The first thing I’m aware of when I open my eyes is the faint beeping sound next to me. There are sheets on my body, but they’re too scratchy and thick to be mine. There’s a pressure on my hand. I groan, trying to force my eyes open. My brain feels like putty. When my eyes focus, I take in the dull gray wall and the sliding glass door.
I’m in the hospital.
Bash’s face instantly flashes across my mind. I close my eyes again, tears stream down my cheeks. He hadn’t been a nice guy at all. He’d gotten close to me just because he was hired to do so. My parents’ murderer had hired Bash to kill me.
Suddenly, the sliding glass door is opening and Leo comes jogging in. He looks tired, more tired than usual. His clothes are rumpled and there’s a beard growing on his usually clean-shaven face. Tears prick in his eyes as he sits down beside me.
“Leo!” My voice doesn’t sound like my own. It’s scratchy like I haven’t used it in a while. “You’re okay!”
He nods quickly, “I’m fine, Greer.”
“But, there was so much blood.” The image of my uncle, tied up, in the closet flashes across my mind.
Leo pulls down the collar of his shirt and reveals a thick gauze taped to his skin. “He shot me in the shoulder. Not life-threatening.”
“Shouldn’t you be in a sling?” I question.
“I was, for a couple of days.” He explains, sadness seeping into his voice.
“How long have I been here?” I ask quickly.
“Three and a half days.”
“What?” I almost yell.
“You were shot, Greer. I don’t know if you remember that or not. You lost a lot of blood. You were technically dead on the way to the hospital. You had to have surgery. You were lucky to pull through.” He explains.
“Shot?” I parrot.
Leo nods and points to my right side. I push back the hospital gown to get a look at it. Sure enough, gauze that matches Leo’s is taped to my side. The pain slams back to me then. “You’ll have a nice scar there, a good story to tell.”
I scoff, “A story I can’t tell anyone.”
Leo smiles, “We caught them, Greer.”
My eyes go wide, “Them?”
“Your parents’ murderers, all of them. Bash led us to them. The company your father works for is being shut down until the investigation is over. The CEO is in prison for life. You’re about to be very rich, Greer Thomas.” Leo used my real name, now I knew for sure that this was all over.
“Where’s Kaleb?” I ask. “I want to see Kaleb.”
Leo squeezes my hand reassuringly but says nothing at first.
Tears prick in my eyes, “Leo, where’s Kaleb?”
“He’s fine, Greer. He has a concussion and some bruises, but otherwise, he’s fine.” Leo smiles. “He hasn’t left the hospital since they brought you guys in. He’s barely left your side since they discharged him.”
I sigh, “Can I see him?”
Leo nods and gets to his feet, “I’ll be right back.”
I watch my uncle retreat from the room and my heart pounds. I know that it won’t calm down until I see for sure that Kaleb Nixon is safe and sound.
It’s several minutes later that I see him. He’s wearing a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. Bruises litter his face. But he’s there. He’s alive. He’s safe. Tears swell in my eyes. He steps into the room, tears in his eyes as well. I never thought I’d see Kaleb cry.
He crosses the room quickly, hesitating by the edge of my bed. He finally sits down, but he doesn’t touch me. My heart breaks as I realize that he wants nothing to do with me now. He knows the truth, he knows about all my lies.
“I’m sorry.” I cry.
His eyes squint together. “Why?”
“You hate me, don’t you? Because you know I’ve been lying about everything?”
Suddenly, his hand is in mine. “I could never hate you, not for anything.”
He nods, “I understand why you lied, Greer, and actually, I think I like you even more now.”
“You’re so insanely strong. No normal person could go through what you did and survive.” He reaches up and smoothed my hair away from my face.
I lean into his touch, “I’m so glad you’re okay.”
He leans up and kisses me then, our tears mix together. “Don’t you ever do that to me again or I’ll kill you myself.”
I laugh, “Okay, I won’t.”
“Promise me, Greer. Promise me. I don’t think I’d survive it again.” He pleads.
“Okay, I promise, Kaleb.” I nod, keeping him close.
He rests back in the chair, keeping his hand clasped in mine. Pain laces my spine, pressing down on me. I wince, trying to get more comfortable. Kaleb stands to his feet and mentions something about finding a doctor.
It’s only a few minutes later that a nurse in pale blue scrubs walks into my room with a couple of syringes in her hands. She asks me a few questions that I answer willingly, then she sticks the medicine into my IV. Kaleb stays with me even after the drugs take me into a sleepy haze.
I wake the next morning with Kaleb still at my side. He’s still gripping my hand tight, sipping at a cup of coffee and watching the TV that’s mounted on the wall. He notices I’m awake and switches off the screen. He gives me a smile and leans towards me.
“How are you feeling?”
I sit up more, finding it easier to move than it had been yesterday. “Better.”
“Good.” He lets go of my hand and reaches over to grab the water glass. “Here.”
I take it in surprisingly steady hands and down it in only a couple of gulps. I turn to him after I’m done, “You didn’t have to stay.”
“You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
I give him a small smile, “I’m sorry, for everything, Kaleb. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you who I really was.”
He clears his throat and sits up straighter. He sticks out his hand for me to shake and I do. “Hi, my name is Kaleb Nixon. Nice to meet you.”
I laugh, “Greer Thomas.”
“It’s good to finally meet you, Greer Thomas.”
Yes, yes it was.