What if Ben was the one who got shot instead of Ciara?

Ciara walked into the kitchen and saw Ben busy cooking. "Wow, I haven't seen you do this much cooking since we were in the cabin." Ben smiled at that memory. Ben walked over and gave Ciara a kiss on the cheek.

Ciara looked around, "This is so nice." Ben smiled, "Only the best for my baby." Ciara blushed slightly.

Ben took Ciara over to one of chairs in the living room, "I have a couple surprises for you." Ben pulled out a bag and Ciara took it nervously, "Okay…?" Ciara rustled through the bag. "Candles, nice." Ben smiled and starting kissing Ciara's neck through her hair, "I know that both Tripp and Claire are working tonight and it's been a while since we've had 'alone time'. wiggling his eyebrows when he said alone time. Ciara giggled and dug deeper into the bag and pulled out a hockey goalie mask. Ciara looked at Ben in confusion, "Uh…" Ciara laughed nervously, "Something you wanna tell me?"

Ben chuckled, "I thought I could give you a foot massage, but wanted to keep all of my teeth so…" Ben tapped the mask twice, "Protection." Ciara giggled, "You are too much, you know that?" Ben gave Ciara a kiss on the lips, "I'm gonna go finish."

Ciara got up and headed toward the bedroom. "I'm gonna go put on something more… fancy." Ciara walked into the bedroom.

A few minutes later, Ben yelled out, "Ciara, I'm going back to the store. I forgot carrots." Ciara yelled back, "Don't forget your ketchup." Ben laughed, "Funny. I'll be back in a few." Ciara laughed to herself over her joke. Ciara always thought back to their time in the cabin together fondly. They had so much they could joke about and no one else truly understood what they were talking about.

Ciara heard the door shut and walked out. "Ben, you back already?" Ciara walked out into the kitchen finding Ben's father, Clyde standing there with a gun. Ciara screamed and Clyde turned the gun and pointed it right at Ciara. "Now, no more of that screaming." Ciara shakily said, "You're Clyde." Without missing a beat, Clyde responded, "And you're Ciara Brady. We have a LOT to discuss."

Ciara's eyes darted around the loft trying to figure out her next move. Clyde noticed this and took a step further toward her. "Don't try anything, sweetheart." Ciara closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath, "Wha-what do you want from me?"

An evil smirk slid across Clyde's face, "You're a bright girl. You should know that. I want to talk to you about Ben." Ciara sighed, "What could I possibly have to say to the psychopath that is his father?" Clyde clicked his tongue, "You should watch that mouth little girl, it could get you into trouble one day."

Ciara sighed, silently praying that Ben would be back any minute. "You-you know that Ben is gonna be back any minute now." Clyde cocked his head to the side, "Then we better make this fast." Ciara let out a shaky breath as Clyde stepped even closer to her. Clyde slid the hand that wasn't holding a gun to Ciara's face, "My son turned his back on me, because you, you STUPID BITCH. And now I'm gonna make you pay."

Tears started to fill Ciara's eyes. Ciara was about to retort when Ben walked through the door, "Ci, I'm back." Clyde pulled Ciara to him, holding her in front of him like a shield. All of the color drained from Ben's face when he saw his father standing behind Ciara. Clyde said, "Funny, so am I."

Ciara cried out, "Ben…" Tears started streaming down Ciara's face. Ben dropped what he was holding and starting taking steps toward Ciara, but Clyde dug his gun deeper into Ciara's shoulder, "One step closer and she takes a bullet. "Dad, please."

Clyde laughed, "You've got it this bad, son? That you're letting this little BITCH take advantage as you!" Ben tried to fight the tears that pooled in his eyes, "Ciara, she-she didn't do anything. This is between you and me. Please, ju-just let her go." Clyde shook his head, "That's where you're wrong, son. She has EVERYTHING to do with this."

Clyde pushed Ciara away and now she was facing him head-on. "Now, as I said, my son turned his back on me and that's a betrayal. And I don't deal with betrayal well. So, I know the best way to get even." Ciara took a deep breath, "Clyde, you-you don't want to do this."

