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Chapter 7 — Major Life Events
Tyler was busy finishing his dissertation so he could file it with his department to get set up for graduation. Once it’s accepted, then he will be defending it. Tyler didn’t know what to do for Shawn during this time. At least Mike, Laura, and Rose came around, their relationship wasn’t like it used to be, but it was coming back.
Tyler had been staying late at the university, confirming everything was in order on his dissertation. His defense date was set. His advisor told him to stop going over it. He knew everything and would be fine. Take a break between now and the defense.
On the day of the defense, Tyler was nervous. Shawn told him he would be there for him even though he was at work. He would take his lunch at that time and come. Tyler sat in the auditorium, waiting for his turn to come. There were quite a few people from the university there. Even Dawn was in the audience. When it came Tyler’s turn, he stood up and walked over to be in front of the committee.
Shawn was not in the audience when he looked around before he started. He explained his research and what he did with it. The committee asked questions that seemed to be the standard bunch of questions they ask everyone. When he finished, he hoped that Shawn had slipped in, but he scanned the room again, and still no Shawn. He was the last defense of the day, so he talked with Dawn and asked her if she had heard from Shawn, and she hadn’t. They still weren’t talking, but he hoped he would have called someone to tell them he would be late. When Dawn and Tyler stepped into the hallway, they found out where Shawn was.
On the TV in the hallway, there was a crowd around it. The headline read an officer shot, and the suspects are in custody. Before Tyler and Dawn could wonder what officer it was, there stood two police officers being pointed in their direction. “Tyler Stevens? Dawn Mason?”
“Yes.” Both Dawn and Tyler said at the same time.
“We need you two to come with us.”
“What’s going on?” Dawn asked.
“Mrs., we were asked to pick up Mr. Stevens and you.”
“And take us where?” Tyler asked.
“To the hospital, Sir.” The officer didn’t want to tell that piece of information just yet.
“Shawn was the….”
“Yes, Sir, if we could take you there, please.”
They went willingly as soon as they heard that Shawn was shot. When they were in the patrol car, they started asking questions, and both officers just stated that they didn’t know the full details. They could tell them that he was shot and is in surgery. They have already picked up or contacted Shawn’s father, who asked for them to be picked up.
When they arrived at the hospital, Dean was waiting for them at the ambulance entrance with another cop. Tyler recognized him as the guy from Shawn’s house, Jack. Tyler didn’t even look at Dean. He spoke right to Jack. “Jack, what happened, and where is he?”
“Tyler, he pulled over the wrong people, called it in, and another unit was on their way because it’s protocol. He approached them to ask for their information, and they shot him.”
“But he wears a vest.”
“Yeah, we all do. But just because we are, doesn’t mean the person can’t shoot you somewhere else.” Tyler was immediately thinking about the head, and Jack realized it as soon as he said that. “No, Tyler, he wasn’t shot in the head. The vest protects our chest and heart. But most criminals know this and try to shoot somewhere else.”
They were walking at this point towards the surgical waiting room. “Okay, so where?” Tyler wasn’t expecting what he saw when he walked in. There were so many police officers sitting or standing talking to one another. “Oh, my God.”
“We are a family. When one of us goes down, we all come together.”
Tyler saw all the guys at Shawn’s house that morning: Charlie, Jeff, and Gary. There were a few more that he forgot their names. There were so many people, and Mike, Laura, and Rose came over to be with Dawn, Dean, and Tyler.
“I will leave you for a bit. I’m going to see if there’s an update,” Jack stated as he was about to walk away.
“Jack, where was he shot?” Tyler asked, and all the officers looked at him.
“A few places.” Jack looked at him. “They shot him first in the vest. At least we think it was first.”
“A few? And they?” Tyler couldn’t fathom that anyone would want to shoot a cop, he knows it happens, but he never thought it would happen this close to home.
“Yes, two gunmen in the car. They were ready for Shawn when he walked up to the car. I don’t think the driver was prepared to have his eardrum blown, and that is the only reason we caught them.” Jack responded. “They shot him 4 times, shoulder, dead center in the vest and the leg.”
“The video from his unit shows that Shawn drew his weapon after being shot in the leg and chest. He had backed away. The second gunman had gotten out of the car. Shot a second time at the chest, which caused him to go down. The gunman rounded the car and fired the final Escort Yakacık shot in the shoulder. Shawn didn’t have a chance, not even to retreat.” Charlie added.
“Did Shawn fire at all?” Dawn asked.
