Titus, a former member of the Platoon, has been nursed back to health by those of Rescue One, and now lives with them and the Saviors. An SR44 male without his mate, he struggles every day to find the will to live.
Macy, an SR44ian Healer, has worked relentlessly to help Titus move on with his life, but has been met with rude behavior and ingratitude. He responds by continually driving her away, until one night she forces him realize that perhaps he does want to live.
To the surprise of them both, their unexpected friendship becomes something more, and the two become lovers. However, it is understood that Titus’ dead mate, will always have his heart and their relationship can never move beyond friends with benefits.
When a series of events leaves Macy in the tortuous hands of a Colonist, Macy finds strength she never imagined she had. Titus realizes his true feelings for her, and just how desperately he needs her in his life … and he’ll stop at absolutely nothing to get her back.
by Carly Fall
All Rights Reserved
No portion of this excerpt may be used without express consent from the author
Peace. He’d had so many hours of peace, he didn’t know quite what to do with himself.
His phone hadn’t rung; no one had knocked at his door. Macy hadn’t tried to shove food down his throat this morning. It had been blissfully silent since last night, and he’d done nothing but sleep and watch a little late night television.
The infomercials during the night hours had been very tempting. The Psychic Network had almost convinced him to call in, and theSnuggie would be particularly functional during the winter months.
He glanced over at the knife lying on his side table and thought about hanging himself with the belt of his robe. For someone who considered suicide so much, he surprised himself at his lack of follow-through.
A knock sounded at the door, and he sighed. If he ignored them, perhaps they’d go away.
“Titus! Let me in!”
Irritation clawed at him as he pulled on his robe and opened the door. Macy stood there holding a tray filled with a turkey sandwich and a salad. Lunchtime.
“I’m not hungry, Macy.”
She smiled, then pushed her way past him. “I couldn’t get my key in carrying this tray, and of course you’re hungry. You haven’t even gotten out of bed yet, so I know you skipped breakfast.”
As she set the platter down on the table, his anger grew. Why couldn’t these people just leave him alone?
Tired of being helped, sick of being babied, and done being forced to do things he didn’t want to, something inside of him snapped.
He took a deep breath, trying to keep his voice level. “Macy, please leave.”
She stared at him, confusion crossing her face.
“I don’t want you to feed me. I don’t want you to heal me. In fact, I just want you to leave me alone.”
Pursing her lips, she crossed her arms over her chest, her feet firmly planted on the ground.
She didn’t budge, but met his gaze with determination and defiance, which only made him madder.
“Get out!” he yelled.
She shook her head. “No. You need nourishment.”
His anger rose, and before he realized what he did, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to the door. “Leave!”
Opening the door, he pushed her out toward the elevator.
Instead of slinking off as he thought she would, she caught her footing and turned back to him. Before he could shut the door, she had come back into the room and slapped him across the face, her palm burning his cheek.
“It’s not all about you, Titus!” she screamed. “There are others here who have lost just as much as you, but we try to cope!”
He stepped back in surprise. Never would he have thought she’d come at him like that, nor would he had believed she would slap him—or anyone, for that matter.
“Instead of wallowing in your own pity, maybe you’d be best served by trying to help others!”
Her words hit him like a fist to the gut. Where had the mousy little Healer gone? Before him stood a small woman with incredible hurt and anger written on her face, a direct contrast to the usually serene, calm features she held. He’d unleashed something within her he never imagined could be there.
“When was the last time you asked someone how they were doing, and really listened for an answer?”
The more she spoke, the smaller he felt.
She glared at him, her breathing heavy.
“That’s what I thought, you selfish bastard! I lost everything coming here, Titus. Everyone I’ve ever loved was killed.”
As she paced the room, her anger took up far more space than her small frame. She wasn’t meek and weak as he’d originally thought, but small in stature and a much bigger person than he ever could be. He felt humbled in his epiphany, and recognized he’d horribly misjudged her.
She turned to him, tears welling in her eyes.
“But I have been given the gift of life, just as you have been. You should have died out in that desert. Micah tried to kill you, but he didn’t. Our gods wanted you to live, or they never would have sent Justice to you.”
He tore his gaze from her sad face and stared at the ground.
“Yet, you continually focus on death.”
Of course he did. Sometimes, the need to die gripped him so strongly, he thought he would choke on it. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to actually end his existence.
“Look around you!” she screamed. “Look, and you will see that there is life, and if you weren’t so pig-headed, you’d realize your good fortune!”
He brought his gaze to meet hers, his shame running deep. Tears streamed down her face, and she brushed them away.
“You have so many people here wanting to help you, but yet, you can’t even seem to make an effort to help yourself!”
He had to try to make her understand. “Macy, my pain runs so deep. I lost my mate. I—”
“And you think your pain overshadows everyone else’s? Is that it? You’ve got the gold crown on the agony of loss? You’re the top dog?”
She shook her head, not giving him a chance to answer.
“I’m done, Titus. I’ve cared for you for almost a year, and everyday, I hope that you will make some type of effort. Instead, Blake has to threaten you with all sorts of silly punishments. I have to practically shove food down your throat. Instead of showing just a little bit of gratitude that people actually care about you, you try to throw me out of your quarters.”
He stared at the floor, unable to meet her gaze as shame flooded through him. He felt much smaller than her five-foot-two frame.
“Why do you think Chance is so angry? Or Axel is so quiet? You don’t have the crown on suffering, Titus. And you want me out of your room? Fine, I’m leaving. Starve to death, because I’m done caring. I won’t be treated like this any longer.”
Brushing by him, she slammed the door, leaving him feeling as though he’d just been caught in a hurricane. His head spun while his heart thudded in his chest, and he fought to get air in his lungs.
Her words stung, but he could recognize the truth in them. Yes, he had been so caught up in his own misery that he hadn’t taken the time to realize that others had suffered debilitating losses, as well. Could he move past Simon’s death?
Hudson seemed to think so, and apparently, so did Macy.
Instead of wallowing in your own pity, maybe you’d be best served by trying to help others.
He sighed and crawled back into bed, sandwiched between guilt and shame.
He shouldn’t have grabbed Macy the way he had, and he shouldn’t have talked to her so harshly.
Tears brimmed in his eyes as he thought of how upset Simon would have been with him. One should never treat a female the way he had.
Macy’s strength had surprised him. He’d always thought of her as weak and mousy as she tended to be quiet. However, her spirit was far stronger than his own, and he felt like the weak and mousy one.
He reached over and turned off the lamp, lying in the dark.
“Please, give me strength,” he whispered.
He didn’t know who he spoke to, but it felt good to say the words because for the first time since Justice had found him, he’d asked for help.