"The Collosus: n. A Brittish roller coast holding the record for the number of inversions, or times it turns the rider upside down."

They had been out there for eight goddamned hours, and everyone was getting really damned tired of this particular HT. He was a paranoid, narcissistic creep, endlessly shoveling them his self-serving prattle. Emily was continuing to talk calmly, and appeal to his ego with the patience of a saint, but even she too was ready to strangle the idiot. For once in her career, Cheryl was itching to tell Emily to forget it, and let Frank and Duff have a go at the HT, and enjoy it.

"Man, if this guy doesn't shut his mouth soon, I'm going to put a bullet up his ass," Matt groaned.

"I'll see what I can do, and thank you for this Edward," Emily told him sweetly, hanging up the phone, and rolling her eyes. "He's sending out another hostage. That means only two left."

"Good, you're doing good Emily. Do you need a break?" Cheryl asked the tired negotiator, as she turned a Poland Spring bottle on it's end, and drained what was left.

She caped the bottled and shook her head. "No, I'm okay. I'm going to go out there, and watch for the hostage."

Cheryl nodded and watched both her negotiators walk out of the command center, identical FBI initials emblazoned in bright yellow on the dark blue of their windbreakers. Those jackets really weren't flattering to anybody, but still, they were responsible for keeping them all labeled and warm on chilly nights like this.

"You okay?" Matt asked his partner and steady girlfriend, or rather, if he was honest, love of his life.

"Yeah, this guy is just pissing me off." The guy was a guard at a juvenile detention center, a low security center, who'd climbed onto the fifth floor of the building, and opened fire on the courtyard full of kids. He spent last eight hours trying to justify his actions to Emily, saying that the kids were already monsters and he was doing society a favor. Truth was, these were the kids who only commit petty crimes, who could still be helped. But, instead he killed ten of them, and injured another twenty. One more shot from that gun, which he was still hanging onto, and HRT was storming him, and asking questions later.

"I know, he's a loser-asshole, child killer, don't let him rile you up." He resisted the urge to rub her arms, to offer her some comfort; it wouldn't be appropriate in the field.

"I know, I know, I just…after eight hours I've had just about enough of him."

Matt was about to answer when they heard a rifle crack once, twice, three, four, five times, before three HRT rifles returned fire. Three of the bullets landed before they heard the first one, and they only hit the ground in time to avoid the last one. He covered Emily with his body, shielding her even though it was too late. Four bullets went into her windbreaker, and he was on the verge of panicking, because he couldn't remember if she was wearing a vest. He hoped to god she was.

"Matt! Matt!" The shooting stopped and Cheryl was charging toward them with some of HRT, having seen where those bullets landed.

He scrambled off Emily, and turned her over, noting her closed eyes. His shaking fingers struggled to work at the zipper of the windbreaker.

"Was she wearing a vest?" Cheryl couldn't remember either, but didn't see any blood and considered that a good sign.

"Oh, thank god yes," Matt released a breath after getting the zipper down, and seeing the black vest with FBI lettering printed on the fabric.

Emily began to stir, blinking her eyes; clearly, she just got the wind knocked out of her.

"What—ohh, oww…" She moaned sitting up, arms around her ribs. "What happened, he started shooting?"

"Yeah, aimed only for you too."

"Nice, ohhh, someone please make my day and tell me that Frank put a bullet in him." Vests may keep you alive, but they can't protect your ribs, and Emily was feeling what had to be several broken ribs.

"Yeah, he has at least a few holes in him." Cheryl smirked, it wasn't often that Emily had such loathing for an HT. In fact, the negotiator tried everything and anything to keep the HT alive, no matter how big an asshole they were. It just showed what a mega-prick this guy was. "Somebody send the medics over here!"

"I'm fine," Emily lied, as she grimaced in agony. Those medics better have some really good drugs for her.

"Sure you are, Lehman, because you're superwoman, you can survive four bullets without an ounce of pain," Frank teased by way of greeting.

