Chapter 18

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E I G H T E E N

      I WOKE UP with a slight neck ache, but chose to ignore it and force myself back to sleep. Of course, that was before I shifted slightly and felt what oddly resembled a shoulder underneath my head.

      Freezing in place, I slowly lifted my chin to confirm that I had, unfortunately, fallen asleep with my head on Ryder's shoulder. Thankfully, he was sound asleep, breaths even as he rested his head on his hand, propped up by the arm of the chair.

      It surprised me, honestly. After being accustomed to Ryder's constantly cold or closed off expressions, it was kind of strange to see him so relaxed. He seemed eerily calm. His body wasn't as tensed as it usually was and his features were much more gentle and soft. It almost made him look a little younger, in a sense.

      I pulled my eyes away from his face and switched my focus to moving my head without waking him. There was no way in hell he was knowing I fell asleep with my head on his shoulder.

      "Having some trouble?"

      I jumped as Dakota spoke. He laid impossibly still with Tyler curled up and asleep on his arm. It would have been a much more adorable scene if my heart wasn't pounding from Ryder's slight shift at my movement.

      Instead of waking, Ryder just shifted himself again and tugged me closer to him.

      Someone kill me.

      Dakota's Head turned as he tried to hold back a grin.

      "Yeah, yeah," I whispered, hopping desperately I wouldn't wake up Ryder. That would definitely be an awkward situation I couldn't talk my way out of. "Laugh it up. It's hilarious."

      "It really is," he whispered back.

      "Shut the fuck up," Tyler irritably slurred, grabbing both mine and Dakota's attention. He glanced up at Dakota with squinted eyes before grunting and tucking his face in said blonde's chest. "Sleepy."

      Tyler's attempts at falling back asleep were interrupted by a light tap at the door. He groaned, but didn't speak.

      Dakota rolled his eyes. "Come in."

      The nurse stepped in with a pen and clipboard in hand. She was a different woman than the one we saw last night, with short curly hair and dark skin. She smiled at all of us before sending a nervous glance my way.

      I didn't really get the chance to ask what the look was about due to Ryder's annoyed and husky grumble of, "Get the fuck off me, Skye."

      He didn't have to tell me twice.

      While I subtly slid further to the other end of the chair—not that I could move any more than an inch or two—the nurse cleared her throat. She started tapping her pen to her clipboard as her eyes fluttered between us. When she had everyone's attention, she lifted the bottom of a paper before glancing up. "Tyler Luck?"

      "Right here." He straightened up in the bed and rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

      "I'll need to do one more check up to make sure everything's okay, then you should be good to go."

      Tyler furrowed his eyebrows in tired confusion. "Don't my parents have to come and check me out?"

      The nurse nodded. "They came earlier this morning and did everything that was required."

      His shoulders slumped in disappointment. "Oh." It was obvious that it was hard on him when, even after being shot, his parents still didn't even wait to see if he was okay. "Okay."

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