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He’s been shot, he’s been shot, he’s been shot, her brain repeated that as a mantra as she now in the present sat in a chair in the emergency room. She couldn’t breathe and she felt like she might scream again.
She had come in screaming at all the doctors and nurses who were working on him that she needed to be there, but they had thrown her out of the room, but not before she saw him lying there with his shirt covered in blood.
Suddenly all her mistakes came back to her as she thought over the long day.
The first had been not telling him she loved him, because now he was hurt and if he if... She couldn’t bring herself to think it, but if his last thoughts were of him thinking she didn’t love him, she didn’t know how she would be able to live.
The second was taking things slow, and foolishly thinking they had time, because how could she have been so stupid? Time didn’t care about anyone and she now felt that she had wasted her time with him.
The third mistake was leaving him alone.
She should have been there, but she hadn’t been.
Luna had been there, but Hillary felt no resentment for that now. Everything she had been mad about before and all her worries and confusions had been swept aside. Because now she felt that she had been so foolish. She had been given her chance at love and what if she had wasted it? There was no time for pettiness or resentment.
So, upon arriving to the hospital she had yelled like a mad woman, yelled like she had never done before in all her life.
“Who did this to him?” She had asked Luna, shaking her by the shoulders roughly.
“Packer,” the girl had answered.
Then, Hillary had felt a rage like she had never felt before in her life, it was burning white rage that she had only seen on the faces of mother lions protecting their cubs.
“I’ll kill him! If anything happens to Bill, I’ll kill Packer myself!” She had shouted. At this, May had advised her to calm down and to not be yelling things that could be held against her. Packer’s father, the senator, had already been called and a search for Packer was underway.
She didn’t care about any of that, she only cared about him.
Now, ironically and painfully, it became increasingly clear how much she loved him.
That knowledge of her deep and vast love for him had always been there, but she had kept it hidden away out of fear of getting hurt again and out of her pride.
Her fear.
She now regretted deeply being fearful of her feelings for him, because she would never be able to forgive herself if her fear and caution had caused her to miss out on the one beautiful thing life had offered her.
Her pride.
She hated how her pride had held her back; because she had been so worried about what her friends would think. She now knew that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought because she would have been with him and he would have made her feel safe.
She also now felt ashamed of how she had thought going back to him may be weak. Now she realized that going back to him would have shown the biggest strength, because it would have been her choice, no one else’s, and they could have grown stronger together.
Was that even a possibility anymore?
She didn’t know, but she didn’t want to think of the alternative, she couldn’t think of it.
The doctors hadn’t given her any updates and she felt as if they were trying to avoid her. She didn’t blame them, she had yelled at them for not letting her see him and she had demanded to know what they were doing to him.
Normally, she would feel bad at her rudeness, but now she didn’t care.
She didn’t care about anything going on in the world right now, because her world was currently lying in intensive surgery in the emergency room.
So the rest of the world could freeze over and she wouldn’t care, because what would the world be without him?
It would be nothing, because he was the world.
His laughter was the rebirth of spring and without it, it would be an eternal winter. His eyes were the ever changing hues of the morning sky, and without those eyes, there would be no more day, only dark nights.
His voice was the voice of family, the nurturing of a mother, the strength of a father. Each syllable that left his mouth was a caress, an encouragement that many in the world clung to from their own loved ones, Without that voice, there would be eternal silence. There would be nothing more to hear.
Then there was his body.
His tall frame imposed the frame of a leader, of a good man. His long purposeful strides reflected those of the forefathers of this country and without that body of his in motion, she felt that history would be lost, because another good man would be gone.
He was literature itself.
He was the tragic hero, the noble knight and without him there would be no more stories or adventures. He was the excitement of opening a new book, the adrenaline one felt when learning something new, and the feeling of growing intimate.
He was Holden Caulfield, complex and angsty and all too entirely human.
Even art itself wasn’t free of him.
He was the cherub, perfectly angelic and a balanced mixture of masculine and feminine.
He was everything about the Victorian age, his tousled hair and smooth skin were what artist craved for.
He was a muse, an image that haunted artists.
He was the picture of Dorian Gray, always beautiful to the point of insanity.
Without him there would be no more beauty or art, not for her, because he was the most beautiful thing in the world to her.
He had even infiltrated math as well.
1. He was her one and only.
2. They had made love two time
3. Three. Three shots had been fired at him.

