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Authors: Andria Large

War Torn

BOOK: War Torn
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WAR TORN

 

By Andria Large

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

 

War Torn

Copyright
© 2015 by Andria Large.

All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal.  This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced, scanned, distributed, or used in any manner whatsoever, via the Internet, electronic, or print, without the express written permission of the authors, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

For more information,
or information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the author:
http://www.AuthorAndriaLarge.com

 

Edited by: Megan Hershenson

Cover Design by: Andria Large

 

First Edition, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Please note: Andria Large acknowledges the copyrighted items named in the novel,
War Torn
. The author does not own the right to the products, songs, or brands that are mentioned in this story. 

 

Also by Andria Large:

 

 

The Beck Brothers Series:

Henry

Sebastian

Quinn

Christian

 

 

A Taboo Love Series:

Hey There, Delilah…

Unmasking Charlotte

Crossing The Line

 

 

Renegade Series:

Sweet Renegade

Wild Renegade

Irresistible Renegade (Coming Soon)

 

War Trilogy:

At War

War Torn

At Peace (Coming Soon)

 

 

 

 

Standalones:

 

Hammer & Nails

 

 

 

Blurb

 

My life has been completely turned around with the help of my boyfriend and best friend, Tucker.

 

My depression is under control.

 

I’m not having nightmares or flashbacks anymore.

 

My sister is having a baby.

 

Life with Tucker is great…

 

Or is it? Everything seems to be going so well, almost too well.

 

You know how people say that the best things in life are worth fighting for? Well, I believe that with my whole heart. But how do you fight for something when it gets ripped away from you? Just…torn right out of your hands, leaving you with nothing. You would think that losing my wife was the worst thing that could happen to me.

 

Warning:
This book is for mature audiences only. Adult content and explicit M/M sex scenes. This is also a cliffhanger, so be prepared!

 

Special Thanks

 

 

To all the men and women who serve our country in the military. It takes a special person to do what you do everyday. You are truly extraordinary and I thank you for keeping our country free.

 

PTSD

 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, like:


   
Combat exposure


   
Child sexual or physical abuse


   
Terrorist attack


   
Sexual or physical assault


   
Serious accidents, like a car wreck


   
Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don't go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

 

If you think you may have PTSD, please talk to your doctor or someone who can help. This is a serious condition that can be treated.

 

http://www.ptsd.va.gov//files/61/62/f6162/public/PTSD-overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

 

 

 

 

~
Chapter
One~

 

~Tucker~

 

“So there’s nothing that can be done?” I ask.

Crushed. That’s how I feel right now. Completely crushed. I’m an idiot. I waited too long and now I’ve ruined my chances of ever hearing again.

Dr. Hudson holds up a finger. “I said traditional methods. Now, the leading hospital for all things ear related is Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. They are actually trying something new when it comes to the type of hearing loss that you have. It’s in the experimental stages, but they are looking for candidates willing to give it a try.”

I see Dennis perk up out of the corner of my eye.

“How risky is it?” I ask.

“Considering that you have no hearing to lose, I’d say not risky at all. But the chances of it working are still iffy. It’s about a 40% chance that it will actually give you back your hearing.”

My heart flutters excitedly in my chest.

“I’ll take that chance,” I say.

“Are you sure? Would you like some time to think it over?”

I shake my head. “40% is better than 0%, and if it works, I’ll be able to hear again.”

Dr. Hudson nods. “Okay, I’ll make a few calls. I’m sure you’re going to have to have additional testing done to make certain that you are indeed a good candidate for the surgery, and you will have to travel to Baltimore for the surgery.”

“Not a problem,” I reply.

“I’ll send you a text message as soon as I get in touch with Johns Hopkins Hospital,” Dr. Hudson says as he stands.

I thank him as we shake hands before he leaves the room. I’m in shock. There is hope. Dennis jumps up from his seat, comes and grabs me by my biceps, and shakes me. I blink up at him. He’s beaming at me.

“There’s still a chance, Tuck,” he says.

A slow smile curls my lips. “There’s still a chance,” I repeat.

I spring to my feet and pull Dennis into a crushing hug. When we separate, Dennis gives me a quick kiss on the lips and grabs my hand as we walk out of the room and down the hall to the exit. Ever since Dennis first told me last month that he was in love with me, he’s been much more open about PDA. He holds my hand everywhere we go, and to me, it’s so sweet. I love that he does it.

“You should text your brother and dad to let them know,” Dennis signs to me when we get in the car.

“Yeah, good idea,” I reply and pull my phone out of my pocket. “And Duke, too. We can stay with him in Baltimore.”

