His Unlikely Lover (Unwanted #3)(95)

By: Natasha Anders

Bobbi told Gabe that she loved him often and while he accepted the words and even seemed happy to hear them, he never reciprocated. And every time it felt like a barb through Bobbi’s heart. Still, she was unable to stop and often said it while carried away in the moment.

In the meantime the flowers had started coming again, one a day, every day when she was at work. At least there weren’t heaps of bouquets anymore, which Quinton, the sarcastic delivery guy, was grateful for and Craig and Sean were grumpy about.

The cards, which were now in envelopes since he knew she would read them, contained information on what the flower meant along with a really bad “poem,” which always brightened up her day.

On Monday she received a single aster—which apparently meant contentment.

Tuesday (after a particularly raunchy night) it was a snapdragon—desire.

Wednesday’s white iris had meant that she inspired him.

On Thursday a pretty gardenia had told her that she brought him joy (that had made her choke up a little).

And Friday’s flower was hand delivered by the man himself, who had decided to take her to lunch. She was sitting flat on her butt next to the left front tire of a car and working on replacing a broken CV axle joint when he walked in.

“Hey, sweetheart,” he greeted as he crouched down next to her. He brought his hand out from behind his back. “I brought you a hibiscus. It commends your delicate beauty.” She laughed helplessly at that one, knowing she looked far from delicately beautiful at the moment.

“Thanks. Hold on to it for a while, will you? I’m rather busy right now.”

He nodded.

“You wanna grab some lunch once you’re done wrestling with that beast?” he asked.

“Hmmm, maybe. This might take a while,” she grunted.

“I can wait. I’m going to have a chat with Sean,” he informed, and she watched him turn and leave, admiring his butt as he walked away.

She went back to the task at hand and was halfway done when the drift chisel slipped as she was trying to hit the end of the CV joint and angled sharply downward toward her leg. The sharp end sliced through her overalls and scored into her thigh just above the knee. She sucked in a breath as the pain hit her, and the chisel and hammer clanged to the floor as she clutched at her thigh and bit back a scream. She clamped a hand over the wound as she tried to stem the flow of blood and immediately began to feel a bit woozy at the sight of all that red.

Sean was busy telling Gabe about girlfriend number two dumping him when they heard Bobbi cry out, followed by the sharp sound of metal hitting the floor. Craig and Pieter looked up too, and they all took an instinctive step toward her that broke into a full-out scramble to reach her when they saw her listing to the side.

Gabe’s heart stopped and he dashed over to where Craig and Pieter were already crouched next to her. Craig was swearing profusely and Pieter confirmed Gabe’s worst fears by yelling at Sean to call an ambulance.

Gabe slid to his knees beside her and all he could see was red . . . so much damned blood.

“What happened?” he asked, but everybody was bustling and panicking and Bobbi was unconscious and nobody would tell him. “What the hell happened?”

Craig looked up grimly; he had a hand clamped over her thigh and an arm supporting her back.

“Chisel slipped, I think,” he said succinctly. “I’m not sure, there’s a lot of blood. It may have nicked an artery.”

And in that instant Gabe’s own life flashed before his eyes—a future life . . . the one he should have with his Bobbi by his side. A future filled with laughter, joy, love, and children. One that he might lose before he even properly recognized that it was what he desperately wanted.

“No,” he ground out between clenched teeth. He would not lose her like this. It just wasn’t acceptable. He yanked off his tie and leaned in beside Craig, feeling sick at the sight of all that blood. It was actually starting to pool beneath her, and he tried not to think about how much she was losing and how dangerous it was. “Move your hand a bit but don’t let up on the pressure.” He instructed Craig, who did as he was told without question. Gabe used his tie to fasten a tourniquet around her thigh, just above the wound.

“Come on, sweetheart,” he urged. “You stay with me. Don’t you dare leave me.”

He kept talking to her while Craig kept his hand clamped over the wound and Pieter and Sean both stood by helplessly clutching their hats in their hands. The ambulance took forever to arrive, and Gabe was in a state of complete terror by the time the paramedics took over. He watched her closely for signs that she wasn’t breathing, and he said a grateful prayer with every shallow movement of her chest.

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