Autumn's Light

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He's Awake

I woke up to Ryder being gone. I grumbled to myself. That was the best night of sleep I’ve ever had. I checked my phone and noticed Bryce texted me letting me know we were going to go see my dad later on and to get my ass to the house. I heard a knock at the door and Adrian’s face peaked in.

“Thought I’d find you in here..”

She came over and sat down on the bed with a smirk on her face. I knew what she was thinking, probably what everything was thinking happened last night. But whatever, I knew Ryder was a gentleman.

“It’s weird you know." She sighed then continued. “When Evie had a thing for Ryder I hated picturing them together. I didn’t like it. I told her he was off limits, then that’s when the obsession with Hendrix happened. I tried keeping by her side. There was always something off with our friendship. She’s insane Autumn. Literally insane. When we did that prank on you, I was bitter yes.. but I didn’t expect for Evie to attack you like that. I deserved that shove on my ass, but that’s why I cut off our friendship.”

I was trying to understand where this was going.

“With you it's different. I see how happy you make my stupid ass brother and I am totally okay with being your friend too. I just feel like something isn’t right.”

I rose a brow. Does she mean Ryder and I aren’t right?

“Not with you guys. But with this whole Hendrix situation. With Harley being involved. With Evie just disappearing then appearing out of nowhere the other day at Hendrix’s side. I haven’t even spoken to her since y’all got together.”

“Really? I thought you guys were best friends?”

She nodded and shrugged at the same time. “Kind of. She changed.”

I totally understood how that is. Me and Harley were inseparable but then she went and slept with my boyfriend and I see a totally different person now. She’s not a normal girl like she claimed to be at first. It’s crazy how fragile friendships are.

“Well, thanks for having my back.” I smiled at her and we must’ve concluded our conversation was done because she got to her feet.

“Now, I brought some clothes for you.”

I didn’t even realize she put down clothes on the bed for me.

“You can just bring them back to me whenever.”

I thanked her and got changed then we started heading down the stairs.

“Where did Ryder go anyway?”

“Oh, dad called. He needed to be picked up from the airport.”

“I see.”

We reached the front door when Ryder and his dad came walking through, I hid Ryder’s shirt behind my back. I didn’t even know why I still had it.

Ryder smiled at me and put down some bags, I looked up to see his dad standing there. He looked exactly like Adrian. But, with a kind smile.

“Oh hello! Who might you be?” He was smiling at me.

Ryder spoke up. “Dad, this is Autumn. She and her brother Bryce live next door?”

His dad shook his head. “Oh, my heavens. Forgive my manners. I knew Bryce had a sister. He’s a good kid.”

He extended his hand to me and I shook it, still holding the shirt in the other hand. I probably looked like a mess.

“Nice to finally meet you, Autumn, I’m Talon. Ryder’s Stepdad.”

That made sense. He must be Adrian’s dad.

“Nice to meet you too sir.”

“Well sorry, but I must be off to the hospital.”

I stopped him. “Wait you work at the hospital?”

He nodded. “Yes, I’m a surgeon there.”

My mouth dropped. He could’ve been the one saving my dad’s life. Ryder noticed and spoke up.

“Dad, Chief Greene got shot while you were gone. He’s in recovery now.."

Talon’s face went rigid. “What!? And they didn’t call me?! They won’t hear the end of this.”

He walked out the front door and I heard a car start and drive off.

Ryder smirked and looked at me. “What’s with the outfit change?”

“Oh, Adrian let me borrow some clothes. Bryce texted we’re going to see my dad.”

I said goodbye to him and walked to my house. Meeting up with Marley and letting her know everything that has happened. She also informed me she had an amazing night and got drunk off her ass with Carter and Wynn and Hazel. She said Harley came over to Carter’s place at the end of the night in a fit of emotions and Hazel had to leave to calm her down. Man, I wish things could just go back to how they were before. She changed the subject when she saw my face drop.

“So now you’re with mister hunk Ryder next door?”

I nodded.

“Wow, girl, moving up in the world!”

I sure was.

