Time with Mr. Silver: Chapter 42

Dax

“Why aren’t you sleeping?”

“Why aren’t you?”

My heart cracks at her voice. It’s lost all its fight. My beautiful girl.

I rub my eyes with one hand. “I never sleep well since you left.”

“Neither do I.”

I stare up at the night sky and the stars as I wait for her to speak. Because I know there’s so much more she still wants to ask. I can feel it hanging in the air between us. Unspoken feelings. Unanswered questions.

Unparalleled hope.

“You remember the night you came back covered in blood?”

“The night you cleaned me up?” I smile at the memory of her exploring my skin with a gentle dusting of her fingertips as she told me she thought my tattoos were beautiful. But I saw deep inside her that night, to who Rose Jacobs really is. And she’s always been the beautiful one.

“Yeah.”

“Another member of Julian’s gang was going to bring attention on us by being a prick and stealing gear for himself. I couldn’t risk having more eyes on me and my small part in the operation. I just gave him a warning, that’s all. He’s fine.”

I flex my arms behind my head as I transfer my gaze to Rose’s window. Her bed must be right by it because I can hear her clearly. Knowing that she’s so close has my body fighting with my head. I could stand on the sofa. Maybe put the chair on top of it to make it higher and then grab the window frame and hoist myself up. Climb through it and get into bed with her, pull her into my arms where she belongs.

If she’s going to listen to me, it has to be on her time. I can’t force her, or I will lose her forever.

Maybe I already have.

“Who knows?”

I stare at her window, still imagining her lying on her bed, her long, blonde hair splayed across her pillow.

“Just James and a select few police who are working the case. And Sophie.”

“Jasmin and Logan?”

“No.” My chest sinks as I exhale. “I can’t tell them yet. I might never be able to unless it’s going to be shared in the trial. I’m not supposed to tell anyone.”

“But you’re telling me.”

“Because I had to. I hated you not knowing the whole truth. Jasmin, Logan… They don’t need to know if I was working alone, or for the police to get Julian. But you? I hated looking into your eyes and knowing there was something I hadn’t shared with you. Because you’re the only person in this world who’s seen all of me, Rose. All my parts. Including the dark, ugly ones.”

“Don’t talk about yourself like that,” she snaps.

The tiny glimmer of hope in the air lodges itself inside my chest at the fire in her voice.

She’s still fighting for us.

Somewhere deep down, it’s still there. An ember. But I’ll take it. She hasn’t let it burn out entirely.

There’s still a chance.

“So you waited until the last guy was found?”

“Yeah. I didn’t trust the police to do their job properly. My trial was fucked up, I was stabbed in jail. Julian had people working for him on the inside. As long as there was a chance Julian could wriggle his way out of it, then I couldn’t come for you. Even though I wanted to. I swear to you, Rose. I’ve never wanted something so badly in my life.”

I watch the window, hoping she might look out. Allow me a glimpse of her. Meet my eyes so I can look into hers as I speak.

So she can see that I mean it. Every. Single. Word.

But the space remains dark and empty.

“How do you know he won’t still find a way?”

“He won’t. Alistair found more evidence hidden at his house. And he got him on tape, admitting to things. Admitting to wanting me dead. Wanting the estate. Staging an ‘accident’ for me in jail.” The hairs on my arms prick up. He would never have stopped. I had to stop him first. “Julian won’t be getting out. He gave up his inside man when they told him he was looking at a conspiracy to commit murder charge. He begged like the coward he is. And he’s not going to have many friends in jail. No big henchmen protecting him. He’ll be a sitting duck for all the people he’s crossed over the years to get ahead.”

The thought spreads sourness over my tongue. If Julian makes it through his sentence alive, then he’s a lucky man. And if he doesn’t? Then I’ve already been to my father’s funeral. I won’t be shedding any tears, shared blood or not.

It’s something I’m working on, but I’m getting there. I am not him. I never will be him. And I believe that. And knowing Rose believes that too, and that she told me over and over again before she left, it’s enough.

