Authors: Lorena Wood
“Tastes good. Better than
donuts. Give me another taste,” he said holding her down with his good arm.
She laughed and pushed away. “I
probably taste just like donuts since I just bit into one. You need to rest up
so you can come visit me. You look like hell.”
Nick’s smile faded and he
reached out for her hand.
“Are you going back up to
“I haven’t decided yet,” she
answered noting the fear in his eyes. “I was thinking it would be nice to have
a warm bath, and sleep in a nice comfortable bed tonight. Mind if I use your house?”
“Not at all. Maybe they’ll let
me out of here to keep an eye on you,” he quipped, voice light but eyes
“Not a chance,” she shot back.
“For once you can do what you’re told.”
“I hate the idea of you there
all alone.” He had to keep reminding himself that the case was closed and that
Whitney wasn’t in danger any more.
“Actually, my friend Tara is
flying in tonight. I just called her. She was worried about me, and took a few
“So you’ll be there when I get
out?” Nick’s heart skipped a beat as he realized how badly he wanted that. At
that moment he would have moved anywhere to stay with his psychic.
Whitney nodded as a slow smile
spread across her lips.
“Tara won’t be leaving until
she gets to check you out for herself. She’s staying for a week, so get better
Teddy broke into the
conversation. “Is she as pretty as you?”
“Much prettier. She’s a keg of
dynamite. She owns her own detective agency. Maybe you can come for dinner and
check her out for yourself,” she told him, patting his belly affectionately.
“Can she read minds like you
do?” Teddy’s face contorted in a look of mock fear.
“Nope, that’s not one of her
talents,” Whitney replied, not taking the teasing as an insult.
“I’ll be there,” he said
winking. Nick and Teddy laughed at the same time.
“Oh,” she said turning back to
Nick, “so you think I’m difficult to have around?”
Nick pulled her close for
another kiss. “Let’s just say that we can only handle one extra person in our
head at a time.” Whitney laughed and snuggled in closer.
“I wouldn’t want it any other
way. I’d be jealous.”
“Don’t worry Whitney, I’m all
yours. My mind, my heart, and all the other important parts are all yours.”
“I need to go visit the other
boys.” Whitney said struggling to break the grip Nick had on her wrist. “I
The whole time he’d been in the
hospital Nick had been worried that Whitney would head back home. Every time
she had to leave he made it difficult.
“I’ll be back to check on you
two in a little bit,” she laughed smacking Nick’s hand after she wriggled free.
“Stay out of trouble. If he gives you any problems Teddy, let me know.” Nick’s
puppy dog eyes made Whitney laugh.
“Just be nice. I’ll be right
back. I can’t leave the man who saved my life. Both men,” she said blowing Teddy
“That’s right,” Teddy
snickered. “I think you do owe me something. Maybe your first born.” Teddy
pretended he was holding a baby.
“We can work on that,” Whitney
“I wish,” Nick said looking
sincerely troubled. “I think it might be a while before they let me out of this
Whitney couldn’t help smiling
to herself as she walked toward Kevin’s wing. The new feeling of nurturing that
came with having someone to worry over like this was nice. She’d always thought
she preferred to be independent. She never had to tell someone when she would
be home or where she was going. She used to think it would feel restrictive or
bothersome to have to constantly inform someone else of her daily plans.
Whitney realized with some
surprise that she didn’t resent the fact that Nick wanted her to sell her house
and move in with him. She pictured the idea of driving home from a hard day at
work knowing someone would be there waiting for her. After only a short time of
having someone else to depend on, she didn’t want to go back to being alone. Even
her past fears of relationships seemed distant as she thought of spending time
She was in a pleasantly
optimistic mood when she reached Kevin’s room. It was so thrilling to see him
sitting up and talking with his family. Whitney knocked and they waved her into
She hadn’t actually met Kevin
when he was awake. She’d connected to him in his dreams so it felt like she
already knew him.
