Emergency Contact

Medical City Hospital

Bright, wide lights hang from the ceiling, casting the clean and sterile surroundings with brilliant light. A reception area sits centered before the door where people can check in, or ask for directions to other areas within the hospital. Past the desk is a small hallway with elevators leading to the upper floors, and signs that point to radiology.

Two large metal doors to the left of the entrance lead outside to the ambulance loading dock. The doors are marked 'EMERGENCY ONLY' in large red letters.

He got the call at, ohhh, musta been around 2, 2:15 in the morning? Jed didn't bother to do much more than pull on some pants, slip on a t-shirt and grab his wallet and keys before he was in his battered old pickup truck, rattling his way to the hospital. He's been at Paige's side now for about four hours, watching her sleep, his right hand curled about her left, thumb rubbing gently back and forth against her knuckles. He shifts in his chair a little to get comfortable, a oh so softly he rumbles in a reasonably okay tenor, "I-IIII am the ma-aan of constant sorroooow, I seen troublllle all my daaaaaaays. I-III bid farewellllll to old Kentuckyyyy, the place where I-III was born and raiiiiiised…" His voice is soft and soothing, like he was singing a lullaby to a baby, the sounds of the hospital around them punctuation to the situation he finds himself in now. "Foooo-or six long yeeeeears I've been in born to troubllllle, no pleasure heeeeere on e-arth I find. Foooo-or in this woooo-orld I'm bound to rambllllllle, I have no frieeeeeends to he-lp meeeee nooooooow…"

Josephine has made more subtle entrances. Then again, she's had more patience, peace of mind or even presence of mind than right this instance. A hand lands on the first information counter she comes across and sounding more panicked than commanding, she demands to know, "Where is he! Where's my brother. Hugo van den Bosch. Is he alright?" Heads are turning left and right.

Paige has been out like a light for the four hours since Jed arrived, and a little while before. The painkillers, coupled with a few sedatives, and a bit of complete body and soul exhaustion from burning out her power thrown into the mix, had more of a 'sleeping like the dead' effect than the hospital anticipated. Of course, they've know way of judging anything but her physical body, so they're hardly to blame. Still, she's been almost completely unresponsive, save for the shallow rise and fall of her breathing, and the occasional flickering of her eyes under closed lids. And when she wakes, it's not with a bang, but with a whisper, as her hand tightens around Jed's, "I like, 'My Old Kentucky Home' better." Her voice is soft, raspy, bearing all of the hallmarks of the damage that was done to her throat by the vampire. She hasn't tried to open her eyes yet, but she will, if for no other reason than to find out how a woman managed to get herself a voice so LOUD.

There is a flurry of actively in the hall as Jo comes barging in, yelling and carrying on, nurses trying to hush her and pull her to one side, looking up information in the computers. "Ma'aam, your brother is currently in the ICU and not available for visitors, but if you'll just take a seat over there I'll let the doctor know you're here and he'll come down to talk to you just as soon as possible." There happens to be a bench with an angled view, if one leans just right, into Paige's room. The good thing about being placed in a room near the nurses station is if you need anything? You get it pronto. The bad thing? This. Way more noise and confusion and drama than the other rooms by far. Course, doesn't help that the door is wide open, but that's generally how they're kept unless privacy is required.

Inside, Jed's voice drops off as Paige rasps softly at him, a slow relieved smile curling his lips as he counters amiably, "Is that right? Well, they's both about Kentucky, so I don't knows what you could have to be complain' about, young missy." His hand squeezes Paige's gently before he rumbles, "Welcome back, darlin'. You plumb near scared the livin' daylights outta me, and it t'ain't even mornin' proper yet. Like Paige, however, Jed startles at the sudden and abrupt yelling of the woman down the hall, frowning slightly as he murmurs, "That don't sound good…"

"What? No!" With just enough sense to lower the volume, Josephine grabs the nurse and shakes her, hopefully into a different opinion. "No, you don't understand, I /have/ to see him. Is he hurt. Is he… They said that there was a vampire. Was there? Is. He. Alright!"

"I wasn't complaining. I was making a request." Paige finally opens her eyes, blinking, first at the brightness of the light, which really isn't bright at all, but it certainly seem that way, as it tries to bore a hole into her head. "I scared me too, Jed. I…I wasn't ready." But there's still all that yelling going on out there, and it's not like she can ignore it. And not because of the volume, but because it affects her, directly. "That's Hugo's family?" And Jed would have at least heard that that's the same Hugo who was in the car with her. But the tone of her voice has a edge to it, like, 'find out for sure first', "Got to get her quiet, can't have her yelling like that in front of god and everybody."

