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When Lexi and her family arrived at the ICU, there had been no updates on her dad's condition, so they settled in and started talking about Dion's wedding plans, although Dion didn't seem as interested in working out the details of flower arrangement as their mom. About an hour into the wait, Brent arrived carrying two bouquets of flowers. Although Lexi's immediate reaction was to run, she arranged a polite smile on her face as her mom greeted Brent. 

"These flowers are for you ladies. To cheer you up," he said. "I figured Charles is not into flowers. Hey, Dion. How's it hangin'?" Brent shoved his hand at Dion, and Dion shook it with poorly concealed contempt. The two boys had become rivals after an incident involving a staircase banister. "So, how is Charles doing?"

"His condition is stable, which gives us hope," her mom said as she pressed the flowers to her nose. "The flowers are very thoughtful, Brent. And thank you for flying Lexi and..." she threw a furtive glace at Lexi before continuing. "...Luke here on such short notice."

Brent puffed up his chest as if he was waiting for his medal. "It's no problem, Mrs. Maxwell. I'm glad I was in the area, and it has given me a chance to catch up with Lexi. In fact, I was hoping to steal her for a few minutes, if her boyfriend doesn't mind." He glanced around the room as if he hadn't noticed Hades was missing. "I thought we could take a quick walk around the block. We didn't have a good chance to talk on the way over."

"Why don't we talk here?" Lexi said. "I'd like to find out if my dad's condition has improved."

"It should only take us twenty minutes to make a circuit around the building, Lexi. I'll buy you some chocolate from the gift shop. I remember how much you love chocolate."

"Every female on the planet loves chocolate." Lexi's tone came out harsher than she intended, and her mom nudged her in the back.

"Go ahead, Lexi," she said. "I'm sure your dad's condition hasn't changed since we had lunch. Dion and I will be right here when you get back. I'll hold your flowers."

Lexi handed her mom the bouquet, feeling like a terrible person for wishing Brent would take a hike without her. What would Hades think about her gallivanting around the hospital with a guy he clearly hated? He would be livid. She glanced at Dion, who lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. Being a guy, he probably knew how inappropriate the situation was. Why couldn't her mom see that?

Reluctantly, Lexi left the waiting room with Brent. Maybe he had changed since his years as an adolescent jerk. Brent immediately started talking about himself and how he kept busy helping his philanthropist father make money. So much for change. Lexi liked Mark Sherman and his wife, Theresa. They both did a lot of charity work. Who wouldn't be inspired by that? Sadly, it seemed their altruism had not rubbed off on their offspring.

"...and he had his gallbladder removed by the same guy who invested in the fledgling company. Pretty cool, huh?"

Brent looked expectantly at Lexi as the elevator brought them to the first floor, and she quickly rewound her brain to check if anything he said had sunk in. Nope. "Inspiring. Your dad is a credit to his breed."

Brent chuckled. "His breed. That's clever, Lexi. I remember that about you. You were the only girl worth talking to during those boring receptions my parents threw."

"You and Dion found plenty of trouble to get into," Lexi said as they stepped off the elevator. A floor to ceiling window stretched the length of the hallway showing off a colorful terrarium, and Lexi gazed through it as they walked. She was grateful for the distraction as Brent recounted the time he and Dion slid down the banister and Dion smashed his balls against the finial.

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