“With everything I am. I’ll always be by your side.”
It was his truth.
A vow Talan made to the woman who owned him. Because that is what Maya did to him; she held his entire life in her hands. He lived for her smile…her happiness, and now someone has dimmed that light in her eyes with their malice.
His love for his Bitty has taken him past the breaking point, and he’s determined to make those that hurt her—pay. Blood. He wanted his hands on those that wronged—almost took her away from him.
Because if one thing was certain, it was that he breathed for her. It was her warmth and love that gave him a home—a purpose and desire for more, but now that had been threatened. Maya was in pain, and that for him was unbearable.
It was his fault. A fault that he would right no matter what he had to go through.
How does a man so completely in love with his female react to seeing her in a hospital bed and broken?
He fights. Goes against all logic and seeks vengeance.
With the tip of my finger, I caressed her cheek before tipping her sad face toward mine. “Please don’t hide from me.” Leaning forward, I rested my forehead against hers—breathed in her every exhale. “I love you,” I repeated once again, this time against her lips. Lips that now pressed themselves against my own with fervor.
“Love you too,” she mumbled, mouth tightly pressed against mine.
“Yeah.” Another kiss. “I’m better, I promise.”
With a brow raised, I stared her down. “Don’t bullshit me.”
This time I got an eye roll and an annoyed huff. At the very least, her sass was still there. “Promise, I am. Now, quit being a pain in my injured ass and talk.”
Women. I bit her lip for the smart-ass remark before talking.
“Baby, when you were brought in, it was bad. We didn’t know anything, just that you were attacked and had lost a lot of blood at the scene.” I had to pause there and rein in my emotions. The resentment I held for the bitch and the piece of shit rich kid that helped her. Irritation with the lack of answers at that point—the fear I dealt with nearly bowled me over.
Maya didn’t need to see that.
Running the tips of my fingers through her loose curls, I found my center again. “It was bad, baby,” I whispered, voice thick with emotion. “You received a hairline fracture on the temporal bone after being hit repeatedly with a wooden—”
“Baseball bat,” she finished for me. “I remember that. I’d been at my car, on my phone with a friend when…”
Nodding, I reached up and, with the gentlest of touches, caressed her bandages. “Seeing you lying in that bed, unconscious, was one of the worst moments of my life. Pure fucking torture, not knowing when you’d wake up or what shape you’d be in. Head trauma, no matter how tiny, is dangerous. And you…fuck, Bitty.”
“Hey,” Maya breathed, wrapping her arms around my neck. The movement caused her to let out a low hiss, but before I could pull her off and check her out, she spoke. “I’m okay.”
It had the opposite effect. I hated those words with a passion.
“Stop. Don’t fucking placate me.”
“I’m not, Talan. Look at me.” Our eyes connected for a few seconds before I looked away and over toward the opposite wall. “I’m not broken. Hurt, yes, but not broken.”
Ignoring her words, I continued to talk as if on auto pilot. “Then, when you opened those beautiful grey eyes and with fear told me it was Janice, I…I want her blood on my hands for what she’s done to you.”
“That’s not a past-tense threat.”
“For as long as my heart beats inside my chest, I will protect you with every single breath I take.”
“I’ve never doubted that, but please, let the cops handle it. She’s not worth you dirtying your hands, baby.” While her pleading broke down my resolve for the briefest of seconds, looking at our surroundings brought it back. I wanted those two assholes dead. “I can see it on your face…no, Talan. Let them handle it.”
“I do.” For now.
“I know,” I replied cockily. “Now…” She let out a tiny giggle when I leaned in close and nipped her chin. “How about that shower?”
Elena M. Reyes was born and raised in Miami Florida. She is the epitome of a Floridian and if she could live in her beloved flip-flops, she would.
As a small child, she was always intrigued with all forms of art—whether it was dancing to island rhythms, or painting with any medium she could get her hands on. Her first taste of writing came to her during her fifth grade year when her class was prompted to participate in the D. A. R. E. Program and write an essay on what they’d learned.
Her passion for reading over the years has amassed her with hours of pleasure. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon fanfiction that her thirst to write overtook her world. She now resides in Central Florida with her husband and son, spending all her down time letting her creativity flow and letting her characters grow.
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