Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 34

“Shush,” he teases.
“I meant ow,” I whimper and stick my face in his chest to hide the fresh tears.
“Shit, Cam, what hurts?”
“My back.” His shirt muffles my reply.
His response comes slower. If I had to guess, he’s hiding his annoyance that I didn’t mention it sooner. “All right. Hang on, darlin’. This is easiest.” He croons gently.
“Right.” I swallow hard and secure one arm around his shoulders. “I bet this is a cakewalk.”
He adjusts his grip as we near the top. Hopefully, to put me down. “It would be if you quit complaining.”
My jaw drops open to apologize, but when I cut a glance his way, I see a smirk playing on his lips.
He makes it up the hill and loads me in the truck, all without setting me on my feet. I do my part and manage to keep my mouth shut so we can get on our way before the sun sets.
We talk little on the ten-minute drive to the E.R. I call Evelyn to explain what happened. She tells me she’s fine and capable of reheating leftover soup for dinner, which makes me secretly thankful Law bought plenty.
Nathan zips the truck up into the drop-off zone and jogs inside. Once he’s out of view, I blow out a sigh of relief for the wheelchair he retrieves. Unlike on the trail where we were alone, we both know people here through our work. If he carries me in… well, that’s how rumors start. Rumors that would be very uncomfortable to dismiss.
Nathan helps me into the seat and wheels me inside.
“Oh, my dear Lord in Heaven! What in God’s name happened to you, sweetheart? Nathan, push her in here and get out of the cold.”
Twenty pairs of eyes in the lobby swing in our direction. With an entrance like that, why wouldn’t the lobby be crammed full? Arrow Creek might be a small town, but this hospital services the entire county, and it looks to be busy tonight. Great.
“Hey, Janet. I had a bit of a spill.”
Nathan snorts. He pushes me toward check-in and positions the wheelchair at an angle. I can see everyone in the lobby, the three ladies at registration (all of which I know), and Nathan, who studiously avoids my gaze.
“A spill? Honey, you look like you got into a car wreck.” Janet moves her gaze from me to Nathan.
“A little more than a spill. She tumbled down by the Swinging Bridge. When they x-ray her ankle, make sure they double check she doesn’t have two left feet.”
I inject heat into my glare. “For your information, I didn’t do this all on my own. If that cyclist hadn’t run me off the path, I wouldn’t have tripped over the rock that sent me down the hill.”
They both stare at me. A muscle twitches in Nathan’s jaw. “What do you mean a cyclist ran you off the path? You didn’t say anything about that.”
“By the time you got there, I guess I forgot
Nathan gazes out the windows across from reception and ignores me.
“Is it a long wait? Evelyn’s home alone, and she’s been sick all week.”
Janet leans over the desk and lowers her voice. “Getting a room ready for you right now. We’ll sneak you back in just a second.”
“Thank you,” I whisper back.
“All right. You two can have a seat until the nurse comes to get you. Hope your daughter is feeling better soon. Give her a hug from me.”
“Will do.” I offer a short wave as Nathan wheels me away.
He parks me down on the far end, away from everyone else and their germs, and sits in the seat beside the wheelchair. The way he positions us feels weirdly protective; as if anything that could come to harm me would have to go through him first. His strange behavior continues to unsettle me.