Turbulent Desires(7)

By: Melody Anne

“We should make your doctor’s appointment. Last week you said your side was hurting,” Stormy said, and Lindsey could see her friend’s fingers twitching as if she wanted to reach out again.

“I don’t want anyone looking at it anymore. Even the doctor looking at the ugly scars . . . I hate it,” she said more quietly as she set down her mug on the tray and got up, pacing the room.

“I just need to do something—anything,” Stormy said.

“No. Please just drop it, Stormy,” Lindsey begged.

“Lins, it’s just me. I’ve seen the scar, and it doesn’t take away even an ounce of your beauty. You’re the strongest woman I’ve ever known. Those marks just prove what a survivor you are,” Stormy said, but she stayed where she was and allowed Lindsey time to try to get her breath.

“Stormy, it hurts for me to even look in a mirror,” she admitted.

It wasn’t easy for her to say. Really, the scaring wasn’t that bad. She was a nurse; she’d seen far worse. The biggest one was about four inches long and less than a quarter inch wide. Then there were a few smaller scrapes near it, but the doctor had done a great job. The problem was that she knew they were there, and they were a reminder of what had happened. Every time she was reminded, she found panic once again choking her.

“Lins, I’m not just saying kind words to hear myself talk. You honestly are beautiful inside and out. And strong—so very strong. If the roles were reversed, I guarantee you, I wouldn’t have made it out of that room alive.”

Lindsey looked at her best friend and saw the truth shining from her eyes, but it didn’t matter. No matter how many times she was assured the world was still spinning, it didn’t help her feel okay. She was beginning to feel that nothing would ever be okay again.

“I know how much you love me, and I promise I will get back to myself,” Lindsey began. “But I just need a little more time,” she finished.

“I understand that. I want you to take as much time as you need. You’re so important to me.”

“Just as you are important to me,” Lindsey told her.

“How about we get out of here for a while. We could go to the spa,” Stormy suggested.

The thought of breaking up her carefully laid-out routine sent a spiral of panic right through her. Dammit! She hated weakness.

“Maybe tomorrow, Stormy. I’m going to do schoolwork today, okay?” she said, hoping her friend wouldn’t argue with her.

Stormy looked as if she wanted to, but finally she let out a sigh.

“Okay, Lins. But I’m going to keep bugging you,” Stormy assured her.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Lindsey told her.

Though Stormy truly was her best friend, Lindsey found herself counting down the moments until Stormy left the small cottage. It had become her sanctuary since Stormy had brought her home.

When Stormy left, Lindsey decided to water the flowers. The sun was shining and she needed to get outdoors. She couldn’t use her fear for the rest of her life. Eventually, she was going to have to really start living again.


Sherman sat on his nephew’s back deck and enjoyed the ice tea Stormy had made for him and his friends. It sure was great to have family—and the sort of friends who you’d die for were also family in his eyes.

He looked over at Martin Whitman, who hadn’t visited in such a long while. He gave him a look that made Martin chuckle before Sherman even spoke.

“It’s been too long, my friend,” Sherman grumbled. “I would think a retired man could get over a bit more.”

Martin chuckled. “I could say the same,” Martin pointed out.

“Well said,” Sherman admitted. “How is the clan over there in Montana?” he asked, not able to pull off his indignation for too long.

“They couldn’t be better. I’ve still got my youngest to marry off, but with Joseph’s help, my three oldest are happy and giving me grandbabies. It took the brats long enough to do what they should have done without prodding, but I got my way,” Martin said with a smug smile.

“Yeah, those kids even have the gall to say we’re meddling when they obviously are happier than they’ve ever been,” Joseph Anderson piped in, taking a long pull off his fragrant cigar.

“Ungrateful, the lot of them,” Martin said.

The men sat back for a minute as they relished in their indignation.

“I think I’ll go ahead and make a trip that way this summer. I’ve been so worried about my lot here I haven’t gone far, but they’re slowly but surely growing up. I’m so glad those boys of yours have begun to see the light. It’s been a pleasure to keep up on their progress,” Sherman told him.

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