Part 5 by Vicki


“It's okay to be scared. We all get scared sometimes,” reassured Jude. Thomas sat quietly on the bed. He feared the punishment if he spoke. His wrist plastered, his ribs bandaged, and his bruises sore. “I use to get scared a lot when I was your age.” Jude never said it in actual words, but Thomas somehow knew what she meant. Only someone who had been there and had it done to them knew what it was like to be scared. Scared to move, to breathe, to accidentally spill paint on the floor, to make too much noise.

“My mother died when I was five, and there was just me and my dad.” Jude thought the only way to get through was to be honest. Kids just knew sometimes. He wanted to talk to her. He felt safe and protected. Jude's patience surely a virtue in Thomas's time of refuge from his father.

“What is it?”

“My mom died when I was born.”

“I'm sorry.” She was as compassionate as she could be and so caring. Lydia didn't know a lot about her, but she liked her. She liked how she struggled through her own demons to help a young boy trying to deal with his. She could see how hard it was for Jude and she admired her courage and spirit. Doctor and nurse looked at each other, knowing the barricade Thomas had set around himself was starting to slowly break away, and they would wrap it in cotton wool and protect it always.

“I remember once, I was about 7 I think, I woke up one day and I realized I couldn't remember what my Mama looked like. A friend of my mom's who lived down the street who took care me sometimes, told me if I ever wanted to remember, all I had to do was look in the mirror and she would be staring right back me. I guess she figured I looked like my Mom.” He smiled at her story. It warmed both Jude and Lydia's heart. They had cared for him for the past 2 hours and this was the first smile. “How about you, mom, or dad?”

Thomas thought about it and didn't know. He softly shrugged his shoulders.

“I'm like my dad,” added Lydia. Thomas was quiet. Jude and Lydia were concerned they were not saying the right things.

“I think Thomas is like Thomas,” concluded Jude. Thomas looked at her, curious about what she meant. “Quiet, caring, sweet, and very special.” He was impressed with her. He felt a connection with her. He couldn't be sure but he felt Jude knew what he was going through because she had gone through it too. Jude knew everything he was going through, she had a gut feeling. The x-rays showed the old fractures that had not healed. The faded scars on his flesh. The protection he felt for his father. The fear in his eyes and heart, knowing if he spoke the words his life would end.

“Is there something you want to tell us Thomas?” whispered Jude. Thomas watched over her face, searching for help, begging, crying, and hoping she heard his unspoken words. “Did your father do this to you? Does your father hurt you Thomas.” Eyes locked, Thomas spoke no words, but Jude heard everything.


Lydia tried to calm her but there was no way. Her anger at boiling point. They saw it all time, parents abusing their children, husband's beating wives, lovers hurting lovers, abuse, neglect, society's lost souls and it never got easier. It never made sense, but always drilled straight the very core of the soul.

“Let me talk to the father,” insisted Adele.

“Why? The bastard will just deny everything,” argued Jude.

“We need to be sure.”

“Sure about what for Christ's sake? You saw it; the kid has the sole of a shoe bruised on his back. What do we need to be sure about; the son of a bitch kicked the boy down the stairs because he filled the bath with too much water. Now I heard it and so did Lydia....” Lydia nodded her agreement. She heard Thomas speak the words. “And I don't know what the hell you were doing but you were not obviously listening to that kid in there.”

“Separating a family is the last thing we want to do, we need to go into the family home, look into the family environment, talk with the parent, the child, make an assessment....”

“That is not a God damn family environment.” Jude butted in. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. “Now I don't care what assessment you make, but what is going to happen, is that kid is not going back to that house, and he is not leaving here with that animal.” She was adamant. No way in hell was she going let Thomas go anywhere with the man who was suppose to be his father. Her past suddenly being relived. Her fears remembered. However, this time instead of Kerry she would be the one taking the stand. “I will bleed before I let you give him back to that bastard.”

Adele was not getting anywhere and knew she wouldn't with Jude in this state.

“Let me make some calls.” defeated Adele. She walked out of the doctors’ lounge, to try and look into getting Thomas in to Foster care, until things could be sorted out.

