I rolled over onto Parker’s side of the bed. Where there should be Parker there was…nothing. Damn. Opening my eyes I turned toward my nightstand with the small alarm clock. Saturday and not even eight in the morning. I swear that man doesn’t know the definition of sleeping in. Even from my bed I could hear his and Casey’s voice coming from below. Work. Figures, Parker was never off the job no matter what he swears. His life was about protecting people, and owning a security firm was a twenty-four hour job. The man should be retired, and he is, sorta. At least from his dangerous life, and he better not think about taking another job!
I crawled out of bed after five minutes of just listening to the mumblings of my husband and young Casey. I’m still in awe how they became such close friends. I still remember Casey as a young teen influencing my son and getting him into trouble at the school. I’ll never forget those days. Still, he grew up to be an amazing man and Parker and him are closer than Kaliq and him have ever been. Guess that’s what happens when you partner up in a business like theirs.
In the bathroom I took a long look at my hideous body while I waited for my bath to fill. Seventy-Seven years old and I felt every bit of it. My body definitely wasn’t what it used to be. Saggy breasts, wrinkled skin, and what are those marks on my arms and legs? Hideous. Of course try telling Parker that, he has always made damn sure that I felt beautiful. Not today. I felt old. Parker was the biggest flirt I’d ever met. I remembered when I was just sixteen, and he shamelessly flirted with me. Then, in the hospital his wicked tongue made me blush every time.
I miss those days. Especially now when I appear as old as I feel.
I grabbed my breasts and lifted them to where they should be—seriously they aren’t supposed to sag like this. That’s when I felt it. My eyes widen in horror. Was that? No. It can’t be. Can it? I felt it again, taking extra notice. I checked again and again, and as tears ran down my cheeks and the horror suck in, I admitted to myself—yes that is a lump. A big lump.
I turned off the water in the tub, and grabbed my robe before running out of the bathroom. Scared isn’t usually in my vocabulary, but I was horrified. I ran to the railing to the stairs and took deep breaths. I needed a steady voice. I didn’t want to scare Parker, even if I felt scared. If he panicked and I panicked, that would not be good. “Parker! Can you come up here for a minute!” I yelled in the steadiest of voices.
“Uh, can it wait?” His gruff voice said it all, he wasn’t in the mood for anything but to kick someone’s ass. Another trait I loved—usually. Not today. I didn’t give a damn if he was busy or just grumpy.
He wants me to wait while I am in a crisis! I don’t think so.
“No.” And if he hurls an insult or tells me where to kiss it, I am going to beat his ass. “I need you now.”
I could hear him mumble something quietly, and I was ready to tear off his head. Okay, maybe that ass-kicking trait can be just a tad bit annoying, like right now. Seriously Parker, not in the mood!
Parker walked up, “Make this quick. Case and I are in the middle of a conference call.”
I was ready to hurl something at his head. Okay, I needed to calm down. I disrobed and I swear if he thought this was an invitation he was going to get it in the balls. His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree—crap, can’t this man think of nothing but sex? I grabbed his left hand before he made a sound, a word, or hell, even a move. If he thought this was hot, just wait till he notices the lump. I held his hand up under my breast right where the lump was. “Feel that? Is that?”
Parker’s smile faltered. He felt it. He rubbed a little too hard, and his eye narrowed slightly. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the bed. “Could be nothing. Sit.”
I sat there on the bed while he felt me up. Unlike his quick-witted charm he usually uses when he fondles me in bed, this was clinical, and his face was dead serious. “C-call the doctor, Hana.” his Adams apple bobbed, and his color left his face. I cried, out of nowhere I just cried. “Hey, we don’t know nothing yet. Okay?”
“What if—“ My worst fears started to play in my head.
“No what ifs. Remember we don’t play those games. Let’s just do this one day at a time. Okay?” He lifted my chin up and kissed me slowly. He rubbed my face with his real hand, and wiped my tears. “Moneypenny, my sweet angel, you are the bravest, the most fiercest person I know. Don’t let this scare you. Not till we know.” I nodded. Parker was right—for once. I wasn’t going to admit that to him though, no way. Still, I was a fighter, and no way in hell was I going to give up. I couldn’t give up, not with Parker standing in front of me.
“Take a bath. Come find me, and we’ll spend the rest of the day together. I just need to go finish this call, and I promise no more work today.”
“I love you, Parker.”
He smiled. That one smile he saved just for me. That same smile I remembered from when he was a shy little boy in Egypt. “I love you too, my Hana.”