The light was blinding. I was determined to keep my eyes shut, to filter out as much brightness as I could. My brain, fuzzy and pounding, was clicking away in total confusion. As thoughts came to the surface, I realized I was laying on something smooth and soft. Feeling around with my fingertips, I felt a rich, cool fabric. Yep, soft and luxurious…oh my God, where was I!? My heart-rate picked up and my breathing became erratic. I jumped up in a prone position, my eyes flying open. Wincing at the pain and dizziness; my eyes slowly focused on an ornate four poster bed, in an enormous…

Bedroom! Where was I!?

I felt the blood slowly leave from my head; and I could feel myself falling back down on the bed, just as I caught movement from the direction of the door. I hastily patted myself down to make sure I was, in fact, fully dressed.

“Hey hot head. I was just coming to check and see if you were awake yet.” That voice…

“Uhhh,” I let out a long breath. “As you can see, I’m awake.” My voice was throaty and barely recognizable, even to my own ears. My hand quickly flew to my head. The pain was like nothing I had experienced before. Then grazing my fingers over something sticky on my head; my hand withdrew sharply, back to my lap, as I let out a loud gasp.

“Hey, take it easy,” he said sitting near me on the bed. “You took a nasty fall, and now you’re sure as hell going to pay for it today.” I snuck a peek at John out of the corner of my eye. “I’ll fill you in shortly. Let’s just say six stitches later, confirmation of a pretty intense concussion, and you were finally released to my custody around 3am this morning.”

YOUR CUSTODY!” I made myself jump. My voice started out strong, with some necessary gusto, but quickly died off. I couldn’t stand to hear myself. Each syllable caused my head to split more.

“Here, take these so you can start to drown that nasty headache.” John handed me some white pills and a glass of water. “A couple of pain pills and a little bit of time, and I’ll explain everything. For now, just know, I have my assistant downstairs, available for anything medical you may need.” I got ready to swallow the pills, but paused and glanced at him with a questionable look.

“What? You really don’t trust me do you? I promise, they’re pain pills only.” He started to leave then slowly paused, “and Chloe…” He turned around with a full on stare, freezing me on the spot, “nothing happened.” His eyes darted back and forth between me and the bed.

I lifted my eyes to his, although my eyelids were mostly closed.

Somehow I croaked out, “Uh, what?”

About the Author

Julie has spent years in the medical field. The first few as a Cardiac Specialty Nurse, and over the last decade as a Pharmaceutical and Medical Sales Representative. She has gathered mounds of experience both personally and professionally to pour into her long time passion…writing. After years of power points in the corporate world, she is finally pursuing literary fiction/New Adult/Contemporary romance with her first novel, Attainment, and the now released sequel Atonement. The third book in the series, Chloe, will be released in 2014. Julie resides in a small town in NC with her husband and four children. She continues working full time in sales, exploring her writing late at night and in the wee hours of the morning when her children are tucked safely in bed.

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