"Fine, it's extremely painful, and I really, really want something to take that away." She leaned heavily against Matt, who was still looking very pale, sweaty, and freaked out after that scare.

"Matt, you alright?" Cheryl asked, studying him worriedly.

"Yeah, fine, I just, I don't think I've ever been that scared in my life." Apparently, he was still in shock, or he wouldn't have admitted that in front of anyone except Emily. As it was, the three of them, and HRT nearby stared at him wide-eyed.

"Hey said what?!" Lia practically shrieked into her ear piece, talking to Duff while he watched the paramedics load up Emily for a hospital trip.

"Yep, right in front of Frank and Cheryl, and some HRT. I think Cheryl's about to have a stroke, I don't think she expected this when they started dating. It hasn't even been that long." He watched their boss pace back and forth anxiously, watching the ambulance drive away. Matt sat somewhat dejectedly nearby, likely trying to scramble for some way to fix what he'd blurted out.

"What did Emily say?"

"According to Frank nothing, she looked as surprised as the rest of them. When the paramedics were getting her on the gurney, she said she'd see him at the hospital after he finished up at the scene." Duff knew the quickest way to his girl's heart was a little gossip, especially if it involved Matt and Emily. Lia always kept her ears open for her friend, warning her when unseemly gossip might be circulating, such as the jackhammer comment, which was evidently horribly skewed.

"Well, then she can't be mad at him. Oh gosh, why am I never there for the good stuff?"

"Because they keep you locked away at that computer…jesus, poor Matt still looks freaked out."

"Awe, that's so sweet, how worried he was! Why you go over there and give him a hug?"

"Lia, guys don't do the hugs thing with each other, that's solely a lady thing." If he said chick or girl, Lia might get a burst of feminine indignity and hang up on him.

"So, do whatever it is guys do to comfort each other," she insisted impatiently.

"Uh, I don't think Cheryl would take kindly to me running off to get some beers."

"That's it? That's all guys do to comfort each other?" Lia was getting a little annoyed now, but then again what did she expect, these guys were even more macho than the average guy.

"Fine, fine. I'll go over and talk to him, poor bastard still looks white as a sheet." It was true, even from where he was several yards away, Duff could see Matt was still very pale.

"Good, I'll see you at the hospital then?" They'd all meet over to check on Emily after they were done closing out the scene.

"Of course, babe. See you soon." Duff hung up and walked over to Matt.

"Matt, man you okay, you're whiter than milk right now." Matt held a stack of paperwork in his hand, but was staring off into space.

"Duff, if she hadn't been wearing that vest, it would have been coroners not EMTs taking her away."

"But, she was, and she's fine. Don't freak yourself out thinking like that. Emily's fine, she was smart, put a vest on, just be glad that she's alright." Matt nodded.

"Yeah, I guess you're right, but I just can't seem to get past that. For that tiny window of time, those few seconds before I knew…it seemed like it was an hour."

"I get it, if Lia took four bullets, vest or no, I'd be strategically placing bullets in that dickwad now. But, Lia is fine, Emily's fine, and the sooner we finish up hear, the sooner we can get your sorry ass to the hospital to see her." He clasped Matt on the shoulder, and gave a little squeeze. Lia would be proud.

"Thanks." Matt nodded, and was finally able to move and finish up at the scene.

"Lehman, Emily. FBI Agent brought her in an hour ago, she was shot, but wearing her vest." Matt rattled off nervously at the nurses station.

"And you are?"

"Her boyfriend?" If he just said her partner, they might turn him down.

"Are you asking me, or are you telling me? Cause, I damn sure can't answer that." The nurse looked unimpressed, and Matt offered a nervous laugh.

"Uh, telling you. Matt Flannery, also FBI. Where can I find her?" He pushed his nerves down. The nurse clicked a set of keys on her board, squinted at something, looking displeased, and then sympathy washing over her face. Matt immediately tensed.

