"Come on Cerice, you have to sleep."
"No, I want to stay here." Her eyes were moist with both happiness and overtiredness, and I gently took her by the hand.
"If you stay here you won't sleep, and your parents will worry that you look bad. They'll say I'm not looking after you. Why would we remove their trust when we've only just gained it?" I wanted to make this as easy as possible for both Cerice and her parents, and I knew that the only way I could do that would be to make sure I lived up to their expectations.
Cerice looked as though she would argue with me, but then she nodded and allowed me to lead her to the car. As I drove, I saw her head droop on to her chest, and her breathing became steady. She was asleep. I didn't know where to go. I didn't really fancy taking her to the dorm, and I wasn't sure that the place of the crash was a safe place for her to wake up. I had reserves about her waking up in my house, because she'd never been there and wouldn't know what it looked like, but at the same time it appeared to be my only option.
My car pulled in to the drive and I hurried round to the other side to help Cerice out. Then I half carried, half dragged her in to my house. As I lay her on the bed I smiled to see her hair falling messily over her face. I stroked it back then went to lock the car and close the front door. When I came back I didn't bother changing, I just lay down next to Cerice, my arm around her waist, and fell asleep.
When I woke next morning I realised that someone was stroking my hair. I looked up and saw Cerice smiling at me, her eyes bright and happy.
"Morning," I whispered, turning slightly so that I could see her face better, "How are you?"
"Better. I'm sorry for being...well, like I was yesterday."
"Cerice, it was perfectly natural. I mean after what you saw..."
"Yes but I shouldn't have pushed you away."
"You had every right to blame me. But let's not talk about what might have been. Let's talk about what we can do now your parents forgive us and accept us." She smiled and I kissed her, savouring that taste that hours ago I had thought I would never taste again.
Her hand slipped in to the nook of my back and pulled me closer. I felt my lips break in to a grin as hers explored my chin, then neck.
"Sasha, I love you."
"And I love you." I said before our lips met again. I was in the process of slipping my top over my head when my phone rang. I grimaced and grabbed it off the side.
"Hello?" Cerice continued to kiss me, making it very hard for me to concentrate on the person down the phone.
"Hello Miss Tillman? I'm calling from the hospital to tell you that that Mr and Mrs Clairoux are awake and wish to see their daughter."
"Thank you, we'll be there as soon as possible." I hung up and threw down the phone in order to stop Cerice's lips from sending little fireworks across my skin. "Cerice, that was the hospital. Your mother and father want to see you." Her attempts to kiss me immediately stopped, but she smiled and rolled off the bed.
"I want to see them."
"First, a shower and some breakfast. Then we'll go." She conscented and I let her shower first while I prepared the food. Then as she ate I showered and dressed. Cerice could barely wait as I started the car, and we drove to the hospital together.
When we reached the corridor that Cerice's parents were on I stopped.
"Cerice, go and see your parents first. Then if they want to see me you can come and fetch me. You should be able to talk to them both without me making it awkward."
"But I want you to come."
"I will, just not straight away. You need some time alone with them." I kissed her, then gestured to the room, telling her to go through. Then as she disappeared I sat down to wait, hoping with all my heart that what Cerice had told me was true. I hoped to God they really did accept me, and Cerice.
It would give me so much pleasure to see her happy.