"Ma'aam. Ma'aam, I need you to calm down. There are other patients here. Your brother is alive and being taken care of as we speak. That's all I know right now, but like I said, a doctor will be down soon to give you a full update on his condition." The nurse blinks and shakes her head, studying the computer before replying, "I see nothing here about a vampire attack. No bites. Head trauma, bruising and contusions, and broken bones from a car accident. Nothing to suggest a vampire attack, ma'aam. Please just calm yourself and take a seat. Someone will be with you soon, I promise."

"Ahhhhhh, well then, duly noted." Noticing her reaction, Jed leans in closer and asks, "You want fer me to turn the lights down a bit? Hell, we can turn 'em all the off iffin' yeh want. 'Nuff light come in from the hall fer anythin' we be needin'." His left hand joins the right, stiff but still warm and comforting as he lifts up Paige's hand and brings it to his mouth for a kiss before laying in on the bed again, reaching up with his right to carefully stroke over her brow without disturbing the bandages at her temple. "You roughed yerself up real good, Paigie. No body here seems t'know exactly whut went down, y'alls all unconscious and stuff when youse was brought in." Frowning, Jed leans up and presses a kiss to Paige's forehead, noting, "You can tell me whut all went down once youse feelin' up fer it. No rush, darlin, just glad yer still here and in one piece, relatively speakin'." His head turns to look out the door again, frowning again as he rumbles, "Hugo? Who's Hugo? Friend of yers?" As Josephine moderates her volume, Jed continues to peer out the door before patting Paige's hand again noting, "She'll be alright. She's like a young filly is all. Nervous an excitable. Iffin' I were her age, I would probably be much the same over you. They'll calm 'er down soon enough." Turning back to Paige, Jed lifts a brow and ask, "You be wantin' me to talk t'er?"

"No bites." Josephine nods, "No bites." Seems to be something at least. Releasing the nurse, the woman turns around but rather than sitting down, she starts pacing up and down the hall, hands rubbing her face, puling back her hair. "Wait. What head trauma!"
Paige pages: And as an aside, per conversations with other witches on the game, a witch can sense another witch, something to do with being able to feel the power inside of them. Or their connection to it.

"No, I just need a minute to get used to the light, I'll be alright." Paige looks away from the open door, focusing on the face of the man sitting next to her. So good to have family close. To know they're there watching over you. To hope…that they can fix all that's hurting inside of you. "It's gone, Jed." Paige pauses, catching her breath against the sudden tightness in her throat, "I'm lost in the dark." There's no other way to describe the feeling inside of her. The emptiness. And though it's something they never do with each other, having known for long enough what each other is, if Jed were to 'touch' Paige, he would feel it. Or rather, the lack of it. That feeling that marks her as what he is. Not strong and sure like usual, but a phantom, a whisper, a hurt and wounded animal hiding in the darkness to lick its wounds. "I know what happened, I remember what happened. And you need to know too, for if he comes back." Paige takes a moment, turning to look towards the pitcher of crushed ice-cubey water, "Hugo was driving the car." He's not the reason she's like this, well, not directly. "Tell her be quiet and come in."

Frowning without understanding, Jed lays a comforting hand upon Paige's shoulder, trying to make out just what the girl is going on about. Maybe it's the drugs talking? But that's when he senses it. The emptiness. The lack. Blinking, Jed shifts his hand to her forehead. And despite his own worry and uncertainty, he smiles and answers with reassurance, "There, there, darlin', don't get yerself all in a tizzy over nuthin'. I bet you just blew out yer transisters, pumping out too much magic, am I right? Y'don't have the best control even under the best of circumstances. Yeh were scared and hurt and yer magic just run wild I bet." Patting her shoulder reassuringly, Jed murmurs, "So don't you fret none. It'll come back. You just gots to rest up and heals a bit and then you'll see. Y'can't lose yer magic, darlin'. It's a part o'you that can't be cut off so easy." But at her words, his expression becomes more serious and nodding Jed rumbles, "Right then. Be back in a tick."

Heading into the hallway, Jed stops in front of Josephine and gives her his best friendly smile, offering, "Evenin' ma'aam. Sorry to bothers yeh, but my niece was in the car whut got hit with yer brother drivin'. She'd like y'all to come in and sit wit us a bit so she can tell what all happened. I'm just askin' that yeh be calm and quiet, y'hear? Cause she hurt pretty bad and I ain't seein' her upset more than needed." His last words are firm and brook no opposition, but are followed up with a friendly smile and an offered hand as he greets, "Name's Jed."

