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The white hallways blurred together as we walked, my senses barely registering anything but what lie ahead. Nurses and doctors passed by, moving quickly to get to their next patient. My mother had her hand in mine as she led me to the room where he lay. We had spent ten hours waiting for this moment, ten hours of not knowing how the surgery was going or if he would wake up. Ten hours spent in a haze, still numb, until finally we heard some good news.


That was his room number. My mother opened the door and I followed her inside, my eyes immediately scanning his body for injuries. Most of his body was covered in a white blanket while his shoulder was wrapped in thick bandages. Pillows propped him up so his back was almost straight, and he was looking right at me.

As I looked into his eyes, with their signature dark and penetrating gaze, I smiled. Despite his injury, despite everything that had happened, I finally realized that everything was going to be okay. Emotion that I had buried swelled inside of me as I stood frozen in the doorway, looking at him.

"Hey, Aly." His voice was raspy from the anesthesia, but the sound of it still made me feel relieved. He was really going to be okay.

"Hey." Then I walked over to him, and finally felt like everything was right in the world.


Five weeks later

"Ten minutes, Aly!"

I smiled at the sound of Carly's voice coming through my bedroom door.

"Got it!" I yelled as I struggled to slip on my black converse. Giving myself one last look in the mirror, I smiled at my reflection even though I barely had any makeup on. I raked a hand through my wavy hair before smoothing out my little black dress, barely able to contain my excitement.

I get to see Tyler tonight.

After spending five weeks in the hospital trying to recover from the gunshot wound near his shoulder, Tyler was finally able to go home. I had visited him everyday, bringing him food, watching movies, and sometimes even staying the night. His family had come a couple days after the incident and I got to meet every single one of them as well. Now that Tyler's uncles were dead because of the shootout, they had felt safe enough to come back home. Maybe even for good.

As for the charges against Tyler and I, they were dropped thanks to the expensive lawyers that his family hired. Their testimony alone was almost enough to acquit him but the defense attorney was the icing on the cake. We were served nothing but a fine and some community service hours that we could complete in less than a month.

I stepped out of my bedroom door to find Jess and Carly sitting at the kitchen table, studying as always. Classes had just started up again after a long winter break, but I had decided that I'd be taking a semester off.

"What does your boy have planned tonight?" Jess asked as she looked up from her biology book.

"No idea." I felt a blush creeping up on my face as I smiled. Tonight was our first real night hanging out together since the incident. And though we still hadn't discussed what kind of relationship we were in, we hadn't really needed to. We were happy as we were.

"Just no more guns or stealing, please." Carly chimed in.

"No promises." I teased.

I waved them both good-bye before stepping out of our apartment. Nerves started to flutter in my blood as I embarked on the familiar walk to Dave's, memories of previous encounters cluttering my mind.

I had made it to the alleyway ten feet from the bar's entrance when I saw a figure step out of the shadows. Looking to my right, I saw it was Tyler. He was wearing a black hoodie and dark jeans, his short hair a mess on his head and five o'clock shadow darkening his face. I smiled when I saw him, not hesitating to run over and throw myself into the arms of the intimidatingly sexy man standing in the alley.

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