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Emma was still waiting for Addie to return when she heard someone enter the room. Nick didn’t see her at first which was probably a good thing. When he did spot her though, she could see the rage in his eyes and the anger was radiating off him like a heat wave. She knew she had hurt him but this went beyond hurt; this was pain that she had never seen in anyone.

Being uncomfortable enough, she got up and scooted by him as fast as she could.

“I’ll leave.” she said quietly.

“Good.” Nick spat. “Don’t bother coming back here either, you can find some other place to wait.”

The tears she had managed to stop flowed down her face again and she almost slammed into Brian on the way out of the room. AJ, Howie and Kevin watched as she flew down the corridor and into the nearest ladies room; they made their way back into the room after waiting a few minutes to see if she’d return. The minute they walked in, Nick jumped up and got in AJ’s face.

“You know you’re an asshole right?” Nick shouted. “I can’t believe you, bringing her here and acting like it’s no big deal. What the fuck is your problem?”

Kevin and Howie grabbed Nick and steered him out onto the balcony they’d just returned from. He was causing a huge scene and they didn’t want him to get them all kicked out.

“I’m an asshole? What the fuck is my problem?” AJ asked with anger. “What the fuck is your problem? Did you really just say that to her?”

“Yes I did.” Nick hollered. “I don’t want her in the same room as me!”

“You need to grow the fuck up Nick.” AJ demanded. “You sit here like you’re completely blameless in this whole mess and you’re not.”

“So now you’re taking her side?” Kevin and Brian had to step in between the two men as Howie was called back inside by the nurse.

“I’m not taking anyone’s damn side. You hurt her, she hurt you, now you’re fucking even.”

AJ turned on his heel and stomped back inside. Nick tried to go after him but Kevin grabbed him around the waist and pulled him further back onto the balcony. Brian didn’t know what to do so he crept back inside hoping that Kevin could talk some sense into their younger brother.

“Take a deep breath Nick.” Kevin directed but didn’t loosen his grip. “You need to calm down or you’re gonna get kicked out.”

“I don’t care!” Nick said as he struggled to get free.

“Are you serious?” Kevin asked, basically dropping Nick. “We’re here for Howie and you don’t care if you get kicked out?”

“No.” Nick said moodily.

“Well now you’re being selfish.”


“You’re being selfish Nick; this whole thing isn’t about you.” Kevin said as he sighed. “I get that you’re pissed that Emma’s here but you knew she would be. You can’t go ordering her around and telling her where she can and can’t be. We’re supposed to be here for Addie and Howie, not for you. If you can’t handle that, then maybe you should be the one to leave.”

Kevin turned abruptly and headed back into the hospital leaving Nick by himself on the balcony. He was ready to go storming back in there but he managed to check himself and stay out a little longer. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and thought hard about what had just transpired. The anger he had just unleashed had surprised him and as he thought about what he said, he did start to feel somewhat sorry. Not so much for yelling at Emma, but for going after AJ. They were there for their brother and as much as he may hate having the woman who broke his heart in the same general vicinity, he was going to have to keep his anger in check until she left.


AJ rapped his knuckle against the bathroom door and hoped that Emma was the only one in there. When no one answered, he opened the door to find a surprised Emma, wiping tears off her face. He immediately opened his arms and hugged her tightly when she wrapped her arms around his waist. Waiting till she was fully cried out, he handed her a tissue and ran some cold water.

“I wanted to let you know that they brought Addie back up.”

“Good.” Emma said as she wet her face several times. “Does my face look any better?”

AJ couldn’t help but chuckle and she turned to face the mirror. Her eyes were swollen and her face was completely red; she would have to find a way to explain it to Addie without upsetting her.

“Thank you for checking on me.” Emma said with a quick hug. “I appreciate you not hating me.”

“I’m never gonna hate you Feisty. No matter what happens, I love you.”

“Love you too J.”

He held the door open for her while getting a glare from some women walking by. After giving him another hug, she made her way down to Addie’s room while praying she could think of something to explain her face.


AJ returned to the waiting room and took a seat on the opposite side of the room from Nick. He picked up a magazine and flipped through not caring about what was in it but in the hopes of stamping down some of the anger he had. Emma had hurt Nick, that wasn’t in question, but she had the decency to be much less hateful to him when he messed up than he was being to her now.

“I’m sorry J.” Nick said as he approached his older brother. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Done what?” AJ demanded as he stared his brother in the eye. “Exactly what are you sorry for?”

“I didn’t mean to yell at you and start all this commotion.”

“Are you sorry about what you said to Emma?”


“Then shove your apology.” AJ said and walked out of the room.

Nick was in shock; he had just apologized for being a jerk and AJ hadn’t even bothered to listen. The anger that he felt earlier started to boil up again and he stormed off in the opposite direction. He was not planning on staying there just to suck up to her.