It was the one year anniversary of one young girl's murder. It had been one long year since the murder of Callie Anora, and the person who had killed her was still mourning over the death. Most murderers never seemed to mourn over the person who they killed, but the person who killed Callie was different; the person who had killed her was none other than her older twin sister. Only a few people knew who had actually been the murderer of the youngest twin sister; most only knew that she had been killed and had her throat slit and that the body was extremely bloodied and mutilated. In all reality though, the body hadn't been all that mutilated; the stomach had been cut up a considerable amount, and the throat had been slit, but that was about all of the damage to the body other than a few stray bruises here and there. The truth was always ruined by media and all of the people it went through before getting to someone else, but there was no way to change that.

This night was much like that night one year ago. It was a cool and windy night with only a few clouds in the sky, some covering bits and pieces of the moon but not enough to where the streets were bathed in darkness. There weren't many people walking around at the time, but a few stragglers were making their way from work to get home and finish school work, or to put off things that needed to be done. One young girl was headed off to the city cemetery to pay her respects to those who had passed on, but she wasn't only going to pay her respects; she had another mission in mind when she had left her house earlier that day. She wasn't planning on returning to her house, but whether her plan went as she wanted or not was another story.

The girl had been constructing her plan for the past two or three weeks to make it perfect and so that she would never have to see her family again. That day, before she had left her house, she had seen her brothers off to a friend's house and said her goodbyes and that she wouldn't be seeing them again for a long while, but they hadn't understood her. It was for the best that they didn't know what was going on. Her mother and step-father had gotten no real goodbye, except for being able to get one final beating on the girl, but she hadn't wanted to tell them that they had finally won. Now there was only one last person to bid adieu to, but she hadn't spoken to that boy- no, he was no longer a boy; he was a grown man- without yelling for years, so she wouldn't be able to tell him what she had been wanting to for years.

The walk to the cemetery seemed longer than it usually did, and even lonelier than it had been the week before, but that could probably be because the last time this girl had walked there was with her two younger brother's, and they had made her run in order to keep up with them. That would be the last good memory she had with those two boys, and she knew that she would always remember it because she had enjoyed spending that time on the grave with them a tremendous amount. It was too late to turn back, she reminded herself; she had planned this and she was going to go through with it. At least…that was the plan.

She was supposed to get to the cemetery, relocate the grave of Callie Anora, her twin sister and the girl she had killed, pay her respects, and then kill herself like she had wanted to do since waking up with the dead body in her arms. Since that day, she had attempted, and failed, to kill herself, only to be rescued by the man that she had claimed to hate since she was about fifteen-years-old. This time he wouldn't get in her way and he wouldn't be able to save her like he always wanted to do; there would be no knight in shining armor to stop or save her…or so she thought.

The night of October 27, 2003 wasn't one that would be easily forgotten. One girl made sure that she would never forget what had happened that day because she had lost her best friend and one of the only people who had ever understood her even more than she had understood herself. It was nearing midnight, so it wouldn't be the twenty-seventh much longer, but the last ten minutes of that day seemed to go by in slow motion and it was almost as though it had taken years for the minute hand to move.

"Kaelea, please don't do this to me!" a voice sobbed as the figure to which it belonged to backed up into a corner, a look of terror plastered on her face. "Come back, Kaelea! Please go back to how you were before! You know how much I hate it when you act like this and let it get a hold of you!" A scream mixed with terror and pain echoed through the air and hung in it for seconds that almost took hours. "KAE!"

It was all over after that final scream from the girl; her life had been ripped away from her and she had only been seventeen-years-old. The knife had torn through her skin and punctured her esophagus, causing her to be unable to breath after that moment. Several minutes of her gasping for breath later, she had collapsed into her murderer's arms and lay there, unmoving and bleeding. If only she had been able to get to the garage door, then she would have been able to escape with only several patches of cuts on her stomach. But no; she had been cornered and hadn't been able to escape.

When the girl she called Kaelea had reawaken and had an exact replica of herself lying dead in her arms, she had broke down and cried her heart out. Seeing the pale body of her younger sister, as well as best friend, in her arms made her realize what had happened and that it wasn't a murder where the killer ran off. She knew that the assassin was still in the room, as well as that she happened to be the one to have killed the girl in her arms, what she didn't know was that she wouldn't succeed in what she attempted several minutes later.

The raven-haired girl had finally found the right grave marker after going up and down aisles and aisles of gravestones. This one read, "In Loving Memory of Callie Anora; December 2, 1986-October 27, 2003; You will live on in our hearts forever." Every time that the ebony haired girl came and read that, she felt a pang of guilt hit her, as well as tears that forced their way to her eyes, and every single time that happened, she would burst into tears and continuously apologize for ruining her life. Tonight was no different…

"I'm so sorry, Callie…" the girl sobbed as she fell onto her knees in front of the grave marker. "I never meant to ruin everything for you…If I had known that I could get that bad when it took over, I would have done something to keep it from ever happening. I didn't think that I was capable of killing anyone, let alone you…and I'm so sorry for doing this to you…" Her sobbing increased as she buried her head into her hands, her shoulders heaving with every breath she took to try to calm herself down.

