If you’ve missed the first two parts of Meant to be Family that I’ve shared on here, check them out:
“I know you’ve told me before, but I need you to start from the beginning. You might remember something different this time.”
Remember something different? What the hell did this guy want from him? Connor speared his fingers through his hair and ran them down the back of his head, linking them together behind his neck.
He peered at the older man from between squinted lids and sighed. The nearly constant barrage of nightmares might end if he could find them. If he knew they were okay. If he could console himself with the fact that maybe one positive thing came from one of the worst nights of his life.
Connor allowed himself to travel back to the dark road. The scent of hot rubber, gasoline, and smoke mingled in his nostrils just from conjuring the memories. His ears filled with the high-pitched, frantic screams he was afraid he’d never be able to forget.
Once more he relayed the entire night from start to finish. What he could remember at least. Chunks of it were lost to the darkness that had claimed him immediately following the impact and then again after he’d pulled them free, once the adrenaline had subsided.
Some of it had been filled in by the paramedics that had arrived just as he crumpled to the ground. Still more filtered in through the images that replayed through his mind as he tried to sleep, penetrating his subconscious with the screams and shattering of glass.
Connor shook his head and tried to hide the helpless feeling from showing on his face as he regarded the private investigator. “There is nothing different. Trust me, I think about this way too often. If there was a chance of remembering more, it would have happened by now. Do you think you can find them?”
The older man regarded him solemnly. “Most of the time these things are a matter of public record so I honestly can’t see this being a huge issue. I’m kind of surprised that you couldn’t find this out on your own.”
Answering that would open a can of worms Connor preferred not to deal with. His pushy older brother Tanner had insisted on therapy and, as much as he hated to admit it, the asshole had been right. The nightmares persisted, but the flashbacks during the day largely subsided. Despite the progress, reading the articles in the paper and viewing the pictures were things he wasn’t ready to face yet. Paying someone else to sort through the wreckage and provide the answers he needed was a much more palatable prospect.
Instead he offered a shrug. “I have a backlog of work from my time in the hospital and doing that takes my mind off the fact I’m still in this damned wheelchair. I don’t have time to comb through a million websites or articles to find the answers.”
Partially true though it was, he still broke eye contact with the investigator. Out of his peripheral vision he saw the other man slowly nod with utter disbelief written across his face. The entire reason Connor had hired Allen Jamison as his PI was because he had military experience, decades in the field, and was well known for being sharp and intuitive. Attempting a half-truth with a man like that was probably not the wisest move.
Still Allen left with only an assurance that he would be in touch as soon as he learned something. No mention of Connor’s minor deception.
With a sigh of relief, he pushed himself down the hall in the evil contraption he hated being confined to and out the back door onto the deck. The morning fall air chilled his damp skin and made him shiver.
Connor ran his palms down each of his flannel-clad legs, the still fresh scars biting back at the pressure. His newest physical therapist was scheduled to arrive at eleven and he glanced down at the watch on his left wrist. Two hours from now. Certainly he could pull himself out of this by then. He’d been warned this was his last chance. He’d managed to alienate every other therapist with his surly, impossible attitude. If he didn’t try this time he’d be forced into inpatient rehab, a consequence he wanted to avoid at all costs.