It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Snippet Saturday. As you see, there are different themes each week and I had a limited number of books that didn’t have any scenes meeting their themes. *Happy dancing that this is changing!* But today’s theme of “Bring Me a Tissue” was right up my alley. In fact I had a hard time choosing which scene from which book, and even then I had a hard time choosing just the right portion. I put a call out on Twitter — Heather from Everybody Needs a Little Romance suggested the scene at the lake where Nikki and Dillon find Brett after he’s taken off and Brett realizes he’s not alone as he’d thought. I’ll confess, I start crying at the scene before this, when Brett’s telling Nikki how he and Dillon forged their life-long friendship and why Brett feels he owes Dillon his life. I guess you’ll have to buy the story and decide for yourself. 😉
“What do you want of me?” His voice was husky, as if he’d been screaming for hours. Maybe inwardly he had been.
“I want you to talk to me. And to listen. Please.”
Though it took him a moment, Brett finally settled into place beside her.
“At the very beginning of this, I asked you if it was all right to go out with Dillon, and you said you were fine with it.”
If Brett saw Dillon straighten and stare at her, he didn’t give any indication. She shoved away the thread of guilt that arose. They hadn’t been dating then, and she’d been perfectly within her rights to check to see if Brett was interested, she told herself. She turned her attention back to Brett, reaching out to touch his arm with her fingertips, to re-establish the contact she’d had with him.
His eyes closed at her touch. “You deserve to be happy, Nik. You’re happy with Dillon, and he’s happy with you. He loves you.”
“But you do too, don’t you?”
It took a long moment before he nodded.
“Except you decided to be noble and not interfere because you didn’t want to lose your best friend, your family, the way you had before, didn’t you?”
“They’re all I’ve got, Nik. I don’t have anyone else.” He took a deep breath and looked at Dillon. “When I went to Boston? I was miserable. Your mom phoned regularly, and Griffin emailed me every once in a while, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t stand being alone like I’d been before. I love your family, Dill. I’m not about to let them be ripped away from me. Not again.”
Dillon tossed the husk of a beechnut into the pond. “You could have come home more often, you know. They’re your family too. Matthew, Lilly, especially Griffin. They missed you. They used to rag on me about you all the time. Shit, Brett, all you had to do was say something, and I would have backed off and let you date her too.”
“Yeah, but see, they were caught in between, and if they talked to me, I’d know they’d feel like they were being disloyal to you. I couldn’t do that to them. I was used to being alone, to not having anyone when it was just my pop and me. But once I’d been part of your family, gotten used to having people care for me, talk to me like I was worth talking to, I couldn’t live without them.” His voice was rough, as if he’d swallowed glass and each word tore his throat apart. He turned back to face Nikki. “I’m sorry. Maybe I should have told you, I don’t know. You’ve always been special to me. You always will be, but I couldn’t lose Dillon or the Barnetts. I just couldn’t.” The bleak look Brett gave her was one filled with need, with love, but no hope. “You deserve better than me, Nik.”
Visit the other Snippet Saturday participants. (And don’t forget your tissues!)