"Now I'm finally going to be able to follow your path…" she said, her voice barely above a whisper. She slipped her hand down to her boot and pulled out the knife that she had put there before leaving her house, running the blade along her fingers gently, only spilling a few drops of blood as she did this. "I know that you wouldn't want me to do this because of your death, but I want to see you again. I miss you so much and wish that I could spend just a few more minutes with you…" Her hand began to shake as she pushed the sleeve of her white blouse up to her elbows, her grip tightening on the hilt of the knife which caused her knuckles to turn white.

"I love you, Callie."

The blade of the knife was dug deep into the skin on the girl's wrist as she forced the tip of her weapon deep enough to start to spill blood. After making sure that it was deep enough, she drug the blade of the knife up her wrist, nearing where she bent her elbow before her grip loosened and the knife fell out of her hand. Steel gray eyes stared down at her wrist as blood began to pool in the palm of her hand and slip down the sides of her arm, dripping to the ground. She let out the breath that she had been holding and laid down on her side, keeping her bleeding arm in her line of vision so that she could watch the crimson liquid make pools around her hand, and watch it stain her blouse and skirt. The scene made her smile as her eyes slowly slipped shut, her vision going in and out of focus before finally becoming black behind her closed eyelids.

Seconds turned into minutes…minutes that never seemed to come to an end as the girl remained on the ground, unmoving and barely breathing. What seemed like hours passed before another person had stumbled upon the grave, squinting in the darkness at the lump of a body at the foot of the gravestone before eyes widened in horror. The scene that had been presented to this person wasn't something that he had been expecting to see that night, let alone ever since normally people didn't go around and try to kill themselves on the graves of those who had died.

"Kaelea…" the voice said in a hushed and pained tone as he knelt down beside the body and gently pulled the girl into his arms. He had known that the girl that he was now holding would try to kill herself, something he always ended up walking up on (although that was good for both parts), but he had never expected to do it on anyone's grave like this. "Why would you do something like this to yourself? You can't let them win." The voice held so much emotion as he spoke, lifting the girl up into his arms and beginning to walk off, and people (had they been there) would have been able to hear the strain in his voice as he tried to keep his voice strong.

He said no more since he knew that Kaelea had long since passed out and could no longer hear anyone's words that were spoken to her, especially since she was half dead at the moment and unable to tell what was going on around her. His footsteps echoed almost deafeningly loud in his ears as he walked, causing him to wince every now and then, as well as attempt to brush his shoulder up against his ear to quiet the sound. No matter what he tried to do to block out his footsteps, they were always audible to him, even if he had pushed his shoulder up against either ear or placed his hand over it. The walk to the hospital seemed to take ages, and even when the hospital was in his view, it never seemed to get closer, and it was as though it was moving backwards with every step he took. If anything, it seemed to be getting smaller the closer he got instead of larger.

A man who had a striking resemblance to the boy sitting outside in the waiting room of the hospital walked out, slipping his surgical gloves off of his hands as he locked his gaze onto the boy. He was almost the exact same height as Brick, only being about an inch taller, and had brown and blonde mixed into his hair, as well as a few gray strands here and there, but no decreasing hairline was visible. It was apparent that the two men now looking at each other and standing face to face were related in some way, leaving the way that they were related up to the person looking at them. To the trained eye, it was apparent that the surgeon was the father because the look that he carried in his brown eyes was one of a fatherly love, as well as a bit of relief, but some could mistake the fatherly love for a love that was brotherly. On the badge that the older male wore, it read "David Brick, Surgeon".

"Jonathan," he said, ignoring the groan and eye roll that he got from the male in front of him, "it's a good thing that you found her when you did." He smiled and nodded a little as he clapped his son on the back, glad to know that, once again, Brick managed to save the now hospitalized girl from death. "Had you run into her a little later, we would have lost her for good…I'm glad that you decided to take that walk today." He heaved a heavy sigh and his smile began to diminish until only a slight tug on the corners of his lips remained. "If Callie were still here-!" he began, but was interrupted, and gave his son a look of shock and slight confusion.

The shorter of the two males glared up at his father and clenched his fists angrily, unclenching them soon after he had done so. "But she's not, dad!" he shouted, clenching his fists again, but this time keeping them so. His voice was raising a considerable amount and he was giving no notice to the other patients that were occupying the hospital, or the nurses whom were telling him to quiet it down or else he'd get kicked out. "Callie's not here and she's never coming back. You need to understand that you can't bring her up like that. Even if she was here, there's not a lot that she could do to stop Kaelea." He took a deep breath in hopes to calm and relax himself a little, but knew that it wouldn't be as easy as that. "Why don't you understand that she'd be doing this no matter what?!" he asked loudly, though his voice was lower than before. "Callie was never able to stop her."