“Yes, he got a round-off, but he had been thrown off balance. We train for this but don’t shoot one another to know what it feels like to get shot.” Jeff answered.
“What do you mean?” Tyler asked.
“Tyler, as much as you train for a possible gunman situation, you are never ready for it. I’m sure Shawn was in survival mode and would do anything to stay alive. Getting hit with a bullet point-blank in the vest once is a blow. He was shot in the vest and leg at about the same time. Then he tried to retreat and pull his gun, he shot at the second gunman and caught him in the shoulder too, but the gunman was already aiming for his vest again. When it hit, a second blow to his vest probably took the wind from him, as did the first time, but as I said, he was in survival mode after the first shots.” Charlie continued. “The second blow to the vest took him down, we could see that in the video, and the last shot guaranteed he stayed down.”
“We caught up with the gunmen just a few blocks away. The second unit was pulling up as Shawn went down, and they drew their guns, but they had jumped back in their car and sped off.”
“They left him on the street?” Gary knew exactly what Tyler meant.
“My partner got out as I went after the gunmen,” Gary responded.
Jack had walked away during this conversation to check Shawn’s status. When he walked back, he brought a doctor with him. “Mr. Michaels?” The doctor asked.
“It’s actually Taylor, Michael Taylor.” Shawn’s father spoke up.
“Mr. Taylor, Shawn is out of surgery. He did lose a lot of blood at the scene, thank the young man that put pressure on Shawn’s leg. He saved his life.” The doctor was talking about Gary’s partner. “We were able to repair the damage to his artery. The shoulder wound did shatter his collarbone, which the orthopedic surgeon could pin back together and place a rod. The rod will have to be removed at a later time.”
“Can I see him?” Tyler asked.
“Yes, you can, but there is a problem. We can’t wake him.”
“What do you mean you can’t wake him?” All of Shawn’s family said in unison.
“When Officer Michaels came in, he was passed out from the blood loss. The paramedics couldn’t wake him even then. We had to take him into surgery, repair what we could, and get blood into him. Because he had no records on file of possible allergies, we didn’t know that he was sensitive to anesthesia and had a heart attack while under.” Tears were coming down Tyler’s cheeks. He couldn’t lose Shawn. “We revived him and tried to reverse the anesthesia, but he has been unresponsive.”
“Will he wake?” Mike asked.
“We are sure he will, but we just don’t know when.” The doctor responded. “All we can do is wait.”
“I want to see him. I need to see him,” Tyler responded.
“That is fine, but we asked only two to three at a time. We have him in an Intensive Care Unit, but because of your numbers, we have him nearer to the waiting room on that floor.”
The doctor led them to the 3rd floor, and Tyler, Mike, and Dawn went in first. They saw that he was hooked up on IVs and a catheter. Shawn was hooked up to many devices, and wires came from everywhere. Tyler gasped, walked straight over to the bed, and grabbed Shawn’s hand, squeezing it and not getting a response back.
The doctor spoke more, but Tyler didn’t hear anything. He was focused on Shawn and scared that he would lose him. The doctor excused himself, and Mike patted Tyler on his shoulder, telling him that everything would be fine. Tyler refused to leave when each new person would come in.
It was a few days before they downgraded Shawn to a regular room. He still wasn’t awake, but he was in stable condition, and they couldn’t hold up an ICU bed with him. Tyler’s mom and dad came into town, Tom and Jean. So, there was someone with Tyler at all times. Tyler didn’t go to work, and the university was okay with him missing. They understood.
After the fourth day, Dawn went to the bank and retrieved Shawn’s legal papers. She knew if they had to decide to move Shawn. The doctors need to know his medical advocate and see the paperwork. She grabbed the entire folder because she didn’t want to be gone for too long.
When she returned, she sat in the room with everyone and opened the file to read it. After a few minutes of reading, she spoke loudly, “I can’t believe it?” Dawn was looking at the papers in her hand. Dean and everyone looked over at her, except Tyler. Tyler’s parents were looking between Dawn and Tyler. Tyler was barely registering that anyone was talking. He was holding Shawn’s hand and just wishing he would wake up.
“What?” Mike asked since no one else was going to.
Dawn smiled at her dad, “Shawn is a sneaky little bastard.” That got Tyler’s attention, and he looked over, and Dawn smiled Atalar escort at Tyler. “I don’t know if he wanted you to know this or not, but you get everything.”
“What do you mean, I get everything?”