“How are you Kevin?”
“I’m better,” he said politely,
looking toward his mother suspiciously.
His mother patted his hand in a
reassuring gesture. “Kevin, this is Whitney Bentley. Whitney, this is Kevin, my
“We’ve sort of met already,
haven’t we Kevin.”
The boy’s eyes lit up in
recognition. “I didn’t know what you looked like. When I asked my Mom who came
and talked with me, she said it was a psychic lady. She didn’t say you were
“Normal looking?” Whitney
“No,” he said nervously,
staring at his hands. “So pretty,” the boy said blushing.
“Thank you Kevin. That’s very
sweet,” Whitney said, taking a seat by the bed. “You look much better than when
I saw you last time. Have they decided when you can go home?”
“In a few more days I guess.”
His face grew more serious and he whispered, “I hear you got Derrick.”
“Yes, and thanks to you
Detective Fergassee knew who to look for. They found out about his cabin and
were able to come and save us.”
She kissed his cheek and his
pink cheeks blushed even deeper. “Do you remember me coming to visit you
Kevin’s head nodded up and down
vigorously. “I knew you were here. You talked to me in my head. It made me feel
better. I remember dreaming a lot. I could hear voices sometimes, but I
couldn’t talk. It was weird,” he said glancing back at his mother.
Not wanting to dwell on the
trauma, Whitney changed the subject. “Well, I’m glad you’re all better now. Have
you been up and around?”
“Yeah. I still go to physical
therapy to make sure I can do everything I’m supposed to. They make me get up
and walk around a lot. It wouldn’t be so bad if there were more kids around. Most
of the kids that are here for more than one day are really sick.” He turned to
his mom with pleading eyes. “I can’t wait to get back on my skateboard. This is
so boring sitting here all day long.” Grabbing something out of the table by
the bed he held it up for Whitney to see. “My Mom got me an IPad and some cool
games, so it’s not always so boring.”
“Awesome,” Whitney said,
looking around the room for other distractions. Spotting the built in DVD
player on the television, she walked over to examine the stack of disks he had
accumulated. “I have quite a few movies at home that you might like. I can
bring them in for you next time if it’s okay with your mom.”
“Is it mom?” After his mom
nodded Kevin asked, “Can you rent the new Spiderman movie too?”
“I sure can,” Whitney said,
happy she could make his time at the hospital less boring. “I’ll try to
remember to bring them with me soon. I have to go now. Is there anything else I
can get you?”
He shook his head and thanked
Whitney again for the movies and the visit. His mom walked Whitney out and
thanked her for being there for her son. She was so relieved that he seemed to
be making a full recovery. The next visit to Dustin’s room didn’t promise to be
She walked in to a very quiet,
subdued room at the other end of the hall. Dustin wasn’t physically as sick as
Kevin had been, but he was still very scared and traumatized. Maybe the coma
had given Kevin time to deal with his situation. He was also older, and had
escaped on his own. Dustin felt small and afraid like many victims of violence.
He wouldn’t let his mother leave his side. Whitney tried to lighten things up
“Hey buddy, you’re looking
good. How ya feeling?”
“I’m okay. I was tired for a
while, and thirsty. I can eat all the Jello and ice cream I want,” he said
forcing a small smile. It was quickly replaced by a somber expression as he
looked down at the floor.
Whitney knew his mind was still
on the horror of the cabin and the feeling that he wasn’t safe. Dustin looked
so young and small in the big hospital bed, and the haunted look in his eyes
broke Whitney’s heart. Thinking back to her conversation with Kevin, she tried
to find a distraction.
“I just heard that Kevin has an
iPad,” she said with exaggerated awe in her voice. “Do you have one of those?”
“No. My sister does. I borrow
it sometimes when’s she at her friend’s,” he said looking like a guilty little
Whitney smiled at his mother,
thinking the confession might get him in trouble, but his mom’s face held
She turned back to Dustin
again, aware that the whole family needed encouragement. “Would you like one of
your own to keep you from getting bored while you have to stay here?”
