Clock watching and phone listening had become somewhat of a ‘hobby’ of mine now as I stared at the ticking seconds hand of the clock. I could hear the murmuring of my mom and Tom in the kitchen and knew they were talking about me. When were they ever not talking about me?
“Rayray?” My mom’s soft, gentle voice pulled me away from the clock. “Honey, can I talk to you?” She sat down on the hand rest of the sofa and I just stared at her. “Rayray... You need to eat something darling. Tommy and I are worried about you. You’ve called the hospital every two hours and there’s been no difference. I know you’re worried sweetheart but the doctors said there’s nothing physically wrong with her”
“Then what is wrong with her?” I felt like a child again, when I would crawl into my mom’s lap for comfort as I tried to seek advice from the person who seemed to know everything.
She just sighed. “I don’t know darling. What I do know is that if she hasn’t woken up again since you left, that her mind is probably just protecting itself. Everyone goes through these kinds of traumas differently and this is just the way Shell goes through it. You just need to give her t-“
“Time... I know” I interrupted her. “That’s all everyone says. I am giving her time mom. That’s all I’m allowed to do!”
“Beast. Come on, your mom’s just worried” Tom’s voice sounded from behind me. “And she’s right. I am too. I’ve never seen you like this? What happened to the hard ass, strict and sturdy Beast I’ve known from the Air Force. Pull yourself together!”
“I’m sorry Sandy but this isn’t what the Beast I know would want himself to end up being. And I, as his best friend and fellow airman, will not let him end up like this”
I was back to staring at the clock but before I knew it Tom was punching me in the stomach. “What the hell, man?!” I choked out.
“Get up. Get showered. We’re going out”
“No Beast, you’re not in charge here. Now move!” I rolled my eyes and did as he said. I was showered and dressed in fresh clothes standing just inside the front door waiting for Tom as he stacked up on chocolate croissants for the drive. “You’re going to have hard time getting back into shape what with the way you’ve been at those things”
Tom shrugged and stuffed another croissant into his mouth. “Let’s go, you big cry baby”
I grumbled under my breath and followed him to the car. We pulled out smoothly and began to drive off. After one month of crazy weather the hurricane had finally passed and the sun shone blindingly for the first time after what seems like ages. It made me even more solemn because I knew if Seychelles wasn’t in the hospital she’d be out surfing. I knew she missed it. The grounds were still wet and in some areas it was slightly flooded.
I didn’t realise we’d stopped until Tom stepped out of the car and I quickly followed suit. “Shaw... What are we doing at the hospital?”
“You will be staying with Shell” He answered, crumbs spurting from his mouth. At my silence and confused face he grinned and swallowed the croissants. “I enquired as to what they’ve done about Seychelles not waking up. They said nothing and couldn’t understand why she hasn’t woken up when it was a different story when you were there. I told them I was bringing you over because you two obviously have some sort of creepy connection”
“And they just allowed that?” I asked in surprise.
“Nope. They weren’t too keen on the idea but I said to give you twenty-four hours. If there’s no difference then we’ll go back to waiting like normal”
I stared at Tom for a minute, process everything he said to me and blurted out what my conclusion was. “You’re bringing them out to dinner aren’t you?”
Tom grinned brightly and chuckled like he got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. “Two dinner dates, three dates to the movies and bringing one girl out dancing. I would say ‘you owe me’ but hell, looks like I’m the one who’s winning here”
“Thanks bro” I thanked him genuinely.
“You can thank me when you name me god daddy of your children” He nodded and walked towards the hospital entrance.
I had no idea why I was nervous. I couldn’t distinguish it between scared-nervous or excited-nervous. Either way it felt like my heart was thudding louder than a jet with every step we took towards Seychelles’ private room. When we reached it the first thing I noticed was that her curtains were closed and when I turned to look at Tom he was already gone. I quickly glanced around and rolled my eyes when I saw him leaning close to a red headed nurse and a smirk plastered to his face.
I turned my attention back to the room and took a deep breath before walking. Nothing had really changed. Seychelles was lying in her bed, sleeping or unconscious, and the beeping was still going steadily. The only difference would’ve been the extra flowers that I had sent to her room every day. The first bouquet of pink tulips was starting to wilt and some of the petals lay across the table.