 

Even now as she felt broken and the tears continued to fall down her face, she could feel him within her. She could feel his caresses and his voice that would tell her beautiful things like, ‘don’t cry, pretty baby.’
But she did cry, she had never known that she could cry so much.
No one could help her and even though the emergency room was full of other families, patients, and May was at her side, she felt alone.
Because none of them knew what she was afraid of losing.
I should have kissed him, I should have let him kiss me, she thought in deep regret.
She longed for his warmth and she couldn’t bear to look at anything or anyone besides the black silk of her dress.
Black.
Very mournful, she wished she had worn something else, something that didn’t resemble funeral clothes.
He can’t leave me, please don’t let him leave me, she prayed to whoever or whatever may be listening.
I’ll love him right this time just don’t let him leave me.
She hated how it had taken this extreme of a measure to awaken her to what she wanted: him. She wanted to be with him again and she didn’t want to spend a moment of her life without him.
It wasn’t weak, it was strength she now realized to commit yourself fully to another person without knowing if everything would work out.
Because that was life.
Life was irrational and it was unpredictable, these last few hours in the emergency room had proven that.
But in the midst of all her tears and regret she had found one light that came within herself.
Life was irrational and unpredictable but if he was by her side, everything would be alright.
He was her guider and protector and he respected her and loved her the way everyone should be loved.
So she continued to pray for him and at one point she took out the hair pin he had given her and continuously pressed it to her lips.
He had given her so many beautiful things, not just material, but beyond that.
He had given her support and assurance and he had guided her gently through the realms of sexuality.
He had given her a home and he had become her home.
So she kissed the pin repeatedly as if the crystal heart was really his and she could kiss it and strengthen it, force it to continue to beat.
Please come back to me, I need you, she thought.
As if her prayers had been answered, the doctor came and gave her an update.
“He’s stable now. He’s going to be fine. Only one bullet struck him in the stomach, but we were able to remove it and cease the bleeding. You may go see him now, he’s asleep.”
Upon hearing those words, she quickly thanked the doctor then went to him, leaving May and everyone else who might be watching behind.
She entered the room and heard his familiar breathing and upon hearing it she at last let out the breath she hadn’t known she had been holding.
He was shirtless and several bandages were wrapped over his stomach, he had an IV, and he was hooked up to a heart monitor.
She pulled up a chair from the corner and brought it right next to the side of the bed so she could sit next to him. He looked incredibly pale and if it hadn’t been for the doctor’s words and his peaceful expression, she would have been more worried.
She stroked his soft hair.
“Billy, I’m not sure if you can hear me, but I love you,” she said her voice cracking as a sob broke through, “I’ve always loved you.
She tried to contain herself, but she couldn’t. She had at last given in to her tears that she had been holding back and they all broke through like floods now.
She was glad to see however, that his locket that she had given him was still around his neck, and it had been popped open so the picture of them on the inside was visible.
“I want you to know that I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and if you still want me I want you. I was scared at first, I was scared to be hurt again and I was scared of being seen as weak for going back to you,” she paused and caressed his hand lightly. It was so cold, and not warm like it had been a few hours ago.
“I know now that I would rather be with you and take a million hurts than to be apart, because that would hurt me more. You’ve always been so gentle with me and I’m secure in the fact now that you would never intentionally hurt me. I want to be with you despite what anyone else thinks and I love you, I love you, I love you.”
She sniffled and tried not to cry too much just on the off chance that he might actually be listening, she knew he hated it when she cried.
He, however, was still sleeping soundingly and he seemed incredibly young despite the stubble he had taken to wearing. She leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his forehead.
“Please come back to me soon, I need you.”
She continued to hold on to his cold hand and she repeatedly told him how much she loved him.

 

