Before Reality Comes Dreaming

“It was a lucky guess.” I groaned as the nurse peeled my clothes away from my stomach wound.

Alexandra took my hand and squeezed it. “What on Earth are you talking about?” She turned to the nurse. “Maybe the blood loss made her a bit confused.”

I chuckled. “I can still hear you.” I turned her back to me. “I meant about that guy recognizing you, it was a lucky guess.”

She touched the shreds of the scarf still with her. “If I hadn’t given myself away-”

“Uh uh, none of that. You stood up for me.” I reached up and slung my arm over her in a half hug. “Thank you.”

“I’ll always stand up for you. You just have to make me one last promise.”

I smiled. “Name it.”

She cupped my cheek. “Promise me when you recover, you’ll make the prettiest garden for the two of us, okay?”

I coughed as the nurse sat me up to wrap the wound, turning my face away from Alexandra. She knelt beside me as the nurse bound the wrap down.

“You got it. I’ll make a special place, just for the two of us.”

She smiled as tears rolled down her face. “Just the two of us. A little fortress.”

The nurse finished binding my shoulder and arm, coming around to face me. “I hope you don’t plan to start construction tomorrow. You’ve got a long rest ahead.”

Before I could protest, Alexandra spoke up. “I’ll make sure she gets it.”

The nurse smiled, nodding at the two of us. “Come back every day for check ups and bandage changes. Wouldn’t want an infection to keep you out of commission.”

I laughed. “No ma’am I wouldn’t. I’ll come around in the morning when I wake up and again before I go to sleep. How’s that?”

“That’s perfect, now, off to bed, the both of you, doctor’s orders.” She winked as she left the two of us alone.

Alexandra helped me to my feet, letting me lean on her. “You heard her, no more stubbornness.”

I put my hand over my heart. “Me, stubborn? How dare you suggest such a thing?”

She rolled her eyes with a grin on her face. “Do I have to stay up all night in your room just to make sure you follow orders?”

“Only if you want to, you need your rest too.”

She led me down the corridor, opening the door to my room. She pulled back the covers and sat us both on the bed.

“Don’t you worry about me, I’m just fine.”

I took one look at her as more tears welled in her eyes, and I wrapped my arms around her. “You don’t have to do that. It’s okay to cry.”

She buried her face in the crook of my neck. “I’m sorry. I just can’t stop thinking about how close I came to losing you.”

I held her tighter. “You’re not gonna lose me. I’m right here, and I’m not going anywhere.” I cupped her face and wiped her tears with my thumbs. “I may be a little worse for wear, but before you know, I’ll be back in action.”

She leaned in, pressing her forehead to mine. “Promise?”

“I promise. I’ll be back causing trouble before you know it.” I laid back in the bed, patting the space beside me. “Now, I don’t know about you, but I say we try and get some sleep, doctor’s orders.”

She laughed as she rounded the other side of the bed. Hesitating in reaching for the covers, she took one last look at me, and when I nodded, she slid in the bed beside me.

Alexandra turned over on her side, reaching for my hand as I laid on the side with my uninjured arm. “Sweet dreams, Zinnia.”

I pecked her forehead before I could stop myself. “I should be telling you that.”


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