Persistent Love (Lakehouse Security #5) Excerpt 2
Here's another look at the latest installment in the Lakehouse Security series. Persistent Love is book 5 and it comes out tomorrow, September 1st! You can get it exclusively at eXtasy Books
Justin reached around him and pressed the call button for the nurse. Aiden rolled his eyes. Neither said anything for long minutes. The tension in the room built up until it was the monster in the corner. Like the black smoke of the demons he was watching on the television.
The nurse walked into the room. “He’s in pain,” Justin said sternly.
“Let me just see what the doctor says he can take for pain.”
“I said I was fine,” Aiden said and refused to look at Justin. He turned to the nurse. “It’s not as bad as it was. I don’t want anything.”
She smiled at him. “Okay, Mr. Newell, but if you change your mind. I’ll be happy to help you.” She just about fluttered her lashes at him.
He tried to be pleasant, but just couldn’t pull it off completely, not with his head still hurting and his emotions high.
The nurse left the room and he went back to watch the cute men battle demons.
Justin placed a hand on Aiden’s thigh, the layer of blankets separating their skin. Aiden let him have this one thing, this small touch. “What are you watching?”
“I have no idea,” Aiden answered, still not looking at Justin.
“What’s it about?”
Aiden looked over at him then. “Can you stop? Please.”
“Yeah, okay. Could we just talk about it then, since is the big elephant in the room right now.”
“I’ve said everything I’m going to.” He wouldn’t admit that his head hurt too bad to really make sense of his emotions right now. If he did, then Justin would just call the nurse back in. Aiden would send her back and it would be their vicious cycle all over again.
“Then maybe you can just listen.” He looked away, back at the television until Justin reached around him and turned it off. Aiden sighed and stared at his blanket covered legs as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world. “I’m sorry.”
Aiden glared at him then. “How does that fix anything or change it?”
Justin stared at him for the longest time, as if he honestly thought those two simple words would make Aiden fall into his arms. When he did finally speak, he said, “I know I fucked up. I’ve been trying to fix things between us for years now.”
“No you haven’t. You’re leaving, just like you always have.”
Justin didn’t say anything but he wouldn’t look at Aiden either.
“I said, I was done and I meant it. I’m not playing this sick game you insist on playing with me, so back the fuck off.” Aiden blinked as the pain in his head increased. He shut his eyes and leaned his head back against the pillow, only to spring forward again when his stitched cut hit the fabric.
Aiden felt the displaced air as Justin stood up and then the bed dip beside him. A finger brushed at the hair on his forehead and then caressed a path down his cheek. “I’m stressing you out.”
Aiden nodded his head. God, how he wanted to lean into Justin’s touch, but he wouldn’t give him that. He wouldn’t lead him on and pretend things would be different.
“I’ll just shut up okay. Do you want me to move?”
Aiden shrugged. The touch to his cheek disappeared and Aiden felt its absence. When Justin gently took his hand, Aiden let him. He felt as Justin lifted his hand holding it gently, soft lips against his fingers before letting his hand go.
“Does rubbing your back still help you sleep?”
“I don’t fucking know. Last person to rub my back was you.” Aiden turned, even though it hurt his head. He was a little embarrassed about the bald spot on the back of his head, but at least it had a bandage over it.
Justin started rubbing his back in slow, gentle circles. After a few minutes Aiden felt himself start to drift off. Before he finally succumbed to sleep, he said, “I really want to hate you right now.”
Aiden could practically feel the smile Justin gave him. The hand on his back stopped rubbing and he felt Justin lean over him, kissing him on the cheek. He pulled back and commenced the back rubbing quickly enough.
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