IT’S RELEASE DAY! And here’s the final snippet of Chapter Three of t Anchor Me (the fourth full-length book in the Stark series!)
I hope you enjoy … and I hope you grab a copy of ANCHOR ME, on sale NOW!! (woot! releases balloons!)
(If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it here.)
Chapter Three … the conclusion
Unfortunately, after being poked and prodded and monitored by two efficient paramedics, we don’t have a definitive explanation for my fainting spell, and worry still lines Damien’s face.
The only upside is that they don’t insist that I go to the hospital, but they do want me to see my own doctor soon, as my blood pressure is low enough for concern.
Damien thanks them, then starts to type something out on his phone as I watch them pack up and return to the ambulance. They pass Misty, who has moved to the driveway and is talking with three curious neighbors and, probably, cursing the moment Damien and I darkened her doorstep.
“Do you want some juice?” Caroline asks. “I bet Misty has a cooler of juice boxes. Or I can run to the market.”
“No, really, it’s fine. But thank you. I think you’re right. I’m not used to the heat anymore.” This time when I start to get up, Damien helps me, his phone now back in his pocket. “I’ll go see my doctor when we get home just to be sure,” I add, certain that Damien just sent a text to his assistant, asking that she schedule that very appointment for the second we return to LA.
“Actually, we’re going now,” Damien says. “There’s a walk-in clinic just a few miles from here.”
I, however, am done being Invalid Nikki. “The hell we are. I’m standing. I’m walking. See?” I circle him to prove my point as Caroline graciously moves toward Misty, obviously wanting to avoid getting caught up in a marital power struggle. “I probably just need food and air conditioning. So let’s go get some lunch and then head back to the hotel so I can work on tomorrow’s presentation.”
“After the clinic. No—” he continues, cutting off my protest. “I want to make sure you’re okay.”
“Dammit, I am. I was just light-headed. How many times do I have to say it?”
“You were out cold for a full minute, baby. You didn’t even stir when I carried you out here.”
“But I’m awake now.” I force myself to take a mental step back. To breathe. I don’t like doctors. I never have. My memories of doctors are tied up with my mother’s ploys to get me prescription appetite suppressants because “she’s such a pretty girl, but her hips and thighs have a tendency toward chubby,” or my own attempts to hide my self-inflicted scars, always fearing that some doctor would notice and insist I see a shrink.
“How about a compromise?” I suggest. “Hotel now, but if I start to feel dizzy, we’ll go to the clinic.”
For a moment, he says nothing, and I imagine the debate raging in his head. His desire to please me versus his concern and his need for answers. Finally, though, he nods. “All right, Ms. Fairchild,” he says, using my maiden name as a term of endearment. “It looks like we have a deal.”
I return the smile, feeling smug. Then I take a step toward Caroline and Misty, intending to say goodbye. And that’s when my smugness vanishes.
That’s when the nausea consumes me.
That’s when I bend forward in a sudden, unexpected spasm and vomit all over Misty’s pristinely manicured lawn.
That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this three-chapter peek into Anchor Me … and I hope you grab a copy of the book, on sale now!!!
And if you’re just now meeting Nikki & Damien, why not grab of copy of Release Me, the book that started it all!
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