"Mr. Flannery, I'm so sorry. It looks like she coded shortly after they brought her in. If you'd like to view the body, you can take the elevator down to B2, the morgue." Then Matt just heard silence pounding in his ears.

"No. No. No, that isn't possible. She was wearing a vest! At the most, she should have broken ribs! She was fine when the ambulance took her!" Matt wasn't quite yelling, but speaking loudly and frantically as Cheryl arrived.

"Matt, what's going on?" She took hold of his arms, which he'd been flailing.

"They said she coded after she came in. They say she's in the morgue, Cheryl." The desperation in his voice was actually worse than the previous yelling.

"That isn't possible, are you sure you have the right person, Emily Lehman, FBI?" Cheryl wasn't going to believe it yet, she couldn't. Obediently, the nurse typed away on her keyboard, and checked again as Lia arrived.

"Lehman, Emily Margaret, born August 5th 1974?"

"Yes," Matt answered.

"Address: 273 Bovier Drive, Apt 5F, Los Angeles, California, 90121?" The nurse continued patiently.

"Yes, that's her."

"Brought in at 9:23 p.m. From the Los Angeles Correctional School for Boys? FBI negotiator, shot four times through a Kevlar vest?"

"Yes, that's all correct," Matt answered again, as Frank and Duff arrived.

"Then I'm very sorry to tell all of you. She coded at 9:29, unable to be revived. Take the elevator down to B2, the morgue attendants will help you." Lia, Duff, and Frank stared at Matt and Cheryl wide-eyed, unable to understand what they just heard. Matt's legs felt like jello, but he managed to walk to the elevator, and hit the button for B2, the morgue.

His four friends followed, though he paid little attention, he couldn't seem to hear anything besides his own pounding heart, and struggled breathing. This just wasn't possible, it couldn't be. She was wearing a vest, how could she have died while wearing a vest? The bullet never penetrated.

"Matt Flannery, FBI, I need to see Emily Lehman, I was told she was down here." His voice cracked as he spoke, and he was surprised he actually managed to get it all out.

"Let's see, that's spelled L-E-H-M-A-N, right?" A pale, scrub-clad assistant asked.


"Okay, 174, right this way please. She hasn't been autopsied yet, so we can't release her body. We just kind of store them until the county morgue can come and claim them." He led them to 174, and tugged on the handle, pulling the drawer out to reveal a black bag. He gingerly took the zipper, glanced at the faces to make sure no one was going to change their mind, and tugged it down. He pulled the bag open to reveal a young woman with long, wavy blonde hair.

"What the hell? That's not Emily," Matt sputtered at the attendant.

"Well, that's who I have her as. Are you sure?" It was dumb question.

"Yes, I am. I know what my girlfriend looks like, and that's not her."

"Shit, um let me call upstairs a minute."

"Shondra, it Alex, we have a problem," the attendant began a lengthy conversation with the nurse upstairs.

"No, they say this isn't her. I suggest you do that, yeah. Course, I'll send them up. Good luck." Five people stared at him at that. Good luck? What the hell?

"Uh, do you have a picture?" Matt turned to Cheryl.

"You didn't grab her ID, did you?" Matt wasn't sure if Emily's things accompanied her to the hospital.

"No, I think she still had it on her." Matt nodded, and pulled out his own ID, yanking a picture out from behind the plastic ID card, earning raised eyebrows from his friends.

"I want that back," he told the morgue assistant.

"Of course, I'm just going to borrow it. I'm going to check out all the female bodies down there, and they are going to search for her upstairs. If you can please, find your way back up, Shondra at the front desk will take care of you." He gestured them back the way they came.

In the elevator up, Matt was livid. "They lost her. These clowns lost her."

"Easy Matt, you yell at them, and they'll go that much slower," Cheryl warned him. She really wanted to shut the whole place down, how the hell could they lose her?

