I Can't Stay Away Chapter Twelve

Sorry for the wait. Had a little trouble with this chapter.

I'm sorry if there are any spelling mistakes; I think I missed a few when I read it over.

Hope you enjoy! :D

Clare's POV

He was okay.

He's fine.

He's awake.

Eli is awake.

I continued to sob as I stood in front of the window. Eli watched me with soft eyes as I continued to cry into my hands, unable to stop long enough to say something. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that he was awake, that he was actually looking at me with those beautiful eyes. The last time I had seen those eyes they looked so dull, and I cried harder at that thought.

"I – I sh-should g-go find-d your – uh–" I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself before I spoke again. "I should go find your parents, or a nurse, or something." I said frantically, walking to the door quickly as I wiped my tears.

"Wait, Clare." Eli said, his voice hoarse, and I stopped in my tracks, turning to face him. "Come here."

He nudged his head, motioning that I come over to him as he pulled the blanket back. I walked over to him, my lip quivering as I lay down next to him. I let out a sob as more tears ran down my face. I didn't know if I would hurt him so I tried to be as careful as possible, making sure I wasn't directly touching him, even though I wanted to crush him to me.

He chuckled softly, "I'm okay, Clare, you don't have to be so careful." Eli said, noticing my uneasiness.

He sat up slowly and I frantically told him not to, but he shook his head, telling me it was fine as he pushed a button to make the bed sit up. I tried to fix his pillow, wanting him to feel comfortable, but my heart stopped when I heard him hiss in pain as he sat up. I quickly looked at him and he only gave me a shy smile as he laid back, his hand over the place where his wound lies. I could feel my eyes filling up with more tears as I realized it was my fault he was in pain.

"I'm sorry." I choked out. "I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. It's my fault. I–I'm sorry, I–"

My voice broke and Eli pulled me down to him and I cuddled into his side, crying into his shoulder as he pulled the blanket over us. He rubbed my back as he whispered sweet nothings into my ear, trying to calm me down. He kept telling me that it wasn't my fault, and that he was fine, and I knew he was, but I still couldn't stop the water works. He pulled me close and kissed my forehead as I continued to cry.

I lifted my head and looked him in the eyes as my hand cupped his cheek. He wiped away my tears as a frown took over his lips. Eli pulled his hand away and wrapped his arm around me, his eyes never leaving mine as I tried to calm down. I sniffled and hiccupped, and we both chuckled softly. I sighed and took a deep breath, my fingers tracing his jaw.

"I look like a mess." I mumbled as I wiped my eyes, finally calming down. I turned more and wrapped my arm around him, making sure it wasn't near his wound, and he rested his forehead against mine. I smiled and moved my hand up to his face, my fingers tracing his lips. He smiled and tucked a tangled curl behind my ear.

"You look beautiful." He told me, and I blushed as I looked into his eyes. I moved my hand to his neck and pulled him down, pressing my lips to his softly. I could feel a tear fall down my cheek as he responded to the kiss. It was the softest touch of our lips, but I couldn't be any happier. I pulled away and let out a shaky breath, my eyes closed. I felt him wipe away my tear and I smiled softly, opening my eyes to look at him.

"I missed you." I mumbled and cuddled my head into his chest. I could feel Eli running his fingers through my hair, and I closed my eyes, feeling calm. I listened to his heartbeat, glad that he was still alive.

"Before I forget…" Eli muttered and I made a noise as my eyes stayed closed, telling him to go on. "I love you, too."

My eyes snapped open. I felt my lip quiver once again and I got frustrated; when will the tears stop? I blinked rapidly, trying to dry my eyes before the water works started flowing. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop the few tears that slipped out of my eyes. I wiped them away and let out a shaky breath. I needed to get my shit together.

"You heard me…" I whispered softly as my fingers traced invisible designs on his chest.

"I did." Eli replied. "And I couldn't help but notice, that you said it first. We should have bet on this."

"If I could I would punch you right now." I told him. If he wasn't injured, I would have slapped him silly.

We lay there for a few minutes, cuddled in each other's arms, and I couldn't have felt happier. But, my thoughts were ruined when I realized we had to talk to Cece and Bullfrog. I know she said she wasn't mad or anything, but couldn't help but wonder if she only said that so she could break the news to both of us. Cece had said she wanted us to know the truth, and I hoped it would be about our parents. The secret they have was eating me up inside and I couldn't take it any longer. I want to know why it's so important that Eli and I didn't have any contact at all. It just made no sense to keep us apart if we have such strong feelings for each other.

"Be honest with me, okay?" Eli asked, and I looked up at him, giving him my full attention. "Does this gown make me look fat?"

