Love Beyond Sight_ Her Life without Him
She felt the lightest of kisses on her forehead as a soft, tender, and caring hands touched her face and caress her cheek.
"You're awake." The voice was low, gentle—a perfect match for that touch.
"Who are you?" she asked. Her throat hurt terribly; it made speaking difficult.
A chuckle sounded in response. "Do I need to introduce myself? You know who I am. It's me." A kiss landed on her temple.
Her eyes fluttered open and she found herself staring up at a pair of deep-sea blue eyes framed by long black lashes. They glittered with tears, which were still streaming down his cheeks.
"I'm so sorry, baby," he whispered, then pressed another kiss to her brow.
The words held no explanation, but they brought back memories. How could she not remember this man? He had been there when she woke up from her coma. She'd thought him handsome even before he'd kissed her, but now...now he was stunning.
As always, his features were all perfect lines and angles, from the strong jawline to the straight nose to those full lips. But it wasn't just the physical beauty that drew her gaze—it was also the depth of emotion he wore like a cloak around his shoulders. This man seemed to have endured more than most people ever would.
She tried to sit up but felt too weak. His hands caught hers, helping steady her as he eased her back onto the bed. Once she settled, he sat next to her, facing away from her, so she had a clear view of him from head to toe.
With one arm wrapped possessively around his middle, he leaned back against the wall. Every part of his body was lean muscle, from the defined abs to the corded biceps and forearms to the well-defined legs and feet. Though his hair was short like many men's these days, the strands tumbled over his forehead in a way that gave him an almost feminine quality. She liked it, but she hadn't expected to.
His jeans looked expensive, the kind tailored to fit perfectly, and she wondered if he owned anything else. The only other piece of clothing he wore was a simple white T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal smooth, muscled arms.
He stared out the window behind him, his profile handsomely masculine. He appeared lost in thought, but the longer she studied his profile, the more she realized he wasn't alone. There was someone sitting on the edge of the bed across from him.
Hadn't she heard the door close? Who was that person? And what did they want?
As if answering her unspoken question, the stranger rose from the chair and crossed the room to stand beside the bed. She recognized him immediately because he was the first person she'd met after waking from her coma.
He was the doctor who'd examined her and given her the news about the car accident.
But this time, he didn't look like a medical professional. No, this time he was dressed in a pair of black jeans and a dark green shirt. His hair fell past his shoulders in waves and his eyes flashed as they settled on her face.
He took her hand in his and brushed his thumb across her knuckles. His touch sent a jolt of awareness through her.
"My name is Dr. Ryan O'Halloran," he said.
"You may remember I was the one who delivered your baby."
Not remembering being pregnant, she shook her head in confusion. Then she remembered the baby and blinked back the tears that stung her eyes at the memory.
"How long have I been here?" she asked.
"Three months. You've had a difficult recovery, but you're finally ready to come home." He smiled reassuringly, but his eyes remained grave. "And it looks like you'll be going home with someone new."
Her heart lurched into her throat. He'd brought her home with him?
"What do you mean?"
Dr. O'Halloran chuckled. "Well, we can't leave you here alone. Not after..." He trailed off, waiting for her to fill in the blank.
"After I almost got killed," she whispered.
"Exactly. So you'll stay with us until you're feeling stronger."
"No, no, that's not necessary. I don't mind staying with my parents or—"
"It's too late. We already called them. They left yesterday and will be arriving tomorrow morning." He smiled again, and this time it seemed less forced. "Now, let me tell you a little bit about how things work around here. We have this thing we call the honeymoon suite where you'll be living for the foreseeable future. No arguments, okay?"
"I'll be fine."
"I know you think that. But I'm telling you, it's not safe to go back to your apartment."
Her anger swelled, making her skin prickle. "I'm not some fragile doll. I can take care of myself. All I need is a shower and something to wear."
"We don't have time to argue. Just listen." He reached out to brush the hair behind her ear.
She jerked away. "Don't touch me!"
He frowned. "I apologize. I'll get to that later."
When he spoke again, his tone was softer. "First, you need to understand something. Until the day comes for you to return to your life, you're under our protection. You're a member of the House of Night. And while I realize you're used to calling yourself a mere mortal, we will see to it that you always remain one."
A shiver ran down her spine. "And why does that matter to me?"
He sighed. "Because for centuries, humans have been trying to destroy us. We haven't lost any of our own in a very long time, but we cannot risk it happening again. You will live among us until such a time when you choose to come back out into the world. But when that happens, you must never forget who you are."
"I won't," she promised, though she wasn't sure how she knew it.
"Good girl," he murmured.
"So what about my parents? What do they need to know?"
"They'll be fine. Your mother has already moved into my place and will be looking after you." He paused, eyeing her as if gauging her reaction. When he saw her nod, he continued. "Your father will be joining her soon."
"And what about my job? My friends? Do I get to keep them?"
"This is your choice. If you decide to cut ties with your old life, we won't stop you. In fact, it will make things easier for everyone involved."
"Just hear me out, please," he interrupted. "If you want to leave everything behind and start fresh, we'll help you. For a few weeks, at least. After that, it will become your decision whether or not you want to continue living with us. That's the best we can offer right now."
"I hate it when people use 'the best' as an excuse to do nothing."
He laughed. "You're a woman of strong opinions, aren't you?"
"Only when I need to be."
He nodded. "All right, enough talk. Let's get started."
Dr. O'Halloran stood and turned toward the door. "Where are you going?"
"To put a bag together for you. I'll bring it to your room."
She tensed, wondering what he wanted her to wear. But instead of worrying, she focused on the words he'd spoken: "Let's get started."
That was what he meant by getting started. He'd already decided that she was going to live with him. And there was nothing she could say or do that would change that.
She didn't try to resist because she understood the consequences of going into the world after she almost lost her life. She originated from a place where living amongst human had to be done with utmost care and secrecy. Anyone who finds out about them often tried to destroy them. Their reasons often about being a trait to humanity and needed to be extinct.
While she reflected on all of this, she couldn't help drop a tear over her child that has been taken away from her for his safety. And her husband who wouldn't live to see the next day as their superiority would have him killed to protect their secrecy.
All in all it was a life well lived because she found love although the human who gave her such love will be gone. She consoled herself with the fact that he left his seed behind. A seed she will always remember him by and tend to with as much love/care as she could give when she meet him again.