A/N: So…latest news. I have officially written the end of My Sexy New Roommate. Yes, that's right. The book has been written, completed, and now just has to be edited. XD Anyway, after this chapter there's only two more to go. This chapter was one of the most heartfelt (in my opinion) but I just loved writing it. So I hope you ladies and gents enjoy and as always - please keep giving me your wonderful feedback. It means the world to me! XOXO
Hunter and I wait to go to the hospital until his lip and nose stop bleeding. He sits in the corner of my room with an ice pack pressed against his lip, his eyes never leaving me as I continue to pack my clothes in a cardboard box. After everything that's happened with Elliot and Hunter, I'm still a bit shaken up. So I don't mind having a few minutes to relax before venturing out and seeing Rex.
"So when do you have to be out?" Hunter asks, nodding his head toward my box of clothes.
I shrug. "By the end of the month, I think. Kevin has practically moved out already, and Rex's parents came by last week to get all of his stuff too. It's really only my stuff that's left anyway."
Hunter nods and his eyebrows crease together in concentration.
"And you're moving back in with your parents?" he asks me.
"I guess so. I mean…I don't have any other choices, really. I start school back up in the fall and if I live with Brad, the commute will just be too far."
Hunter's frown deepens and then I see the faintest bit of red creep into his cheeks.
"You could live with me, ya know," he says quietly.
The offer sends tingles down my spine and once again I'm rendered speechless at Hunter's kindness. But as much as I want to live with him, I know it's not a smart decision. I just broke up with his brother, after all. And if things didn't work between us, I couldn't bear the thought of moving away from him.
"That's….so sweet of you, Hunter," I say, doing my best to be careful with my words. "But, uhm, I don't think I should be living with a guy for a while."
Hunter stares back at me, his intense gaze practically bringing me to my knees.
"And what's 'a while'?"
"Honestly?" I say with a soft laugh. "I probably wouldn't be willing to live with a guy until I was engaged to him."
Hunter's eyes widen at my statement and I quickly attempt to backtrack.
"No, no," I clarify, pinching the bridge of my nose in frustration. "I'm not saying I want to get engaged! All I was trying to say was that I want to wait a longgg while before I move in with a guy. And I want to be engaged when I finally decide to do it."
There's an awkward silence between us and then Hunter finally nods. "No worries, Jess. I knew what you meant. So…you ready to go see Rex?"
I clutch onto Hunter's hand as the two of us approach Rex's hospital room. The memories of Rex's vacant brown eyes keep popping into my head. I thought Rex waking up would be the happiest day of my life. But when I saw him and realized he didn't remember a single thing, a new type of sadness settled into my mind.
Hunter peeks his head into Rex's hospital room and tells me 'the coast is clear.' I take a deep breath and once again prepare myself for seeing him.
"You alright?" Hunter asks me, a line of worry knitting into his forehead.
"I'm ok. I just hate seeing him like this, ya know?"
Hunter nods, pulling me in for a small hug. His touch sends shivers down my spine and I breathe in his masculine scent for a brief moment before he pulls away. There is no doubt about it anymore.
I officially love this man.
I intertwine my fingers with Hunter's and give him a nod. On cue, he tugs me forward, leading me into Rex's hospital room. There are a few chairs placed around Rex's bed and we each take a seat. Rex hears us approaching and his eyes flutter open. My stomach drops. I'm still not used to seeing him awake.
"Hey Rex," Hunter says gently. "How are you feeling today, man?"
Rex looks between the two of us, a vacant expression plastered on his face. He shrugs his now-slender shoulders and his eyes drop to our hands.
"You two are finally together?" Rex asks, but it comes off as more of a statement.
I give Hunter a puzzled look and then we both turn toward Rex.
"Yes, we're together," Hunter says slowly. "What do you mean by 'finally'?"
Rex's lips quirk upward into a semblance of a smile. It's the first time I've seen him smile since the accident and the sight brings tears to my eyes. His chocolate brown eyes focus on Hunter and his smile widens.
"Hunter - right?" Rex asks, nodding his head toward Hunter. "I may not remember who you are prior to the accident, but I remember your voice. I could hear you, ya know. When I was in my coma."
Hunter's hand tightens against mine and a deep red flushes his cheeks.
"You visited me every day," Rex continues. "You must have. Because the sound of your voice is the one and only thing I can remember before I woke up."