Dennis agrees as he starts the car. I text everyone to let them know what the deal is. No sooner do we get home that my phone vibrates. I check the screen to see that it’s Dr. Hudson.

Tucker, it’s Dr. Hudson. Spoke to the head surgeon at Johns Hopkins. He would like to meet with you as soon as possible. Here is his cell phone number. He wants you to text him ASAP. His name is Dr. Ron Sterling.

He sends over the doctor’s cell phone number.

“Holy shit, Denny. Dr. Hudson texted me already.”

Dennis whips around and comes to my side. He snatches the phone out of my hand to read the text.

“Oh my god, this is fantastic,” he says, smiling at me.

“Let me text him,” I say. Dennis hands me back my phone and I send Dr. Sterling a text.

After a few texts back and forth with Dr. Sterling, we set up an appointment for next week. In the mean time, he wants me to get an MRI. I get everything set up, from the MRI, taking off from work for the appointment, to staying with Duke. Now, it’s just a waiting game.

 

 

~Dennis~

 

When we walk into Duke’s house, I’m slightly taken aback by the style of it. I don’t really know what I expect, but this is not it. His home is a traditional brownstone in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. I expect his house to be modernized, I guess. Well, it is, but it still looks like it has most of its original features, like all of the woodwork and charm houses used to be built with. It’s actually very cozy and a nice change from our upscale condo. Tucker and I place our overnight bags by the stairs while Duke shuts the front door. Since the weather is turning colder now with the start of November, Tucker and I shuck our jackets that we wore and hang them up in the closet under the stairs.

Duke moves into the living room, which is through a doorway off to the left of the front door. I shove my hands into my front pockets and follow him. The doorway actually has a set of beautiful French doors. I look all around at the gorgeous craftsmanship of the home before turning to Duke, who is squatting in front of the stone fireplace, stoking the fire.

“You’ve got a nice place here, man. I love the woodwork,” I tell him.

He glances over his shoulder at me and gives me a cocky smirk. “Thanks, did it myself.”

I gape at him, shocked that he is the handyman type. “What? For real?”

“Yeah, you’re not the only one who’s got a thing for wood,” he says, sending me a wink.

I roll my eyes and shake my head. Tucker told me that Duke knows about us, so I’m sure this visit is going to be jam-packed with gay jokes.

“And it starts,” I mutter.

He snickers as he straightens from poking at the fire.

“Get used to it.” He grins.

I hang my head. “Lord, help me.”

He laughs.

“So how ya been, bro?” Tucker’s voice interjects as he comes up next to me.

Duke turns toward Tucker so he can read his lips and gives him a noncommittal shrug. “It is what it is.”

I can see the lightheartedness from our previous ribbing is now gone and has been replaced with loneliness and sorrow. I haven’t been told what went down exactly, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with Duke’s wife and the weekend he spent with us.

I see Tuck nod from the corner of my eye. His hand finds the small of my back and I warm at the small gesture of affection. With my eyes still on Duke, I see that he also caught Tucker’s gesture. And I can see the pain that flashes through his hazel eyes. Damn, he’s really had his heart broken. I can’t help but feel for the guy. He quickly hides the pain by giving us both a pointed look.

“I don’t want to hear you two fucking, ya dig?” He sneers.

Tucker and I glance at each other and smile before turning to look back at Duke.

“Yeah, we’ll try to keep it down,” Tucker teases.

Duke groans then pretends to gag.

Tucker and I chuckle before Tuck claps me on the shoulder and heads for what I’m guessing is the kitchen. “I need a drink,” he states as he walks away.

I check out his ass in his ever-present sweatpants as he goes.

“Dude, stop that,” Duke huffs. “It’s just weird.”

I tear my gaze away from Tuck’s fine ass to smirk at the man plopping
his
ass down onto one of the armchairs set up in front of the fireplace. I shrug.

“Can’t help it.”

Duke rolls his eyes then motions toward the adjacent chair. “Have a seat and tell me what the doctor told Tucker; he’s been oddly vague with me,” he says, and I can hear that it pisses him off.

I sit down and lean forward, resting my forearms on my knees. “I think that he just doesn’t want to give you, or anyone - including himself - false hope. There is only a 40% chance, if that, that this surgery will work.
If
he’s able to get the surgery. Tomorrow, when we go to the appointment, it’s to find out if he’s a good candidate or not.”

Duke nods solemnly and turns his concerned gaze toward the fire. I watch him for a moment. He just seems off, which worries me.

“Hey, man, are you doing okay? Is there anything you need to vent about? You know I’m all ears,” I murmur quietly.

Duke shakes his head and answers without turning my way. “I’ve just got a lot of shit on my mind. All this with Tuck and then other…bullshit,” he says, waving a dismissive hand. “It’s just dragging me down a little bit. I’m okay, though.”

