Denial (Careless Whispers #1) - Lisa Renee Jones


I blink and open my eyes to stare at the unfamiliar white ceiling, a dull throbbing at the back of my head. My throat is dry and I swallow with effort, waiting for something familiar to come to me, but there is nothing—just the white ceiling and more of the throbbing beneath my scalp. I decide I must be having a weird dream, and I’d really like to wake up now.

Shifting, I roll to my side to find myself staring into a pair of pale blue eyes so striking and pure that they seem inhuman. I blink again and bring the gorgeous man directly in front of me into stunning clarity. Thirty-something, with thick, longish light brown hair. His cheekbones are high, his chin dimpled.

“You’re beautiful,” I murmur, admiring my mind’s work. I like this dream.

His deliciously full and sensual mouth curves with my comment. “I’ve been called a lot of things, sweetheart, but beautiful isn’t one of them. And this isn’t a dream. How’s your head?”

“It hurts,” I say, my brow furrowing as I digest all he has said, and I realize I muttered that last thought aloud. “And wait. What? This isn’t a dream?” I lift up on one elbow, and I’m punished for my effort with the pounding of my head. “Okay,” I murmur, squeezing my eyes shut. “Maybe I want to wake up now, after all.”

“Easy,” he warns, his hand coming down on my shoulder, his touch oddly familiar even if he is not. “Lie back down,” he urges, and when I obey, he leans over me. “Sleep is a good idea. It’ll help you heal.”

I stare up at my beautiful stranger, and just the sight of him tells me he’s wrong. This is a dream, and I follow along where it’s taking me. “What’s wrong with me?”

“You have a concussion,” he explains, settling back down onto some sort of stool. “A pretty bad one, which is why you’re in the hospital.”

“Hospital?” I repeat, putting together the pieces of the puzzle and deciding that he must be my fantasy doctor. Fighting against the discomfort of moving, I roll to my side again, trying to confirm this assessment. The result is the certainty that every part of this man is hot; his black jeans and matching tee are hugging a lean, muscled body that absolutely fits my “fantasy” assessment. The doctor part, not so much. “Shouldn’t you be wearing scrubs?”

“Last I heard, that isn’t a requirement for a visitor.”

My brow furrows again. “So . . . you’re not my doctor?”

He laughs. “No. I’m not a doctor. I’m the man who found you in the alleyway passed out.”

“Alleyway?” I repeat. This dream is getting a little strange.

He gives me a curious look. “You don’t remember?”

“No.” Considering I seem to have no memory except for the here and now, my answer is easy.

“Hmmm,” he murmurs thoughtfully. “Well, I’m sure it’s just the pain and trauma, but we need to call a nurse anyway and let them know that you’re awake.” He reaches for a

remote-control-like device hanging from the edge of my bed and I watch him, thinking that he has very nice hands. Strong, masculine hands. Familiar, I think. Maybe. I’m pretty sure. I’m considering why that might be when he murmurs something into the remote that I can’t seem to understand. My head is so murky, it almost sounds like he’s speaking another language. Which is crazy.

“Someone will be right in,” he announces, returning the device to where he found it.

I open my mouth to thank him and realize something rather important. “I, ah . . . hate to