Get Me Back

**Sequel to Hanging On (A.K.A. read Hanging On first)** It's now six months after the eight month tour begins and Katie can't help but feel her relationship with Louis falling apart. When she discovers the secret he'd been trying to hide from her, she's devastated; how could she ever trust again, especially after the one who promised to never hurt her went against his word? As Katie tries to build herself back up, a new set of arms help pick her back up, showing her something she hasn't felt for a long time. Katie finds herself in a troubling situation, especially when the truth is ultimately revealed to her. Will she try and rebuild what she once had, or will she embrace the new future presenting itself to her?

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16. Chapter Sixteen

    “So, how are you holding up?” I looked up from my fingers, studying him. After I’d calmed down, we took a table in the corner, away from unwanted ears. He’d changed a lot since last seeing him. He looked more rugged; his hair was longer, his facial hair was showing through, almost as though he hadn’t shaved in weeks. His eyes weren’t the same either. They seemed to have lost their spark. I could see the dark circles under his eyes, the way he tried to hide the yawns. Had he gotten any sleep at all? He tapped his foot nervously on the ground, I could hear it. He wasn’t the same at all.

    “I’m doing better than you,” I laughed weakly. “If I wasn’t all banged up, people would think it was you that was in the accident.”

    Louis rubbed his neck nervously. “Yeah, I know it wasn’t an accident, Katie. Jace told me where you were and what you were doing.” I looked down. “Why did you go?”

    “Because he asked me to,” I answered quietly. Why did I feel so guilty, so punished for what I’d done? It wasn’t any of Louis’ business where I went anymore!

    “But why, Katie? What is he to you?” I looked up angrily at the disgust in his voice.

    “That’s Toby’s brother, alright! So what if I wanted to get to know him!” I snapped. Louis looked at me in shock. I sighed, putting my hands down onto the table. “I’m sorry, I’m just…”

    “A mess,” Louis finished. I looked up with a smirk. “I am too, Katie. When Kara called me on your phone, I thought it was you and I got so happy. When she told me what had happened…Katie, I came straight here. I needed to make sure you were okay.” Louis was almost crying now, trying to hold down tears. “I couldn’t bear it if you had died.”

    I reached over the table and took his hand in mine. “Louis, look at me.” His sad eyes met mine. “I would never die before I got to see you again, I promise. Louis…” I stopped, trying to figure out what to say. “Louis, I miss you.”

    “I miss you too Katie,” he whispered. “And I am so, so sorry for everything I’ve ever done wrong to you.”

    I felt myself start to cry. “I’m sorry too.”

    We sat there, catching up on everything we had missed over the past several months. I was glad he was with me, caring about me. He was the same man deep down, once you got past the empty shell and the front he put on. I could tell the past months had been hard on him as they had been to me. Maybe we could start over again.

    I looked up at the clock, realizing we had been there for a few hours. “Well, I should be getting back to the apartment now. I have no idea where Kara went.” I stood up slowly, grimacing slightly at the pain. Louis walked quickly to my side and supported me.

    “I can drive you, don’t worry.” I looked over at him questioningly. “Don’t worry, I know how to drive here,” he laughed. I linked arms with him and we made our way slowly to the front entrance. As I checked out, I looked around curiously. I faced the front desk nurse.

    “Pardon me, but could you tell me the location of a patient?” I asked with a smile.

    “You have a name?”

    “Uh, Jace DeRimes?” I could only assume that was his last name, after all.

    The nurse typed the name into the computer, clicking a few times. “It appears as though Mr. DeRimes was checked out five hours ago. Do you have a relation to him?”

    My heart sank. “No, I was just a friend of his. Did someone come and pick him up?”

    “Yes, a young man. He said it was his brother.”

    I let the words sink in, my brow furrowing. “Did he happen to mention this brother’s name by chance?”

    “He might have, though I’m not sure. I honestly go through so many patients a day I can’t always keep them straight.”

    “Does the name Toby ring any bells?” I mentally crossed my fingers, not sure of which way I wanted this to go.

