The Fall of East (Hear No Evil Trilogy #3) - Nana Malone
Someone had shoved dry cotton pads in my mouth. Dry, bitter-tasting cotton and saw dust pads. I tried to push them out of my mouth with my tongue to no avail.
Somewhere in the distance, someone whispered. "Fuck, I am so sorry, Nyla. Please, please, be okay.”
The overwhelming desire to comfort them took over. I needed to tell them that I would be okay just as soon as someone removed the cotton from my mouth. I turned toward the voice but then froze as a burning pain seared through my shoulder like I was being jabbed repeatedly by a hot poker.
The nausea hit next, and I wanted to vomit. Oh God, what if I tried to vomit and the cotton was still in my mouth? I would choke.
Warmth enveloped my hand and started to spread up my arm, chasing off a chill I didn’t know I had. I wanted that warmth. Wanted to cocoon myself in it and never let go.
I'm sorry. Again, those words filtered into my consciousness.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
My heart stopped.
Those words. Words full of anguish. Words a part of me had needed to hear since the moment my heart was broken.
Those were the words East Hale had said to me… before he shot me.
After everything we’d been through to be together, he had put a bullet through me. A bullet.
Off in the distance, I could hear beeping. Beep-beep-beep... It sounded like an alarm. Somehow, something sounding like an alarm was far less prevalent in my mind than the thought of how the man I cared about had shot me… with a gun. Through my flesh. And there had been no hostage situation where he had to shoot me to get to the bad guy, or some other such Jason Bourne-like shit.
Oh no. We'd been alone in a room, and that motherfucker had shot me. His eyes full of promise, his words telling me he cared about me, right before putting a bullet in my shoulder. Well, I was going to return the favor, except I was going to have much better aim.
Just as soon as it wasn't dark and painful and cold anymore. So damn cold.
Why was it cold?
Oh, he’d removed his hand. Not only had he shot me, but now he’d also left me alone and bereft.
More beeping. Faster now. Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.
He had shot me. It was all I could think about. His soulful, moss-green eyes as they pleaded with me. The look of grim determination on his lush lips as he pressed them together and raised his gun and then fired.
The alarms were louder now, faster too. Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.
God, I was so cold, and the bitterness on my tongue added insult to injury. I needed to get out of there so I could kill him.
Damn right. I had plans for East Hale. I was not going to let him go slowly into the night. Oh no. I was going to make it torturous. Like a rain of fire.
Yep, a rain of fire.
My brain latched onto various revenge schemes as I lay in the dark and cold. The asshole had shot me, and I hated him.
No, you don't. You love him. Just think about why he shot you.
Why? There was no good reason to shoot the woman you loved. That was ridiculous. Nobody shot a woman they loved. It was counterintuitive. Useless really, because when she recovered, she would come for you. Unless, of course, you thought she was going to die. In which case, sure, go ahead...
Then that voice again. East’s voice. God, why did he sound so good? The deep rich baritone was like mulled wine at the holiday. Warming me in places too buried to feel warmth. "Yeah, she's coming to. Get the doctor in here. She seems agitated."
Agitated? Damn straight I was agitated. That motherfucker had shot me. Why couldn't I wake up? I wanted out of this cold place. I wanted to go find East and shoot him. Tit for tat. That was really how I dealt with most things, honestly. Tit for tat. Where would I shoot him?
Of course. As if there was any question. He was going to get shot in the balls. That thought brought me much satisfaction, and the beeping slowed down.
It was still too loud though.
"There you are, sweetheart. Come on, wake up. Talk to us."
There was another voice saying, "Back off. The last thing she needs is to see you first thing when she wakes up."
That rich, chocolatey voice talked back. "She’ll want to