(Author's Note: Well, I'd been kind of waiting with this, since I really wanted to hear what you guys thought about chapter 20, since I revealed everything and all… But… Since it's been 5 days and no reviews on that chapter at all, and I don't know if anybody even read it, I guess I better move on and just put this up and finish off the story. lol. I'mnot begging for reviews… I'm just disappointed that I didn't get anybody's opinion on the last chapter. :-P I'm sure you all know how that goes. lol
This is the end for this story. Thank you everyone who has been reading and leaving reviews! You guys were all really helpful. I have some ideas of things I want to change in the story now (nothing dramatic… just to make it better), and that's from you guys. Now that you all have the epilogue, let me know what you think of how I chose to end this! THANKS EVERYONE!)
Two days later
Never had there been a slower elevator. Or so Kait thought as she stood fidgeting in the elevator. It was taking forever to get to the third floor! She wrinkled her nose as she caught a whiff of disinfectant. She really hated the way hospitals smelled. She was glad they had only kept her overnight for observation. The elevator finally stopped and the door opened with a ding. Kait stepped out, making sure the balloons trailing behind her made it out also.
She walked down the hallway, stopping when she reached room 312. She suddenly felt nervous. She pushed her hair back off her shoulders and smoothed her hands down the flower-print skirt she had just bought that morning. She hoped she looked alright. At least the bruises on her arms and legs were hidden from sight. She took a deep breath and raised her hand to knock. She froze when she heard voices. Someone laughed and she caught another voice saying, "Do you remember the time we hid that rubber spider under the sheets for Sophie to find?"
More laughter, then, "Yeah, I thought she was going to throw us both right out the window." Kait smiled to herself. All was well. She lifted her hand and knocked.
"Come in," a male voice called.
She opened the door and poked her head in. Cameron lay in the bed, his left shoulder bandaged. A needle was attached to his arm. Jake sat in a chair next to the bed. He had been released that morning under the condition that he take it easy. He had received a mild concussion from the cement floor. Both boys smiled at her.
"Hey guys," she said, shutting the door behind her.
"Hi Kait," Jake said.
Cameron grinned slyly. "And what have I done to deserve a visit from such a ravishing beauty?"
Jake scoffed. "You? She obviously came here to see me."
Kait felt her cheeks growing warm. "Stop it, guys." She walked up to the bed and handed Cameron one of the balloons. "I brought this for you."
"Why, thank you." He gave it to Jake, who set it on the shelf in front of the window, along with a pile of other gifts.
Kait looked at the gifts, then at Cameron. He shrugged. "What can I say? All my adoring fans."
"Actually," Jake interjected. "Cameron had them all sent to himself."
Cameron snorted and shook his head. Kait held out the other balloon to Jake. "This one's for you, the hero of the day." She looked at Cameron. "You're both heroes."
Jake took the balloon, smiling. "Thanks, Kait. How're you feeling?"
"A lot better, now that I actually got some sleep at home." She grinned wryly. "I felt totally safe for the first time."
"I know how you feel," Jake said. He squeezed her arm softly. "I slept better just knowing you were safe." He stared at her, something in his eyes that she couldn't quite read. She turned and eyed Cameron.
"How are you doing, Cameron?" He had been staring off into space, deep in thought. Kait found herself doing that a lot lately too. He turned to her.
"I'm good, actually." He sure looked a lot better than he had the last time she had seen him, lying on the floor in the school basement. "The doctors said I was extremely lucky. The bullet didn't tear any major arteries or nerves or anything like that. They say I'll have full use of this arm back soon."
"That's great," Kait said softly. "I'm really glad you're okay. You had me scared for a while there."
"I had myself scared," he said with a grin.
"You had us all scared," Jake added. "I can't say enough how grateful I am to you, Cameron. You saved my life."
Cameron waved him off. "Anything for my best friend."
"I only wish we hadn't lost all those years. It could have been avoided if we both would have worked at it a little harder."
Cameron nodded. Jake coughed and grinned. "Well, I have to be going. I still have to give my statement to the police." Kait had done that yesterday. "Will I see you at Kelly's funeral, Kait?"
Kait shook her head. "No, I don't think so."
Jake nodded. "Well, I guess I'll be seeing you around then." He walked to the door. "I'll leave you two alone now." He gave Kait a small smile.
Her heart jumped. She walked after him and touched his arm. "You mean . . ."
He nodded. "Yeah. Don't argue, Kait. I know how you feel about him, and I understand. I don't want to stand between you and him any longer. You should be together." He shrugged carelessly, but Kait could tell by his eyes how much it hurt him to say that.
She impulsively grabbed him and hugged him tight. "I'll always care about you," she whispered in his ear.
She stepped back and looked him in the eye. "Thank you."
He smiled and opened the door. "No, thank you." He stepped outside, then leaned back in. "You take care of her, Cameron. You're a lucky guy." He shut the door.
Kait turned and faced Cameron. Sunlight poured through the window, turning his hair to shining gold. He watched her with eyes blue like the ocean. Only today, with the sun shining in them and all the danger behind them, they were the clear blue of a calm, untroubled ocean. And Kait could see herself in that ocean without feeling guilty.
She walked up to the bed. He looked up at her.
"What did Jake mean by that?"
She smiled and leaned down. "He meant," she whispered. "Kiss me."
Understanding and a little surprise flooded his face. He smiled and he was so beautiful at the moment, her heart ached. He reached for her and pulled her close.
"If that's what he meant," he breathed. "Then I am truly lucky."
She giggled and ran a hand through his hair, staring into his eyes. "No, I'm the one who's lucky."
Their lips met and suddenly all the dark places in Kait's life were washed in a warm golden light. For the first time in her life, she was perfectly happy to be who she was.