Read Broken Together Online

Authors: K. S. Ruff

Tags: #Romance, #Romantic Suspense, #Inspirational, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense

Broken Together (64 page)

“What
were the results?” I inquired breathlessly.

She
flipped through a couple of pages on her clipboard. “Her creatinine dropped to
one point six, and her BUN is at thirty-three. Her kidneys and liver are
improving.”

“Thank
God.” Rafael pulled me into his arms.

Gently,
she patted my arm. “We’ll remove her arterial line if those numbers continue to
improve. Your friends will be allowed to see her, and you’ll be able to hold
her as often as you like once that line is removed.”

I
relinquished all of the fear and all of the tears that had accumulated over
night.

Rafael
held me while I cried. “The nurse shift change is about to begin. Let’s grab
some breakfast and call your parents.” We walked out of the NICU arm in arm.

My
eyes widened when I saw everyone sitting in the waiting room. My eyes slid
toward Maxim. He looked smug. “You managed to get them all in before visiting
hours?”

He
nodded. Once.

Rafael
eyed our family and friends. “Gabriella’s blood was drawn early this morning.
Her liver and her kidneys are improving. She doesn’t need surgery.”

Their
cheers echoed down the hall.

*
* * * *

Time
moves like molasses when you’re living in fear. With faith and hope, time moves
surprisingly fast. Our NICU days poured into weeks, then months. We celebrated
every accomplishment… the day the arterial line was removed, the night the
feeding tube was removed, the day the phototherapy was discontinued, and the
day Gabriella graduated to the “feed and grow room.”

 Gabriella
spent very little time in her Isolette once that arterial line was removed. Our
friends proved anxious to cuddle with her. Our nurses wrestled her away a time
or two, just so they could hold her. Cenia and Shae threw a baby shower at the
hospital when Gabriella was transferred to the “feed and grow room.”

Our
daughter was in the NICU for ten weeks. She weighed a whopping four pounds the
day we drove her home. My parents surprised us by purchasing an elegant white
crib, a blue rocker recliner, and a beautiful chest of drawers. Magically, our
Santorini room was transformed into a whimsical nursery.

Gabriella
thrived. She ate well, cooed, and giggled, all the while wrapping us around her
little finger. My parents returned home. Lexie entered the fray and quickly won
Gabriella’s affections. Benjamim, Eva, Chief D’Souza, and Mariana spent a week
with us. Brady, Jase, Kadyn, Oni, and Shae continued jockeying for our guest
rooms.

I
felt happy… blessed… content. So content, I was hesitant to climb out of bed.
Rafael was wrapped around me, radiating heat and strength. The cedar and cloves
from his cologne was coaxing me back to sleep. The house was still and dark.
Still, Gabriella had conditioned me to wake every three hours. I didn’t mind.
This, too, was a blessing; the fact that I could nurse my child. Gabriella
called to me without making a sound.

I
eased out from beneath Rafael’s arm, pressed a kiss against his prickly cheek,
and slid from bed. Quietly, I tiptoed to Gabriella’s room. Jase was sprawled
out, dozing in the recliner next to her crib. She lie nestled against his
chest. I thanked God for him before pressing a kiss to her head.

I
admired my daughter’s perky nose, her little bow lips, tousled hair, and the
long eyelashes that dusted her soft pink cheeks. I’d been praying every day…
praying that life wouldn’t break her the way it had broken me… but I knew, as
surely as God was resting his hand on my shoulder and peering down at her too,
that she’d never be broken and alone. She’d be
broken
together
until
the day he called her home.

#
# #

 

About the Author

I live in Northern
Virginia with my football-crazed husband, two beautiful daughters, and two
psychotic Shih Tzus. I teach courses in international relations, foreign
policy, peacekeeping, and human security at the American Military University. I
also work as a reading tutor at my daughters’ elementary school. What can I
say? I still love school. Reading has long been my passion, so I belong to not
one but two book clubs, which I fondly refer to as my “good girl bookclub” and
my “bad girl bookclub.” Suffice it to say the “bad girl bookclub” is the one
that decided to read Fifty Shades of Gray.

I’ve been writing for as
long as I can remember. In my childhood, I loved writing poetry, song lyrics,
and short stories. Somehow, this morphed into Supreme Court briefs, government
reports, congressional bills, journal articles, and op ed pieces as I grew
older. And now? I’m writing romantic suspense novels and loving every minute of
it!

