Ryder wasn’tsure how the hell he was going to keep the fact that Hart’s sexy little sister was staying with him a secret. Sure, she was a complete pain in his ass, but his dick didn’t seem to get that memo. She showed up to the hospital wearing little cut-off shorts that barely covered her ass and a t-shirt that was form-fitting and showed off every one of her curves. He nearly swallowed his damn tongue when she walked into his hospital room, making him question his sanity at agreeing to her crazy offer to move in with him and take care of him.
The hot nurse from yesterday was gone and in her place was one grumpy older woman who wasn’t thrilled about releasing him into Tatum’s care. When she insisted that she was Ryder’s sister and very capable of caring for him, the nurse just looked her up and down, shook her head at Tatum, and walked out of the room.
“I’m thinking she’s not buying the whole sister routine,” Ryder mock whispered.
Tatum laughed, “Yeah well, it doesn’t matter what she believes. You ready to blow this popsicle stand?” she asked.
“Definitely,” Ryder agreed. “I’m looking forward to my sponge bath you’re going to give me, Sis,” he teased. The last thing he needed was a sponge bath from Hart’s little sister. He was hoping that he’d be able to scare her off before her brother found out about them, but from the determined look in her eyes, that wasn’t going to be possible.
“I bet you are, big guy,” she teased, giving him a saucy wink.
Ryder sighed, “You still think this is a good idea, Tatum? I mean, lying to your brother doesn’t exactly feel right to me. Isn’t there another way we can do this?” he asked
“Sure,” she said, helping him into the wheelchair that the nurse left in his room for him. “Let’s just tell him that you, his friend, are living with me, his little sister. How do you think Jackson will take that news?” she asked. Ryder didn’t have to think about it—he knew that Hart would hand him his ass if he knew that they were living under the same roof. Savage Hell’s MC had rules and one of the unspoken ones was that you didn’t make a play for another guy’s little sister. Sure, Hart might eventually forgive him, once Ryder convinced him that Tatum was just helping him out, but what if he didn’t? What if the other guys in his club took up for Hart and sided with him about Ryder living with Tatum. He could end up losing his club and that wasn’t okay with him. The guys were like his family and losing them wasn’t an acceptable outcome.
“Fine,” Ryder grumbled. He pulled his crutches across his lap and grabbed his bag from the bed. “We won’t tell Hart but I won’t lie to him, Tatum. If he outright asks me if you are living at my place, I’m going to be honest with him.”
“Of course,” she agreed. “Let’s just hope that my brother is preoccupied with a case or something, so he won’t even notice where I’m living.” Ryder knew that Hart had recently quit the force and opened a private detective agency. He had been taking quite a few jobs working security for high profile clients and he was doing well for himself. Ryder was happy for his friend—Hart deserved his success and so much more.
“I know I haven’t said it, Tatum, but thanks for helping me out. I don’t like asking for help and I’d probably try to go this alone if you didn’t offer to move in with me and help out,” Ryder said. Tatum pushed him out to the curb and put the safety locks on his wheelchair.
“It’s the least I can do since I’m the reason you need help in the first place. You wouldn’t have a broken leg if I hadn’t run over you and your bike,” she said.
Ryder smirked up at her, “Well, you’re not wrong about that, Honey.”
Tatum crossed her arms over her chest and heaved out a breath. “You wait here, wise guy, I’ll go get my car.” She left him sitting on the side of the curb by the entrance and he had to admit, watching her sashay away wasn’t a hardship. Tatum Hart was sexy as fuck and he needed to remember that she was off-limits.
As if Hart could read his damn mind, his big black truck pulled up to the curb and he jumped out. “Well, looks like I’m right on time,” he drawled. “You waiting for an Uber?”
Shit—what was he supposed to say? He and Tatum hadn’t exactly discussed what their cover story was going to be when it came to telling her brother anything. But when she drove up behind her brother’s truck, Ryder knew that they were going to have to come up with something on the fly.
“Um—no,” he breathed, looking back to Tatum’s little red sports car. “Your sister offered to give me a lift home, man,” Ryder said. She quickly got out of her car and the smile she was wearing for her brother was almost blinding. God, from the look on her face, she was going to make her brother squirm, and Ryder was sure he wasn’t going to like it one bit.
“Hey Jackson,” she said. “I told you that I didn’t need for you to pick Ryder up today.”
“Wait—you two have been discussing me?” Ryder asked looking between them.
“Not really,” Tatum said. “Don’t get yourself all worked up, Ryd. Jackson just offered to pick you up today, but I’ve already told him that I’ve got this,” she said through her gritted teeth.
Hart chuckled and nodded, “Yeah—well, I told my sister that she should be out looking for a job and a new place to live instead of hauling your ass from the hospital, home.” Ryder didn’t know what he had unknowingly gotten himself involved in, but he wanted nothing to do with their family squabble. Hell, he steered clear of his own family’s problems. When his brothers had issues with each other, he told them to consider him a neutral nation. He didn’t want any part of their bickering and he felt the same way about Tatum and Hart.
“Fuck—you two need to figure your shit out and I’ll catch an Uber home,” Ryder offered. “But whatever this is,” he said, pointing between the two of them, “I don’t want any part of it.”
“This,” Tatum almost shouted, pointing between Hart and herself, “is my brother being an ass. I told you that if you don’t want to help me out—then stay the hell out of my business. You made it clear that you don’t want to bail me out this time and that means you get no voice in what I do or how I do things. Butt out, big brother,” she shouted at him, pressing her little finger into Hart’s massive chest. Instead of looking angry, he looked amused at his sister’s display. “Do not smirk at me like that either, Jackson,” she ordered.
“How am I supposed to look at you, Sis?” Hart asked. “You’re acting like a brat and I find it amusing. You might think I’m being an asshole, but I’m doing this for your own good. How will you ever learn to stand on your own two feet if I’m your safety net? If our parents were here—” Tatum help up her hand, effectively stopping him from saying what he was going to say next.
“I don’t need for you to remind me that our parents aren’t here,” she barked. “I was the one who moved in with mom and took care of her. I was the one who had to watch her waste away. You think of me as a child still, and maybe that’s my fault. I come to you when I have a problem and you fix it for me. I won’t be making that mistake again,” she warned. “I will fix my own damn problems from here on out, Jackson. You don’t need to worry about me anymore.” She stood behind Ryder, “You need me to push you over to the car or can you manage?” she asked.
“I’ve got it. Not my first broken leg,” he admitted, chancing a look up at Hart. His friend was good and pissed and Ryder knew that talking to the guy right now wasn’t a great idea. He stood with the assistance of his crutches and hobbled his way to Tatum’s car. It was no easy feat getting into her tiny sports car while Hart watched but he was determined to squeeze himself into her car. When he was finally situated, she handed him his duffel bag and shut his door. Tatum turned back to Hart and Ryder could hear his friend moan. He felt about the same way, knowing that she wasn’t done giving his friend shit.
“And—if you need me in the next few weeks—” she said. Ryder held his damn breath, silently pleading with her not to finish what she was about to say. Telling Hart that she was going to be living with him wasn’t the plan but he had a feeling that the sexy, dark-haired vixen didn’t stick to plans very often.
“Shit,” Hart griped. “Don’t say it, Tatum. Do not finish your sentence,” he warned. She smiled at him and both Ryder and Hart groaned this time.
“I’ll be over at Ryder’s place, helping him to recover.” She winked at him and Ryder felt like he wanted to hide, but there was nowhere for him to go in her little convertible sports car.