Stolen to Remember - Alexa Riley

Chapter 1


I’m snuggled deep in my bed and never want to get up. My whole body is heavy, and I reason with myself that I can sleep for a little longer. I think about all I have to do today and my mind blanks. I search for reminders but all I see in my mind is a black void.

My eyes spring open as the stirring of fear creeps over me. When I look around I don’t recognize anything, but I don’t think I’m home. But then again when I try and think of where home is, nothing but an empty black space is there where a memory should be. Fear rises up in my throat and my breathing speeds up.

I slowly sit up and look around the giant bedroom. My eyes fight to adjust to the light but when they do I realize it’s not a bedroom but some kind of fancy hospital. The IV in my arm has my fear climbing as I turn to face the door. That’s when I see three men standing off to the side talking in a huddle.

I can’t hear what their hushed voices are saying but I can tell they’re trying to be quiet. I stare at them for a moment but I don’t recognize any of them. Well, one has his back to me so I’m not completely sure, but the other two are a total blank. All three men are dressed in suits that I know scream of money. They don’t look like doctors, so if they’re in my hospital room I must know them. What other reason would they have to be here?

Wait, why am I in a hospital? I reach up to touch my face and nothing hurts. If I can’t remember anything, wouldn't that mean I’d hit my head? I feel around but everything seems fine until I touch the cool metal band on my finger and I flinch. My eyes go from the three men to my hand and I stare at the ring on my finger. It’s not just a simple wedding band, just like the extravagant hospital room and the suits. There’s a giant stone sparkling up at me and it looks like an ice skating rink. It’s completely unmissable but it conjures no memory when I look at it.

“I’m married?” My mouth is dry and my voice is croaked.

The three men stop whispering and all turn to look at me. I see the eyes of the man that was facing away from me and something in my mind tries to spark. I know him, don’t I? He has the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen but they soften around the edges and it feels familiar. Relief floods his face as he rushes over towards the bed. The closer he gets, I see not only how handsome he is but how much bigger he is than I thought. His suit might cost a small fortune but it’s clear he’s been in it for a few days. It’s wrinkled and worn and he’s a little unshaven. His hair’s a mess, making me think he hasn’t left my bedside for however long I’ve been here.

Is this guy my husband? My heart flutters that this man is mine. I think he’s going to cup my face as his hand comes up to my cheek, but he stops himself from touching me.

“My sweet darling. How do you feel?”

Darling? The word feels nice for a moment until I realize I don’t know my own name. I open my mouth to answer but no words come out.

“Get the doctor,” the man snaps at the other two guys by the door. I glance to them and realize they must all be related.

“Are we married?” I ask the man at my bedside. There are probably a million other things I should be asking right now, but I think more than anything I’m seeking comfort. And possibly protection because I feel so lost. A husband would mean those things.

One of the guys by the door mumbles a curse while the other slips from the room in search of a doctor.

“I am your husband,” the man by my bed says.

I grab one of his hands and hold it tight. “I’m scared,” I whisper to him. “I don’t know what’s happening.”

“I promise I’ll never let anything happen to you. There’s nothing to be scared of, not when it comes to me.” His voice is strong and reassuring.

“Are you fucking kidding me right now?” The other man in the