The rest of our night doesn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped it would.

Blake and I manage to get a few hours of sleep in before Cindy is back to check my vitals again. She's quiet and works quickly, but it still disturbs me enough to wake me from the enjoyable sleep I was having. I try not to act too cranky and upset because I know she's just doing her job and I know they have to keep an eye on my vitals to make sure I'm okay, but that doesn't stop me from whining loudly in annoyance, which results in waking Blake up.

He gasps awake and sits up, quickly looking over at me to make sure I'm okay. When he realizes what's going on he flops back onto the chair-cot heavily, letting out a soft groan and sigh as he rubs his hands over his face tiredly. I feel bad for waking him up, but I'm too groggy and tired to apologize to him.

"Sorry, guys. Almost done," Cindy says apologetically, seeming to be used to how we're both acting right now.

She finishes quickly and then she's rolling the loudly rattling vitals cart over to the computer in the corner of the room to start typing. The bright light from the monitor is annoying and I close my eyes tight to block it out. Luckily she doesn't spend too long entering in the information and then the computer goes dark again before she quietly leaves the room.

I let out an annoyed huff of air and try to settle down to go back to sleep, but it's hard. The hospital bed isn't super comfortable and my body feels achy and sore, even with the pain medication still in my system. I feel like an angry little bird who's feathers were ruffled and I can't stop myself from pouting some.

"Sky, you okay?" Blake asks softly, his voice sounding a little rough from sleep.

I nod, but realize he probably can't see me in the dim lighting, since the light above the bed is turned out now and the only source of light is from a bright nightlight in the bathroom.

"Yeah… just, tired," I grumble, trying to make myself relax.

"Try to get some more sleep," he murmurs, reaching over to gently stroke my arm.

His soothing touch helps me calm down and finally relax back into the mattress. I really hope that I can leave the hospital soon so we can share a bed. The idea of curling up next to Blake and falling asleep with his strong arms wrapped around me brings me such a soothing sense of comfort that it helps me start drifting back off to sleep…

I abruptly wake up again to someone grabbing my arm painfully tight.

I was dreaming; the distorted nightmare not making any sense in my head, but still causing my body to be tense and my brain to be anxious. And for a second I think that the person still grabbing me is the person I have always deeply feared my entire life: Dad.

"NO! Please!" I cry out loudly, jerking away from him so suddenly that a stab of pain lances through my right side and makes me cry out again in a pained sob.

"Oh, honey!"


Cindy and Blake's loud, startled voices overlap each other, both of them reacting to my sudden shout and yell of pain, which helps wake me up completely. Blake almost falls off the cot from waking up so suddenly and trying to jump up to make sure I'm okay, and Cindy is quickly pulling the still tight blood pressure cuff off my arm- that I thought was Dad's hand grabbing me- and then moving to turn on the light over the bed.

I'm pressed up against the railing of the bed, breathing raggedly, my heart pounding in my chest. A harsh sob bursts from my lips and for a second I'm not sure why I'm crying so hard, but then I realize how bad my right side is hurting and how much my left arm is aching. It takes me a second to comprehend that I've turned myself over onto my uninjured side and I'm practically laying on top of my broken arm.

"Fuck!" I squeak out, reaching up with my trembling right hand to grab the bed railing and try to roll myself back over. But I can't; I feel too weak to even move-

"Shit, Sky." Blake's soft voice is suddenly close to me and I feel him gently slide his strong arms underneath me to carefully roll me back over to my back and move me to the center of the mattress.

"Are you okay, sweetheart?" Cindy asks from my other side

"I-I'm sorry," I whimper, wincing and gasping from the pain in my side and arm.

"It's okay," Blake murmurs, pulling away to look down at me with a concerned frown on his face. "Did you hurt yourself?" He asks worriedly.

I nod jerkily and glance down at my body, slowly becoming aware of myself. The blankets are tangled around my legs and I've knocked the pillow for my broken arm off the bed. My violent movement made me suddenly aware of the fact that I have a urinary catheter in. It makes sense that I have one since I was under sedation for over twenty-four hours; I obviously had to pee somehow. Luckily it doesn't seem like I pulled it out any though, I think just accidentally tugging on it irritated me, but it still sucks to be aware of it now. I also see the concerning sight of bright red blood starting to stain the clean white sheets and I realize that I've ripped my IV out of my hand, which explains why it's hurting so bad.

"Fuck…" I whimper again pathetically, lifting up my right arm weakly to show them both what I've done.

"Oh, goodness. Hang on, honey," Cindy says, hurriedly moving to start grabbing stuff out of the drawers on a big rolling cart behind the bed.

She returns to my side quickly and gently pulls the IV catheter all the way out of my hand, then presses some gauze over the area to stop the bleeding. She starts cleaning the blood off my fingers and hand with an alcohol wipe while also pulling the rest of the tape off my arm.

While she's working I see Blake limping over to the other side of the bed, using the railings to lean on since he didn't grab his crutches. He bends over with a soft groan of pain and picks up the pillow for my arm, then sets it back on the bed before carefully lifting up my broken arm and gently setting it back on the fluffy cushion.

"Is your arm hurting bad?" He asks, that deep frown of concern still on his face.

I think about his question for a second before answering him.

"Um, a-a little… I-I don't think I hurt it worse though, it's just throbbing now," I tell him hesitantly, hating that I'm making him worry about me even more just because of my ridiculous reaction to a stupid nightmare.

"What about your side?" He asks, reaching over to gently tug my hospital gown up to look at my abdomen.

"It-it hurts, but the pain is starting to go away," I mumble, keeping my eyes focused on his face instead of looking down at my belly, fearful of what I might see.

"I'll be right back, guys. I'm going to go get another IV kit." Cindy tells us now that she's gotten the blood cleaned off of me and taped down the gauze bandage over the wound I made on my hand.