    The nurse thought for a moment. “Sort of, but I’m not sure. I had a patient named Toby checked in not too long ago, but the last name doesn’t match. I wish I could help more, sorry.”

    I sighed and shook my head. “No, you’re alright. Did Jace happen to mention where he was going?”

    “Nope, not even a street name.” I nodded and waved my thanks before walking over to meet Louis by the doors.

    “Any luck?” Louis asked as he walked me outside.

    “No, but apparently his ‘brother’ picked him up from the hospital about five hours ago. No mention of where they were headed though.”

    “His brother? I thought his only brother was Toby,” Louis asked in surprise. We reached his rental and he helped me into the passenger seat. I waited until he got in himself before answering.

    “That’s what I thought too but Toby never told me anything about his family. Maybe he does have more siblings I don’t know about.” We drove in silence for a while, my eyes glued to the outside. Thankfully, Louis hadn’t been spotted so we weren’t swarmed by the press. At the same time, I was scared they’d be at my apartment. What if they found out what really happened?

    When we arrived at the apartment building, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We walked into the building and took the elevator up to my floor. I looked over at Jace’s door, debating whether or not to knock and check on him. “Go ahead, I’ll wait inside,” Louis smiled. I gave him my key and walked up to Jace’s door. I took a deep breath and knocked. I stood there for a few minutes before knocking again. I was getting nervous now. I pounded a little harder.

    “Chill out! I’m coming!” The voice was familiar, but deeper it seemed. I was suspicious.

    “Jace it’s me, Katie. I just wanted to check on you, make sure you were okay. I mean, you left a lot sooner than I did so you probably are, but I just wanted to be certain, you know?” A moment of silence before the door opened.

    I didn’t register who was standing in front of me. It was all the same; the black hair, the blue eyes, the built body. He was rugged though. He had grown out his facial hair, and his hair was longer. His eyes were deeper with age and his face had changed drastically. He was less of a child and more of an adult now. And even though I hadn’t seen him in years, he was the same man I knew.

    He stared back at me, the absolute fear and shock evident across his face. “Kat,” he whispered, barely audible. I couldn’t explain the feelings running through me all at the same time: shock, fear, anger, terror, fury, sadness, depression…betrayal. My gut turned over several times, my heart was pounding as the tears escaped me, causing me to convulse into body-rocking sobs. I was in shock, I could tell. What was happening, it wasn’t real, and it had to be a dream. It had to be fake; my mind was playing with me.

    “You’re…you’re dead,” I yelled. “You’re dead. I saw you in a casket, you’re dead! You’re not real! You’re Jace. I’m making things up again. I’m going insane again, that must be it.” I was beginning to reason with myself. “You’re dead…you’re not real. You’re not real, you’re not real, you’re not real.” I kept repeating this, backing against the wall.

    “Kat, I’m here. It’s all okay now, I’m here. It’s all alright now.” He took a step forward and I screamed.

    “Get away from me! You’re not real!” I screamed. Louis came running out in that moment, a bewildered look on his face. I ran to him, into his arms. “Louis, help me I’m seeing him again,” I sobbed. “I can’t see him again, he’s dead.”

    “Katie, what’s going on?”

    I looked up at him. I pointed behind me. “Tell me he’s not real, tell me he isn’t there!” His eyes were wide. “Tell me I’m insane!”

    “Katie, you’re not insane I’m right here babe.” I turned to see him looking at me.

    “Shut up! You’re not real!” I screamed.

    “Katie, it’s just Jace! It’s okay, it’s Jace!” Louis held me, trying to calm me down.

    “I’m sorry, who are you?”

    Louis looked up defensively. “Don’t act stupid, it’s Louis. What the hell is going on with Katie? What did you do, Jace?”

    “I’m not Jace, man. Jace is asleep right now; he’s still pretty banged up.” He turned to me. “Katie, I can explain everything you just need to calm down. I’m so glad you know the truth now, I’m so glad Jace told you.”

    “Who are you?!” Louis shouted.

    “It’s Toby,” I whispered.

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