Home > Don't Let Me Break

Don't Let Me Break
Author: Kelsie Rae







My head is pounding. No, it feels like it’s being sliced in half. Scratch that. It feels as if someone is stabbing it over and over again with little razor blades, leaving ribbons of brain instead of a single mass. Feeling like this can mean only one thing: I had another seizure.

I blink slowly, taking in my surroundings. I don’t know where I am. I know it isn’t home, though. It’s too bright. The ceiling has thick wood beams and gold fixtures. And there are people. So many people.

The restaurant. I’m at the restaurant. With Ash. And Mia. And Colt. And Theo. They invited me to celebrate. I remember now.

It’s okay.

It’s going to be okay.

Or maybe it isn’t, but things haven’t felt okay for a while now, so I’m not sure why I’m surprised.

The restaurant is quiet as I open my eyes again, blinking slowly. A stranger is next to me. Brown, wavy hair cropped short on the sides and longer on the top. Kind eyes. Assessing eyes. A strong jaw. And pretty, full lips pulled into a frown. I don’t recognize him. And it isn’t the seizure displacing my already shitty memory, either. Not this time, anyway. I would’ve remembered him. I know I would have. Maybe he’s come into Butter and Grace before? His light blue eyes are like the sky on a sunny day. And yummy full lips. And soft hair.

Whoa, girl. You’re going in circles here.

Where am I again?

“Hey,” the stranger murmurs, pushing my hair away from my forehead as his pretty blue eyes bounce around my face, evaluating me.

Such pretty eyes.

With dark lashes and little flecks of navy spread throughout the sky-blue color.

Blue. Blue. Blue.

“You okay?” he asks, his brows pinched in concern.

I laugh, nearly choking on the lump clogging my throat and the guilt squeezing my chest. “I’m sorry.”

His pretty lips pull into a frown. “You have nothing to apologize for.”

“Debatable,” I argue. My head is throbbing, and my muscles are already sore from the strain of the seizure. I try to push myself up, but the room spins. Strong, warm hands grasp my arm and back as the stranger helps me sit up.

I’m on the ground. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s usually where I end up when a seizure hits. Especially a bad one.

Everyone’s standing around me.

Looking down at me.

All of my roommates are here. Ashlyn, Mia, Blakely. Theo and Colt are here too. Theo’s dating Blake, and Colt’s dating Ashlyn.


The word brings a memory to the surface. Wes. My ex. He’d brought a girl to Butter and Grace, the restaurant where I’m a waitress. I had to serve the bastard before coming here. It’s why I was stressed. Why I downed Mia’s wine without giving a shit it could trigger a seizure.

It’s my own freaking fault.

I know better.

Ash’s eyes are rimmed with redness, hinting she’s holding back tears as she stares down at me. Colt’s embracing her against his chest the same way Theo is with Blakely.

But none of them say anything. They’re watching me. Waiting to see if I’ll start shaking again. If I’ll have another episode.

It must’ve been a bad one.

Seizure, that is.

The word alone is like nails on a chalkboard but combined with the evidence surrounding me and how uncomfortable I must’ve made everyone feel? It might as well as be… What’s worse than nails on a chalkboard?

Man, I can’t even think of a solid metaphor right now.

My head is throbbing.

I press my hand to my temple and close my eyes.

Kill me now.

“Are you strong enough to sit up on your own?” the stranger asks. His hands are still on me. Like everyone else, he’s probably worried I’ll collapse again, so he’s reluctant to let me go.

I turn and look up at him again.

He really is good-looking. A little older. Maybe thirty? Thirty-five? Definitely not anyone from my classes at LAU. I would’ve remembered him. Maybe he’s come into Butter and Grace before.

Gah. I’m still going in circles.

I squeeze my eyes shut and try to shrug out of his grasp, but he doesn’t let me. “I’m fine.”

“Give yourself a minute,” he suggests.

“But I’m fine,” I repeat.

“Kate, are you sure you’re okay?” Ash asks. She squats down beside me and the stranger, her sweet expression filled with concern.

She’s never seen me have a seizure. And clearly, now that she has, she’ll never let me live it down. The girl’s a mother hen on a good day. Now that she’s seen me at my worst? She’ll never let me out of her sight again. We’ve been roommates for almost two years. It’s a miracle I was able to keep her shielded from this for so long. Guess my luck’s run out.


“I’m fine, Ash,” I mumble. “Can we…not do this? I just want to go home––”

“The ambulance will be here any second,” Mia chimes in.

My eyes widen in surprise as I register her words.



“You called an ambulance?” I choke out, blinking back tears. “Why? I’m fine. This isn’t a big deal. I’ll go home, and…” My voice trails off as the pounding in my skull heightens, drowning out my thoughts or whatever I’d been rambling about.

Shit, why is the room still spinning?

“Breathe,” the stranger reminds me.

I let out a shuddered breath and close my eyes, letting a single tear slide down my cheek while attempting to block out my friends’ faces. The pity. The concern. The fear.

Don’t they get it?

It’s just another day in the messed-up life of Kate Winchester.

Lucky me.









My buddy, Felix, is on duty and took Kate’s vitals as soon as he arrived on the scene with Remi, his girlfriend and fellow paramedic. Felix didn’t care that I insisted on riding with Kate to the hospital, but the bastard did shoot me a look when she told him it wasn’t necessary. One of the girls offered to take my place as her plus-one in the back of the ambulance, but apparently, Kate was even more anxious about a friend joining her than a stranger. When her friends told her going by herself to the hospital wasn’t an option, she chose me instead.

After a quick conversation with my little brother, Theo, I promise to text him with any updates, and we’re off.

It’s funny how quickly an evening can turn upside down.

Theo had invited me to join him and his friends who were celebrating something. My guess is Colt, Theo’s childhood best friend, suggested extending the offer to me. Or our mom intervened. She’s been worried about me since the divorce, calling in favors and asking anyone and everyone if they know any young women who’d agree to go on a blind date with a recently divorced man. Or, if it wasn’t too much trouble, she’d ask if they could swing by and bring me some cookies she’d made earlier in the day in hopes of cheering me up.

I can’t even begin to count how many strangers have shown up on my front porch in the middle of the fucking woods with cookies all because Mama Taylor asked them to. I gotta give the woman credit. She’s a stubborn, convincing lady when she wants to be.

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