We are getting closer to the release of Gabe’s second novella, Burn Me. Here is part of chapter 1. I hope you enjoy!
Much love, always,
“Fight,” someone cried. No, not someone. Her! My girl, my Brooklyn. “Oh, please, Gabriel. You have to fight. I can’t lose you. I just can’t. I love you so much. Why won’t he wake up?”
“He’s a fighter,” Ash said. Muffled sobs pulled at my heart, but my eyes were too heavy to open. I wanted to reach out for her and hold her close. My love.
“I’m so sorry, Ash,” she cried, harder now. “It’s my fault. It’s my fault.”
“No,” Ash growled. “Look at me, Brooklyn. Look. At. Me. This was not your fault.”
No! No! It wasn’t your fault! God, no, baby. It wasn’t your fault!
Ash was here, my brother…my friend. He’d take care of my girl until I was better.
I tried to take stock of my body, but the heaviness of something pulled me under. I was so tired. Darkness enveloped me, taking me back to a restful sleep.
“Ms. Cordeau?” A female voice woke me, but my eyes were still too heavy to open. “If you insist on staying in this room, we need to roll in a bunk for you to sleep in. We don’t want you uncomfortable. You have your own injuries. You need your rest too.”
She was injured? No, no! I protected her. Didn’t I?
“Okay,” she cried, softly.
“You also need to eat, dear,” the woman said.
She wasn’t eating? My girl needed her strength. I wanted to reach out for her, to touch her…hold her, but I was so weak. So very tired.
“Yes, ma’am,” she cried.
“Let me change your bandages,” the nurse said. My girl…bandages? No, no, no! She couldn’t be hurt….she…just…couldn’t.
“Thank you,” Brooklyn whispered. I felt something touch my hand, but I was too out of it to know if that was really my Brooklyn, or just wishful thinking.
“Your wounds are healing very well.” The nurse assured her and a moment later, I heard someone leave the room, which I assumed was the other woman.
Even in my dreamlike state, I relaxed knowing that someone was here to watch over her when I couldn’t. The darkness swept over me again, taking me into darkness.
“Gabe,” my sister cried. “Oh, Gabe. You can’t leave me…you just can’t.” Liana cried next to my bed and all I wanted to do was to reach out for her, but the medicine kept me paralyzed.
The voices had been fading in and out. I didn’t know how long I was in that bed and I didn’t know why I couldn’t open my eyes. I was so tired…so very tired.
“He’s strong, baby,” Reed said, consoling my sister. Her soft tears broke my heart, but I couldn’t come out of the fog. I couldn’t fight, but I tried. Dammit! I tried to fight for them, my girls.
I was so tired.
“My brother,” Ash sighed. “Please come back to us. I hope you can hear me. I sent Brooklyn to get something to eat. She’s withering away to nothing. You are one lucky son of a bitch, Gabe Miller. How you survived this, I will never know.”
I wished I could move. I wanted to reach out to him, my best friend. The emotion in his voice tugged on old memories. My head was so blurry with pictures and I knew I needed to wake up, but I was just so tired. I wanted them all to know I was okay.
“You need to get better,” he whispered, clearing his throat. “Come on, man. Open your eyes, dammit!” Ash was angry. Hell, I was angry at myself. I wanted to open my eyes, I just…couldn’t.
“Oh, honey,” Mary sighed. The heaviness of the medicine was still in my veins, weighting me down. I wanted to reach out for Brooklyn. My fingers twitched as I tried to use all of my strength to pull myself out of the darkness. “He will come back to us, Brooklyn. Just give him some time to heal.”
Pain flared in my right hand and arm when I tried to reach out for them. I must’ve moved, because I heard her panicked voice.
“Gabriel,” Brooklyn cried. “Can you hear me? Are you in pain?”
“B…Brooklyn,” I rasped. My throat felt like sandpaper had rubbed it raw. My mouth felt like the desert, dry and parched. My eyes opened, but the two women standing over me were hazy, blurry. “D…don’t c…cry, baby.”
“Oh, Gabriel,” she choked. She finally came into focus. Tears streamed down her beautiful face. She was dressed in one of my ripped up shirts. She wore a tank top underneath. I frowned when I noticed her arm was back in the sling, a new bandage in place over the knife wound. The other confusing sight was the massive white bandage on top of the same shoulder. It looked like it went over her shoulder blade and down her back, but I couldn’t see for the shirt.
“What happened,” I asked, my voice still rough. “Where are you hurt, baby?”
“Don’t you worry about me,” she sighed. “Are you in pain?”
“Yes,” I squinted my eyes as pain licked up my arm. Lifting my right hand, I gasped from the sight. Thick white bandages were wrapped around my hand, my fingers, continuing up to my elbow. Looking down at my body, I cringed when I noticed my right foot was in a cast up to my shin. There were several bandages on my side. “What happened?”
“You saved my life,” she cried. “You asshole! You saved me, but almost killed yourself, Gabriel! How could you? I can’t believe you did that!” She was screaming at me and was obviously angry at what I’d done.
“Always…Always protect you,” I said, licking my dry lips.
“You can’t die, Gabriel,” she cried. “Don’t leave me again.”
“Never,” I promised.
A vision flashed through my head. My mother. White room. Fog over faces.
“Brooklyn needs you, Gabriel. And that sweet, loving boy. He needs you as well. Fight for her, Gabriel. She is the woman who loves you. She needs you to come back to her. Now is not your time, my son. Fight for her! Fight Gabriel!”
“I came back for you,” I whispered. “She sent me for you.”