"I told him but... I knew it wasn't... a sure thing." I said, looking down at Christian.

"I guess it can work." He said, tracing my bottom lip with his thumb. "But rent's going to cost him."

I laughed. "Then what about me?"

"I think we can find a way around it." He said, brushing the loose strands of my hair back behind one ear.

I leaned down and kissed him softly.

On the dresser across the room, my phone started buzzing loudly.

I groaned, my forehead against his chest. "I'm going to kill her."

"Kill who?" Christian asked. He got to his feet quickly and grabbed my phone, tossing it to me. He didn't even bother looking to see who had called me.

I groaned even louder. It was Peyton. I couldn't ignore her. Not when she needed me to be there for her.


"Is this Danika?" A woman asked over the phone. A woman I'd never met before in my life.

"Yes, this is she." I said, giving Christian a weird look. What was this all about?

The woman hesitated. "Peyton's in the hospital. She not doing very well."

The phone slid out of my hand and hit the floor, sliding under the bed. I couldn't breathe. This wasn't... this couldn't be happening. It couldn't be.

I bent down and picked the phone up quickly, my hands shaking. "I-I'll be right there. Thank you." Why in the world would I thank someone who just gave me the worst news ever? It was like telling me that I was dead or hurt or something. You just... couldn't imagine it ever happening.

"What?" Christian asked, pulling me into his arms.

I squeezed my eyes shut tight, sealing off my tears, and shook my head.

"Danika." He said, more firmly. His arms tightened around me and he tensed up.

"Peyton... she-she..." I couldn't talk. My lips were shaking, my hands were shaking, I could hardly breathe smoothly. It hurt.

"The hospital?" He asked.

I nodded, unable to talk anymore. He must have heard the conversation.

"Get dressed. I'll take you." He said, letting go of me.

Peyton's doctor was just leaving Peyton's room when I ran from the elevator. He was writing something down on his clipboard, a calm look on his face.

"Peyton... is she okay?" I asked, trying to catch my breath.

The doctor gave me a concerned look. "Who are you?"

"I'm her best friend." I said, tempted to glare at him.

"She's a little weak right now. You may only see her for a few minutes then she needs to rest-"

I had already pushed past him, opening the door only to stop dead in the doorway. Peyton was covered in tubes: oxygen tubes, IV tubes, everything. I wanted to turn back around, fall into Christian's arms, and cry forever. I hated seeing my best friend hurt but this... this was more than that. Way more.

I shut the door behind me softly and walked further into the room. There was another person in the room though I hardly noticed.

I took a seat in the chair beside Peyton's bed, pulling her hand off of the sheets. "Peyton, can you hear me?"

Her eyes opened only a little. She looked so tired and exhausted. I knew I didn't have much time, let alone enough time.

"I wish you could tell me what happened." I said softly, pushing a strand of hair behind my ear.

She looked away, almost as if she were embarrassed or ashamed.

I sighed and squeezed her hand just a little. "The doctor told me I could only stay a few minutes."

She made a very soft noise in the back of her throat. Was she in pain?

I stood up abruptly, feeling myself grow very anxious and nervous. "Are you-Do you need me to get the doctor?"

She shook her head weakly and her fingers curled in. She made a 'writing' motion with her hand. A pen...

I grabbed a clipboard that was sitting on the chair a few feet away from Peyton's bed. I laid it under her hand, my hand shaking.

'O.D. Pain pills. Sorry.' was all she could write. Her hand shook lightly and she dropped the pen instead of setting it down lightly.

I bit my lip so I wouldn't cry. I wanted to scream at her and tell her how stupid she was. I wanted to hit her and make her feel as bad as I did. But none of that would fix what had happened.

"You'll be okay. I-I'll be back tomorrow, too." I said, my voice quivering.

She cried out, her eyes already leaking tears.

A nurse walked into the room and frowned at me. "Miss Peyton, are you feeling alright?"

Peyton's chest lifted deeply and she slowly stopped crying. Her hand found the pen and she wrote one last thing. 'No cry. I ok. Luv u.'

I took a ragged breath and smiled at her. "I love you, too."

The nurse laid her hand on my shoulder. "I'm afraid you need to go."

I nodded though it felt like she didn't want me around Peyton ever. Like she was telling me to get out because she just didn't like me.

I gave Peyton's hand a light squeeze before walking out into the hallway. Christian was waiting in the small waiting room, standing against the one wall. He looked tense, nervous.

"How is she?"

I just shook my head, unable to speak.

"She's not-" He stopped himself.

I fell into his arms and cried like I knew I would, like I wanted to. I was so scared, so mad, so... everything. How would things be okay again after Peyton was so hurt?

"Let's head home. My mom's bringing Katie back tonight." He whispered in my ear, kissing the side of my head.

I sighed and lead into him as we walked back outside. I had never felt worse. Never in my life.