Protecting His Forever

By: LeAnn Ashers

“I’m sore. My head and face feels like they’ve been rolled over by a steam roller. I’m a little shook up, but I’ll be okay.” I sigh and reach down to grab the other blanket at my feet. It seems like I can’t get warm.

“Let me get that.” He places his hand on my shoulder and eases me back against the pillows. He takes the blanket at my feet and lays it over me and proceeds to tuck me in like a burrito and fusses over the pillows behind my head.

“What’s that look for?” He holds an extra pillow in his hands.

“Oh, nothing.” I bite my lip and try to contain my smile.

“I'm going to get the doctor and tell them you’re awake.” He walks out the door and closes it quietly behind him. As soon as it closes, the breath I didn’t know I was holding blows out roughly. Yesterday was the first time I have ever met Kane. I’ve only seen him in photos with Ethan and Chase from their time in the military together. He showed up and saved me during the worst moment of my life. How or why, I’ll never know. But beyond all, I’m grateful.

A scattered breath shakes my chest as I think about what happened to me yesterday, and a million different thoughts hit me at one time.

Who was the man who attacked me?

Why did he attack me?

Oh goodness, he could have raped me, kidnapped me, or worse—murdered me!

Will he come back for me?

Wiping the tears from my face, I wince as my hands rub over my broken and bruised skin. My hands fall to my lap, and I see blood. A sob escapes, and I place my hand over my lips to choke back the cries. A knot lodges in my throat, and it becomes harder and harder to breathe. Panicking, I grip my throat as black spots cloud my vision, smacking my hands against the hand rail.

Please someone help me!

I can’t breathe. I heave and wheeze as I suck air into my oxygen deprived body.

“Sydney!” Hands touch my face, and I hear voices yelling as they enter the room. The fog is too thick, too heavy to get through. I close my eyes, and then I feel myself fall.


“Sydney, can you hear me?”

“Hm?” I mumble while turning over and snuggling deeper into bed.

“Wake up for me, sweetheart. Let me see those beautiful eyes.”

Cracking one tired and sore eye open, Kane’s face is the first thing I see. His hands gently caress my face.

“How are you feeling?” He tucks a piece of hair behind my ear that has fallen on my face.

Hitching the blanket higher up under my neck before I answer, I say, “I’m okay.” It comes out as a raspy whisper.

“Your mom just left. You’ve been out two whole days. The doctor said your body must have fallen into complete shock because you wouldn’t wake up, and that it’s common for victims who have experienced trauma such as you have. Your brain kinda takes over and shuts everything down to let you rest. It scared us all. Hell…” He sighs and rubs a rough hand over his face while looking up at the ceiling.

Two days? I pull my exhausted and sore body up and look around the room. Shaking my head to clear it, I mutter, “I’m sorry. Everything must have hit me all at once. Have you been here this entire time?”

With a curt nod, he rests his hand on the bed. Taken aback by his presence all this time, I grasp his hand and give it a squeeze. He smiles broadly, and I immediately blush, diverting my eyes to his hand laid in mine. There are visible scars all along his rough and cracked skin which are marked with callouses.

“It’s understandable, you’ve been through a lot. But you’re safe now.” His hands curls around mine and our fingers intertwine. Giving him a small smile, I look up at him through my eyelashes. He doesn’t mention why he’s stayed with me since I’ve been in the hospital, but I figure he has his reasons and while I’d like to understand why, my brain is too cloudy to comprehend much more.

“Thank you for saving me. I don’t know what would have happened if you didn’t show up. I was trying to go for help, but he was so close behind...” I trail off as a sob escapes. The emotions are just too thick to grasp.

“Sweetheart, it’s something any man would do. That fucker deserves hell of a lot more than jail,” he growls out the last part.

“I’m sorry you have been stuck here the past few days.”

“There is nowhere else I want to be,” he answers honestly as he strokes my cheek bone.


“Ouch!” I hiss out as the doctor probes all of my cuts and bruises.

“Watch it!” Kane growls and pushes the doctor’s hand away.

“Well, I see that you’re fine.” The doctor coughs nervously and backs away from Kane. “Change your bandages twice a day. I’m writing a prescription for some ointment to put on your cuts.”

I thank him and he leaves the room.

As soon as the door closes, I say, “Well that went well.”

Kane glares at me and paces the room.

“What are you still doing here? I’m sorry if this comes out rude but I’m curious.” I arch my eyebrow.

“Your mom wanted someone to be here in case you woke up, and I wanted to make sure you were okay.” He answers simply.

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