“Hey beautiful” I spoke to her. I cleared my throat and walked closer to her, dragging the chair closer to the edge. I let my eyes caress her. Damn, I missed her. I missed her voice, her laugh, the way her eyes sparkled... just everything. “How are you feeling, baby?”
I stroked her face and gently stroked some loose hair behind her ear. “You know, I’ve been annoying your nurses with phone calls every few hours to see how you are” I spoke to her. Needing to have this closeness and wishing she’d talk back. “I half expected that you’d give me a call by now and was worried you were ignoring me. But, I guess I should thank you on Tom’s behalf...”
“Yeah... thanks to you being unconscious I’ve managed to score seven dates from the ridiculously good looking nurses here” Tom chuckled as he walked in with a large smile on his face.
“Seven? I thought you told me you had six”
He shrugged before winking, “Looks like Megan the red head nurse wants a piece of me too. But seriously Shell, when are you going to wake up? You’ve been worrying Beast here so much he’s turned into this uncontrollable cry baby back at his mom’s house. It’s ridiculous! He’s all mopey and staring at the clock and phone like a lost puppy dog-“
“Yeah... that’s enough Shaw” I cut him off. Seychelles may be asleep or unconscious but I didn’t want her subconscious knowing how lost I am without her.
He chuckled. “So you all good here? I want to take a nap before date number one tonight”
“I got it, and thanks again man. I guess your flirting comes in handy sometimes”
“You know me... I’ll take one for the team!” With a sharp pat to my shoulder Tom said his goodbye to Seychelles and was out of the door.
I shook my head in disbelief at him. I didn’t know how long it was before he was flying back to the base again but he’d already filled his week with dates from nurses alone. I opened the curtains and let some of the sun in. Seychelles had grown paler since I first met her and I knew that she’d want to be in the sun. She was an outdoor type of girl and the last month had her all tied up in knots because she couldn’t go out to surf.
“You know Beauty, the quicker you wake up, the quicker I can bring you back to the beach. It’s not raining anymore and the sun feels really good on the skin. You’d love it” I sat down on the chair and held her cold hand to my lips, kissing it until the warmth came back to her fingertips and doing the same to the other one. “Wake up Beauty, I need to see your beautiful eyes again”
It was back.
That wonderfully familiar scent of apples and sea salt. It felt like years since I last smelled that scent. I’d been lost in the same replays of my house collapsing on me without any way to escape from it. At first it was easy and I would be able to come back to that bleak looking ‘heaven’ but all of a sudden I couldn’t find my way there. I never saw Ray again and I half hoped that he was revived or something and was back to the Air Force. He deserved to be in heaven, obviously, but not now. He deserved to live a longer life. So I hoped that he was doing that now.
I moved my eyes around trying to look for wherever that scent was coming from and yet all I could do was feel was the backs of my eyelids. It took everything I had to flutter my eyelids up and was surprised to be back into the bleak ‘heaven’ again. I sighed, maybe this was a hospital in heaven where they made you better before allowing you in? Who knows...
A light snore caught my attention and my eyes landed on a sleeping lump. Oh no... I could feel the tears prickle my eyes as I saw Ray by my side. “Why won’t you go back?” I tried to cry out at him, but it only came out as a whisper. My whisper, however was able to wake him and as his eyes caught mine I lost my breath. God, he was beautiful. The steady beeping coming from my side began to beep faster and I noticed it was beeping the same time as my heart.
Ray noticed the beeping as well and suddenly he smiled. It wasn’t just a smile that took my breath away, but a smile that, if I wasn’t already dead, I was sure would’ve put me into a cardiac arrest. His deep dimples framed his smile perfectly, it was the most amazing thing to see after continuous replays of my tortuous house collapsing. “Why are you crying, Beauty?” He asked me softly wiping my tears with the warm pads of his thumb.
“Because you’re here” I sniffed.
“And why is that bad?”
“Because that means you’re dead. I wanted you to keep living a long and happy life, Ray” I began to cry.
His smile disappeared and his brows furrowed. “Dead? Beauty, I’m not dead...? And neither are you for a matter of fact”
“Of course I am! I’m dead, and if I’m dead and you’re here then it must mean that you’re dead too!”Ray continued to look confused but instead of speaking he brought my hand up to his lips. Lightly, he kissed the tip of each finger before moving down to kiss my palm.