We got to the hospital and talked with the doctor. My dad was awake now. I cannot tell you how happy I was to hear those words. They said he came to this morning and has been a total champ the entire time. They are really hopeful for him.

I ran down the hall and he looked up when we came into the room. I was crying happy tears and went running into his arms.

“DAD!!!!”

“Sweetpea.”

I think I crushed him with how hard I jumped into his arms. Oops.

Bryce came to his side and hugged him too. “Hey, Kiddo.” It was like my dad never left. I missed him.

“Hey pops.”

I sat down and grabbed his hand. “How are you feeling?” I noticed he was not squeezing my hand back and he was frowning.

“Well, apparently I can’t use this arm very well.”

Bryce patted his shoulder. “It’ll get better pops.”

Ryder’s dad appeared in the doorway with a knock.

“HENRY!”

My dad smiled. “Talon, son of a gun. When did you get back into town?”

I rose a brow. Did they know each other? Talon smiled over at me.

“Oh, just today. Your daughter let me know what happened. I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”

My dad shook his head. “No worries. I guess they are saying my arm got hit hard.”

Talon came over and looked up the x-rays on the computer. “I can see that. That tendon got messed up bad. Possible nerve damage..” He was talking to himself now.

I looked back at my dad. “I was so scared dad..”

He grabbed the back of my hair and played with it, rubbing my head. “Oh sweetpea, I could never leave you.”

That’s it. He got me with that. I started crying and hugged him again, careful to not hurt him this time. He hugged me back.

“What’s wrong?”

I let go of him. How did my dad know magically something was going on.

Talon exited the room still talking to himself. He must be figuring something out.

Marley shut the door to the room. I sighed and looked at my brother.

“Pops.. we need to tell you something.” Bryce brought it up. The big elephant in the room. I knew it was coming so I looked at the ground.

“What?! What happened?” Dad glanced at me with concern.

Bryce spoke up again. “When you got hurt. The same day Ott found out that Hendrix cheated on her with her best friend Harley. The same shit that happened before with Bentley and right when that happened you had to go back into emergency surgery for the infection, so we thought we were losing you.”

My dad went to speak but my brother held up his hand. “I’m not done.”

My dad slumped down in the bed as my brother continued. “Everything was too much for her and well.. this is hard to say but pop, she tried killing herself.”

I was crying at this point. I felt so ashamed and stupid.

My dad immediately brought me into his arms and I cried my heart out. “Autumn, why on earth... Why!” His hold on me kept getting tighter, I think I broke his heart. I felt a tear hit my head from his eyes. Oh my god.

It tried talking through the crying. “I felt so alone. Bryce had his own issues. Hendrix did the same shit Bentley did. I lost my best friend again. You were in surgery. I just felt like I should’ve died with Sam or it should’ve been me, not her.”

“Oh my god baby girl..” He was swaying with me in his arms.

He looked at my brother while holding me. “How?”

He sighed. “Overdose. We found your reversal drugs and gave them to her. Luckily, we got to her in time to save her and she didn’t take enough for permanent damage, which is a damn miracle.”

I didn’t move. I was attached to my dad.

“What do you mean we?”

“Me and Ryder found her. Ryder knew of the drug and had me go check your bag and thank god you had some. He knew the dose and he gave it to her. Then uncle Dustin called the hospital to make sure we didn’t have to take her in, they told us what to watch for..”

I sniffled from crying so hard.

“Sweetpea.” He pulled me from him so he could look at me. “Don’t you ever do this again. Do you promise me? I’m getting you into counseling right away. You need to talk to someone. I had no idea this much stuff was happening to you. You need to talk to me too, do you understand me? This is important.”

I sighed. “Yes.”

There was silence for a while then I spoke. “But, dad?”

He looked at me while brushing some hair out of my face. “Yes?”

“I’m so glad you’re okay...”

I nodded and gave my dad one last hug and he kissed my forehead. “I love you, sweetpea. Never forget that and I’m glad you’re okay more.”

I half smiled and left the hospital. I had to be better. I had to do better. I was failing at life. I was not going to give in this time. If anything, my dad needed me and I had to be strong for him.

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