Authors: Emma Rider
Tags: #contemporary romance, #sweet romance, #contemporary love, #hot hero, #billionaire romance, #millionaire romance, #strong hero, #heartmelting
By Emma Rider
Copyright © 2014 by Emma Rider
Cover art by Emma Rider
Edited by QuickQuill Editing
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Tied to the Boss
Set to be Tied
Tied in Knots
Tied to Him
Tied Together (Tied Series Collection – Bundle)
In His Custody
Finding the Way
To my husband
Beth Randall woke up with ricocheting images
blasting through her head. She lay there trying to make sense of
the dreams, but they faded away before she could decipher any of
them. In their place, pain seized her, taking over completely.
She cupped her head to try to alleviate the
pain. She cracked her eyelids open and the pain intensified. Her
vision was attacked by bright light. Squinting, she didn't register
the moans escaping her, but a plump woman entering the room did.
She tsked as she straightened Beth's blankets. The blue scrubs
identified her as one of the nurses.
The nurse beamed a kind smile Beth's way,
but Beth could only clutch her head. She wished she had blinders
over her eyes so she could shutter her out. This woman was too
Noting her patient's smoking eyes, the nurse
hurried to the window and shut the curtains, casting the room into
semi-darkness—a more habitual atmosphere for Beth. She sighed in
relief as the pain dampened slightly.
"Someone left the curtains open. Poor
thing." The nurse efficiently wrote her name on the white board.
"My name is Joy. How are we feeling today, Beth?"
Only one thought came to mind. "How did I
The nurse grabbed a chart from the end of the bed. Her pen poised
at the ready. "What do you remember?"
Beth thought back through her life. All of
her past was there. Her childhood. Her father teaching her how to
ride a bike. Going on her first date to the movies. Burying her
mother then her father. Tossing her cap in celebration of six long
years of college. Then nothing. "I remember large events, details
from growing up. I can count, do math if you want me to."
"Very good. How about how you got here?"
Pain gripped Beth again as she hunted for
answers. One memory stuck its head out of a corner and she snatched
it before it could escape. "I was driving to pick up someone. I
don't know who."
"Good enough. Better than yesterday. You
were in a car accident. The person who hit you was texting and
"Are they okay?"
"The driver is fine, just a little shook up.
Your vehicle suffered the most damage. Impact to the driver's side,
so I've been told."
Beth shook her head, unable to remember the
hit, noting she didn't have an IV on her arm, but saw evidence that
one had recently been there. Her heart hammered in her chest as she
asked, "How long have I been in here?"
The nurse smiled. "About three weeks but
you're healing up nicely and will be able to go home soon." She
studied Beth. "I can tell you're in pain. On a scale of one to ten,
what do you rate your pain?"
"Seven, now that the sunlight's gone."
Joy nodded, pressing her lips together.
"I'll be back to get you some pain medicine. Right now rest, you're
in great hands."
Beth slumped down on the bed and took
inventory of all her limbs. She wiggled each, noting all of them
were still attached and functional. The only telltale sign she'd
been in an accident was her head and the bruises she could see. Her
body wasn't too sore. It was more like she worked out hard at the
gym but could move around still.
She felt the gauze on her head wincing as
her finger nimbly pressed. A square bandage was tucked into a
corner of her forehead held up by gauze that was wrapped around
like a headband.
She placed her hands on her cheek, wondering
what her face looked like. A sweep around the room showed her
several bouquets of assorted flowers all filling the space with a
Latin words popped into her head as she
peered at the flowers.
for lily. She smiled, she recalled she had studied
floriculture in college.
She eased down onto the bed again; her body
faced the door the nurse conveniently left open. The light from the
hallway wasn't so bad. Hospital staff in scrubs busily passed by.
There were so many colors. Sky blue, lime green, and people with
white coats. They all blended into the medical platform until a
tall man in worn jeans and a well fitted wool coat caught her eye.
Then he was gone. She blinked, willing him to pass her doorway
A few minutes later he did, walking slowly,
studying the document in his hand before coming to a halt across
the hall to a building map that was set on the wall. She caught
more characteristics of his side profile. Unruly dark hair that was
in need of a cut fell just above his eyes, a straight nose slashed
down his face, and shadows cast about his profile told her he had a
slightly square jaw. The coat emphasized broad shoulders and lean
waist, tagging him as athletic. He was tall, dark and handsome and
Beth forgot about her headache enough to want to lick him.
After a few moments he left, but her breath
caught again as he passed once more, this time stopping at her
door. He studied her doorframe and the paper before he peered in
the room at her, his dark eyes seeming to catch hers in the
darkness. She held her breath, daring not to move a single
Then he turned around as someone tapped his
shoulder. She exhaled. He must've been lost; someone would set him
to rights. She didn't turn away as a sliver of him appeared in the
doorway again. Her ears strained to hear what he was talking about
but he spoke softly.
