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Mason Maloney

"I really don't like that you don't have your sling on," I voiced my concern to my newly sling-less boyfriend from the passenger's seat of his car.

The two of us weren't officially back together yet, but that didn't make me worry about him any less. We still spent lots of time together, acted like we were together, and referred to each other as boyfriends, but we hadn't actually made it official yet. He insisted he had to show me how much he loved me to get me to forgive him, and his efforts quickly dissipated my anger toward him.

"Mase," he groaned, throwing his head back in annoyance. "My doctor cleared me. Do you want to argue with my doctor?"

"Maybe," I huffed, crossing my arms in a pout.

"Well, you'd lose that argument," Sam shot back, looking at me briefly before returning his eyes to the road. He kept one hand on the steering wheel while the other rested on the center console.

Truth be told, I was just nitpicking because I was nervous about what we were doing. After a week of us working on our relationship, Sam asked me if I wanted to go meet his mother. He said it was one of the ways he was going to show me how important I was to him, having me meet another extremely important person in his life.

Of course, I instantly said yes, but now that the time had come, I was worried. Sam seldom spoke about his mother, but from the times he did talk about her, I could tell how much she meant to him. If she ended up not liking me, that would undoubtedly put us in an awkward position.

"Hey," Sam suddenly said, grabbing my attention from my worry filled thoughts. "I can tell you're stressing out. I told you not to worry about it."

I rolled my eyes. "You know, telling me not to worry doesn't actually help."

"Listen," he started with a sigh, "there's no reason for my mom not to like you. She's the one in prison, not you."

I smacked his arm. "Don't say that."

"It's true!"

The look on my face was chastising him, so he just shook his head and continued down the road.

"Anyways, she's going to love you. She practically already does," Sam assured me after a few moments of silence.

"How?"

"Obviously, I've told her about you," Sam told me in a tone that suggested I should have known that.

"Great," I sarcastically hissed. "Now she's going to meet me and be disappointed."

Sam sent a glare my way. "Do you want me to drop you off on the side of the road? Because I'm about to."

"Maybe," I grumbled and crossed my arms, not actually meaning my words.

Sam reached over and placed his hand on my knee, running his thumb over it comfortingly. I glanced over at him with thankful eyes. No more words were said for the rest of the ride until we pulled onto the long driveway of the prison. I gazed around at my surroundings, seeing the barbed wired fences and the daunting buildings that seemed to go on for miles.

"Got your ID?" Sam checked with me as he drove slowly down the road. I nodded.

When we reached the gate to the visitor parking lot, Sam stopped the car and held his hand out for my ID, which I gave him. He talked to the officer after handing him our IDs and after giving them back, he opened the gate and told us where to park.

"I would leave your wallet and stuff in the car," Sam suggested after parking.

"Okay."

I tried not to stare at everything in awe as we walked through the parking lot toward a small building. Sam held the door open for me before we headed inside and went to a desk in the front of the room. He gave the woman at the desk our IDs that he held onto from before and then the two of us had to stand over to the side and wait for an officer to come pat us down after we filled out some paper work.

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