As she leaves the room Blake pulls my gown back down over my abdomen and then straightens my blankets before covering me back up to keep me warm. He carefully makes his way back over to his cot and slowly lowers himself down with a wince of pain, the discomfort clear on his face.

"I'm sorry," I mumble again, feeling so terrible for causing stupid problems like this.

"Sky, it's okay," he assures me, reaching up to gently touch my arm in a comforting gesture.

I watch him for a few seconds, searching his eyes, and I can't stop the question from blurting out of my mouth.

"Ar-are you mad at me?" I whisper weakly, trying to hold back the tears that are threatening to spill down my cheeks.

Blake shakes his head with a soft sigh, giving my arm a gentle squeeze.

"No, Sky, I'm not mad at you," he tells me in that firm yet gentle way he's so good at. "I'm worried about you. You jerked away from Cindy so hard you would have fallen out of the bed if it didn't have a railing," he says softly, his voice not sounding accusatory or anything, just really concerned.

I look away from his face guiltily, feeling so ridiculous and stupid. I wish I could act normal for once in my pathetic life…

"Were you having a nightmare?" He asks quietly, stroking my arm.

I hesitate answering him right away, feeling a strange sense of shame for some reason, but then I finally nod.

Blake sighs softly and reaches his other hand up to carefully slide it into mine, gently linking our fingers together.

"You're probably going to have nightmares about Reece for a while," he murmurs regretfully.

I slowly shake my head and glance up at him through my messy bangs.

"It-it wasn't him… It-it was… Dad," I mumble, my voice almost a whisper as I lower my eyes back down to his hand on my arm.

Blake is silent for a few seconds and I glance up to see him looking at me with a pained expression on his face.

"Do you dream about him a lot?" He asks quietly.

I nod jerkily, trying to hold back the tears that are still pressing against the backs of my eyes.

"All the time," I whisper, looking away from his face, unable to stand the look of pity in his eyes.

He's quiet for a moment before he speaks again.

"I'm so sorry, Sky," he says softly, sounding as if he knows what he's saying won't make me feel any better, but he's not sure what else to say.

We're both silent for a few tense seconds. I stare at my smaller hand in his big one and I watch his other hand stroking my arm soothingly. Even though I feel so embarrassed for him to see me like this, I'm still so glad he's here. I don't know what I would do if he wasn't…

The door to the room opens and I glance up to see Cindy walk back in, followed closely by Dr. Jacobs. He has a concerned frown on his face and I feel myself subconsciously sink down into the mattress, worried I'm about to be scolded for what just happened.

"Hey, guys. Cindy told me that Skylar woke up suddenly from a dream that made him react physically and possibly hurt himself," he says, speaking softly.

I keep my eyes glued to the blanket covering my body, feeling as if I did something wrong without even meaning to. It also feels like Cindy tattled on me to the doctor and I try to suppress the slight resentment that I'm suddenly feeling towards the woman now.

"Yeah, he had a nightmare," Blake replies, giving my hand a gentle, reassuring squeeze.

I can see Dr. Jacobs nod out of the corner of my eye as he walks further into the room.

"That's very common after physical and mental trauma, so nothing out of the ordinary there. I'm more concerned about him reacting with the sudden movements and possibly reinjuring himself. Skylar, do you have any new pains in your side or your arm?" He asks, speaking to me gently.

I hesitate answering him, but I finally give a small shrug and glance up at him.

"I-I don't think so… M-my side was hurting more at first, but it's feeling about the same as before now. And my arm just aches a little more," I mumble quietly, still feeling like I'm in trouble for what happened.

Dr. Jacobs steps closer to the bed and puts on some gloves like before.

"Mind if I check you over real quick?" He asks.

I shrug again, not sure why he even bothers to ask when I know he would do it whether I wanted him to or not. He gives me a tight smile and checks my arm first, running his hands over the wrap and looking closely at my fingers for a few seconds. Next he pulls my hospital gown up and checks my side again. I jerk slightly and hiss in pain when his cold fingers press on a few areas while he looks over the bruises. I close my eyes and squeeze Blake's hand tighter, glad that he's still letting me hold on to him.

Dr. Jacobs finishes quickly and pulls my gown back down and then fixes the blankets to cover me up again. He throws away the gloves before turning back to us.

"I don't see any signs that you seriously hurt yourself more, Skylar; which is good. It does concern me though and I think it would be a good idea to try to avoid this from happening again in the future," he says, glancing over and motioning to Cindy who has been standing at the end of the bed with a few items in her hands.

She pulls something white from her pile of things and hands it to Dr. Jacobs. He thanks her and begins to unroll the thing, and I see that it looks like some kind of cloth belt with buckles. I start to feel myself tense before he even starts explaining what the thing is.

"We use these when we have patients who we're worried about them moving too suddenly and possibly injuring themselves, or getting up when they shouldn't. The straps attach to the bed frame and link together with the buckles, which allows us to loosen and tighten them. They'll go over your chest under your arms and over your hips to keep you from sitting up too quickly or moving from side to side," Dr. Jacobs tells me.

But I'm barely able to comprehend what he's saying. All I can think about are those fucking belt restraints on that bed in that fucking room Reece locked me in almost a week ago.