"Attention all hospital personnel and patients, we are looking for an Emily Lehman. Emily Lehman, please contact the nearest nurse or doctor. Emily Lehman. Thank you."

"Oh, that's a comfort," Matt growled as they stepped off the elevator just in time to hear the message.

"Hi there Shondra, we're back," Matt announced to the flustered desk attendant.

"I'm so sorry for this. Just give me ten minutes, and I'll get you some answers." She looked as troubled as they were, so they stood off to the side, offering no commentary on the hospitals incompetence.

"Party for Emily Lehman, good news!" She called to them.

"You found her?" Matt demanded, palms sweating scared she tell them to go back to the morgue.

"Yes, she's on the 5th floor, room 549B. Same elevator you took to get down. Here's your passes." She handed them the sticker printouts with the room number on them. They rushed back to the elevator, no one showing any sign of relief yet.

To say the least, Emily had been surprised to hear her name called on the hospital loudspeaker. Shouldn't they have her location plugged into a computer? Still, the painkillers were keeping her from worrying too much. Apparently she'd broken about nine ribs among the four bullets, not bad considering she'd be dead now without that vest. She told them to keep the morphine dose low enough to keep her lucid, it hurt like hell, but she wanted to talk to Matt. And, she didn't want to be loopy for any other visitors, not if she didn't have to be.

She shifted slightly in the bed, grimacing when pain shot through her chest. Not only did this mean heavy painkillers for a while, it also meant no sex or cuddling with Matt, She hadn't done without either of those for a long time, and didn't really want to now, especially the sex. But, god if she couldn't move a few inches without pain ripping through her body, how could she hope to make it through a vigorous session of sex? Of course, thinking of Matt made her think of what he'd said earlier. That was a strong statement, even considering all they've said to each other.

Never been that scared in my life. What exactly did that mean? He loved her, didn't want to lose her, that much was obvious. He'd told her when the Bonnie half of their wannabe Bonnie and Clyde duo held her hostage in that bathroom, that he couldn't think straight knowing she was in danger. He meant to tell her he loved her in Mexico, even Emily wasn't in denial about that. Since then, he told her he'd loved her more than once, and she'd told him she loved him. Wow, when did they cross that line, that border? When did she become so comfortable in France?

Her roommate offered no conversation to silence her thoughts, but stared at the TV, choosing to watch the soap network of all the awful TV imaginable. Emily guessed it was General Hospital, because well, there were doctors, and she didn't know of any other soaps with doctors. Millie Palmer was not quite fifty, had to be close to four hundred pounds, and was a few days away from leaving after her first bypass surgery. Apparently, that's why she wasn't in the cardiac wing. That was the extent of their conversation after the doctors dropped her off there, after bandaging her ribs in the ER.

Emily turned toward the door as she heard it open, and smiled at the sight of all her friends. Thank god, she was getting so bored already. But, something seemed off with them, they all seemed very unhappy, the shrink in her said a little shell shocked too.

"Hey, who died?" She playfully greeted. They all seemed to release a breath at the same time, worrying Emily further. "Oh, don't tell me someone actually died?"

"You, for about twenty minutes," Cheryl told her, as Matt walked up to the side of the bed.

"I don't get it." Her? She was here, how could she have died?

"There was a mix up, they told us you died and were in the morgue." Matt looked just as freaked-out as he had at the scene.

"Oh god. Is that why they called me over the loudspeaker?" Now it made sense. She'd just woken up from the painkiller induced sleep she'd fallen into, and hearing her name confused the hell out of her.

"Yeah, the hospital lost you." She could hear the hostility coming from Matt's voice. She stared at them open-mouthed, unable to think of anything to say to that. She didn't have to, Matt leaned and kissed her so softly, his hand on the side of her face.

They stayed like that for several minutes, Emily waiting for Matt to be ready to let go. Normally, with their friends in the room, she wouldn't have waited, but right then, he looked like he needed it.

"Excuse me folks, I'm Emily's doctor. You're all friends?" The doctor addressed the group by the foot of the bed, who nodded absently, more interesting in the uniformed cops behind him.

