It's another 20 Days of Romance and one of my favorite writers is here to help celebrate. Come see what Parker J. Cole's whipped up for us today...
Blurb: Savannah Woods vows to never again have anything to do with Micah Reddington after he ruins her best friend's career. Yet, when Savannah’s niece is injured in a serious accident, the one man she can’t trust is the one she needs.
Micah can barely contain his satisfaction when he sees Savannah’s message pleading for him to come to her side. Her disloyalty nearly cost his career and he’ll never forgive her for leaving him at the lowest point in his life.
Despite her efforts to remain aloof, Savannah keeps seeing glimpses of the Micah she once loved behind his cool exterior. Micah fights an ongoing battle to not succumb to the sweetness of the woman he once cared for beyond anything else. But Savannah and Micah’s hearts remain sick with the pangs of betrayal. What, if anything, is the cure?
The professional, neutral tone of the doctor caught her attention. She stood and raced over to the woman, Tisha and Connie trailing behind her.
“Yes, Dr. Yamaguchi? How is she? Is she going to be all right?”
The doctor’s kind brown eyes landed on her. “So far, her condition is stable. She’s still sleeping right now. But we’re not out of the woods yet.” She extended a hand to a nearby waiting room seat. “I don’t want to unnecessarily upset you but you need to know exactly what we’re dealing with. Do you want to sit down?”
“No, please just tell me what’s going on. Can I see her?”
Dr. Yamaguchi nodded. “You can see her, but only for a few minutes. We’ll be observing her for the next thirty-six hours.”
Savannah’s legs threatened to buckle. “What do you mean?”
As the doctor detailed the extent of the damage done to Liliana’s body from the fire, she thought she might collapse. It was almost too much to bear.
God, give me strength.
When the doctor finished, Savannah asked quietly, “Can I see her now?”
“Of course.” The doctor grabbed her limp hand. “Don’t let what you see in there discourage you. Liliana’s a fighter. And you need to fight with her, too.” The woman squeezed her hand as if trying to infuse her with strength.
Leaving her friends behind, Savannah walked the path alone to Liliana’s room, trepidation tap dancing along her spine. The pristine white floors and colorful walls made the journey there seem like a psychedelic trip. Uniformed hospital staff passed her by, the figures fuzzy and nondescript to her unseeing eyes.
When she arrived at the room, the sight of her niece made Savannah almost fall to her knees. This couldn’t be her beautiful, fun-loving Snuffy. It couldn’t be.
Machines hummed next to the tiny frail body lying in the hospital bed. Snake-like plastic tubes were taped to her nose and mouth. Bandages covered a good portion of her body from her shoulder to legs.
The little girl’s chest moved shallowly.
“Snuffy,” Savannah moaned, her legs so weak she barely made it to the side of the bed before crumpling in the chair the nearby nurse had pushed toward her. She wanted to reach out and touch the girl, but the doctor had warned against any contact for the next few days. She could only stare.
“Oh, dear God,” she cried out. This time, nothing held back her tears. A dam had cracked inside of her and she submitted to its torrential power. The nurse thrust a box of tissues into her hand. She spent the next while crying and sniffling, wishing this was all a dream she could wake up from.
When the outburst had run itself dry, Savannah wiped her eyes and nose for the last time and stuffed the used tissues in the garbage can by the bed.
At least she wasn’t alone. Everyone who loved Liliana would work together to help her niece get through this.
Except for one person.
Savannah jolted. Why now? Why would she suddenly start thinking about him?
Fiona and Bart would want him to know.
A strange calm came over her. Savannah couldn’t deny the truth of those words. She’d avoided a name she hadn’t uttered in voice or thought for three years. If she could have, she would have gone for the rest of her life without having to speak his name ever again.
But circumstances had gone beyond her pride. It had come to this. Just as he had predicted.
A bevy of memories tried to break through the mental brick wall she had placed around them. She closed her eyes to suppress those tattered recollections of days gone by. Yet, snatches of them still made their way through, glowing like spots of light through the cracks. His long blonde hair often turned to gold when the sunlight cascaded over it. She recalled the flash of his smile, his teeth white and even above the cleft in his chin. Those freckles splattered across the bridge of his nose gave him a boyish look that always disarmed her in the past.
No, she didn’t want to go there. Yet, she had no choice.
Savannah pulled her phone from her pocket. She’d erased his name from her contact list but his number was embedded in her head right next to the alphabet. She typed it in, added her message, and sent it. A life-altering event, and it took less than ten seconds to execute.
She leaned her head back along the rim of the chair and accepted the inevitable. She needed the man who hated her most in the world.
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