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The doctors allowed Alissa to leave the hospital after a few days but she was given strict instructions to return if anything else happened. She was on total bed rest until the baby was born. Denise came by, picked her up and brought her back to their house.


AJ had spent the morning finishing up the other guest room for Alissa. He had actually spent the last few days painting and rearranging it while Denise visited with Alissa. His mom had gone to Brooke’s and picked up some things for her and he made sure everything was put away. He even left some roses in a vase on her night stand.  As much as he wanted to be there when she came home, AJ had agreed to give the women some space to get settled in before he came back. He went over to Nick’s and waited for his mother to call and say it was ok for him to come back.


When the women got home, Denise walked Alissa upstairs and showed her where she would be staying. Her bedroom was between the bathroom and AJ’s room while Denise’s was down the hall. The door was closed and both women were shocked when they opened it.


AJ must have spent hours putting this together Denise thought. The room was painted light blue and the sun coming through the bay window made it sparkle. There was a king sized sleigh bed with white lace bedding and a beautiful bouquet of pink roses on the table. Alissa was astounded to see her clothes were put away and there were books and a TV on the dresser for her to watch.


Alissa knew right away that AJ had done all of this and was touched that he would go to that much trouble considering what had happened over the last few months. She believed Denise when she said he had changed and that he still loved her but she wasn’t ready to open her heart to him yet.  Another heartache was more than she could handle.


Denise got her settled into bed and told her to try and get some rest. She fell asleep for a few hours and was just waking up when she heard a knock on her door. It opened and she saw AJ poke his head in.


“Hey. How are you feeling?”




“No more pain thought right?” he asked concerned.


“No, not at all. Thank you.”


AJ stood there for a few seconds. He really wanted to go in and stay for a bit but he didn’t want to rush her. They were all surprised that she had finally relented and agreed to stay with them. He didn’t want to drive any more wedges in between them.


“I’m going to run out and grab some stuff for dinner. Anything you’d like?”


Alissa smiled at him. “I’m fine with whatever you guys want. Please don’t go doing anything different because I’m here.”


“It’s not a problem, just tell me what you need.”


“I’m good AJ. I appreciate you asking.”


AJ shook his head. “You are so damn stubborn Liss……”


Both of them froze. They knew it had been months since he used her nickname. Alissa felt her heart ache. She had always loved that AJ called her that and it was something special between them.

AJ couldn’t believe that he had said that. He started to worry that it set them back to square one but was relieved when Alissa smiled at him again.


“I know I am.”


AJ grinned. “Alright. I’ll be back in a bit. If you need anything, just call my cell.”


Alissa looked confused. “Isn’t your mom downstairs?”


AJ paused. “She is but I want to know if you need anything ok.”


“Ok. Thanks AJ.”


“No problem. Try and get some more rest and I’ll wake you up for dinner.”


AJ closed the door softly and went downstairs. Alissa just sighed and curled up under the blankets. Denise said he still loved her but she could feel the distance between them. He just stood at the door when what she wanted was for him to just curl up next to her and hold her. Tears slid down her cheeks as she slipped off to sleep.