"We should really get up." Scott yawns as I rest my head lazily on his chest and droop my arm over his lower abdomen, careful to avoid his still tender lower ribs. "It's almost 12am."
"I'm injured." I state, closing my eyes. "I have a right to be lazy."
"Maybe you do, but I need to get stuff done today." He kisses my hair, laughing at my previous statement. He stretches slightly and moves to sit up. I tighten my grip on his soft golden skin.
"No!" I squeal, giggling. "You're not going anywhere!"
"Evelyn..." He sighs.
"I need you to stay here and be my full time carer and cuddle buddy!" I whine.
"I thought you were an independent woman, Miss James?" He laughs, lying back down below me. I snuggle back up to his chest.
"Not when it comes to you." I whisper, kissing his skin lightly. He strokes my hair and chuckles.
"Okay, ten more minutes. That's all." His amused tone softens his demands. I look up to him with the cutest expression I can muster.
"No 'buts', Evelyn. I have stuff to do." He kisses my forehead before I settle my cheek back over his chest.
"At least I've gotten you to lighten up a little..." I mumble sleepily.
"A little?" His chest vibrates with his laughter. "I'm a completely different person outside of this room, away from you! You make me relax so much more than I probably should."
"I'll always come rescue you if you get caught out when relaxing too much, Cyclops." I smirk to myself at my comment.
"No, you won't." His words are definite, but there is something in his tone that suggests he knows I'll never stick to that order. "Oh, that reminds me!" His body twists slightly beneath me.
"What?" I moan lazily.
"I found this in my car." He lowers his hand so that it rests on his chest and is eye level for me. I sit up immediately.
"My necklace!" I exclaim taking it from his hand gratefully.
"It was on the passenger seat when they returned my car. So I bought you a new chain and thought I'd return it to you." He sits up to face me and retrieves the chain, before connecting it behind my neck.
"It's as perfect as ever!" I smile and pull him in for a warm hug. "Thank you!"
"You deserve it. You did save my life!" He takes a strand of red hair and tucks it lovingly behind my ear before kissing me.
"You saved my life right back, so now I owe you!" I wrinkle my nose, already trying to find something I can buy Scott in return.
"Shhhh. You don't owe me anything." He whispers. I look up at him.
"Of course I do! I-"
"No, you don't." He smiles. "And your ten minutes are up, so I have to go!"
"Scott!" I moan. Can't we just stay here all day? Why does he have to go?
"Rule number four." He reminds me, slipping out of the bed. I kneel up on the bed behind him, placing my hands on his shoulders and kissing up his spine slowly.
"You know I don't stick to the rules." I whisper in his ear. Maybe this will get him back in bed.
"Evelyn, stop it." He orders, but makes no effort to move away, showing me that my tactic is working. I stand on the bed now and wrap my arms around his body. I trail kisses across his left shoulder and up his neck.
"Evelyn." He warns. "I really need to..."
His words trail off as I kiss him lightly, just below his ear, his soft, brown hair stroking and tickling my cheek. I smile against his skin. I definitely feel more confident as 'new, bad Evelyn'. I move to kiss the right side of his neck now, and let my lips continue their journey. I sigh with contentment as his familiar scent hits me. I slowly kiss down to his right shoulder, where I stop abruptly. There is a deep gash towards the bottom of his shoulder, about six centimetres long. I pull back immediately, remembering the blood covered knife stabbed into the football that night. This must be it. Why did he hide it? Why didn't I notice it? How bad is it?
"Scott," I run my finger lightly over the wound. "Is this from the other night?"
"Yeah, it's no big deal." He shrugs and turns to face me. I sit back down on the bed and he soon joins me.
"It is a big deal!" I insist. "Did you get it checked?"
"Yeah, one of the nurses spotted it when I was watching over you. I had some temporary stitches put in. It doesn't matter." He goes to stand again, but I take his arm.
"Yes, it does matter! That bastard hurt you!" My voice is loud, with an obvious tone of anger, almost unrecognizable to myself.
"It's nothing compared to watch he did - and what he planned to do - to you." Scott's words are weak, like talking about it pains him physically. It is only now that I see Scott for what he really is - fragile. I look over his beautiful topless body and, for the first time, take in the full extent of his injuries. From his mid-chest to his upper abdomen is covered in mottled purple, yellow and green bruising, which matches perfectly with the marks on his upper arms from being so roughly handled. And then, of course, there are the harsh, angry red marks that still frame each of his wrists - probably worsened by Tuesday's ordeal. And now the stab wound to add to all of that.
"Scott, you really need to rest." I move closer to him. "None of these injuries are going to improve if you keep busying yourself with school and the concerns of the team."
"It's my responsibility." His voice is low - he knows I'm right. "I'm supposed to be the strong one."
"You are strong, stronger than anyone I've ever met before. Letting yourself get better won’t change that." I kiss him. "I love you, Scott."
"I love you too, but I can't. I have to get stuff done. I'll be back to check on you at about 14:30, yeah?" He stands again, but this time, I make no effort to stop him - it will just result in an argument. Instead, I simply nod, and then watch glumly as he exits the room. I let out a huff of frustration. What now? Alone for two hours? Ugh. No way.
I spend ten minutes struggling to find something to do before unearthing the perfect idea in my mind.
I'm going training.