Finding Jed instead of a nurse or a doctor, Josephine looks about to blow him off, but in the end, after opening and closing her mouth a number of times, she accepts the hand, murmuring as her mind is probably reeling, "Josephine van den Bosch. Do you… Did she…"

There's a sudden thread of fear, as Jed steps out of the room, which is completely ridiculous, given that she asked him to go, but she can't help it. That moment, of, 'what if he doesn't come back?'. But Paige can hear him out in the hall, and that's a comfort. She will make the effort to get herself that water, moving slowly, carefully to twist around and pour the water from the pitcher, which does not go well at all, the water tipping too fast, the styrofoam cup too light and flipping off onto the floor. The pitcher ends up back on the movable table with a hard slosh. So damned useless, her whole body. And so, if and when Jed and Josephine come in, she looks downright…petulant. And thirsty, if someone can look thirsty.

Taking up Josephine's hand, Jed rumbles, "Now darlin', don't you fret none. We'll git the whole story just as soon as Paige can tell it us." The older man's thoughts, however, are a mite bit more active than his tongue currently is. «Damn, but she is a pretty thang. Nervous, but then it is her kith and kin whut been messed wit. Better not upset Paigie though, or girl or no, or I'll put 'er right over m'knee and giv'er a spankin' she done never gonna fergit.» Shaking his head, Jed leads the way into the room and, wisely, shuts the door behind them for privacy. There might be things said that aren't meant for normals ears. "I don't know nuthin, darlin'," Jed replies, "and I suggest that youse lets Paigie here tell us whut she knows before askin' yer questions." As he turns around and sees what's happened, Jed tsks and rumbles, "Girl, how many times I gots to tell yeh to ask fer what yeh want?" his voice a tad sharper than usual more with self-rebuke for not realizing that she was thirsty sooner. "Yer weaker than a newborn foal, so just lays back and rest yeh stubborn thang…" He gets her another cup, pouring it, all the while thinking «Damnit, y'stupid old coot, yeh saw 'er lookit the water but yeh didn't think did yeh? My poor Paige, my poor darlin', when I git my hands on the one whut done this to her I'll….»

Looking decidedly peculiar at Jed, Josephine is nonetheless eager to follow, walking up briskly to the free side of Paige's bed. Not one to hover over, she simply nods, lifting a hand before she nervously stuffs it into a pocket. "Hey. I'm Huug's sister. You were in the car with him…? What…" She swallows the rest, quenching the frightened note in her voice.

«I don't want to have to ask!» Grown woman she might be, but inside her head there's quite a bit of petulant little girl going on. «I want my body to work!» But the words that come out are softer, and more apologetic, "I didn't want to bother you." But she does look over towards Josephine, «She looks so much like him.», smiling, well, the best she can, "I'm just a friend. And I'm sorry, I did the best I could. You should sit down. By Jed." Most likely so that she doesn't have to turn her head too much. "Thank you," Paige offers to Jed, sipping the water, which is more ice than anything else, which is perfect, really.

Taking a seat at Paige's side, Jed takes her hand in his again, the left one now likely coming into Josephine's notice, the scars beneath the tattoos, the not quite right shape of it, the stiff and gnarled fingers. "Foolish girl," he teases gently, "You live t'bother me and we's both knows it." Scooting his chair a little closer, Jed squeezes her finger and takes a deep breath. "Jes take yer time, darlin'" he rumbles soothingly, eyes flickering over to Jo and then to beside himself before coming back to rest upon Paige's face. His thoughts, for the moment are quiet and full of waiting anticipation and lingering worry and anger.

Josephine catches Jed's glance and a quiet nod will assure him she's picking up on the protective vibe here - and that she understands only too well. So around the bed she goes, halting right next to the old(er) man. Both hands in pockets now, absolutely unsure how or even what. "Please." Eyes straying to the door to check if the doctor isn't by any chance searching for her, but no. "Just… Please." her face by now is the tensest mask of a person trying damn hard not to cry.

