“Jax didn’t stay?” I frown, and she shakes her head.

“No. He wanted to, but something came up with work.” She shrugs, and I know then that I’m the something that came up with work. I have no doubt he’s searching for the person who hit me right now.

“I’ll help you change,” Dillon mutters, picking me up off the bed while my mom hovers close to us.

“I can help her,” Mom says, and Dillon’s jaw tightens.

“I’ve got her,” he states quietly, and I rest my hand against his tense jaw while he carries me across the room to the bathroom, where he shuts the door before my mom has a chance to follow us in. Setting me to my feet, he steadies me with his hands on my waist then searches my eyes. “Are you sure you’re okay to go home?” he asks cautiously.

“I’m sure.”

“You swear you’ll tell me if we need to come back?”

I fight the urge to roll my eyes at his overprotectiveness, and mumble, “I swear,” while slipping the hospital gown off my shoulders and letting it drop to the floor at my feet.

“Look at you.” His fingers skim softly down my shoulder, which is covered in road rash, then over my black and blue covered hip and thigh.

“I’m okay,” I assure him, seeing the unease in his eyes as they scan me over from head to toe.

“You’re not okay, so stop saying you are,” he growls, looking into my eyes and palming my cheek gently. “You were hit by a car and were unconscious. When we got to the hospital, they thought you were going to need surgery because of the hit you took to the head. No fucking part of that says you’re okay.”

“Please calm down,” I whisper, hating the fear I see in his gaze. “Dr. Woods said I’m okay, and she’s right. I’m sore, but I’m all right, and if that changes, I swear I’ll tell you and let you bring me back here.”

“If something happens to you…” He closes his eyes briefly before opening them back up. “I can’t even think about what that would do to me.”

“What are you not telling me?” I question gently, knowing in my gut he’s keeping something from me. His fear is palpable.

“Nothing.” He shakes his head then turns me away from him before I can ask him more.

Catching my reflection in the mirror, my throat closes up. The side of my face, from my cheekbone to my temple, is an ugly shade of yellow-green, and my new blonde hair is copper-colored and matted with blood at the roots. “Oh, my God.” I move a chunk of my hair to the side and see a large portion has been shaved clean to my scalp, which is angry-looking with a row of stitches in the center.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers behind me, and I catch his gaze in the mirror. “They didn’t have any other option.”

Swallowing, I nod, knowing now is not a time for me to be vain. “It will grow back,” I assure him and me at the same time.

“It will.” He kisses my road rash covered shoulder softly then picks up my T-shirt that is sitting on the side of the sink. “Let’s get you dressed and then get you home.”

“Please.” I turn toward him, letting him slip the shirt on over my head and help me feed my arms through the holes in the sleeves. I then watch him get down on his suit-covered knees and hold open a pair of my sweats.

“Put your hands on my shoulder for balance,” he instructs, and I rest my hands on his shoulder and lift my foot then do the same with the opposite side. Once I have both feet in, he pulls them up my legs, being careful of my thigh and hip as the material skims over my bruised skin. “There.” He kisses my stomach then slides a pair of flip-flops onto my feet.

“Where are my shoes I had on?” I know, of all the things I should be worried about right now, my shoes should not be one of them, but my Louis Vuitton peep-toe, leopard-print heels were one of the first things I ever bought with my own money, and they are one of my prized possessions.

“Your cousin has them,” he mutters, dumping the gown I had on in a large red container in the corner of the bathroom.


“July. She and Wes didn’t see what happened, they heard my shout and the car…” He stops talking and shakes his head, running his fingers though his hair roughly. “I was going to put you in my car, but July was adamant about not moving you and insisted we call an ambulance. They stayed with me until the ambulance got their then they followed us to the hospital.”

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