He couldn't help but feel his heart drop at the sight of her eyes still closed but everything was okay. No panic had been rushed in, her chest was still gently rising and falling with her breath. She was beautiful. Her hair was a small mess behind her, her lips were dried by the windswept room but it was the bandage around her head that tore her apart most.
He sighed and forced his hand away from hers. He pushed his hand back through his hair and tried to wake himself up completely. He had a feeling that she would wake up today and he knew that when she did he had to be there. He couldn't let her feel like he had somehow abandoned her, like he had let what had happened come between them. He also had to make sure that her dad wouldn't come near her. He wasn't sure just what he was going to do about that but it was something to think about a little later. His entire mind was focused on her and that was exactly the way he had wanted it.
He touched his hand to his coat and felt the box there. He thought of the ring inside, thought again of what her reaction would. There would be tears from her eyes no doubt but this time it would be different. Those tears would be from the kind of happiness he would also be feeling. Those tears would be of completion. He hadn't let himself think of what would happen if she were to say no. If she were to tell him that because he couldn't open himself up that this would never work out between them. He was holding out hope that nothing could break them apart becasue he knew that nothing could end the love he felt so entirely for her. He would make all of this right. And if she wanted to know who he was then she would have it. She would have him, body and soul and it would be the most beautiful feeling in the world. To be loved for who he really was. Not for what he was or who he pretended to be but for who he truly was.
He stood up off the chair and glanced down at her. He gave another smile at resting form. He couldn't help but feel overwhelmed again and again by her beauty. By that innocence that seemed more real than anything he had ever witnessed in his life. He felt a kind of pride in knowing that she loved him. In fact standing there in that moment, knowing that he had her love made him feel like a better man, the kind of man he was meant to be.
The door opened then, a hushed argument was heard before someone stepped inside. He felt something inside of himself drop as he recognized the presence, the feeling that had wrapped around the room. Nothing felt the same anymore and the peace he had just taken hold had slipped from his hand.
How had she found him? How had she known he was going to be here?
He turned around stiffly. Every part of him was ready to explode with anger, sorrow, what?
"What are you doing here?" He demanded.
She kept her hand on the door handle, her other hand at her side. Her eyes were watching him sadly, falling apart it seemed.
"It's easy to find you...just find the string of papparzzi." She replied, tucking her loose hair behind her shoulder. How beautiful she was, how poisonous.
"I meant what are you doing in Los Angeles...Bianca?"
She walked slowly towards him, her arms almost ready to wrap him in their embrace. "I wanted to see you." She whispered, lifting her hand and making to touch his face.
He moved away though. "Don't." He muttered, letting her hand fall. "You can't be here."
She disregarded his words and looked down at the sleeping girl. "Is this her? " She asked, looking her over and visibly unimpressed.
"I want you to leave." He could feel everything rising up inside of him, could feel the completion of earlier melting away due to the shackles tight around his wrists.
She let out a laugh, one burdened with a bit of sadness. "You're still married to me, remember? Does she know that?"
Jared looked down at her then, looked down into her perfect eyes and tried not to scream. What was it she wanted of him? What pain did she want to cause him?
She shook her head. "She won't like who are you Jared...you should know that. No one can love you like I did because I knew you..." She lifted her hand again but this time he didn't flinch away. "You're mine, you should remember that."
He closed her eyes on her searing touch. Nothing was making sense in his head. It was a whirl of darkness and struggling light trying to break through. He hated the woman before him and yearned for the one asleep behind him. And yet the deepest and darkest parts of his soul reached out for Bianca. She held a part of him, the one he had tried to shake in Italy. He had failed hadn't he?
"You came back after you left, remember? When you came to Italy? You came back and begged me to just let you go. Did I?" Her eyes burned through him once he opened his gaze to her.
He shook his head. He was feeling weaker, his entire existence was slipping away.
"You came back and I showed you why you loved me in the first place...you think she could do that for you? What I did? Only someone like me can love somebody like you, we've gone through this." Her accent made her voice beautiful, her eyes made her words soft but the effects of them tore through him viciously.
"I want you to go." He stated after a moment of silence. He took hold of her wrist and threw it away from him.
She laughed, not even bothering to rub at the mark he had made. "I'll leave but I will be here and you'll be back." She threw him a light smile before walking away and out of the room.
He sat down then, hanging his head low and let out a tired sigh. His heart was aching, the pain was searing and he was falling to nothing. He was becoming the nothing he had always been. It hurt to think of Rowan, to dream the thoughts he had only previously been holding onto. Had he been keeping his hopes too high? Had he been wishing for something better than he was?...
Shannon had come into the room and had practically forced Jared to get something to eat. She was by herself then and she let her eyes open and look around her. She wasn't sure how long she had been asleep but she could guess it had been awhile. She touched her hand to the bandage on her head and sighed at the pain. Her head felt like it was about ready to explode, a pain she wasn't too keen on. With a bit of shame she looked down at her arm, the bandages there.
