“What about your health?”

“You made me stay in the hospital a full day when most people stay a few hours and I’ve had Dr. Murphy by my side constantly. I’m allowed to do normal things within reason.”

“You really need to do this, don’t you?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.”

“Then we’ll go see Sheridan together.”

Chapter Twenty

Once it’s decided I am to attend the meeting with Sheridan, Liam insists I need to wear something other than the jeans and sweatsuits he brought for me. Fortunately, Dr. Murphy graciously loans me an outfit and after changing into the dress she brought me, I exit the bathroom to find her leaning on my hospital bed, her red hair tied neatly at her nape.

“Oh hi,” I say, not expecting her.

“Liam went to chat with Tellar in the hallway. How are the shoes?”

“A tad big but I can make them work.”

She gives the fitted knee-length black dress a once over and smiles.“It fits you perfectly.”

“Yes. And the color is...appropriate.”

She presses her red-painted lips together at my obvious reference to mourning. “You do know you did nothing wrong, right?”

No, I don’t. “If I’d controlled my stress--”

“There’s no scientific data to support miscarriages and stress being related. Many woman live in horrific circumstances and still deliver at full term.”

“The flashbacks--”

“Didn’t cause this.” She pushes to her feet and walks over to me, taking my hands in hers. “Sweetie. You did nothing wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

“When I have flashbacks, they’re memories I’ve forgotten. I don’t understand why I don’t remember until I have one of these...episodes.”

“The mind is an amazing machine, Amy. It protects us. It gives us what we can handle. When we get back to New York, and you get some rest, come to my office and we’ll talk more.”

“Yes. Okay.” And the idea of actually leaving the house to visit her and walking around New York without fear is a good one. I just hope this meeting makes that happen.

“Ready?” Liam asks from the doorway.

“Yes,” I say, zipping up the bag he’d brought me.

Dr. Murphy walks toward Liam and stops beside him. “Make this trip you have planned fast. I prefer her off her feet.” She doesn’t wait for his answer.

Liam arches a brow at me as she leaves. “I think I’ve been scolded.”

I smile. “Don’t mess with Dr. Murphy or you might really get spanked.”

He laughs, sauntering toward me, and the deep, rumbling, and wonderful sound of his laughter reaches inside me and eases just a little bit of the ache. Wrapping me in his arms, he says, “I think that might be pain not pleasure.” He sobers. “You need anything?”

“That’s a loaded question.”

“I suppose it is. Let’s go get this meeting over with and go home.”

“Home,” I repeat. “I like how that sounds.”

“Me too, baby. Me too.”

***

I exit the hospital with an entourage of Liam, Tellar, and Jared, while Dr. Murphy is being driven by private car to the airport to meet us later.

“Sheridan’s offices are in Austin,” Liam informs me. “Any stops you want to make before we leave?”

“If you mean, do I still want to go to the cemetery? The answer is no. When I go it won’t be to say goodbye to all three of them. It will be to tell them I saved my brother.”

Understanding seeps into Liam’s eyes. “We’ll come back when you’re ready.”

I lace my fingers with his. “I know.” And it feels good to know that when I do he’ll be with me.

We ride in silence the rest of the trip and prepare to exit the Land Rover in the parking garage. Liam turns to me and says, “Say nothing inside the garage or the building that you don’t want heard. Assume everything is being recorded. And you’ve been through hell, baby, I know, but you can’t blink in this meeting. Hold your chin up and be strong. Just being here sends a message of confidence to Sheridan, but let me talk. Let me handle this.”

“Yes.”

“Promise me.”

“I promise.”

“Good.” He kisses my forehead and opens the door.

Tellar and Jared are flanking us almost instantly and despite having three, big, confident men with me, my nerves are fluttering all over the place, as some part of me is holding on to the hope that this meeting will lead me to my brother. It’s all I can think of as we enter the lobby, until I see the well-manned security desk we have to get past.

“Give me a minute,” Liam says, motioning to Tellar, who falls into step with him, and leaving me with Jared.

Jared’s eyes land hard on me. “You didn’t have to do this.”

“Chad’s letter didn’t tell me to have someone else do this. He said me.”

“Because he wasn’t sure you’d have anyone else.”

“If he left the clue with you, he clearly thought I’d have you.”

“You do, you know. You have me if you need me.”

“I know and I have you to thank for getting me the message and a whole lot more. I won’t ever forget any of it.”

“I don’t want thanks,” he says. “I want you to stay alive.”

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