Yasmine Dennis was doing her best to make it on her own. She’d been blind since she was seven and had done rather well for herself despite her disability. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time resulted in a hospital stay, and a childhood friend, Caleb Anderson, came to her rescue.
Joey Phillips was just trying to help the beautiful woman avoid a fall when he met her. Despite her surly disposition, he was intrigued. She might think she was handicapped, but all Joey saw was a beautiful woman that he desperately needed to get
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Caleb Anderson just lost his mother to cancer. He had never known his father, Howard Berkley, now deceased as well. Her final wishes were for Caleb to deliver a letter of her passing to her estranged parents, grandparents that he’d never met, and to find the other five boys sired by Berkley. Caleb would do anything he could to honor her wishes. Tabby Tillman had had enough of the Andersons. She was tired of running the company and their lazy son Shep taking all the credit and bonuses. Just pay her for her overtime and vacation, and she was out of there.
Caleb was impressed with Tabby. The woman didn’t curb her opinions, and he liked that about her. Moving to be closer to her was something he didn’t think twice about. A change of scenery would be just what he needed.
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Yasmine started to sit up, but the pain behind her eyes had her crying out. Stopping all movement other than to lie back on the pillow, she wondered not just where she was but what had happened to get her there. The squeak of shoes told her she was in some sort of medical facility. She’d been in enough of those over her life that even the smell of antiseptic would make her blood run cold. Not that anyone at any facility had ever been mean to her. It was just being there over and over that had her cringe whenever she smelled certain smells. “Yasmine Dennis?” Turning her head toward the voice, she said that was her name. “My name is Doctor Jerome.
Do you know where you are?” “Medical facility.” He asked her which one. “I don’t know. Has anyone notified my sister? Jasmine Dennis?” “We’ve called her, but she’s not arrived just yet. What can you tell me about what had you coming in here tonight?” Yasmine didn’t know, but she had a feeling that not only did this man know, but he wasn’t terribly happy about the turn of events that brought her here. “The police are here, Miss Dennis. They have a few questions for you about why you’re here.” “All right. But I’d like to wait on my sister, please?” Dr. Jerome told her they were only going to be a moment. “I’d rather you didn’t bring them in. I want to wait on my sister. You said you called her, but she’s not here. I want to wait on her.” “Miss Dennis? My name is Captain Sawyer. I’d like to ask you a few questions if you’d not mind.” She told him she did mind, and she wanted her sister there. “Miss Dennis, you’re not in trouble. We’re just here to ask you some things about last night. Do you own a car, Miss Dennis?”
“No. I will keep telling you until she’s here that I want to wait on my sister. It’s important that she be here with me.” He asked her two more questions, each of them sounding a little harsher like he was angry with her now. “I would like my sister, Jasmine Dennis, here before I answer any questions you put before me.” After about the fifth time she repeated her statement, they seemed to get the idea. They weren’t happy about it, but they no longer peppered her with questions. Hearing the door open, she knew it was going to be her sister. “Yazzie?” Thank goodness. “My goodness, what’s happened to you? Why are the police here? Tell me what’s going on.” “I don’t know. I woke up in here, and they’re asking me questions.”
Her sister asked someone what was going on. “Jasmine, just don’t get arrested.” “We’re just asking questions, for now, Miss Dennis. Some witnesses put your sister behind the wheel of a car that was the getaway vehicle for an armed robbery yesterday afternoon. There are seven dead plus three officers. We’d like to know where she was and who she was with.” “You’re joking right now, aren’t you?” Jasmine’s fingers tightened around hers before her sister continued. “Well, I guess I can see where you’d not know. Gentlemen, I can tell you right now that there isn’t any way the witness was telling you the truth.
My sister has been blind since we were seven years old. There isn’t any way she’d drive anything anywhere.” Jasmine made it sound like she’d won a marathon or something. That she’d come in first, too. Being blind wasn’t anything Yasmine had wanted, but it had happened, and here she was. While the police asked questions of her sister, Yasmine tried to focus on anything but the fact that she was a little excited that someone, even for a brief time, thought she could be a regular person and drive a car. “They’re gone.” Jasmine climbed into the bed with her and held her hands. “Your face is pretty beat up. There are bandages on your eyes. I told you to get one of those bracelet things that will tell people you’re blind. What would you have done had I not come in here and saved your ass?”