It was early afternoon as much as she could tell. The sky was a brilliant blue and the clouds that swirled around were even prettier. But she couldn't really enjoy any of it. She had been awake for quite some time, since this morning, after Jared had woken up. She hadn't been ready to open her eyes, to speak but his presence there had been more than calming. She had sank into it, wanting to drown into him until the door opened and someone had entered. The woman's voice had been accented, Italian most likely. She hadn't dared open her eyes while listening and perhaps it had been wrong of her to not let either of them know she was awake but she couldn't help it. Those things that woman, Bianca he had called her, had said had torn her apart. He had told her to leave, he had been upset, angry even but once she had left the room he had sank into his chair and started to silently cry. She had wanted to take him in her arms, hold him close until all the pain fell away but her heart was in pain and she was confused.
What had it all meant? Why was this even happening? Why was this Bianca even here? Had he brought her with him from Italy, had he asked her to come? It didn't make sense though. However wouldn't it piece together with how he had been acting since coming back?
She sat up now, ignoring the ache in her head and wiped a trail of tears from her eyes. She should be glad she was awake, should be glad that something worse hadn't happened but all she could feel was a kind of numbness and it killed her.
She tried to seem normal when the door opened but she felt relieved when she saw that it was only Shannon.
"Hey, you're up." He smiled at her and took the chair beside her. "Jared's been worried crazy...he'll back in a few, had to force him eat."
She made a sight of a smile and then grimaced, reaching her hand up to her head.
"You alright?" He set his cup down and reached his hand out, lightly touching her arm. "You need the doctor?" His eyes were full of concern and worry as he waited for her reply.
"I'm fine." She replied softly, giving him another attempt of a smile. "Just need some rest..." She whispered, trying not to fall too deep into the sadness she was feeling.
"We were wondering, Rowan...do you want your dad here?" He treaded lightly on the subject, his eyes softening with his worry.
Her eyes widened and then she nervously shook her head. "Please no...can you ask him to leave Shannon? No matter what? Please?"
He noticed the panic in her eyes and he immediately nodded. Lightly he squeezed her hand before he stood up. "Alright, I'll get rid of him." He said.
"Thank you." She whispered as his hand fell from hers.
"I'll send Jared in." He said before he slipped out of the room.
She held her breath at his name and rested back into her pillow. Several more tears fell from her eyes before she wiped them away again. What was she going to say to him? She couldn't handle the feeling of pain and fear that broke inside of her. She was bordering on falling apart, she needed something to put her back together. If there was anything left.
She swallowed back her nervousness and did her best to make her hair neater before she pulled her blanket up over her shoulders. She didn't want to seem as vulnerable and broken as she felt when Jared came in. That would only let him in on the face that she had heard everything that had happened, everything that was said. How would he take to the fact that she had eavesdropped on his conversation? She felt incredibly bad about it, she knew it was wrong but that didn't stop the pain that circled around inside of her.
The door opened then, the sounds of the outside world broke in before being shut out again when he closed it. Jared stood there, a styrofoam cup in one of his hands and a weak smile on his face. His hair was mussed, his eyes were a bit downcast but when he saw her sitting there awake his entire demeanor lgithened.
"You're awake." He confirmed it, having not quiet believed Shannon when he had come and told him. But seeing her there now was enough for him to forget everything and become happy all over again.
"I'm awake." She said with a nod and a small laugh.
Jared moved towards her, setting his cup down and sat on the bed next to her. He stared at her for several moments before he reached out and lightly touched his fingers to her bandage. "It still hurt?" He asked softly.
"A little." She replied. How could she remain upset when she was looking up into his glistening blue eyes? When he was there for her now when she had thought that she would be alone for the rest of her life? How could she stay broken when he was there and his very presence proved to be strong enough to hold her together? She wanted to fall into him, wanted his arms around her, and needed him to tell her that nothing like this would ever happen again. But the sharp realization filled her then. If she let that happen, if she allowed something like that then it would be wrong. That woman, Bianca had said that they were still married. If she continued in this it would be wrong, it would be an affair and she simply couldn't have that. She fought internally with herself. He had wanted her to leave though but he had gone back to her the woman had said in Italy, he had cried so sorrowfully once she was gone. Did any of that mean anything? And how would she ask him if she wasn't sure how would he react to her knowing at all?
"They said you can go home today.., You want me to take you?" He asked, his eyes were so gentle as they watched her, no pressing at all.
She thought about it a moment before she nodded. "I'd like that." She replied in a whisper.
He smiled so brilliantly then. The way it resonated in his eyes was perfect and the effect it had on her was insurmountable. "I'll go get your release forms and then we'll be off. I'll send the nurse in with your things."
"Thank you." She smiled too, trying to knock away any emotions from her eyes.
His smile hung on his lips before it slowly faded as he took her face gently in his hands. "I"m so glad you're alright." he said, his breath washing across her face delicately. He brushed his lips to hers like he was unsure if he deepened it if it would hurt her or not.
She returned the kiss just as gingerly, tucking a fallen strand of fallen hair behind his ear. He stood up, gave her another smile and then he was gone.
Heavily she sighed and settled back again. She would talk to him at him, this wasn't the place to do something so important as this. She needed to get out of here. She had to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what was happening and what would happen. She couldn't bear to silence the part of her that wished it could all just go back to how things were just a short while ago. But wishing wasn't getting her anywhere. She had wished her whole life and it had donw nothing at all.