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Whispers of You: Chapter 47


“Could you drive a little faster?” I growled.

Jack let out an exasperated sigh as he guided the U-Haul truck down the mountain road. “You’re like a little kid asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ every two minutes.”

“If you weren’t driving like a grandma, I wouldn’t have to ask the damn question over and over.” I checked my watch for the thousandth time. The clock on the dashboard was five minutes slow. I couldn’t deny the flicker of annoyance at the inaccuracy, but it didn’t tweak me the way it would have a couple of weeks ago.

“I think it’s more important that we get there in one piece than at the speed of a racecar driver.”

Jack was right. I knew he was. But the twitchiness at being away from Wren for most of the day was driving me out of my skin—even knowing my family would be with her every moment. I wanted to be with her. Wanted to make sure that she had everything she needed, and that the cabin was put back just as she wanted it. That she was safe.

Jack glanced in my direction, and the humor fled his face. “Sorry, man. I know it’s hard. But you’ve checked with your mom every hour on the hour. Wren’s fine.”

I rolled my shoulders back, trying to alleviate some of the tension there. “It’s not the same as being with her.”

My obsession with making sure that Wren was okay was one I knew I needed to deal with. But for the first time in forever, I was giving myself grace. It would take time. We’d been through a trauma—one that had opened old wounds.

A little of the tension in my chest eased as we passed the sign for Cedar Ridge. Almost there now.

“You know I’m here if you need to talk,” Jack said as he slowed.

“Thanks, man. Sorry I’ve been in a piss-poor mood this whole drive.”

Especially when Jack had dropped everything to help me clear out my condo in record time and drive all my stuff back home.

“No worries. You can repay me in beer.”

I chuckled. “I already asked Nash to grab some of the local ales for you to sample.”

Jack grinned as he turned onto the gravel road that would take us to the cabin. “See, your grumpy ass is already forgiven.”

“Easy amends.”

He grunted. “You sure this girl of yours wants your prickly ass living with her?”

“I’m hoping she does because my realtor already has an offer on the condo.”

Jack’s eyes widened. “You didn’t ask Wren if it was okay to move in with her?”

“I told her I was here to stay.”

He groaned. “You really do not know your way around women. Some surprises, good. Think flowers, cupcakes, a trip to Hawaii. Some surprises, bad. Any change to home décor, a visit from her in-laws, major life changes…like moving.”

A trickle of unease slid through me. “Just park the damn truck.”

Jack came to a stop in front of the cabin. “I’m just glad I’m here to witness whatever smackdown she gives you.”

I ignored him and jumped out of the U-Haul. I didn’t bother to wait for Jack. Instead, I strode straight inside.

Mom, Dad, and Lawson’s boys all looked up as I charged in.

“Everything okay?” Mom asked.

I nodded. “Wren in her room?”

“She and Grae are watching a movie,” Dad answered.

Safe. She was perfectly fine. But I wouldn’t be able to breathe deeply until I locked eyes with her. Opening the bedroom, I stepped inside and froze.

Tears glittered in Wren’s eyes, and I saw the remnants of ones having already fallen on her cheeks.

Grae grinned when she saw me. “Told ya.”

“What. Happened?” I growled.

Grae hopped up from the bed, patting my chest as she passed me. “You two need to talk.” She leaned in closer to me and whispered in my ear. “She’s scared of losing you.”

My chest constricted as my gaze shot to the woman in the bed—the one who’d had my heart forever and always would. I strode to her, kicking off my boots and climbing onto the bed.

As gently as possible, I curled myself around her. “What are these tears about? I never would’ve left if I’d known you were upset.”

Wren sniffed. “I freaked myself out.”

“About?” I asked, brushing a lock of hair away from her face.

“You haven’t talked about what happened.”

My brows drew together. “You’re healing. I didn’t want to bring you back to a bad place.”

Wren looked up at me, studying my face. “You don’t stop moving. Getting food. Fixing things around the house.”

“Is that bad?”

Fresh tears welled in her eyes. “You did that before. The trying to solve everything.”

Understanding dawned. “And then I left.”

Wren nodded, wiping at her tears.

Pain lanced deep. “Cricket. I’m so damn sorry. My trying to fix things and make things as easy on you as possible doesn’t mean I’m going to bolt.”

Her watery gaze lifted to mine. “Do you blame yourself for this?”

I was quiet for a moment, trying to find the words. My first instinct was to shield Wren and soften the edges of how I really felt. But every time I did that, it had gotten us nowhere. So, instead, I went for the complete truth.

My fingers linked with Wren’s. I needed that contact and wanted to assure her that I wasn’t going anywhere. “When he had you, everything was dark. I had so much rage—at Jude, at myself. I was drowning in it. And when I thought I might lose you…again? I was a wreck.”

“That’s not an answer.”

I squeezed her hand. “It felt like my fault—Jude’s obsession. All those innocent people hurt because he used Randy and Paul as a shield to hide what he was really after. Hurting me.”

Wren lifted a hand to my face, her palm brushing across my stubble. “That’s on Jude.”

“I know that. Dad gave me a good talking to at the hospital and got my head on straight. But I’m not perfect. I can’t change the way my brain has worked for the last ten years overnight. Some demons still get at me. But I’m not going to let them win. I’m with you, Wren. Always and forever. No more going it alone because I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Wren pressed her face to my neck. “We can fight them together. We just have to talk it out. Always.”

I tipped her face up to mine. “That goes for you, too. You get scared I’m going to leave, you tell me.”

“I was scared. I don’t want to lose you. What we have now… It’s so much more than I dreamed.”

A smile stretched across my face. “I’m glad you think so because I did something today. I thought it would be a good surprise, but Jack informed me I was an idiot and that I should’ve talked to you about it first.”

Wren’s brows pulled together. “What did you do?”

“I put my condo on the market last week. Accepted an offer on it yesterday. Cleared it out today.”

Her eyes widened. “You have been busy.”

I chuckled. “Would it be okay if I moved in with you?”

Tears pooled in Wren’s eyes again.

“Shit. Are those good tears or bad?”

“Good,” Wren whispered. “Before Amber got me, I was standing in this room, thinking about how amazing it would be for us to make this home ours. To meld our things. Pick out art. Put up fresh paint.”

The tension that had grabbed hold of me the moment I’d left this morning finally subsided. I pressed my forehead to Wren’s. “You know we’ll never agree on paint colors.”

She let out a huff of air. “Then I can’t wait to fight with you over each and every wall.”

“Nothing would make me happier. I love you, Wren. This is it.” I pulled back to take in her face. “You with me?”

Wren beamed. “I’m with you.”


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