Clyde sucked in a breath and started waving the gun in between Ben and Ciara, keeping the gun on Ciara, "Y'know, I could shoot YOU, Ben but I think that it would be worse to watch your girlfriend bleed out…" Ben yelled "Dad, no!" and jumped in front of Ciara right before Clyde pulled the trigger.

Ben collapsed to the floor. "Oh my god, Ben!" Ciara put one hand on Ben's neck as he fell to the floor and went down with him. Ben tried to reach up to Ciara's face. Ciara looked up to Clyde, "Ben is your son! Ho-how could you shoot him?!" Clyde sneered, "He wants to be your knight in shining armor, well he's gonna pay the ultimate price for that." With that, Clyde walked out of the apartment with Ciara screaming his name.

Ciara turned back to Ben and whispered, "Hey. Hey, it's okay. It's gonna be okay." Ciara was trying to stay calm but there was so much blood coming from Ben. When Ciara pressed on the gunshot wound, Ben screamed out. Ciara closed her eyes for a second, trying to stop the tears from falling.

Ben reached a hand up to wipe the tears that threatened to fall. Ciara kissed the inside of Ben's hand as it landed on her neck. Ben started to speak, "I-I…" Ben's hand fell. Ciara put her thumb to Ben's lip, "Don't. Don't say anything. Just focus on my voice."

Ciara reached into Ben's pocket and pulled out his phone and called 911. Ciara looked down and saw that Ben's eyes had closed. She leaned down, "Ben! Ben, no! Stay with me! BEN!" Ciara kept her head over Ben's heart, not caring about his blood getting in her hair. Ciara listened his heartbeat get weaker and weaker.

Ciara looked up, "Where is the ambulance?!"

JJ along with another paramedic came rushing into the loft. JJ stopped just as he was in front of the couple. "What happened?!" Ciara looked up at JJ with tear-stained cheeks, "Clyde happened." JJ looked at Ciara confused, "Clyde's in prison." "Not anymore, he broke out… to do this."

JJ knelt to Ciara's level, "Are you sure you're okay?" Ciara closed her eyes and nodded, "Yeah. It's Ben's." Ciara choked back a sob, "I can't lose him, JJ." J

J inhaled sharply and nodded as his partner put Ben on the stretcher. As he began to wheel Ben out of the loft, JJ turned to Ciara, "I assume you're going to meet us at the hospital?" Ciara let out a shaky breath, "Can I ride with you? I-I don't want to leave Ben alone."

JJ hesitated for a moment before nodding slowly. Ciara quickly caught up to Ben. Ciara rustled Ben's hair, "Hey, I'm right here, baby."

Ciara watched as JJ applied gauze to Ben's wound. JJ looked up at Ciara and sighed heavily, "As much as I hate to admit it Ciara, Ben's tough." Ciara looked up at her cousin and sniffed. Ciara lifted Ben's hand and kissed the outside of his hand, "I know. He's one of the strongest people I've ever met, but when I saw all that blood coming out of him…" Ciara couldn't finish her thought.

Ciara moved her free hand to Ben's head and began playing with his hair. "I just love him so much, I can't picture my life without him." JJ walked around the stretcher to near where Ciara was sitting. JJ looked at Ciara's tight grip on Ben's hand and sighed after a moment, "I'm sorry, you have to let go, so I can get his vitals." Ciara closed her eyes and after giving the inside of Ben's palm one last squeeze, gently set his hand beside him.

JJ put a pulse monitor on Ben's index finger and a blood pressure cuff on his upper arm. JJ noted the vitals and walked over to the front of the ambulance tapping twice. JJ quietly said to his partner, "Step on it." It didn't matter though, Ciara had heard.

Ciara resumed her grip on Ben's hand the rest of the ride to the hospital, alternating squeezing and kissing the inside of his palm and the outside of his hand.

Ciara ran alongside Ben when they entered the hospital. They were greeted by Kayla as she ran up to her niece as with the paramedics rushed Ben into a nearby room. Kayla held both of Ciara's arms with her hands, "Honey, what happened?"