Despite the outburst from Brick that David got, he was still calm, and the look on his face wasn't one of anger or annoyance, but one of thoughtfulness. "I do understand, John. The twins might have been best friends, but…" he began, and then lowered his voice so that only the two of them could hear what he was saying. "…Kaelea never really listened to anyone when it came to her suicidal tendencies." He paused and watched as his son nodded slowly. "I don't care what the hell you have to do to get her to stop this, but you need to get her to quit trying to throw her life away like this. I can't keep this charade up much longer; the staff is starting to get suspicious of why she's always in here." Clearing his throat, he glanced around the hall, and then back to his silent son.

"I don't know what happened between the two of you to make it so that you both never speak to each other," he said as he put his hands gently on Brick's shoulders and looked into his eyes. "But I know that you two can get through it and go back to how you used to be when you two were together. Don't try to argue with me on this point, because I know that it's true, and I know that you will argue with me." He took his hands away from his son and brushed them off before sticking them into his coat pockets with a slight squeak of rubber against rubber. "You love her. You always have and that's why you were always there for her when you two were younger, even when she didn't think that she needed you. You're five years older than her, but I think that you're the only person other than Callie that was there for her, and I know that she loves you for it."

"Dad…" Brick groaned as he looked at the ground, not really sure how he was supposed to explain the reasoning behind why Kaelea hated him. It wouldn't be all that wonderful of a conversation, but he knew that he'd have to tell his father sooner or later, and apparently his wish for later wasn't being granted this time. "I hurt her when she was fourteen…She doesn't love me anymore…" He glanced up to him, the normally proud and strong act that he put up crumbling to pieces while he tried to grab onto them and still be the guy that was never weak and always there to be strong.

"But the two of you were still young then. Someone is bound to get hurt, especially with your age difference and her still having been only fourteen," he explained, nodding a little. He stopped talking and watched his son, raising a brow in questioning at the look that he was getting in response to what he had said. The pain and sorrow that he saw filling the hazel green pools of his only child hurt him, mainly because he had never seen such a look linger in the proud man's eyes.

The younger of the two men heaved a sigh and glanced up into his father's eyes after averting eye contact for a while and then quickly looked back to the ground, afraid to show his father how much shame was in his features and his eyes. "You don't know what I did to her…" he said softly, unable to believe that he was finally, for the first time, admitting what he did out loud…especially to his dad. This wasn't going to go as well as he was hoping that it would, but the fact that they were in a hospital waiting room might put the shouting off until later. "I never meant to hurt her like I did…but I was so used to getting what I wanted…" Guilt had finally set in from the incident three years previous, and he wasn't able to stand himself any longer. His barrier had almost completely crumbled to the ground save for the piece that he was desperately holding onto and watching as it just shattered into a million pieces.

"I was so spoiled…" he said breathlessly as he drew in a sharp intake of air.

"So you…?" David slowly began before stopping to shake his head. "I guess that it's kind of my fault that you were so spoiled…" He sighed heavily and glanced to the ground momentarily before he quickly looked back to his son. "I know that a normal father would scold and lecture you, but I'm not going to. I can tell by the way your voice is, by your actions, and by your eyes that you feel guilty enough as it is," he said, his voice extremely soft and quiet compared to his normal speaking voice, and sometimes hard to hear. "I'm not going to make you feel any worse than you do right now." He paused.

"Paging Doctor Brick," crackled the intercom once, and then repeated its message before shutting off with a click.

"Kaelea's sleeping right now…I think that you should go and talk to her when she wakes up," he said with a nod before he turned and walked towards the front desk in the waiting room.

"I don't think that that's such a good idea…" he muttered, more to himself than anything, as he bit his lip and glanced towards the door with a sigh. He was completely unsure of what he was supposed to do at the moment and whether or not he should attempt to talk to Kaelea again. After several minutes of contemplation, he heaved a sigh of defeat and walked into the room that his father had come out of, shutting the door behind him. "I hate seeing you like this, Kaelea…" he said, his voice choked up with tears that he refused to let fall, taking a seat in a chair that had been set up by the side of her bed, more than likely by his father. The one thing he wanted to do at the moment was hug the sleeping beauty in front of him and just tell her how much he loved her and was sorry that he had ever done such a thing to harm and hurt her like he did, but he refused the urge and just watched her in silence.

She seemed so peaceful as she lay there on the bed, her raven black hair in tangles and partially covering her paled face that had several small splotches of blood on the cheeks and forehead. Even through everything that had happened in the last couple of hours, Brick noticed, she still managed to be as beautiful as she did when she walked down the street and when she was sitting in the park. No longer was she in the torn and bloodied school uniform that she had been wearing when he had found her, instead she was wearing one of the paper-like gowns that a person is given when in the hospital or doctor's office. Everything about her seemed so clean, including the mess that her hair was in, and the blindingly white bandages that covered one of her arms up to her elbow only made her seem even cleaner since he had just realized that her arms were above the blankets and by her sides.

