I had a lot of fun picking through snippets to find one for today’s #1lineWed theme, which if you haven’t guessed is: PRETTY. I should set this up. Lainey has been hurt and is in the hospital. She wakes up after surgery, finds a man at her bedside and wants to know who he is. And…here we go. Fun times!
I went to wipe the crud stuck to my eyelashes, realized I couldn’t really move my right arm. My brain whirled like that little rainbow icon on a computer screen, spinning and spinning and spinning. I glanced around. Hospital. Broken arm. A man. A fight. Lug Nut. Private dance. Chasin’ Tail. Details fell into place.
My heart rate kicked up and the machine beside my bed beeped ominously. Then the pain washed over me again. My vision blacked out and white prickles danced across the darkness.
“Lainey?” That voice sounded far away. Who was calling me?
“Babe?” Oh. Yeah. Hollywood.
Warm hands eased me back against the pillow. More voices echoed from the shadows.
“What is wrong with her?”
“I don’t know, Russkie!”
“What did you do to her?”
“Back off, asshole.”
“Give me room. I’ve notified the on-call resident. I need to check her vitals.” A woman’s voice, no-nonsense and calm. “Everybody out.”
“Fuck that shit. I’m stayin’.”
“Are you family?”
“Damn straight I am.” Hollywood again. Wait. He wasn’t family. Where was my mom? Oh no! Who was looking after my little brothers? I clawed my way through the agonizing pain, found a speck of light and homed in on it.
“Easy, Lainey. Breathe, baby. Just breathe. I’ve got you.”
Something burned in my arm, shooting into my bloodstream.
“I’ve given her a sedative.” A different male voice. “The surgeon said she could have a morphine drip if she needs one. I’ll order it.”
“No.” Hollywood again. I wanted him to shut up. Morphine sounded really, really good at the moment.
I opened my eyes and focused on his face. Whatever drug they’d given me through the IV made me feel all floaty and a little bit drunk. At least the pain was easing back. I swallowed down the last of the bile, managed a deep breath.
A quick grin. “Yeah, I am.”
Oh, Hollywood was a devil. I’d have to be very careful…wait. I’d said that out loud? Well…shoot.
“Shhh, Lainey. Go back to sleep, darlin’. I’m here. Not goin’ anywhere. You’re safe.”
Safe. Now that was a concept that had eluded me lately. I hadn’t felt safe in a long, long time. Except here, in a hospital—a place I loathed—with a man who was a complete stranger but who didn’t feel like a stranger sitting next to me, and throbbing agony beyond anything my father had ever heaped on me, I did. Feel safe.
What about y’all? Any pretty words to share?