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chapter twenty-three

The game had finally ended, our team winning by two goals, one actual fist fight, and one broken Connor. I was able to convince Connor to let me drive him to the hospital, so I got a few of the soccer boys to carry him to my car. I let Ellie know I’d call her later, then headed out.

Connor and I drove in silence, except for him gasping in pain whenever we’d hit a hole in the road. Stupid town for causing more pain to this boy.

Soon enough, we were parked outside of the hospital and I was stuck on how I’d get him inside with the least amount of pain possible.

“I can go grab you a wheelchair, you just stay here.”

Connor reached out and lightly gripped my thigh. “Wait, Liz. Hold on.”

I sat back in my seat, turning to face him. “What’s up? Do you not want the wheelchair?”

Connor placed his head back against the seat, “No, I do. I just, I wanted a hug first. Before we go in, please?” The boy almost had me in tears, so I couldn’t imagine how he was holding himself together so well.

I smiled, leaning over the middle console, embracing him tightly. He returned the action, breathing shakily into my shoulder. “I’ve never actually been to the hospital for an injury. I’m glad you’re here with me.”

I squeezed him a little bit tighter before pulling back. “I’m going to get you a wheelchair, and then I’ll be next to you every step of the way that they’ll let me. You’ll be okay.”


The good thing about Connor’s mom working at the hospital meant that the areas I wasn’t allowed to go through with him, she’d be there next to him. I still sat in the waiting area, quietly tapping my foot on the ground and texting updates to Ellie and Elijah.

It appeared that Elijah was right, Connor had shattered his kneecap. He was going through the surgery currently, getting a plaster cast which they predicted he’d be in for at least a month. I know Connor was trying to keep up the act of it not affecting him as much, but he showed some signs of disappointment.

It was almost midnight when Connor was out of surgery and ready to go home. He was being given crutches and talking with his mother when they let me into his room. He smiled when I entered the room, waving me over.

I walked around his mother and went to stand beside the bed he was sitting on. His mother started giving him directions to follow once he got home, and then continued to ask me to make sure he followed them. I smiled, nodding my head.

It was nice knowing that his mother accepted me being with her son. It made the encounter with her at the hospital that much easier.

When Connor was all ready to go home, we carefully got to my car and I tried my best to help him. Connor would continue to say that he was alright, and he got this. I was starting to get confused on if this was an act or if he was actually alright now.

That is until we got to his house.

I helped him into the living room, where his mother instructed him to sleep for the night, considering he couldn’t get up the stairs that easily. I grabbed blankets from where Connor said they kept extra blankets and pillows. He began to get comfortable on the couch, and I propped his leg up on some pillows.

I was about to kiss him goodbye before heading home, but he held my wrist to keep me beside him. “Wait, don’t go.”

“What do you need, babe?”

He smiled, his lip quivering just the slightest. “Nothing, I just wanted to talk. I feel like if I don’t, I won’t be able to sleep.”

I rubbed his arm gently before standing and pulling over the coffee table. I sat on the edge, leaning my elbows onto my knees and placing a hand on his chest. Connor took my hand in his, playing with my fingers.

“Then talk to me. What’s on your mind?”

He shrugged, “You mean other than my shattered knee?” I gave him a look which meant to not joke around.

“I’m never going to be able to play soccer after this. At least, not like before. I’m not going to be able to show the colleges I applied to what I could do. We can’t be that power couple like I imagined now. I can’t even dance with you at homecoming next weekend. Why’s life choosing to throw these obstacles at me now?”

A single tear fell down the side of Connor’s face, moving past his ear and down his neck. I used my free hand to wipe it away, holding back my own tears.

“I don’t know, babe. But you can’t be negative about it all now. Don’t even worry about homecoming, we’ll have prom. We can just watch movies that night.”

He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, but what do I have now that soccer’s out of the picture? Without soccer, there go my scholarships, my future plans, my career. What do I do now? I didn’t exactly have a backup plan. It’s all just fucked up now.”

I shook my head, “No, it’s not. You have such a bright future ahead of you, Connor. You can still travel, you’re definitely smart enough to get other scholarships, and there are other career paths for you. You may not have soccer right now, but you still have me. I’ll be there for you every step of the way, no matter what you choose. You know why?”

He didn’t once look away from my eyes, waiting for my response.

“Because I love you, Connor. I’m sorry it took me a bit to figure out, but I love you. I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else right now, except for beside you, helping you through the tough times you’re facing.”

He smiled weakly, sitting up more on the couch yet keeping his leg propped. “Come here.”

I pushed the coffee table away, kneeling beside the couch. Connor pulled me close so our faces were almost touching, “I love you too, Elizabeth.”

My hands were placed on his chest, his cupping my face, and our lips finally touched. It was gentle and slow, possibly the most passionate kiss we’ve shared so far. Our tongues battled for dominance and things slowly got more intense.

Connor’s hands roamed down to my waist, which he gripped gently to lead me onto his lap. I was cautious about it, but Connor wanted it. I followed along, straddling his waist and doing my best not to touch his bad knee.

Even though Connor was below me, he was the one controlling our movements, rolling my hips in circular motions on top of his. I sat up straight, keeping my hands on his chest for balance.

I gently bit my bottom lip, smiling down at him. Connor smirked, snaking one arm around my waist and pulling me back down. This time he brought his lips to my jaw, kissing down my neck and to my collarbone.

I let out a quiet moan, leaning my head back. Connor continued to nibble on the soft spot on my neck. He pulled back for a second, taking me by surprise as he adjusted his placement on the couch, letting out a quiet, “Fuck.”

I stopped my movement altogether, worry setting in. “Are you okay, Connor? Am I hurting you?”

He was out of breath, looking up from our connected bodies to my eyes, “Uh, no, babe. I’m fine, are you?”

I sat up straight again, “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. I just want to make sure I’m not hurting your leg more than it already is.”

Connor shook his head, still having a flustered look on his face. I kept an eye out for any emotion resembling pain.

“Elizabeth, I’m okay. You’re definitely not hurting me.”

I wasn’t quite believing him, mostly because I was just scared. “Really? I feel like you sounded like you were in pain, and I know this is getting heated and you probably think that we’ll finally do it tonight but I don’t want it to cause you pain. We’ll always have later.”

Connor laid his head back against the arm of the couch, “Oh my god, Elizabeth. I’m fine, don’t worry about me right now. Now, listen to me, we don’t need to do it tonight. If you’re uncomfortable, just tell me. I only wanted to be close to you, I’m sorry if it got too heated.”

I shook my head, “No, I’m alright. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t hurting you. I feel bad because of your leg, and you can’t really do much about it.”

He laughed, giving me a subtle wink. “Baby, I can do a lot right now without my knee.”

I rolled my eyes, gently climbing off of Connor.

“Get some rest. I’ll come by later and we can plan our new homecoming date.”

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