The dirty-blonde haired male pushed himself back up to his feet, setting his hands on the edge of the bed as he leaned over the girl on it. He took a deep breath as he watched her in silence, completely unsure of himself and what he was planning on doing at the moment. Shaking his head a little, he licked his index finger and began to gently wipe off the dry spots of blood on the raven haired girl's head before he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. The steady breathing that he heard from the girl didn't surprise him; she always seemed to be awake whenever he walked in the room since she was starting to wake up quickly when in surgery. Maybe it was a good thing for him, but it probably stressed his father out a lot.

"You don't have to pretend to be asleep, Kaelea," he told her with a small groan as he lowered himself back down into his chair. He had gotten used to walking into the room with her pretending to be asleep, but this was the first time that he had ever said anything about it to get her attention. Up until now, he had never had any reason to let her know that she didn't need to pretend to be asleep, and up until now, he had never needed to speak to her as badly as he did.

After several silent moments, she finally opened her eyes and looked towards the male, an obvious hint of hatred glowing in her eyes as she looked at him. "What is it, Brick?" she asked, a small growl able to be heard in her voice. It wasn't that she didn't want to see him, because she was happy to see him, it was just that she had lied for the past three years about hating him. She couldn't simply stop and explain that everything had been a lie, could she? "I can deal with speaking to your dad, and that's something that I expected, but it's different with you. You've never said anything before, so why start now?"

Brick groaned a little and leaned against the back of his chair as he uneasily watched her, not sure how he was going to explain himself to her. "Kaelea…I've never needed to talk to you like I need to right now. You don't understand how bad I feel for what I've done to you. You don't understand how much it hurts to see you look at me like this," he started, drawing in a deep and shaky breath as he shook his head and looked away. "My dad knows about the mistake that I made before. I told him before he told me that I should come in here and try to talk to you." He wasn't sure how this conversation was going to go, but he was hoping that it wouldn't go too terribly.

"So now I'm going to get pity from your father?" The news that her and Brick weren't the only people to know about that incident came as a shock since she had never expected him to tell anyone, and it upset her. "Great, that's just what I wanted."

"Kaelea, you should know that he isn't going to pity you!" he said, his voice raising before he realized and could stop himself. The fact that his voice had increased hadn't fazed the girl; she didn't seem to care at all that he had almost begun to yell at her and acted as if she had expected it to occur. "You've known my dad since you were little, and you should know that he never gives pity to people who don't want it. He knows you well enough to know that you hate pity and sympathy. Don't you understand that he loves you like a daughter?"

She heaved a sigh as she pushed herself into a sitting up position and looked the male in the eyes, her steel gray ones locked onto his hazel green ones. "I understand, I'm just not too happy about the fact that he knows about you being a fucking prick who thought that he could get anything that he wanted," she said, slowly at first but then picking up speed towards the end. "And what you did to try and get what you wanted. Don't you understand?" Shaking her head, she put her hands onto her knees and leaned forward a little, wincing as she bent her arms and pain went searing through them.

"From what I can tell, apparently you don't. When a girl is frozen with fear and isn't able to say anything, that means that you need to stop. Just because she isn't telling you to stop doesn't mean that you can keep on going," she explained, anger rising up in her voice as she clenched her fists. "I was scared shitless, Brick! There was so much going through my mind that I was paralyzed with fear. The fact that you didn't see that made me even more frightened. I hated thinking that maybe you were only using me to get laid, but that's what kept racing through my mind. 'Maybe he's just using me. Maybe he never meant that he loved me.'"

He watched her, his jaw slightly agape, and with wide eyes. It had never occurred to him that he had begun to lose her even before she said that she hated him, and the news of what had been going through her head drove him crazy. "You…actually thought that?" he asked, his voice shaking as he pulled his gaze away from hers and looked at the arm of his chair. "That I hadn't meant it when I said that I loved you?" His heart was aching with the truth, and he was starting to wish that he had never listened to his dad to walk into that room and speak to the girl.

Kaelea nodded slowly, not sure how to take the tone of voice that he had, and then hastily ran a hand through her hair as she continued to watch him. Seeing him in pain hurt her, and knowing that she had been the one to cause the pain made her hurt even more. "Yes, that's what I thought," she announced, thinking through her words carefully so that she didn't wind up hurting them both even more. "You don't understand how scared I was, and how much I wanted my voice to return. The only thing that I could think of doing when I was able to move and talk again was to slap you and yell at you in hopes that you would understand."

The memory came back, vivid as ever before, and she tried to shove that thought to the back of her head for the moment. All that had happened, all the words that had been said, everything, came rushing back as though it was happening all over again and that she, once more, wasn't able to stop it.