His eyes lit up and he looked
toward his mom. She seemed to come to life a little more as she gave him a
smile of permission.
“That’s very nice of you,” the
mom said quietly.
“It’s no problem. I wanted to
get Dustin a little gift for saving my life.”
“I didn’t save your life,” he
said in surprise.
“Yes, you did. You helped me
find the knife to cut the rope, and you helped me get moving. I couldn’t have
done it without you. So…what kind of games do you like?”
His eyes began to sparkle with
excitement as he looked to the ceiling and mentally prepared his list. “I like Angry
Birds, Fruit Ninja, pinball games, Rayman, and lots of other games,” he said
fidgeting with excitement.
“Sounds fun to me. Maybe you
can show me how to load them on the iPad when I come back.”
“Okay. I’m pretty good at it. I’m
better than my sister, but she doesn’t think so.” This time when he looked to
his mom for a reaction she was smiling at him.
Whitney felt better when she
left the room. She’d heard that young kids could bounce back pretty fast given
the right conditions. She hoped that would be the case for Dustin.
* * * *
Nick’s sister had a party for her
brother and Teddy when they came home from the hospital. After dinner they all
went into the living room to sip coffee and watch the antics of the little ones.
Nick stood up and cleared his
throat to make an announcement.
Quiet. I need everyone’s attention. I
have something I want to tell you.” When everyone was quiet he turned to
Whitney and fell on his knee.
“I have to ask you first,
before I can tell them.”
Whitney’s heart was in her
throat and her hand was shaking as Nick put the little velvet box in it. She
opened it but didn’t touch the sparkling, delicate ring nestled inside. She
didn’t feel ready for this decision.
Nick took out the ring and held
it at the tip of her finger. “Whitney Bentley, will you marry me?”
Whitney couldn’t help searching
Nick’s mind in a moment of panic. He knew she didn’t feel ready, but he was
convinced enough for the both of them. Feeling the depth of his emotions, and
none of the trepidation she had expected, she felt her own needs and desires tugging
at her heart.
Nick held his face as calm as
he could while inside he fought the nervousness of facing rejection and loss.
Determined not to let her get away, he was ready to follow her to Sedona to win
her heart. When she nodded and said yes, it took a moment for her acceptance to
sink in completely.
Laughing with amazement he put
the ring on her finger and pulled her in for a kiss. Everyone shouted and
cheered for them, hugging Whitney and teasing Nick mercilessly. When it all
died down, Whitney turned to Nick and asked him to come into the kitchen with
“I have a surprise for you
too,” she said furtively. “I thought you should hear it first, before the rest
of the bunch out there.”
“You quit working for the
Agency?” He asked hopefully, pressing her against the counter and kissing her.
“Well, maybe that too,” she
said pushing him away. “But something else.”
“Wow. What could top that?” His
curiosity now peaked, he place his hands on her hips and tried to read her
eyes. “Is everything okay?”
She reached for his hand and
placed it on her belly. “They called from the doctor’s office today.”
Nick’s eyes widened and he caressed
her stomach. “Is there a baby in there?”
“Yes, our baby.” With a worried
look she asked, “Is that okay?”
He picked her up and twirled
her around. “Of course it’s okay. It’s fantastic. I’m glad I asked you to marry
me before you told me. You would have thought I felt forced into it.”
“Nick, don’t worry about that. I
always know what you’re thinking.”
“Oh yeah!” He laughed. He
gently set her back on the floor and claimed her mouth in a long, passionate
kiss that spoke of possession. Coming up for air he laughed again and gently
kissed her cheek. “You’re gonna make a hell of a mom!”
About the Author
Lorena Wood is a romance and paranormal author with a
background in psychology. She lives in New England with her husband and two
you would like to contact the author, please feel free to e-mail her at