He never restrained me with those, but he easily could have. He restrained me with other things though. Like those wrist cuffs that I'm still wearing the bruises from. He used some on me before too when he first took me and that time he used those fucking toys on me. He tightened them so tight and left bruises behind each time; they always fucking hurt being strapped to my wrists…

That memory leads me into remembering how Dad used to strap my wrists to the bed with his belt all the time when I wasn't a good boy for him and couldn't stop myself from fighting him. The belt always hurt so bad and left bruises too. I always begged him not to put it on me when he would pull it out, but that never stopped him. Usually he would just smack me across the face and tell me to shut up or hit me with the belt before he tied me up with it… So I know begging won't help now either…

I can't pull my eyes off those restraints in the doctor's hand and I can't hear what he's saying anymore. My breathing is too fast and my heart is pounding in my chest. All I can think about is the feeling of being restrained. Held down against my will, unable to escape, forced to endure whatever torture is being inflicted on me because I can't fucking move. It always makes me feel so helpless and weak… I don't want to feel that way again. Please

"That's not going to work."

Blake's firm voice cuts through my panic attack and brings me back to myself. I pull my eyes off the belt restraints and glance up at him. The serious, frustrated look on his face scares me for a brief moment before I realize that it's not aimed at me. He's looking at Dr. Jacobs and shaking his head. I vaguely realize that I'm squeezing his hand so tight that it's making my fingers cramp and my knuckles turn white, but I can't make myself let go.

Dr. Jacobs seems confused for a moment and purses his lips together.

"It should work to help keep him lying flat. Granted it won't help with him tensing up from a nightmare, but that's not something we can really stop. We just don't need him sitting up suddenly or possibly falling out of the bed and injuring himself even more," he explains calmly.

"No, that's not-" Blake stops talking abruptly and glances down at me for a second, before looking back at the doctor. "Can we talk outside of the room? Please?" He asks softly, seeming to be forcing himself to keep a calm tone in his voice.

Dr. Jacobs and Cindy share a brief glance with each other, but then the older man nods.

"Of course," he says, gesturing for Blake to lead the way.

Blake gives my hand another reassuring squeeze before carefully pulling his fingers out of my tight grip. He stands and grabs one of his crutches, but before he walks away he leans down to press a gentle kiss to my forehead.

"I'll be right outside the door if you need me, okay?" He whispers to me, carefully brushing my hair out of my eyes.

I give him a hesitant nod, wishing he wouldn't go, but also thankful that he decided to not have this conversation with the doctor while talking over me. I'm curious about what he's going to say though.

"Be right back," Blake says, smiling at me and pressing a quick, gentle kiss to my lips before he turns and uses his one crutch to help him walk and follow Dr. Jacobs and Cindy out of the room.

I watch the door slowly close behind him and I notice that it doesn't close all the way. Blake is leaning against the wall right outside the door, close enough to the crack between the door and the frame that he could turn his head to see me if he needed to. I wonder if he meant to close it all the way so I can't hear what's being said, but I realize he did this on purpose when I see him glance over to look at me and he gives me another small, reassuring smile. I guess that means he doesn't care if I hear what they're about to say, right? He actually wanted the door open so he could keep an eye on me… Why does that make me feel so good?

"You can't restrain him." Blake begins in that firm voice again with a shake of his head, continuing his conversation with the doctor.

"It's only for his own safety-" I hear Dr. Jacobs start to patiently explain, but Blake cuts him off.

"Look, I don't know how much of his history they actually put in his file when I gave it to them last night, but you need to know that the bastard who put him in this hospital isn't the first one to do stuff like this to him. He was also abused by his father. Like, really bad… They both did this kind of shit to him all the time. Restraining Skylar isn't going to help him, it's just going to make things worse for him," he tells the doctor firmly, that determined, serious look that makes me shiver back on his face.

I feel that strange wave of guilt wash over me when I hear Blake telling the doctor and nurse about my abusive past, but it also makes me feel a sudden sense of relief. Relief that he's making people aware of what I've been forced to go through and also that I didn't have to tell them myself. He's so fucking great.

"It was mentioned in his file briefly that his father also abused him, but there wasn't much detail," Dr. Jacobs says.

"It was bad," Blake says seriously, an oddly haunted tone in his voice. "Which is why he can't be restrained like this."

"I understand, but my biggest worry right now is that he might injure himself worse from reacting to a nightmare in his sleep," Dr. Jacobs repeats.

"Look, I get it. I'm worried about that too, but this can't be the solution," Blake says, shaking his head again. "I know it didn't seem like it because he's really good at hiding his emotions and what he's thinking, but just showing him those belts is making him feel terrified," Blake continues softly, gesturing over to where I'm assuming Cindy is standing with the restraints still in her hands. "So restraining him is not going to work. It'll do more harm than good for him right now," he finishes softly.

I stare at Blake through the crack of the door with wide eyes. I feel a small zing of excitement and attraction listening to him stand up for me and defend me like this. I can't believe he's actually willing to do this kind of stuff for me. He must really care about me…

"I think I startled him," Cindy speaks up, pulling Blake's attention towards her direction. I can't see where she's standing, but I can still hear her clearly. "I was trying to let him sleep while I checked his vitals. He was okay until the blood pressure cuff started tightening. That's when he reacted so violently," she tells the doctor somewhat hesitantly.

"He probably thought it was a hand grabbing him," Blake says quietly, barely loud enough for me to hear him, a slightly pained expression on his face.

"That can be a normal response for victims of physical abuse when they're startled suddenly," Dr. Jacobs comments, sounding like the thought upsets him some. "What do you propose instead, Blake?" He asks, actually sounding like he cares about Blake's opinion, which makes me like the doctor a little more.

Blake is quiet for a moment, like he's thinking, but then he answers.

"I think he needs to be awake when anyone is going to be messing with him," he tells the other man. "The nurses can wake me up before they do his vitals and then I can wake him up. He seems to react a little better when it's me waking him up and not a stranger that he doesn't know."

"Alright, we can try that and see how that plan works. Hopefully it will help and we can avoid using any kind of restraints," Dr. Jacobs says. "Cindy, go ahead and put a note in his chart that the patient startles easily and to wake him up before any kind of physical interaction, so the nurses and doctors on other shifts will know."

