Chapter 8

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As we walk down the steps, exiting the plane, I look back at Tristan. Dressed in jeans and a red button down shirt, he smiles encouragingly. There are paramedics at the bottom of the stairs.

Leaning back, I whisper to him. "Why are there doctors here?"

"To see to injuries. I still haven't gone through intensive surgery yet."

I stop at the bottom of the stairs, gaping. "Are you serious?"

"Yes. I had the wood taken out but had opted before they started to get my surgery done here... That's why they flew me out so fast."

"Oh my god... And you went back? Tristan!"

"You were stuck in a hospital in Thailand with nothing to identify yourself."

He wraps his arm around my shoulder, walking forward as the paramedics rush forward. I move to the side as they pull up a wheelchair.

"If it's the same to you, I'd like to walk to the ambulance," he murmurs quietly to their shocked faces.

"Sir-"

He cuts them off. "Thank you, gentleman."

My face mirrors the two paramedics as Tristan lays a hand on my back, moving me along with him.

"Why? Just get in the wheelchair. You've got to be dying right now."

"Reporters." He gestures up to the waiting areas of the airport and along the wide windows, I already see flashes going off. "I'd prefer they didn't have images of me in a wheelchair circulating the Internet. I'll be fine to the van. I wanted to let you know in case you wanted to wait until they leave to go through."

"Okay," I utter, nodding. I stop walking and he turns, smirking slightly. He's got dark circles underneath his eyes, making the blue pop out even more.

"Although I could use the moral support."

Reluctantly, I begin walking alongside him. He smiles, probably seeing how uncomfortable I am. I look like complete and utter shit and I'm about to be photographed with a man who literally can't look bad.

The pleased look on his face makes this worth it though. His assistant walks from behind us, opening the side door to the lobby and I gasp. Unprepared as hell, I walk in beside him, blinded by the flashes. He doesn't answer any of the questions thrown out him about the Tsunami or his relations with me. I keep my face either down or to him, not making eye contact with anyone.

"Tristan!"

The seas of photographers part and there she is. Casey Mathews.

His ex-fiancee.

God, I knew this was a bad idea. I look up at him, trying to keep my face as calm as I possibly can in this hectic environment. He stares at me and then looks forward, walking up to her.

"Casey... What are you doing here?"

She smiles, looking between us. I feel so out of place. I watched this woman on a movie screen a week ago. "Why wouldn't I be here? I've been so worried, Tristan! Thank god you're okay... You look so sick!"

She hugs him, pushing me out of the way in the process. He winces and I bite my lip, looking down... I really need to find my brother.

"We're not together anymore, Casey." He looks around as flashes continue. "You know I don't like the publicity."

"I couldn't wait. I missed you."

My heart falls to my stomach as she reaches up, touching his cheek.

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