The One Nighter(30)

By: Shauna Hart

“Is he okay?” she asked.

A sympathetic smile slid across her mouth. “He’s going to be fine.”

The nurse led her down a long hall before pointing to a room on the left. “He’s right in there,” she instructed.

Melanie turned the corner to find Connor lying in the bed, one leg covered in a cast and held upright in a sling. When she entered the room, he turned, his eyes lighting up.

“Hey,” he greeted.

Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of him. She came around to the side of the bed. Her gaze trailed over the welt on his forehead and the scratches on his arms. A bruise was beginning to form on his cheek. In truth, he looked like he had been through a war. But to her, he had never looked better. She still couldn’t believe how lucky he had been, how lucky they both had been.

“Hey,” she answered.

He reached out to take her hand in his, his thumb caressing her knuckles. “Are you okay?” he inquired, his eyebrows drawing together on a worried frown.

Her lower lip trembled as she let out a nervous laugh. “Am I okay?” she chided. “Are you okay?”

He gave her hand a squeeze. “I’m made of pretty strong stuff. I don’t break easy.”

Tears slid down her cheeks as she nodded. “Good to know,” she croaked in an attempt to match his lightheartedness.

Reaching up, he brushed away her tears. “Hey, I’m fine.”

She tried to stop her trembling, but emotion overwhelmed her. He was the one in the hospital, and he was trying to comfort her.

“You’re incredible,” she said, her eyes glittering with tears.

His thumb stroked her cheek as he tilted his head to the side to give her a cocky grin. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” he joked.

Her smile wobbled as she tried not to break down in tears. “I’m so…” she began, but he cut her off by placing his forefinger on her lips.

“You know what I thought about before the crash?”

She shook her head.

“You. All that I thought about was you. All I cared about was you. I love you, Melanie.”

She took a deep breath as her heart swelled with emotion. “I love you, too,” she confessed.

He held her hand as his eyes met hers. “If anything had happened to you…” He trailed off.

She grabbed his hand, pulling it up to place a tender kiss on his knuckles. “It didn’t. You saved me,” she said softly.

He lifted her hand to his lips. She watched as he kissed her fingertips before raising his gaze to meet hers.

“No,” he replied. “You saved me.”