“Can you feel that, Seychelles?” He whispered, never taking his eyes off mine. I nodded with my lips slightly parted. He kissed my wrist where my pulse rapidly beat and continued kissing up my arm. His kisses were sending shocks of warmth everywhere and I was breathing harder and faster with every touch of his lips. He lightly gripped my chin and tilted my head away from him so he could press a lingering kiss to my pulse beating madly in my neck. “Can you feel this as well, my beautiful Seychelles?”
“Yes” I choked out. Oh wow, my body was on fire. For ages it felt cold and now I almost felt as though my body was burning!
He kissed the small spot below my ear and as he spoke his warm breath tickled my ear, “And this?”
The beeping beside me was going insane; beeping fast enough for someone to dance the tango to. I couldn’t speak anymore so I just nodded. Slowly he shifted, his lips barely grazing my skin as he hovered them over my cheek until his lips were barely touching the corner of my lips. His tongue flicked out as he licked his lips, hitting the corner of mine and my body jerked. Why was every small gesture setting my body on fire?!
“How about this baby? Tell me if you can feel this” And without giving me time to take a breath he pressed his lips down to cover mine. A moan escaped my lips and vibrated against his as he moulded our lips together perfectly. I felt his hand tangle itself into my hair and I moaned giving Ray the chance to push his warm tongue into my mouth and massage mine.
Sparks covered every nerve of my body. Heat simmered over my skin and right then, right there, I knew I was alive. Kissing Ray couldn’t ever feel this magical if he and I weren’t both alive. Tears pricked at the corners of my closed eyes and I lifted my hands to weave my fingers through his hair, clenching tight to pull him harder against my lips as I struggled to take a breath through my nose.
Apples and sea salt.
It was Ray, all along it was Ray who was pulling me out of my tortuous nightmares and now he was here showing me by example that we both weren’t dead. His kisses became urgent and needy and he nipped at my bottom lip, pulling at it and sucking just hard enough for a pleasurable zing to bolt down to my belly.
“Oh, sorry!” I jerked back and turned to see a young man in scrubs looking at me and Ray. “Wow... I didn’t think you’d be awake... I uh-“
“It’s alright. Did you need to check on her?” Ray’s deep voice asked in amusement.
“Well, considering she’s awake I’d definitely say so” He walked closer and introduced himself. “Hi Seychelles, my name is Dave. I’m the on-call nurse tonight. How are you feeling?”
“Fine. A little dizzy”
He chuckled. “Should I examine you for that or could I put that down to being Ray’s fault?”
I blushed while Ray chuckled, “Uh... I don’t think you need to examine me for that”
He proceeded to ask me questions and take a few tests and was surprised at how well I was and how much I remembered despite my being unconscious. I was extremely surprised when I found out I’d been unconscious for almost six days now. “Well, I don’t know what else to say Seychelles. You seem all good” He told me while putting his pen back into his pocket and checking his watch. “Since it is two in the morning I suggest you try to get some more sleep. The doctors will do their rounds at eight o’clock and will tell you if you can go home or need to stay for longer. Personally, I think you’re perfectly fine but we’ll the final judgement to them okay?”
He smiled at us both and turned to leave closing the door quietly behind him. “So I really did scream at you then?” I winced feeling horrible. He nodded. “And you still stayed here with me?”
He paused before answering me, “Actually I wasn’t allowed to come back for the last four days. ‘Doctors orders’ apparently because he thought I was distressing you. Turns out the days I wasn’t here you never woke up once. Everyone was confused, I’ll tell you that”
I leaned back, wide eyed, against my pillows. “Wow...”
“You can say that again” He laughed. I sounded so amazing! “Are you hungry? Tired? Thirsty?”
“I’m a little of everything actually”
He nodded and stood up to pour some water from a plastic jug on the table next to my bed. “Here you drink this first and I’ll go see if I can buy something for you to eat” He bent down to kiss my forehead and I closed my eyes loving the feel of it. I grabbed the back of his head and lowered it to crash my lips against his before mumbling, “I’m not hungry for food. I just need your kisses Ray”
Yay! Dang, I’m really feeling like I’m on a role today. I got one chapter up yesterday night, one this morning and again tonight. Feeling accomplished haha.
So as sad as I am to say this, I will start wrapping things up very soon.
Oh Ray <3 lol What a softy! Who else is loving Tom too? Hehe
The beautiful cover was made by my fan @VampireBunny2154, isn’t it just amazing?!