“You’re sure it’s broken?”he asked the doctor for probably the tenth time. He felt bad for the pretty little doctor but he wasn’t about to accept that he was going to be laid up for the unforeseeable future without making damn sure his leg was broken.
The doctor sighed and nodded, turning her back to him to look at his x-ray films once again. “Here,” she said, pointing to the same spot on his fibula as she had earlier. “You have a pretty good break right there and I’m betting that just underneath it, here,” she said pointing to the place just below it, “is a hairline fracture. I’m sorry to be giving you news that you obviously don’t want to get Mr. McGraw, but that won’t change the fact that your leg is most definitely broken.”
“Shit,” he grumbled. “How long will I be laid up? I’m a pilot and I have clients who won’t wait for me to heal while I’m grounded.”
“About eight weeks,” the doctor said, possibly longer depending on if you do the work during your therapy sessions or if you blow it off.
“Oh, I’ll do the work,” he assured. The last thing he needed was to be laid up any longer than necessary. The last time he had a broken leg was when he was in the Air Force and it involved an unfortunate accident that included his commander’s vehicle and one sex-crazed blond. But that wasn’t a story he shared with very many people and he was sure that it wasn’t one he should share with the pretty doctor.
Ryder heard a ruckus out in the hallway and he knew that it was Hart’s sister before he even saw her standing in his doorway. The nurse grabbed her arm and Tatum yanked it free. “I told you that I’m his sister,” she spat at the angry nurse. He wanted to laugh at the sexy little hellcat and the way she handled herself. Tatum Hart reminded him of her brother. She rushed over to Ryder and stroked her hand down his arm.
“Is your leg okay?” she asked. “Is it broken? Oh God, please don’t tell me it’s broken because that would make me feel like shit.”
The doctor cleared her throat and Ryder flashed him his sexy smile that usually worked on all the ladies at the bar, but they weren’t in Savage Hell and the doctor’s angry scowl reminded him of just that. “Sorry,” he said. “My sister is overly emotional.”
“I am not, Ryder,” Tatum shouted at him, slapping his arm.
“Hey, ouch,” he grumbled. “Haven’t you already done enough damage, Sis?” he asked.
“I’m sorry to tell you that your brother’s leg is broken. We’ll get him casted as soon as the orthopedic doctor on call can see him. The good news is, I don’t think he’ll need surgery,” the doctor said.
“Bad news is, I’ll be laid up for at least eight weeks, possibly longer and that means I won’t be cleared to fly,” Ryder mumbled. God today was turning into a complete shit show and now he was going to have to call his client to let him know that he’d have to cancel their little trip.
“This is all my fault,” she sobbed. “I’m so sorry. I ran him over with my car,” she said as in way of explanation to the doctor.
“Um, would you like to press charges, Mr. McGraw?” the doctor asked. “I mean, I know she’s your sister and everything, but if you’d like to speak with an officer, I can call one in for you.”
Ryder pretended to consider the doctor’s offer and Tatum slapped his arm again. “Keep it up, Sis, and I’ll take the doctor up on her offer,” he griped, rubbing his sore arm. “But no, thank you doctor, I won’t be pressing charges against my sister,” he said. Tatum sank into the closest chair and smiled at him.
“You’re the best brother in the whole world, Ryde,” she sassed. He chuckled and winced when the movement made his leg hurt.
“Just try to remain still and I’ll page the orthopedist again,” the doctor said. “We’ll have you out of here in no time.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Ryder said. “I appreciate it.”
“No problem, Mr. McGraw,” the doctor said. “You’ll need someone to help you out over the next few months. Do you have someone who can stay with you for a bit? A wife or girlfriend?” Ryder knew his sexy doctor was fishing for information about him and he had to admit, she’d usually be his type.
“Um—I am quite capable of taking care of my big brother,” Tatum spat. “Thank you, doctor.” She effectively dismissed the doctor and Ryder watched her sashay her sweet little ass out of his room. His new little sister was getting on his last fucking nerve.
“What was that all about, Tatum?” Ryder asked.
“That was about me making things right, Ryder. I ran you over with my car, so I owe you. This is a way that I can repay you. It’s a win-win situation for both of us,” she promised.
“I get that it’s a way for you to make things right, but what will you get from helping me recover, Tatum? I mean, you’ve driven me here and ran my sexy doctor out of my room when she was starting to take a personal interest in me. What else is there for you to do, Honey?” he teased.
Tatum’s scowl let him know she didn’t find him funny. “If you need to know, I could use a place to crash.” He winced at her word choice. “Shit, sorry. I wasn’t thinking. Maybe not crash—but I need a place to stay.”
“Wait—you’re telling me that you ran me down with your little sports car, busted my bike and my leg, and now, you want me to let you stay with me?” he questioned.
“I’ll earn my keep,” she defended. “You wouldn’t have to worry about me—I’m pretty quiet and keep to myself,” she said. Ryder barked out his laugh. The last words he’d ever use to describe her was quiet and reserved. Bossy and big-mouthed was more Tatum Hart’s speed.
“So, we’re just going to sit here and lie to each other then?” he questioned, calling her on her bullshit.
“Fine,” she said. “I’ll try hard to keep to myself and be quiet. You won’t even know I’m there unless you need me for something. Hell, I’ll even get you a bell you can ring every time you need me. Plus, I’m a damn good cook.”
“What about your job—won’t you be missed at work if you’re taking care of me? I wouldn’t want you to get fired or anything, Tatum,” he said. Ryder was hoping that he had found a loophole in her offer. He didn’t want Hart’s little sister to play nurse to him. That wouldn’t end well for him because he was pretty sure Hart would break his other leg if Ryder allowed his sister to move in with him.