Finally, she was able to push the recollection to the back of her head, but not without a few groans and whimpers on her part. She put her face into the palms of her hands and shook her head, completely hating herself for bringing that subject back up and forcing the picture back into her head. There were too many thoughts moving around through her mind, and she was unable to focus on just one for long before it moved on and another took its place. Complete and coherent sentences weren't being formed, so she was stuck to sit in silence and just hope that Brick would speak up and say something in order to get her thinking on the line of the conversation again.

The male quickly looked back to her, watching her with sad eyes as he shook his head and kept from pulling her off of the bed and into his arms to comfort her. "I deserve to be slapped and shouted at for what I did. I was a spoiled brat, but I've learned since then. I've learned to wait, not only for the right time for me, but for the other as well," he explained, his voice soft and weak. The urge to hold her in his arms was getting stronger and stronger as her eyes filled with sorrow and tears. "My hormones were raging, and the only girl that I wanted was you. It never hit me that you were still really young and weren't ready for what I wanted."

"That's how it is when there's a five year age difference and the girl is still under fifteen. I was fourteen-years-old, and the thought of sex didn't really appeal to me at that time, though it still doesn't. You were nineteen and probably fucking every girl you could manage to get into bed with you," she said, sighing a little as she shook her head. She didn't enjoy the thought of knowing that Brick had been messing around with other girls, but it wasn't as though the two of them had been an item at the time; she had been too nervous to move to that stage.

"Not every girl," he said to her truthfully and with a small nod, which was followed closely by a shrug. "I think that I slept with four or five girls around that time. Maybe one of them actually meant something more than a one night stand to me, but I highly doubt that right now." He watched her in silence, knowing that she was uncomfortable hearing about his sex life and who he had had feelings for years ago, so he stopped and waited for a new conversation topic to come up. It wasn't that he had been meaning to make her feel like he had managed to; it just happened because he, as usual, hadn't been thinking about what he had been saying. But what did it really matter who he slept with and who he cared about? She never said that she cared about him and she never said that she liked him more than a brother and a best friend, so why was he worrying?

She was silent, not sure of how she was supposed to react to the information that had been given to her; it seemed like too much to process at the moment. It wasn't like she cared about him, so who he was bedding shouldn't have bothered her like it did, but hearing it was like getting stabbed in the back. "Oh…right…well…" she began, fumbling with her fingers as she looked at her lap and hoped that a new topic would come up. "It's your life and you should be able to do what, and who, you want." A small shrug rolled off of her shoulders as she swallowed hard, glancing up to him only momentarily before looking away again.

"Look, maybe you should go. I don't need you to be here reminding me of the past. There are some things that I want to forget…and you're one of those things, Brick. Stop being the knight in shining armor that saves the day," she said, her voice shaking and cracking a considerable amount. Saying goodbye was hurting a lot more than she had expected it to, but she knew that it was probably the best thing to do.

Brick, to say the least, was at a loss for words. The last thing that he had expected to happen had just happened and it was still rearing its ugly head and laughing at him. All he had wanted to do when going into the room was make peace and attempt to rekindle a lost friendship, but now…he had to forget about it completely. He figured that it was a lost cause by trying to get Kaelea to change her mind, so he decided that he wouldn't even try. "So this is it then?" he asked as he stood up and took a few steps towards the door before turning around and walking to the bedside. "You're not even going to try to forget about the past while still having me in your life? I thought that you were stronger than this, but I guess that I was wrong."

It looked to him like this was going to be the last chance that he was going to get to hold her in his arms, so he decided to take it, even if she protested. He sat down on the edge of the hospital bed and pulled her into his lap, holding her lovingly up against his chest. There weren't many protests from her, which pleased him, so he continued to keep her in his arms and lap. Holding her again made old memories resurface for the both of them; memories that had long since happened and been remembered, but the once happy days of old made them smile. Maybe there was a way for him to get what he had wanted, as well as her being able to get something that she wanted as well, but no ideas were coming to him in order for him to figure out what to do.

Heaving a deep sigh, he unwrapped his arms from around her and moved her back onto the bed where she had been before he had gotten a hold of her, and then stood up, watching her silently. "Now that I've been able to hold you one last time…I guess that I should be leaving, but before I do leave…" he said as he shoved his hands into his pockets and turned to the door. "You said that you doubted how I felt about you…You've got the key to my heart. You're the only one was has ever had it, and the only one who will ever have it. I told you that I loved you, and I meant it." His feet were refusing to carry him, and his brain wasn't sending the correct signals to get him to start moving. The fact that he really didn't want to leave was getting the best of him and not letting him leave, but after several moments of arguing with himself, he finally forced his feet to move and walked to the door. "You can tell me that you hate me, but I'll love you no matter what. So…I guess I'll see you some other time, Kaelea." He pulled a hand out of his pocket and waved weakly over his shoulder before opening the door and walking out, softly shutting it behind him as he made the long trek down the hall.