"And, I take it that he's the boyfriend?"

"Yes. SAC Carrera, Emily one of my negotiators, and everyone else here are her coworkers and friends." Cheryl introduced herself, frowning at the cops.

"Great, nice to meet you. Officers, please escort him out to wait for the SVU detectives." The doctor nodded toward Matt, angry frown on her face.

"Sorry wait, why? What's going on?" Cheryl's head whipped back and forth, her three companions tensing beside her, but allowing her to do the talking.

"What? Get off me!" Matt hissed at the cops.

"Sir, the officers have orders to take you into custody until two SVU detectives arrive to question you."

"Why? Question me about what?" Matt shook the cops off again, growing more distressed by the minute.

"These." She yanked a stack of Polaroids from her file, and tossed them onto the bed, so everyone could see.

There were about five photos of a woman's body. It could have been anyone, except for the red curls that showed in a couple of the shots. There were shots of her upper arms, dark finger bruises imprinted on them. Pictures of her ribs with some nasty purple contusions. The last shot was of her legs, smaller bruises on her thighs and calves. Her clothes, for once, had covered everything, so no one knew about them.

"What the hell? Em, who did this to you?" If possible, Matt was even more upset.

Everyone was looking at her now, and Emily was still half in her drug haze. That's what this was all about, the bruises? She shook her head at the horrified looks on her friends' faces.

"It's not what you think." She sighed, this was why she'd actually been grateful not to have time alone with Matt the last couple days.

"Detectives Fraser and Cummings, SVU. We have the right room, Emily Lehman?" Two tired-looking men walked into the room, badges already in their hands, out for the room to see.

"Yes detectives, I'm Dr. Avery. Emily is my patient, I requested you." She moved forward and shook hands.

"And, who is everyone else?" Cummings looked around wearily.

"SAC Carrera, FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit. Emily is one of my agents, the man beside her is Matt Flannery, another one of my agents, these gentlemen are Frank Rogers and Duff Gonzalez, with Hostage Rescue, and Lia Mathers, Intelligence Analyst." Cheryl introduced them all, since half of them were still looking in horror at the photos.

"Christ, you didn't tell us half the Bureau would be here." Fraser looked at the doctor.

"I didn't think it mattered, a battered woman is a battered woman." The doctor was not pleased.

"Whoa!" Emily held up her hands. "I'm not being abused."

Dr. Avery clearly didn't believe her, and picked up the photos to show the detectives. Their faces hardened as they flipped through them.

"Okay, Agent Flannery, we're going to need to ask you a few questions." Fraser moved forward, and went to grab Matt's arm. His eyes were wide, with anger, confusion, shock, worry, and whatever else he could fit in.

His four coworkers began talking, defending him all at once, the doctor argued against them, and the detectives tried to referee.

"Wait damn it!" Emily finally got angry, and all attention flew back to her.

They watched her close her eyes, and wince as she relaxed back against the bed. Sudden movements were not good with broken ribs, really, shifting at all hurt like hell with broken ribs.

"If you'll let me explain, I can clear this up." The detectives exchanged looks, and then turned back to her.

"Please," Cummings offered.

"I have a friend from college with an autistic son, he's sixteen now, and growing to be a big man. I was watching him for her two days ago. Her husband's out of town, and Jason, her son, is severely autistic, so he needs routine. When his routine is altered, he becomes very upset, he can get physical, violent even. She was late getting home, he started banging his head against the wall, and when I tried to stop him he got even more upset. It tried to keep him calm, and got a little banged up in the process. Matt didn't even know about the bruises until five minutes ago. He didn't hurt me." All of this because the doctor found some bruises?

"Your friend have a name?" Cummings looked doubtful.

"Jen Carver, her husband is James Carver, they live in the suburbs."

"If the kid has issues, why ask you to help?"

