Excerpt from Thicker Than Blood
When no one answered, he pulled the phone back to make sure the connection hadn’t failed.
“Hello?” he asked again.
Dakota regretted calling the second she heard his voice. It was the middle of the night, and he was in bed with his girlfriend. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. She had to say something, though, since she had woken up the poor guy. It was now or never.
Ever so softly, Caden heard, “C-Caden?” It took him a minute to register that it was Dakota.
His stomach dropped. Something was wrong.
“Dakota? Sweetheart, are you okay?” He patiently waited for her to say something as he walked through the living room to the sliding doors and out to the balcony. It was freezing outside, but he didn’t want to risk waking Sasha up by grabbing a sweatshirt.
Struggling, she stuttered, “Yes, I’m s-sorry. I sh-shouldn’t have c-called. I d-didn’t mean to w-wake you.”
Feeling panicked that she would end the call, he said, “Dakota, please don’t hang up. Talk to me. I’m here. I’m listening. You must have called for a reason.”
As he ran his free hand over his face, Caden heard her hiccup. She was crying.
Dakota was breaking his heart, but he had promised himself and Sasha that he would try to work things out between them. What the hell was he doing?
But this was Dakota, and she sounded so lost and scared. It had to be important if she was calling him, especially at two a.m.
“Sweetheart, take your time and tell me why you called.”
Dakota couldn’t tell him why she really called. She couldn’t admit it was because she was still in love with him and wanted him to chase away all her fears.
“I-I n-needed to hear y-your voice and t-tell you th-thank you for s-saving my life.” She hiccupped again, trying to cover her quiet sobs.
“His heart plummeted even further. “Aw, Dakota you never have to thank me. I’m just so thankful fate intervened and I was travelling down that road at the exact time you needed me. How are you doing? Your voice sounds amazing. Francesca told me you were making great progress. I’m very impressed. How are you feeling?”
She was filled with delight knowing he was sincerely impressed with her progress. She wanted to fill him in on everything she had accomplished and how hard she had worked.”
“I am up and w-walking again. W-well, not what everyone w-would consider w-walking, but I’m up.”
He could picture her face tight with concentration as she took those first steps and the smile that must have followed.
“Yeah, I’m still here. I was just envisioning you up and about. Take your time; tell me what other strides you’ve made.”
“N-nothing. Just … th-thank you and t-take c-care.” It would be so easy to talk to him for hours, but this had been a mistake. She shouldn’t have called. It hurt too much to love someone you couldn’t have. For her own sanity, she had to end this now.
“Dakota? Dakota, are you there?” Caden pulled the phone away and looked at it. She had hung up.”
Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favourite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband’s Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.