Groaning Vincent swallowed grimacing as his tongue glued itself to the roof of his mouth. His throat was parched like he had just finished a running a marathon. He opened his eyes a crack blinking at the sudden brightness of the unfamiliar room. Where was he?
He moved to sit up. Swinging his legs over whatever he was lying on. He grabbed his head as the room spun around. His head began to throb to an unheard beat. What did he do last night?
The last thing he remembered as leaving the club. Drinking one too many drinks. The girls helping him out. Their high-pitched giggles as they ran their hands up his arm. One of them, he squeezed his eyes shut, one of them kissed him. The other had…he reached for his back pocket groaning when his hand came up empty. His wallet was gone.
“It’s about time you woke up” a concerned voice said from above his head. A door opened and closed. “How’s the head?” she asked as she dropped something heavy on a something with a loud bang.
“Pounding” Vincent mumbled “where am I?” He winced as he tried to move his neck.
“My dorm room” Trinity said coming into his limited eye sight. “It was closer than yours” she added.
Rubbing his temples he groaned “I think I’m going to be sick.”
She handed him a nearby trash can “use this.”
He grabbed it in time to empty his stomach contents into it. “Thanks” he mumbled holding the trash can in case he needed it again.
“You should probably see a doctor,” she advised him “you took a pretty bad tumble.”
He grunted as flashes of the night before come to mind. The one kissing him kept him distracted while the other took his wallet “she hit me.”
“What was that?” Trinity asked from her desk.
“She hit me” he repeated “she took my wallet than hit me.”
“You don’t mean those blonde’s you were with last night” Trinity asked turning to face him.
“Yeah them” he moaned “I must have been an easy mark. Here I was thinking they liked me. I should have known better.”
She refrained from agreeing with him. “Be thankful it wasn’t worse” she said turning back to her homework.
“Is it really that late?” Vincent asked after several minutes of silence had passed between them. “I couldn’t have slept that much.”
“Well you were pretty out of it” Trinity said from her desk “don’t forget you did take a nasty knock to the head.” Sounds of him retching filled her ears “you might have a concussion.”
“I think I’d rather be dead” he moaned wiping the back of his hand across his mouth.
“Come on” she said moving from her desk “you need to see the doctor.” She put an arm around him as he swayed on his feet.
“Thank you” he mumbled grateful for her support.
Trinity drove him to the hospital. Helped him inside. “I’ll wait here” she said as he waited his turn in line to talk to the beleaguered nurse behind the admittance desk.
Vincent shuffled over to where she was sitting “you don’t have stay.”
“I don’t mind” she said looking up from the book she was reading “I have plenty of things to keep me occupied.”
Vincent nodded noticing for the first time the book bag lying next to her feet. With a groan he leaned back wishing he had left when Ryan had left the night before.
They sat in silence for several minutes each pretending the other wasn’t there. Vincent heaved a loud sigh a he leaned his elbows on his knees mumbling “I can’t do this.”
“Can’t do what?” she demanded laying her book aside.
“This” he waved a hand around “I thought I wanted fun and games. No commitments. It’s just not me.”
“Vince I…” she gulped, heart pounding in her chest.
“I know you don’t want commitments. You like having a different guy on your arm every night.” He gazed across the full waiting room wishing he were any place else. “I can’t do that. I want someone to look at me like I hung the moon. Someone who see’s me. Wants me.” Shaking his head “I don’t know maybe I’m asking too much. Maybe I…just forget it.”
He got up and shuffled towards the water fountain. Trinity watched him go. Her eyes never leaving his back. What was she supposed to say? She couldn’t just change her mind about her feelings about relationships, could she? Admit she wanted a steady one guy committed relationship. Besides that would he even believe her? The entire thing made her feel slightly nauseous.
She watched as he took a seat on the opposite end of the waiting room. Glumly she glared out the nearby window. A young couple with a baby stood on the sidewalk. Balloons with congratulations written on them fluttered in the air above their heads. Their smiling happy faces a contrast to the gloomy gray skies. Had her parents been like that when they brought her home from the hospital? What had gone wrong between them? Was hat what she was running away from all this time?
Turning from the window she gazed across the crowded waiting room. A part of her longed for that kind of relationship. Someone to call her own. What was holding her back from taking what she wanted? Fear. Fear that she’d get hurt. Hurt the way she had been when she lost her horse. She never wanted to experience that kind of loss again.
She stooped to gather her things. Standing she made her way towards Vincent. He sat with his head down staring at the floor. Taking the empty seat beside him. She stared at him willing the words she wanted to say to just come out her mouth.
Vincent rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably aware of Trinity’s presence.”What do you want?” he grumbled eyes focused on his toes.
“I…” the words got stuck in her throat. Taking a deep breath she tried again “Vincent I might want to …”
“Vincent Rake,” a nurse called from the admittance desk.
Vincent stood up hesitantly beside her “you might want what?”
“Never mind. It can wait,” she waved him forward “you shouldn’t keep them waiting.” She could see the hesitancy in his eyes. “Go” she repeated “I’ll be here when you get out.”
Nodding he walked towards the nurse. He glanced back before going through the emergency room doors to see the doctor. He had the feeling he was missing something.
