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Aideen

By:L. A. Casey

Pain.

Stomach pain.

Severe stomach pain.

That was what I was currently experiencing... and it was all because of a damn biscuit. If I didn’t get the sugary, crunchy goodness into my rumbling belly soon I would go on a rampage that would put Nico Slater to shame.

“Keela, please,” I whimpered, feeling close to tears. “Just give me a little bit of that biscuit, I won’t tell—”

“Aideen!”

I winced when his voice filled the sitting room.

“Ah, bollocks,” I muttered under my breath and avoided looking over to the doorway where I knew he stood.

Instead, I focused on the beautifully decorated Christmas tree that stood behind Keela.

Keela Daley—who was still my best friend for some strange reason—was sitting on my sofa and acting as a leg rest for my swollen limbs. Two days prior, the cast I wore on my broken leg for the past eight weeks was removed. My knee and shin were nicely healed, but they were still prone to damage so I had to take things easy, which meant I had to sit down a lot.

I wasn’t exactly happy about the prospect of sitting on my arse twenty-four-seven, but if it helped my leg get stronger then it was something I would just have to do.

I glanced down to my forearm then, sighing at the newly formed scar. It healed a few weeks ago, and Kane assured me it was an angry reddish colour because it was brand new. Over time, it would fade to a lighter colour.

I hoped so, because I could see myself wearing a lot of long-sleeved tops in the future otherwise.

Keela regained my attention when she devilishly grinned at me as she popped the remainder of her chocolate digestive biscuit into her mouth—cunt move—then looked to the left and held up her hands. “I wasn’t goin’ to give her it, Kane. I swear.”

I ignored my boyfriend’s presence and focused on the bitch in front of me.

“You’re a shitty friend.”

She looked back to me and unapologetically shrugged her shoulders. “I’d rather be a shitty friend than a dead one.”

I scoffed. “He wouldn’t kill you for givin’ me a bit of a biscuit—”

“He would kill her for giving you a biscuit.” A husky voice cut me off.

I huffed in frustration and looked at the love of my life who was hell-bent on making me suffer. I locked my eyes on his and silently pleaded with him.

“It’s been eight weeks since I left the hospital, Kane. Eight weeks. Me leg and arm have healed perfectly and me throat doesn’t even hurt anymore. I’m sick to death of soup and soft foods. I’m pregnant which means I’m always hungry, and that shitty food isn’t cuttin’ it anymore. Please, just let me eat a packet of biscuits.”

“A whole packet?” Keela merrily laughed. “You fat fuck. How did eatin’ a single biscuit jump to eatin’ a whole bloody packet?”

I dug the heel of my foot into her thigh. “Shut the hell up you traitorous cow!”

She hissed and adjusted my foot, but did as asked and closed her mouth.

“Aideen,” Kane sighed and rubbed his temples.

He has done that action a lot over the past few weeks.

“I’m not being strict to upset you, babydoll, but you heard the doctor. No solid food until after your throat fully heals. You have just a few more days and then you’re good. Why risk it? The first time you ate solid food after the fire you made a gash in your throat and it required stitches. Do you really want to go down that road again?”

Kane was firm when he spoke, but I saw the emotion in his eyes.

“Do you want to undergo more surgery, not being able to talk and having to eat through a tube? Personally, I can’t see you in that state. It almost killed me the first time around.”

I thought of the gut-wrenching moment seven weeks ago when I swallowed a bit of a ham sandwich and my throat erupted with pain. A single slice of hard-crusted bread caused my already sensitive inner throat to tear open. It resulted in a painful gash that led to me spitting up a horrifying amount of blood that frightened the life out of those who loved me. I made Gavin and the girls cry, and I almost gave Kane and my father a heart attack.

To be honest, I scared myself half to death, too.

The pain after the surgery to stitch the wound shut, and having to be fed through a tube, sucked. I was a mess for weeks. It was definitely something I never wanted to experience again.

Ever.

I looked to Kane, then to Keela, then down to my fingers that were playing with the fluffy blanket that covered both Keela and myself.

“No, I don’t,” I replied to Kane, but made sure to keep my head and gaze downcast so he couldn’t see that my eyes had welled up.