“Gone to jail,” Jasmine told her to be sensible. “I would have gotten around to it sooner or later, Jasmine. It’s not like I would have been able to hide the fact that I can’t see from them once they asked me to look at pictures or something. Just let me lie here in the quiet for a moment.” It had only been lately that Yasmine was getting annoyed with her twin. She was forever bossing her around about this or that. Usually, things that Yasmine didn’t want to do, or for that matter, didn’t think necessary. Like the shirt. Jasmine had gotten her a new shirt. She brought it to her apartment and had her try it on. She wore it for most of the first afternoon. It wasn’t until she was brought back to her place after being at the mall with her that Hal, her landlord, had told her what the shirt said.
“I’m blind, so pardon me for stumbling around.” The thing was, Jasmine wouldn’t have seen it as a joke. Getting her a shirt that pointed out her blindness and made a big deal out of it was something that Jasmine was really good about doing. No matter how much it embarrassed Yasmine, her sister thought the world should be aware that her twin was handicapped. A word that Jasmine loved as much as Yasmine hated. “You’ll come and stay with me for a few days.” Yasmine didn’t bother telling her no. She wouldn’t be bullied into anything at this point in her life. “That way, I can pamper you and care for you.” “I don’t need caring for, Jazzie.
I’m fine.” She told her that she’d been beaten. “Perhaps, but it’s not like I can see any more than I did before the bandages were put on my face. I’m not going home with you. I don’t like your menagerie of animals. Nor do I care for all the noises at your place. The sounds or the smells.” “My home does not smell. And you’ll stay with me, and that’s final.” Though it wasn’t nearly final, Yasmine didn’t say anything to her. “What is this world coming to when people are killed in a bank robbery?” “You sound like you’re rooting for the bank robbers.” Yasmine was feeling sleepy and asked Jasmine to move off the bed. Of course, she had to put up a fuss. “Jasmine, blind or not, I was hurt. Just let me rest.” Calling for the nurse, her sister was just pissed off enough that she wouldn’t speak to either of them. It wasn’t like anyone looking at the two of them would think they were anything but related.
The nurse winked at her when Jasmine didn’t answer her question about the two of them being related. The only difference between the two of them that Yasmine was aware of was that her sister was annoying, and she wasn’t. Laughing a little to herself, the door opened and closed before she felt the medicine kick in. “Do you need anything else, honey?” Yasmine asked the nurse, who she assumed was giving her the medicine, where her sister had gone. “I think she’s in a huff, that one. Upset because you called me in here, I guess. If you’re hurting, honey, don’t hesitate to call. Did they tell you how you’re injured? Someone should have guessed that you couldn’t see. Let me go get your chart and tell you.”
The door opened briefly then closed up. “Let me see here.” “You knew I was blind.” The nurse, Anna, told her she had been in the room when she’d awakened. “I don’t understand. I mean, I’m glad you figured it out, but how?” “You didn’t look around.” She laughed a little. “It says here that you have a concussion, as well as a sprained ankle. There are fifteen stitches in your forehead, as well as numerous lacerations to your face and neck. Nothing is broken. Is there anything else I can help you with, honey?” “No.” She thought about it. “Yes. Wait. I know this is going to sound very odd, but I was wondering if you could call a friend of mine. I know his number. His name is Caleb Anderson. But I don’t want you to tell my sister.
She’ll get all up in my face about calling someone else to help me out.” “I can do that for you.” The phone was picked up, and she heard the buttons pressed. “If you don’t mind my saying so, child, I think you should try and distance yourself from your sister for a bit. She’s trying very hard to control you. Yes. My name is Anna Dereck. I’m a nurse at Mercy Hospital. I have a patient of mine that would like to speak with Mr. Caleb Anderson.” Control her? Yes, she supposed it would look like Jasmine was trying to control her when all she was doing was trying to keep her safe. Sometimes she did take things too far, and there were times, like now, that she wanted to get away from her. But controlling her? The phone was put into her hand, and she said her name. “Hello, Yasmine Dennis. My name is Tabby Anderson.