Hannah woke up feeling as if she had been wrapped up in a comfortable cocoon. A small smile fluttered across her face as she closed her eyes snuggling into the side of the person beside her. Their arm moved, falling across her. The events of the night before flooded her mind. She shivered as if from cold and his arm tightened around her.
“You cold” his groggy voice asked.
“No” she smiled snuggling into him. She wasn’t cold. It was the same feeling she had the night before. The one that kept her from wanting to be alone. She kept feeling the hands of her attacker. She hadn’t needed protecting. She had been enough. She had kept her head. She had been afraid. Who wouldn’t be?
Her dad’s insistence that she learn to protect herself had paid off. He’d be so proud of her. She brought a hand up to her eyes. Wiped a stray tear away. She’d never be able to tell him. His gentle sensitive nature would never be able to cope with it. She didn’t want him to be in turmoil because of her. She didn’t want him to worry about her anymore than he already did.
Rory on the other hand would take it in stride. He’d be concerned. He’d worry. He’d be confident his little girl could look out for herself. She looked up to find Donovan leaning on one hand starting down at her. “What?” she asked irritation plain in her voice. She hated waking up early and after last night she hadn’t slept well.
“You’re crying” he gently wiped a tear away “do you regret staying the night?”
After Donovan had walked her home she had been shivering so much he had led her to his room. Wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and held her until the shivers stopped. She had seen Eddie in enough anxiety attacks to recognize the signs. Donovan had done everything Rory had done for her dad. She felt so weak and fragile. “Just hold me” she requested the same as she had the night before.
Donovan moved around in the bed pulling her close. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead “you have nothing to fear. No one will hurt you.”
She let herself relax into him. Closing her eyes she listened to his steady even breathing. “I wish you could meet my parents,” she said wistfully “they’d like you.”
Her head bounced on his shoulder “I doubt that,” he chuckled “most parents; especially dad’s don’t like me.” Silence fell between them. He stroked her long blond hair breathing in the light strawberry scent of her shampoo. “Besides I thought you didn’t like me.”
“I don’t” she readily agreed.
“Then why would you want me to meet your parents?” he asked curiosity lased his words.
“Are you still mad at me for how I reacted yesterday?” she asked turning in his arms to look up at him “I am sorry.”
“No I’m not mad” he squeezed her tight “it’s just” he stopped staring across the room a perplexed look in his eyes.
“it’s just what?” she prompted.
“We’re from two different worlds,” he finally said sitting up pulling his knees to his chest “we see the world from different eyes.”
“Don’t say that” she cried “we’re not that different. I well I don’t know anything about hacking or…”
Shaking his head he interrupted her “you’re the good girl my mom always hoped I meet. The one she hopes will make me want to mend my evil ways.” He glanced away not wanting her to see how conflicted he felt about what he was going to say next. “We just won’t work. I’m the bad boy. Not the kind of guy you take home to your parents.”
“No” she protested with force. “You don’t get to break up with me. Not like this. You’re too busy pretending to be the bad boy that you don’t see how much you’ve changed.”
Amusement made his lips twitch. “Oh I think I know myself pretty well.”
“Really?” she challenged eyebrows arched “the bad boy would have taken advantage of the damsel in distress. I practically threw myself at you last night begging you to have sex with me but you didn’t. Instead” her eyes locked with his “you held me in your arms until I fell asleep. You were the perfect gentlemen.”
He broke eye contact with her “it’s not like I didn’t want to.”
“That’s what makes you different” she asserted “the bad boy wouldn’t have hesitated. You did. Even hacking you do it with a purpose. To help someone out of a bad situation like Waylon. If you were really a bad boy you’d be making yourself rich.”
His hand moved across his rumpled blankets. Smiling when he felt Hannah take it. “You sound so sure of yourself. Why? I could be manipulating you. Tricking you.”
Shaking her head she lifted his hand to her lips “you’d have done that already. I think I’m the only one you’ve ever let see who you really are.” She leaned her head to the side watching him “I think that scares you.”
“Nothing scares me” he bluffed “least of all a green-eyed blonde little girl.”
“I see you and that’s what scares you” she bit her lip “please say you’ll come to meet my dad’s.”
“Dads?” his voice sounded stressed “I’m awful with just one dad but two. I don’t know.”
She nodded “just don’t mention what happened last night. My dad will freak out.”
“Why?” he asked meeting her gaze “you handled yourself well. You didn’t need me or anyone to rescue you. I’d think they’d be proud of you.”
Looking down she nodded “my dad Rory would be proud of me but daddy….” she sighed blinking back tears “daddy would freak out. He’s the one who insisted I learn to protect myself but he wouldn’t want to know I actually had to use it to save myself.”
“I think you wrong” Donovan squeezed her hand “but I promise I won’t tell him.” He leaned over kissing her lips at first soft and gentle than more passionately as she returned the kiss. His hands traveled down her body hiking up her dress.
She pulled back eyes sparkling dangerously. Batting his hands away she pulled her dress down. “You had your chance last night. Now you’ll just have to wait.”
He rolled over groaning “woman you’re going to be the death of me.”
Giggling she straightened her clothes before walking to the door. “I hope not. If you die now you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of fun.”