Six

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I cry out in pain as I stumble backward. Luckily, Henry catches me before I fall to the ground. I bury my face in my hands because it hurts like shit.

I hear Ben's voice. "Oh, fuck, Lauren. I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" 

I groan and carefully shake my head. I feel a little dizzy. Henry moves me to the side and makes me sit down on a chair. He and Ben crouch down beside me with a worried look when I take my hands off my face and realize I am bleeding.

Ben gasps and grabs a box of tissues. "Shit. Here. I'll go get an ice pack."

He jumps up and runs out of the room, leaving Henry and me alone. I try to calm my breathing and not think of the excruciating pain. I carefully touch my nose to feel if it's broken, but it seems to be okay. Just bleeding then.

I close my eyes and take several deep breaths. Despite the throbbing pain in my head, I'm very aware of Henry's presence. Still crouched down beside me, he rests his hands on my thighs. "Lauren, open your eyes. Are you dizzy?"

I do as I'm told and look at Henry. "Yes, a little. But it's already getting better. Damn, that hurt."

"I can imagine. How many fingers am I holding up?"

"Three and a half."

He smiles at me. "Okay, I think you'll live."

"Thanks, Doctor." I grab more tissues. "Ugh, I hate blood. Serves me right."

"What are you mumbling?"

I sigh and look at him. "I blame you, you know. That was my punishment for letting you kiss me."

Henry bursts out laughing. "Wow, you probably hit your head harder than I thought."

Ben returns with an ice pack. He apologizes a million times and gives me a worried look. "What were you doing behind that door anyways?"

"I, uh, was just about to leave." When I look at Henry, I know he wants to tell me yet again what a bad liar I am, but Ben doesn't question my answer.

It takes about ten minutes before the bleeding stops and I can get up. I gently press the ice pack on my nose because it still hurts.

Ben has finally stopped apologizing. "You should have that looked at. Maybe it's broken."

I protest, but neither of them will leave me alone. So two hours later, I arrive at home after I went to the ER, where I was told everything was fine. I might bruise a little, but nothing is broken.

Once I'm at home, I check my face in the mirror. Okay, the damage isn't too bad. No bruise. Just a major headache. Well, at least that served as a good distraction.

That night, I relax on my couch and try to forget about that life-changing kiss. About the sensations that kiss triggered in me. About his manly scent that aroused some pretty sexual needs. About his soft lips and how they tasted like more—much more. About his rough hands on my body. 

Great, that's working well.

Everything went so fast, and now I am more confused than ever. I don't know if I am glad that we didn't have a chance to talk about that kiss or not. But what would I have told him? A part of me still doubts his ability to be with just one woman. And that's what I want—be with him for more than one night. As scary as that thought might be.

A knock on my door interrupts my pondering. That's probably Molly, my neighbor. She offered to get me some painkillers because I ran out and my head still hurts. I open the door and smile at her. "Hey, Molly. Thanks. You're a lifesaver."

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