Shadows of Shattered Souls, стр. 1

Shadows of Shattered Souls

Pieces of Us Series - Book 2

By Kerry Taylor

CHAPTER 1

“Welcome home, Honey!” Keira cried as I walked into the house which had, over the last few weeks I spent there, really become home to me.

It had been a week since I woke fully in the hospital with my four guys surrounding me; a long week of pain, stress, police statements, and a lot of worried watching from the guys who refused to leave me alone for even a moment.

Finally, that morning I had been discharged and allowed to go home, and we all heaved a huge sigh of relief to be getting out of there.

It had been tough for me, being in a place that I did not feel secure in, with strangers constantly in and out of the room. I came to handle the nurses and female staff coming in, managing my panic at them being close, but the men were a different story. In a way, being taken by the Time Travel Killer - or TTK, as the press had dubbed him -  and surviving had made me feel braver and stronger, but it had also reignited all of my previous anxieties. Every time a man, be it nurse, doctor, police or even just a cleaner, came near me, I lost it, usually descending into full blown anxiety attacks. The safety I had built at having the guys at my side before the latest incident, seemed to have gone, and I was just terrified regardless. The hospital did what they could, sending female staff where possible, and also sending counselors to talk to me, but I pushed the counselors away, not ready to talk to a stranger about how fucked up I felt.

So the guys took the brunt of my anxiety, doing what they could to keep me calm, and constantly watching the door for anyone entering who they feared could trigger me. They had stayed with me throughout, taking it in turns to run home for showers, and sleeping in a small waiting room closeby, never once leaving me on my own for even a minute. They had all been amazing, and I knew I would never have lasted a week in the hospital without them, and Xander, who had also been there for me as much as possible, and had taken on as much of my care as he could to stop me having to deal with strangers. It had been a very long, exhausting week for everyone, and I was just glad to have gotten out of there.

My kidneys had recovered from severe dehydration, and the brain swelling was no longer an issue, though regular head splitting headaches seemed to be a leftover side effect of what had happened. I would be closely monitored with regular appointments for a while to follow up, but I had been assured they didn’t expect complications. My left ankle was in a cast, going halfway up my calf and I had a few bruises from the car accident, from which I had been kidnapped, and from Howard Gill, AKA TTK, the crazy who took me, slapping and dragging me around. Overall, considering a madman almost killed me by letting almost all of my blood from my body, I had gotten off pretty lightly in the end.

“Come and sit down, Love. You look tired again.” Kade fussed as he led me further into the lounge and over to the sofa. I was tired, but I wasn’t about to drop, as all of the guys seemed to think. I knew they were being particularly over the top with me, because they had almost lost me, and that was why I had allowed them to fuss constantly for the last week, and put up with their completely over the top protectiveness. Well that, and the fact I had been in melt down regularly for the last week, but now that we were home I hoped they would settle down, and things could get back to where they had been before all of the drama. I hoped I could learn to be stronger, as I had over the weeks I had lived there before. I hoped I could feel safe and brave enough to find myself once again, with my four guys at my side and my new family at my back.

“I’m ok,” I assured him as we both sat, followed by my other three guys, who also sat, surrounding me.

“Can I get you anything Olivia? I made some pasta for lunch for everyone if you’re hungry?” Keira offered as she stood watching me with concern. She and Grant had both spent long hours with me in the hospital too, and I had gotten to know them so much more. They were so good and kind to me, and I had begun to realise they really did love me as a part of their family.

“Thanks, but the guys refused to let me leave the hospital until I ate, so I’m good for now.” I replied with a smile.

“Maybe we should get you up to bed, Cariña? Let you get some rest?” Matt suggested from where he sat on my right hand side.

“I just spent a week resting Matt. I’m fine.”

“Xander said you would still tire easily, and likely need to take naps for a while,” Kyle reminded me, and I fought hard not to roll my eyes in frustration.

“Guys! I’m fine. I want to see Keira for a while, and just get used to being home. When I’m tired, I’ll make sure I get some rest, but I’m ok for now.” I said firmly, needing them to just take a breath. It was hurting all of them, the way they were constantly stressing over me. They likely needed to rest more than I did, having spent almost two weeks in that damned hospital with me, the first week of which they had been terrified I would die on them, the whole time