She sat back, wondering who he was.
Entertaining the idea that he was a GQ model sent to cheer her up.
Thank you Santa Claus!
She frowned. It was summer.
Her thoughts turned realistic. Was he here
to visit his sick kid or wife? God, she glanced around,
disappointment settling over her as she noticed the lone chair was
empty with no signs of life—except for the flowers. No one had
visited her in a while. Her parents had passed away while she was
in college. They were all she had. She wasn't really close to
anyone because she was invested in getting the shop—
hold on a
She concentrated, but pain beat down her
The GQ model shifted back to her, catching
her eye again. Butterfly wings fluttered rapidly in her stomach,
partially blocking her headache. He left the doorway and she wanted
to call out to him, but what the hell was she going to call him?
"Hey hot stuff" wasn't going to cut it. "Hey GQ model" might work,
but would embarrass her.
As if her mental summoning worked, he
appeared in her room and she was blown away by the sight. The light
from the doorway cast an angelic glow around his whole body. She
tried to swallow, hoping she didn't drool all over her bed. A frown
marred his handsome face as he gazed at the paper. Then his dark
eyes met hers. "I'm looking for my wife. She had moved rooms
recently. Do you know where—"
Her face fell and she quickly glanced at the
shiny gold band around his ring finger. "Wrong room, sir. I don't
have a roommate."
His shoulders dropped, but he managed a
smile. "Oh, I'm sorry ma'am."
Poor man, she thought. Clarifying, she said,
"My room number is 4426."
"Oh. I apologize for that. Well you have a
good day then." He ambled to the doorway when she called out
without thinking. "I know you're probably anxious to get to your
He paused slightly, his body visibly
"But can you just…" she licked her dry lips,
"stay a few minutes?"
He turned back, exhaling loudly. Drawn
browns lowered and his face smoothed. "I am," then he smiled at
her, "but I can stay a little while. What's your name?"
She crushed the jealousy down and scolded
herself for even thinking about hitting on a married man. The poor
guy was worried sick about his wife. She stuck out her hand in
which he took, immediately engulfing her cold hand in heat. "I'm
Beth. What's yours?"
"That's a nice name."
"Thank you." He smiled sheepishly, shoving
his hands in his pockets. "So Beth, what are you in for?"
She pointed to her head. "Can't you tell?
Head injury. Car accident. I was going driving from my flower
shop." Her eyes widened as she remembered that detail. She owned a
flower shop. Heart hammering, she sat straight up. Then clutched
"Whoa there, take it easy." He eased her
back into the bed.
"I need to call them. My shop, I need to
know if it's taken care of."
His features were soft with concern. "Don't worry Beth, we can call
them right now." He picked up the phone. "Do you know the
She recited the number by heart and he
handed her the ringing phone.
"Luscious Lilies, this is Diane speaking. We
do special bouquets if you forgot your anniversary, if it's your
woman's special time of the month or if you're just in the dog
house you bad boy, we can help you with that. How may I assist
Beth's breathing evened at Diane's banter, she even let out a small
chuckle. "Diane, honey, we really need to talk about that
"Beth! I'm just trying a few lines out."
"Hmm, it was very creative but a bit too
"Hold up, how are you feeling? You get my
She found herself shrugging then meeting the
eyes of Cameron who was intently watching her every movement. She
averted her eyes immediately, reminding herself not to flirt. "Yes,
thank you, they're lovely. I'm good. How's the shop holding
Beth talked to her employee about the shop,
reminding her of procedures and responsibilities. She ended the
call with a big thank you for keeping her shop open and a promise
to repay Diane with a bonus check after Beth broke out of this
joint. At the end of the phone call, a weight lifted from her chest
knowing that her shop was being taken care of.
"All better?" Cameron asked, taking the
phone she held out and placing it back into its cradle.
Beth gave a single nod, pursing her lips
"Is that where those flowers came from?" He
She peered at the bouquets. "Maybe.
Probably." Remnants from what happened appeared again and she
struggled to make sense of them. "I left my flower shop. I was
going to pick up someone, I don't know who." She clutched her
"You're having a little memory trouble?"
She gave a small laugh. "A bit. It'll come
back." Her face scrunched in pain again as she searched for the
"Beth," he startled her when his large hand
squeezed her small one, "don't push yourself. Small details don't
matter." He gently led her hand down to her side, giving her a few
friendly pats then loosely clasped it. "What's important is that
you are here now. I'm sure your loved ones are happy you're
She twisted her fingers that were empty of
any jewelry. She wanted to yell then,
if I had loved ones
here are they
?! But she didn't want to scare this
kind stranger away. She needed a friend right now, and this guy
cared enough to visit a perfect stranger. "Say my name again,