I am truly sorry that Completing Him is taking so long to become Live on Amazon. While you wait please enjoy this complementary Chapter 1 of the book.
My head hurts!
I hear muffled voices and beeping machines around me, but what really catches my attention is the distinct sound of Alex yelling and barking orders at people. He sounds furious which is odd because Alex does not normally lose his cool. He gets mad often, but he always stays in control. I can tell by how strained his voice is, as he continues yelling at someone, telling them they need to do their job better that he is not in control. It sets my body on alarm.
Why is he so upset?
My eyes try to flutter open, but I quickly close them against the assaulting bright lights. Everything hurts. I hear a door slam and fear grips me. I have to see what is going on and why Alex is upset. Alex needs me.
My body aches like no other but hearing more muffled voices around me and consistent curses spilling from Alex’s lips, gives me the courage I need to pry open my eyes and find out what is going on. I blink a few times while taking in my surroundings. I first notice the dripping IV bag attached to my arm, the strong smell of antiseptic, and finally the machines lit up on each side of my bed. I am in a hospital.
I rack my brain retracing my last events. A wave of nausea overwhelms me, as the memories from the club and my attacker come flooding back. My throat is dry and my lips feel cracked and rough as I run my tongue across them. I glance to my right and there in all his beautiful disheveled glory is my Alex huddled together with Jane and Jax talking to a man in a white coat. When did Alex and Jax arrive in Florida?
I try and speak but it comes out more like a squeak. “Alex, How long have I been here?”
Everyone turns and stares at me wide eyed before rushing over and gathering around my bed. The worry evident on Alex’s features scares me. He looks like he hasn’t slept in days. His clothes are wrinkled, and he has more than a day old stubble shadowing his face. The fatherly type man in the white coat who is obviously a doctor does a good job of pushing everyone out of his way as he comes to stand beside me to begin checking all the monitors around me.
“Hello, Ms. Grayson. I am Dr. Richards. How are you feeling?” He asks while shining a tiny a small light in my eyes. Enough with all the lights!
“My throat hurts,” I croak pulling my hand up and rubbing it. “Can I have some water?”
“Yes, of course,” he says lifting a blue picture of cool water on a table beside my bed and pouring it into a small plastic cup and adding a bendy straw. He tries handing it to me, but Alex grabs it out of his hands and proceeds to hold it up to my lips while I take small sips. The cool water feels amazing on my throat.
“Drink slowly,” the doctor warns. “A sore throat is to be expected and should improve within a day or two. We had to pump your stomach and you took quite a hit to the head young lady. Do you remember what happened?”
I nervously nod my head yes not wanting to try and talk again, unless needed. I try and push myself up into a sitting position and wince at the pain invading my body and head once again. I feel like I went a few rounds with a prize fighter and lost every single round. If I feel this bad, I hate to even think about how I must look.
“Don’t move. You shouldn’t try sitting up yet,” Alex growls through clenched teeth as he pushes back on my shoulders keeping me immobile. His voice sounds angry but his eyes are clouded with concern. He pushes a button on the side of my bed, which moves my back upright, allowing me a chance to look at everyone easier and get into a more comfortable position without exerting myself.
The doctor begins a rundown of my ailments. “You had a quite a significant concussion which gave us some worry. Your brain had some swelling, but it has gone down significantly. You were also drugged which was why we had to pump your stomach. If you notice your right ankle is wrapped up to protect it since it has a slight sprain. We can give you some crutches to use until it feels better. I must say you are one lucky young lady and I have no doubt that you will heal completely in no time,” the doctor says while noting something in my charts.
I stare at him in disbelief with thousands of questions rolling through my head. I start with the most obvious one. “How long have I been here?”
The doctor gives me a half smile and says,” You have been unconscious for two days. It is not at all uncommon,” he says noticing my wide eyes. “Your brain needed time to heal.”
I glance back over to Alex who is holding my hand and keeps squeezing the life out of it everything the doctor speaks. I cannot even imagine what he and my friends have been going through. Alex must have been out of his mind with worry. I give him a small smile trying to ease his mood and let him see that I am ok.
