Paul POV

Beep … Beep … Beep.

I sat in the waiting room of the hospital that was conveniently just down the hall from Lily's room. Close enough that I was able to lock in on her heartbeat that was confirmed with the beeping of the monitor. Close enough to hear the low murmurs that Lily's parents, Ann and Christian, were speaking in. Close enough to hear Alex's shuddering breaths from where she sat beside me, stoically trying not to cry. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back against the wall as I brought up my hand to rest on Alex's shoulder.

"She's going to fine," I state with confidence because I had no other choice. It had been my mantra for the last few hours as Lily had been rolled into surgery immediately after being admitted to the hospital.

She was going to be fine. The leech didn't get her. The boys took care of the leech after I had torn his head from his body in a rage due to a fucking vampire being that close to my imprint, my heart.

I forced myself to think of nothing else but her well-being as soon as I had phased back. I don't think I had ever phased so quickly in my life. My heart had just about stopped as I reached into the truck and saw Lily bleeding from a large wound on her head and the bone poking through her arm. According to her dad, the doctors said the surgery to put it back in place went well. She just hadn't woken up due to her concussion and then major surgery requiring pins. And probably from almost being killed by a vampire. But yeah, she's going to be fucking fine.

She will wake up. She has too. If she doesn't … No, not going there. She will wake up. Eventually. And if I don't have a heart attack in the interim it will be the second miracle of the day.

The not waking up is perfectly normal according to the doctor, who kept reiterating that she would simply wake up when she was ready. Ann had tearfully laughed saying that she expected nothing less from her daughter.

"You're goddamn right she's going to be fine," Alex stated vehemently. The first words she had spoken in hours since she had run in to the waiting room with Embry at her heels asking for the latest information. I could see the turmoil swirling in her eyes, something almost like guilt if I didn't know any better. I don't think she even truly registered that Embry was sitting beside her, holding her hand. I think the shock of her best friend being in the hospital outweighed finding out the supernatural was real.

Brady nodded his head too, "Yep, she's going to be just fine." He had fought Jacob in order to come to the hospital; he said he had a bond with Lil after the shenanigans of her brother's soccer game. Both of her brothers had finally left the waiting room to go visit their grandparents who were on the floor below, exacting promises to call the minute something changed with their sister. Brady's solemn promise to do so was the only thing that had them going downstairs.

I shifted in the uncomfortable chair for the hundredth time, and opened my mouth to respond, but before I could say anything I heard Lily's heartbeat pick up speed.

I registered Ann telling Christian to get a nurse or a doctor before soothing Lily.

"Wha?" I could Lily mumble. I don't think I've ever felt so relieved to hear a jumbled word in my entire life.

"She's awake and she's going to be fine," I breathed out, processing what the doctor was saying. Brady already had his phone out and was texting the news to Jamie, Nick, and their other sister Alyssa.

Alex looked at me questioningly, "How do you know that?"

I cast an apologetic look in Embry's direction before quietly answering Alex, "I can hear her, along with everyone in that room. The doctor is checking her over, but says everything went well with the surgery. The only thing they are really concerned about is infection where her bone came through her arm. If all goes well, she should be out of here in the next few days."

"Ok, I will be having a massive freak out over that later, but good. This is good." Alex nodded her head and finally clued into the fact that she was clutching Embry's hand like it was the only thing keeping her anchored to Earth. With the tension dissipating, Embry looked more amused than hurt when she dropped his hand like she was being burned.

About twenty minutes after Lily woke up and was checked out by the doctors; Christian came down the hall and repeated everything I had already shared.

He looked tired, "She's asking for you and Alex," He said with a smile, clapping me on the back, "Annie said she would tear herself away, and you can both go in for a few minutes. Heads up that it looks like Lily will be in here for a few days because the doctors want to make sure there isn't any infection at the wound site before sending her home. I'm going down to update my parents and get the boys. They'll both want to see her before they get taken home for the night."