“Tyler, he changed everything when he asked you to marry him. Everything has changed his will, his beneficiaries on all his accounts. I’m amazed that I still have access to the safe deposit box, but he probably didn’t think that far to change that over and teach you how to start paying his bills, if….” She stopped because she could see that Tyler was starting to tear up. “Tyler.”
“I don’t want any of it. I just want him. I want him to wake up.” Tyler dropped his head on Shawn’s hand and silently cried.
“Son, he will wake up. He just needs time to recover.” Tom, Tyler’s dad, spoke up.
“It’s almost been a week?”
“They said it may take time. Remember, it sometimes takes time for the brain to let the person wake up. He still may be protecting him from the pain.” Tom stated.
“But they are giving him pain meds for the pain,” Tyler responded.
“Yes, they manage what they think he is experiencing, but they don’t want to overdo it. They don’t want to give him too much to keep him from waking, so they wait until he wakes.”
Tyler squeezed Shawn’s hand. He hoped that Shawn would squeeze back, but nothing. Tyler looked back at Shawn’s face, still looking so peaceful.
Tyler’s father looked up at the monitors. His blood pressure and heart rate were regular. He was waiting to see a spike, and when he noticed a change, there might be a possibility of Shawn waking up.
Tyler rarely left Shawn’s side, so Mike would stay with him when everyone went down to the cafeteria. He laid his head down on Shawn’s bed and fell asleep. Mike knew he was tired. He smiled, looked down at the book in his hand, and started to read. When Mike saw a little movement, he looked up and was surprised to see Shawn was awake and caressing Tyler’s face while he was sleeping.
Mike stood up and walked over to the bedside. “You’re awake?” He knew that was the most obvious question. Shawn looked up at him and nodded, “Son, it’s okay. I’m sure your voice is rough.” Mike smiled at Shawn. Shawn shook his head and looked down at Tyler. Mike realized he didn’t want to wake him. “He’ll want to know you’re awake. You’ve been asleep for a week.” Shawn’s eyes widened, “Do you remember getting shot?” Shawn nodded his head. Of course, he remembers.
Mike rubbed Tyler’s back and woke him, “What is it? Does someone need something?” Tyler didn’t even raise his head. He was so tired that he didn’t even realize the extra hand on his head. The nurse also walked in and almost spoke up in shock, and Mike held up his hand to stop her.
“Tyler, sit up.”
Tyler squeezed Shawn’s hand, still wasn’t expecting any response, and when he got a squeeze back, Tyler’s head snapped up, and he looked at Shawn. “When?” Tyler jumped to his feet and hugged Shawn, not thinking.
“Ow!” Shawn said softly. Mike and the nurse walked out of the room. The nurse informed Mike she would come back in a few, but she would let the doctor know that Shawn was awake.
“Oh, honey, I’m sorry,” Tyler said, and he released him, but Shawn didn’t let Tyler go. “I love you.”
Shawn cleared his throat, but it was gravelly, “I love you too, and I’m sorry, Babe.”
“For what, Honey? You came back to me.” Tyler hugged Shawn and started to cry.
Out in the hall, everyone was coming back from the cafeteria and wondering why Mike was standing there. “Are they doing testing or something?” Dawn asked as they all walked up.
“No,” Mike said with a smile. “But please stay out here for a bit.”
“Why?” Dawn asked.
“He’s awake?” Dean asked and went to go in, and Mike stopped him.
“Please, Dean, let them have a few minutes together.”
Tyler was so happy to have Shawn awake. The doctor was called in, and when he arrived, all the family wanted to go into the room. Shawn saw their faces and could tell they were all worried. The doctor did routine tests on him and afterward said he was okay. He only spent another two days in the hospital before he was released. Tyler didn’t want to return to work but knew he had to. His parents did stay to watch after Shawn.
When the weekend came, Tom and Jean went home, so they could have some private time together. A lot of officers came over during the week, and Jack asked Shawn if he would like to keep everyone away for the day, and he agreed.
When they woke on Saturday, the first day, that they were alone. Tyler didn’t want to get out of bed. He wanted to stay cuddled up on Shawn’s side. “I love you, Tyler.” Shawn held him close. “Babe, I’m sorry.”
“You have told me that several times. It is okay. I have you back, and I’m not going to let you go.”
“I know, Babe, but it scared you. I know you will hate it when I return to work.”
“You’re going back?” Tyler was surprised by this.
“Honey, I can’t quit because I was hurt. Kadıköy escort bayan I love my job. I understand it’ll take some time before I can return to active duty, but I’ll go back.”
