When Adam walked out of the hospital it occurred to him, he didn’t have his jeep he left in the tunnel, until he saw it parked in plain sight.
“How the hell?” he said, checking his pockets and finding his keys. When he climbed into the driver’s seat, he noticed wires hanging out from under the steering wheel. Someone jumped started the jeep, but Adam pushed it out of mind as he started the engine and drove off.
When he reached his destination, he checked at the front desk for AJ’s room. He headed up and found AJ out of bed dressing. His back was to Adam as he buttoned his shirt. Adam paused at the door knocking first. AJ turned with a serious face that brightened when he saw Adam.
“Adam,” he said.
“AJ, my mother told me you were in an accident.”
“Yeah, Artie, and I were taking Devin to a safe house when two cars hit us.”
“You seem well.”
“Yes, I was lucky. Artie wasn’t, he needed surgery.”
“He’s recovering, but haven’t awoken.” AJ moved to him and saw Adam retreat a step back.
“AJ, we need to talk, about the kiss I gave you.”
“Can we talk somewhere else? I want to get out of here.”
“What about the cafeteria?”
“I was hoping someplace more private.”
“AJ, that kiss was a mistake.”
“No, Adam that kiss was proof.”
“Yes, proof I love Patrick. AJ, I have no feelings for you and never will.”
AJ reached for him, but Adam grabbed his wrists and held him back.
“Adam, please, we can make it work this time.”
“No, AJ, we can’t. My heart and soul belong to Patrick.”
“What if he finds out you kissed me?”
“He already knows and pushed me away.”
“Then why can’t we work on ourselves?”
“Because even though Patrick put distance between us, I’m still connected to him and dedicated in showing him how much I love him.”
Adam released AJ just as he stepped back. He turned from Adam and ran his finger through his hair.
“Fine, Adam, you made your point.”
“I hope Artie recovers and you find your connection with him, or someone else.”
AJ spun and locked eyes with Adam.
“This is payback for me sleeping with Artie?”
“No, just closure.”
Adam left AJ staring at his back and headed home.
Adam washed his hair until his color returned. He moved through the rooms as if it was his first time seeing them. Patrick’s scent lingered in their bedroom along the sheets and pillows. Adam lay on the bed, holding his pillow, breathing in the aroma that ignited his soul and flesh.
He remained there for some time before the doorbell rang. Not moving Adam hoped whoever it was would go away, but the ring came again a third one following. Adam sighed as he rolled onto his back and sat up. His steps landed casual as he headed downstairs to answer the door.
He opened the door and to his surprise it was Drusilla Valdez and her female butler, Shilo stood behind her.
Drusilla stood wearing fashionable clothes, her hair, salon ready, holding a covered paisley tin out to Adam.
“Adam, I hope we didn’t disturb you,” she said.
Adam’s fell speechless, then gathered his wits.
“No, but Patrick, isn’t home.”
“Oh, he isn’t, that’s unfortunate,” she said, glancing back at Shilo.
Shilo glared at Adam and raised her eyebrows to Adam. He caught her hint and opened the door wider.
“Um, please come in.”
Adam showed them to the living room and thought of what to give them in drinks. He checked the clock and saw it was ten in the morning.
“Would you like coffee or tea?”
“I’d be happy to make it Detective Potter,” Shilo said standing.
“That’s a wonderful idea Shilo,” Drucilla said stopping any protest Adam might have.
Adam stepped aside for Shilo to pass and joined Drucilla on the couch. He noticed the tin in her hand.
“What’s in the tin?”
Drucilla glanced around down at her gift and smiled as she handed it to Adam.
“These are Patrick’s favorite cookies.”
Adam opened the tin and eyed several flavor cookies. He smiled, knowing Patrick would destroy half the batch, if he was home. His smile melted, Drucilla took the gift from Adam and placed it on the coffee table. She shifted closer to Adam and took his hand.
“Tell me what happened with my son?”
Devin hesitated at Patrick’s door before knocking.
“Come in,” Patrick’s strain voice worried Devin as he entered. He eyed Patrick in a reclined position with his eyes closed.
“Am I disturbing you?” Devin asked.
Patrick’s eyes opened and fixed on him. He took a moment before answering.
“I almost thought you were Adam.”
Devin ran his fingers through his hair and gave a crooked smile.
“Yeah, it’ll take a few washes to get this out.”
“What do you want?” Patrick’s reply expressed little emotion.
