Brandon pulls a prescription pad out of his front pocket along with a pen. He’s scribbles something down, tears it off, and hands it to me.

After I take it, I look down. Benjamin’s address.

I blink in surprise, feeling immediate relief I can go see him.

“I am not a crazy stalker,” I assure him. “I promise. I just… I think we had a connection and he got scared or something. I just need to make sure he’s okay. See if there’s anything there.”

Brandon appraises me a moment before nodding. “I saw it.”

“What’s that?”

“The connection. Brief as it was, he let me see it the night he introduced you to us at the gala, I could tell there was something there. It made me happy.”

I drop my gaze to the floor, and shuffle from foot to foot before looking back up to Benjamin’s medical partner. “I just found out what happened. The accident. And how his wife and daughter died. I didn’t know it at the gala. Well… I can’t help but think it has everything to do with why he stood me up on Friday. I just can’t figure out why now.”

“He’s prickly about it,” Brandon says neutrally.

“Prickly?”

Brandon gives a short chuckle. “Okay, he’s an asshole actually. After the accident, he became a different man. He cut everyone out of his life who ever meant something to him. Me, his parents, his brother. He rarely talks to us. All he does is work and sleep. That’s about all there is to his life. That’s why I was glad to see him bring you to the gala. It gave me hope.”

I’m shaken to the core by this information. It means Benjamin is pretty far gone from being a normal human being. It makes me doubt the connection I thought I felt. “We just fuck.”

Brandon’s face turns red at my coarse words, his eyebrows shooting up. “Pardon?”

“I met him at The Wicked Horse. It’s just sex. There’s nothing more than that to what we have.”

Brandon frowns. “The Wicked Horse? What’s that?”

I tell him exactly what it is. A sex club where people can indulge in their darkest desires. Brandon’s face turns even redder. Now, doubt is written all over his face about me. I can see he’s regretting handing Benjamin’s address over.

I feel the need to explain. “I think he went there to feel something. And the connection you saw between us… I feel like I need to be truthful about it just being sexual in nature. But… it was a connection. I’ve never felt it before. You said you saw it, and I know it was real. We had something, but I don’t know what it was.”

The internal conflict within Brandon is apparent on his expression. It’s clear he must’ve believed we had some sort of emotional bond, and I’ve just disabused him by clarifying it was sexual only. I think it might put me back in the category of a potential crazy stalker.

Which is why his next words surprise me greatly. “He wasn’t always a dick. Before the accident, he was a good man. Happy, funny, caring, inclusive. He loved his patients. Had an incredibly close relationship with his parents and his brother. He was my best friend. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t tell me. I would love to see him get back there. And whether all you had between you was sex, maybe you are the person to get him there.”

Shaking my head, I take a step backward. “Oh, I don’t think so. It’s not about that. I just wanted to make sure he’s okay.”

“Go see him,” he instructs. “Make sure he’s okay. And if something comes of it… great. If not, well, at least you’ll know.”

It hurts my heart to hear her how morose Brandon’s tone is, which tells me he really doesn’t garner much hope that I’m truly the one to bring Benjamin back. He’s grasping at straws.

But I give Brandon a nod before tucking the address in my back pocket. It’s the least I can do.

CHAPTER 17

Benjamin

The two bottles of liquor tucked into a brown paper bag setting on my front passenger seat clink together as I take a right-hand turn onto the street where I live. When I left my house half an hour ago, my intention was to run to the grocery store for some food. I made it as far as the liquor store, deciding to drink my dinner instead. This is surprising given the copious amounts of alcohol I drank last night.

Apparently, getting drunk was exactly what I needed. By the time I stumbled out of the club and into an Uber to take me home, I wasn’t thinking about Cassidy, April, Elena, or anything else. It was a quiet, drunken bliss inside my head.

I don’t have any surgeries scheduled tomorrow so I have no qualms with getting stupid drunk again tonight. I suspect this is more to keep thoughts of Elena away at this point since I have successfully made it past Father’s Day, but whatever.

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