"Yes, of course," she replies. "I'm so sorry I caused this. I was hoping he would just be able to sleep through checking his vitals since he's so tired. I didn't want to wake him, or you, if I didn't have to," Cindy tells Blake softly, her tone regretful.

"It's not your fault, you didn't know he would react that way," Blake assures her, shaking his head. "Thank you for being understanding to his situation though. He's been through so much already, I don't want anything to make this worse for him," he tells them both softly, an almost sad expression on his face now.

"Of course. Thank you for making us aware. We want to keep him as comfortable as possible during his stay; physically and mentally. Don't hesitate to let us know if we need to make any more adjustments to his treatment plans," Dr. Jacobs replies.

Blake gives them both a tight smile and thanks them again, before turning to open the door. The three of them walk back into the room and I have to stop myself from feeling guilty about being able to hear their conversation because I know that Blake wanted me to hear it. I focus my gaze on his face and he gives me another small smile when our eyes meet. I try to give him one back, but I know it's weak. He leans his crutch against the wall, then sits back down on the cot and reaches up to put his hand on my arm, carefully linking the fingers of his other hand with mine again.

"They're not going to use the restraints on you, okay? Cindy's going to wake us up before she checks your vitals, that way she doesn't risk startling you out of a nightmare again. Sound good?" He asks me, gently stroking my arm in a soothing motion.

I nod in agreement, feeling so thankful that he's standing up for me like this and making them change things so I won't feel worse than I already do. He's so fucking amazing. I love him so much.

"Thank you," I whisper, wanting to say so much more to him, but unwilling to right now with Cindy and Dr. Jacobs still in the room.

He gives me another smile and squeezes my hand reassuringly.

"Skylar, we want you to be as comfortable as possible during your stay, so don't hesitate to speak up if anything is bothering you," Dr. Jacobs tells me, pulling my attention over to him. "We're putting a note in your chart that tells the nurses and doctors who see you to make sure you're awake from now on anytime we need to get vitals or check on you, okay?" He says in his kind voice.

I nod in understanding and mumble another quiet "thank you".

"I'm so sorry I startled you, sweetheart," Cindy speaks up from the end of the bed.

"It-it's okay," I mumble, feeling myself blush from all the nice attention I'm getting from everyone.

Dr. Jacobs and Cindy both smile at me kindly.

"Alright, Skylar, Cindy is going to get you set up on another IV so we can keep you on fluids and continue giving you pain medication. Let us know right away if you start feeling more pain or if anything seems to be hurting worse," Dr. Jacob instructs. "I have Cindy giving you another injection that's going to help you relax and calm down after that nightmare. It'll help you get back to sleep and should keep you from having any more bad dreams tonight, so you can get some much needed rest."

I nod again in understanding. He tells us to try to get some more sleep and that he'll probably see us once more before the night is over with, then he bids us farewell to go check on his other patients.

After he leaves the room Blake releases my hand a little reluctantly so that Cindy can come over to the side of the bed to finish checking my vitals and set my IV back up. She works quickly and skillfully has my IV placed in a matter of minutes, only causing me a little bit of pain when she has to stick me with the needle. This time it's placed on the inside of my forearm, just a few inches down from the bend in my elbow.

She gives me the medicine that Dr. Jacobs told me about once she has everything set up and I'm sort of proud of myself for only feeling a little nervous about how it's going to make me feel.

"There we go, sweetheart," she says, gently patting my arm in a motherly way. "This should help you feel much better and let you get some more sleep. I promise I'll wake you or Blake up when I have to check your blood pressure again in a few hours," she assures me with another kind smile.

I thank her again quietly as Blake moves back to my side and takes my hand in his again.

"Thanks, Cindy," he tells her softly.

She smiles at both of us and moves over to the computer to type for a few moments. When she's done she turns the monitor off and tells us to let her know if we need anything before leaving the room and shutting the door

I look away from the closed door, back up to Blake. His serious gaze is focused on my face and I wonder why he's looking at me like that. Before I can ask though he suddenly leans closer and presses a passionate, tender kiss to my mouth, letting his lips linger against mine for a few wonderful seconds. I close my eyes and sigh softly in pleasure, soaking up the wonderful feeling I always get when he kisses me. I feel him smile against my lips when I sigh and he chuckles quietly, as if the sound I made makes him happy. When he pulls away he gazes into my eyes again and cups my cheek gently.

"You okay?" He asks softly, stroking my cheek with his thumb.

I nod and lean into his hand, yet again feeling so grateful that he's here with me.

"Yeah… thanks to you," I tell him quietly. "Th-thank you for telling them that… An-and for making them not use th-the belts," I whisper, having trouble getting the words out of my tight throat.

Blake's hand squeezes mine a little tighter, his grip feeling somewhat possessive.

"You don't have to thank me, Sky. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure nothing else happens to you that could make you feel worse. I want you to feel safe from now on and I want to finally give you the sense of security that you've always deserved to feel in your life… I'm going to take care of you now," he tells me firmly, that determined, protective look in his eyes again.

His words make me suck in a shuddering breath before I suddenly burst into tears, unable to stop them from coming. I can't help it though. Hearing him say that makes me feel so great. No one has ever treated me so good and wanted to take care of me in this way. Blake is so amazing. I can't believe I'm lucky enough to be his now.

When I start crying he quickly stands up to lean over and he wraps me up in a tight comforting hug, being careful not to squeeze me too tight. I grip his shirt in my fingers desperately and bury my face in his chest, sobbing in relief and happiness as I feel a wonderful sense of freedom that I've never felt before flow over me.

I almost can't believe it. I'm really going to be treated right and taken care of now. For the first time in my life I'm finally in the arms of someone who I know would never hurt me on purpose. Someone who loves me for who I am and doesn't want to change me. Someone who wants me just as much as I want him. Someone who's not going to use me for his own twisted pleasures. Someone who's going to use his power to protect me instead of using it to control me… I'm finally free.