Paige takes a moment, stringing the thoughts together in the right order, finding then and then getting them out of her head and into her voice. Her internal dialogue is not much different than what's going on outside, save for the added bonus of self-recrimination, of feeling as though she let Hugo down, and yes, there's worry there, for him and for the officer who was also assaulted. "We were at the Bean, Hugo offered to drive me back to the studio. It was raining, and hard to see, but we were going slowly. I looked up, in time to see someone in the road, and Hugo swerved to avoid him." «If I had just let him drive, we might not have been hit.» A deep breath, "A truck came out of nowhere, no lights, slammed into us. We were thrown around, I remember I hit my head, the airbags deployed. But it was worse on Hugo's side, that's where the truck hit. He was calling for me, I tried to get to him, and then he tore the door off, and started yanking Hugo out of the car, but he was stuck on the seatbelt. I was hurting so badly, I couldn't work my fingers, but I finally got the seatbelt and started climbing over to his side. I don't know who it was. Vampire, dark, Egyptian, I think, he mentioned Anubis. He started dragging Hugo away, but the cop was there, threatened to shoot him. I blinded him. «Should have made it hotter, burned his eyes. Stupid, stupid Paige!» But he didn't drop him, he…he came at me, cursing, bit me." She doesn't lift a hand to touch her neck, but the bandage there is clear enough to see, along with the bruising of fingers and whatnot, "The cop shot him again, and he let me go, attacked him." All the while, Paige is going over the spellcasting in her head, as if trying to se if she could have done it differently, better, done more. "He doubled over, as if he was in pain, then he left, and the police and ambulances came." Paige pauses, "I told him they belonged to me, and that I'd kill him if he came after them again." And that's more to Jed than Josephine. As if that means something. And to him it would. Not the claiming, as that isn't quite the way it works for their kind, but the accepting of being responsible for the life of someone else. For their safety. Nome is a sanctuary, and sanctuaries don't exist without watchers to guard the gates. And Paige is a watcher, even if she's miles and miles from home.

His eyes shine with pride, worry, and restrained anger as Jed holds Paige's hand tightly and whispers, "That's m'girl…" Lifting her hand again, he places a kiss upon her fingers and nods. "I'm downright proud of you, girl. Yeh saved that boy Hugo's life, no doubt about it in my mind what so evers." He doubts it's the whole story though, there's something more, something that made the vampire leave, but Jed is sure that it has to do with Paige's magic and, well, t'ain't no point in sharing that sort of information with a normal. His eyes are brimming with tears of pride in his little girl, a fierce protective light in them as he notes, "That bastard vampire ever come 'round here no more, we gonna keel him fer whut he done, mark my words…."

Not once does Josephine try to stop the flow of words, or rush past the details, even if she's shaking her head to brush aside the way Paige is talking about a fire. That aside, a noticeable change comes over Hugo's sister as Tareq is mentioned, described. She didn't look that well to begin with, but blood is leaving her face fast now, starting around the nose there, leaving her sickly pale. Fear first widens her eyes, before grim determination narrows them back in place. "Get in line…" A pause to take a deep, deep breath, run a shaking hand through her hair and finally catch Paige's eyes again, "I ehm…" A nod and a twitch of lips, the thank you unspoken but there.

There's a soft knock at the door before it creaks open, a doctor's head looking in as he says, "Excuse me for interrupting. Ms. Bosch? I'm Doctor Franklin, I've been working on your brother, Hugo. If you'll come with me, I'll fill you in on his condition and take you up to see him?" Brown eyes flicker between the small grouping, but it's not hard to guess why they're all in here, telling Josephine what happened. "Just this way…"

"I couldn't let him take him. He would have killed him, I'm sure of it, or done something even worse. I should have been able to stop him." Which she did, sort of, but the vampire is still out there. Paige closes her eyes for a moment, her fingers tightening in Jed's. Like any child, it's always good to hear your elders are proud of you. But then, her eyes open again, and the bed-ridden woman focuses on Josephine. "I made him a promise. And I will do everything that I can to keep your brother safe." «Even if I die doing it.» But whatever else she might say, is swallowed up by the arrival of the doctor. And that's more important. At least in her mind. Family should be with family.

"Maybe, iffin' you hadn't jest gotten yer brains scrambled yeh coulda, but t'ain't no reason fer yeh to be castigatin' yerself none. You done saved that there boy's life is whut you done, darlin'. Ain't nobody here gonna fergit that." He gently strokes over Paige's arm, his attention solely upon her, a hint of a frown and worry touching his features. Jed ain't one for taking on the battles or burdens of others lightly, and the fact that Paige is bound and determined to protect this man, Jo's brother, at any cost? Well, that don't sit right with Jed at all. But he ain't gonna say so, not with the sister sitting right there, so he keeps his mouth shut. When the doctor arrives, however, there's a rush of relief that Josephine will be gone and he can speak his mind freely to his 'niece'.

Nodding, even as her attention is called to the door, Josephine's face washing with relief, then urgency. "I gotta…" Taking some steps backwards to the doctor, but leaving them like this just doesn't seem right. Biting her lip hard, the woman suddenly hurries back to Paige's bed, the free side that is, and murmurs briskly, "Listen, don't know you and all, but…" She leans in to give Paige's cheek a featherlight kiss - making sure she's not leaning on any sore Paige-parts. /Then/ she'll run after the doctor, not even thinking about slowing down to close the door behind her.