I frown. “Are you sure?”

He nods and finally glances at me, giving me a tight smile. “I’m sure. I think I’ll feel better after tomorrow, once we find out if he can get this surgery or not.”

I nod. “Yeah, it’s killing me not knowing if he’s even able to get it or not.”

Duke grunts in agreement.

Tucker enters the living room with three bottles of beer. He hands one of the already opened bottles to Duke and one of them to me. He drops his ass onto my lap and hold out his beer.

“Here’s to the possibility of me getting my hearing back,” he toasts.

Duke and I clink our bottles with his before we all take a swig. I settle back into the armchair with Tucker sitting across my thighs. I take another sip of beer as I watch him. The light from the fire gives his already tanned skin the illusion that it’s glowing. And the reflection of it in his eyes makes it look like they’re dancing. Fuck, I’m such a goner for this guy. I have no idea how this happened, and I don’t really care. All I know is that he’s it for me.

 

 

~Tucker~

 

The fire slowly dies out as we each polish off our third bottle of beer. Dennis and I have to be up early for my appointment in the morning. Duke’s having some fun teasing us about switching teams, but it’s time for us to head to bed. I push to my feet and take Dennis’ bottle from him. I also take Duke’s before going into the kitchen to throw them out. When I go back to the living room, I hold my hand out for Dennis.

“Come on, bed time.” I say.

Dennis nods and yawns. He stands, bumps his fist with Duke, then takes my hand. I say goodnight to Duke then lead Dennis up the stairs to the spare bedroom. We go about our nightly routines before climbing into bed next to each other.

Dennis taps my arm. When I look over at him, he asks, “You ready for tomorrow?”

I nod. “Definitely.”

He smiles. “Good.”

I give him a kiss on the lips then reach over to the lamp and turn it off.

The next morning we wake up, get dressed, drink some coffee, eat some breakfast, then make our way to my appointment, all before Duke even comes downstairs. Using the navigation on his phone, Dennis drives us to the hospital where my appointment will be. My stomach is fluttering like mad. I’m nervous and excited and fucking nervous. I don’t know what to expect. I pray that I’m a candidate for the surgery because I want it so badly. Not only for Dennis, but for myself. My time for healing is long overdue.

We don’t have to wait long before being called back into a room. Dennis sits on the extra chair, but I’m too full of nervous energy to sit. I pace back and forth while we wait for Dr. Sterling to come in. After a five minute wait, the door opens and in walks an older man with gray hair. He smiles pleasantly and extends his hand to me.

“Mr. McCoy?” he asks.

I nod and shake his hand.

“I’m Dr. Sterling. Nice to meet you.”

“You, too,” I reply.

Dr. Sterling turns to Dennis and shakes his hand. I see Dennis tell him his name. The doctor turns back to me and motions to the patient’s chair.

“Why don’t you have a seat, Mr. McCoy,” he says as he sits on his little spinning stool.

“You can call me Tucker,” I tell him as I sit.

Dr. Sterling looks at me, an eyebrow raised in surprise, “For not being able to hear for four years, Tucker, I’m surprised that you talk as well as you do. A lot of people lose the ability to pronounce words correctly.”

“I can read lips really well. Maybe that has something to do with it?”

Dr. Sterling smiles. “Maybe.”

He looks through my chart for a moment before standing and grabbing the instrument off the wall to look into my ears with. He looks in both ears before replacing it on the wall holder. He sits back down and jots down some notes in my chart. Once he’s done writing, he turns and looks at me. My heart jumps up into my throat as I wait for him to say something.

“Okay, Tucker, here’s the deal; after going over your chart, and the results from the MRI, I believe that you are a great candidate for this surgery,” he says, finishing with a big pleased smile.

I blow out a breath that I didn’t even know I was holding and drop my head back against the chair. “Oh, thank god,” I breathe.

I lift my head and glance at Dennis who is trying with all his might to contain his excitement. I turn back to Dr. Sterling. “So what happens now?”

Dr. Sterling explains the surgery and what it entails, what the recovery will be like, and what my chances are of being able to hear when it’s over. He also wants to do it as soon as possible. He has me sign all of the pre-op paperwork since I’m already here, then walks us up to the front desk. He has the receptionist check his schedule to see when I can be fit in. The first available appointment is in two weeks. Dr. Sterling says to book it and shakes my hand.

“I’m looking forward to seeing you in two weeks,” Dr. Sterling says.

“Same here,” I say with a smile.

“See you soon,” he replies before shaking Dennis’ hand and turning to leave.

BOOK: War Torn
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