That's what you get for calling it a slow night in the ER.
Granted, it hadn't been Damian saying it, but the end result was the same; not ten minutes after the words were said, the ER was swamped. There had been an automobile collision, involving several cars.
Some victims had gotten away with a few scratches and bruises and the fright, but there were also multiple traumas. Damian stepped outside just as an ambulance came to a halt.
The backdoors were slammed open and the stretcher lowered as the paramedic talked a mile a minute about the patient's condition. Damian didn't hear any of it, however, because he'd gotten a look at the patient's face, and his blood ran cold. Blood covered most of her face, but Damian still recognized her. He couldn't not after having lived all of his teenaged years in her house.
Someone was yelling Damian's name and it broke him out of the shocked trance he'd gone into. Damian hurried after the stretcher inside the ER, eyes only for Claire's limp, bloody body.
"Where's her husband?" He asked the female paramedic. "Were there teenagers in the car?" He grabbed her arm in desperation.
"No teenagers. Only her and a man. He was brought in before her," the paramedic informed him, casting a quick, worried look. "He was badly hurt too."
Damian backed away. He heard someone call his name again, but he didn't have time. He had to find his uncle. He went to the trauma rooms, checking each one in turn. When he entered number four, he saw Ray's familiar face, pale and unmoving.
"Time of death … 23:45."
No! Damian pushed his way past a nurse and another doctor and took Ray's hand. It was still warm, still bloody, but there was no life in it, no pulse. No, no, no!
Damian was snapped out of the shock and he stared at the doctor who'd called his name. Then he remembered Claire. He had to go to Claire; he had to be there for her. There was nothing he could do for Ray—Ray was dead and Claire was all alone.
Damian pushed his way out of the room again and found Claire in trauma two. She lay just as unmoving as she had when she'd been strapped to the gurney; her face was just as bloody. Some of it was coagulating, but fresh blood still trickled from a nasty gash in her temple. The blond hair on that side was a mess.
"Dr. Fielding, get out of here," the trauma doctor told him sternly when he caught sight of Damian in the doorway. "We'll do the best we can, but you cannot stay here."
"I have to stay," he said, his voice low. "She's all alone. I don't want her to be alone when—"
The older doctor came up in front of him. "Dr. Fielding. Get out. You cannot stay in here while we work on her. Go to the waiting room. Now!"
Damian knew he couldn't be there, but part of him still held onto that he had to be there for her. The other part of him, the logical one, knew he would never be allowed though, so he turned and walked stiffly back out into the ER proper.
He could hear the beep of the machine as Claire coded and he knew, though it clawed painfully at his insides to admit it, that it wouldn't be long before her body gave up.