“Did they catch the man who did this to me?” I ask hesitantly. The memories of having his hands on me and not being able to get away, sends a sickly feeling over my body. Alex climbs in bed next to me and pulls me against his chest. I notice him flicker an odd glance towards Jane, but before I have a chance to question it he is already speaking.
“The police need to speak with you baby,” Alex says softly. “When Jane and Antonio realized you were gone they went searching for you and heard you screaming. By the time they made it to the back room your attacker, was already gone and they found you on the floor barely breathing. Jane called the paramedics and Antonio went in search of your attacker but he was long gone. We are not yet sure who he is.”
I can feel the tears falling down my face, but they aren’t for me and what I went through. They are for my Alex and the fear shining in his eyes. I have never seen him look so helpless before and it is all because of me. “I never saw his face,” I whisper. “I am not sure how much help I am going to be.”
“Did Travis do this to you? Are you protecting that fucker because if he had anything to do with this I will find out Jessica.” He asks with such force and venom that I wince.
I am shaking my head no before the words ever leave my lips. “No. No, Alex there is no way Travis did this. Travis is many things, but he would never try and hurt me this way. Besides, the man was much heavier than Travis and I heard his voice. I know for a fact it was not him.”
Alex drops it but I can tell he does not completely agree with me. I don’t bring up the fact that he actually thinks I would protect Travis because we are in front of others. What the hell is going through that gorgeous head of his? The doctor speaks again bringing me out of my own thoughts and asks me if I would be up to speaking with the police yet.
“Yes, that is fine.” As the doctor is leaving, I call out to him before he can reach the door, remembering the other important question I wanted to ask him.” When can I go home?”
He turns and smiles saying, “We will need to run a few more tests and as long as those come back normal then we should be able to have you out of here within two days.” I groan wishing it was sooner and he just laughs and walks out the door.
As the door closes behind him Jane and Jax who have been uncharacteristically silent this whole time finally come to life and give me a big hug telling me that they are glad that I am safe and not to ever scare them like that again. As if I had a choice in the matter.
“Jax, thank you for coming but you really did not have to fly all the way here to check on me. I am sorry if I messed up any of your plans.”
“Seriously, baby doll how could you even think that I would stay behind, hours away, while you are hurt in the hospital?” He scowls at me for a moment before a huge smile breaks out across his handsome face. “Alex let me tag along with him on his jet and it was amazing. I am ruined and will never be able to enjoy coach seating ever again. ”
I turn and stare at Alex shocked not only by the fact that he was considerate enough to bring Jax with him but, that he has his own jet. He just smirks back at me. His wealth overwhelms me at times. Why the hell would he need his own jet? He has not traveled once since the day I met him. Men and their need to own extravagant toys.
“Jane, would you mind finding me a brush and some chap stick? Just because I feel like hell does not mean I want to look like it.” I glance down at my ugly hospital gown, realizing it will take more than some lipgloss and a brush to make me look anywhere near presentable.
She goes and searches in her overly large bag, bringing back all the necessaries I need, while proceeding to sit down beside me and give me a hand. She is being so quiet that she is beginning to worry me. I don’t ever remember a time when she has said so few words.
While Jax and Alex talk at the end of my bed I ask her softly,” What is wrong?”
“Nothing.” She is a horrible liar.
“You can’t lie to me. I know you too well Jane. What is going on?”
Her voice cracks when she says,” I am so sorry Jess. I should never have left you and given that idiot a chance to get his hands on you. I am a horrible friend. I wouldn’t blame me if you hated me forever.”
I turn around and my heart breaks seeing the unshed tears pooled in her eyes. How could she think this is her fault? “Jane you cannot blame yourself for this. I don’t know why the guy attacked me or wanted to hurt me but even if you had been beside me it does not mean that he would have stopped. Please don’t beat yourself up for something you had no control over,” I plead.