Silence hung in the air. A deafening silence that beat wildly at the raven haired girl's ears and made her want to cry out just to break it. The quiet of the room was starting to drive her crazy, but she was too paralyzed with shock to actually move or make any noise to get the quiet to stop and be replaced by clatter once more.

After most of the shock in the ending of the event that had just taken place wore off, Kaelea stared at the door as she whimpered several times in an attempt to keep her tears from falling like they were threatening to do. It wasn't long before tears had begun to slowly slide down the sides of her face and onto her neck, lips, and chin, but she acted as though she didn't care and just continued to watch the door, hoping that it would open again. She quickly pushed herself to her feet and stumbled a few feet before stopping to regain her composure to walk out into the hall, which took her several moments. The one thing that she was really worried about was whether Brick would still be in the hall or not, so she half-jogged to the door and tossed it open as she stepped into the hall, staring down it at the male's retreating back. "Brick!" she shouted, her hand holding tightly onto the door knob as she waited for a response.

She hadn't thought very far in her plan to get him to come back, and when she got no response other than a small wave over the shoulder, as well as only a quick glance, she began to panic. No ideas were coming to her head which resulted on the grip that she had on the door knob tightening so much that it made her knuckles begin to turn white, but when she realized what she was doing, she let go of the handle. Her mind was still drawing a blank, and her panicking began to get worse as she just continued to stare down the hall, all thoughts gone from her mind. "Brick, wait!" she cried out, her voice shaking as she took a few steps down the hall, but then stopped. It was now or never, she decided.

"I…I love you too!"

A smile spread across Brick's face at the confession, and he turned around to look at her. Even from how far he was from her, he could tell that she was frightened and worried about how he would take the news that she had never really hated him. He was relieved to hear what he had wanted to hear her say, but he felt incomplete somehow, and as though there was still something missing in the story. Why did the confession seem to make things worse? After hearing her confess his love for him, he still felt empty, incomplete, and as though there was still so much that needed to be said and done, but no matter how hard he tried to figure out why, nothing came to mind. Instead of standing in the hall and acting as though he had rejected her, he walked down and back to her, stopping several feet from her. His eyes scanned her face for any sort of hint that told him that she was lying, but he saw none, and pulled her into a tight and loving hug.

When she quickly wrapped her arms around him in response to his hug, he was extremely happy to know that she had meant what she said at least a little. All that he cared about at the moment was that he still had a chance with the young girl in his arms, and he wasn't going to mess that up again. This time…there wasn't going to be a screw up and then four years of hatred exchanged between the two; there was no way that he was going to be a screw up again. He loved her, that was that, he now knew that she loved him in return…after waiting so long to find out, he was finally able to hear it.

"Come on, let's go back into your room," he said softly as he pulled out of the hug and took a hold of her hand before walking back into the hospital room that Kaelea was occupying. He led her back over to her bed and sat her down on it, sitting himself down in the chair that he had been using not long before, and watched her quietly for a few minutes. When he noticed that her tears weren't letting up, he leaned forward and wiped them away with his thumb as he took a deep breath and shook his head a little before leaning up and kissing her forehead. "Kaelea…if you loved me, then why did you say that you wanted me to leave and that you wanted to forget about me?" That was one of the many questions that he wanted an answer to, and it was the one that he wasn't going to let go unanswered; this was what was driving him up the wall at the moment.

"I was afraid…" she said softly, hiccoughing as she looked down from his face and to her hands. She fumbled over her hands in her lap, swinging her legs back and forth as she bit roughly on her lower lip and tried to keep her emotions under control and in check.

"Afraid of what?" he asked, groaning a little bit as he shook his head and then placed it in the palms of his hands. What was there that she could, or should, be afraid of that caused her to want him to leave her alone for who knew how long? "There's nothing that you should have been afraid of, and you know it. I would never do anything to hurt you like I did before, and if you don't realize that by now…I'm not sure what to say about it, honestly."

"What do you think?" she asked with a sigh as she rubbed weakly at her eyes with the palms of her hands, averting eye contact. "Shit happens and sometimes the past repeats itself. I was afraid that maybe the past would come back and it would go the same way as before." She heaved a sigh and shook her head as she finally looked to him from the corner of her eye, frightened to see what his reaction was going to be, but also curious about it. "I have every right to be frightened of the present when I've had a lot go on in my life, don't I? I mean…maybe I don't have the right, but I like to think that I do. It's just kind of…the type of thought that relaxes me in a way, you know?"