I hated how easily I cried at things.

Pregnancy turned me into such a pussy.

“Baby?” Kane prompted.

I sniffled.

Shit.

“I’m fine,” I said, and rubbed under my nose with the back of my hand.

“Use a tissue, you knacker,” Keela said, revolt pulsing through her tone.

I laughed and cried at the same time.

“Leave her alone, Keela.” Kane clicked his tongue.

She paid him no attention.

“If you wipe snot onto this blanket so help me God, I’ll kill you, Ado.”

I continued to laugh, only stopping when I got a stitch in my side.

“Why do you make her laugh like that?” Kane grumbled. “She’ll end up hurting herself.”

I practically felt Keela roll her eyes.

“Give over, big man. She is pregnant, not made of glass. Give her a bump, I promise she won’t break.”

Kane grinned wickedly. “Giving her a bump is what has me worried about her in the first place.”

Keela’s eyes shone with wonder. “I can’t wait to see what you’re like when she gets here; you’ll have the poor kid wrapped up in bubble wrap from day one.”

“He will be a super baby, the chosen one if you will. He won’t be fragile.”

Keela gleefully laughed. “Keep tellin’ yourself that, mate.”

I looked up in time to catch Kane stick his middle finger up at Keela and for her to stick up both of hers back at him.

I shook my head good-naturedly.

“Enough, children. Mother is too tired and hungry for your bullshit today,” I declared, yawning.

Kane crossed the room and hunkered down next to me. He placed his elbow on the arm of the sofa behind me and gently scratched my back which his fingers. “Why don’t you come to bed?”

His voice was low and inviting.

“Maybe because she has company, i.e. me, you dirty bastard.” Keela flared. “Stop seducin’ her when I’m sittin’ right next to your nasty arse.”

I beamed at Keela, and Kane smiled at me. He used his free hand to swipe away the already forgotten tears on my cheeks. “There’s my babydoll.”

Keela giggled. “That’s adorable, but you’re still nasty.”

I flicked my eyes in her direction and playfully narrowed them. “Do you mind?”

“Not at all,” she acknowledged. “You do your thing.”

Kane nudged me and gave me a wink. “You shouldn’t have ever fed her, she’ll never leave now.”

Keela gasped in mock horror. “I’m not a dog. How dare you!”

“I never said you were.” Kane deviously grinned then stood up to his full height. He turned and walked out of our sitting room and headed down the hallway to the kitchen.

Keela pushed my legs, and the blanket that was covering her, off her body and shot to her feet.

“Don’t walk away when I’m talkin’ to you, Kane Slater!” she hollered, and stomped out of the room after him.

Kane’s low laughter did nothing but infuriate her further.

“Or what? You’ll kill me?” he teased.

“You’re damn right I’ll kill you... don’t smile at me like that, I will!”

I chuckled to myself.

They behaved like brother and sister, and I loved it because they loved each other. It would suck balls if my boyfriend and best friend didn’t get along.

“Do not throw that at me!” Kane’s voice suddenly shouted.

Keela cackled. “It’s just a tub of butter, you big baby.”

“It’s a frozen tub of butter, so you might as well throw a brick at my head!”

“That can be arranged, big man.”

“You’re an evil little person, I hope you know that.”

“I do.”

I laughed at their conversation and sunk back into my sofa, tugging my blanket farther up my body.

“Leave him alone, Keela.”

I heard something being set down on either the kitchen counter or table. It dropped with a thud. “You’re lucky she wants you alive and unharmed.”

“And you’re lucky she wants you here often, otherwise I’d ban you from ever entering this building.”

Keela seethed. “You’ve gone mad with power.”

I smiled.

Kane recently told Keela that he owned the building I lived in, as well as many others in Dublin. She wasn’t mad, just a little hurt that Alec didn’t tell her about Kane’s secret properties, but once she got over the ‘bro code’, she was cool with it like I knew she would be.

She also kept it under wraps, because Kane didn’t want it broadcasted to the rest of the group. He liked his privacy and she respected that.

“You better thank God that I have to go home and feed Storm. I’d wipe the floor with you otherwise.”

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