They say you never hear the one that has your name on it, or so Cody remembers as he lies on the floor staring up at the ceiling with a bullet in his chest. After a harrowing trip to the hospital and a dangerous surgery, Cody is recovering from his wound and wants nothing more than to go back to his life with Jake just the way it was. But Jake came too close to losing Cody forever and he can’t stand the idea of inflicting any more pain on him, even though Cody craves it, along with Jake’s Dominance and control. If Cody can’t be Jake’s submissive anymore, than who is he? And how long will it be before Jake goes looking for someone else who can satisfy all his needs? Jake offers a compromise—he’ll occasionally play with other subs, but will make love only to Cody. But Cody knows subs will be lining up to take care of Jake, and Cody’s jealousy begins to consume him. He has to prove to Jake that he hasn’t changed just because he had the bad luck to get shot. And he isn’t willing to wait a second longer to reclaim his position as Jake’s submissive.
Dispatch was talking insistently from somewhere far away, annoying him enough that it brought him back to the present with an annoying jolt. The dispatcher was giving an address and a ten code over and over—ten one hundred, which in their county meant “Officer Down.” Idly, Cody wondered who she could be talking about. He closed his eyes again, feeling suddenly cold and shaky. It was easier to sleep. In the next second, Cody, who had been drifting again somewhere overhead, dreaming of Jake, was suddenly slammed back into his body as he heard someone yell right in his face. All the other sounds of radios squawking and sirens blaring and people yelling came roaring back as well.
“Cody! Cody, damn you, open your eyes!”
He felt his eyelashes flutter as the voice kept calling his name, too loud, too insistent. Bossy. There was only one person who ever talked to him like that and the sudden realization made him open his eyes quickly and look right up into Jake’s beautiful face.
“Jake,” he tried to say and heard a tiny voice like a doll’s voice coming from his throat. God, was that him? He tried to clear his throat and felt something break loose in his chest and bubble out his mouth.
Jake’s eyes were wet with tears. They were streaming down his face and Cody wanted to comfort him but he couldn’t raise his arm. He glanced downward and saw it was strapped to some kind of board with tubes leading up to a bag.
Other people were working on him, moving him this way and that and there was a roaring in his ears. Wanting it all to go away so he could drift back into his dream, he closed his eyes again and again Jake was in his face, his eyes only inches away from Cody’s.
“Don’t you leave me, Cody. Don’t you dare leave me, do you hear me? You hold on, baby. You hold on for me.”
Cody tried to nod, and then they were pulling him away again, lifting him up. He tried to reach for Jake and then people were yelling at him. It was too much, too loud, and they were shouting confusing questions. He ignored all the shouting and movement and drifted off to sleep again. He woke to the view of a white ceiling and lights that were skimming past like train tracks. People in white coats were pushing him down a long hallway on some kind of trolley and he was about to fall off. He grabbed for one of the white coats to hold on.
“Officer McCall! Can you hear me?” One of them yelled in his ear.
“Of course I can hear you. You’re yelling in my ear,” he said, or tried to say, but it came out as that weak, ridiculous doll-voice again. What the hell was up with that?
“Are you allergic to any medications?”
Was he? He couldn’t remember if he was. Somebody was running along beside him, holding his foot, for God’s sake, and he heard him answer for him. “Yes, he’s allergic to penicillin.”
Was that Jake? He tried to lift his head to see, but the doctors or nurses or whoever all these people were just kept propelling him along at breakneck speed, yelling all those stupid questions at him.
“And peanuts,” he tried to say. “I’m allergic to peanuts.” It was suddenly very important that he got that across to them. He grabbed somebody’s wrist—a woman who looked back down at him curiously. “Pea-nuts,” he said as plainly as he could. She looked down at him blankly and he sighed. “Jake knows. Ask Jake,” he said and somebody reached down and pinched him on the arm. He yelped in surprise and the hand tightened on his foot.
“I’m here, Cody. I’m right here.”