around in my seat.

Jennifer.

My heart slams inside my chest, and my palms are growing increasingly sweaty by the second. I have no idea how Devin’s nurse found me, and I don’t really care. What I care about is the unreadable look on her face—the one that could potentially rip my heart out or single-handedly put it back together.

“You And Me”—Lifehouse

CLOSING MY EYES, I LET the warm breeze wash over me. The faint scent of flowers starting to bloom and the sound of birds chirping off in the distance tells me that spring is coming, if not technically already here.

A warm hand finds mine, and I take a deep breath before looking up. “I’m not sure I’m ready for this.”

Navas doesn’t say a word. He simply links our fingers, giving me the support he knows I so desperately need right now. He’s been my rock through everything that’s happened since Devin coded in that hospital bed. He’s held me when I’ve needed holding, and he’s talked me down from nearly every ledge I’ve found myself on. And trust me, there have been a lot of ledges.

He tugs my hand, leading me through rows upon rows of white tombstones. They all look alike, and if it weren’t for the map in my hand, I’d certainly get lost.

Arlington National Cemetery is not my favorite place in the world. Sure, it’s breathtakingly beautiful in a somber sort of way, but I hate coming here because it’s a reminder of all of the lives that have been lost.

My body trembles, my legs going weak, and I quickly push those thoughts from my head. The doctor says my blood pressure is already too high, and I have to keep it down or I’ll end up on bed rest. Lord knows the last thing I need right now is to end up on bed rest.

My free hand falls to my swollen belly and I rub it gently. “Are you ready to see Daddy?” I ask, loving the way my little peanut moves around at the sound of my voice. “That’s what I thought.”

“You really think he can hear you?” Navas asks, a curious look on his face.

“What makes you think it’s a he?”

“It’s just a feeling I’ve got.” He shrugs and continues to lead me through rows of fallen soldiers.

“Yes, well, if you think it’s a boy, it must be a girl.”

“You’re stubborn as hell, you know that?”

“I do.” Looking up, I smile smugly. “It’s one of the reasons you love me.”

“Who ever said I love you?”

“What?” I scoff, stopping dead in my tracks. I’m enjoying the banter because it’s keeping me distracted from the grave that’s only a couple of feet away. I know it’s his grave, because the flowers I left the last time I was here are still there. “Take that back,” I insist. “Tell me you love me.”

“Fine,” he grumbles, knowing he won’t win. “I love you … even if you are a pain in my ass.”

“Who do you love?” Devin asks, wheeling his chair up to the side of me.

I look over at Navas, curious as to what bullshit answer he’s going to give my fiancé. “Your woman,” he says with a smirk on his face that’s sure to piss off Devin if his words didn’t already.

Devin glances down and a low growl rips from his throat right before he yanks my hand out of Navas’s.

“Dude, get your own fucking woman. This one is taken,” he says, bringing the back of my hand to his mouth before feathering kisses across my stomach. Peanut moves with the contact and Devin smiles against my dress. “I love you.”

“Okay, enough of this shit,” Navas barks, pushing past us. He walks straight up to Jax’s tombstone, drops his hand to the top and lowers his head. Devin and I stand back, giving him space.

“Did you have a nice visit with Jax?” I whisper.

“I did.” Devin looks over his shoulder at Navas and then back at me. “Thank you for giving me some time to myself with him.”

“You don’t have to thank me.” Bending down, I drop a kiss to Devin’s soft lips. He wraps an arm around my back and drags me onto his lap. I usually resist because I

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