He cracked a smirk and I laughed, cuddling into his shoulder. I wasn't expecting that. I thought that he had something serious to tell me. I lifted my head and smiled at him.

"Glad your sense of humour is still in tact." I told him, hitting his nose playfully with my pointer finger, smiling when he scrunched his face up. He was just so adorable.

Just as things were going good, the door to the room opened. I jumped up and out of the bed from instinct as I watched Cece and Bullfrog enter. Cece's eyes widened when she saw Eli, and I knew this moment had been ruined.

"You're awake!" Cece smiled happily as she ran to give Eli a hug. She cried happily into his shoulder and he hugged her back, looking a bit confused and worried. "Oh, baby boy, I missed you. No more Proms, okay?"

Eli chuckled softly and nodded, "Okay."

She pulled back from him and let Bullfrog hug his son. I watched the three of them share a family moment as I stood at the side of the bed, smiling. They were such a close family, and it made my heart ache to know that I will never have that again. My father isn't in the picture anymore, and that hurt, but I was glad that Eli at least had a happy family.

When everything had finally calmed down, Eli look at me with worried eyes, and I knew where this was going. He licked his lips and looked back at his mother, his face hesitant.

"We need to talk…" Eli said, his words trailing off. Cece cast a glance in my direction and gave me a small smile, knowing what he was going to say. I stepped closer to the bed and placed my hand in Eli's, my fingertips tracing his fingers.

"I told her already." I spoke up. Eli's eyes caught mine as he waited for the joke. He looked a bit sceptical when he looked back to his mom, raising an eyebrow.

"How long was I out?" He asked, unable to believe that we had had this conversation and I was still here.

"About three days." Cece answered. "You gave us a lot of time to talk." She smiled.

He blinked and switched his gaze between me and his parents. I smiled at him, trying to let him know that things were fine for now. He turned his gaze to his parents as he chewed on his bottom lip.

"So…?" Eli asked, raising his eyebrow. He looked a bit hesitant and worried, though he spoke again, anyways. "What's the verdict?"

I've wanted to know the answer to that question ever since I had spoken to Cece. The wonder that lingered in my mind for the past twenty-four hours had been eating me up inside. I watched as Cece looked at Bullfrog, and when he gave her a small smile and a nod, I could feel Eli's grip tightening on my hand. My heart was pounding in my ears, I felt like I was going to be sick, but I kept myself together as I waited for Cece's answer. And when she looked at us with soft eyes, her gaze landing on our hands and our faces, expecting them carefully, I couldn't help but hold my breath.

"I think that we should speak with Helen. But, as of right now… I'm fine with it."

Eli's eyes went wide as saucers and he sat up carefully before hugging his parents to him, letting go of my hand in the process. I could hear him muttering words to them, but I didn't pay attention. I was too filled with shock to do anything. I couldn't believe it. Cece had just said she was fine with our relationship. Eli and I were allowed to be together. Well, according to his parents, anyways. All we had to do is get my mom on board and everything will be fine.

But the most important question still lingered: what history do our parents have?

"Oh man, you look awful!" Adam exclaimed and he entered the room with Imogen trailing behind, a smile on her lips.

"I think I look pretty good for someone who has been shot!" Eli spat back, a smirk playing at his lips. I frowned as I felt guilt creeping in.

"No dude, I mean that ugly ass gown you're wearing. Blue is just not your color." Adam smile as he tugged at the hem of the hospital gown Eli was wearing. Eli glared playfully at Adam before they shared a hug, nearly squishing me. I made a noise of discomfort and Adam pulled away, eyeing me with a smirk.
"Are you allowed to be there, Miss Edwards?"

I blushed as I looked down at the position Eli and I were. Eli was pushed up more as I sat behind him as he lay between my legs, his head resting on my chest. I knew that if a nurse walked in they would most likely tell me I had to move, but it was just too comfortable to move. I hadn't been able to cuddle with Eli in three days and I figured I deserved this. Okay, maybe I didn't deserve it, but I wanted it, and I knew Eli did, too. So, fuck it.

"Hey man, leave her alone." Eli said before snuggling into me. "She's comfy."

I smiled and kissed the top of his head before continuing to run my fingers through his hair. Imogen walked over and stood beside me, smiling. She leaned down to my ear and whispered, "Are you okay?"

Imogen pulled back to look at me and I gave her a small shrug, not really knowing if I was okay or not. I mean, I'm way beyond relieved that Eli is okay, but just knowing that it was my fault he was in this situation kind of killed my mood. No matter how many times everybody tells me it's not my fault, I can't get that voice that keeps telling me it is my fault out of my head.

