Theodore

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13

'Miss Phillips? You're needed at the office. There's a message for you.'

Chirped Mrs Frank, the school receptionist. Heads turned curiously towards me, as I gathered my things quickly. I stood up, walking down the narrow space between desks as my teacher nodded at me. I followed Mrs Frank as my heart hammered in my chest. What was the message? I knew it would be about Nickolas. I reached the office when I saw Ryan sat on one of the chairs, a wide grin on his face.

'He's awake, Han.' He cried, as I felt relief sweep through me.

'Oh my God.'

I signed out of school, hearing Ryan singer at being classed as my legal guardian, as we hurried down the steps. Ryan filled me in on the drive over to the hospital that Mom had broke the good news to him not long ago, and they'd decided I needed to leave school immediately. My heart was racing as I imagined seeing my brother again, as Ryan reached over and squeezed my hand.

'He's made it.'

I gulped, tears in my eyes as I gripped his hand in mine. I nodded as he drove much faster than the legal speed limit, getting us to the hospital in record time. Everything seemed to be much slower than usual- even the elevator ride dragged. Ryan and I exchanged an exasperated look as it stopped at every damn floor before ours. My heart was in my mouth when we reached his room, and Ryan nodded at me to go in first. I pushed open the door, to see Nickolas sat up, with my mother and Zane either side if his bed. My mother got up, rushing over to me as she held me close.

'He's a little confused, don't be alarmed. The doctors said its totally normal.' She murmured as she kissed my head.

'Nik?' I whispered as his eyes fluttered open, as he smiled lazily.

'Hey.' He said, his voice low and rough.

I leaned forward, kissing his forehead carefully.

'Welcome back.' I smiled, as tears of relief fell down my face.

'I feel like I've been hit by a car.' He joked, and we laughed. He didn't look as bad as he did now he was awake, his cheeks even had a bit of colour in. The bruises were still there, but the swelling on his face had gone down massively. I was relieved to see the invasive head tube had been removed, a large bandage in place where it had been.

'Oh Nickolas.' I sighed as I held his hand in mine, feeling my mother stroke my hair softly.

'You are incredibly lucky.' She murmured to him from behind me as he coughed. Ryan got up, grabbing a cup of water from the side and held it to his lips as he sipped it gratefully.

'I like the attention, I've gotta say.'

The door opened and Amy walked in, smiling at us all as she walked over to Nickolas.

'Good afternoon handsome. Aren't you a sight for sore eyes? Just going to do your observations darling, and I'll be out of your hair.' She lifted his arm as she wrapped the cuff around him.

'Are we dating?' He asked, as she rolled her eyes good naturedly.

'Not that I'm aware of. Unless you count taking your bloods at three am as a date?' She chuckled as she watched the monitor carefully. Nickolas stared at her, as we all exchanged a glance.

'You're beautiful.'

She snapped her head back to him as she released the air from the cuff, before removing it. She wrote something down on her clipboard before slipping a little machine onto his finger.

'Let's check this pulse of yours.'

She then pulled out a thermometer, leaning towards him as she showed it to him.

'Just going to pop this in your ear, Casanova.'

She did his temperature, smiling as she wrote it down.

'Am I still alive?' He joked, as she nodded.

'Indeed you are. Hopefully we can get you off these drips soon and get you eating proper food again. I bet you're hankering for a steak.'

He was staring at her in awe, as Zane shook his head with disbelief.

'Amy, right? I think he's quite taken with you.' He chuckled as she smiled in response.

'He's confused. You wouldn't believe the amount of marriage proposals I've had. Not one of them ever came back for me.' She laughed as Zane glanced at Nickolas who met his eyes.

'This one might.'

'I'm super happy you're awake handsome. I'll come and check on you later, ok?'

'Please do.' Nickolas said quietly, as my mom hugged Amy suddenly.

'Thank you. For everything you do for him.'

Amy blushed as she looked over to the bed.

'Its been a pleasure. I'm just doing my job. Goodbye Nickolas.'

He smiled as she left, and looked over at Zane.

'Found her.'

Mom and I frowned with confusion as Zane lifted his eyebrows at Ryan who shrugged blankly.

'Her?' Echoed Zane, as we waited for him to respond patiently.

'My dream woman. Amy the nurse.'

We all laughed then, and it sounded so much better than the sobs that had filled it earlier that week.

'Han.' He said suddenly, as I sprang to my feet. He yawned as he eyes began to close, but not before he spoke again. 'You aren't just another number to him.'

Zane frowned, glancing at Ryan who looked up at me questionably. I was frozen with shock, as I felt my mouth open and close. Nickolas had dozed off now, his breathing deep.

'Told you, he's confused.' Said Zane to Mom sadly, as I twisted my hands nervously.

'Actually he's not. I know what he means, but it's a long story...' I trailed off as I gazed at Nickolas, smiling softly.

'You aren't just another number to who?' Ryan snapped, as Zane raised an eyebrow at me.

'Theodore.' I murmured as Ryan relaxed, leaning back into his chair.

'Nope. That's because you're clever, and didn't fall for his shit. Otherwise you would be.' He drawled, resting his head on his hands as he yawned too. Zane had tuned out, and was just staring at Nickolas with a smile on his face. I turned to see my mother gazing at me, and I knew from her eyes that she knew.

'De Luca hmm? He's a fine boy. Always looked after you.'

I nodded before sinking into the chair beside Ryan who surprisingly pulled me in for a hug.

'She doesn't need looking after. She's got us.' He said gruffly, as my mom rolled her eyes.

'Yes but he loves her in a different way to you.'

'Nah.' Ryan said dismissively as I sent my mom a warning look. She shrugged as she gazed back at Nickolas.

'We'll see.' She said softly, as I closed my eyes.

We will indeed...

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