He gave a half smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “You were shot in the shoulder and have been in and out of surgeries. You gave us a good scare.” He stroked my hair and took the seat his mother just had vacated. “You’ve been unconscious for the past eight days.”
“H-holy shit,” I mumbled.
He laughed a little.
“Only you would cuss in the ICU,” Adam’s voice rang out and then he came into my line of sight with an arm around Kate, who was holding a tissue against her lower lashes. “Don’t ever scare me like that again,” Adam growled and Kate hit his chest.
He smiled and reached to gently touch my hand.
“God, Emma, I want to hug you,” Kate sobbed.
“Please don’t,” I groaned and everyone seemed to snicker at that one. “I’m okay, don’t cry, Katie.”
“Megan and Preston will be here in the morning. We’ve been taking turns watching Simon.”
“Why don’t we give these two some privacy,” Gwen said to Adam and Kate and shooed them out.
Once Rhys and I were alone his eyes were on mine and never left.
“I’m so sorry.”
“You can be sorry you lied to me,” I said, trying to adjust to see him better. “But don’t be sorry for this. You saved me.”
“No, baby. You saved yourself. And you saved me.” He shook his head. “You’re so strong. So brave.”
“Careful or you’ll give me a complex.”
He slowly leaned in and barely brushed his lips over mine. God, I missed him. His smell, his touch, everything sent my whole body into a relaxed state and I just wanted to wrap myself up in his presence.
“You ran after me. I saw you.” And I also saw that he never stopped. He didn’t slow down. Didn’t give up. He just kept running. Kept reaching out for me even though I was too far gone and out of sight.
“I love you, Emma. So much. I know I don’t deserve a second chance, but I’m begging for one.”
I smiled against his lips. “I like it when you beg. But what if I say no?”
He got very serious. “I’m not above hunting you down until you say yes.”
I smiled a little. “I guess I can save us both the time and say yes now, then. But,” I amended, “only if we get to move forward. Together. Everything else we let go of and start fresh. You and I.”
“I like that idea.”
“Good, because I’m kind of into you.”
He grinned and kissed me again lightly. “It was all real, Emma. The moment I saw you at the gala, it was real for me. I want you to know that.”
I looked up at him. “It was real for me too.”
With that, I kissed Rhys and everything seemed to fall into place. Lying in the hospital with every muscle hurting, I couldn’t help but smile with hope and anticipation for the future. Because Rhys would be a part of it.
“Today has been a good day,” I said against his lips.
He gently ran his fingers along my chin. “You’re alive and okay. That counts as the best damn day in my book. And I’m never letting you go again. You’re my world, Emma.”
Tears lined my eyes. This whole time I had thought we were worlds apart, and Rhys had just made me his.
“I love you,” I said. And right then, I knew everything would be okay.