and...I submitted it finally tonight to the publisher - book 4 in the Taking Care series. This has been a long process for me to get it done.
This has been the longest one yet, it's 42,900 words long!
Taking Care of Us
Andy Dean struggled with how controlling Henry Hogan was. Debating if he could stay with someone like that, he tries to decide if he should stay or go. Andy only ever wanted a partner, he didn’t need a parent.
When a car bomb takes away years of Henry Hogan’s memories, he lashes out from his years of being deeply in the closet. Will he be able to recover his love for Andy, or will that be lost just like his memory?
Can Andy and Henry save their relationship, build it into something strong and lasting, or will Andy find love with someone else, Jerrod Evans, the doctor who helped to look after Henry while he was in the hospital?
Andy Deans was pissed. Not just angry, well beyond that and into royally pissed.
How dare they keep saying he can’t do anything. It’s had been eight weeks since his car accident, and the doctor removed his cast from his arm yesterday. His broken cheek and nose healed fine. He was given the all clear to drive and resume regular activities, so why wouldn’t anyone in the house let him?
He knew that going to his apartment over the garage wouldn’t stop anyone from coming and bothering him, but he needed the time alone. As much as he knew he loved Henry, he just couldn’t be in the same room as him right now. He was angry enough to say the wrong thing and lash out without thinking of what he was saying. The only thing he ever learned to pay attention to was when his cousin Amy told him ‘to think before you speak’ because words can do more damage than everyone thought.
Thinking about that had him wondering how Amy was, he missed her. Grabbing his cell, he pulled up her phone number and called her, walking to the window to see who was outside.
“Hello.” A man’s voice answered her phone.
“Hi, this is Andy.” He told whoever it was on the phone. “I’m Amy’s cousin. I’m calling to see how she is? Is there any improvement today?”
Amy had been badly beaten by her brothers, the cousins who had tried to kill everyone in the house. They found out that Amy had been talking to Steve, Andy’s older brother, so they decided to beat her up before they went after Steve. Amy heard their plans to burn the house down with everyone in it, so she let Steve know to warn Shane and Abe. They heard her call Steve and almost killed her for letting out the warning. She was still in a coma from what her brothers had done to her.
“She’s doing okay today.” The voice said. “No real change, but they have seen a bit of an improvement with the brain scans. Oh, and I’m Xan, her nurse for today.”
“Thank god.” Andy sighed into the phone. “Please let me know if anything happens, or if she wakes up.”
“I will.” Xan said, then disconnected the call.
Andy slowly moved away from the window he had been looking out of while chatting on the phone, and went over to the closet. He decided he was going to go see Amy, maybe being able to talk with someone else, even though she couldn’t respond, would help him think through his feelings and frustration.
Once he finished grabbing a jacket, he sent a text to Shane to let him know where he was going. He didn’t want anyone to worry about him, but he needed some space.
Glad his apartment was over the garage, Andy took one of the SUV’s and headed out to the hospital. He jumped a bit when he heard the phone ring, but he should have been expecting someone to call. Hearing the voice from the car say it was Shane calling, had him relieved. He didn’t want to speak to Henry.
“Hi Shane.” Andy said after the call connected with the Bluetooth. “What’s up?”
“On a scale of one to ten, how angry are you?” Shane asked.
“About a twelve, that’s why I’m going to see Amy.” Andy told him. “I needed to get out of there before I said or did something that I would regret.”
“Okay.” Shane said. “I can appreciate that. You know I never agreed with what some of the guys were saying, about you not being ready to go back to work. So, what do you want me to tell Henry when he comes looking for you?”
“Honestly, I don’t care.” Andy practically snarled the words out. “I refuse to live sheltered for the rest of my life. Watching as everyone else gets to be who they are, but I’m stuck wrapped up in a blanket like a burrito, seeing life pass me by. I am my own person, and just because I love the big ass doesn’t mean he gets to tell me what to do and when.”
“Right. Go have an ice cream while you are out.” Shane added. “You always are in a better frame of mind after you have some.”
Andy was able to hear the concern and humor in Shane’s voice.
“Thank you, Shane.” Andy said. “You are a wonderful friend and a great boss. I really do appreciate you and all you have done for me. I know I haven’t said it enough, but thank you.”
“No problem.” Shane replied. “Let me know when you are on your way home.”
“Bye.” Andy added, before disconnecting the call.
Enjoying the time out alone, Andy drove over to his favorite corner ice cream shop. This was a small place that had been operated by the same family for over eighty years. They had pictures on the walls of the various generations who worked there. Andy knew he would never have family pictures on his since he refused to have anything to do with his family, except for his brother Steve and Amy.
After getting his pistachio ice cream cone, Andy felt a bit better. Maybe on the way home, he would get a bubblegum one. He loved that there were so many flavors to eat there, but he always felt like there was so little time. A person could only handle so much brain freeze in a day.
Having finished his ice cream cone by the time he arrived at the hospital parking lot, Andy decided to park at the end where there were only a few cars parked. He was looking forward to the walk, especially after being cooped up in the house for the past couple of months.
Enjoying the sunshine, Andy stood beside the car and lifted his face, letting the heat from the sun soak into him. Heaving a huge sigh, Andy headed towards the front doors of the hospital, going into the area where Amy was being kept.
After getting on the elevator to go to the floor she was resting on, Andy refused to say it any other way, he called out his hi’s to the people he recognized. Going into her room, he saw she was resting comfortably, but glad that someone had turned down the monitors. That constant beeping was enough to keep the dead awake. Amy needed her rest to continue to get better.
Hi everyone, Just an update. I am slowly, and unfortunately I do mean slowly, getting book 4 done. I'm almost 2/3's done. Good news! I'm going to be taking part in a box set with some other really fantabulous writers. It will be out on February 13th. My addition to this book will be a short story titled Cupid's Valentine. When I have some more details and the buy links I will happily post them on here. OK, now time for me to get back to book 4. There are going to be some surprises in this one that I do hope you will like.