Chapter 10

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I woke still in Levi's arms, his chest slowly rose and fell with each breath he took in his sleep. I was afraid to move but I knew he'd know I was awake and that it'd be useless. I was right too, he woke up as soon as I looked up at him.

He looked down at me and smiled. "Hi," he said stretching out beside me, then dropping his arms around my shoulders.

"Hi," I replied, smiling at him softly my voice still hoarse but my body otherwise felt slightly lighter. I snuggled into him, my arm in the cast on his chest.

"How are you?" he asked concerned.

"My body doesn't feel like a hundred tons. I feel much lighter but I am super thirsty right now."

"Oh! Well there's water over there on the tray. I'll get it for you." He went to get out but I flattened my hand on his chest.

"No you don't. I don't need my water right now," I said. "I want you to stay right here. You can get my water for me later."

He relaxed into the bed beginning to use his finger tips to rub circles into my arm. I closed my eyes smiling slightly. How I missed this.

"Babe, before you feel asleep, you said we needed to talk. Talk about what?" he asked distractedly.

I looked up at him confused. "I said we needed to talk?" I don't remember that.

Brielle, a voice in my head said, tell him how you feel. That's what you needed to tell him.

"Oh! Yeah," I said my voice giving out at the end. I swallowed whatever bit of saliva was still in my mouth. "Can we go for a walk? I need fresh air."

He nodded. "Sure we can. Let me ask the nurse how we can get you out of the bed."

I smiled and he kissed me before leaving the room.

Good girl, remember you said you wanted to be honest. Let him know what your fears are and why you feel the way you do, The voice said.

He came back five minutes later with a nurse who helped unhook my heart machine, giving me a small heart monitor. She then helped move out my IV drip so I could move around with it using the hand not in the cast. I got my shoes so I could walk and Levi kept a strong arm around my waist for support. We went into the hospital's garden, light jackets on us both since it was getting cool and walked around to talk.

"So," he said when we were down there. "What did you want to talk about?"

I sighed. "A lot. About me but a little about us and you."

He looked at me, indicating that I should go on.

"Levi, I've never felt pretty. You're the first guy to make me feel beautiful...sexy even. I never thought it'd be possible to find some who would love me enough to marry me." Tears gathered in my eyes as I spoke because my words never felt truer.

"I never felt like I would find the right guy so I settled when I dated all those other guys...that's why they were asses. I didn't aim higher. For the longest my insecurities fed on me, making me feel so dark at times. I never shared a bit of it because I didn't want pity. But, when you see girls with lighter skin, lighter eyes, longer hair...getting all the attention you crave and then being told you basically aren't good enough because you aren't light skinned, long haired...you become discouraged.

But you changed all that. There's always a part of me who feels that I'm not good enough, that because I'm not your type—blonde hair, blue eyes, light skin, rosy cheek—you'll get bored. I am afraid that when you're on the road and not near me, regardless of how much you love me and that I'm your wife, you'll find your type and step out. I know it sounds petty but it's how I feel. And every single day I looked in the mirror I have to tell myself I'm beautiful, that I'm good enough, no matter what the world around us says or think is beautiful," I began to cry and couldn't finish my speech.

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