Blake strokes the back of my head soothingly as I cry, gently carding his fingers through my hair. He whispers sweet words in my ear, telling me that everything is okay and that he's here for me now and that he loves me so much and he's so glad that I'm back in his arms. When I've calmed down enough to feel like I can breathe again, I quickly pull away from his chest and tilt my head up to press my lips against his again in a needy, desperate kiss, trying not to hurt myself too much when my mouth meets his.

He chuckles softly and kisses me back gently for a few seconds before pulling away some to cup my face in both of his big hands.

"Sky, slow down, babe. Don't hurt yourself," he tells me softly, smiling down at me.

It's the first time he's called me "babe" and the sound of him calling me a pet name like this makes me shiver for some reason. Fuck, I wish I wasn't hurt so bad so he could fuck me right now.

"I love you," I whisper, trying to lean forward to kiss him again, wanting to show him just how much I care about him with my affections.

He makes a soft noise of pleasure against my mouth and lets me kiss him for a moment, but he stays in control and doesn't let me kiss him too hard so that I can't hurt my nose and injure my face by accident.

"I love you too," Blake murmurs, pulling back to look into my eyes, making me whine softly in disappointment. He reaches up to carefully brush my bangs out of my face and watches me for a few seconds before speaking again. "How are you feeling?" He asks, his brow creasing some in concern.

I'm still feeling disappointed that he stopped kissing me, but I force myself to focus on what he said. For a second I wonder why he's even asking me that, but then I abruptly realize why.

"Um, k-kind of high, actually," I mumble, leaning heavily into his hand still cupping my cheek as I blink up at him dazedly.

Holy shit. Whatever that last medicine was that Cindy gave me is suddenly hitting me hard, making me feel a little dizzy, but in a good way. I feel relaxed and calm now. And for some reason I feel kind of horny too, but at the same time I feel too tired to want to do anything about that. All I want to do now is kiss Blake, curl up in his arms and go to sleep. I wish he could actually hold me…

Blake let's out an amused sounding chuckle and smiles at me.

"I thought so. Your pupils are starting to dilate some and you look a little spacey," he tells me, stroking his hand up my cheek to slide it into my messy hair to get it out of my eyes again. "Are you okay?" He asks once more, carding his fingers through the thick strands soothingly.

I nod dizzily, suddenly feeling so fucking tired. I lean heavily against his arm, almost slumping over to my injured side, but Blake quickly moves to reposition me and carefully lays me back flat on my back.

"'m tired, Blake…" I mumble, watching him as he pulls the blankets up to cover me back up.

"Get some sleep, Sky," he tells me softly, leaning over to press a gentle kiss to my forehead.

Before he can pull away though I reach up with my good arm and grab the collar of his shirt, then quickly press my mouth against his again, desperately needing to feel his lips on mine once more before I fall back asleep.

Blake chuckles softly and kisses me back like I wanted him to, being careful not to hurt my nose. He lets me kiss him for longer than I expected him to, before he finally pulls away to look down at me. He gazes down at me for a few seconds, reaching up to gently run his fingers through my hair.

"Love you," I murmur, looking up at him with heavy lidded eyes. "Thank you for being here and for taking care of me…" I whisper, feeling so grateful.

Blake smiles, continuing to pet me.

"I love you too, Sky. So much… I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else right now except here with you. I'm staying right here by your side. I promise," he assures me.

I nod dizzily and try to give him a smile, but I'm not sure if my mouth moves. I vaguely think that I need to ask him if he really does plan to stay here at the hospital with me the whole time I have to be here, even though I know his next semester of college will be starting soon, but the thought slips away as quickly as sand pouring through a sieve. I try to stay awake longer to talk to him more, but then I'm slipping into a deep sleep…

"Hey, Sky… Sky, wake up for just a minute, babe…"

Blake's soft voice is close to me and I feel his big hand on my shoulder, gently shaking me awake. I don't want to wake up, but I can't bring myself to be upset when it's Blake waking me.

It's a struggle, but I force my eyes open a crack to blink up at him. The room is dimly lit again, but I can still see him leaning over me. He looks tired, but he still manages to give me a small smile when my eyes open.

"Cindy needs to check your vitals again. As soon as she's done you can go back to sleep, okay?" He tells me, his voice so gentle and caring.

I nod tiredly and try to give him a smile back, feeling so thankful that he's willing to wake up in the middle of the night, even though I know he's tired too, just to make sure I'm woken up gently and don't hurt myself again. He's so fuckin' great.

"Love you," I mumble, my voice a sleepy whisper.

Blake chuckles softly and gives my arm a gentle squeeze.

"I love you too, Sky. Cindy's going to get your vitals now, but I'm right here," he tells me before moving out of the way so she can wheel the vitals cart closer to the bed where she needs it.

"Thanks, Blake," the older woman says gratefully, shooting him a smile before turning to me. "I'll be done in just a minute and then you can go back to sleep again, sweetheart," she tells me, beginning to wrap the blood pressure cuff around my arm.

I nod again tiredly, almost half asleep already. I close my eyes as she works… then I jump when I hear the sound of the vitals cart being rolled away from the bed. I force my eyes open and blink up at Blake tucking the covers around me comfortingly.

"I-I thought she was getting my vitals," I mumble, feeling confused.

"She did. You fell asleep while she was working," he tells me with a small smile.

"Oh…" I mumble, still feeling a little confused, but relaxing some. "Love you," I whisper again, struggling to keep my eyes open.

Blake huffs a soft chuckle and leans over to give me a tender kiss on my mouth. "Love you too, Sky. Get some more sleep," he whispers against my lips.