Blood means nothing.

“What’s he like? Alistair, I mean.”

“A total sucker for Jasmin.”

“Of course he is.” There’s amusement tinting Rose’s voice that has my lips pulling into the beginnings of a smile as my heart swells.

“He’s a good guy. He loves her. He worked hard to help her when I wasn’t there. He helped her take on the business, gave her the strength and confidence to make difficult decisions. I owe him a lot.”

“He looked a bit like you when I saw him on Jasmin’s phone.”

“Yeah, poor fucker.”

When I first met Alistair, it was like looking into a mirror but knowing it wasn’t me reflected back. We have the same face shape… but different eyes. We both have eyes like our mothers’. A fact I’m grateful for.

I don’t have his. Rose doesn’t have to look into Julian’s eyes and see him when she looks at me.

“Don’t you mean lucky? Hot like his big brother? But not as hot, obviously,” Rose muses, making a chuckle rumble inside my chest for the first time in over ninety days.

“You still think I’m hot?” I’m met with silence, and my chuckle dies. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”

“My body and my heart will always be yours, Dax. For infinity.” She sighs, as though speaking is draining her energy.

“But?” I hold my breath.

“But… nothing.” She pauses. “We should sleep.”

I wait until I’m sure she isn’t going to say anything else. Then I close my eyes, even though it’s pointless.

I can’t sleep without you, Sunbeam.

I can’t function without you.

Time means nothing if it isn’t spent with you.


“Don’t give up. She forgave me.” Casey smiles at me as she passes me on the porch sofa on her way out the following afternoon.

“Not planning to.” I tip my chin at her as she passes.

Rose hasn’t come out today. From what I can tell, she’s been in her room most of the morning and then out in the rear yard. I could hear music playing through the side gate. Then after Casey went into the house, the sounds of screaming and tense music came from the living room on the opposite side of the wall to where I’ve been sitting. And I smiled as I realized they were probably watching a movie together.

Brett invited me into his guesthouse in the converted garage to use his shower. But I was so scared of missing Rose if she left the house that I took it as fast as I could and then went back to the porch sofa, still damp beneath my clothes. And their mom must have felt sorry for me because there was a plate of food and drink waiting for me when I returned.

I take up my position on the porch couch again, pulling my phone out to text Logan and call Jasmin. They both know I’m here. They’re taking care of everything at home, along with Alistair. I couldn’t ask for more. They are my family. It’s the people who are there for you no matter what.

And I’m going to be here for Rose, no matter what.

I’m going to be here for as long as it takes.

I busy myself with some work emails to pass the day, and I wave as the neighbor with the dog passes again. He gives me a questioning thumbs up as he looks at the house behind me, which I reply to by tilting my palm in a so-so movement. With a hopeful smile, he moves past.

I’m becoming a local spectacle.

The heartbroken man sleeping on the porch. Maybe they’ll make a movie about me. If it was a horror, maybe Rose would even watch it. I’ve not seen her once today. She’s probably trying to ignore the fact I am still here. But she needs to get used to it. Because I’m not leaving.

Brett brings me out some dinner and even stays to have a beer with me. I really am the fucking charity case. Desperation must be seeping from my pores like the silver glitter that I keep finding everywhere.

As the sky darkens, I lie on the sofa, ready for another night. It’s uncomfortable and there’s a loose spring digging into my back.

But it’s closer to her.

So that makes it fucking paradise in comparison to anywhere else I could be.

Day ninety-two. Tomorrow will be sunrise number ninety-three. More without her than with her.

“Give me one more, please,” I whisper before falling silent as one by one, lights flick out in the houses up the street, leaving me in darkness. All the lights in Rose’s house went out half an hour ago.

A sound above draws my eyes. Her window opens briefly, and something is thrown out. Then it’s slammed shut again.

I get up from the sofa and walk over to scoop up the bundle, carrying it back to the sofa.

I unroll it, spreading the blanket over me, its scent enveloping me as I stare up through the dark at the closed window.

Vanilla and petals.

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