AURORA, Colo. July 24, 2012 -- Of the 12 people killed in the Aurora theater shooting, four of them were men who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their girlfriends. Now, each of these women are struggling to come to terms with both their grief and their gratitude.
Alexander Teves, 24, attended the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" with his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren , 24, and another friend.
When suspected gunman James Holmes opened fire in the sold out theater, Teves immediately lunged to block Lindgren from the gunfire.
"I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused," Lindgren told ABC News. "But, it's like Alex didn't even hesitate. Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, 'Shh. Stay down. It's ok. Shh just stay down.' So I did."
Teves blocked the bullets from Lindgren but he was shot and killed. She was not hit.
"He was my angel that night, but he was my angel every day I knew him," Lindgren said. "I'm broken."
Lindgren reflected on the profoundly close relationship she had with Teves, saying that the couple would not go an hour in the day "without missing each other terribly."
"My other half was just ripped apart from me and so for me it's still unreal," she said. "I can't picture my life without him. How do you? When someone loves you that much and you love somebody that much…how do you believe that this is real? And of all places. We were in that theater, that specific room. We were just supposed to watch a movie."
When asked if she thought Teves knew he was putting himself in danger for her, Lindgren said, "I know he did. He'd do anything for me. He always told me that, too. I just wish I could have protected him the same way he protected me."
Teves' father Tom Teves is also devastated, but said that his son is still with him.
"I'm hollow. But Alex has come and brought me…from heaven, he's been bringing me hope," Teves told ABC News. "He's still my inspiration. And I know now more than ever that there is a God. Because of Alex. Because Alex is still coming through. Because that's the kind of man he is."
Elsewhere in theater nine, John Larimer and his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek went through a similar situation.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek, 23, were sitting in the middle of the theater when the shooting began.
"John immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger," Vojtsek wrote in a statement. "Moments later, John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me. I feel very strongly that I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness."
The couple had known each other since they were 21 and 18 years old when they met working at a Chili's in Illinois, where they are both from. Larimer was home for the summer from school and Vojtsek was getting ready to go to college. They became close and stayed in touch with Facebook and text messages.
This summer, Vojtsek's father Fred Vojtsek came to Colorado to work for an extended period of time. When Julia Vojtsek traveled to Colorado to spend part of her summer with her father, she told him that Larimer was stationed in Aurora and he encouraged her to see him.
Theater Survivors Grieve For Hero Boyfriends
"I wanted her to see him because he would have been a kid that a father wants to see his daughter with, a kid of values and things like that," Fred Vojtsek told ABCNews.com. He said his daughter and Larimer became boyfriend and girlfriend about three weeks ago. "So many kids these days don't really want to hear what parents have to say or engage or listen, and he did. That's what stood out with me."
"We were planning on going to church Saturday night," Vojtsek said. "He was a good kid."
Fred Vojstek has been staying in a place just minutes away from the Century 16 movie theater where the shooting took place. His panicked daughter called him as she was running out of the theater and he arrived within minutes of the shooting.
"She was hysterical and then she got more into a shock stage," Vojtsek said.
Since then, Julia Vojtsek has told her father that she was at the movie with Larimer, two other navy men and a woman. Fred Vojtsek said that after Larimer was shot, the other two Navy members were "unbelievable" in making sure his daughter got out safely, even though they had just met her earlier that day.
"I'm grateful my daughter is alive and hopeful he can get through this," Vojtsek said, adding that she is "very, very traumatized."
He said that Larimer's family has been very good to his daughter and that he is "eternally grateful" for Larimer and his Navy friends for saving his daughter.
Vojtsek wrote that just weeks earlier, Larimer had spoken to her about his further advancement in the military.
"John convincingly stated to me that he wanted to be deployed for two simple reasons: He wanted to protect his country, and he wanted to save others from danger and harm," she wrote. "John adamantly wanted to make a difference in the world, and he thought that his military service would be the best chance for him to do so."
"John served his country to the fullest, fulfilling both of his goals," she added.
In addition to these two couples, Matthew McQuinn, 27, and Jon Blunk, 26, died saving their girlfriends in similar ways. Their girlfriends Samantha Yowler, 26, and Jansen Young, 21, did not respond to requests for comment.