Thoughts came back to him.
It was difficult to explain but he wasn’t necessarily dead or alive.
It was almost as if he were in a translucent middle, a peaceful sleep while memories came back to him.
It was as if he was outsider looking in and he saw himself as he stood in the garage angry after Hillary had left.
He still remembered his emotions.
He had been hurt, confused, and frustrated with her never ending confusion.
In that moment, his patience had run out and he had snapped back at her as she had yelled at him. He knew he should have just apologized for making her wait, it had been an innocent mistake on his part as he had lost track of the time, but he had gotten defensive with her.
Her accusations of him saving someone else in the backseat in case things didn’t work out between the two of them, had offended him.
Because he had wanted her to know without a doubt that she was the only one for him.
He knew now that he should have just told her that.
But instead he had yelled back at her.
In some ways he knew why he had yelled at her.
Because, he had been annoyed to hear her say that he was the one confusing her when for him that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“I should have gone to New York.”
He now watched his other self in the memory and the pain in his eyes upon hearing those words. He had been so crushed to hear that because it had made him feel as if he were holding her back. So he had told her to leave, angrily.
That anger had really been because he had wanted to give her the world, but it had only seemed upon hearing those words that he had been taking things from her, making her more broken.
He had watched her beautiful figure leave in anger, and he had been left with a heavy heart.
He had wanted to hate her, because then he had thought that things would be so much easier if he did, but he had known that would never be possible, his heart beated only for her.
Still, he watched his old self through the memory go find Luna and ask her to go out to dinner. He knew that he had done it because he had wanted to prove his theory that Hillary was the only one for him.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked you to fix my car,” Luna had said in the memory. He had remembered feeling sympathy towards her.
“It’s my fault. I should have introduced you to Hillary a while ago. Don’t worry about it,” he had answered.
He had driven them to that diner he and Hillary had gone to the night they had been attacked by Scott.
The whole time he and Luna had eaten and made small talk, he had thought about how he had wanted it to be Hillary there.
His theory had been proven true, Hillary would always be the only one for him.
Even if Luna was nice and pretty, she wasn’t meant for him, he wasn’t meant for her, he had been able to feel it in his soul that he belonged to Hillary.
“You’re thinking about her. It’s okay, I can tell. You don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings,” Luna had observed. She had seen through his experiment of sorts.
“You wouldn’t consider dying your hair blonde would you?” he had joked. Even if she did, she would still not be Hillary.
“You know, Bill I think things will work out. Don’t worry,” she had said.
He remembered how he hadn’t wanted to hurt her feelings, she had been a good friend after all.
"Thanks. Things will work out for you. You’ll find a great guy some day,” he had said.
This had only made Luna laugh.
“What’s so funny?” He had asked.
“Bill you really don’t know? I’m a lesbian,” she had whispered. He had remembered feeling a bit surprised because he had his suspicions, but she had just confirmed them.
“So you and Sunny?” he had probed, it had all made sense in a way.
“Yeah we’ve been kind of secretly dating. I was feeling insecure about it because no one knows besides you. When I first met you I tried an experiment of my own. I had wanted to see if I could force myself to like you because I had felt so scared and insecure about my sexuality. It didn’t work obviously. So Sunny and I are still together but secretly and it gets to be too much sometimes. I hope one day it won’t have to be a secret anymore.”
Bill had only listened and nodded because he had then realized why this girl knew so much about relationships. He had also been glad that she had trusted him with telling him about her own relationship.
“I think things will work out. If it’s with someone you love then it will. All we have to do is try, we are all afraid,” he had said telling her the words of wisdom she had told him.
She had given him a small smile and they had finished eating.
His conscious self, the self that was dreaming, watched the memory playing in his head and watched as he and Luna had exited the diner unaware that the night would take a terrible turn.

 

The memory shifted and he swore he heard crying, but then the memory became clear again and it was of him and Luna standing outside the diner staring down the nose of Packer’s shotgun.
“Well hey Bill. That’s not Hillary? You know I thought she’d be here given the fact that you used the Royals for her benefit,” Packer had said menacingly.
It had been pitch black when they had exited the diner, and Packer had been flanked by two other members of the royals that Bill had not recognized.
“Luna I want you to go back into the diner,” he had said, he hadn’t wanted her to get caught up in this.
Packer had other plans.
“No. You see I learned from last time. If this girl is really as crazy as your blonde bitch then I’m not going to end up with a bloody nose the way Scott did,” he had said then he had snapped his fingers at the two royals. They had gone and restrained Luna, Bill hadn’t been able to stop them as Packer had set the gun on her.
“If you move or cause any trouble she’s going to suffer, and I only came here for you,” Packer had said.
Bill had thought about what to do, but there had been no solutions. It had nearly been closing time for the diner and it had been empty when they had left, so he had doubted that anyone would have seen them.
Then there had been the unfortunate fact that this diner hadn’t necessarily been in a busy or well populated area, and it had also been so dark that Bill had barely been able to see the nozzle staring him in the nose.
“You see, Billy boy, I thought about what to do with you. At first I was gonna shoot Hillary because that would make you mad wouldn’t it? And it would make you suffer like a little bitch. But then I thought what hurts you the most?” Packer had paused here as if he had been asking Bill. But Bill had only kept quiet, he had still been thinking of something to do.
“Hillary’s pain hurts you the most, and poor thing is gonna be shattered when you’re dead. Wanna know what the best part is? You won’t be around to comfort her,” Packer had taunted.
His words had sent a tremor through Bill because he had known Packer had been right.
This would destroy Hillary.
“Packer. You’re drunk and you don’t know what you’re doing. Think of what this could do to your father,” Bill had said trying to play his cards wisely.
“You see, I’m not drunk. Unlike that creep Scott when I’m going to do something I do it sober. And as for my father.. well he’s too busy being senator to notice me,” Packer had said.
He had brought the gun closer, and had menacingly put his finger on the trigger. Luna had struggled and pleaded for them to stop, but one snap from Packer’s fingers had made the guys kick her roughly and have her shut up.
Then things had happened fast, Bill had tried to disarm Packer and knock the gun out of his hand, but Packer had been quick and shots had fired.
Two missed him.
Two missed him.
One had entered his stomach.
It hadn’t hurt, at first he hadn’t felt it, but even in the dark he had been able to see his shirt darkening quickly with blood.
Already he had felt light headed.
“Such a shame. I hear getting shot in the stomach is painful. I really liked you Bill, this is a bummer but business is business.”
Then Packer and the two had left.
Luna had rushed to him, but at that point he had fainted as he had continued to bleed out.

