Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 32

And wait.
“Hello?” I try again.
“Asshole,” I mutter, even though I feel like shouting it.
My palms are an angry red with several lacerations. They bleed a little, and the soft skin is torn to shreds. I carefully brush off some dirt and rocks, but it doesn’t help much. Debris is embedded in the cuts.
I check the side of my right leg next. With my torn-up hands, I roll my tight
yoga pants to just below the knee. The skin matches that of my palms, minus the cuts.
Gritting my teeth together, I push myself into a seated position so I can examine my ankle. My palms sting from the pressure. Without looking, I can already tell that my ankle is swollen, but I don’t know if it’s broken. I try flexing. Pain sears through my entire foot.
“Someone help me!” My heart sinks at the silence, and my mind races through my options.
If I call Kiersten, she’ll send a rig. And even if she doesn’t, her skinny ass won’t be able to help me up this hill. An ambulance is the absolute last resort. I don’t need the extra bill for an injured foot.
Law’s out of the question. I don’t even have his number.
If I can crawl to the top, I can wait on the trail for someone to come by. My chances of getting noticed down here, where the sound of the rushing river drowns my yells, are zilch.
I use my forearm instead of my wrist to turn from sitting to my hands and knees. Well, forearms and knee. My right foot rests awkwardly on the ground to control the pressure. As I twist, my shirt moves with me and rips painfully from my back. A warm trickle runs down my spine.
Tears and sweat sting my eyes, but I muster strength. My left foot unsteadily supports me, adrenaline shaking my limbs. I rise into a half crouch. I hop once toward the hill and release a quiet cry of pain. My face crumbles. Even the slight jerking motion causes my ankle to throb.
Accepting my reality, I lower myself back to the ground and dig my phone from my jacket pocket. I unlock it, but my thumb hovers over the keypad.
There’s only one other person left. I tap my contacts and scroll to my other best friend.
“Hey, everything okay?”
“The last thing I ever want to do is bother you on a day off, but I’ve sort of got myself into a jam.”
His voice shifts from curious to concerned. “What kind of jam?”
“The kind where having a paramedic as your friend is a good thing.”
Shuffling comes through the line as I suspect Nathan moves. “Where are you, and who’s hurt? I’m getting in my truck now.”
I’m glad he can’t see the blush in my cheeks. “It’s me. I’m at Arrow Creek Park by the Swinging Bridge. I twisted my ankle and can’t make the walk back.” Understatement of the century.
Nathan laughs, the sound carrying a small amount of relief. “Why am I not surprised? You trip over air, Cam. How you manage to start an IV in the back of a moving ambulance with your coordination, I’ll never know.”
“No, you won’t. It’s a secret.” I joke to take my mind off the pain. Knowing that help is on the way, I relax.
“Hang tight. I’ll be there in five.”
“Tack another ten on there for you to make the trek to the bridge.” Pain blasts through my foot at the end of the sentence, forcing my pitch higher.
“Hey, talk to me. What’s going on?”
I suck in air through clenched teeth and grip my lower calf with both hands, holding the phone between my ear and shoulder. “I’m okay. It just—just hurry, please.”
His voice lowers. “Almost there.”