“I’ll try,” she says between sniffles. Her eyes dart to Alex as she whispers,” Your man went ape shit on everyone when he found out you were hurt.” I look at her with a raised eyebrow and she continues. “When the fight was brought under control and we realized you were gone, Antonio and I both went searching for you. When we got down to the main dance floor we heard you screaming towards the back near bathrooms and we tore down the hall trying to reach you in time. You were alone when we found you, but you were already unconscious. I called 911 and while I waited for them to arrive, I called and told Alex him what had happened.”
She takes a long breath and I can see more tears gathering in her eyes. I nudge her needing her to continue. “He was beside himself. I mean he literally lost it on the phone when I told him about your condition. He hung up on me and called Antonio and the next thing I know Derrick is beside me and the paramedics have arrived and began working on you. I was so scared Jess. You looked pale and for the first time since I was a little girl, I prayed. I prayed that you would make it through this and be safe.”
I cover my hands over her own knowing I would feel the same way if anything like that ever happened to her. We have been each other’s rock for so long. Wiping away tears she rolls her eyes and says,” Alex almost got kicked out of the hospital when he first got here. He contacted Jax for me and they took Alex’s jet and managed to arrive here three hours after you were admitted. He came in here barking orders and threatening everyone. It took a handful of people to calm him down. He might be an overbearing ass at times, but I saw firsthand how much he cares for you.”
“I know he does,” I say quietly looking over at Alex and wish I had the nerve to tell him how I really feel. Maybe when we get back home I will finally bite the bullet and just say it. Maybe
A soft knock on the door brings all of our heads around, as two police officers enter the room. Alex moves to my side protectively as they stroll in showing their badges while introducing themselves as Detective Burns and Harris. Detective Harris, the shorter of the two, cuts straight through pleasantries and the polite bullshit and starts right into asking all the hard questions.
“What do you remember before you were attacked Ms. Grayson?”
Closing my eyes, I ignore the pounding in my head and think back to before I left our VIP Section. “I remember dancing to the loud music with Jane and ordering drinks from our waitress. I had started to feel sick and disoriented so I sat down for a while. A fight broke out and Antonio moved us around while he was trying to help break it. I felt really ill so I ran to the bathroom needing to throw up.” I never stop talking even when I can feel Alex tensing beside me. His eyes are hard and cold as I retell all the details of what happened. I can’t imagine what he is going through.
The detective interrupts my thoughts asking me what I had been drinking. I glance at Jane trying to remember the name of what we had that night and she responds for me,” Watermelon Cosmopolitans. We had our own bar and waitress in the VIP section. I drank the same thing as Jane.” He makes some notes in his binder before looking back at us.
“What happened after you ran off Ms. Grayson? Please try and remember any small detail you can no matter how insignificant it may seem.”
“I ran down a long hallway thinking the bathroom was down it. It was hard to figure out what door was what because I was dizzy and my stomach hurt really bad, making it hard for me to walk. Sometime during that time a man came up and grabbed me by my hair. He dragged me down to the end of the hall and into another room. He was cursing at me and calling me names. I tried to get away but he was much stronger than I was.” Regret tugs at my stomach thinking of all the things I could have done differently. The what ifs are endless.
“Do you remember any significant clothing he was wearing or a certain smell you could associate with him? Anything to give us a clue as to who we are looking for?
Fear knots in my stomach as the realization that whoever hurt me is still out there free to do whatever he wants. He could be standing beside me on the street and I would never know it was him. How do you protect yourself against that?
“Besides his large body stature, not really. I remember getting one good hit on him somewhere near his chest area, but I doubt it was enough to cause any damage. If I heard his voice again I would definitely remember it. He had a deep raspy voice. The kind a person gets when they have smoked too many cigarettes in their life,” I murmur wiping at the tears streaming down my cheeks.
Alex grips my hand reassuringly and reaches for a tissue beside my bed. I smile at him sweetly as he begins wiping my face. “I hate seeing you go through this baby. I don’t want you to overexert yourself. Do you feel strong enough to continue?”
I nod yes dropping a kiss on the palm of his hand before turning back to the officers. Jane moves to the reception area outside my room to answer some of questions that Detective Harris has for her while the other taller quieter Detective called Burns takes over questioning me.
“Do you know of anyone that would want to harm you or Mr. Harlow?” He asks gruffly.