“Yeah you make your calls,” snapped Jude. She and Lydia stayed there. They didn't know what they were going to do, but they were not going to let Thomas leave with his father.

Lydia eventually saw what Thomas did, in Jude's eyes. She didn't want to push her on it but knowing something helped her find the courage she needed for the battle they were both aware was about to commence. “What do you think?” asked Lydia, concerned about what was about to happen. Jude thought about it, she knew, she just was not sure if Lydia should face it with her.

“I think lines are about to be crossed and I should probably cross them on my own.” Noble and protective, two good qualities. Anger and frustration not so good.

“I appreciate you looking out for me, but I think Thomas is going to need us both.” smiled Lydia. She was willing to make a sacrifice if it meant saving a little boy. Two women united to form an alliance. Thomas Crawley was temporarily saved.

“I'll go see how he's doing,” explained Lydia.

“Okay, I will go tell the old man we're doing more tests.” Jude smirked. She couldn't wait. Excited about finding a reason to keep Thomas away from his father. Lydia went and checked on Thomas, while Jude finally explained things to Scott.

**I have seen death. I have witnessed torture. Watched sane mind succumb to craziness, and observed a withering soul. Evilness can be destroyed with the strongest of swords, the purist of hearts, willed mind and good conscience. Determination and will stirs the greatest triumphs in all of us, and hope and faith will be restored in my life while I search to live in freedom. I will be who I am, and mend my broken heart, will my courage, embrace faith in hand, watch my spirit rise and I will take my freedom.” - Judith Baker, 16 years old.**


“What's going on?” inquired Luka. Again, with coming to her defense, this guy was unbelievable and she would tell him later, right now, she was busy.

“She's telling me she's doing more tests on my son, I've been here two hours already, I want to see my son and she won't let me.” bitched Scott Crawley. He was angry and ill tempered, and his voice rose.

“I told you when the tests are done.”

“I want to see him now,” yelled Scott.

“Okay Mr.?” asked Luka

“Crawley. Scott Crawley.”

Frank got on the phone and called for security, he sensed something coming.

“Okay Mr. Crawley, calm down. I'm sure we can work something out.” He didn't know the circumstances and Jude resented him sticking his nose in business that had nothing to do with him, and she would tell him that later too.

“I have the right to see my son.”

“The right to see your son? You got to be kidding me?” Jude was shocked, and her outburst probably not a good idea.

“What's that suppose to mean?”

“You know what it means.”

“Why don't you tell me?”

“Does it make you feel good you son of a bitch.” Luka was surprised at what was suddenly going on. This was not good.

“What are you talking about?” He knew. He knew she knew. “ This bitch is crazy. She won't let me see my own son, and now she's tripping.”

“You can't intimidate us like you do the boy. Does it make you feel like a man? Huh? Does it?”

“Dr. Baker can I talk to you a minute?” interrupted Luka. He figured this was the only way to stop Jude from making a mistake he saw her making if he didn't step in.

“No you can't,” barked Jude. She stood right in Scott Crowley's face, “You God damn animal.”

“That little bastard, what did he tell you? Where is he?” Scott tried to push his way past Jude to find Thomas but she stopped him. Luka instantly stepped in trying to protect Jude. He didn't care about what happen to this guy but he was not about to let anything happen to her.

With all his might and power, Scott Crawley threw his fist to hit Jude, missed, and whacked Luka on the cheek. Luka fell to the floor. Jude with all her strength and courage lunged forward and head butted Scott Crawley, knocking him off balance. Patients waiting in chairs, scattered for safety, security came from everywhere and instantly broke it up.


Scott Crawley sat in exam room 4 being treated for concussion, swearing a lawsuit against the hospital and Dr. Baker.

Luka stood in trauma room one, ice pack on his cheek to stop the swelling. Jude sat on the bed, ice pack on her forehead to stop her swelling. She had a hard head, and no concussion.


Dr. Kovac and Dr. Baker waited in trauma room one for the repercussion of earlier events. They didn't speak to each other. Jude didn’t know what to say. She had let her temper get the better of her, and in a tiny part of heart, she was saddened. In a single moment and in defending a child she had instantly become her father. Luka couldn't believe what he had just witnessed. He knew she was of strong will but he never thought she would strike in anger and temper lost. If he knew the circumstances Jude felt, he would have done the same. Once again, she didn't have the courage to tell him or let him understand the reason for her actions.