Thanks for reading the fifth
and final book in The Broken Series. I am contemplating a spin off series, so
let me know which characters you’d like me to pursue. I love hearing from my
readers, so please stop by ksruff.com, drop me a note, and let me know what you
think about the series!

Additional
books by K.S. Ruff

 

the broken road

book
one in the broken series

Montana girl Kristine Stone was strong enough to
break out of an abusive marriage, but is she strong enough for the road that
lies ahead? For the first time in her life, Kristine finds she is able to
control the direction her life takes. Haunted by her ex-husband and a newly
acquired stalker, she decides to leave Montana to work in the US Senate.
Kristine issues a moratorium on dating the moment she decides to move to DC.
This does little to deter Kadyn Rand, the Air Force Captain, who threatens to
tear down every wall she’s ever built. Still, someone from her dark past
refuses to be ignored, and Kristine finds herself in yet another fight for her
life.

Air Force Captain Kadyn Rand is too stoic to be
swept away by much of anything, but a vulnerable woman from Montana manages to
do just that when she finds herself alone and in danger in DC. Kadyn tries to
earn Kristine’s love and her trust, but he soon learns it will take much more
than that to save her from her past.

 

beautifully
broken

book
two in the broken series

How many times can one woman be abducted? That’s
the question burning Kristine Stone when she finds herself staring down a dark
and dangerous man from her past. When she refuses to leave with him, he forces
her hand by threatening to kill the man she loves, along with thousands of
others. Kristine fears his terrorist connections will enable him to make good
on this threat, so she complies. She thinks she has it all figured out. If she
takes the path of least resistance and does everything this man asks, he will
eventually tire of her and let her go. Despite this well intentioned plan,
Kristine discovers just how seductive this man can be. She is forced to choose
between the love of two men and stands to lose everything in the end.

 

 

 

broken wings

book three in the broken series

Just when she thinks she’s gotten her life pieced
back together, Kristine Stone wakes to a searing kiss from someone unexpected.
This dark angel is determined to win her heart, and he refuses to play fair.
This doesn’t sit well with her former lover, Kadyn Rand, who yanks the rug out
from under her when he confesses he wants to be more than just friends. She
refuses to choose and gets roped into an impossible dating agreement, that she
is quite certain will land her a one way ticket to hell. Amidst all this
insanity, a new friend presents an exciting opportunity to work for an
international organization devoted to peace-building. When Kristine joins her
friend in Sevastopol to train university students in conflict resolution, she
finds herself accused of being a spy by a security agency deeply entrenched in
the former KGB. A chance run-in with the Russian Mafia proves beneficial as
three men from her past are forced to work together in an effort to save her
life.

 

in a broken dream

book four in the broken
series

One long string of broken dreams… that’s how Kristine
Stone views her life. After a deadly altercation between the SVR and the
Russian Mafia claims the life of someone she loves, Kri returns to Virginia
feeling hopeless and lost. She discovers her best friend, Cenia, has become
engaged. Cenia asks Kri to be her maid of honor. Kadyn is asked to serve as the
best man, and the two former lovers are thrown together once more. Maxim makes
an unexpected appearance, and Rafael is on a mission to win Kri’s heart once
and for all. A brief trip into Mexico threatens to derail everyone’s plans when
Cenia and Kri find themselves stuck in the middle of a gunfight between
opposing drug cartels. Kri faces yet another abduction and is left questioning
whether her life will ever be anything more than a broken dream.

 

Other books

Cthulhurotica by Carrie Cuinn, Gabrielle Harbowy, Don Pizarro, Cody Goodfellow, Madison Woods, Richard Baron, Juan Miguel Marin, Ahimsa Kerp, Maria Mitchell, Mae Empson, Nathan Crowder, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, KV Taylor, Andrew Scearce, Constella Espj, Leon J. West, Travis King, Steven J. Searce, Clint Collins, Matthew Marovich, Gary Mark Bernstein, Kirsten Brown, Kenneth Hite, Jennifer Brozek, Justin Everett
Torn by Chris Jordan
The Realms of Ethair by Cecilia Beatriz
Superluminal by Vonda N. McIntyre
Angel (NSC Industries) by Sidebottom, D H
Bury in Haste by Jean Rowden
The Game of Boys and Monsters by Rachel M. Wilson