When tragedy strikes Dani’s business partner it brings Ren back into her life. She’d thought she moved past her feelings for him, but one glance and they come flooding back.
Growing up as an orphan, Daniella Brosen has trouble connecting with other people. She has no room for anyone in her life, except her best friend, Rendall Sousa. He is the only male she’s ever loved or will love. Circumstances beyond her control tear them apart, and she has no choice but to leave him behind.
When Daniella left without a word it broke Ren’s heart. If she’d given him a chance he’d have told her how much he loved her. Dani was everything to him, but she made her choice. There was only one course of action left to him—move on without her.
As their lives become intertwined again, can Ren convince her he’s always loved her or will she push him away forever?
“So the nurse tells me you’re Mr. Price’s emergency contact.”
A voice filled the room. It was as familiar as breathing. She would have known it anywhere. It haunted her dreams and sneaked into her thoughts when she least expected it. For a brief moment she thought she might be hearing things. Had she conjured up his voice because she’d been thinking of him earlier? No, that was silly. There was no way he could actually be behind her. Dani turned slowly and blinked several times. She could feel the color draining from her cheeks. This couldn’t be happening to her. “Ren?”
“Dr. Sousa, I forgot to give you Mr. Price’s chart.” A nurse with dark auburn hair and soft brown eyes bustled in and handed him a file.
Ren stared at Dani and didn’t say a word for several seconds. He studied her in awkward silence. He was almost exactly as she remembered him. His hair was a bit shorter, and his blue eyes stole her breath. It was Ren. Having him near always had that effect on her. He turned toward the nurse, took the file out of her hand, and dismissed her with a nod. “Thank you, Lana.”
Lana…that was the woman who’d called her office. Dani filed her name away for future reference. She was pretty, petite, and had a no-nonsense attitude. Something Dani appreciated. The nurse nodded and left the room. Leaving Ren alone with her. He set the file down and walked over to her side. The silence in the room was palpable. She had no idea what to say to him and still wasn’t completely convinced he was real. Hallucinations had never plagued her before, but there was always a first time for everything…
“Dani, I didn’t realize…I should have asked Lana for a name.”
Real. Definitely real. She gulped down a lump in her throat. Hell how was she supposed to deal with Ren, and Matt’s situation at the same time? This was an overwhelming emotional circumstance, and she wasn’t entirely sure she was up to dealing with it. She sent up a silent prayer for strength.
She shook her head. “There was no way for you to know.” This was all too much. Matt was hurt and Ren was his doctor. How could life have set her on this path? Her two best friends—one’s life depended on the other.
Was this the fate’s way of making her face her past?
She cleared her throat and turned away from him. It hurt to look at him. He looked as amazing as she remembered. A golden-brown haired god with ocean blue eyes, pain stabbed in tiny pinpricks against her already aching heart.
“What do you need from me?”
Ren didn’t answer her. Had he remained in the room with her? She didn’t want to turn around and look, but he was forcing her to face him. Why did she have to deal with this? Normally she could handle anything… This was too much in one breath of time for her. The tears she’d been holding back were about to come crashing forward.
Her breath hitched as she turned to look at him. All the love she had been carrying around for him—it was still there. He was a walking reminder of what she didn’t have. His gaze held such concern for her.
Hearing her name spoken in his voice was almost her undoing. They’d stepped into an easy pattern of familiarity, but they knew next to nothing about each other anymore. They had a past. That was it.
“Does it matter where we talk about Matt?” She looked down at her friend. “The nurse said he was sedated. I doubt he will hear any of it.”
What she didn’t say was she needed the buffer. She didn’t know what she would say or do if she was completely alone with him. Sure Matt wasn’t about to jump into the conversation, but he was better than talking about the elephant in the room. Her feelings for Ren, his lack of them for her, and the fact she’d disappeared from his life so many years ago. She hadn’t even said goodbye. It would have been too difficult to face him and explain why she couldn’t be in his life anymore. Jessica needed him to devote all his attention to her. Dani would have been in the way. Leaving was the only decision she could have made.
“I think you will be more comfortable there discussing his condition,” he replied softly. “I have a lot to go over with you.”
Ren had always been kind. This wasn’t about her. Matt’s condition had to be more important. It was time for her to suck it up and deal with her emotional overload. Ren wasn’t going to bite her head off. It wasn’t who he was.
“Fine, lead the way, Dr. Sousa.”
Dani had to put up barriers and ignore her rampant emotions. He couldn’t be Ren anymore. He was Matt’s doctor and nothing more. Her feelings on the matter were irrelevant.
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