The Fall of East: Book 3 in the Hear No Evil Trilogy, стр. 2

me? I'm an Interpol agent, remember? If you—"

I opened my eyes more slowly, and their voices came into sharper focus as I listened to the two of them bicker like school children over my bed. "If you two are done now..." I croaked.

What the hell was wrong with my voice? Why was it so scratchy?

Both heads snapped in my direction. East was right at my side and took my hand. "Sweetheart, I'm so sorry. Are you okay?"

I frowned at him and then slid my gaze to Amelia. "Amelia, you were right. This is why we don't date fuck boys, because fuck boys shoot us." I tried to snatch my hand from his, but his grip was too firm.

The idiot just smiled at me with relief etched on his sculpted face. "Yes, I am a fuck boy. I'm sorry. But Interpol was coming, and Denning... I knew he wouldn't believe that you hadn't seen anything, so I shot you."

I blinked up at him. Sleep was still threatening to pull me down, but I fought it. "You shot me to help me keep my job?"

"Of course. Regardless of what you say, your job is important to you. I know that. So I gave you plausible deniability."

He wanted to give me plausible deniability?

That is sweet though. 

I frowned. I didn't want sweet. I didn't want him being wonderful. He had shot me.

Amelia leaned in. "You should go, Hale. I told you if you hurt her that I was going to end you. I'm not going to do that in the hospital because, you know, they’ll likely save you. But watch your back, because I certainly do have plans for you."

He rolled his eyes. "I'm not leaving. My family donated a wing to the hospital. You couldn’t kick me out if you tried."

Amelia glared at him. "Who does that? Who casually throws around that they own part of the hospital?"

I mumbled. "He does. The London Lords do. This is all his fault."

"I agree. Completely his fault." She nodded in solidarity.

East just rolled his eyes. "It is my fault. I did this. And I will fix it. The last thing I ever want to do is see you in pain."

"Well," I gasped, "next time, don't shoot me."

He nodded, still holding my hand. "I'm going to take care of you, okay? Anything you need."

"I don't need anything." Especially not from him.

"Well, you're getting it. And might I note that you already live with me?"

"Clearly, I'm moving out. You know, on account of the shooting."

"Well, why don't we wait until you’ve recovered, and then we can talk about it?"

Recovered? I was fine. Surely it couldn't be that bad. I tried to move and then winced. "Fuck. Son of a bitch."

It was his turn to wince then. "I'm sorry. Again."

Amelia laughed. "You’re going to have to come up with a new line."

He glowered at her. "Stay out of this. This is between me and Nyla. I will apologize fifty million ways. I'm very persuasive."

Amelia snorted. "I’ll bet you are."

"Can you two please stop it? My shoulder is throbbing. Where did you shoot me?"

"In that soft tissue right below the clavicle, clean shot through and through. The doctor says I missed all major ligaments, so it was a minor surgery and they just stitched you up. It’ll take a few weeks, but you should have full function in your arm in no time."

"Where am I?"

"Evanston. It’s a private hospital."

My brows lifted. "Evanston? You mean the fancy one that the celebrities go to?"

East nodded. "Well, yeah. And the best surgeon in all of Europe was flown in. He'll be in shortly. But he says you're going to be as good as new in no time."

Amelia just crossed her arms and shook her head. "He's been throwing money around here like he's Daddy Warbucks. Stomping around until he gets his way. Hell, he almost banned visitors until the doctor said it was good for you to wake up to familiar faces. That's the only reason I'm in here. Otherwise, he would have banned me too."

I frowned at him. "You will not ban Amelia."

He mumbled under his breath. "Well, if she keeps talking shit, I will."

"East Alexander Hale."

He sighed. "Fine. Fine. Of course, I wouldn't ban Amelia."

There was a knock at the door, and we all turned in that direction. It opened slowly, and a familiar brunette popped her head through. "Hiya. Oh my goodness, you're awake. I'm so glad to see that."

I frowned. "Hazel?"

Amelia just stared at her. East stood guard over me like a sentry, arms crossed, scowl in place. "What are you doing here?" he asked.

"Oh, um..." She hesitated. "Well, she's on Denning's team, you see. He's downstairs. You know, with the rest of the team. He wanted to make sure she's all right. I didn't want to sit around, so I snuck about and told him I was going to the loo. And I also went to the gift shop and bought this." She held up a small bouquet of gerbera daisies. "So, how are we feeling?"

I winced as I tried to adjust myself and my pillows. There's nothing more humiliating than being flat on your back when seeing someone who could be a potential enemy. "Like I've been shot."

"Right. Of course. Sorry."

Amelia and East both scowled like stone gargoyles ready to protect my house. "Um, you two give us a minute, would you?"

They both nodded but didn't look like they were going to move until I nudged them again. "Guys, please."

They both left slowly, sauntering by Hazel. And I saw East deliberately leave the door cracked open. She laughed when they were gone. "My, they are protective of you."

"Amelia is. She's family. East, well, the jury is still out."

From the hallway, I heard him chuckle. Jackass.

"Well, that's lovely, isn't it?"

I looked at the gerbera daisies in her hands. "Um, thanks for those. You can put them over there." She looked relieved to have something to do with herself. "Can I ask you what you're doing here, Hazel?"

"Oh, you know, I just..." She licked