Phoenix Feather

Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace

Book: Phoenix Feather by Angela Wallace Read Free Book Online
Authors: Angela Wallace
hours before the doctor came to inform them about the procedure, and two more before Chris was moved from recovery to ICU and they could see him briefly. According to the doctor, the surgery had gone well without any complications. Hospital policy dictated one visitor at a time, so Phoebe went back first and Aidan and Trent waited in the hall.
    “Chris told me he arranged for care at a nursing home for the first few weeks after the surgery,” Aidan said. “He doesn’t want the added burden on Phoebe until the term’s over.”
    “He’s a level-headed guy,” Trent said. “I bet he’d excel at anything.”
    She lifted her eyes to the ceiling in a wistful expression. “He and Phoebe have always been very close. To the point where I don’t think either one has felt there was a hole in their lives they needed to fill. But he would make a lucky girl very happy.”
    Trent nodded. By getting to know Aidan he had gotten to know her friends as well. That first weekend he had met Chris and Phoebe and seen how Aidan interacted with them, he knew no matter what became of it, he wanted to be that kind of friend in her life. Slowly, he was being drawn into that circle, with all the joy and heartache it offered. He cared about Phoebe and Chris too. They both would make some man and woman very happy.
    “So would you,” Aidan said abruptly.
    Trent looked up and met her gaze, which was striking beneath the fluorescent lights. She held his eyes a moment longer before smiling sweetly and looking away. Trent felt his desire to be near her escalate ten-fold. He wanted to protect her, care for her—he wanted to love her. He had never felt that way about anyone before, and it both excited and unnerved him. He realized his heart had crossed that threshold without his knowing, and there was no turning back.
    Phoebe came out and Aidan went back.
    “How’s he look?” Trent asked.
    “Tired, but he’s trying to make jokes.”
    “How are you?”
    Phoebe shook her head, fighting tears. “I don’t know. I’m really glad you’re here for Aidan.”
    “Hey.” He pulled her into a hug. “I’m here for all of you.”
    She started sniffling, and pulled away to use her sleeve instead of his shirt. He grabbed a box of tissues from the nurse’s station.
    “I know this isn’t what you had in mind when you wanted to date her.”
    “I’m not one bit sorry.”
    Phoebe looked up at him through watery eyes. “You know, I think you mean that.”
    Trent gave her a comforting smile. “I’m going to need your help in the future,” he said. “For instance, in finding the perfect Christmas gift for her.”
    Phoebe snorted through the tissue. “You’re on top of things. There’s still three and a half weeks till Thanksgiving.”
    “Think about it for a bit,” he said.
    Aidan returned then. “He’d like to see you,” she said to Trent.
    He went through the ICU doors and into the second room on his right. Chris lay in bed, hooked up to several tubes and monitors. His eyes were closed, and Trent thought he might have nodded off from the meds.
    “Hey,” Chris croaked.
    “Hey. You look pretty good. I might have to organize a dancing night sooner than I thought.”
    Chris smiled. Positive was the way to go. Chris had been positive since the beginning, and Trent was not going to let him down.
    “The girls smiled.” Chris’s voice came out low and groggy. His eyes closed frequently while he talked, but he always returned to the conversation without losing his place. “But how are they, really?”
    “They’re still processing. It’s all happened pretty fast. In a couple weeks when you’re back home and doing better, I think they’ll get better too.”
    “I want to ask for your help in the meantime.” Chris sighed heavily and winced. “I can’t keep an eye on them right now. I made Phoebe promise to keep doing stuff, and Aidan promised to hold Phoebe to it. But if you could take them out for fun sometimes. Like the

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