We ended up leaving without the dress after I promised to tear it to shreds with a kitchen knife if he bought it.
I felt my body heat as I remembered him taking me home immediately after and punishing me one screaming orgasm at a time. He never let up until my aunt came back. The next day, I came home to find the dress laid out on my bed and a note lying next to it:
I spent the last eleven years making your life hell. I’m ready to spend the rest of mine making it up to you. Spoiling you is just the start. Will you let me?
And as usual, I caved. The dress really was beautiful despite the ridiculous price. I was even more curious to see how Keiran planned to make up for the last eleven years.
Sheldon and Willow walked in, breaking me out of my thoughts. They were dressed in gowns that Willow made herself. Willow’s strapless dark purple dress was short and similar to mine except hers had a black lace bodice. Sheldon wore a long, flowing black dress that had a strapless silver studded bodice.
They decided to go as each other’s date.
“What time is Keiran picking you up?” Willow asked.
“In about twenty minutes.” I hurried to finish dressing and took a final look in the mirror as the sound of more than one male voice came from downstairs.
Sheldon and Willow hurried out ahead of me when Dash yelled up the stairs. Despite all the tension, we decided to go as somewhat of a group. I really thought Willow and Dash would have worked through their differences by now, but she still allowed her mom to keep them apart. I realized Dash hadn’t quite given up on them when he asked me a month ago if Willow was going to prom. Turns out, he had asked her, but when she turned him down, he told her he was done chasing her. Willow didn’t stop crying for nearly two weeks and barely ate. It wasn’t until Sheldon magnanimously asked her for her hand to the dance, as she put it, that she finally came around.
I slipped on my heels, took a deep breath, and made my way downstairs.
The first thing I noticed was Keiran waiting by the stairs dressed in a black suit and shirt that had to have been tailored by God for him. He wasn’t looking my way, so it allowed me to drink in the sight of him in a suit. He definitely made black look good.
I descended the stairs. When I managed to make it next to him without him noticing, I knew something was wrong. If I weren’t busy drooling before, I would have seen the hard set of his jaw. I looked in the direction of where his attention was fixed and took in the scene unfolding.
Sheldon stood pale and frozen to the left side of the stairs as she stared at the tall figure occupying the doorway.
“Keenan… How—how are you?”
He wore sunglasses that shielded his eyes, but I could see his lips pressed in a hard line and his jaw working. The room was silent as everyone’s attention zeroed in on the tension that now overtook the atmosphere.
“I’m not dying anymore if that’s your real question.”
The hostility in his voice couldn’t be mistaken, and if he was anything like his brother, there was sure to be rage simmering beneath his shades.
“I’m glad you’re okay. We—”
“Cut the sympathetic bullshit. You didn’t care enough to bring your selfish ass to the hospital. There is no need to feign concern now.”
And just like that, he was gone again, leaving us all to stare after him in shocked silence.
John had been notified the next day after Keiran had decided to let go of his past and to not kill Officer Reynolds and Mrs. Risdell that a set of lungs was available for Keenan.
Talk about a sign…
He had the transplant immediately. He was then released from the hospital after a month long stay to recover. Everyone was extremely happy except him. The doctor assured us he was going through the normal emotions an organ transplant would typically go through. Fear. Anxiety. Stress.
He wasn’t out of the woods yet because, at any moment, his body could decide to reject the lungs or he could suffer from infection. So he was constantly in and out of the hospital for blood tests and X-rays.
And tonight, we were all together getting ready for prom without him. It had to hurt.
He still wasn’t speaking to Keiran so the tension and distance between them only grew each day. It made Keiran’s hunt for Mitch an obsession. After the phone call Keiran received six months ago, Mitch had gone silent, but Keiran never gave up his search. Sometimes, he would slip back into that dark place, and I did everything in my power to bring him back. I was prepared to do whatever it took to help him. No one, least of all me, expected him to change overnight though I think he wished he could.
“Lake?” I was so lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t realized when Keiran had taken my hand in his and everyone had walked out.
“Oh, uh… Huh?”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, but do you want to go see about your brother?”
He looked backed at the door where Keenan had disappeared for a long moment before he shook his head slowly. “Pushing him would be a mistake.”
“What if he never—”
“Shh, baby. You look beautiful tonight. I don’t want you crying.”
“What makes you think I’m going to cry,” I accused even as I heard the tremble in my voice.
He offered me a crooked smile and squeezed my hand. “Because you’re always crying… and you snore.”
I laughed and hit his chest, and he feigned pain until I realized he might not have been faking it. “Sorry! Did I hit it?”