Ciara sniffed, "Clyde happened. He-he was gonna shoot me, but Ben jumped in front of the gun." Ciara sighed, "He saved me." Kayla noticed all of the blood on Ciara, "Are you sure you didn't get hit?"

Ciara tearfully nodded, "It's Ben's. There-there was so much blood. Please, Aunt Kayla, you have to save him. I can't lose him." Kayla nodded as she headed toward where the paramedics had brought Ben.

Ciara sighed as she sat in the waiting room. A nurse approached Ciara. "You're here with Ben Weston?" Ciara stood up and nodded, "I-is he gonna be okay? PLEASE tell me he's gonna be okay!" Ciara let some tears fall that she had been holding back. The nurse shook her head, "I don't know. Dr. Brady is in the OR with him now. She's one of the best." Ciara sighed tearfully. Normally she would feel confident in her aunt's abilities, but right now, nothing could ease her nerves.

Ciara put her hands in her hair and put her head down. The moment when Ben jumped in front of her kept playing over and over again in her head. Ben sacrificed himself to save her. She would have given anything so it was her, anything so Ben wasn't fighting for his life right now.

What felt like hours had passed and Ciara kept staring waiting for Kayla to come back and say that Ben was going to be okay, her boyfriend was gonna be just fine. Ciara heard her mother's voice, "Ciara? Ciara!" Hope ran over to Ciara and pulled her up into a hug. "Oh my god! Thank god you're okay. When I heard the dispatch, I thought that…"

Ciara shook her head, "I'm fine, Mom. Ben…" Hope looked over Ciara and saw all of the blood, "Ciara…" Ciara took a deep breath and fought the tears that threatened to fall, "It's not mine. It's Ben's." choking back tears on the word 'Ben'. Hope put her hands on the sides of Ciara's face, "I am so glad that it's not you."

Ciara squirmed out of her mother's grasp, "You're glad it's Ben?" Hope look at Ciara shocked and Ciara started pacing, "My boyfriend is in there FIGHTING for his life, and you're happy!" Ciara couldn't fight the tears any longer, "He saved me, Mom. AGAIN. Clyde was gonna shoot ME, but Ben jumped in front of the gun. You should be THANKING him." Hope kept her next thought to herself. Ciara ran a hand through her blood-soaked hair, "I would give ANYTHING to have it be me."

Ciara sighed, "When is Aunt Kayla gonna be back?!" Ciara sighed a breath of relief when she saw Kayla walking out, but that relief turned to pure petrifiedness when she saw all of the blood on Kayla's scrubs. She knew: that had to be Ben's and she knew what Kayla would say. No one could survive losing that much blood. Not even someone as strong as Ben.

Ciara collapsed into a chair sobbing. Hope sat down next to her daughter, putting an arm around her shoulders. Ciara rocked back and forth. Hope couldn't help but be a little bit relieved that Ben was dead. She hated that her daughter was gonna go through this, but knowing that she would forever be safe from Ben was a small price to pay.

Kayla walked up to Ciara and bent down so she was at her level, "Ciar-" Ciara looked up with her tear-soaked face, "Just say it. I-I know what you're gonna say. It's obvious. Ben 'succumbed to his injuries', they were 'too severe' and you did 'everything you could'." Kayla shook her head, "No, sweetie. Ben made it."

Ciara jumped up, "Bu- all of the blood…" Kayla sighed, "It was touch-and-go for a bit, I'm not gonna lie, but…" Kayla couldn't finish her sentence because Ciara wrapped her in a bone-crushing hug, "Oh my god. He's okay? He's really gonna be okay?" Kayla sighed, "It was a very serious injury. We have to wait and see what his body does."

Kayla started to walk away and Ciara followed her, "Can-can I see him?" Kayla started to shake her head, but Ciara continued, "Please. I-I just want to be by his side. I was the last thing he saw before he closed his eyes and I want to be the first thing that he sees when he wakes up. Please." Kayla took a deep breath, "Okay, okay fine."