"Because I'm her friend, and I'm trained in psychology, and I'm an FBI agent. I understand what Jason needs, and I can handle him if he gets upset."

"This is your idea of handling it?" Fraser held out the photos.

"It could have been worse. I'm fine." Emily was losing her patience, and growing tired.

"Alright, we're going to talk to this Jen Carver, but if this story doesn't check out, we'll be knocking on your door, and he'll get a set of silver bracelets." He nodded his head toward Matt.

"I didn't hurt Emily. I'd never hurt her." Matt swore, hostility tensing his body. Nothing short of a lobotomy could make him hurt Emily; he loved her too much to cause her any pain.

"Right. Good Afternoon." Cummings bid goodbye for both of them, and they left as quickly as they'd come.

"Can I get out of here now?" Emily looked at the doctor with pleading eyes.

"I'd prefer to keep you overnight for monitoring, but it's reasonably safe for you to go home." Dr. Avery didn't offer any apology for the havoc she caused, truth be told, she didn't believe there was an autistic child. She'd seen too many women lie about too many abusive men.

"Then I'll be leaving." The doctor nodded and left to draw up the papers.

"Jen's son really did all that damage?" Matt turned from the doctor back to his girlfriend.

"Yeah, but it's really not that bad. It hurt at first, but it's all healing pretty quick." She felt ridiculous for causing such of fuss, and she was even more pissed at that HT. If the bastard hadn't shot her, no one would have seen the bruises and freaked out. Well, eventually Matt would have, but in the privacy of their own homes.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I knew you get upset, like you are."

"When it looks like someone's been throwing you around? Yeah, that upsets me." He didn't like what he saw, he didn't like that she was hurt.

"I'm fine Matt, and I'll be even better when I get the hell out of this hospital."

"Amen," Frank huffed. They all but forgotten their friends at the end of the bed, blank faces saying they were still clearly processing everything.

"Oh yeah, I'm telling all our ESU personnel that we aren't using this hospital anymore, not unless somebody is coding in the back of the bus." Cheryl agreed. It had not been a pleasant experience at the hospital.

"Alright, Agent Lehman, if you'll just sign here, you can go. It's best if you stay with someone for a few days, someone who can help you out." Dr. Avery handed Emily a clipboard and a pen, so she could sign her discharge papers.

"Great, does someone have my clothes?" A nurse that had followed the doctor in pulled open the door to the wooden cabinet in the corner, and pulled out Emily's folded clothing. Had she come in bleeding internally, the clothes would be in shreds. They didn't extend such treatment just for broken bones.

Fifteen minutes later too exhausted negotiators were driving home in Matt's FBI issue SUV. It had been one of those days that starts and just never seems to end. More so, Matt's nerves were shot all to hell. He'd seen Emily shot, was told she was dead, and then was accused of abusing her. He couldn't take much more. All he wanted right then was to snuggle down in bed, with his arms around her, and sleep away the horrors of the day.

Emily was sore, cranky from the experience, and just not up for anymore shit. Four bullets pounding her chest through her vest was unnerving enough, but finding out the hospital screwed up and told everyone she was dead, then couldn't find her? That made her seriously squirm. And, the Matt abusing her thing? She couldn't think of anything more ridiculous.

Hell, Matt was more frightened by the shooting than she was.

The man in question was yawning tiredly as he gently pressed the gas, but nothing happened. As in the car didn't go faster, in fact it seemed to go slower. He hit the gas harder, and it still did nothing. He began slamming it into the floor, and still the car didn't speed up. He was going forty no more, no less.

He switched to the brake, ready to turn the wheel and pull over. The car didn't slow down either. It kept a steady forty. He pressed the break to the floor, and still the car kept at forty. Then he saw the stoplight fast approaching in front of them, and the line of cars waiting behind it.

"Oh, shit."

"What? What's wrong?" Emily had sensed a problem, and had been watching him, but couldn't tell what was going on.

"The gas and brake aren't working," he grimaced, his pulse racing.

