Lovers of my book The Carrero Effect book 1 will love this brand new alternate chapter.
This is chapter 14, part 1 (more to follow) re-written from Jake Carrero’s perspective as per requested by you, the lovely fans.
Please note there is swearing and sexual references and this is not suitable for those under 18 years of age.
Read at your own risk!!
The holiday- Part 1 ( Chapter 14, book 1)
Jake was searching under the water, too dark to see anything and scrambling with his hands at anything that felt like it could be Daniel, panic gripping his stomach as he frantically surfaced for air and dived again. He had hit the water without a seconds thought the second he knew Danny was in here. No cares that he was maybe too drunk for this and just endlessly searching despite his muscles aching and being so heavy he could barely move anymore. It felt like it had been hours instead of minutes and he still hadn’t found him. He wouldn’t give up on him, he wouldn’t lose his best friend this way.
Surfacing for air quicker this time he took a moment to drag more into his burning lungs and wipe the water from his eyes. He could hear yelling from deck, crying from Leila and other voices but he was fully zoned in on the surface of the water looking for any signs of him.
‘He’s here, Mr Carrero.’ Yelled out one of the crew from the speed boat nearby and he felt his body lose all fatigue and start swimming their way frantically. He could see them hauling a lifeless body into the boat under the moonlight and a sickness swept through him, a fear that maybe they had been too late and only swam faster to his friends side .
* * *
The hospital had given Jake some dry clothes to wear, he hadn’t really thought about anything when he had jumped into the air rescue chopper holding Hunters hand, only that he had to be with him at all costs. It had all passed in a blur of drama and chaos and his lifeless pale face lying still and closed up on the stretcher below him, he felt like he had barely breathed in that entire journey to the mainland hospital. Hunter had been breathing on his own but still not conscious and the paramedics had been messing with tubes and ventilators while Jake kerbed his panic the best he could. He had lost a friend this way once before, saved them from drowning only to have them die later from too much fluid intake.
It had felt like an eternity sitting in that hall waiting for word, his stomach churning itself in knots and his hands trembling and cold when they had gotten here, the ships captain had been sent back to the boat as daylight had broken. He wanted him to take care of Emma in his absence, it was the only rational thought he could formulate, focusing on her to give him some peace.
He hadn’t given himself much chance to begin with to think about what had been happening with her when Daniel had fallen overboard, he had been honed in on him and what was going on, the fear and agony of waiting for word on Hunter. Anytime she had come into his head he had pushed her back down, wanting to analyse it later, not jade the happiest moment of his life with possibly the worst. Until he knew Hunter was going to be Okay all thoughts were on him. Losing Danny would be like losing Arrick, he was as close as a brother and would never forgive himself if he died.
‘Mr Carrero? Mr Hunter is asking for you.’ A young female voice drew his attention, looking up at a young nurse in blue scrubs beckoning her to follow so he did without hesitation. She smiled his way warmly.
‘He’s okay? He’s going to be okay I mean?’ He tripped over his words, half relief and half exhaustion. Walking behind her and trying to drag his heavy weight with him. He felt about a hundred years older suddenly.
‘Yes , he will be kept in for observation of course but he’s fine. His father has been notified and on his way.’ Jake sighed, relief washing over him and the sudden ache to wrap arms around Emma right now. He didn’t even have his cell with him to call her. He had gotten here in soaked clothes, a shirt and chino’s , not even wearing shoes.
Jake was ushered into a side room that resembled every hospital he had ever been in, a lot like that time he had gone with Emma to Chicago. A single bed that was tilted into a more comfy position surrounded by white curtains and a bunch of machines and Hunter sitting grinning at him from the middle of it all like a fucking asshole. Dressed ina hospital gown and tucked in like a god damn child under blue sheets and a blanket.
‘Dickhead.’ Jake grunted at him but still moved in for a shoulder to shoulder man hug and patted his best friend on the back with sheer relief.
‘You’re my hero baby, hear you swam your little lungs out like aqua man trying to find me.’ Daniel winked at him but he had the urge to just punch him in the face for being so fucking normal.
‘Fuck head. At least pretend to be remorseful or at least injured, right now you’re making me want to hurt you and I wouldn’t feel any guilt at all.’ Jake flicked Hunter in the forehead in agitation then hauled a seat over and slumped down ungraciously.
‘Charming! You look like crap…Tired and definitely not like a guy who got laid.’ Hunter eyed him up warily and Jake only stuck the V up at him.
‘Yeah well, whose fault is that?’ He growled at him grumpily, rubbing his face and feeling several layers of fatigue hitting him all at once. Relief was a funny thing, it let loose everything he had been holding back for hours and all of a sudden he was drained in the worst kinds of ways.
