We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Echoes of You: Chapter 48


A faint beeping assaulted my ears. I mumbled something unintelligible, but what I wanted to say was, “Turn off the damn alarm.”

A hand tightened around mine. “Open your eyes, Nash. Please.”

There was such desperation in that voice—a mix of terror and hope that had me fighting to lift my eyelids. But they were so damn heavy.

Finally, bursts of light swam across my vision. It took a few blinks for the space around me to come into focus. Some part of my brain registered the hospital room, but the only thing I had eyes for was the beautiful woman hovering over me.


My voice sounded like someone had taken sandpaper to my vocal cords.

“Here. Have a sip of water.”

She placed a straw between my lips, and I took a pull. The cool water was heaven on my throat. “Thanks.”

I blinked a few more times, trying to put the pieces together. I jolted as the memories hit me. Lawson, Maddie, and me standing in the driveway. Dan. The gun. “Are you okay? Tell me he didn’t get you.”

Tears filled Maddie’s eyes as she gripped my hand. “I’m fine. Thanks to you. But if you ever do something like that again, you and I are going to have a real problem.”

The tension left my muscles, and the pain set in. My chest felt like someone had shoved a hot poker in it. But I kept hold of Maddie’s hand. “I’d be okay with no more shootings or kidnappings for a good long while.”

I expected her to laugh, but she didn’t; the shadows in her eyes only deepened. “Hey, what’s going on?”

Maddie stared at me, holding on tight. “You’ve been in a coma for three days. Your heart stopped three times. Lawson and I had to give you CPR. We weren’t sure if you were going to make it.”

Her voice broke on the last statement, shoulders shaking with silent sobs.

Shit. “Mads. I’m right here. I’m okay.” At least, I thought I was. “Come here.” I patted the bed, and it lit a fire in my chest.

“Don’t move,” Maddie said, grabbing my hand. “You had open-heart surgery. You have to stay still.”

“I need to hold you.”

Tears slid down her cheeks. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

“The only thing that’s hurting me right now is not being able to hold you.”

Maddie rolled her lips between her teeth.

“Please,” I pressed.

She stood, rounding the bed to my uninjured side. She moved the wires out of the way and lay down beside me. “You’re not allowed to move.”

I wanted to laugh, but I had a feeling that wouldn’t exactly feel great on the chest that had been cracked open a few days ago. I turned my head, dipping my chin so I could press my lips to Maddie’s hair. “I love you.”

Her tears came faster. “I was so scared I’d never hear you say that again.”

“You’re going to hear it every day for a long time.” The word forever danced in my head. Because Maddie had always been forever to me.

“I love you, too,” she whispered.

“It would be really awkward if you didn’t.”

Her mouth curved the barest amount. “I need to ring the nurse. I need to tell your family you’re awake. They’ve been taking shifts in the waiting room.”

“Not yet.” I needed just Maddie for a few more minutes. To remind myself that she was safe. I hadn’t lost her.

“Okay,” she agreed. “I missed you. I missed my best friend.”

My chest ached with a whole new kind of pain. Maddie had been through hell in the last week. The thought had me stiffening. How had I missed Dan’s obsession? The true darkness living just below the surface. “Did Lawson get him?”

Maddie gripped the blanket but nodded. “He’s dead. And Lawson found some texts between him and Kevin. They’re the ones who sabotaged the SAR equipment. Kevin’s in lockup now.”

Relief swept through me, quickly followed by guilt that my brother had needed to take a life. He’d wear the weight of that for the rest of his days. “And Law’s okay?”

“He’s fine other than being worried out of his mind for you. The boys, too. Charlie especially.”

That guilt was back. “Are they here?”

“Not today. It’s your mom, dad, Holt, and Wren today.”

“Good, the kids shouldn’t be hanging out in a hospital. I’ll be home soon, and they can see me there.”

Maddie pulled back so that she could look into my eyes. “You’ll be home when the doctor tells you it’s safe and not a second before.”

A smile curved my lips. “I like it when you get bossy.”

She rolled her eyes. “You are incorrigible. Even in a hospital bed.”

My grin widened. “You gonna get a sexy nurse outfit for when we get home, and you have to nurse me back to health?”

Maddie’s eyes narrowed. “There will be no funny business until you are completely healed.”

I frowned at that. “How long did they say that would take?”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “Asking when I could get it on with my boyfriend wasn’t exactly at the top of my list of questions for the doctor.”

“It should’ve been.”

Maddie let out an exasperated sigh. “What am I going to do with you?”

I pulled her down to me, brushing my lips across hers. “You’re gonna love me.”

She melted into my good side. “I am. Every second of every day.”

I brushed the hair out of her face. “Move in with me.”

Her brows pulled together. “Isn’t that a little fast? We just started dating.”

“We’ve known each other since we were five, and we’ve been living together since you got back.”

Maddie pressed her lips together, and I saw the war in her mind playing out on her features. She wanted to say yes, but she also wanted to be responsible. “I like my cabin.”

My brows lifted at that. “It needs a ridiculous amount of work.”

“It’s where we fell in love.”

I softened at that. “Mads, I’ve loved you every day since kindergarten.”

Her eyes glistened in the afternoon light. “It’s where you finally gave me everything I’ve ever wanted.”

I knew in that moment we weren’t living anywhere but that cabin. “I’ll call Jordan today and ask if I can buy it.”

A laugh burst out of Maddie. “You don’t mess around.”

I pulled her closer, my mouth a breath away from hers. “Not when it comes to the things that matter. And that will always be you most of all.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode