Chapter Thirteen: Erased

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I awoke in a fog, too warm and unsure of where I was. The room I was in was white, sterile feeling, with a plush, beige leather chair in the corner. There was an I.V in my hand, and piles of white sheets covering me from the waist down. My neck itched, but when I made to scratch it, my fingers touched cloth. No, not cloth. A bandage.

What the hell?

As if on cue, a nurse came in, looking momentarily bewildered when he noticed that I was conscious.

"Oh good, you're awake." He recovered with a friendly smile. "You gave everyone quite a scare."

I sat up slowly, not entirely convinced that I wasn't dreaming. "What happened?"

The last thing I could remember was getting out of the shower to get ready for class. Everything after that was a complete blank.

"The doctor will explain everything shortly," he replied while busying himself with my I.V bag.

I watched, dazed, as the nurse pulled up a clipboard from the end of my bed and jotted something down. After that, he gave me another smile and quietly left, but I wasn't alone for very long.

"You've awoken a lot sooner than I expected,"

Lucius stood in the doorway to my room, but made no effort to step inside. Instead, he just stared at me, dark eyes warm but distant.

"I have?" I asked, absentmindedly fiddling with a plastic piece on my I.V tube. I glanced down at my hand, unable to take the intensity of his gaze anymore. "Why? What happened to me?"

I sounded more pitiful than I had intended, so maybe that's what drove Lucius to come in.

He closed the door softly behind him, and paused for a minute when he got to the foot of the bed.

"May I?" He gestured to the spot where my feet couldn't reach. I nodded, then pulled my legs up to sit cross-legged.

Lucius didn't speak at first; he just kept staring at me. His eyes searched my face, stopping briefly at the bandage on my neck.

"I'm conflicted," he finally whispered.

"What about?" I whispered back. When he didn't answer, I leaned in. "Lucius, what's wrong?"

Exhaling loudly, Lucius swiped a hand down his face. "I have known Gabriel--the Dean--for many, many years. Not once did I question my loyalty to him. I would have done anything for him. I would've killed for him. I have killed for him."

Wait? What?

"But then, you come along and I... it's like I feel nothing for him; as if our bond has been erased." He paused to take in a deep breath. "All I see when I close my eyes, all I can smell when I take a breath...all I can ever think about is you."

A feather could've knocked me over.

Just what was he trying to say? And he's killed for the Dean before? What the hell kinda university was this?

Before I could say anything, the doctor walked in, momentarily taken aback by Lucius' presence.

"Mr. Mayfield? What are you doing in here?"

He stood without offering me a glance. "I was just leaving." He mumbled, approaching the door in two long strides.

As he opened the door, he looked at me over his shoulder, then he was gone.

I didn't realize it until the doctor pointed it out, but I was trembling. I pulled the sheets closer to me, but I knew it wouldn't help-- I wasn't cold.

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