 

Again, his memory shifted and he had remembered masked faced looking down on him. Numbers and statistics being yelled out and then he had seen his bare chest and the blood rushing through. He had tried to call for Hillary, but he had already been fading away, not being able to speak. Before he had fainted completely, he had heard her at the door.
“Let me see him! I have to go in! I have to be there!” She had shouted and he had been able to tell she was crying. He had wanted to yell at the doctors to let her in, but at that point he had fainted. Then there had been nothing, then everything at once.
He had seen his life play out before him, all the memories.
Then the memories had gotten recent, memories of Hillary.
Then he heard her voice, clear as day.
“Billy, I’m not sure if you can hear me, but I love you. I’ve always loved you.”
She sounded so broken and regretful, but far away. He wanted to comfort her, but he was trapped and couldn’t escape this dream like trance.
“I want you to know that I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and if you still want me I want you. I was scared at first, I was scared to be hurt again and I was scared of being seen as weak for going back to you.”
Again, he heard her speak.
I still want you, he wanted to yell but he still couldn’t, he was weak.
“I know now that I would rather be with you and take a million hurts than to be apart, because that would hurt me more. You’ve always been so gentle with me and I’m secure in the fact now that you would never intentionally hurt me. I want to be with you despite what anyone else thinks and I love you, I love you, I love you.”
I love you too, fuck I love you, he thought. He fought now, trying to force himself to wake up, and for a moment he felt stronger.
“Please come back to me soon, I need you.”
Those words and her need for him had given him the strength he needed.
He willed himself awake and suddenly his eyes opened, light pouring through.

 

