Lauren POV :

Beep. Beep. Beep.

The faint noise was driving me insane. I didn't know where it was coming from, but whatever it was, I was about to take drastic measures to make it stop. Like maybe with my fist?

I opened my eyes, expecting to be in my single bed with the purple polka dot sheets, and the white iron frame, my alarm clock blaring next to me.

But I wasn't. I was in white sheets, and the bed was clearly not my own.

'The hell?' I thought, turning my head slightly. It hurt just to move my neck, and I quickly scrunched my eyes shut to dull the pain.

Opening them again, I trained my eyes on the far wall of the room. It was a light almond colour, with a boring painting of a tree.

'Where am I?'

I turned my head as far to the side as I could, willing the pain away. There was someone sleeping in a chair beside my bed. I didn't recognize them and I immediately wondered why they were there.

"Oh you're up!" a bright voice said.

Startled I turned my head to the other side to see a woman stood before me in scrubs. My head screamed in pain as I did so and I closed my eyes again.

"Just relax," she said, "I'll get the doctor."

I tried to open my mouth to speak, but I couldn't. I had no idea where I was, or why, and I was seriously starting to freak out.
"Babe!" a male voice said to my side. I opened my eyes again to stare up at the guy who'd been sleeping. "Oh god, you're ok!" He didn't touch me, but he looked like he wanted to.

I had no idea who he was, but he seemed faintly familiar.

Another man came into the room, hovering over me with a pair of glasses on. "Lauren can you hear me?"

I nodded as best I could, my head still aching.

"You were in an accident," he said, " You've broken your arm and you hit your head pretty hard."

I stared at him, my heart beating fast. I had no recollection of the accident at all. This was starting to get seriously scary.

"Can you speak?"

I tried again, but then shut my mouth. It was so dry and everything about it hurt.

"Don't stress yourself," the doctor said, "We'll get you some water and you should rest. We'll try again later."

I continued to stare at him, I felt on the verge of tears but they were nowhere to be found. The nurse gave me some water and another round of painkillers and I fell back to sleep. The guy that was in my room didn't move an inch from his seat. He didn't touch me, but he sat and looked at me intently, worry etched on his face.

It wasn't until the next afternoon that I managed to get some words out.

"Where am I?" I whispered as the nurse tended to my IV.

"We're in Northwest London. You're in a private ward."


"You were in an accident."

"What happened?"

"You don't remember?" she asked lightly.


"You hit your head pretty hard," she said, "I'd be surprised if you did."

The guy was still in the room. He hadn't moved an inch since I'd first woken up but I could hear him slide forward in his seat as I started to speak.

"How long have I been here?" I continued.

"Pushing a week now."

"That long?"

"It was a pretty nasty accident," the nurse said, "Now why don't I go get the doctor and he'll speak with you about it."

"Ok," I said. I avoided eye contact with the guy. I still had no idea who he was and his presence was starting to put me on edge.

"Babe," the guy whispered, finally reaching out to touch my un-casted hand, "It's going to be ok." I flinched at his touch. I had no idea who he was or why he insisted on staying in my room.

I didn't respond, I just shook my hand from his, putting it under the covers of my thin blanket. The guy seemed put off, his brow furrowed in concern.

"Alright let's try this again," the doctor said, coming into my room. "How are you feeling?"

"My head kills."

"You hit it pretty hard. At least you were wearing a seat belt, without it you probably would have died."

I sucked in a quick breath, frightened by the statement.

"Do you mind answering some questions for me?"


"What's your name?"

"Lauren," I said.



The doctor looked over at the guy sitting next to me, the pair of them sharing some wordless thought.

"What's your birthday."

"29th March," I recited.

"Good, now how old are you?"

"You're kidding right?" I asked, "I'm 18."

The doctor looked up at the guy again. He was shaking his head from side to side as if I'd answered the question wrong. But I hadn't I knew I was right.

"What year is it?"


"And can you tell me who this is?" the doctor asked, nodding towards the guy that had been at my side this whole time.

I turned my head to inspect him for a minute. He certainly looked familiar… but where was he from? The light bulb went off after a minute and I hazarded a guess. "That's my cousin, Joey" I said."

"Right, Mr. Branning, do you mind stepping out for a moment?"

"Can't I stay?" he asked, "She needs me."

"Right now I think it best I speak to her alone."

Joey stared down at me for a second and then nodded his head in agreement. "Ok, I'll be right outside."

I waited patiently for the doctor to write a few things down and then he turned to speak to me again.

"Lauren, it appears you are suffering from some memory loss."

"What?" I asked, totally shocked.

"You said it was 2012."


"It's 2016."

"It's not," I muttered, my heart falling as the doctor spoke. He showed me a print out of my medical chart, and then a newspaper that was on a side table. Both had dates to prove his point.

"Did you know you're married?"

"Married?!" I laughed. That sounded ridiculous.

"Yes," the doctor said solemnly, "To Joey."

I let out a bark of laughter at this, a slice of pain going through my head. Wincing I closed my eyes to regain my composure, opening them up again and staring at the doctor. "I'm not married to him."

"You are," the doctor said, "That's why he's here."

I blinked a few times in shock, not sure how to react.

Like hell I was married to my cousin .