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The doctor took AJ to Alissa’s room and explained what they would be doing. AJ stood out of their way and watched as they turned off the respirator and removed the breathing tube.  The heartbeat monitor was starting to get quieter and quieter and became a very unsteady line. Without asking the doctor, AJ raced forward and grabbed Alissa’s hand. He knelt beside her bed and ran his finger along the side of her face.


“You can’t do this to me Liss, not again! You need to wake up. I need you to fight. I need you, James needs you. Please Liss, I can’t lose you. I love you.”


The heart monitor stayed at a very unsteady pace.


AJ leaned forward so his mouth was close to her ear. “Damnit Alissa! You need to fight. I know you’re just as stubborn as me and you would kick my ass if I was in your position. Please fight for us. I need you. Please Liss! Don’t leave again.”


He closed his eyes and the tears started to run down his cheeks. This was more than he could bear. It felt like he was so close to having her back and now he was going to lose her again. He was about to break down when the doctor asked him to look at the heart monitor.  It was getting louder and steadier and Alissa’s eyelids were starting to flutter again.


The doctor smiled at him. “Whatever you said to her must have worked.”


AJ just stared at Alissa and grinned from ear to ear.


“We are going to keep her here until she actually wakes up and maybe for a little while after that. Tests need to be run and she needs to be watched for a few days.”


“Do anything you need to do.” AJ said. “I don’t care how long it takes. I want to make sure she’s going to be fine.”


The doctor nodded. “Why don’t I give you some time with her and then I’ll have a nurse start a few tests.”


AJ thanked him and the doctor left closing the door quietly.


AJ sat down on the bed next to her and leaned in to kiss her on the forehead.


“Thank you Liss. I can’t watch you go again. You and James are my life. I will wait as long as it takes for you to wake up. Just please come back to me.”


He stayed there for a few hours just holding her hand and talking to her. Finally a nurse came to run some tests and she suggested that AJ go home for a couple of hours while they did some scans and blood work.  She promised that she would call as soon as they were done and he could come back and stay with her.


 Nick drove AJ home as fast as he could and stayed with him while he explained to Brooke and his mother exactly what happened. By the end of the conversation, both women had tears in their eyes and they were grateful for the good news. Nick called the other guys and told them about the improvement.

“That’s amazing. How’s J doing?” Howie asked.


“He’s good. I actually saw a smile on his face today. It’s been months since that happened.”


“I know. Can I talk to him?”


“He just headed upstairs to get James. He just woke up from his nap.”


“Alright.” Howie said. “Can you ask him to call me when he can?”


“Will do.”


AJ was coming down the stairs just as Nick was hanging up with Howie.


“I called the other guys and Howie wants you to call him whenever you can.”


AJ nodded. “I will. I just want to spend some time with James before I head back to the hospital.”


“Do you want me to hang around? I can bring you back if you want.”


AJ smiled at him. “Thanks Nicky but I’ll be ok. I really appreciate what you did for me today.”


Nick smiled back. “Anytime man. We’re family. Don’t forget that. We’ll always be here for you.”


Nick hugged his brother and said goodbye to Denise and Brooke.


“How’s my grandson?” Denise asked rubbing her finger over James’ little fist. He smiled up at her and she could see Alissa’s eyes look back at her. “How’s my son?” Denise asked turning to AJ.


“I’m good Ma.” AJ said and meant it. “I’m hoping she wakes up soon. It’s killing me not to be able to see her smile and hear her laugh. I want to tell her all about James and introduce him to his mom.”


Denise sighed. “We all do honey. You just keep doing whatever you’re doing and we’ll keep praying.”


AJ hugged his mother and he got a few hours with James before he got the call that he could come back and see Alissa.


“Do you mind staying and watching him?” he asked his mother.


“Of course not sweetheart. Brooke’s going to stay here tonight too. This way we can both keep an eye on him.” Denise pushed her son towards the door. “Go be with Alissa. Tell her we all love her.”


AJ hugged his mother. “I love you Ma, you’re the best!”


“I know.” Denise laughed and watched as AJ took off in his truck.  She hoped that Alissa would join them soon.