He understood where she was coming from and how a lie could bring comfort if it meant something to the person, even if it was just a lie. Although he didn't believe that she had no reason for being scared of what the present and the future would bring, he believed that she did have every right to be afraid and worried about it. "You do have reason to be worried about what the future will bring…I just don't see why you've got to be afraid of what I'll do though…There's no way that I would do that again," he said in an exasperated voice as he shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. He could see why she would worry, but it didn't make him very happy to know that she was afraid of a second chance. "I just—"

He stopped and looked over towards the door after hearing a knock at it, and then groaned some before responding to the knock. "You can come in," he said, looking to Kaelea with a fallen look on his face. Sure he hadn't had much more to say than what he had said, but he disliked getting interrupted in a conversation that dealt a lot with the kind of material that the current conversation was dealing with.

"Sorry if I'm interrupting anything," said a voice as the door was pushed open and Brick's father appeared in the doorway. The male caused Kaelea to quickly wipe at her eyes in hopes that he had been unable to notice that she had been crying, but knew that she was too late. "But I need to speak with Kaelea for a while, Jonathan. I believe that it might be a little more important than what you two were probably talking about. Of course, if you don't believe me, that's too bad for you." He smiled to his son as he walked into the room, shutting the door after the shorter of the two males had left.

David walked to the seat that his son had been occupying only moments before, and took a seat in it as he folded his hands in his lap, looking up at the raven haired girl in front of him. "I'll ask about why you're in tears later, right now I want to know how your wrists and arms are feeling, and if I'll need to bring you some pain killers," he said to her, his voice soft and kind. He kept up the professional mask that he had been putting up since he had first walked out of her room, having no need to bring it down at the moment; when he started talking to her about things that didn't concern the pain she was in was when he would take it down. "Most patients who had just gone through some sort of procedure like you just did would need something to help rid themselves of the pain." The fact that he always had to go through with that minor lecture whenever he brought up the subject of painkillers had started to irk him since he was sure that Kaelea could repeat it word for word by this point.

She weakly shook her head as she rubbed at her eyes and brushed away her tears again, heaving a deep and slightly annoyed sigh. "I don't need any right now, but when you have the time…do you mind bringing me some a little later on? Whenever you have the time, sir," she told him, her voice soft and barely audible. Even after knowing this man for years, she still couldn't seem to bring herself to call him by his first name, no matter how many times he pushed her to do such. "And I, uh, understand that you're busy, so you really don't have to stay and make small chat with me about your son or anything like that. You're a busy man, so you don't have to worry yourself about me." A small smile was forced onto her lips as she nodded before looking down to her fingers and began to twist a corner of the hospital gown in her hands.

"Kaelea, I've told you multiple times before that you don't have to call me 'sir' or be so formal with me," he explained, taking a deep breath as he half rolled his eyes and looked down to her hands. He gently placed one of his hands on the both of hers, stopping her nervous antics abruptly. "You're like a daughter to me, so I'm going to make time in my schedule to talk to you when you look like you need someone to talk to. That's something that you're going to have to live with, and you know it. But what's gotten you into tears? Don't tell me it was that dumb ass son of mine again." The only reason he was insulting his son like that was because he knew that it would get at least small smile and laugh as a reaction from the female that he was speaking to. "But, being more serious now," he said when he saw her lips curl into a smile, and heard the weak chuckle, "why are you crying? I don't like seeing you like this, I'll have you know."

"Sorry, s—David," she said, knowing that she was barely able to catch herself from saying sir again. "I don't mean to be formal, but I'm even formal with my mother and Michael. It's just a really bad habit that I have; I try to break it, but I can never really catch myself before I start being so formal." A small shrug rolled off of her shoulders as she heaved a sigh and then ran a hand through her hair, not really sure if she was in the mood to speak to David about why she was crying. "It's just…a lot of stuff's been going on lately. Michael and mother seem to have gotten a little more abusive lately, and Callie's still gone and has been for the past year. I'm afraid that Lucas will be like Michael when he's older because Michael is like his father since his biological father died before he was born, and I'm worried about Andrew." She paused, taking a deep breath as she looked down at her hands beneath his, biting roughly at the corner of her lower lip. "And I honestly have no clue what to think about my situation with Brick. Uh…Jonathan, if you want me to call him that."

A weak smile graced his features as he watched her, giving her hand a gentle and loving squeeze before pulling his hand away and folding it with the other in his lap. "Andrew is about thirteen now, correct?" he asked, getting a nod in response to his question, to which he nodded in return. "Has your step-father had an effect on him, or are you just worried about him because that's what older sisters do?" He decided that he would wait a little while before starting to talk about his son since he figured that wasn't the most important thing at the moment. "I understand why you're worried about him," he explained, moving his chair into a better position to see her, "but you're not going to be able to always be there to worry about him.

"He's going to be able to take care of himself. It might take some time for him to realize that he needs to do things on his own, but he will come to that realization. Andrew has a lot of time to figure everything out, so maybe you should back off a little bit. He appreciates you, I know that he does, but even if he doesn't say it…he needs some room to himself."

