“I’m still breathing . . .” he croaked out. A small smile curled on his pale lips, but his eyes remained closed. “You can quit your starin’, Indy.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “I know that, silly. I was just taking a breath.”
I took a sip of water from the cup beside his bed, and started reading again. I glanced at the clock: 4:39 pm. I turned the page and continued into the next chapter.
At 4:43 pm, I looked over and Bolt was sleeping again. I bit my lip. Again, he looked very still.
Was his chest moving?
I drew in a heavy breath and leaned in closer.
“Bolt?” I whispered softly.
There was silence and a terrible tingling began to unfurl in the base of my stomach.
The Harry Potter book dropped from my grasp as I went to him and shook him.
“Bolt, wake up.” Another shake. “Bolt.”
But he didn’t wake up.
“Wake up, please!” I cried.
The door opened and Mama walked in carrying a cup of coffee. When she looked at me and then to Bolt, the paper cup in her hand fell to the floor and coffee spilled like blood across the linoleum.
“No,” she cried, and raced toward the bed.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion from that point on. A nurse ran in, followed by a doctor, followed by my father. My mama grabbed onto Bolt’s pajama shirt and cried for him to open his eyes. She pulled him toward her, but his arms were floppy at his side. The nurse and the doctor struggled with her, trying to get her to free her grip on his shirt.
“No,” she kept crying. Over and over. And finally, she fell into the arms of the nurse while my father stood there like a helpless toy soldier.
“I’m sorry, Mrs Parrish,” the doctor said, winding his stethoscope around his neck. “I’m so sorry.”
Mama screamed then, like a wild animal. She unleashed her pain and heartache into the small hospital room. My daddy fell forward and dropped to his knees by the bed.
“Time of death . . . 4:45 pm,” the doctor said.
I stepped back, one foot behind the other until I reached the door.
Time of death.
I turned the doorknob.
My brother was dead.
I opened the door and ran.
My jaw hit the floor and I had to check myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming when she walked in. Sure, she looked like Indy. But she was nothing like the conservative, angry girl who had walked back into my life after twelve years. No. My ex-girlfriend was back. Tight jeans. Leather jacket. Knee-high boots. An attitude in her hips as she walked in the room. A real MC Princess.
I smiled to myself.
Would she complain if I called her that?
Nah. Seeing her look so fine, I had a feeling my soul mate had just walked back into my life for good.
Whether she knew it or not.
Wolf whistles echoed around the room and I couldn’t help but grin when Indy shot down each and every one of them with a few choice words and some rather suggestive hand gestures.
Yeah. My MC Princess was back.
I stood up as she approached.
“Nice to see you got your dress sense back,” I said with a grin.
She raised an eyebrow. “What can I say, I ran out of clothes.”
“And your accent? I see that’s back, too.”
She shrugged. “You can take the girl out of the South….”
I licked my lips and leaned in. “Does that mean you’re thinking of hanging around?”
She pressed her hand into my chest to keep me at a safe distance. “I’m here under duress, remember?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right. Because you were an ass to me last night.”
She gave me a pointed look. “You told me to be here at ten. Its five minutes past. Now will you tell me where we’re going?”
“Not a chance. You’re not getting off that easily.” I pulled my bike keys out of my back pocket. “You ready to ride?”
With a roll of her eyes, she followed me outside to the parking lot. As we walked to my bike, a car barreled up the driveway and came to a screeching halt next to Indy’s rental car. An angry looking blonde climbed out and slammed the door.
It was Genevieve.
Davey’s ex-old lady.
Her eyes zeroed in on Indy, but as she came closer they narrowed in on me.
I nodded to her. “Genevieve.”
But she ignored me and yelled, “Davey, you fucking asshole!” as she disappeared inside.
“Friendly,” Indy said.
I handed her a helmet. “You have no idea.”
“Friend of yours?”
“Davey’s ex-old lady.” I secured my helmet and slid my legs over my bike. “Totally unhinged.”
We could hear her screaming at him, even when I started my bike. I reached around and guided Indy onto the back, securing her arms around my waist.
I smiled, and with a flick of the throttle, we roared off into the warm, Mississippi sunshine.