Home > Turbulent Waters (Billionaire Aviators #3)(2)

Turbulent Waters (Billionaire Aviators #3)(2)
Author: Melody Anne

Hell, with the names their parents had given them, it was no wonder they’d all ended up pilots, Nick thought. Their father had enjoyed flying, but the favorite of their relatives, Uncle Sherman, had really loved it. He’d been the one to give the boys the bug to be above the land and sea.

Their mother worried about their chosen professions, but she was loving and supportive. She still would be when Nick got home safe, healed, and went right back to work. She would never guilt him into quitting the job that had ultimately saved his life.

It was almost ironic that joining the Coast Guard had saved him from wandering down a dark path but also might be what took his life. But safe wasn’t in his vocabulary. Life was too short to simply exist—it was worth living for.

The brothers had all vowed to each other that no matter how dangerous a situation they were ever in, they wouldn’t give up. It was that promise that kept Nick holding on to his fading life.

He wouldn’t give up. The pain in his body was simply a reminder that he was still alive. It was a good reminder. Was he awake? Nick didn’t know anymore. But when he heard a faint noise in the distance, a familiar noise, his brain was shutting down and he couldn’t focus on it. He needed to rest. A small nap wouldn’t hurt . . .

His head spinning, Nick tried to move and found himself unable to do so. Confusion swirled as he tried desperately to remember why he was hurting and where he was.

Nothing was coming to him. Nick didn’t appreciate the unfamiliar panic beginning to creep up into his throat. He couldn’t even remember what day of the week it was, or for that matter, what month.

“I’m Captain Nick Armstrong, US Coast Guard helicopter pilot,” he said out loud, but his voice was weak and scratchy, and he wasn’t even sure if the words were audible to anyone who might be nearby.

He opened his mouth to speak again, but ended up in a coughing fit that sent spasms of pain splintering through him. Shutting his eyes, he tried to concentrate, tried to get his befuddled mind to begin making sense.

“You’re going to be okay. Hold on for just a while longer. You’ll be fine.”

Nick clung to the voice, which seemed to be coming to him through a long tunnel, the words echoing as the blinding sun burned through his closed eyelids. But just as he was turning his head, a shadow passed over his face, instantly shading him from the fiery sensation.

He cracked his lids, and gasped.

“I’m dead,” he croaked, again not sure if his words had even come out.

A light chuckle sounded like music to his ears. The angel hovering above him had an ethereal glow about her, her features blurred. Her concerned eyes were the only feature he could see clearly. He tried to lift his hand to her, telling her it was okay to take him home. Even that effort was too much for him.

With a shaking smile on his lips, he closed his eyes―and the pain faded away.


The wind blew briskly as Nick sat on the back deck of his house, his throbbing knee making him take a needed break. Frustration was brewing inside him as strongly as the waves crashing against the shore and the ominous clouds billowing above. The promise of a brilliant storm in the air seemed to be mirroring his life.

Though Nick was content to be out in the open, he would be much happier if he could walk through the rain and lightning, through a freaking hurricane if need be. If he could just get off of the damn deck for more than a few minutes at a time.

Nick was itching to go back to work, but his shattered knee, broken arm, three cracked ribs, and concussion had left him with limited mobility. There was something seriously wrong with the entire situation.

Nick tossed rocks off his deck, aiming for the turbulent waters off the coast of his place on San Juan Island not far from Seattle, Washington. He sighed in frustration at how far away the ocean seemed. With a shake of his head, he closed his eyes and growled. Unable to help it, he found himself thinking back six weeks earlier. It was almost as if he were back there in the hospital.

Confusion had swirled around him as he had tried to get his bearings. The bright lights had made it nearly impossible for him to open his eyes. They’d crack the slightest bit, and shooting pain would scorch from his head to his toes, so he’d shut them again.

But Nick was a Coast Guard pilot. He wasn’t afraid of pain, and he certainly didn’t fear death. He knew that every mission could be his last. He didn’t care. He’d known what he was signing up for from the moment he’d stepped into that recruiter’s office.

Blurred visions of the crew who had rescued him flittered through his muddled brain, but no matter how much he tried to focus, the images wouldn’t become clearer. By the time the medical staff had steadied him, the world had gone out of focus.

He’d lain in that hospital bed for two weeks. They’d called him a miracle. He’d been the only survivor. In his book, that wasn’t a miracle at all. And now Nick was bored and angry. That wasn’t a good combination for him. In the past, those emotions had led him down roads best never traveled again. It had gotten him into trouble. But maybe that was exactly what he was looking for now.

At least he was beginning to see improvements. His ribs didn’t hurt nearly as badly. The cast was off his arm, and though it was still slightly tender, he refused to give his body mercy. He was lifting weights mostly from a sitting position, had the pool in his house installed with special equipment, and he was pushing the upper half of his body relentlessly. His lower half wasn’t responding as well as he’d like. He’d gone through three physical therapists, all of whom had practically run from his place screaming. But Nick always searched for that sweet spot of pain while working out that reminded him he was very much alive.

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