Dr. Romano was on the warpath. He blasted into the trauma room to speak his words on the subject. Already he had heard of the trouble in the ER, and his staff meeting was cut short due to it. He was ready to roll heads and kick some ass.

“What the hell did you think you were doing?” yelled Robert. He was talking to Jude, and she didn't know what he wanted to hear. She figured the truth, but she was afraid if she spoke the words, her past would come flooding back, and she feared she would never weather the storm.

“I don't know.”

“You don't know. That's just great Dr. Baker. Mr. Crawley is in the other room swearing bloody murder.”

“There's no excuse for what I did.”

“Damn straight.” bit Robert.

“It was a misunderstanding,” added Luka.

“This has nothing to do with you, so you should stay out of it, Kovac.”

“Finally. Thank you.” Jude was pleased someone else knew what she knew. Luka Kovac had nothing to do with her life and she didn't appreciate him thinking he did and needed to protect her. He looked at her strangely. What the hell did that just mean? He would find out? Later. When Dr. Romano finished his lecture.

“Look I know I shouldn't have done what I did, but I did and I will deal with the consequences,” admitted Jude.

“Yes you will.” He was not as tough on her as she thought he would be. He knew why she did what she did. He saw Lydia in the corridor on his way to see them. He didn't condone her actions but he understood them.” Take the rest of the day off.”

“Oh come on!”

“Come to think of it take the rest of the week.”

“Dr. Romano!” She couldn't believe this. She needed their support not their disapproval.

“Want to make it two, Baker?” asked Robert

“No Sir.” defeated Jude.

“Good, go home.”

“Yes sir.” concluded Jude. She was not about to get anywhere. She needed to let Dr. Romano and whoever else fix the problem she had caused. Dr. Romano headed out the door but suddenly stopped and looked at Jude. His expression puzzling.

“Tell me Dr. Baker.”

“What's that Dr. Romano?”

“How did it feel?” She knew he knew why she did what she did. Luka couldn't believe what he was hearing. This was serious. Not some sort joke, they could talk about and pretend it was not serious.

“It felt kind of good.”

Luka was almost ashamed to hear the words come from her mouth. Dr. Romano understood them. Under the same circumstances, he probably would have done the same. He would have liked to think he would have been able to control his temper, but when it came down to it, he knew he would have head butted the son of a bitch too.

Dr. Romano left them alone. He had to gather reinforcements and fight Jude's case. Legal department had already called. They needed to make inquiries and Dr. Romano needed to be at her defense and allow damage control to take affect.

Luka got up and put his ice pack over on a nearby tray. He had finished with it. A slight bruise already forming on his cheek.

“Jesus, do I have one massive headache.” Her lie almost the truth. Her head was spinning. Not of her actions of the past morning, but of all the things she wondered. What did he think of her now? What did he want to say to her in his silence? Was he going out with the redheaded nurse? Were they lovers?

He didn't speak to her; afraid the wrong words would come out. He wanted to understand. Understand why so much heartache reflected from her eyes. He wanted to understand why she insisted pushing things to the line, sometimes needing to cross over it, and caring nothing of the consequences. He walked over to her and stood in front of her, and held up two fingers. “How many fingers?”

Her smile couldn't be deterred. She appreciated his concern. “Three.” laughed Jude. “Dr. Green already cleared me of concussion. I'm fine, it's just a headache.” She didn't want to tell him from what. He didn't have time for her jokes. He didn't know what he had time for anymore. He left her sitting there and with no more words, slowly walked out. She was annoyed.

“Yeah, walk out, you self-righteous son of a bitch.” she snarled. She got off the bed and threw her ice pack on the tray, “You wouldn't want to keep the redhead waiting.” She instantly regretted her words. Why did she have to bring up Jenny? Luka stopped frozen in the doorway, and turned to face her. She couldn't look him. She felt like a fool. She reprimanded herself for letting it all get out of control. Her feelings. The reaction he brought out in her. She wanted this day to be over.

“This is not about....”

“Jenny.” She cut in.

“I know her name.”

