“Okay, you’re all set to get back to the resort today. Are you excited?” A girl who was much too chipper was standing by Jared’s bed. He raised an eyebrow, looking down the long length of the huge and heavy cast covering his leg. He thought he’d rather prefer staying here for the rest of his vacation. He couldn’t imagine how he was going to manage outside the hospital for the next six weeks with this cast.
At least they did let him use a wheelchair to get to the car that Courtney had waiting. They probably realized it would take him about five hours to make it out of the hospital on crutches. So far he was finding crutches to be the biggest pain in the ass ever. The wheelchair was nothing fancy, but it had an extended leg rest with a pad on it so his forced-straight leg could stay elevated. The chair had a squashed pillow on the seat that looked like it had seen more than one ass today already.
A nurse pushed Jared in the chair, narrowly avoiding hitting his exposed toes into doorways and other patients. Jared cringed with each turn like when you’re in the passenger seat of a car and it feels like the driver is way, way too close to the edge.
Relief washed over him as they went through the automatic doors at the front of the hospital and he saw Courtney waiting, leaning against the side of a rented car.
Courtney grinned when she spotted him and opened the passenger side door. The nurse pushed Jared right up to it. He used his arms to shift himself to the front of the chair and lowered his leg onto the pavement beside the car. He gripped the top of the door with one hand and clumsily swung himself into the seat of the car. He half fell in and bumped his head on the door frame, but he was in.
Courtney leaned over him and he eyed her cleavage tucked into her pale pink bra while she pulled the lever to move the seat all the way back. Between the two of them, they got his casted leg into the car, elevated up on the dashboard with his toes touching the cold inside of the windshield.
On the ride back to the ski resort, Courtney chattered nonstop about shopping and plans and what the other people at the resort had been up to. Jared usually found it cute, although today it was giving him a headache. He wished Courtney would concentrate on driving. Every little bounce and twist knocked Jared in uncomfortable ways.
Courtney braked suddenly and the force of Jared’s cast surged forward right into his exposed toes. He howled in pain then was flung back hard against the seat.
“Jesus Christ, Courtney!”
“Oh, sorry, babe. I’ll be more careful!” Courtney tried to reach over with one hand while still steering with the other.
Jared slapped the hand away. “Focus on what you’re doing, would you? Try not to kill me before we get back.”
At least they drove the rest of the way in silence. Jared could see his toes getting red and puffy from the trauma. Please don’t let them be broken, he thought. No way did he want to turn around and go back to the hospital.
At the front of the resort there was an audience for Jared trying to get out of the car. He wished he could do this in private. His ineptitude with the crutches was humiliating. Courtney had gotten the crutches out of the back seat and Jared shifted his broken leg out of the car. Blood throbbed through the leg and pushed against the cast. His toes pulsed with pain.
He held the crutches in the middle and used them as leverage to heave himself up. He took his time walking on them, trying not to fall and look like even more of a fool. The people parted for him to pass through, even as he inched along, dragging the heavy leg behind him.
“What do you want to do, sweetie?” Courtney buzzed around him. “Do you want to sit by the fire? Or we could go to the restaurant for some lunch?”
“I just want to get to our room,” Jared bit out through clenched teeth.
Courtney flounced with a sigh and said, “All right, be that way.”
Thank God there was an elevator. Jared got in, his arms aching already, and slumped against the side while it took him up to his floor.
Courtney got him arranged on the bed with a pile of pillows under his leg and then she left for something. Shopping or lunch or something else. Jared wasn’t listening. He was already exhausted and fell asleep as soon as the door closed behind Courtney.