"No, I think we should talk about it now," she said, biting back another smile as he opened his mouth only to shut it abruptly.
"Well?" she asked, cocking an expectant brow.
He cleared his throat, obviously trying to stall for time as he focused all of his attention on unbuttoning his shirt. "I could fire up the grill," he offered, trying to use her love for barbecue against her.
"No, that's fine. I'd rather hear what you have to say," she said with a little sigh as she gently pushed his hand away and finished unbuttoning his shirt for him. Once she was done, she pulled the shirt out of his pants and moved to push the shirt off when she spotted an angry bruise poking out from beneath the edge of his shirt.
"Oh my god, Tristan" she said, while quickly, yet carefully, removing his shirt so that she could see the extent of the damage.
A large bruise that looked fresh started just above the left side of his chest and went all the way up to his shoulder. She wasn't a medical professional or anything, but it looked painful and definitely like something that should be looked at by a doctor. He winced as she helped him remove his shirt off his left arm, but other than that he didn't complain, not that she actually expected him to. This was Tristan Black after all.
"You need to go to the hospital," she said, moving behind him to see the extent of the damage. She was glad that he was looking the other way so that he didn't see her cringe. Both sides were pretty bruised, but the top of his shoulder and back clearly got the worst of it.
"Not necessary," he said, grabbing the ice pack and placing it against his chest.
"It's very necessary, Tristan. You really hurt yourself," she said as she considered calling his father and brother so they could take a look at it and if needed, drag him off to the hospital.
"It's fine, Marty," he said, walking over to the refrigerator. He placed his homemade ice pack on top of the fridge and opened the door. "You want a beer or a Coke?"
"Nothing," she told him. "I want you to go the hospital and get that thing checked out."
What if he’d really damaged his arm? He could have torn something or aggravated his still healing wound. Ignoring it wasn't an option, but apparently that's exactly what Tristan planned on doing.
"Coke it is," he said, grabbing two Cokes with his right hand and placing them on the counter. He managed to open his Coke with his right hand before he grabbed the ice pack and placed it back against his chest. Then as if to prove that he really wasn't hurt, he picked up his soda with his left hand and proceeded to drink it while she glared at him.
"Get your butt back in the car, Tristan. We're going to the hospital," she said, deciding that she'd see if she could manage to get him there by herself before she called in the big guns.
"No," he simply said as he walked past her. He placed his soda on the table and pulled out a chair, trying to hide his grimace as he sat down.
"I'm not kidding, Tristan. Get your butt in that car, now," she said firmly, hoping that would be enough to get him to move his ass. Apparently it wasn't, because he only chuckled as he leaned back in his chair, careful of his shoulder.
"Or what?" he asked with a slow sexy smile that made her mouth go dry and made it difficult to think, never mind do what needed to be done.
"If you don't want barbeque, then we could always order in," Tristan suggested, giving her the distraction that she needed.
"We're not ordering in, Tristan," she said with a sigh as she unzipped her purse and grabbed her phone.
"What are you doing?"
"Calling your father and brother, because clearly I'm in over my head here and you're an idiot. I'm going to call them and let them drag you to the hosp-hey!" she gasped as he plucked the phone out of her hands and placed it in his pocket.
"Give that back," she said, holding her hand out expectantly.
"Sorry. Can't do that, Marty," he said, leaning back against the counter with his arms crossed over his impressive chest.
"You're going to the hospital," she informed him as she considered the odds of being able to steal the phone away from him.
"No, I'm not so let it go," he warned with a hard glint in his eyes. It was the same look he’d used to get when he was a child and someone mentioned a hospital to him.
"Please tell me that you're not still afraid of hospitals," she said with a heavy sigh.
"I'm not afraid of anything," he said evenly. "I'm just not going to waste my time going for something that a little ice and a few aspirins can handle."
"Okay, sure whatever," she said, having had more than enough for one day. If he was going to be stubborn then that was fine with her. She had better things to do with her time than to waste it by arguing. "I'm going home. See you in the morning," she said, moving to walk out of the kitchen when he stepped in front of her and blocked her path.
"We need to talk, Marty," he said, once again looking nervous.
She shook her head as she moved to step around him. "Whatever it is will have to wait until tomorrow."
"It can't," he said, moving to block her, again.
"It can," she said, managing to step past him and once she did she kept going.
"Marty, wait!" he said, following after her. "We really need to talk."
"No, we don't. What we need to do is stop playing these games. You don't want to work with me and that's fine, because we won't be working together for much longer anyway," she said, reaching for the door, but once again Tristan managed to cut her off.
"What the hell are you talking about?" he demanded as he maneuvered her away from the door.
"As soon as I get my degree, I'm going to be looking for a job far away from here. So as you can see there's no need to give me a pointless lecture or try to drive me off. Consider the message well received, Tristan. I'll be out of your hair in a matter of months," she said, forcing herself to sound firm when grief slammed into her at the thought of never seeing him again.
"You're leaving?" he asked in a hollow voice.
"Yes," she snapped as she moved past him and once again reached for the door, more than ready to end this conversation and go home and enjoy a hot bubble bath with a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream while she did her best to forget that this day ever happened.
"Marty, you can't leave."
She snorted at that. "Watch me."