Baffled, I groan, “No, he doesn’t. You’re just irrational.”
“Don’t hold it against me,” he sulks. “I have nothing. All I have is the memory of you to cling on.”
Wow, that’s true. And he does have it rough. “You’re right,” I whisper. “You need so much support and care right now. I won’t scold you anymore.”
His eyes wickedly flash and he nods as if pleased. I push him farther and his hair shines like ink under the ceiling lights. Unable to help myself, I thread my fingers through it and John lets out a groan, leaning his head back. The sound makes my whole body jitter and I quickly withdraw my hand.
Once in the park, I push him around but he starts sulking, muttering something about feeling emasculated. He’s being silly. Considering the hard time he’s given everyone, he can’t bethatfeeble. Nope, there’s a ton of fight in him and I drag a shaky breath.
This is my last day with him. After my shift, I’m leaving town.
I’ve already packed all my stuff from the studio apartment I’ve been renting. Once John’s fallen asleep, I’ll be out of here. Glancing at John, I moan inwardly when my heart squeezes. But I can’t stay.
It was thoughtless of me to stay to begin with, but it was a different story when he was in a coma. Now that he’s awake...now that his memory may return anytime it’s a whole other thing. Holding down a sigh, I park the wheelchair by the pond and sit on a bench. There’s ducks in the pond and they swim around while quack quacking and it’s a pretty, soothing scene.
This should be relaxing but John’s not getting the memo and he’s tight as a fist. Trying to get him to ease, I rummage around in a paper bag I brought with. “Here,” I murmur, handing him a piece of bread. “You can feed them if you want.”
Shrugging, he raises his hand and throws the bread like it’s a dart into the pond and hits a duck in the head. It quacks in outrage, flapping its wings and I exhale patiently. John really needs to get control of those reflexes.
“Maybe we should save if for some other time,” I mutter, putting the paper bag away and turn my attention to John again. Crossing my legs, I say, “John when you were in your coma did you...you know, hear me?”
“All the time,” he rasps, “you spoke to me all the time.” His shoulders shudder but he brushes my hands off when I try covering him with the blanket. Guess, he wasn’t cold then. I raise my brows when he reaches for my hand and moves me to standing.
“What are you doing?” I ask and he pulls me to his chest, causing me to fall over his lap.
“Cuddling you,” he groans, before a grin crosses his face and it’sdivine. I love his smile. “If you’ll let me?”
Breathlessly, I nod and all of the sudden I don’t want to be anywhere else. How can I breathe without this man? Whimpering, I slide my hands over his shoulders and his eyes roll back in his head. He’s peaceful, finally.
He cups my neck. “Your voice when I was in the coma was what kept me going. I kept hearing it, reaching for it, never thinking I’d leave the dark. But then you whispered that you needed your husband to wake up. And I did.” His eyes soften. “For you.”
Gulping, I wonder whether I should tell him I never said that. He must’ve imagined it. I spoke to him that’s true, sang to him sometimes but I never called himhusband. Wow, the subconscious truly is something else. Strong enough to warp memories and create something entirely new.
“I want you to join me this afternoon,” he rasps and I frown. His hand slides along the side of my throat and he adds, “I’m seeing the shrink. He’s going to help me recover my memories.”
Tensing, I stare at him.
John nods. “I want you in that room when I remember you fully. I want your face to be what I see when it all comes back to me.” He holds me closer. “I’m going to need you, Autumn...” he rubs his lips along my cheek, “bad.”
“Yes, John...,” I whisper while my heart pounds in my chest. “I’ll be there.”
I’m just praying he won’t remember.
Stroking a hand down Autumn’s hair, I deeply look into her eyes until she squirms and lowers her gaze.
“What’s that look?” she whispers and I put my hand under her dress until I can feel her soft thigh. “What does it mean?”
“You know what it means,” I groan and she starts protesting. “Nobody will notice. We’ll be careful.”
“They can tell I’m sitting in your lap,” she breathes, “and we can’t do it in a wheelchair.”
Fuck yeah, we can. And we’re doing it.