I tapped Eli's back and pushed him up gently, and he sat up, getting the hint. I climbed out form behind him and off of the bed. I fixed his pillow as he gave me a curious look.

"I'll be back. I'm just going out in the hallway to talk to Imogen." I told him.

He pressed his lips to a line but nodded nonetheless. I leaned down and gave him a soft kiss, wishing I could stay there forever, before leaving out the door with Imogen. Once we made it out into the hallway we began walking.

"How are you holding up?" Imogen asked. "I mean, with the whole situation with your parents and all."

"I told my mom; she seemed to be okay with it, though that just might have been because we were in a hospital and my boyfriend was unconscious." I let out a soft laugh, but Imogen knew it was just to cover up my pain, so she stayed quiet and let me continue. "Cece was actually completely fine with us being together. She still wants us all to sit down and talk about it, though. But for now, everything's good."

"That's good." Imogen smiled. "See, there was nothing to worry about."

She had a huge grin plastered on her lips, and I laughed at her expression. I knew she was only trying to cheer me up and it worked. I was thankful for that. But there was always going to be that voice in the back of my mind telling me that our happiness won't last forever.

I sighed, "Yeah, but we still haven't talked to my mom yet."

One Week Later





No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get my leg to stop its rapid shaking. I couldn't block out the annoying sound of the clock ticking. I couldn't tear my gaze away from my mother's expression, although I wished I could. The way her eyes looked at me with shock and confusion and anger, I just couldn't take it. My mother had known that something was up, that Eli and I were somehow involved since I was so broken at the hospital, but she didn't have the full story. So, I decided she needed to know.

Eli was sitting next to me on the love seat, his eyes burning a whole in the wall while we waited for my mother to say something. Cece and Bullfrog were sitting on the couch, looking at my mother as she sat on the recliner. We had just finished explaining everything that happened ever since Eli and his parents had moved in. We explained that Cece and Bullfrog had no knowledge of mine and Eli's relationship, that they only found out a week ago when he was in the hospital. We told her that we couldn't keep our feelings inside no matter how much we tried. The news had shocked my mother, and the only thing I waited for was her outburst.

"Say something." I spoke up, my voice just above a whisper.

My mother cleared her throat. "What exactly are you asking me, Clare?"

I looked at her with disbelief. I blinked and said, "I want your permission. I want to know that you're okay with this."

"But I'm not."

My heart dropped.

I could feel tears threatening to pour, but I wouldn't let them. I clenched my jaw and tried to calm myself. I was not going to let this be the end of it. I was not going to give up this relationship without a fight.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because, Clare. I don't need to give you an explanation, I am your mother and you are going to obey me. I do not approve of this." Her eyes were dark and angered, her voice was stern, and I knew she wasn't going to give up. She had her mind set and there was a very slim chance that I would be able to change it.

I felt Eli grab my hand and kept my gaze on my mother as I tangled my fingers with his, holding on tightly. I could feel my heart breaking with every word that escaped my mother's mouth. Cece and Bullfrog were sitting there quietly, frowning at what my mother was saying. They exchanged sad looks before looking at us, knowing that this was probably the end.

I wasn't done yet, though.

"But I love him." I said through clenched teeth, my voice on the verse of breaking. My eyes were stinging with tears and I knew I couldn't hold out much longer.

My mother gave me a look of disgust. "Love is a strong word, Clare."

"I know that." I said. "The question is, do you? Do you even know what it's like to love someone? Because form the way I see it, you and dad sure as hell didn't love each other. No wonder he cheated on you." I spat harshly.

"Clare." Eli said firmly, tugging on my hand. I turned to look at him to see he was giving me a look, his eyes teary and pleading. I knew he didn't want me to make her more upset than she already was, knowing that it could cause even more damage. I took in a ragged breath, trying to calm myself.

When I turned to look at my mother again, ready to face her wrath, I was shocked to see that she looked sad. She didn't look angry or upset, she just looked sad, like she knew I was right.

My mother took in a ragged breath.

"Can I ask why?" I whispered softly. "Why don't you approve of this? I'm happy, so why can't you just accept it… for me?"

It was silent.

My mom just stared at me sadly. I saw her eyes flash over to Cece and Bullfrog before they landed on me once again.

"Oh my god." Cece gasped, causing everyone to look at her. "I know why you don't want them together. You still can't get over the fact that Bullfrog chose me instead of you!"

Wait, what?


Who saw that coming? ;)

One step closer to the truth! XD

Review and tell me what you guys think! *Hearts*