Tyler didn’t know how he would handle this. He was scared for Shawn. He was never scared before when Shawn went to work, but now he was fearful. They spent a while that day in bed, Tyler wanted to stay cuddled up to Shawn, and Shawn didn’t mind. He missed it. With Tyler’s parents there, Tyler would get up and spend time with them before he went to work. So Shawn would also get up and sit in the living room.
After two weeks off, Shawn returned to work and was assigned to the registration desk until he was healed. Which would be a while because he still needed to have the rod removed. So the total recovery time would be eight months before he was allowed to be in a patrol unit again.
During the first week, that Shawn was back at work. Tyler sat in his office and had to decide whether to start filling out job applications or not. He can’t stay in the position he’s in forever. He just finished his degree. He wants to become a professor.
On his lunch, he went to Dawn’s office and knocked on her door. “Tyler, can I help you? You look perplexed.”
“Dawn, I don’t know what to do. I need your advice.”
“What about?” Dawn asked.
“How do I talk to Shawn about applying for jobs?” Tyler stated. “I know I need to start, but what if it’s not here?”
“Tyler, you need to sit him down and talk with him. Where are you thinking about applying?”
“Well, for starters, I would love to stay and work alongside Professor Unger,” Tyler stated that would be a dream. “But I know I can’t rule out applying elsewhere.”
Tyler decided that he would talk with Shawn that weekend after he researched where there were job openings. He was amazed when he looked at his university that they were looking for a professor for history. He could start with that position, and maybe he would soon be able to teach the history courses that he was most interested in. But how would he know if he didn’t apply? That was the first application with a resume that he put in.
By the time the weekend had arrived, Tyler had found a few positions at universities that fit what he was looking for. A good history department with classics, all history that will deal with the civil war and other areas of history but not always ancient. Now getting up his nerve to talk to Shawn.
Shawn had been lying on the couch while Tyler was on the loveseat on his computer. All the time, unbeknownst to Tyler, Shawn had been watching him. Shawn had seen the stress in his facial expressions every time he would click from one page to the next on his computer. Finally, it was Shawn that asked.
“Babe, what is bugging you?”
Tyler slowly lowered the screen and closed the laptop. “I’m nervous.”
“I can see that. What’s going on.”
“Well.” Tyler took a deep breath, held it, and didn’t blow it out. He decided to speak really fast. “I’m nervous because I applied for some teaching jobs, and not all are in this state. And I don’t want to lose you, Babe.”
Shawn smiled as he sat up, still with a wince of pain, which he never showed at work. He got up and sat on the coffee table in front of Tyler, taking the laptop from his lap. He took Tyler’s hands in his, and after sitting them on his lap, Shawn began. “I love you. I told you a while ago that you’d have a problem keeping me from worshiping the ground you walk on. I’ll go wherever you end up. Even if you change jobs after a year or two. I’ll move for you. You’re my life, Tyler Benjamin Stevens.”
Tyler was smiling from ear to ear. “Really?”
“Yes.” Shawn nodded his head. “Really.”
Over the next few weeks, Shawn could tell that Tyler was at his wit’s end because he was hearing nothing back from any of the applications. Shawn decided to try to take his mind off of everything. When Tyler came in from work, Shawn had food on the grill and everything they needed to have a nice dinner in the backyard.
Tyler walked out into the back after finding that Shawn wasn’t in the house. “There you are, and you have dinner almost ready.”
“Is it a problem?” Shawn was hoping he didn’t have other plans.
“Nope.” Tyler smiled. “I was just thinking about taking you off to the bedroom.” He had a mischievous smile on his face. “I know I’ve been a pain to live with lately.”
Shawn looked at the grill and at Tyler, then back at the grill. “Well, as much as I would love sex right now.” Shawn laughed, and so did Tyler.
“I can see that you planned a nice night too. Babe, I love you.”
Shawn walked away from the grill and hugged Tyler. “I love you too. So, what’s got you in such a good mood? Because it’s definitely not me.”
“How long until dinner?”
“Just a few minutes, I was about to pull the steaks off.”
“Let me go and change. I’ll be right back out.” Tyler ran in, took his work clothes off, and put jeans and a t-shirt on, slipping into shoes just as he walked back out into the backyard.
Tyler was impressed at what Shawn had done, grilled steak and sliced up potatoes with different vegetables. Then he could see a container with some sort of dessert in it. “So, what is the special occasion?”
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