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As it turned out, I didn't have to worry about whether or not the newcomers would report me for sleeping with the guys. Owen suggested it after a few moments of silence after my reveal.

He'd told me that sometimes human contact was enough to drive away bad dreams, especially if that was with someone I felt safe with. He'd started out by asking me if I'd be comfortable staying the night, to which Dakota had admitted what we'd been up to for the past week.

I thought Owen, who looked immaculate even in his very casual clothes(which I had an inkling weren't his usual attire), would gawk. But he simply looked pleased, proud even, that we'd figured this out on our own.

After Sean explained that they had a rotation going on, both Nathan and Owen volunteered to join in. I felt weird accepting, considering I'd only known them a few days. But they knew my darkest secrets, and just like the others in the room. I felt safe with them.

It was like an invisible tether cord was linked from me to each of them, even the sleeping Greek giant, and I was in the middle.

After my turn in the shower that night, I let Gabriel play with my hair and put it into some sort of braid that he'd looked up on the internet. Nathan invited me to sit on his bed and play UNO with him and Sean, to which I accepted.

We played for forty minutes, but even with Nathan trying to help me out and sabotage Sean, I still lost. Owen asked me over to his bed next, and I discussed in detail the health of his brothers around him. Most of the others listened in curiously, but when I got to Silas they all got quiet- even Sean who I knew already knew the words before I spoke them.

"It's hard to tell if he'll ever wake up. If he does, depending on how long he's been in bed, he might need to build up some strength in his muscles. He'll probably be healed though, so it's just up to him to wake up."

The night was a little somber after that, and I called lights out not to long afterwards.

Crawling into bed with Sean Green was the equivalent to coming home after a long day and taking off your bra while eating a carton of Ben and Jerry's. Bliss.

His arms snaked around my waist and his fingers rubbed out all of the knotted up muscles in my shoulders and back. I had to fight back to keep myself from moaning, and giving the guys something to tease me about.

He nuzzled my shoulder when he finished, and I was pretty much a puddle next to him.

"Sang?" he asked softly.


There was a pause and then he seemed to talk himself out of whatever he was going to say. "Promise you'll stay with us forever?" his tone was light, but I could detect a hint of seriousness behind it.

He probably thought I was half asleep. He probably thought I was sleep talking, not even going to remember it in the morning.

"I promise," I whispered, cuddling closer.

But I knew that if they'd allow me to keep the promise, I'd never break it.

I woke up slowly. Like when there's a fan blowing cold air on you, and at first it feels nice, but soon you've got goose bumps and your blankets aren't retaining enough heat to make the fan a good thing anymore. But instead of a fan, it was the boys.

At first their voices were soothing and lulled me into a peaceful half aware state. But when they didn't eventually quiet, I woke up more and more until I wasn't sleeping anymore. My eyes stayed shut, and I kept up my peaceful deep breathing.

I didn't meant to eavesdrop, but once I started, I couldn't stop.

"Background check on Sang?" Owen was asking.

"Yes, it actually just came through. Let me just..." he sucked in a breath. I knew this was Victor.

"What is it?" Kota asked.

"She's," Victor paused, "She doesn't exist."

"But she's not in the Academy," North said, or more accused.

"If she were in the Academy, don't you think they'd have her doing something riskier than nurse us back to health?" Gabriel asked himself mostly.

There was a pause in their conversation, and I had my heart in my throat. I didn't exist? What did that mean?

Sean spoke softer than the others, probably because the object of their discussion was curled up like a kitten against his side. I rolled my eyes at myself, but it was true.

"What do we do? Some on the inside obviously knows about her and has been helping her some how. She wouldn't have gotten this job, through medical school, or gotten a condo without her name being somewhere." while he spoke, his arms tightened around me and he pulled me closer.

His fingers rubbed against my lower back, causing me to relax.

"Mr. B," Gabriel said, "I don't want to fucking lose her. Look how alive we are now, compared to when we were on the assignment? We were literally drifting through life, nothing really driving us, and look what happened? We all fucked up and nearly died. Silas might never wake up. But with her it's like... okay shit. I don't know how the rest of you fuckers feel, but she's My Trouble, and I don't want to lose her. I think I'm falling for her- and don't you shits tell me it's too soon, I know that, but I also know that she's waking me up from a long life of sleeping."

Owen spoke next, in reply to Gabriel. "My feelings for her aren't as strong as yours, Gabriel, and do call me Owen, I think it's been long enough that I've been keeping you all at an arm's length. This situation has only shown me that. You are correct, she seems to be waking us all up. Even after knowing her for a matter of hours, I can't deny the attraction and curiosity I feel towards our little bird."

North grunted. "There's no timeline for falling in love."

A pause, and I felt like the boys were agreeing. Wait.. love? The thought floored me but it also gave me hope. Maybe my feelings were normal. 

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