He lets out a bitter-sounding laugh. “It didn’t. I choked like a little bitch. Then, I got out of my car and smashed the hell out of her with a baseball bat.”
“How did that make you feel?”
“Smashing my car up? Good, while I was doing it. Then, afterward…I felt like shit, so I went inside and smashed up all my racing trophies.”
“And did smashing up your trophies make you feel better?”
“Why do you think you did it—smashing up your car and trophies?”
“Because I didn’t want constant reminders of who I used to be. And who I am now.”
He has a clear perception of why he behaves as he does. That gives me a lot of hope for his recovery.
“And who are you now?”
“A shell of the man I was.” His shoulders drop. “I’m the guy who can’t face the failure that he is, so I did the same as always whenever I feel like that. I went out to a bar and got trashed. Then, I woke up in a hotel room with two women in bed with me and little recollection of the night before.”
Getting up from my seat, I grab my water bottle from my desk. I’m covering. It’s really bothering me, knowing that he had sex with not only one woman, but two.
Why is this affecting me in this way?
It shouldn’t. And it can’t.
I push my feelings aside and sit back down. “Sorry. My throat is dry today,” I explain in way of my water departure.
He’s closely watching me with those dark eyes of his.
“You’re not a failure, Leandro. You suffered a terrible accident. What you’re feeling is normal.”
“I don’t…” He blows out a breath. “I don’t feel normal. I feel weak.” His words are whispered, his voice broken.
I feel his pain wrap around me in a way that I’m not familiar with.
“You’re not weak, Leandro. You’re human.” My voice sounds different, even to my own ears. I always soften my tone with my patients, but there’s something else in my voice that I can’t place.
His eyes lift to mine, and something unexpected moves through my chest.
It’s compassion. I feel it all the time for my patients.
Before I can question myself, I quickly glance from him to the clock.
Clearing my throat, I say, “I’m really sorry that I can’t extend our session right now, but I also don’t want to leave this until our next session. I think talking more today could really help. Can you come back at six p.m., and we’ll talk more then? How does that sound to you?”
I see the first flicker of a genuine smile on his face.
“That would be great. Thank you.”
His sincerity touches me like fingers brushing over my skin.
Crap! I was supposed to have dinner with Dan after work before his shift at the hospital. We’ve both been working a lot, and his shifts have meant that we haven’t been able to see each other much over the last two weeks.
I have to call him and let him know that I’ll be seeing a patient, so I can’t make it.
“Okay.” I get up from my seat and walk toward the exit door. “So, I’ll see you back here at six.”
After he walks toward me, I open the door, and Leandro’s arm accidentally brushes mine. Electricity sparks up my arm with an intensity that I’ve never felt before. My lungs feel compressed.
Lifting my eyes to his face, I see he’s already looking at me.
His eyes are fathomless. Depthless. Eyes I could fall into.
I feel caught off guard.
My face is warm, and I know my cheeks are red. Catching myself, I look away and wrap my hand around my arm, willing the feel of his touch to dissipate.
“Sadie won’t be here when you arrive. She’ll have left for the day, so just come straight into my office. I’ll be here.” Maintaining professionalism, I force my eyes back to his.
I can’t get a read on him.
He’s smiling, but what that smile means, I’m not sure.
Does he know he affected me just now?
There’s a dimple etched deep in his cheek. It only works to increase his handsomeness.
I feel a ripple in my chest.
You’re his therapist.
I take a step back.
“I’ll see you at six, India.” He turns and begins walking down the stairs.
Closing the door, I realize that’s the first time he’s called me by my first name, and hearing him say it with his sexy Brazilian accent…well, let’s just say the feeling it leaves me with is amazing.
And that’s not good.
It’s not good at all.
I FELT SOMETHING when my arm brushed India’s. Something intense.
A simple brush of our arms, and exhilaration rushed through me.
The thing is, when touching women, I haven’t felt anything since the accident. No connection. Nothing. I fuck to forget, not because I want those women.
And I’m pretty sure India felt our connection, too. I saw the way her cheeks flushed and how she curled her hand around her arm where we’d touched.
I affect her.
I wasn’t sure if I did, but now, I’m pretty damn sure that I do.
I like her. But I don’t want to fuck this up because I really think she can help me. After last night, I need her help more than I realized.
It’s almost six p.m., and I’m on my way back to India’s office.
India. I love the sound of her name each time I say it.