King's Reign (Sydney Storm MC #6)(6)

Linc dropped Mum and me off at the hospital after he took the kids to school, on his way to work. If I wasn’t so wrapped up in myself, I would have cheered over the fact he’d found a steady job. As it was, I only just noticed a car that pulled out of a parking spot abruptly, almost knocking me over. Everything happened in a blur. Mum pulled me towards the footpath, away from the car before I was hurt. After, we stood in shock staring at each other until she wrapped her arms around me and cried.

We stayed like that for a long few minutes, shedding tears we didn’t know we still had in us. It seemed tears lived deep inside, in limitless quantities.

By the time we stepped off the lift near the intensive care unit, Mum’s face showed how close she was to shattering. I wasn’t convinced she’d be able to sit here for another day, watching tubes and machines and doctors and nurses helping my sister fight for her life. Two days of this had revealed the desperation that long days filled with nothing but silence and beeps from those machines caused. I’d sat by Brynn’s side, teeth chattering from the frigid air, heart aching with pain from sadness and uncertainty, and I’d prayed like I’d never prayed even though I didn’t believe in praying anymore. I’d made God promises I wasn’t sure I could keep. And even when there were no tears streaming down my face, they drowned my soul.

I can’t lose her.

A new wave of agony washed over me as we approached the unit. It knocked the breath from me, and I grabbed at the railing on the wall to hold myself up. The world spun, and black dots stole my vision.

I can’t do this.

I can’t do life without her.

Oh God.

I can’t breathe.

I hunched over and tried like hell to suck air deep into my lungs. I felt like wire had wrapped itself tightly around my chest, suffocating the life from me.

Just as my knees buckled and I started to go down, strong arms circled me, and a deep voice sounded at my ear, “I’ve got you.”


He stopped my fall and held me until I breathed, “Thank you.” I turned and frowned. “Why are you here?”

A look crossed his face that I couldn’t quite place. Regret, maybe. “I wanted to check in on your sister. And on you.”

“Why?” Devil seemed like a good guy, but it wasn’t like we were friends. I was missing something here.

His forehead crinkled as he hesitated to answer my question. Finally, he said, “Just making sure you guys are okay.”

The puzzle fell together. “Did King send you?”

More hesitation. “We want to—”

I cut him off. “No. King made it clear what he wants, and it’s not making sure I’m okay. Tell him I don’t need you guys checking on me. And tell him to take his men off watch duty, too. The police have a lead they’re following up, and they think it was a random robbery gone wrong. Whoever did it isn’t coming back, so we’re safe.”

“He’s not going to listen to anything I have to say, Lily.”

I wrapped my arms around myself. Was he trying to insinuate this would have to come from me? There was no way I’d be calling King to say any of this to him. I didn’t have that in me today. “You need to make him listen, Devil. Please.”

He exhaled sharply before jerking his chin towards the intensive care unit. “How’s your sister doing? And that’s not for King. I want to know.”

Tears filled my eyes. I didn’t even try to stop them falling. Before Brynn was shot, I tried to never cry in front of people. Now I wore my tears like a second skin.

Swallowing my fear, I said, “The doctors don’t know. She’s still attached to the machines.”

The regret I thought I’d seen on his face before was now clear as day. “Fuck, I’m sorry, Lily.”

I nodded. There wasn’t anything else to say so I left him and walked towards the unit where my sister lay battling for her life.

Will our lives ever go back to normal or will there be a new normal now?

“I’m just saying, I have to hand this assignment in by Thursday, so we need to either buy a printer for here or go home and use ours,” Holly said that night, her voice a harsh tone I’d never heard her take.

Linc took one look at me and stepped in between us. Holly and I had been going back and forth over this damn assignment for the last fifteen minutes and weren’t getting anywhere. She’d pounced on me after dinner and wasn’t letting it go. I wasn’t up for this discussion; I had a headache from hell and craved a bath and some silence.

Brynn’s still in a coma and I’m standing here arguing over a damn printer.


“Hols, I’ll call your teacher and organise an extension. The school won’t expect you to get this in on time. Not with what’s going on,” Linc said.

“No!” Holly exploded, her anger crashing into me, startling me from my thoughts. “I’m handing it in on time.”

I stared at her, confused by her behaviour. She’d visited the hospital twice since Brynn was shot and avoided talking about her aunt. Anyone who didn’t know us, wouldn’t realise she was going through something as devastating as she was. I knew everyone experienced hard situations and worry differently, but this seemed extreme.

I touched her arm. “Baby, don’t do this,” I said softly.

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