“Yes.” I take it from him. “I’m good. You’re sure I need stitches?”

“One hundred percent.”

I squeeze my eyes shut against the sound of my mother’s screams echoing in my mind.

And I hear Chad calling my name. Amy. Amy. But I wasn’t Amy then. I was Lara. Why was he calling me Amy? Is my mind trying to tell me something, or am I so removed from my past that there is nothing but Amy left? Jump. Jump now.

“Amy.” I jump at Liam’s hand stroking down my hair. “Easy. Are you okay?”

“Yes.” But I’m not. I want to tell him everything. I want to tell him more than I want my next breath, but that nightmare has reminded me how very real the danger I am in is, and I am not clearheaded enough to decide what that means for him. For us. “I’m dizzy.”

“I’m guessing you have a concussion. Can you stand up so we can get you dressed?”

“Yes.” He helps me to my feet and I feel pathetic when he has to practically put my shorts on me and then tie his shirt at my waist. He drops sandals at my feet and I slide into them. He puts the toilet seat down. “Sit. Let me call for a car service before we head downstairs.”

Ten minutes later we exit the hotel and the doorman pulls open the passenger door of a black sedan for me. My head is spinning and my stomach is queasy and Liam helps me into the car.

“Amy. What the hell?”

Liam and I both turn to find Jared standing there. “Did he touch you?” He glares at Liam.

“You son of a bitch, did you hit her?”

“No!” I exclaim. “No. Jared, I fell.”

“Back the f**k off,” Liam growls. “I would never touch her, but I will you.”

“Amy?” Jared asks, and he seems sincerely worried. “Did he touch you?”

“No. I told you no. He wasn’t even here when it happened. He just flew into town and found me passed out.”

“Let’s go,” Liam orders me. “Blood is seeping through the towel. You need those stitches.”

“I’m fine, Jared, but thank you.” I slide into the car and Liam follows, shutting us inside.

He taps the seat and gives the driver directions. I have never wanted to block out the rest of the world as I do right now. He turns to me and his eyes are dark shadows and turbulence. I expect him to ask about Jared but he doesn’t.

“You aren’t going to ask about him?”

“You’re hurt. It’s not time for fifty questions.”

“I thought the game was twenty questions.”

“I have fifty but I won’t ask tonight.”

But he wants to, and now that the miles are no longer between us, I’m not letting Jared get there instead. “I ran into him at the coffee shop today, but other than that this is the first I’ve seen of him since that night at Earl’s.”

“I didn’t ask.”

“You wanted to.”

“Yes. I wanted to.”

“I’m glad you’re here. You didn’t tell me you were coming back.”

“I didn’t want to promise something I couldn’t make happen. I wrapped everything up as I’d hoped early today. The woman my father put in the intensive care unit was moved to a regular room and I took care of all of her medical expenses and set up a trust fund for her daughter.” He grimaces. “My father also moved, from jail to rehab.”

“You’re a good man, Liam. I don’t know why you doubt that.”

He leans in and kisses me, his voice softening, rough like gravel. “I couldn’t sleep last night thinking I’d get back here and you’d be gone.”

“I promised I’d be here.”

“And I promised I’d hurry back.” He reaches up and holds the towel for me. “We have a lot to talk about.”

“Yes,” I agree. “Yes, we do.” And not for the first time, I wonder if Liam knows more than I think he does.

“Right now, I just want to get you healthy.” He pulls me close and my hand settles on his heart. It thrums beneath my palm, a soothing melody that feels like home. He feels like home.

I’m going to tell him everything. I just have to find the right time.

***

I wake on my side, a bright blast of sunlight illuminating the room, and my eyes lock on the sight of Liam standing in the bathroom knotting a red silk tie at his neck. He’s been back for two days, one I regretfully slept through, the other we spent in bed together, but today he goes back to war with his “a-hole” investor. We haven’t talked. Not really. I was too sick from the concussion and he was too protective to do anything but worry about me. Despite the ER giving me a thumbs-up on a clear CT Scan, Liam is determined to get me to a neurologist, but I know he’ll understand why I won’t go when I finally tell him about my past. Or what I know of it.

Liam’s gaze suddenly lifts and catches on mine in the mirror, and my stomach flutters wildly. He gives me a devastatingly sexy smile, and turns to close the distance between us. And I am like a starving animal soaking in his male grace and the way the gray pinstriped suit accents his long, leanly muscled frame.

“How do you feel?” he asks, sitting on the edge of the bed.

I sit as well and touch the small bandage at my hairline, one that thankfully has been downsized from gigantic the day before. “Ready to be out of bed.” I stroke my hand down his arm. “Or to stay in it with you here.” I glance at the clock and note the nearly one o’clock hour.

Lisa Renee Jones Books | Romance Books | The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Series Books
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