I nod tiredly and allow my eyes to drift closed again, still feeling so grateful that he's here and willing to take care of me like this. He's so great…

"Sky, wake up…"

Blake's soft voice wakes me again and makes me jump. Fuck, it feels like I just fell asleep, why is he waking me up again? This time I really don't feel like waking up, even if it is Blake trying to wake me, and I can't stop the instinctive whine of irritation that slips past my lips.

For a second I wonder why I'm feeling so upset and annoyed, but it abruptly becomes apparent when I feel a sharp throb of pain pulse through my right side. I jerk from the deep ache in my abdomen and wince at the loud whimper that escapes my throat.

"Hu-hurts!" I squeak out, my eyes closed tight against the pain.

"I know, Sky. That's why I'm waking you up; you were whimpering and moaning in your sleep. Cindy's going to give you some more pain medicine and then check your vitals again, okay?" Blake tells me softly, gently stroking my hair away from my clammy forehead.

I force my eyes open a crack and squint up at him in the bright light coming from the light fixture on the wall above the hospital bed that's been turned on again. Blake is frowning down at me and has a concerned look on his face, but he gives me a small, tight smile when I manage to open my eyes. He looks really tired this time, with dark circles under his eyes, and I feel a wave of guilt flow through me from knowing that I'm the one who's causing him to not get any sleep.

"I-I'm sorry," I whisper weakly, feeling so terrible that he has to deal with me like this.

Blake seems a little confused about why I'm apologizing, his brow creasing some, but then he shakes his head with a soft sigh.

"Sky, it's okay," he says in that firm, yet gentle voice, giving my arm a loving squeeze. "Let's get that medicine in you so you can get some more sleep, okay?" He says softly, reaching up again to gently stroke my cheek.

I nod weakly as I lean into his hand, yet again feeling so grateful that he's here with me and that he's not getting angry or frustrated with me in the least bit. He's so amazing…

He's stays close by as Cindy moves over to give me the medicine and check my vitals. She works quickly as usual and as she finishes she tells me to let them know if I start feeling worse instead of better. I whisper a quiet thank you and Blake tells her he appreciates her quick response. Once she's done at the computer she tells us to let her know if we need anything else before leaving the room.

Blake is adjusting the covers on top of me again, tucking them around me comfortingly. He still has that concerned frown on his face and I vaguely find myself wondering why he seems to care so much and want to dote on me like he's doing. Logically I know it's because he loves me and wants to take care of me, he even told me so earlier. But there's this sickening feeling deep inside of me that makes me wonder why he would care about me at all. Why anyone would care about me enough to do stuff like this for me. I don't feel like I'm worth his time or his energy…

"Wh-why are you doing all this for me?" The quiet words escape my lips in a whisper before I can stop them and I immediately wince from my dumb question. I'm so stupid.

Blake's hands pause on the blankets and he looks up at me. His eyes search my face for a moment before he speaks.

"Doing what for you?" He asks softly, that small frown creasing his brows deeper.

I hesitate answering him, swallowing hard before I force myself to speak.

"L-losing sleep to make sure I'm woken up gently. Getting up to help me like this… T-taking care of me…" I mumble, my voice trailing off weakly; I could go on, but I think he gets the picture.

Blake is watching me with a slightly pained expression on his face now and he sighs softly before reaching up to gently cup my cheek in his big hand.

"I'm doing this because I want to, Sky. Because I love you and it makes me feel good to take care of you," he explains, carefully stroking my cheek with his thumb.

"B-but you're tired… Doesn't it make you feel irritated with me?" I whisper haltingly, lowering my eyes as I remember many tense times when Reece seemed so annoyed with me because I woke him up in the middle of the night or kept him up late because of my stupid anxieties and nightmares.

"No. It doesn't. At all," Blake says firmly, guiding my head back up to make me look at him. "You haven't done anything wrong, Skylar. You're in this hospital bed, injured and hurting, because someone else put you here. You didn't choose for this to happen, Sky… Yeah, I'm tired, but so are you. I can deal with a few nights of broken sleep if it means making sure you're okay and that you're comfortable. So I don't want you to worry about me right now. I'm fine, Sky… I'm more worried about you than anything," he tells me in that oh-so-gentle way that makes me melt.

I can't stop the tears from slipping down my cheeks, feeling overwhelmed with my emotions. I feel so happy and thankful that he cares about me so much, but it's still so hard to ignore that voice in my head that is constantly telling me that I don't deserve his love. That I don't deserve anyone's love… I've always thought it was dad's voice, but focusing on it now makes me feel like it's actually my voice.

"I-I d-don't feel like I deserve you," I whimper in a broken whisper, reaching up with my good hand to try to wipe away the tears from my soaked cheeks, wondering why I'm even admitting this to him right now.

Blake sighs softly before leaning over to hug me, his strong arms wrapping me up in a tight, protective embrace.

"You deserve to be treated like this and you deserve all of the love in the world, Sky," he murmurs, his mouth close to my ear. "You deserve so much more than what you've been given in life and I'm going to prove that to you. I promise," he tells me, pulling back some to look down at my face.

Blake's words make me swallow hard because I suddenly remember Reece saying something similar to me when I first started living with him. He told me he was going to prove to me that I deserved to be loved. He said he was going to show me real love too… But I don't feel like he did either of those things. In fact, I feel like he made me feel worse than I did before he took me.

I can't deny that Reece made me feel good so many times, in more ways than one. He made me feel cared for and doted on. He even made me feel loved… But he also made me feel so scared and confused. He made my brain and my heart feel so messed up. So twisted and conflicted… Part of me hates him for that, even though there's still a part of me who loves him. I wish I didn't feel this way…

Thinking about Reece makes my head hurt and I quickly lean my face into Blake's hand where he's still cupping my cheek, needing him to take my mind off of the man who hurt me so much in the past two years. I have the urge to tell him that what he said reminds me of what Reece said to me, but I also don't want him to think that he reminds me of Reece in any way. Because he doesn't. He's so much better in every way possible.

