Leaving Sunny fucked up and afraid to trust anyone with her heart again.
She trusted Hawk, and she did love him…but not with all her heart.
There was still a tiny, toxic, broken bit that refused to believe him.
It kept on whispering that, when things got bad, he’d leave. That’s what happened to her. When Sunny’s mom began her downward spiral, friends and family left bit by bit, driven away by her mother’s madness. They’d abandoned her when she needed them most, her mother’s problem too ‘dirty’ for them to deal with. These men and women who’d once claimed to be her mother’s friends had curled their lip in disgust at what she’d become thanks to her addiction.
“I mean it,” Hawk said, cutting through her worries. “I love you.”
Instead of responding, she cuddled deeper into his arms, wishing she could stay there in the dark with him forever.
Sunny’s heart gave a hard thump as a woman in pale blue scrubs said, “Ms Kennedy?”
Sunny quickly stood, shoving her phone back into her black purse embroidered with purple and blue flowers. Hawk already waited for her, a vision in faded jeans that fit his rounded butt perfectly and a black button-down shirt that barely contained his broad shoulders. He’d put on about twenty pounds of muscle this past year, a result of spending time in the gym working off extra…energy.
Translation: he wasn’t getting laid anymore, so he needed an outlet.
She reached out and smoothed his braid back over his shoulder, running her fingers down the silky, smooth length. It was a rare indulgence, a small pleasure she usually denied herself, but right now she needed every distraction she could get.
Last night, she’d received a phone call at seven pm from Dr. Muller saying they got her test results back, and she wanted to see Sunny first thing tomorrow morning.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out the results weren’t good.
Somehow secretly, deep down, Sunny had known they wouldn’t be good.
Thankfully, Hawk had been with her. He’d barely left her side over the past week. He’d come to all of her tests with her, and he’d done his absolute best to be there for her in any and every way. She was so, so grateful for his unfailing support. The fear got overwhelming sometimes, and the only thing that helped keep it at bay was his arms. His strength.
Taking a deep breath, she slipped her hand into Hawk’s and tried to hold back her tears as he gave it a squeeze.
While they walked down the hallway, she worried about all the things that could be wrong with her. She wasn’t stupid, and after a little bit of research she’d realized she presented all the signs of a serious neurological problem. There could be so many things wrong, everything from a bulging blood vessel to the ‘C’ word.
God, please let it not be the ‘C’ word.
The first thing the doctors had done was put her through a battery of tests. She’d been x-rayed, CT scanned, had blood taken and a hundred other things.
As they walked she felt as if she was having an out of body experience, floating overhead as they were ushered into a posh office done in blues and greens with lots of pale gray. The space was soothing, and the two doctors standing behind the desks paused in their conversation as they came in. When their eyes met Sunny’s and filled with sympathy, she knew it was going to be bad.
She just didn’t know how bad.
Dr. Muller and Dr. Vanti were both members of Club Wicked, and friends. The blonde and icy beautiful Dr. Muller was Matt’s wife, and Dr. Vanti was a handsome Indian man in his sixties who had a literal harem of five wives. It totally wasn’t her kink, as she couldn’t imagine sharing Hawk with anyone, but it worked for them. They were all blissfully happy together, and Dr. Vanti loved all of his wives.
Dr. Muller cleared her throat, closing her laptop before gesturing to the large gray sofa along the far wall of her private office. “Sunny, Hawk, please come in and have a seat.”
Sunny’s body was on auto pilot as she sat down. Hawk pulled her tight against his side. She clutched his hand in her sweaty one, her heart racing. Dr. Vanti took a seat in one of the pale green chairs across from them, while Dr. Muller took the other. A small glass table holding a box of tissues and a squat vase filled with some kind of purple flowers sat between them, and Dr. Muller reached forward and plucked out a tissue.
“Susanna,” Dr. Vanti’s low, commanding voice seemed to fill the air like thunder. “Thank you for joining us today. I’m afraid the news I have is not good.”
Still feeling like she moved underwater, Sunny numbly listened as they talked about an aggressive tumor growing on her spine where it connected to her brainstem. It was big enough to cause her headaches, along with her mood swings, nausea, and hot temper. With the way it was situated, they would need to do surgery to remove it.