Paige has done a lot of talking, in the last few minutes, and she needs some time to get herself back together. The water helps, but it's like a whole body and mind ache that doesn't go away. And so, she's quiet, for a long while, even after Jed's words, and after Josephine's departure. "I did what I had to do, Jed. Vampires don't understand fear, they don't understand compassion, they don't back down, you know that as well as I do. And that vampire hated me. Not just because I was a witch, although he really, really, really hated that, but because I was a woman." Who says chauvinism is dead. "I didn't have the strength to kill him, my spell wasn't strong enough to do that, but they understand power. I had to try to give him the impression that I had the power to destroy him. It was the only way." And at the time, it did seem like it. "And now, whether I want it or not, he's my responsibility." Because she lied to a vampire.

"I know that, girl," replies Jed, his voice low and strained as he sits back, thinking hard. "You likely done gotten yerself an enemy there, and if he's not rogue, then maybe more than that. I understands yeh did whut yeh had to do. Can't say I'd do none different in yer shoes, but that don't mean I gots to like it. And that boy ain't yer responsibility, girl. Yeh saved his life an endangered yer own with the doin' of it. That's enough. I ain't gonna let you just stroll inta harms way jest cause you reckon that jest cause you saved a man's life yeh gotta keep on savin' it. That's just plumb loco."

"He threatened to kill me, after he made me watch him kill everyone I love." Paige frowns, some of her old self coming back. The anger helps, honestly, "I'd like to see him try it. Oma D would burn him to the ground like a matchstick and stomp on his ashes." Dorothy Logan might be pushing her way into her nineties, and she might need to hold onto her walker to do any sort of stomping, but you learn a few things when you've had over seven decades to perfect your magical abilities. "I'm not going to be running out there, trying to find him, Jed. I'm not stupid. And with my magic off wherever it is magic goes when you burn it out, there's nothing I can do to protect him. Unless you count my shotgun. But if I'm there and it happens again, I will do whatever I can to help him."

His mouth forms a thin angry line as Jed growls, "He can try, but I swears the fanged bastard will find we witches don't go down so easy." Still good thing Paige doesn't really love anybody but family. Means there ain't no one to kill 'round here, cept maybe Jed, and he's got plenty protection inked upon his own skin to make that a difficult proposition. "Yer definitely gettin' some tats, child. I ain't lettin' you roam around wi'out no protection on yer skin." But there is a soft sigh of relief as she assures him that she isn't going to assign herself as a personal bodyguard to this Hugo fella. "I think y'should try to rest s'more now, darlin'. I'll be right here by yer side till yeh wakes up." And making a few phone calls to a few witches with warding magic that owe Jed some favors. It's unlikely the vampire will come back so soon, but the tattooer ain't taking no chances.

Paige's hand tighten on Jed's, her own features growing firm, "And don't YOU go out looking for him either. I don't know what I would do…if something were to happen to you." There's a slight shake of her head, as she continues, "You know what's so funny. I mean, not funny, but…the two spells I managed to create…are some of the simplest spells I ever learned, two of the first. How to make light and how to boil water." Sort of standard, for most witches who live a sort of country life, and certainly those who live where Paige did. Making light, boiling water, creating heat, drying wood, although with her earth magic being nearly nil, that never worked for her. But it's the equivalent of kindergarten magic. "I always though, if something lie this happened, I'd have to think up some complex, crazy spell that I was probably prepping for weeks, and in the end it was the stuff I learned when I was a toddler," magically, so to speak. "Alright, Jed." She's not going to turn down his magic. If her own never comes back, she's going to need something. "Promise?" Just that, a simple question, a child's question, as she turns to try to slip back to sleep, to leave him to do what needs to be done.

Maybe, if his powers ran in a different direction, Jed would do exactly that. But protection magic doesn't help much on the offensive, only the defensive and as such he rumbles softly, "Now how the heck can I go lookin' fer him when I'm gonna be spendin' all my time lookin' afta you?" Damn, what this place needs is a rocking chair, cause that's what Jed wants to do right now. Sit in his rockin' chair and just rock and think. His lips curl into a lazy smile at Paige's words, his hand patting hers as he counters, "It's jest like I always been tellin' yeh, darlin. Simple things are the best. People always gotta confound things, makin' 'em high tech and high falutin' and super fancy." He shakes his head and argues, "Gum's up the works is all. The simple solutions are the best ones. Reliable, dependable, no matter whut the situation be's like.” Nodding slowly Jed squeezes Paige's fingers again and promises, "Promise, darlin'. Rest now."

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