Disclaimer: I don't own The Covenant.

A/N: So I really hope everyone has seen Toby in the new Taylor Swift video. Because I totally eye-raped that on Youtube over and over again. He looks freaking amazing.

Beat Your Heart Out

Chapter III

Reid emerged cautiously from the room Corrine was lodged in, making sure Aaron was still gone before he fully stepped through the door. Pogue stepped forward immediately, coming into close contact with the blonde. "Well?" he asked expectantly.

Reid just looked at Pogue morosely, then shrugged his shoulders. "It worked… but it didn't at the same time," he sighed. He couldn't push this horrible feeling of worry away. It was like something was caught in his throat, and it just wouldn't go down. And of course his heart seemed to be beating at least twice its normal speed. Reid just couldn't stop thinking the worst, and what would happen if it came down to that. Would he go to jail for the rest of his life? Probably. He might even get the death penalty! Sure, he wasn't eighteen yet, but you never know these days.

Pogue let out the breath he'd been holding, disappointed to hear those words come out of his brother's mouth. That cleansing spell had been their only hope. Now it was up to nature and science, neither of which Pogue had a whole lot of faith in. Psh, faith. That was another thing all in itself. A thing Pogue never really had a strong connection with.

"All right well… I'm gonna go in there for a minute. Be right out." Pogue wasn't sure what compelled him to go into that room, but he figured it was the guilt or something. He knew what Reid was going to do, hell, he even considered the worst outcome possible, and he'd still gone along with it. Reid never had goood ideas, never. There was always trouble connected to the Garwin offspring, but Pogue had completely ignored his instincts. And for what? Just so Reid could get some petty revenge by humiliating a girl he'd already harassed to the point where she'd used physical violence against him?

To put it simply, Pogue felt like a complete idiot.

The sight made his stomach churn. He was sure he'd be sick if he didn't have an unusually strong stomach. Tubes and wires seemed to be everywhere, connected to machine after machine after machine. His hazel eyes focused on his feet for a moment, the lump in his throat being swallowed before he could look up again.

The worst thing about all of this was that he knew exactly what she must feel like, assuming she could comprehend what was going on at all. It was only a short while back that he'd been in the same exact position. Upon going into the room, he hadn't planned on saying anything, just praying silently to a god he didn't even believe in, hoping he could salvage some kind of forgiveness from this. But the words just came out.

"I know we never really talk or anything…" He huffed, smoothing a hand through his hair. This was difficult, Pogue being a man of few words, but he felt it needed to be done; something needed to be said. "We never meant for this to happen, you know. I don't know what I was thinking. I could've stopped this, and I didn't. And I'm really sorry."

Corrine was someone he didn't know at all, despite having been in school with her almost his entire life. He'd seen Reid on her case countless times, which usually led to Aaron getting pissed off and a fight breaking out, some of which Pogue had participated in. But he'd never really talked to her, just a few words here and there through the years. And now, for some unknown reason, it scared him to think he might never get the opportunity to.

"I know how it feels… being hooked up to all his shit…" He thought about what he could say next, but never got the chance because a moment later, Reid poked his head in.

"Let's go man. Aaron's coming back." Without another thought, Pogue booked it for the door. He wasn't scared or intimidated by Aaron at all, but he really had no desire to cause a scene in the middle of the hospital and even though Aaron had no idea Pogue was involved, he was sure the brunette would flip his lid regardless of which one of the Sons was in her room.

Besides, he knew how Aaron must feel. As far as Pogue knew, Corrine was pretty adamant about she and Aaron only being friends every time Reid brought that subject up in a verbal dispute. But there was no doubt in Pogue's mind that Corrine seemed to be the only person Aaron really stuck his neck out for, so no matter what their bond was, it was strong. Kind of the way he'd thought his and Kate's was.

It still felt fresh, thinking about her as he followed Reid to the elevators in the hospital. He just couldn't understand where he'd gone wrong with her. Pogue had really thought they were in love. And when he'd found out she was in trouble, he'd completely lost it; he'd never felt those kinds of strong emotions when it came to a girl before. And he'd almost died trying to get to her.

And she'd just up and left. In the worst possible way. Kate hadn't even had the decency to tell him she couldn't handle everything that was going on face to face. She hadn't given him the opportunity to explain the situation. Instead, she'd written him some cheap, half-assed letter and disappeared from Ipswich completely.

He didn't want to say he was heartbroken; no, he was much too proud and bitter to admit that. But he didn't understand and he doubted he ever would. Yes, the circumstances were very intense, but Sarah was still around. Why couldn't Kate be too?

"No offense dude, but I know what you're thinking about; I can tell by that sulky look on your face. Not really appropriate at the time." Reid was annoyed with Pogue's moping since Kate left. He'd become a complete drag.

But this only irritated Pogue. "Shut up Reid! You're ass is still in the fire, I hope you know that. And I'm still pissed at you," he growled, shoving Reid's shoulder forward.

Normally, Reid wouldn't let that slide. But Pogue's words were all too true, so instead of getting in to his brother's face, Reid pushed down his aggravation and instead just got into the driver's side of his truck, Pogue getting into the passenger's seat and the two of them drove back to campus in complete silence.

Aaron stayed there all night. Long after Kira had gone back to school, still sobbing as if she and Corrine had been two peas in a pod. He seated countless hours after they failed to contact Corrine's father. He stayed through at least three shift changes, that he noticed at least. Really, he wasn't even supposed to be there that long, but the middle aged nurse who took over the night shift seemed to take pity on him, and allowed him there as long as he didn't cause any trouble.