I shoot a look at Alex realizing that Burns thinks this could be Alex’s fault. Alex’s eyes have gone completely hard but the change in his posture makes me realize he too is afraid of the same thing. Does he know something I don’t? All of a sudden his need to security over me seems a bit off. I never questioned it before now.
“No one has ever threatened me. I don’t know of anyone that has a large enough problem with me that they would consider hurting me in this manner,” I say shaking my head. I am nobody. Why would anyone go after me? “I cannot answer for Alex. He will have to answer the rest of that question himself.” I give Alex a knowing look, eager to hear his answer as much as the detective is.
“I get the normal death threats as most people with a certain sizable wealth do, but nothing serious and nothing that has ever been aimed at Jess.” He turns his head refusing to meet my eyes and adds,” I would appreciate it if you would look into her ex-fiancé Travis Younger. He was harassing her not long ago at a club we were at. He might be someone of interest.”
I know he can feel the daggers I am shooting his way, but he refuses to acknowledge my icy stare. I cannot believe he is bringing Travis into this again. I quickly tell the detective that I don’t believe it is Travis and my reasons why, but he says he will check into him nonetheless.
With my headache gaining momentum, the detectives finish their questions and thank us for our time saying they will be in touch. Alex walks them out which is way of getting them alone so he can speak to them without my hearing. I have this horrible feeling there is a lot that I am being kept in the dark about.
With him out of the room, Jane and Jax each pull up a chair beside my bed and turn on the TV in search for something we can all watch and enjoy together. Surprisingly my room actually has decent cable and after much debate and arguing, we agree on You’ve Got Mail. I have seen this move over a dozen times and never get tired of it. I still get teary eyed at the end when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan find each other amongst the flowers. I wish real life worked out that easily.
Sometime around the middle of the movie I must have fallen asleep. I wake with a start not remembering where I am until I look down and see Alex lying next to me in the bed with his arms wrapped around me protectively. For once, he looks peaceful and less troubled as he sleeps. I lightly brush my fingers on the outline of his face memorizing every line and indention. He is so handsome it is hard to believe he is all mine. Well, technically at least. When the time is right, we need to discuss Lexy.
Chasing the negative thoughts out of my head, I carefully remove his arm from around mine and climb out of bed. The cool tile beneath my feet pulls a small yelp out of my mouth as I tip toe to the bathroom.
As I am finish up and wash my hands I hear Alex frantically calling out my name from the other room. His voice is strained and loud as I make my way back into my room. I find him in a state of panic with sweat running down his face, while he looks around searching for me and yelling out my name.
“Alex, baby I am right here,” I call out while running to him so he can see that I am fine. I have never seen him so unraveled and scared before. My poor beautiful man.
He grabs at me, enveloping me in a tight embrace. I stand motionless not sure what to say while he breathes hard into my neck. I try and pull away so I can look into his face but he won’t allow me to separate from him.
“Alex you are scaring me. Are you ok?”
He does not say anything right away but continues to hold me. After several minutes his body visibly relaxes and he murmurs,” Sorry love. I am fine. I woke and you were gone and I was afraid something happened to you.” He pulls me back and kisses me softly. The frown lines are gone from his face but I can tell he is still a bit rattled. “Let’s get you back in bed.”
I allow him to tuck me back in and sigh as he lies behind me pulling me against his chest and entwining his fingers with mine. “I am sorry I scared you Alex,” I whisper softly.” I turn my face around and allow myself to get lost in his emerald eyes. I want to tell him I love him. After the attack I realize how easily life can be taken from you in a moment and no matter what happens from this day on, I want him to know how I feel.
“Alex,” I say hesitantly willing the words to come. “I want to tell…”
Alex places his finger over my lips stopping me from speaking. “Hush, my love, you need sleep. Your body has been through a lot and needs to rest. Whatever you need to say it can wait until tomorrow.”
I nod and turn back around, snuggling closer against him and realizing I am the biggest chicken. I resolve that no matter what, I will tell him tomorrow. I fall fast asleep promising that tomorrow I will confess my feelings and hope to hell he feels the same.