|Home > Samantha Young > On Dublin Street Series > Echoes of Scotland Street (Page 61)|
|Echoes of Scotland Street(On Dublin Street #5)(61) by Samantha Young|
I panted for breath as my eyes adjusted and I looked around. I was in Cole’s flat, in his bed.
“Shortcake?” his sleep-roughened voice queried from beside me.
The nightmare had been so real.
So goddamn real.
I sobbed in relief, drawing my arms up around my knees.
“What the fuck?” Cole muttered, and the bed moved as he sat up.
The light came on and he cursed again seconds before he pulled me into his arms. I fell against his chest, unable to control the sobs that felt like they were being ripped out of me.
“Shh,” he soothed, rubbing my back in comfort. “It was just a dream. You’re okay. You’re safe. You’re safe, Shannon.”
* * *
I was still feeling a little shaken as Cole returned to the bedroom carrying two mugs of tea. His hair stood up in all different directions, his lids were droopy with sleep, and he was half-naked. That was because it was only four o’clock in the morning.
But he didn’t seem to care.
He handed me a mug and climbed back into bed. He slid his free arm around my shoulders to pull me into his side while we sipped the chamomile tea I’d added to his kitchen along with a variety of other stuff a few weeks ago when he told me to make myself at home.
“A nightmare?” he said, his voice still hoarse with tiredness. “Do you get those a lot?”
“Sometimes,” I admitted. “But I haven’t had one in a while.”
I was frustrated I was having them again. Especially after our trip to Lake Como. Cole and I had reached new levels of intimacy in Italy—if anything I felt safer now than before we’d left for our trip. However, we’d returned two days ago and I’d spent most of those two days trying to shove the fact that I still hadn’t heard anything from my family out of my head despite my birthday having passed three weeks ago. And the reason I couldn’t get them out of my head was my guilt. I was so happy with Cole that it just made my remorse that much more insistent. It was plaguing me. My family was plaguing me.
“What are the dreams about?”
I sucked in a trembling breath. “Ollie’s attack. Except in the dream I don’t get away.”
The air around us crackled with Cole’s anger.
“I’m okay,” I promised.
“You’re not okay.” He put his mug down none too gently on the bedside cabinet and turned me to face him. His green eyes were more alert. Anger had bled into them. “You’re in my bed having nightmares.”
I gave him a shaky smile. “It’s not because we’re not good. You know we are. We’re so good in fact that I feel guilty all the time.”
Realization dawned. “Because of Logan.”
I nodded. “I know they told me to stay away from him, from them . . . but I thought . . . They’re my family. I thought they’d call at least.”
“Not going to lie, Shortcake. I really hope they don’t. With the exception of Logan.” He shook his head. “Why did they even bother having kids?”
I laughed bitterly. “You sound like Logan. He used to say that all the time.” I sank into Cole’s embrace and sipped on my tea. “My parents just don’t have enough love to go around. They’re not capable of it. They gave most of it to each other and we get the scraps whenever they feel like it. Logan was the only one of us they ever showed genuine interest in. Amanda and I were just a second thought.” I looked up at him, saddened by the distance in my family. “Amanda’s always hated me. I was close to Logan because we were more alike. Also, I look like Mum and Amanda doesn’t, which means my somewhat narcissistic mum spent more time with me when I was little, trying to turn me into her little duplicate. That changed when I became a teenager and started developing my own opinions and interests. Still, Amanda never really forgave me for those mother-daughter bonding moments I got and she didn’t. When I got into the clueless pattern of dating losers, Amanda loved it. It was something she could bond with my parents over.”
“I’m sorry it was like that for you,” he said softly, sincerely.
“Don’t feel sorry for me, Cole. I had my grandparents.” I grinned remembering them. “They were everything my parents were supposed to be, so I never really felt like I missed out on much. But they’re gone.” My lips quivered as my eyes filled with tears. “Logan’s gone. And for once . . . I just really want my family to care.”
“I get it,” he murmured, kissing my head. “I do. And I know it’s not the same, but you have me now. I’m not going anywhere.”
I sniffled and turned my cheek to press a kiss to his chest. “I know.”
We were quiet a moment as I sipped on my tea and attempted to calm my nerves.
“I found something that might cheer you up.”
I pulled back from him. “Oh.”
“One second.” He gently eased away and got out of bed, striding from the room. He returned a minute later holding a folded-up piece of paper in his hand. He climbed back into bed and, giving me that boyish grin of his, handed it to me.
It was a piece of cartridge paper. On it was a drawing of a comic book superheroine and a zombie. She had her hands braced on her curvy hips and she was wearing a sexy black-and-blue costume. An abundance of red wavy hair blew back from her face as she faced off against the zombie. There was a speech bubble above her: I’ll destroy you with my razor-sharp disinterest and lack of fear, slow, stupid zombie guy.
I laughed, covering my mouth in shock.
Cole tugged the drawing out of my hand. “I drew this the night after we met when we were kids. I was big into comics at the time.”
I stared at him in wonder. “You saw me as a superhero.”
He waved the paper. “Correction. A hot superhero.”
“Cole . . . you still have it?”
“Yes. And here’s the cool part.” He settled on his side, gazing at me with so much tenderness I felt full to bursting. “Jo and I were living in Cam’s apartment at that point in my life, but my mum still lived in the flat above us. We used the extra rooms in our old flat for storage. I had a lot of artwork in my old bedroom. My mum never really let up on me even after we moved out. In fact, she blamed me—said I’d turned Jo against her.”
I glowered, my blood turning instantly hot with anger. “Does Jo know that?”