“Of course you do.” She was being rude and obnoxious, and a total bitch. Her jealousy clearly showing. “Look why don't you just say whatever it is you want to say to me.”

“Fine. You provoked that man.” He walked back in to the room, his presence felt. She was not afraid. “And then you hit him.”

“I do not need to justify myself to you.”

“God damn it Jude. You just...you...” He couldn't find the words. He wanted to pour his heart out to her, and now he felt he didn't know her. Deep down he knew he never really did. He had hoped Jude was all things he saw her to be and she was. His mind confused, his heart tangled with his questions, needs, and desires. “You just can't go around hitting people.” Jude was quiet, her past haunting her as she stood and listened to a man she had searched most of her life to find.

“Your right.” whispered Jude, as she looked at him. Her heart broke. Her soul cried. She had never allowed herself to dream and to believe that anything good could happen in her life and she had only the events in her past to blame, but in the darkness of her soul she had begun to see the light, and now he stood in front of her disappointed and disapproving.

**Present - He came to me in my dreams last night, and I don't have the faintest idea why. I can't seem to be able to stop my mind from wandering to him. I try to discourage it with reading or work, but I falter. Sometimes I feel as if I'm going insane, and he is the one slowly sending me there. God, sometimes I think I'm already there, but I'm in a stage in my life right now, and my father brought me here to this place, to no longer care, what people think of me. Everything I knew, felt, believed, and believed in died the day the only man I trusted with my life hurt me. Everything which existed in me vanished but for reasons I can't explain, even after delving into the deepest, darkest crags of my soul, he has somehow found a tiny crack in my life and comfortably without my permission crept his way in.**

There had been days when Jude thought the scars her father had inflicted upon her heart would never be healed, and then there were scarce moments when she enjoyed the sun warming over her like a gentle soul. She had come a long way, been through so much, lived through turmoil and distress. With no conscience, her father had emotionally destroyed her and she had survived. Kerry was sure Jude was through the worst of it, and no one knew what had brought about this change in her over the last few months, and she was not about to tell them. His name sketched faintly in her diary, branded in her mind, and carved in her heart. Luka Kovac lived there, enriched her soul, enslaved her spirit, and in her heart where she yearned for him the most, she feared what she felt for him would kill her.

She felt only oblivion could be next. She tried so desperately to not let him affect her in the way he did, but she faltered again. What did he mean to her anyway? Nothing. Why would his words haunt her? They wouldn't. Why would another woman in his life bother her? It didn't. She didn't own him. They were no more then work associates. They had no emotional or physical connection to each other. She had not led him to believe anything else. She was too confused to know anything right now. Why was she having all these thoughts and feelings about a man she made it perfectly clear to, she was not interested in. She knew why. She knew the truth. It did affect her. She knew she wanted more then to work with him. She wanted his friendship, his life, his being, and knowing this scared her to her very wits. She would deny her feelings and what she wanted until the ends of the earth, and said nothing to him about what seeing him with another woman did to her, and how his words and disapproval cut her so deeply.

He saw the distance in her eyes when she looked at him; there was no fear there, no scared little girl. He saw only a woman. Gentle and caring in one instance. Angry and fiery the next. Down and lonely some days, happy and alone on others. She was a woman who often spoke her mind, which got her into trouble or got others out of it. Insecure most of the time, trustworthy all the time.

“You're absolutely right, but you know what, Kovac?” She didn't give him the chance to answer. “I don't really care what you think about me.” He was intrigued. “I will separate someone's head from his shoulders, and kick their ass if I feel like it, and you can think bad of me and you can stand there and judge me but I don't care. I will do what I want to whomever I want, and you.... you can go to hell...and you know what, my old man will meet you there.” finished Jude. She summoned her fierce spirit and headed straight out the doors.

“She kissed me,” insisted Luka. He didn't look at her. Jude stopped at the door.


“Nothing is going to happen between me and Jenny.”

“Whatever!” Jude continued walking out of the room, Luka didn't want her to go, but he feared stopping her would severe the connection he had with her. He didn't exactly know what it was, and she denied it whenever she could, but they shared something. A bond. A friendship. She profusely denied they shared anything, and he rejoiced in the fact they did.


to part 6

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