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Chapter Thirty


Beep.Beep. Beep.

The sound of machines pulled me from my reverie.

My eyes lazily opened, bright whiteness cascaded all around me. My vision hadn’t focused yet. I felt tired; drugged.

A strong warm hand gripped mine.

I froze.

“Harper?” Lincoln’s soothing voice reached my ears. “Harper, it’s me, Lincoln.”

I let my eyelids drift shut, a faint smile on my lips. I should have been angry with him but all I felt was a warmth sense of calmness come over me.

“I know,” I mumbled.

I was safe.

My memories fuzzy and faded, I couldn’t remember any of it. Everything felt hazy behind a cloud that my mind refused to lift.

“Sleep,” Lincoln whispered.

I did just that. Let my body succumb to sleep.

I didn’t know how long I slept or how long Lincoln’s hand remained latched in mine. Time seemed not to exist.

My head began to grow less foggy, and as I came to, Lincoln lay in a chair pulled up beside the bed, his hand in mine, his eyes closed. Asleep.

I didn’t want to wake him.

What was I doing here? I had an IV in my left hand. My right hand Lincoln had clasped and even in sleep hadn’t let go of.

I wanted to go home. Crawl into my warm bed and sleep for a week. Except I was a far way from Los Angeles.

Did I need to worry that my husband would come back for me? He was the one responsible for having me taken, wasn’t he?

“Harper?” Lincoln mumbled, his eyelids opened, staring at me. “You’re awake.” He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and sat up straighter. “Let me get the nurse.”

I held his hand, my grip tightening. I didn’t trust hospitals or doctors. I didn’t trust too many people, but Lincoln, while maybe I was supposed to be mad at him, the anger had melted away. He was with me here now when it mattered.

“Don’t,” I said. I didn’t want him to leave my bedside. “Aren’t you supposed to be my bodyguard?”

Lincoln’s brow furrowed, and he grimaced.

Had I said something wrong?

He reached for the call button and pressed it. “They need to examine you,” Lincoln said.

“Why am I here? What happened?” I asked.

“What do you remember?” He stayed at my bedside, his hand in mine.

The curtain rattled as a nurse pulled it open. “Ms. Madison, I see that you’re awake. That’s good news. Let me page the doctor.” She hurried out of the room, leaving the two of us alone.

“I was over Ariella’s house with Hazel. We ordered a pizza, and this guy showed up, dragged me out and down to his car. He handcuffed me, blindfolded me, and took me for a ride. The rest, I don’t remember. What happened, Lincoln?” My voice hitched as I trembled beneath the covers.

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