“I wanted to see for myself that you were all right.”
Patrick raised his arms just above his hips and dropped them to his side.
“Don’t call me that. Adam calls me that. You may look like him and have his hair color but you’re not him.”
“Okay, okay, Patrick. I only wanted to be sure you were okay. I won’t bother you anymore.” He turned to leave when Patrick called to him.
“No, wait. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. It’s just…” Patrick became lost for words.
“Can I sit with you?”
Patrick nodded. Devin took a seat by the bed. He watched Patrick collect himself wiping beginning tears from his eyes and clearing his throat.
“I can’t be mad at you. You saved me,” Patrick said, smoothing out his blanket.
“I would love to take the credit for that, but—Adam saved us.”
“He came in after Piper knocked you out. Where did you get that knife?”
It stunned Patrick to hear Adam had come for him. He heard Devin’s question, but it took a moment before he answered.
“I—lifted it off of him when he—hugged me.” He reconsidered telling Devin, Piper kissed him.
“You’re lucky he didn’t catch you.”
“I guess I am.”
“I know you’ve been through a lot and you’ll need time to recover.”
“Pat-rick, Piper is not a gentleman.”
“I know, he’s a sociopath.”
“He touched you, didn’t he?”
“What if he did?”
“Patrick, that was rape.”
“I know what it was.”
“You seem to be taking it well.”
“I did what I had to do to survive. At first all I needed to believe Adam was coming for me.”
“Piper showed me something that questioned my relationship.
“That’s why you went nuts on me when you thought I was Adam?”
“You asked why I kissed him.”
“I thought I was talking to Adam.”
“Is that why he’s not here?”
Patrick said nothing.
“You’re breaking up with him.”
“Did I hear a hint of glee in your voice?”
“He leads a dangerous life.”
“I went straight and have an honest job.”
“Wasn’t my kidnapping because of you?”
“Because I was trying to go straight.”
“Adam’s always been on the right side of the law.”
“Yeah, but I bet he neglects you.”
“So, answer my question. Where is your knight?”
“I—asked him to call my parents.”
“You sure you want to worry them?”
“I’m not sure of a lot of things. But I’m tired and want to sleep.”
Devin rose and moved to the door stopping.
“You know, he loves you and it’s clear you love him.”
“Whatever he’s done, can be forgiven.”
Before Patrick could respond Devin left. He returned to the waiting room Unaware Justin was behind him having heard his conversation with Patrick.
Drucilla sat sipping on her refreshing drink that Shilo mixed instead of making a hot beverage. Cucumbers, mint, and ice water. She placed it on a coaster.
Adam drank his down surprised how thirsty he was.
“Now, what you did was crushing, but, my son can be a drama with things like this.”
“I betrayed him.”
“You did, and you regret it. Will it happen again?”
“You can’t be sure of that. Patrick could be the one who acts out next time. Are you willing to forgive him?”
Adam paused, not answering.
“See, search your soul to be sure you want this. Whatever this is,” she said, glancing around.
“You mean my intentions,” Adam said.
“That would be a start. When Patrick announced your plans on buying a house together, I have to say it rattled us. Have either of you talked about marriage or this commitment?”
“I know it all spring up fast, but the house was a deal I could afford and Patrick loves it.”
“I know he does he talks about you and the house when we speak with such joy.”
“He’s not much of hands-on but he has an eye for design.”
“He gets that from me.”
“Can you help me get him back?”
“He never left Adam. He’s just licking his wounds. I feel he’s coming home, to you.”
“But he told me to call you.”
“If he wanted to come home, he didn’t need your help to do it. You must give him reassurance he’s wanted. Think of all the things that makes him smile.
“Things that make him smile. I think I understand.”
She reached and cupped his cheek with one hand.
“Then I won’t say anything to his father.”
“Thank you Drucilla.”
“You’re a good man Adam Potter. And I know you will keep our son safe and happy.”
“I swear I will.”
“Then I’ll take my leave to go see my son. Shilo, we’re leaving,” she called. Shilo entered the room.
“I took the liberty in making you brunch, Detective Potter. It’s on the table,” Shilo said, walking to the door and opening it for her mistress.
“Um, thanks,” Adam said, walking them out.
“Excellent idea Shilo, eat Adam, you need your strength,” Drucilla said before kissing Adam goodbye and climbing into her town car and being driven off.
Adam started back to the house when he heard a voice called out to him. He turned and saw Bayo walking towards him.
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