"Promise?" I whisper instead, my voice cracking from unshed tears.

Blake tilts my face up and gently kisses me on my lips again in the sweetest, most tender way possible. The simple action makes me feel more love just in this one small moment than Reece showed me in the past two years.

"I promise," he says quietly, his mouth still close to mine. "You're not alone anymore, Skylar. I'm here now, and I'm going to take care of you and love you with everything I have," he tells me, pulling back some to look into my eyes, that intense, determined look in his.

I swallow hard and give him a shaky nod, trying not to cry again; mainly because it makes my face and nose hurt more when I get all snotty and puffy-eyed.

"I love you," I whisper instead, desperately wanting him to know how much I truly do.

Blake smiles at me and lets out a soft sigh, then leans in close to kiss me again soothingly.

"I love you too, Sky. I really do. So much…" He murmurs, before he straightens. "Are you starting to feel more comfortable? Is the medicine helping with the pain?" He asks, stroking my hair out of my face gently.

"I-I think so," I tell him quietly with a small nod. "I'm still hurting a little, but it's starting to fade some."

"Good. Hopefully you can get some more sleep soon," he says softly, sitting back down on the cot and moving his hand down to stroke my arm soothingly.

He leans his other arm on the bed railing by my head and rests his head there, watching me as he continues to gently pet me. We're both quiet for a few seconds before I break the silence.

"I-I'm sorry you keep having to wake up for me," I apologize again, still feeling bad about how tired he looks and sounds.

"Sky, it's okay. Seriously," he assures me, giving my arm a gentle squeeze. "I'd rather wake up a few times in the night and be a little tired than risk you possibly being hurt again… Plus this is your first night being off sedation; I knew it would probably be rough," he tells me.

I nod slowly, still feeling guilty even after his reassurance that he's not upset with me. I watch his hand moving on my arm before speaking again.

"Did you get any sleep last night or during the day?" I ask softly, glancing up at him.

Blake lets out a soft huff of amusement, a wry smile tilting up the corner of his mouth.

"Not really. I napped when I could, but I was too worried about you to really sleep… It sorta feels like I've been running on straight adrenaline for the past twenty-four hours," he says with a slight shake of his head.

His words don't make me feel any better and I press my lips together nervously as I lower my eyes to the bed.

"I'm so sorry, Blake," I whisper, swallowing hard to try to keep the tears from spilling over.

Blake's tired eyes widen some and he quickly straightens, seeming to realize what just happened.

"Sky, no. Hey, I didn't mean it like that," he hurriedly explains, reaching up to cup my cheek in his hand and make me look back up at him. "I wasn't blaming you at all for any of this. I just, answered without thinking… I'm sorry," he apologizes, stroking my cheek bone with his thumb.

I shake my head a little weakly, leaning into his hand some for comfort.

"Y-you don't have to apologize… I just feel really bad that you have to deal with all of this," I tell him quietly, still struggling to hold back my tears; fuck, I feel so emotional tonight.

"Don't, Sky," Blake says in that firm yet gentle way. "The only thing that's bothering me in any way right now is having to watch you deal with the pain you're in… I wish I was the one in the bed with these injuries and not you," he murmurs, a pained expression on his face.

His words make my eyes widen and I quickly shake my head, just imagining seeing him injured like I am making me feel a little sick.

"N-no, I-I wouldn't want you to be hurt like this. It-it would be so hard to see you like that," I whisper, my voice a little tight from anxiety.

Blake lets out a soft sigh and a small smile tugs at the corner of his lips from what I said.

"That's exactly how I feel about seeing you hurt like this," he explains gently. "I've never liked seeing you hurt, Sky. Ever. But seeing you so bloodied and bruised last night really made me realize just how much I truly do love you and care about you… My only thought last night was, 'when he makes it through this, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, and I'm going to take care of him and treat him how he's always deserved to be treated'… Fuck, Sky, I couldn't think about anything last night or all day except for how much I love you and how lost I feel without you. Which is why you don't need to apologize over how tired I am. Because I would rather be doing this every single day for the rest of my life, than going another minute without you," he tells me passionately.

I stare up at him with wide eyes, his words shocking me for some reason. I still can't get used to hearing him tell me how much he cares about me. This feeling of intense love is so strange to me. I've never felt this way before. Ever.

"Re-really?" I whisper, my voice tight from a different emotion now.

Blake chuckles softly and nods as he leans forward to press another gentle kiss to my lips.

"Yeah, really. I love you so much, Skylar. All of you. Every part of your body, every thought in your head…" He murmurs against my mouth, pulling away slightly to reach up and stroke his fingers through my hair. He watches my eyes for a moment with a thoughtful expression on his face before he speaks again. "I can't wait to spend more time with you and finally get to know you better. I still can't believe that I get the chance to make up for all the times I should have asked you a question that I wanted to ask or kissed you one more time… I'm so glad I get to just be with you again," he tells me softly.

His words make me blush and I duck my head some while pressing my lips together. It's hard to believe that we felt the same way about each other all that time we spent together, but neither of us admitted our feelings to the other. We both had our own personal battles we were fighting with ourselves that kept us from confessing our true feelings.

"M-me too," I whisper, smiling up at him.

He chuckles softly and leans closer to press another kiss to my lips.

"You are so cute when you blush like that," he murmurs, gently pressing his forehead to mine to gaze into my eyes.

