But then… I also had to admit that what Keiran did wasn’t easy. He almost died to catch Mario and Arthur. Nothing about that is ever easy. Even when you’re Keiran freaking Masters.
The doorbell sounded, breaking me out of the depressing orbit where my mind had been spinning. Sheldon and Willow had both opted to skip the game tonight. Sheldon couldn’t bring herself to cheer and Willow avoided being in the same vicinity as Dash whenever she could.
Aunt Carissa was opening the door by the time I made it downstairs. “Hello, girls,” she greeted as she closed the door and retreated back into the living room.
We escaped up to my room, and I turned to a movie channel.
“So I was able to get the juiciest burgers since everyone is at the game tonight.”
“Do you think we’ll win?” Willow asked.
“I’m sure we will.” With someone who played as ruthless as Keiran did, I had no doubt but Keiran was still recovering from his gunshot wound so he wouldn’t be playing.
“I’m not so sure,” Sheldon answered slowly, and for a second, I thought I saw regret in her eyes.
She shrugged and looked lost in thought while she nibbled her burger instead of digging into it. “Dash said he doesn’t seem into it anymore. I’m surprised they even considered letting him play. It’s ridiculous. He rarely leaves the hospital except for school anyway.”
“How is Keenan?”
She took a deep breath before answering. “The same. He’s never awake for long anymore. They were talking about putting him in a coma soon to help with the pain.”
“In another week or so. The doctors are grasping for straws to keep him alive because they believe he has a good chance of getting a lung. He’s young, healthy, and he’s reaching a critical stage.”
“He’s holding on, Sheldon. He’ll make it. He has, too.”
* * *
Victory had been ours. We took the championship thanks to Dash and Buddy because, as it turns out, Keiran didn’t play.
In the middle of French, I felt the pressing need to pee so I excused myself for the bathroom, forgetting my cardinal rule of never going to the bathroom alone.
I didn’t remember until I was in the deserted hallway and my anxiety kicked in. I considered going back in until I told myself I was being stupid.
The closest bathroom was right around the corner, but when I made it, there was an Out of Order sign hanging. I should have taken it as a sign, but my bladder was not to be ignored. The next closest bathroom would be the one in the gym, and at that moment, I knew fate was against me.
With a swift kick in the ass, I made my way to the gym. By the time I arrived, I could barely walk and realized I would have to go through the gym floor to make it to the bathroom in time. When I opened the gym door and peered inside, I let out a breath of relief that no one, mainly Keiran was inside. Maybe fate wasn’t so cruel after all. Besides, Keiran had class this period anyway.
When I entered the bathroom, I made a point to pass the stall Trevor had attacked me in and made quick work of relieving my bladder. Satisfied, I hurried out of the bathroom and collided with a wall. I bounced straight through the door and landed on the tile floor of the bathroom. My legs kept the door from closing, and when I looked up, I saw startling gray eyes staring back at me.
I quickly stood up, not liking the way he towered over me, but even on my feet, he still made me feel small… and helpless. The door swung close, and I waited a beat, hoping he would be gone when I opened it. I didn’t get the chance. The door burst open, and he swaggered in, but the look on his face was anything but casual.
“What are you doing in here?”
“I’m sorry. I thought this was a free country.”
He scrubbed his hand down his face. “Tell me.”
“Well, for obvious reasons… I had to pee.”
“And you couldn’t use the bathroom closer to your class?”
I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back against the wall. To him, I may have appeared casual, but I was anything but. I needed to keep my legs from giving out. I was right back at square one. We hadn’t been this close since he woke up in the hospital and humiliated me for the last time.
I looked at his chest and thought about the wound that was still very much fresh. I wasn’t even sure he should be in school. I was more than relieved the rumors weren’t true and Keiran hadn’t played while wounded.
“It was out of order. Anything else you would like to know?”
“Stop pushing me, Monroe.”
“Big surprise—I’m Monroe again, and I’m not pushing you. You are the one cornering me in the bathroom. Why are you out class, anyway?”
“I keep my promises.”
“What the hell does that even mean? What does it have to do with me?”
“Watch your mouth.”
I dropped my casual stance and stood up straight. “Or what?”
His arm shot in between my legs and lifted me up the wall bringing me to his level. I could feel his arm pressing against my center as my legs straggled his arm and could do nothing but wrap my legs around him to keep from falling. He leaned in and whispered, “Or I’ll shut you up.” A crooked smile appeared on his daring face. “Or at least I’ll keep you from talking.”
“Put me down,” I ordered. When he didn’t move, I tried another tactic. “You’ll open your stitches.”