"What do you mean, they aren't working?" Emily's eyes widened.

"I can't get the car to go faster, slower, nothing, and there's a stoplight about 30 yards in front of us. Shit, shit." Matt continued pressing the brake, hoping like hell it would work.

If they rear-ended the Ford Explorer in front of them at forty miles per hour, they'd probably be killed, and maybe the people in the Explorer too. Emily was gripping the armrest with one hand, the seat with the other, and looking stricken.

As a last hope, Matt slammed the brake down to the floor, and held it down as hard as he could. It worked, the car finally began to slow down, and Matt veered to the right, pulling off the road. They stopped twenty feet behind the Explorer.

Both negotiators were breathing heavily and wide-eyed from the episode. Emily was grimacing, the shifting making her ribs sore.

"Are you okay?" Matt turned to Emily.

"Yeah, I'm good. You?" She leaned her head back, closing her eyes, and breathing.

"I'm fine. I'll call the Bureau, get them to tow their piece of shit. You want to call a cab for a ride home?" Emily nodded again, so Matt opened his phone ready to give the FBI garage an earful.

They finally pulled up to Matt's apartment building in a yellow cab an hour later. It took a while for the tow truck to arrive, so they were stuck waiting. This wasn't such a bad thing, because it gave Matt time to get Emily's prescription filled at the drug store-pharmacy chain they broke down by. She'd been in a lot of pain, the doctor's drugs having worn off, so Matt had instructed her to stay in the car while he got her medication. After a short negotiation with the clerk about who he was and why he was picking it up, Matt was able to bring her a little relief.

Emily was already falling asleep when the tow truck finally made it, so when the cab came, Matt had to have shuffle her inside. She'd slept with her head on his shoulder the whole ride home, which he didn't mind in the least. The SUV was on it's way back to the FBI's mechanics, Emily was heavily doped-up, so she felt nothing, and they were finally home.

Matt handed the cab driver money for fair and a small tip, and gently eased Emily off his shoulder. She stirred and looked around sleepily, and mostly out of it. He hushed her back to sleep, and closer his door, moving around to her side. She stirred again when he opened her door, and wrapped one arm around her shoulders, and set his other under her knees. Matt eased her out of the car, and walked carrying her to his building entrance.

A neighbor helped with the door, the elevator saved him from the stairs, and struggled unlocking his door, but eventually got it. Emily was so heavily drugged on painkillers, she remained half-asleep and dazed through it all. He laid her on the bed, took off her boots and jeans, and pulled the covers over her body. Then he just sat by the window, and let the days events wash over him.

It was just way too damn much.

People always tell you love is great. Love gives you wings, lets you fly. Love makes you feels like the best stimulant drug dealers could never get their hands on. Love tells you things you never knew about yourself, and shows you what you never imagined you could do. Oh yeah, the world sells love as the best feeling one could ever experience, but they never mention the other part to that.

They never tell you that it can eat your heart out. No one warned him that falling for someone means that when you think you've lost them, it feels like someone put your heart in a vice grip. Why doesn't anyone ever mention that seeing her in pain would make it a little hard to breathe? People fail to remind you that like every drug, the lows of love are as strong as the highs.

Well, today was a friggin roller coaster of both.

Matt shook his head; he was too damn tired to think about it anymore. Everyone but the HT survived the negotiation, Emily was alive and not being abused by anyone, and they managed to avoid a fatal car accident.

He stretched and kicked off his shoes, and stripping down to a t-shirt and boxers, he slipped under the covers, wrapping himself around his girlfriend. Even in her sleep, Emily shimmied back to meet him. Matt sighed, closed his eyes, and drifted off to a much needed sleep.

Okay, so started this in September, and decided it was either finish it or delete it. The almost car accident was based on a real event that happened to me, except I was in a little sedan I when I almost rear-ended an SUV going forty. So, hope you enjoyed, thanks very much for reading, and reviews are always appreciated!