His words just make my blush deepen, which makes him chuckle more. His quiet laugh sends a shiver of happiness down my spine and I find myself thinking of how different his soft chuckles are to how Reece's were. Reece's were always so condescending and cold; almost predatory sounding. But Blake's are so full of warmth and make me feel so loved… It's amazing how the same type of noise can sound so different depending on the person it's coming from…

I quickly tilt my head up and initiate a kiss, pressing my lips against his in a desperate show of affection and love. He makes a soft noise against my mouth, a mix between a surprised yet pleased sound, and kisses me back, slowly reaching up to cup my cheek again tenderly and pull me even closer. Our kiss lasts for several wonderful minutes before we both have to pull away, breathless and panting, to catch our breath.

"Fuck," he curses under his breath softly, leaning his head against mine again. "I love your kisses. I can't get enough," he murmurs.

His words make me smile and I nod in agreement.

"Y-you can have as many as you want," I whisper shyly, in a hesitant, but playful way.

Blake chuckles and quickly kisses me again, the meeting of lips deep and passionate this time.

"I'm going to take you up on that offer," he rumbles seductively, making me shiver from the sound of his voice, which makes him chuckle quietly from my reaction.

"Fuck, Blake," my voice comes out in a breathy whimper. "I wish you could fuck me right now."

"Shit, Sky," he hisses, chuckling again. "You're going to drive me crazy the whole time we're here, aren't you?" He asks teasingly.

"I-I'm sorry," I whisper, quickly pulling away some to see his face so I can gauge his reaction to what I just said.

The flare of panic I suddenly feel from admitting that I want Blake to fuck me feels so out of place in this moment. But I know what it's from though: Reece controlling me for so long when it came to sex. How long will it take before I don't feel this fear with Blake…?

He kisses me again before I can say anything else and I can feel him smiling against my lips, soothing my nerves tremendously without him even trying.

"Don't be. I like it," he murmurs, pulling away to smile at me. "Hopefully we won't be here for too long. The doctors said a 'few weeks', but I'm sure that's worst case scenario."

His words remind me of the question I need to ask him and I quickly summon up the courage to broach the topic.

"Y-you have to go back for school though, right? You're not going to be able to stay with me the whole time, will you?" I mumble, glancing up at him through my bangs.

Blake looks a little confused for a second before he shakes his head.

"Sky, I'm not leaving you. When I told you I'm staying right here by your side I meant it. There's no way I would leave you here by yourself, halfway across the country. Especially when you're hurt like this," he tells me.

My eyes widen some and it's my turn to look confused.

"B-but you have school… Aren't you going to miss the first couple weeks of classes?" I ask worriedly, once again feeling guilty for causing him problems like this.

A small smile tilts the corner of Blake's mouth up and he shakes his head with a soft sigh.

"You're so fucking sweet for worrying about that, Sky, but you don't need to," he assures me, reaching up to cup my cheek. "I've already decided I'm going to take a semester off to be able to spend more time with you. I mean, I actually have another chance to have a relationship with you; I'm not going to let college screw that up. You're way more important to me than some degree," he tells me.

I stare up at him with wide eyes, feeling stunned by the decision he made about school. About his future career and his life. All because of me. The fact that he values me over anything else makes me feel so good, but also a little conflicted. I don't feel that important and it's hard to imagine anyone deciding I'm more important than something like college or a career.

"B-Blake, y-you don't have to do that because of me," I mumble hesitantly, shaking my head.

"I want to, Sky," he tells me firmly in that gentle voice. "I want to be able to focus on you and build our relationship. I can't do that if I'm worrying about class and homework. And it's just one semester; it's not like I have a timeline on when I need to graduate or anything. My main focus for the next few months is going to be you and making sure you're okay after everything you've been through."

His words make me want to cry again, but I press my trembling lips together to try to keep that from happening. That doesn't work though and I feel some tears slip down my cheeks. I can't believe he feels this way about me. He's not putting his life "oh hold" for me, he's making it clear that I am his life now. Fuck, this couldn't get any better, but somehow I think it will. How did I get so lucky?

"Th-thank you," I whisper before finally giving up trying to hold the tears back and letting them flow.

Blake stands up again and wraps me up in a warm, comforting hug, holding me so close to him and so tenderly.

"I love you so much, Sky. I'm so glad to have the chance to be with you again," he murmurs, stroking my hair soothingly.

I nod in agreement, unable to express in words right now that I feel the same exact way.

It takes me another few minutes to calm down from my crying, but soon I'm kissing Blake again and his hands are cupping my cheeks carefully, making sure I don't hurt myself. When he pulls away he brushes my hair out of my eyes and asks me how I'm feeling again. I'm finally feeling better, the medicine is working like it should and almost completely taking my pain away. It's also making me feel drowsy though, but I don't really want to go to sleep because I'm enjoying talking to Blake and spending time with him.

"I'm tired, but I don't want to sleep yet," I tell him, leaning my face into his hand. "It feels too good being with you and talking to you…"

He chuckles softly and smiles at me.

"We have all the time in the world to talk and spend time together now. And I promise I'll be right beside you when you wake up again. Then we can talk as much as you want," he reminds me.

I smile and nod, feeling so happy to know that he speaks the truth. Blake moves to help me get more comfortable and readjusts my blankets to cover me up more.

"Thanks… I love you," I whisper, feeling super tired now and glad that he convinced me that I need to sleep.

"I love you too," he murmurs, leaning over to give me another sweet kiss. "Get some sleep, Sky. I'm right here if you need me," assures me before reaching over to turn off the light over the bed.

I listen to the sound of him laying down on the cot and I wish that he was able to lay with me, but I know it won't be too long before we can finally share a bed. And I know it will be completely worth the wait…

Sorry it took me so long to update!

Hope you enjoyed this chapter. I feel like it was almost purely self indulgent fluff, but hopefully y'all like it too! :) Next chapter will have more stuff happening, I promise! ;)

~ Mad Red