I wake up slowly, even more groggy than I started out to be. I bring my hand up to my head, feeling a throbbing pain echo through my fingertips. I don't know why I can't remember what happened after Mo's, but at least I remember that much. It's better than nothing.
Still, though, when I try to think of what happened after that, my head aches so much that I need to scream. I pull my fingers away from my head and set them on my lap as I look around the room again. My heart skips multiple beats as I spot Will in the chair next to me again. There's so much I want to say, I realize as I open my mouth, so much I need to tell Will.
"Relax." He says softly. I can tell he knows my shoulders and my whole body is tense. He wears different clothes than I saw him in the last time I was awake.
"How long have I been out?" I say. My voice is still scratchy, and I try to clear my throat because of this. Will looks at his hands.
"A few days." He responds softly. We are quiet for a moment and I take this time to decide which part of everything on my mind I need to say first.
"Charlie told me what you did for me." I tell him, feeling my hands start to shake. I'm starting to feel much better than before. I sit up and rest my back against the bed. Will bites his lip as he watches me. "Your wings, Will." I whisper, starting to shake my head as if I could rid the tears that fall down my cheeks uncontrollably. "You saved my life. I would've died."
"It wasn't something I could let happen, whether you were my girlfriend or not." He says softly. I can tell it's nighttime, because the room is lit with only a few candles, and the windows give a hint of the starry London night.
"Can you stay here?" I ask softly, swallowing back more tears. "Stay with me for just this night?" Will gives me a sad look before getting up from the chair and moving to sit on the bed. I reach for his hands, and intertwine them with mine. Will's breath catches-I can hear it over the sound of my heart pounding hard in my chest. Releasing one hand, I draw back one corner of the blankets, and scooting aside for Will. He grins down at me, smiling as he slowly rubs away a tear on my cheek. After a hesitant pause, he joins me under the covers. I feel warmer with him by my side. I feel peaceful and I feel safe. Will brings the blankets up to my shoulders again and strokes my back lightly. The pain in my ribs has nearly stopped, but I still sense a bruise. I press the side of my face to Will's chest, breathing in his scent and closing my eyes, huddling against him. I feel his soft lips graze the top of my head, and I open my eyes to look up at him.
"Go to sleep now, Love." He whispers. This time I shudder with relief that he's back again. He's here, and he's with me. I smile against his chest as I bring my arms softly around him.
"I love you, Will." I remind him as my eyes slip closed. Will's fingers gently stroke my hair back out of my face just as I start slipping asleep.
"I love you too." Is the last thing I hear before I'm out.
"You deserve to die," the voice hisses. I look around, but I'm surrounded by blackness. The more I try to struggle to find light, the more stuck I get, until I feel as if I'm paralyzed.
"No," I try to say, but another voice comes from right behind me, tickling my ear.
"You both deserve to be in hell." It's high and it sounds ghostly. I'm filled with utter aloneness and panic as I search for options, but none come to me.
"Help…" I try to scream, but my voice trails away.
"He should have never saved you." It says. "You are better off dead. Go to hell!"
"Will!" I scream, thrashing in the swamp of blackness that consumes me.
"He'll burn." A voice hisses. I scream at how near it comes, like it's pushing through my ears to get inside my mind.
"Don't die!" I yell, feeling Will's presence slowly join me. "Don't die, Will!" I scream. I pound my fists through the air, trying to swap away the bad voices from coming. But hundreds pile on, digging into my skull until I fall into blackness.
I wake up hearing myself screaming. I feel as if poison is running through my veins, and the hissing of the voices leaves my skin cold.
I realize I've been shaken awake by troubled William, who holds tightly on to my shoulders. My hands are in tiny, tough fists with the fabric of his shirt. I realize I'm sweating through mine, sweat pasted across my cheeks. I let out deep shaky breaths, filled with fear of my terrible nightmare.
"Aria," Will whispers. He peels my hands away from his shirt and presses them against his chest. "I'm alive. I'm right here." Oh God. I must have been saying something about Will dying in my sleep. I tense up but the steady pounding of Will's heart relieves me.
"How loud was I?" I ask softly as Will intertwines my fingers with his, pressing them to the sides of his face.
"You were screaming all sorts of nonsense and thrashing around." He informs me. I let out a breath of fright.
"You're still here." I say after a while of being silent. Will lowers his eyes for a moment, unconsciously moving closer to me. I feel his warmth echoing off of his skin, and it sends little shocks of adrenaline throughout my body.
"You looked so peaceful-in the beginning that is. I didn't want to wake you." He says, tucking the covers around me after settling back in himself. "And I didn't want to leave you." He says, even softer. It only clears my head of everything but him. Where I have a conscious, all it is saying is his name. My body aches for him, as if it's been just too long since I've been this close, and not letting him be with me would shut down my system of normalcy. Will's eyes drift down to my rosy cheeks, damp with a light layer of sweat, and to my lips. I can almost feel him kissing me right now. I know the feelings I'm sure to endure sooner or later. I know it's only a matter of time before that happens.
I bite my lip to keep from trembling with excitement as William traces my cheeks and jaw with his two fingertips. I remember first meeting him-thinking how odd he was and improper of a rich boy getting in fights. And I remember being terrified of him before knowing what he was. And now I hope I can always remember being with him like this, after everything we've been through together.
"Tell me when to stop." He whispers against my ear before kissing my lobe. But I don't want him to stop. I don't want him ever to let me go. I should never have been so selfish and overreacted. Because when it comes down to the point, Will was only trying to protect me.
"Don't," I murmur as he cups his hands around my face. I try to exhale a normal breath but it catches and I struggle to breathe normally as he runs his hands through my hair. I close my eyes and let Will slowly bring my head down against the pillow. A moment later I'm touched by the Angel's lips. He kisses me softly, making my cheeks flame and my lips part under his. I bring my hands up to his face, feeling his familiar smooth cheeks, neatly shaven jaw, and then I run my hands through his golden stands of hair. I smile against his mouth and breathe him in; his wonderful scent of wintergreen. His hands stroke my arms, being careful to touch around my grip marks and to my hands to grasp with his. I can't even explain how much I had missed him, and how much I'd secretly fantasized him with me the whole time since we've separated. I put all of that-all of those feelings of loss and sadness and longing for him back-I put that in this kiss. It lasts long and I devour each second of the time that passes. My hands only creep around his back slightly as I remember the sacrifice he made for me. I slowly bring my head back and I open my eyes slowly. "Will," he slowly blinks. "I've missed you so much." I whisper. He slowly kisses my cheeks and my temples.
"There aren't enough words to describe how miserable I've been without you." He whispers, stroking my sides with his hands. He kisses the tip of my chin, tilting my head up. I let out a fast breath as he kisses down my neck, almost like butterflies down my skin. It's like the strangle marks aren't there anymore. "You should go to sleep." He starts reluctantly, starting to pull away. I grab for his arms, and fold them in as I hug them towards me.
"Really?" I ask as I lean up to kiss him. He returns my kiss with a soft pressure and then he forces my head down against the pillows as he kisses me. I turn over in the bed with a smile as I feel Will's arm go around me slowly and hug me. I feel his stomach against my back as he pulls the covers back up to my shoulders.
"Yes. Goodnight, Angel." He tells me, kissing my cheek once more before I start to easily drift off.