God dammit he was beyond tired and no longer anywhere near drunk at all.
‘Sorry bud….So, how far did you get with little miss icy pants?’ Hunter grinned but Jake only glared at him coldly.
‘Don’t call her that……. Danny?, How the fuck did you fall off the boat? There are safety rails for that specific reason and even a drunk asshole like you couldn’t just tumble over them.’ Jake shifted in his chair trying to find a comfier spot and couldn’t. His body aching and desperately in need of sleep.
‘Misdirection! Interesting…. So maybe started something but didn’t finish it huh?’ Daniel smirked his way and got another finger aimed his way.
‘How?’ Jake repeated.
‘Okay I’ll go first if you go second… No bullshit from either of us…. Deal?’ Hunter looked sheepish and peaked Jakes attention. He sighed and then nodded knowing Hunter wouldn’t give this topic up.
‘I saw Richie trying to coerce Leila into my wild little party, pulling at her dress and trying to haul her back… She was saying NO and I just saw red. I flew for him but being drunk as fuck I mis-aimed and went straight over the rails. I don’t think either were even looking my way so to everyone else I just jumped up and superman dived into the ocean.’ Hunter shrugged, a little colour rising up his cheeks with embarrassment and Jake couldn’t do anything but burst out laughing. He leaned into his knees and just gave into the worst kind of hysterics.
Relief, pent up emotional trauma. Who knew? But he laughed so much his sides started to ache and tears poured down his face, when he stopped he realised Hunter was laughing too. Just how ridiculously close he had been to death in trying to save Leila from an orgy he had started. The whole thing was completely crazy.
‘Jesus Danny…. For the love of god please tell the fucking girl you love her for fucks sakes!’ Jake hauled his arms around his ribs to stop the ache but Hunter just raised a knowing eyebrow at him. Both of them knew it wasn’t that simple.
‘Touche!’ He winked at Jake but was met with another heavy sigh.
‘Yeah, whatever.’ Jake shrugged and once again pushed thoughts of Emma away, he didn’t want to think about this right now.
‘So?’ Hunter pushed at him with a finger and Jake glared back. Telling him was inevitable and a part of him wanted to talk about it. Let it out of his head.
‘We kissed…. For a while…. Would have been more if some idiot hadn’t nose dived off the fucking boat.’ Jake shrugged and tried to relax but talking about this had him tense and edgy. He couldn’t pinpoint why. It had been everything he had thought it could be, more, but now in harsh daylight and sober as hell he was worried as to what would happen now. How Emma would feel. Maybe not getting to sex had been a saving grace instead of a calamity.
‘You don’t think she wants more do you?’ Hunter was eyeing him up intensely, reading his best mate effortlessly as he always did.
‘No.’ Jake hated to admit it, saying it out loud hurt like hell but something deep down was telling him he was crazy to think someone like her would even want more with someone like him. His past, his lifestyle and all the shit he had done even while she was his PA. He had fucked it all up by not realising from day one he should have been showing her he could be a guy worth more. Not a playboy asshole with a string of fuck buddies and a long history of wild parties and reckless acts. It was no wonder Emma never looked beyond friendship, the chemistry was there for both of them but he was an asshole to let her see into all that he had been so easily. Last night had been drunken fun for her, he was stupid not to realise that.
How could he win over a girl like her, a pure and sweet angelic girl when he had done nothing to deserve her?
‘Look man, you know how I feel about this…. If you think there’s no future in it you need to be the one to cut ties.’ Hunter was frowning at him and he knew what he meant. Firing Emma so they didn’t work together anymore was the last thing he would ever do. He couldn’t imagine not having her in his life.
‘I can’t…I won’t.’ He said firmly, his no nonsense tone that even Hunter knew not to argue with.
‘Then you need to cut ties emotionally. If she wants to be just friends and co workers then you need to get up and go back to who you were until she doesn’t mean anything anymore.’ Hunter was watching him, laying back on the cushions a little helplessly.
‘Has that worked for you?’ He regarded him thoughtfully.
‘It helps. Over time I hope I feel nothing for her but over last couple years I find it easier to put her out of my head.’ Hunter shrugged again and they both looked up at the ceiling to contemplate the craziness that was Hunters love for Leila. Jake tried to imagine doing the same thing and couldn’t. He was far worse than Hunter in terms of how he felt and his relationship with Emma wasn’t exactly something he could just drop and run off to the other side of the world from. He was her boss and all love aside, he did actually need her at work. She was amazing at what she did and he didn’t have the heart to look for another PA. He didn’t want another PA.