I don't manage to keep my promise that I won't cry. The moment the medics take him for some sort of surgery, I'm in tears. Alex turns up about half an hour later with a couple of stitches in his eyebrow and a split lip. I'm sure he's got more than a few bruises, but it's not really much worse than what he'd get out of a cage fight.
He sees me blubbering by an empty bed and instantly pulls me into a tight hug. "What's going on?" he asks, pulling me up. He sits and tugs me down onto his lap and I kinda curl up there, my head on his chest and his arms around me.
"They took him for surgery. We should've gone sooner," I stutter through sobs that I don't seem able to control. Alex's kisses on the top of my head and his fingers playing with my hair aren't making the blindest bit of difference, even though usually, it'd have me calmed down in minutes.
"He'll be alright, Max."
"I don't know what I did, Lex," I mumble, "I don't know what I did to make him take off his ring and go out."
"C'mon, Maxxie, you can't be blaming yourself for this. You didn't do anything."
"His ring's still at home. I told him I'd go get it," I continue, not really listening to him.
"Well, d'you wanna go get it?" I nod and he pulls me up, walking me out of the hospital and driving me back to the apartment. It takes me nearly no time at all to find it and I slip it into my pocket, ready to leave. But Alex has other ideas. He's busying himself in the kitchen, fixing us both something to eat. I don't want it, but he practically forces it into my mouth with a ‘you've not eaten today, have you?' The guy knows me too well. "And don't take your arm out of your sling again. You'll make it worse," he adds.
"Sorry, mum," I mutter sullenly. I just want to be back at the hospital for Hadley. He smiles slightly, taking his time with his sandwich. I drum my fingers on the arm of the sofa impatiently, ignoring my own food.
"There's no point being there while he's in surgery, Max," he says, apparently reading my mind, "and even if he wasn't, you'll do him no good in this state. Finish your sandwich and we'll go back."
When he finally gives up, he takes me back to the hospital, calling Caleb to let him know that we're all gonna be there for a while. He pulls me down onto his lap again and hugs me when we see Hadley's bed is still empty. What's taking so long?
Eventually, the ginger turns up with John and Beau in tow. Beau's almost as sniffly and teary as me, and she instantly comes over and hugs my leg. Caleb, on the other hand, looks like he's resisting the urge to pounce on Alex. I sort of reach down and ruffle Beau's hair a little.
"How is he?" John asks kinda quietly.
"Won't know til he gets out of surgery," I mumble. No one really knows what to say and so we all stay quiet. I slip off Alex's lap so that Caleb can have him and sit on the floor with Beau instead, trying to ignore Caleb huggling and kissing Alex half to death.
"He's gonna be fine, Maxxie," John tells me, sitting on the floor next to me.
"The bastard knifed him," I mutter quietly, "I should've found him sooner."
"Hey, it's not your fault. You did everything you could." I stay quiet, too worn out to argue about it. I just lean on him closing my eyes as he hugs me. All I can really do is wait for my Bunny to come out of surgery. So that's what I'm gonna do.