“He’s just come out of surgery. There could be complications later, but for now he’s going to be okay.”
I struggled to get my eyes open, realizing that I had fallen asleep. Someone was talking, and it didn’t register until after he’d finished that he was talking fairly close, which meant he was talking about Jensen. I sat up quickly, waiting for the sudden dizziness and headache to pass, then glanced around.
Jared was talking with a middle aged doctor a few feet from where I lay, across the entire couch I was embarrassed to see. Jared glanced over at me, then thanked the doctor. I stood up, stretching my stiff muscles, then walked over to where Jared stood.
“We can see him now,” he said quietly. I let out a sigh of relief, then followed Jared through the chaos to the quieter part of the hospital, where the rooms were. It may have been quieter, but it was still unpleasant. It was cold, as if they didn’t have heating, and it smelled too clean.
Jared pushed open a pale green door and I followed him into a small room. There was one window and barely enough room for the single bed, medical monitors, and two chairs. Jensen was lying back in the bed, dressed in a white tee shirt with the blue knit blanket and white sheets tucked tightly around his legs.
He glanced up from staring at his hands, and gave a small, half-hearted smile. I let out a heavy sigh of relief.
“Hey,” he said gruffly, sound a little hoarse. Jared clenched his fist, then strode across the room and gave him a big hug. Jensen grunted and finally had to push Jared off. Jared cleared his throat, then stepped back.
I yawned again involuntarily, drawing a chuckle from Jensen.
“Am I really that boring?” he asked, half joking. I blushed, embarrassed, and shook my head.
“Just tired,” I said. Jensen nodded, then glanced at Jared.
“Be so kind as to get Redhead a cup of coffee,” he said. Jared raised an eyebrow, shrugged, and left the room. I watched him leave, then crossed the few feet to the bedside. Hesitantly, I took hold of Jensen’s hand. It was warm and strong, so much larger than mine.
“You really shouldn’t scare me like that,” I said, repeating words he’d said to me years before. “It’s not good for your health, or mine.” Jensen chuckled again.
“I guess now we’re even,” he said. I nodded, smiling, then looked down at our clasped hands, serious again.
“Listen,” I started, struggling to find the right words. “I don’t blame you for Seymour and Cassandra. It wasn’t your fault, and you should beat yourself up about it.”
The smile fell off Jensen’s face and I got a glimpse of the tortured look again, however brief it was.
“Katey, I—“ Jensen started, but I reached over and pressed a finger to his lips, stopping him. He looked as surprised as I felt. Then, before I could change my mind, I bent over and kissed him.
It was a brief kiss, but it felt like it lasted a lifetime. When it was over I was breathless, and probably red-faced. Jensen stared at me, an unreadable expression on his face, and I stepped away from him.
Jared came back then and handed me a hot Styrofoam cup. Jensen continued staring at me, and I looked away, sitting down in one of the empty chairs to sip my coffee carefully.
I didn’t know why I had kissed him, except that it had felt like the right thing to do at the time. Now, I didn’t know. It had definitely changed our relationship, and I didn’t know if I wanted that change. But it was too late now. I had made the first move and I was going to wait for him to respond.
If only my heart would stop pounding.
End of Story Four