"Sure thing Mr. Hawkins," I answered, cringing a bit over the look on his face over the formality. What else can you call your imprints father other than Mr. in the face of said imprint almost dying due to supernatural events? "Right, Christian," I corrected before he could say a word.

Alex was staring at me impatiently, "Let's go Prade! Lots of apologizing and life affirming shit needs to happen here. Fuck, my bad Christian." Christian looked more amused than anything over Alex's swearing. She refused to wait any longer so she took my hand and began to pull me down the hall until my brain caught up with what was happening.

We made our way into Lily's room, Alex and I paused, taking in Lily lying on the bed. She looked smaller and paler than I had ever seen her, lying there in that hospital bed. She appeared exhausted, deep purple smudges beneath her eyes, and the pale blue striped gown was not helping by washing her out. There was a thick amount of bandages wrapped around her left forearm, and she had various needles and tubes monitoring various body processes.

Alex let out a faint cry, part relief and just the inability to no longer hold her emotions in any longer. Lily turned towards us with a faint smile as we stood in the doorway.

"I'm assuming that's you guys right? My vision is still a little fuzzy and they took my contacts out. I'm under strict instructions not to strain my brain. Which glasses will apparently do. So yeah, I'm practically as blind as a bat here." She let out a cracking yawn at the end of her rambling sentence.

Alex rushed toward the bed, seemingly just stopping herself from throwing herself down on Lily. "I'm so sorry Lily. The awful things I said to you this morning. I was just feeling left out with you in a relationship for the first time in years. I was upset because mine was ending, and here you were moving into a new town finding an awesome guy like it was nothing. I am so sorry; I would never forgive myself if those were the last words I had ever said to you." She promptly burst into the tears that had been brewing for the last few hours.

"No, no I'm sorry! I wasn't being a good friend. I love you and I should have been there for you. I know how I get when I'm not around my friends daily. I should have made more of an effort." Lily burst out, now crying as well.

Alex just sat there on the edge of the bed crying, both of them clutching at the others hand like it was the only way they could get past this. It didn't look like they would be stopping any time soon, so I forced my legs to work and bring me out of the doorway. I didn't want to get kicked out before I said even one word to her.

I walked toward the opposite side of the bed on unsteady legs, running my fingers down her cheek, "Hey Lil, you gave us a scare there."

She leaned into my touch, her tired green eyes were glazed with tears and remnants of anesthesia, "I'm so sorry Paul …"

"No, there is nothing to apologize over," Not that we wouldn't be having a discussion on why it is dangerous to drive off angrily with vampires on the loose, but that was best tabled for another time. "I'm the one who is sorry; I should have protected you better. That leech was inches from you …" I trailed off, hands shaking more out fear than the possibility of phasing.

"No babe, I …" She was unable to finish that sentence, letting go another cracking yawn.

"Shh. It's fine. We will talk more in the morning, you just worry about resting." I let my fingers trail from her temple down to her finger tips, leaning over to kiss her gently on the lips.

Her eyes fluttered shut as she whispered, "Bye Lex. Bye Paul. Love you both."

"Wait, what?" I eloquently spit out, but it was too late because she had already fallen asleep.

Of course she would tell me she loved me for the first time under the influence of painkillers. Everything I've ever hoped and dreamed for. At the same time, she loves me? Fuck yes.

Alex had a bemused look on her face as she wiped away mascara smudges from beneath her eyes, "Come on lover boy, your sleeping beauty needs rest."

She planted her hand between my shoulder blades and pushed me through the door when my stupefied brain finally caught up with my body. We passed her brothers in the hall, and I could barely process the quiet sounds of their arguing with Ann over seeing Lily. They just wanted to see her with their own two eyes, and they would be happy. Come on mom, please let us just see her.

Brady and Embry had the biggest shit-eating grins on their faces as Alex and I made our way back into the waiting room. She paused a few steps behind me to speak to Ann, the boys finally allowed to peak their heads into Lily's room.