I see Hunter's adams apple bob up and down as he swallows hard. Another piece of my heart feels like its melting. I had no idea Hunter came and visited Rex every day. After all, Hunter had only known him for a few months before the accident.
"So this is the girl you talked about all the time," Rex says, sliding his gaze over to me. "And you're my friend, Jessie - correct?"
I nod, stunned. Rex looks me over, studying me anew. The way he looks at me is so innocent, as if he's a child looking at the world for the very first time.
"Well Jessie," Rex says softly. "I'm glad you two finally are together. Hunter talked about you every day."
Tears sting my eyes as I grip Hunter's hand. The realization that he had been thinking of me this whole time makes my heart purr with happiness. This man, who everyone believed to be a playboy, was quickly transforming into the man of my dreams.
Rex looks at Hunter again and his smile fades. "My memory still isn't coming back. The doctors said my brain injury is worse than they first expected."
Rex pauses, turning his eyes toward the window.
"Well…what's the prognosis then?" Hunter asks. "Both with your walking and with your memory?"
"I'll be able to walk again with intensive physical therapy," Rex says with a sigh. "But my spine is very sensitive now. So playing any type of sport is pretty much out of the question."
"Oh, well that's still good news!" I say, trying to put a smile back on Rex's face.
He gives me a thoughtful look before continuing. "It is. I'm very lucky. But as far as my memory is concerned, the doctor said it could take years to fully come back."
"Is there anything we can do to speed up the process?" Hunter asks. "To help you start remembering?"
Rex purses his lips and shakes his head. "Not really. The doctor said it would just take time. But I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to start hearing about my past."
"Well, we'll be here to see as often as we can," I reassure him. "So if you ever want to know anything about your past, we both will be here to help you."
Hunter nods in agreement. Rex waits for a moment and then points to the small cabinet next to him, requesting for Hunter to retrieve the plastic bag from inside. Hunter pulls it out and sets it on Rex's lap, and we wait while Rex slowly moves his hands through the plastic bag. When he finally pulls out a faded pair of blue jeans, he tilts his head to the side and looks at us.
"The doctors said these were the jeans I was wearing when I was in my accident. Is this true?"
I look at the jeans carefully and nod. "Yep, those are yours," I confirm.
I point to the small hole in the right leg of the jeans. "You see that hole? You got that playing tackle football with some of our friends last summer."
Rex nods and then I watch as his fingers fumble into the right pocket of his jeans. From it he withdraws a small cloth bag and hands it to me.
"Open it," he says softly.
I release Hunter's hand and open the small cloth bag. There's a folded piece of paper inside and at the very bottom sits a thin, silver ring. I suck in a breath as I open the note, quickly reading over the neatly scrawled handwriting across the page.
"Read it, please," Rex says and then looks out the window once again.
I clear my throat as tears begin to swim in my eyes.
"'Kelly, I thought when the time came for me to finally do this, I wouldn't have to write down all the words. But still, after all these years, you manage to make me nervous just by looking into my eyes.
I fell in love with you the very first time I saw you so many years ago. I knew in that moment that you were the girl for me. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get up the courage to ask you the question you've been waiting to hear for quite a while now. But you know me well enough to know I'm not so good with emotions.
Kelly, I love you more than life itself. Without you, my world wouldn't be complete. Life wouldn't be worth living. I'm so blessed to have you. And with that being said…"
I look up from the note, tears escaping from my eyes as I look at Rex. His brown eyes gaze back at me, so much confusion in their depths.
"You were going to propose," I whisper under my breath and let the small, silver ring fall into my open palm.
I study it closely, knowing in an instant that Kelly would have loved it. I wipe the tears away from my eyes before closing up the note and tucking it back into the cloth bag.
"I guess it's a good thing I lost my memory," Rex says with a sad smile. "Because from the sound of it, I wouldn't have wanted to keep living without Kelly by my side."
"You know….that…that Kelly died?" I manage to choke out.
Rex nods and points his finger toward Hunter. "Hunter told me. He read me the card from Kelly's mom. I knew she had died after that."
I look over at Hunter and the pain in his eyes is almost too much to bear.
"You loved Kelly very, very much," Hunter says, clearing his throat.
I can tell he's on the verge of tears as well. I hand the small bag back to Rex and he takes it from me gently, rubbing his thumbs across its surface.
"Well, then I guess this is a good place to start," Rex says quietly. "Tell me about her. I want to know everything."