Breaking Point

Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann Read Free Book Online

Book: Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann Read Free Book Online
Authors: Suzanne Brockmann
Tags: Fiction
anyway,” Molly lied. She opened the screen door and went back inside. “Bake some chocolate chip cookies for our distinguished guest while you’re at it.”
    Gina laughed. They ran out of chocolate within forty-eight hours after the arrival of each package from home. She
did
have a few Fig Newtons left. “In your dreams,” she called after Molly.
    “Every single night,” Molly called back. “Without fail.”
    But Gina knew that wasn’t true. Molly sometimes cried out in her sleep, but it wasn’t for chocolate.
    Unless there was a brand of chocolate called
Jones
sold in Molly’s home state of Iowa.
    Gina had recently started praying at night.
Dear God, please don’t let me still be dreaming about Max years from now . . .
    Of course, when she first left D.C., she’d thought about Max nearly all the time. Now she was down to, oh, only three, four times.
    An hour.
    Yeah, at this rate, she’d be over him just shy of her ninetieth birthday.
    Of course, maybe that was all going to change in just a few hours. Maybe Mr. Wonderful really was on that bus. She’d take one look at him and fall madly in love.
    And two months from now, she would be hard pressed to remember Max’s last name.
    It wasn’t likely, sure, but it was also not entirely impossible. One thing Gina had learned from her time here was that miracles did sometimes happen.
    Although she wasn’t going to sit back and wait for a miracle to come to her. No, if need be, she’d get out there and hunt one down.
    She was going to find happiness and meaning to her life, damn it, even if it killed her.
    S ARASOTA H OSPITAL , S ARASOTA , F LORIDA
A UGUST 1, 2003
T WENTY - TWO M ONTHS A GO
    Max considered dying.
    It probably would’ve hurt a whole lot less.
    Problem was, every time he opened his eyes, even just a little, he saw Gina looking back at him with such concern on her face.
    It was entirely possible that, during the excruciating haze of pain-drenched eternity since he was brought out of surgery, she hadn’t left his side for more than a moment or two.
    Unless it was all just a dream, and she wasn’t really there.
    But when he couldn’t find the strength to open his eyes, he heard her voice. Talking to him. “Stay with me, Max. Don’t you leave me. I need you to fight . . .”
    Sometimes she didn’t talk. Sometimes she cried. Softly, so he wouldn’t hear her.
    But he always did. The sound of her crying cut through this fog far more easily than anything else.
    Maybe this wasn’t a dream. Maybe it was hell.
    Except sometimes he could feel her holding his hand, feel the softness of her lips, her cheek beneath his fingers. Hell would never include such pleasures.
    But he couldn’t find his voice to tell her so, couldn’t do more than keep breathing, keep his heart beating.
    And instead of dying, he lived. Even though it meant that he had to redefine pain. Because the pain he’d experienced prior to getting shot in the chest didn’t come close to this torture.
    But it was a torture that didn’t hurt nearly as much as listening to Gina cry.
    Then, one evening, he woke up.
    Really woke up. Eyes fully open. Voice able to work. “Gina.” Voice able to work a little too well, because he hadn’t meant to wake her.
    But wake her he did. She’d been sleeping, long legs tucked up beneath her, curled up in a chair beside his bed. Now she sat up, pushing her hair back from her face, then reaching for the nurse’s call button. “Max!”
    He knew he’d forever remember that moment, even if he lived to be five hundred years old. That look on her face. She lit up from within, yet tears brimmed instantly in her eyes.
    It was joy he saw there on her face—a mix of love and hope and sheer shining happiness. It scared the living shit out of him.
    How could anyone possibly be that happy?
    And yet, somehow he was responsible—simply by saying her name.
    “Oh, my God,” she said. “Oh, my God! Don’t go back to sleep. Don’t . . .”
    “Thirsty,” he

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