His brain wouldn't shut off. All he could do was worry. And curse Garwin to hell over and over again. He stayed put beside her bed, the once comfortable chair flattening under his weight and making his butt fall asleep. And when he finally drifted off, his sleep was restless. Even in his dreams he saw her in the hospital, doctors rushing around her and the machines beeping at a quick pace. The funeral was the dream that startled him out of his slumber at some mid-morning hour, Aaron forcing his eyes open just before the coffin disappeared into the hole.

Sweat dripped down his forehead as he gasped, trying to regain his composure once he looked around the room and realized it had been nothing but a horrible nightmare… sort of.

"Hey Aaron…"

It felt like his heart exploded, those simple, raspy words being quite possibly the most unbelievable, glorious sound he'd ever heard in his entire life. Immediately, he jumped out of his chair and knelt beside Corrine, who looked completely groggy, but was awake regardless.

Aaron Abbot could legitimately say he'd never been so happy in his entire life.

He'd never felt relief quite like this before. "Holy shit, you have no idea how glad I am to see you awake right now." Aaron's large hand enclosed itself around her thin fingers, his forehead pressing into the back of her hand, all the pent up fear just flowing out of his mind. He felt like he could finally breathe again.

Suddenly though, he jolted back, standing to his feet at lightening quick speed. "I have to go get the doctor!"

Corrine's honey colored eyes rolled and she laughed lightly. "They've already been in here. You were knocked out. I've been up for hours." Aaron couldn't help but smile hugely at the ever-present tone of sarcasm in her voice as she discretely teased him.

Pulling his chair up to her bedside, Aaron finally relaxed for the first time in what seemed like years and took a seat. "What did the doctor say?"

Corrine licked her dry lips and adjusted herself in the hospital bed, many former attachments to the machines beside her now gone, Aaron noticed. "Well, they took some blood. They said if everything looked good, I could go home tomorrow. I think I'm basically just here for observation now."

That was music to Aaron's ears. "Sorry I ruined your Halloween," Corrine said sincerely, feeling terrible that he'd stayed here the entire time with her instead of enjoying his night.

"It's not your fault," the curly haired brunette hissed, remembering what had put her here in the first place. "It was Garwin you know. He put peanuts in your sandwich. Kira told me that Jenny Saunders saw him fucking with your food at lunch when your back was turned."

To Aaron's annoyance, Corrine laughed. "You sound like a fucking gossip queen right now, I hope you know." It annoyed Aaron that she didn't seem angered by this at all.

"I'm serious Rin. You need to go to the Provost and get him expelled! Hell, you should call the fucking cops!" Again, Aaron's irritation flared at the sight of Corrine shaking her head. He didn't like how lightly she was taking this at all.

"Don't worry about it Aaron, I'll handle it." Aaron's strong jaw clenched angrily. Her attitude was not impressive at all right now; she was acting like nothing had happened at all! Sure, she said she'd do something about it, but Aaron knew her body language and the different tones she'd use well enough to know she was brushing him off at the current moment.

"You better handle it Corrine! He almost killed you just for the fucking hell of it!" Aaron was a certified hothead, and was quickly losing his cool.

Corrine scoffed, turning to lie on her side in the bed. "I'm pretty sure he didn't realize—"

"No! Don't even!" Aaron interrupted. The fact that Corrine was making up excuses for Reid Garwin of all people was completely outrageous. "What part of severely allergic could he possibly misunderstand? I know he's an idiot, but no one is that stupid."

"Everything all right in here?" A nurse Aaron recognized from yesterday poked her head in through the door, probably having heard the mild argument they were having.

"It's fine," Corrine assured her, and the nurse took a final glance at Aaron before she disappeared again. "You should go back to school and shower and stuff. I'm fine."

Defeated for the moment, Aaron huffed and ran his hands through his hair before he stood. "Fine. But I'm coming right back. And this conversation definitely isn't over."

"Whatever you say boss," she muttered a half smile on her face. She loved how overprotective Aaron was deep down, even if it was smothering at times. Corrine was a big girl; she could make her own decisions on how to handle her personal situations though. And Aaron needed to understand that.

No more than a half-hour after Aaron left, and two nurse check ups later, there was a knock at the door. "Yeah?" Corrine called to the visitor, the door creaking open seconds later.

She was only partly surprised to see Reid Garwin standing in the doorway, an uncharacteristic look on his face. He actually looked like he felt something between regret and guilt, not a common expression for the blonde. "Hey Schaeffer." Corrine was pretty sure she'd never seen Reid so soft-spoken in all the time she'd known him.

"Wow…" She had to admit, she was mildly shocked that he actually showed up and was acting so timid, like a puppy who knew he'd done something naughty. "You've got some balls showing up here. Good thing Aaron left."

"I know." For once around her, Reid decided to think before he spoke. Truth was, he'd overheard some kids at school saying that Aaron had come back to campus since she'd woken up and was doing okay. Immediately Reid had shot Pogue a text and made his way to the hospital. "Look—"

Corrine raised her hand to silence him. "I don't need your apology. I already know everything."

Reid frowned, unsure of what to make of that statement. Was he still screwed or was she forgiving him? "O-kay." If she didn't want an apology, then what else could he really say?

He was completely shocked when he saw the smirk lift onto her lips. It wasn't like his smirk, it was much more innocent. But it was still a smirk, an 'I've got you where I want you' smirk, and it made the blonde extremely nervous, though he'd never show it.

"I'm not saying I understand it, or that I agree with your methods… obviously. But…" And Corrine inhaled a thick breath, taking a second to make sure this was the right decision. "I'm not going to report you, so you can relax."

Reid breathed the heaviest sigh of relief possible. His gloved hands dragged down his face and his eyes closed in silent thanks to whoever really liked him up there. It was the next words Corrine spoke that made the swell in his throat reform.

"Now that I know the truth."