Losing Control Isn't Always Fun 13

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"I'm better. I'm still really worried, but I want a break from all the stress. Dominic's taking me and a few friends to a Death Cab for Cutie concert," I said.

"That'll be good for you," he said. "When do you want me to come over?"

"I'll call you," I said.

He nodded.

"Go home, I got this," Rusty said.

"You sure?" I asked.

"I've been the manager here for too long. I know how to handle it," Rusty said.

I rolled my eyes and went to the back to change back into my clothes.

"Thanks Rusty," I said. "See you tomorrow."

"Take care, kiddo," he said as I walked out.

I drove back to the apartment, and walked in to see Max on the stool, laughing.

I walked to where he was and saw Dominic cooking eggs.

I picked Max up and set him on my lap.

"Hey, Maxxy," I greeted. "How you feeling?"

I put my hand to his forehead. He was still burning up.

"Sick. Nick's funny," Max said, his voice exhausted.

"Nick?" I asked, confused but smiling.

"He can't say my name," Dominic said, smirking at me.

"Shouldn't you be getting to school?" I asked, grinning mischievously.

"Skipping," he said, but pointed his spatula at Max. "Don't follow in my footsteps."

Max hopped off my lap, but when his feet landed on the ground, he wobbled and lost his balance, falling to the ground.

"Max!" Dominic and I both said, alarmed. I got off the stool and pulled him up. "You okay?"

"I tripped, it's okay," he said, walking slowly and carefully to Dominic.

Dominic picked Max up and held him in one arm while cooking the eggs with his other. Max rested his head against Dominic's shoulder.

I smiled at the picture perfect moment, and looked at the clock. It was almost 9:30.

"So you're still sick, Max?" I asked.

"I'm tired," Max said.

Dominic turned around, and I saw Max's eyes closed. Dominic suddenly froze and set Max down on the counter.

"What is it?" I asked, standing up.

"Come here," Dominic said, signalling to me.

I walked around the counter to where he was standing.

"Does his chest seem swollen up to you?" he asked.

"What is it?" Max asked, his eyes drooping.

I picked him up under his arms and slid my hand between his chest and his stomach. I could feel the blood rush from my face.

"Yeah," I said. "It does."


I sat in the waiting room with Max sleeping on my lap. Dominic reached out and took my hand, drawing circles with his thumb.

"Max Wellington?" a nurse called out.

I took a deep breath and picked up Max. Dominic and I both walked back, following the woman.

"How are you today?" she asked.

"Good," I answered automatically.

"That's great, you'll be right in here," she said.

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