I’m Caleb’s wife. He’s not here right now, but I can get a message to him if you’d like.” Yasmine told the other woman it was all right. It wasn’t important. “I think it is. You’re obviously in a hospital. Emergency room? No. It’s too quiet there. What is it I can tell Caleb so he can fix whatever is wrong?” “It’s nothing, Mrs. Anderson.” She said her name was Tabby. “Yes, I understand. We’re friends, Caleb and me. Or we were sort of friends. I’m not sure we still are. It’s been a long time, so he might not remember me at all. Well, I don’t know how many blind women he knows, but I’m sure that would be the only stand out that would jar his memory.”
“Are you finished ranting?” Yasmine told her she didn’t feel she was ranting. “All right. Then are you finished over-explaining why you’d be calling a married man? I’m assuming that’s why you’re rambling. I guess that would be a better word for it.” “I’ve been hurt, you see. I’m in the hospital with a concussion. A sprained ankle too, but since I’ve not gotten up, I don’t know if it hurts or not. The nurse who called for me just gave me some medication for pain, so that might be it.” She felt secure in talking to this woman because she knew the chances of meeting her were slim to none. “My sister, my twin, is driving me crazy. She’s…well, I was just told she’s controlling.
I didn’t realize that before. Or maybe I did, and that was why I called you. Or Caleb. Understand?” “I do. And even though you know you’re hurt and could use someone to help you along, you don’t want it to be her. Is that right?” Yasmine said that was it precisely. “You’re at Mercy, the nurse said.” “Yes. But please don’t bother Caleb. I was just having a moment, and now that I’m over it, I’m all right to go home with Jasmine.” Before she could stop herself, Yasmine spoke again. “She has four cats and two dogs. Last time I was at her house, she had a ferret and a bird. It’s very noisy at her house too. Like animals baying at the moon kind of noises.” The laughter alerted her that she’d spoken aloud. “I’m sorry. You must think I’m an ungrateful sister that needs to be slapped.” “I don’t, actually.
I find you totally honest and fun.” The door opened and closed, and she knew it was her sister by her smell. “I guess you have company now. I’ll see you later, Yasmine.” “Who was that?” She told her it was a friend of hers from college. “A better friend than I am a sister? Never mind. Don’t answer that. I’m sorry I got in a huff about you staying with me. But I do think it’s the only way to go. You’ll come and stay with me, and we’ll have some fun for a while. I’ll get on your nerves, and you’ll go home, and we’ll have a few days to reflect on how much we annoy each other before we’re calling again. All right?” Yasmine was saved from answering when her phone rang. Of course, her sister answered it and didn’t even bother handing the phone to her, but just started talking to the person on the other end. “She’s asleep.” Whoever it was laughed, and Yasmine had a feeling it was Tabby Anderson.
“When I tell you she’s asleep, then she’s asleep. Who is this?” “Give me the phone, Jasmine. I want to talk to her.” Of course, she didn’t. Nor did she stop telling the woman she was asleep when she had to be able to hear her talking to her sister. Then the phone slammed down on the cradle. “Why did you do that? I told you I wanted to talk to her. Jasmine, that was just rude.” “That woman was rude. She said to tell you she had your ass. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Then she laughed at me. Like it was some kind of joke that I was trying to let you rest, as you told me you wanted to do.” She did want her to let her rest, but as usual, Jasmine wouldn’t do what she wanted. However, it wasn’t worth fighting with her about what she wanted. “I’m going to talk to the staff and tell them you’re not to have any visitors.
It would be just like that rude woman to come here and try to take you from me.” “I’m not a child, Jasmine. There isn’t any way she’s going to kidnap me.” Jasmine told her it wouldn’t happen while she was there. “You’re being ridiculous. Next time she calls, you hand me the phone.” “I will not. It’s settled. I don’t know how you think you’re going to get along at home without someone there to take care of you, Yasmine. I told you it was settled, and it is. I’m responsible for you, and I take that very seriously.” Jasmine had said that to her before. A lot. “Now, tell me what she said and who her name is so I can take care of this for you.” “Linda Ashcraft. She and I went to school together.” Jasmine left her then, the door opening and closing told her that. Plus, she could no longer smell the cats on her sister’s clothing. Yasmine smiled. “She’s not going to be bothered by not coming to see me because she died some time ago. Good luck, Tabby, if you’re coming here. It’s going to be a nightmare for us both, I think.”