Ciara looked back to make sure her mother was out of earshot, "What about his…" Ciara lowered her voice, "…meds?" Kayla nodded her head understanding, "If he is still unconscious when the time comes, they will be administered via IV." Ciara sighed relived, "Okay."

Ciara walked into Ben's room, not knowing quite what to expect, but not prepared for what she saw. Ben pale as a ghost with all kinds of wires coming out of him.

Ciara sighed as she pulled up an exam stool and sat down next to Ben's bed. Ciara carefully put Ben's larger hand in hers. Ciara kissed Ben's hand before carefully and gently putting it back down.

Ciara sighed emotionally, "I-I don't know if you can hear me, but if you can, listen closely. I cannot lose you baby. I-I love you so much. I don't know what I would do if I lost you. You literally found me when I needed it most."

Ciara sniffed and a tearful smile came to her lips, "Y'know, a while back when I was upset about Theo, my mom told me that you get more than one great love in your life and mine would find me. And you did. LITERALLY find me." Ciara chuckled, "I-I don't think you're EXACTLY what my mom had in mind, but… you're so much better. I, uh, I need you to open your eyes, Ben. Please. You don't even have to say a word, just open them. I just need you to flash me your famous smile again. You know how much I love that. Ho-how we are able to communicate without words. How you know what I'm gonna say before I even say it. Please. Ben…"

Ciara stood up and placed a kiss in the corner of Ben's mouth, the best she could with all of the wires. Ciara leaned her head down over Ben's knee when she felt a hand brush her back and she jumped up. Ciara let out a gasp when she saw that it was just her mom. Hope sighed, "Ciara, why don't you go home and get some sleep?" Ciara furrowed her eyebrows, "Sleep? You really think that I could sleep knowing that Ben is sitting here in this cold, dark hospital alone? If it was me, Ben would NEVER leave my side, and I will be DAMNED if I'm gonna leave his."

Hope sighed, not wanting to fight with her daughter right now. Hope gave Ciara a kiss on top of her head and walked out.

Ciara put her head back down and tried and failed to stop the tears from falling. All she wanted was to be able to wrap his arms around Ben, smell his cologne, and him tell her that it was gonna be okay. Ciara was so scared that she was never going to see Ben look down at her with his big brown eyes.

Ciara sighed and felt a hand up the side of her head. Ciara sighed figuring her mom came back, but when she looked up, she saw Ben fluttering his eyes open. Ciara's eyes widened, "Ben! Oh my god!" A strained smirk spread across Ben's face, "Hey baby." Tears filled Ciara's eyes, "Don't you EVER scare me like that again!" Ben chuckled under his breath, "You look like death warmed over."

Ciara shook her head and pursed her lips, "You've just woken up from being unconscious after being shot by your psycho father and you're already getting flirty?!" Ben nodded a bit, "What can I say? I don't come in any other flavor around you." Ciara sighed and gently put a hand around Ben's jaw.

Tears started to fill Ciara's eyes, "I was so scared that I was never gonna see you again." Ben shook his head, "You can't get rid of me that easily. It'll take more than a bullet to rid you of me."

Ciara laughed a bit, "I-" Ben took hold of Ciara's hand, "I love you, Ciara Alice Brady." Ciara looked at Ben in shock, "It may be too soon, and I don't want you to say it just because I did, but I want you to know how I feel. I am totally and completely in love with you."

Ciara smiled as a few stray tears fell, "I love you, too. I was so scared that I was going to lose you." Ben attempted to move over in the bed. Ciara stood up, "Wha-what do you need?" Ben chuckled at his girlfriend, "I want you to lay with me." Ciara looked at Ben, "Ben…" Ben patted the spot next to him, "Please."

Ciara sighed and gingerly sat down barely putting any weight on Ben. "Baby, I'm not gonna break." Ciara shook her head, "I-I just can't get the image of all of that blood coming out of you out of my head."

Ben leaned toward Ciara, "You are never going to lose me, Ciara. I AM however gonna need a 'nurse' to take care of me if you know what I mean." Ciara laughed, "Is that so?" Ben nodded and Ciara leaned in to place a light kiss on Ben's lips.