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Brooke opened the door for AJ when he returned and told him that Alissa was still sleeping. She asked him if he would mind staying with her for a couple hours while she and Lucas ran some errands.


“Of course I will. Mind if I go upstairs?”


Brooke smiled. “No. She’d probably rather wake up to your face than mine!” she said and she and Lucas left.


AJ went up the stairs and knocked on the door of the guest room. Nobody answered so he went inside and found Alissa still sleeping. He crawled onto the bed next to her and whispered in her ear “Wake up Sleeping Beauty.”


Alissa screamed and smacked AJ in the head with her arm. She jumped out of bed, turned to face him, and narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t ever do that again!”


AJ just sat there shocked. He had no idea what he did wrong and the last thing he wanted to do was scare her.  He got up and came around to the other side of the bed where she was standing and put his arms around her.


“I’m so sorry Liss. I honestly didn’t mean to scare you. I was just hoping to get your attention.” he whispered. He could feel her still shaking and sat her back on the bed.


Alissa started to tear up.


“Liss, please tell me what I did wrong so I don’t do it again.” AJ said quietly sitting next to her.


Alissa started crying. “He called me Sleeping Beauty. He called me that right before he started hitting me again. Please don’t ever call me that again!” Her voice started to rise and she started shaking again.


AJ pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her tighter. “I promise NEVER to call you that again. I’m so sorry.” he whispered. He wished more than anything that he could take those last few minutes back. “I don’t want you to ever feel scared around me. I never want to do that to you.” He kissed her on the head.


Alissa started to calm down. “I’m sorry I hit you. I just heard those words and reacted.” she said and turned her head to look at AJ. “I know you didn’t know and that you didn’t do it on purpose.”


“It’s not your fault.” AJ said.


“I know but it’s not your fault either. You didn’t do that to me.” Alissa lay back down on the bed.


AJ crawled around to the other side and lay down. “Do you want to stay here or go out and do something?”


“I want to sleep for a little longer. Will you stay here with me?” She looked up at him with frightened eyes.


“Of course I will Liss.” AJ pulled her towards him and wrapped her up in his arms. “Try and go back to sleep. I’m not going anywhere.”