"So Lily is doing as well as expected, she just fell asleep," I relayed the information while still trying to process the emotions running through me.

"Wait, what?" Embry asked. His shoulders were shaking as he and Brady busted up over the joke at my expense. Those fools were holding each other up, they were laughing so hard.

I punched him in the arm as hard as I could, choosing to ignore the evil look that the nurse over at the intake desk shot me. "Shut the fuck up Emb."

"I'm terrified Paul, shaking in my boots here." Embry retorted sarcastically.

I raised my hand to punch him again, but Alex jumped in before I could do anything.

"Okay, okay children, break it up. Ann said that Lily isn't allowed to have any more visitors tonight, so we should all be heading home. Ann and Christian will be staying here tonight, and will head home in the morning when she expects that one or more of us will be back so they can go change. Paul, if you could give me a ride back to the Hawkins' house with Jamie and Nick that would be amazing. I'm sure Embry has better things to do, and I caught a ride over here with him." Alex chose not to interpret the look that Embry shot her way as she tried to brush him off, busying herself with making sure Lily's brothers were ready to go.

I shared a look of my own with Embry and Brady over Alex's head before giving a response, getting nods in the affirmative that Lily would in fact not be left alone and that they would watch her until I could get back.

"No problem Alex, let's get the boys and head out." With that, I herded Jamie, Nick, and Alex out to my truck, noting the looks Alex kept shooting at Embry when she thought he wasn't looking. Embry's aura of satisfaction of having the attention of his imprint said that he hadn't missed a thing.

After getting everyone home and settled, Alex sent me on my way assuring me that she had everything under control. With a final wave I got into my truck, and quickly drove it back to my own house.

I phased and ran back to do a quick patrol around the Hawkins house. I was able to check in with Jake and Leah who were patrolling tonight. It was my great luck that the pair of them were on the roster tonight, as they both wasted no time mocking me.

"Wait, what?" Leah's laugh echoing in my head. You've been waiting for years for someone to fall for your dumbass and tell you that they love you and that was the best response you could come up with?

Leah was all laughs at my expense. Not that I expected anything less from her. I could feel Jake's quiet amusement through the Pack mind. He was a true friend and alpha because he at least kept his thoughts to himself.

Thanks best friend, you're such a comfort to me.

Leah gave me the mental equivalent of a shrug. You love it.

Alright, alright. It's not Paul's fault he is an emotionally stunted, newly imprinted wolf Leah. Jake's amusement was also clear. Bastards. So much for true friend and alpha.

Fuck you guys. With that I was getting ready to phase out, but Jake caught me before I could.

So the leech was taken care of. I checked in with Carlisle on the off chance that they knew anything beyond the leech roaming around the last few weeks. Apparently it was solitary with no friends or family. Alice doesn't anticipate anyone else, but we all know how that goes. Patrols are still tight, with imprints being protected. You know you'll have to talk to your girl about not fucking around and leaving the rez without one of us in the future if we are on leech alert. The command was light, but still there.

Will do, Jake. I replied.

He wasn't finished with the command giving however. I want you to go home and grab at least a few hours of sleep before heading back to the hospital. Emb and Brady are still there watching over her, and I need you sharp. I don't want to hear anything about it, got it?

I felt annoyed that I was being commanded away from my imprint, and I couldn't even say anything in response.

Jake was all jokes until the safety of one of his own was threatened. To think that they had come that close to losing one was unacceptable. Unwilling to listen to Jake's thoughts about losing imprints at the risk of becoming angry again, I said my goodbyes, phasing out and walked up the steps to my house.

"She loves me. Fuck. She loves me."

With a shake of my head, I went in to grab a few hours of sleep before heading back to the hospital.


I suck. Started this one right after the last chapter went up. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, Excuses, excuses. I will finish this story if it's the last thing I fucking do.