Author's note: I have released two books previously. This is a continuation of the story. This is the teaser to the third part that I'm working on. I admit to being distracted by the holiday season. Nonetheless, this is scheduled to be released some time in January 2021.
“May I..?” I asked Luke, only venturing inside the hospital room after he gave me a nod of permission. I still felt his gaze on me through the door’s window as I went inside but my main focus for now was Jack, committing to memory his chiseled features as he lay unconscious on the hospital bed. It almost looked like he was just sleeping…
Before I could stop myself, I had already reached out a hand to gently caress Jack’s cheek, leaning close just to give him a quick kiss to the forehead, “Hey there Sheriff Heins, it’s time to stop lazing around…” I whispered near his ear, hoping my teasing tone would coax him into finally waking up.
But seeing no change in his expression, nor any movement from his closed eyelids made me sober up as I softly continued talking to him, “ Jack… it’s time for me to say goodbye. I just wish…”
I woke up then, suddenly becoming aware of the car slowing to a stop—
“Hey there sweetheart, sorry if I woke you up…”
Hearing the deep rumble of Z’s voice instantly made me relax, stretching out in the reclined car seat as I groaned out, “Where are we?”
“Just some rest stop along the way, you need anything from the store?” Z gestured towards my side of the window, making me notice the neon lights from the 24-hours convenience store.
“Coffee please—” Yawning mid-sentence, I automatically held up a hand to my mouth but ended up scrunching my nose as I grumbled, “… and some mints too, I guess..”
The enclosed space of the car was soon filled with Z’s laughter as he proceeded to take off his seatbelt, “Don’t worry Shiela, I’d still kiss you even if you had troll’s breath.”
My heart skipped a beat as I looked up into Z’s eyes, their hazel specks prominent despite the lights that were scattered around the rest stop outside…
Jaden’s almost complaintive sound from his carrier at the backseat suddenly broke the tense atmosphere that seemed to have surrounded Z and I, clearing my throat as I ran my hands through my hair, I tried breaking the ice, “Guess this ‘troll’ needs to stretch her legs out a bit while she lets her little beasty out of the cage, huh?”
“Yeah, you do that luv..” Z nodded to himself as a small smile graced his lips, but my heart melted at the flash of disappointed in his eyes which Z wasn’t quick to hide as he turned around and got out of the car.
Leaning on my car door, I watched Jaden take in his surroundings after he had stretched out his own cramped muscles, his ears perking left and right before he turned around and started purring against my leg.
Scooping Jaden into my arms, I couldn’t help catching a glimpse of Z through the convenience store’s glass doors, his tall, broad form apparent even from this distance. I was remembering the almost vulnerable look he had in his hazel-brown eyes just moments ago in the car but was distracted by Jaden’s constant pawing in my jacket’s pocket.
“Okay, okay lil’ guy, let’s get you some of your treats in the car.” As I tried to pull him away, I noticed something caught onto his paw. Taking it away from him, I glanced down at the only photo I had of Luke and me back at the telecom tower in Samheinrock, and I felt a sudden tug in my heart.
I closed my eyes against the unwanted barrage of emotions and immediately stuffed the photo back into my pocket as I took a deep breath. There’s no point in holding onto memories Shiela.. he’s probably forgot about you now…
Taking comfort in holding Jaden in my arms, I looked up to the slowly lightening sky and hoped that the answers we would find in the town of Hammershire would prove to be the distraction I needed at the moment.
Author's end note: I did mention it's just a teaser, right? Anyway, I hope you will support my released books and this upcoming book release in January 2021.
My books are now available:
DYCNM Book cover design by @viking-ventures
More credits: Commissioned Cover 1, part 3 - Viking Visual Art Tutorial
NB Book cover design by @ilovewintergem