Chapter 20

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Dani watched Jax as he fell off of the sofa with a thud. Normally, she probably would've laughed and teased him but this morning she couldn't. Last night's nightmare was still haunting her. It had to belong to Jax. That ring was the same one he wore around his neck. She knew it wasn't real. Dani learned long ago that what she saw in her dreams wasn't exactly how things happened in real life. They were just manifestations of a person's fears.

She remembered Jax telling her his brother had given him Vivian's ring at her funeral. So last night's dream wasn't real. It couldn't have been. There's no way Jax would have done nothing if he had seen the woman he loved being attacked.

"Are you just going to stare at me like some kind of Peeping Tom?" Jax grunted as he picked himself off of the carpeted floors.

"I'm sorry," Dani said before going back into her room and shutting the door. What was she doing? Why was she being weird around him? It was just Jax.

A tapping at the door drew her attention, "Dani? Is everything okay?"

"I'm fine," Dani called out, still unsure of how to approach him. Should she tell him she finally saw one of his nightmares last night? It was bound to happen eventually. They both knew it but they had never addressed it.

"I'm going to the mess hall," Jax's voice vibrated through the door. "Do you want me to wait for you?"

"No, go ahead," Dani answered. "I'll be there in a few minutes."

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine Jax. I'll meet you in a few minutes," Dani sat on her bed and wondered how she should tell him she saw his deepest fear. Then another thought struck her.

Was he still mourning Vivian?

He had to be. A part of her knew that...accepted it. Years had gone by but he was still plagued with her death. She felt bad for him. She pitied the man that was still mourning his lost love.

"Who am I kidding? I'm not bothered because he's still thinking about her even though years have gone by. I'm bothered because he's still thinking about her even though he's met me," Dani admitted to herself.

Jax was having nightmares about Vivian after years had passed, which meant that Vivian, his ex-fiancée, still had a strong hold on Jax's heart. Her chest tightened at the thought.

She took a deep breath before heading out to the mess hall to catch up with Jax.

"Dani! Dani, wait up!"

Dani internally cringed at Shelly's voice. She turned to her right to see Shelly heading in her direction, "Hi Shelly. You're smiling so I take it that you and Bo are okay?"

"Yes, and guess what? Genevive is gone!"

"Gone?"

"Yes! She must've left last night. I heard Meredith talking to some of the nurses. Genevive left a note in her cabin. She was going to marry the father of her unborn child or something like that. Either way, she's not going to be around anymore to bother me or Bo. Bo didn't know what I was talking about. He said Genevive was a liar and wanted to confront her last night. I told him she wasn't worth it. Oh, thank you for your advice last night. You're like a lucky charm or something. I just know Bo and I will get picked to pass stage one this time. I just know it."

Dani watched Shelly sprint back to her cabin and shook her head, "You have no idea what's in store for people that pass to stage two."

When she entered the mess hall, she spotted Jax sitting at a table with two plates of food in front of him.

"Is this for me?" she asked, referring to the plate of French toast and fruit.

"Yeah. I figured you'd rather have that than oatmeal."

"You figured right," Dani took a bite of her strawberry and glanced up to see Jax watching her.

"What is it?" she asked.

"You tell me."

Dani shrugged, "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Is this about last night?"

The fork slipped from her fingers and onto her lap, staining her jeans with syrup, "What about last night?"

Jax cursed, "Did Simon do something to you?" He stood up, fists clenched, looking around for any sign of Simon in the mess hall.

"Sit down tough guy. Simon didn't do anything to me. I promise," Dani tugged at his shirt. He grudgingly took a seat when Dani noticed he wasn't wearing his necklace. "Where is it?" she asked pointing to his neck.

"What?"

"Don't play dumb. Your necklace with Vivian's ring. You always used to wear it. Now that I'm thinking about it, you haven't worn it in a while."

"Not since we got here," Jax said softly.

"Why?" Dani asked, afraid to breathe and miss his answer.

"Why do you think?"

"If you don't tell me, I won't know," Dani said.

"Dani, this isn't the time for us to be talking about this," Jax ran a nervous hand through his dark blonde hair.

"You're right," Dani said thinking of how much he still cared for Vivian. "This isn't the time.

"Dani I-"

Meredith and a group of nurses approached Dani and Jax at that moment, "We have great news for you two!"

"Really? What is it?" Jax asked, forcing an interested expression on his face.

Meredith grinned, "Congratulations! My husband just approved it. You both have been doing so well on the team assignments and your parenting test scores were through the roof. You two have passed stage one of our program. Tonight, you'll be moving forward to stage two!"

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