When she looked up and saw those beautiful blue gray eyes looking weakly at her she began to sob all over again.
“You came back to me,” she said between tears, “you came back.”
She had known that he should have been fine because the doctors had only said he was sleeping, but she had been beginning to have her doubts.
“Hey pretty baby,” he said weakly then reached out and cupped her cheek, “I hate it when you cry.”
That only made her cry more because she was so overwhelmed by emotions for him.
There was happiness now at having him conscious, and there was sadness for almost losing him, a sort of shocking adrenaline.
“Shhh. Come here and snuggle. You’re small enough to fit up here with me,” he said gently and stroking her hair. She didn’t have to be told twice, never again would she hesitate when it came to him. She gently got on the bed and curled up at his side so as not to hurt him.
“Are you okay?” He asked softly, still getting his voice back. Then she began to laugh through tears at the ridiculous of it all.
“You got shot and you’re asking me if i’m okay?”
He had only looked at her seriously.
“You were the one who had to stay behind not knowing what would happen and you had to deal with the pain. So yes I’m asking you if you’re okay.”
He’s always so empathic of my feelings, so sensitive, she thought and she felt grateful for that. “I’m better now that you came back to me. I asked you to come back,” she said snuggling closer to him gently.
“I heard you. I heard everything you said.”
She blushed but at the same time was thankful he had heard her.
“I love you too by the way, and I’m always going to want you.”
She only listened, but suddenly she remembered her mistakes and how cruel she had been and she felt guilty about her mistakes.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“For what?” He asked confused. There was silence for a moment except his steady heart monitor.
“If I hadn’t sent you away, If I had let you come to work with me or if I had gone to dinner with you this wouldn’t have happened,” she said. She had spent some of the time in the emergency room just thinking this over, thinking what she could have done differently.
“Hillary. Look at me,” he said sternly, she did. “This is not your fault, none of it is. We had a fight like couples all over the world do, but you didn’t cause this,” he continued then his voice got gentle again at the end.
She took comfort in his words, he didn’t blame her.
“Packer caused this,” she said out loud.
“How did you know that?” he asked. She sighed and took his hand gently in hers.
“Luna told me. She’s here you know, so is May.” She kissed his hand softly and saw that he was watching her.
“You don’t have to be jealous of Luna you know. I should have introduced you to her a while ago, but she’s the one who made the cake pops for your birthday so she’s always known about you. She’s also a lesbian so there’s that,” he said light heartily.
Hillary only nodded.
She would give Luna another chance, and she would never be jealous again.
“Do you wanna talk about our fight? Because I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lost track of time and made you wait, and I’m sorry for yelling at you,” he said softly again and she rolled over on her side so she was face to face with him.
“I’m sorry too I was just confused and I took that out on you, but now I’m not confused I want you.”
His sensitive eyes gleamed at that.
“If all it took was getting shot to make you not confused I would have done it a while ago,” he said back to his playful self. She rolled her eyes but still felt an involuntary smile come up on her face.
“Don’t talk like that. I would have died if you didn’t come back, nothing matters without you,” she said passionately and as soon as she said it she knew it was true.
She felt empty without him, not in a weak or dependent way, but they were partners and he completed her.
He sighed.
“That jerk Packer knew that so he shot me with the intention of killing me to hurt you because he knows that would hurt me more than anything. I can’t stand it when you’re hurt,” he said and he tried to reach for her, but all his IVs didn’t allow him to, so she moved closer. She thought of Packer and how dark his scheme had been, she had never thought of Packer as an extreme menace, but now she did.
“But Hillary even though I have no intention of leaving your side until we’re old and my time comes, I need you to promise me something,” he paused.
“I promise” she said, she wouldn’t deny him anything again.
“If for some reason life were to happen because life is unpredictable and my time came early, I need you to promise me you’ll live well. My last dying wish would be for you to be happy and to live a beautiful life because you deserve one. So I would want you to find a guy worthy of your love and to have hundreds of cute kids that have that button nose of yours and I would want you to never stop laughing. That’s what I would want.”
His words touched her, and she felt so loved. Never in her life had she felt this loved and it brought tears to her eyes.
“I promise, but I would never forget you,” she said. He gave her a sad smile.
“That’s enough tears for now, sweets. I’m not going anywhere any time soon and I meant what I said about wanting to see you laugh,” he said and now she was close enough for him to give her a kiss on her forehead.
She could only imagine what she looked like, makeup smeared, eyes red, and hair frizzy, but Bill was looking at her as if she were the most beautiful creature to grace the planet.
She now didn’t hold back, never again would she hold back.
She went up to him and kiss his soft lips. She could taste her tears in their kiss and as always, his lips reacted to hers.
His heart monitor began to beep highly and obnoxiously as his heart rate accelerated and she pulled back and laughed.
“I really get your heart beating like that?” She asked because it was so familiar, and it was so like her own heart beated for him.
He blushed and suddenly she knew why he liked it when she blushed, because looking at him turn rosy was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen.
“You do, always.”
The heart monitor was still going and a nurse had to come in and fix it so it would stop beeping, she didn’t say anything about them being in the same bed and Hillary was grateful.
“You gave them a hard time, pretty baby. I heard you, you wanted to be with me while the surgery to remove the bullet happened,” he said admiringly.
“I always want to be with you.”
“That’s my loyal girl.”
They were silent for a while and she breathed him in, somehow through the overwhelming hospital smell he still smelled like himself, he still smelled like home.
“So where do we go from here?” She asked. They were together now, that much she knew, but with them being in their dorms now how were they going to be like before.
“Well I was hoping you would move back into the house with me,” he said his voice very much hopeful. The house? She had assumed he had sold it off or it had been collected since the payments hadn’t been made. He seemed to know what she was thinking.
“I kept making the monthly payments because like I said, it’s your house. I couldn’t stand the idea of anyone else living there.”
Again she felt so loved and suddenly it seemed like all the love in the world had been bestowed on her.
“Bill, thank you. I do want to move in with you again, I love you so much.”
He was going to make a cheesy comment about having taking her somewhere nice after all since hospitals were expensive, but she kissed him again, and the heart monitor went off the charts.