Groaning, the girl shook her head and rested her elbow on her knee, propping her head in the palm of her hand as she turned her gaze and looked towards the open window in the room. "I can't help it, David. Michael's a terrible father figure, and I don't want to see my brothers growing up and taking after him. If I ever heard of them hitting women and children when they're older, I don't know how I would react. It's an awful thought," she said, sighing some as she shook her head and looked back to the doctor. The fact that she was believing that one or the other of her brothers was going to take after Michael frightened her because it felt to her as though she was just encouraging them to do so, even if she hadn't said anything to them.

"I realize that he's a terrible father figure, but Andrew knows better than to take after him. Your father was a wonderful man and your brothers will know that they should take after him instead of Michael. Lucas might never have met his real father, but Andrew will teach him what Mark taught you two; you need to trust that," he said with a nod as he gave her a reassuring smile and nod. "For his age, Andrew is a very mature boy and he knows the difference between right and wrong. Just because your mother followed Michael's orders doesn't mean that either of your brothers will. Trust in them and nothing will go wrong." Despite the fact that he knew it would take more than encouraging words to get Kaelea to realize the truth, the one thing that he figured was that, after time, she would begin to believe his words and take them to heart. "Now…what's going on between you and my son?" he asked curiously, since she had mentioned the other male.

She smiled weakly, but that soon faded as she shook her head and stared helplessly at her lap, not sure what she was supposed to say or do in response to his final question. After several moments of thought, she looked up to her doctor, tears in her eyes and a weak smile on her features, but she said nothing and just let her tears run down her face. "I love him, David…and he's finally found out…After keeping it to myself all these years, I've finally come out and told him," she said, her voice soft and weak, but not shaking in the least bit. "The thing is…I'm afraid of what will happen if I start talking to him again. I'm afraid of the events that might unfurl if the two of us become more than friends like we've both wanted for so long." Her voice had finally begun to shake, but she ignored it and just shook her head some as she lifted up a hand and wiped at her falling tears as she turned to look back at her lap. "What if the past just repeats itself…?"

"Kaelea," he begun, taking in a deep breath as he gently took her hands into his and made her look up at him, "you're just going to have to trust that he won't allow the past to repeat. If you never give it a second chance, you'll never know what you two could have had and whether or not you two would have had the greatest life together. When I found out about what he did to you, he seemed sincerely sorry for ever doing such a thing to you, and I know that he will never attempt something like that again." The graying male smiled to her and leaned forward, kissing her head gently before letting go of her hands and standing up. "You'll never know what you could have had if you never give it another try." With one final smile to her, he walked out of the room to grab her some painkillers, as well as to give her some more time with Brick to figure everything out.

There was several minutes of her just sitting in the room alone before another body walked in, looking just like the male who had left minus the gray hair. "Do you mind if I come in again…?" he asked, holding onto the frame of the door as he watched her with a raised brow. "If you'd like more time to yourself, I can give it to you."

The way that he was standing there, with that fearful yet powerful look on his face, made the young girl realize that the second chance needed to be granted. He seemed truly sorry as he stood there and watched her, a look of how unsure of everything he was sitting blatantly on his face. All of the emotions that he had been hiding all of the years were out and showing; the fear of never speaking to her again, the sorrow he felt when he had learned that she had been getting beaten, and the pain that he felt whenever he saw her in pain. Just that one look drove Kaelea spiraling into pain and she broke down sobbing into her hands.

"I love you, Jonathan," she choked out as he approached her. "Your father was right…I can't just ignore this chance and pass it up like I wanted to. I can't ignore the pain that I've put you through and the fact that you're truly sorry for hurting me."

"Shush," he said as he sat on the edge of her bed and pulled her into his arms for a loving embrace. "It's all right. I'm here for you, and I always will be. There's nothing that will ever drive me away from you." He held the base of her head and the small of her back as he gently rocked her back and forth in hopes to calm her down and get her crying to stop, or at least lessen. When she pulled from his grasp some, he dropped his hands off of her and looked down into her frightened eyes, giving her a loving smile. "I love you, Kaelea, and I always will. Never forget that."

What happened next had been the last thing that he had expected to happen. She placed her hands on his cheeks, gently holding them in her hands as she stared into his eyes, a light blush appearing on her nose and cheeks. Taking a deep breath, she took the plunge and leaned in, pressing her lips softly to his before an arm slipped around his neck and the other hand remained gently pressed against his cheek. Where the courage for that kiss came from, she knew that she would never find out, but she was happy that she was able to issue all of her feelings for him into one simple kiss. The blush only deepened as she felt the male's arms slip around her waist to once again hold her in his arms.

David walked up, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips as he watched Kaelea's advancements, glad that she was able to bring herself to do such a thing. "Congratulations, Kaelea," he said softly to himself as he let the smile grace his handsome face. His arms crossed over his chest as he turned and walked down the hall. "You've gotten what you wanted."