this chapter starts in TESS' P.O.V.


Chapter 18

I walked through the sliding glass doors, and was assaulted by cold air and the smell of ambrosia. How could she not trust me? I thought that we were best friends, even closer than her and Natalie. Rick put a comforting arm around my shoulders, when he noticed that my eyes were glossy with unshed tears.

We approached the reception desk and Rick asked, "Can we see Jake Palmer and Nicole Sinclair?"

"Are you friends or family?" She asked, her blond hair in a bun so tight that it looked like it hurt, her brown eyes cold and guarded.

"No, we're friends." Rick said, hesitantly.

"Well, then come back in 20 minutes, and you can see Mr. Palmer and Ms. Sinclair. Until then you can wait in the waiting room." She said, pointing a slender finger towards the waiting room.

"Come on Tess." Rick said tugging on me when I didn't move. A couple minutes later the rest of the group entered the hospital. Trey immediately spotted us and walked over, motioning for the rest of them to follow.

"Hey, are we not allowed to see Jake and Nic?" Trey asked anxiously.

"No, we have to wait another..." He paused as he took out his phone to check the time, "15 minutes."

"Where's Devin, Caleb and Nat?" Tyler asked curiously.

"Nat was taking forever to get out of the car, so they're waiting for her to get out, so they can lock the car." Rick explained, glancing towards the doors. "Did you know that Nic is a lesbian?" Rick asked, earning a collective gasp from them.

"WHAT?" Everyone shouted at the same time, getting a disapproving glare from the receptionist.

"Yeah, apparently Nic told Nat that she has a secret girlfriend."

"No, that can't be true!" Josh gasped, looking sick.

"I'm asking Nic just to make sure." I said, my voice devoid of emotion. Trey looked like wanted to say more, but just then Devin and Caleb walked through the door.

"Hey, can we not see Nicky?" Caleb asked.

"In 10 minutes." Rick said.

"Hey where's Nat?" Trey asked, looking at the door expectantly.

"Oh, she's being detained." Devin said nonchalantly.

"By who?" Trey asked, shocked.

"By us." Caleb said, firmly.

"Where is she?"

"In the car." Devin said nonchalantly.

"WHAT? She's going to die!" Trey said, looking panicked.

"Well, then it's a good thing we're parked in front of a hospital. Isn't it?" Caleb said, his calm façade perfectly in place.

"You smart ass!" Trey half shouted before pinning Caleb to the wall, his arm across Caleb's throat.

Caleb looked at Trey's arm distastefully. "Move your arm before I move it for you. You have three seconds."

"One..." Devin counted.

"Two..." Caleb said.

"Three." Devin said and in a matter of seconds Trey was on his ass with a bloody nose and lip.

*~*~* Caleb's P.O.V. *~*~*

"Three." Devin said and we burst into motion.

I batted his hand away and went to punch him, but before my fist could connect Dev had kicked his feet out from under him. He hit the ground just hard enough to jar his entire body.

"We warned you." I said smugly.

"Anyways, we left some of the window open, so she gets fresh air and the occasional breeze." Dev said, equally as smug. We made a good tag team, Dev and I.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Rick stand up. "Can we see Nicky now?" I asked excitedly.

I had had a crush on her ever since the 3rd grade, even when she was a fat little girl. That's actually why I had made fun of her; I didn't want people finding out I liked the class fatty.

Dev and I had argued about her all the time. He had wanted me to stop teasing her and try to be nice to her, but I knew I couldn't do that. If I had been nice to her, I would have gotten to know her better, and risked falling in love.

"Yep!" He said, smirking at Trey as we passed him. I felt no regret for what we did. He was that bitch, Natalie's, brother, and I saw the way that he looked at Nicky, almost like he wanted to eat her.

Everybody followed us as we walked back over to the receptionist. "May we see Nic now?"

"Yes. She's in room 512." She said, pointing us in the right direction. They ran towards her room, all of them trying to get their first.

"Thanks..." I paused, reading her name tag. "Sarah."

"You're welcome." She said, as I took off in the same direction as the group.

I got to her room, and it took me a second to process the scene before me. Trey, Tyler, Josh and Rick were all stuck in the doorway, each of them trying to push their way through. Everyone else was sitting back and laughing. As I joined them in their laughing, Tess went and kicked Rick's butt, so hard that he fell through the doorway, falling on his face, causing us to laugh even harder.

Rick slowly got up to his feet, as all of us filed into her room. Nicole lay there on the hospital cot sleeping peacefully, with an IV in her arm and gauze wrapped around her hand.

"Should we wake her?" Josh asked, causing Nicky to stir. Her eyes fluttered open and for a second, total panic filled her face. She looked around her room with terror filled eyes.

"It's ok, Nicky." Dev said gently, slowly walking over to her and grabbing her uninjured hand. I wish I could do that, I thought wistfully.

"Where am I?" Nicky asked, terror still lingering in her face. I felt the sudden urge to kill whatever made her so afraid.

*~*~* Rick's P.O.V. *~*~*

I hate those boys, I thought vehemently, a thousand violet thoughts passing through my mind at once. I have to say though; I love what they did to Natalie. She's been a pain in my ass for the past 2 years. She's the reason I stopped visiting Trey, but then she started to come over to their house all the time.

I watched slowly as Devin walked around the cot to hold Nicky's hand. He leaned in and kissed her forehead.

Who the hell does he think he is?

Nicole is mine and I will make sure he never forgets it.


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