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Where Nerves End
Cover of Where Nerves End
Where Nerves End
Tucker Springs Series, Book 1
by L.A. Witt
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Jason Davis can handle a breakup. And an overwhelming mortgage. And a struggling business. And the excruciating pain that keeps him up at night thanks to a shoulder injury. But all of it at once? Not so much. When his shoulder finally pushes him to a breaking point, Jason takes a friend's advice and gives acupuncture a try.

Acupuncturist Michael Whitman is a single dad struggling to make ends meet. When a mutual friend refers Jason as a patient, and Jason suggests a roommate arrangement to alleviate their respective financial strains, Michael jumps at the opportunity.

But Jason soon finds himself regretting it — he's too damn attracted to Michael, and living with him is harder than he thought it'd be. In fact, the temptation to act on his feelings would almost be too much if not for the fact that Michael is straight. Or at least, that's what their mutual friend claims.

Jason Davis can handle a breakup. And an overwhelming mortgage. And a struggling business. And the excruciating pain that keeps him up at night thanks to a shoulder injury. But all of it at once? Not so much. When his shoulder finally pushes him to a breaking point, Jason takes a friend's advice and gives acupuncture a try.

Acupuncturist Michael Whitman is a single dad struggling to make ends meet. When a mutual friend refers Jason as a patient, and Jason suggests a roommate arrangement to alleviate their respective financial strains, Michael jumps at the opportunity.

But Jason soon finds himself regretting it — he's too damn attracted to Michael, and living with him is harder than he thought it'd be. In fact, the temptation to act on his feelings would almost be too much if not for the fact that Michael is straight. Or at least, that's what their mutual friend claims.

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  • Chapter One

    Chapter One

    One night without pain didn't seem like too much to ask. Just eight goddamned hours of uninterrupted unconsciousness. No scalding hot showers at three fifteen. No forcing back nausea long enough to throw down a few pills. No waking up convinced I'd been run over by a truck.

    One. Night.

    Either it really was too much to ask, or I was asking the wrong deity, because I was awake again. And tonight, the pain was excruciating.

    It had jarred me out of a semisound sleep in the form of a white-hot blade extending from my left collarbone to the back of my shoulder. It didn't matter how many times this happened, it always startled me, and it always made my eyes water.

    Biting back curses, I carefully freed myself from Kyle's — Kevin's? — arms and gingerly sat up. Once I was upright, I took a few slow, deep breaths until the pain subsided enough for me to focus my eyes.

    The alarm clock said a little past five, which meant I'd been asleep for less than an hour. Now that was just cruel, damn it.

    I needed a hot shower. I got up, moving carefully and quietly so I wouldn't wake up…whatever his name was.

    In the shower, I closed my eyes and breathed while the water — turned as hot as I could stand — beat on my shoulder. My doctor insisted on ice instead of heat, but fuck that. Ice made the spasms worse.

    After ten solid minutes under the hot water, the pain receded a little. I tried to find comfort in that minor relief, but I knew better. As soon as I was out of the shower, the pain would come right back, sinking unseen teeth into my left shoulder.

    Slowly releasing my breath, I focused on my game plan. Once the water stopped, I'd have less than five minutes to get downstairs, eat something, and take a painkiller. Any longer than that, and the spasms would have a chance to move back in before I could head them off at the pass with a bit of chemical intervention. As long as I could do it in that time, I stood a small chance of getting some sleep.

    In theory, anyway.

    Toweling off was never a pleasant procedure with a fucked-up shoulder. I dried myself enough to keep from dripping all over the hardwood floors — slipping and busting my ass wouldn't help matters.

    I just hoped to God I could get to the bottle of painkillers before the spasms came back, especially since it sometimes hurt bad enough to nauseate me. That, in turn, complicated the whole "eat a few bites and take a pill" part of the equation.

    I wrapped the towel around my waist and headed downstairs. In the kitchen, I flicked on the light above the stove. I wasn't big on convenience food, but I kept things like bagels around specifically for when I needed to take a pain pill. Something quick that wouldn't aggravate the nausea that showed up on the worst nights. Nights like this.

    I'd have kept it all upstairs, along with the painkillers, but I'd convinced myself that if I had to wake up completely and come all the way down to the kitchen instead of popping a pill while I was half-asleep, then I'd only take them when I absolutely needed to.

    In theory, anyway.

    I settled on half a bagel, and while I slowly, carefully ate that, I stared down the bottle of pills the same way I did every time this happened.

    Is it really bad enough tonight, Jason?

    Can you suck it up and sleep on it?

    Do you really need this?

    I rolled my shoulder, and the motion carved bright red lines along my collarbone and through the muscles. My eyes stung, and for a couple of seconds, I couldn't even draw a breath. Yeah, I needed the pill.

    I swallowed it. In a few minutes, I'd...

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Tucker Springs Series, Book 1
L.A. Witt
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