Wild Heart (Viper's Heart Duet Book 2)(10)

By: Beth Ehemann


I gave the woman at the desk a quick wave and caught up to Michelle. “What’s going on?”

Her tiny legs were moving so fast I practically had to jog to keep up with her. She let out a heavy sigh. “I got a call from Regina a little bit ago—”

“Regina?” I interrupted.

“Gam’s friend.”

“Oh, right.”

“Don’t yell. Promise?”

“What?”

“You have to promise not to yell.”

“Michelle, are you kidding me right now?”

“Fine.” With a heavy sigh she pushed another set of doors open and turned right, following the red arrow toward the emergency room. “Regina said they went out on the Segways after we left and there was an accident. Gam went over a curb that was too big and fell off.”

“Holy shit. Is she okay?”

Michelle shook her head slightly. “She’s not critical, but she’s not great. They’re doing X-rays right now. They think she might have broken her hip and possibly her femur. She’s in a lot of pain.”

We got to the crowded waiting room and walked to two open seats in the far corner. A couple of people stared at me, but I avoided eye contact with everyone except Michelle.

If anyone has the nerve to ask for an autograph right now, they’ll be needing a room of their own.

“Are you okay?” Michelle asked in a shaky voice as we sat down. She rested her hand on my knee and my heart rate instantly slowed a little.

“I don’t know what I am. I’m glad it wasn’t more serious, but a broken hip isn’t a small thing either. She’s going to need round-the-clock care and nurses and meds and I’m just at the beginning of a new season—”

“Hey,” she interrupted softly, giving me a tiny smile. “Calm down. Take a breath. I’m here. I can handle whatever you need me to handle, okay?”

I studied her thoughtful blue eyes. The same thoughtful eyes that had saved me so many times when it really should have been me saving her. “I don’t know what I would do without you, you know that?” I put my hand on top of hers and squeezed.

“I know exactly how you feel because I feel the same about you.” She closed her eyes and leaned into me, resting her forehead against my cheek.

I closed my eyes against her skin. “Where are the kids?”

“Taylor is with them. They’re fine.”

Before we could say anything else, a woman’s loud voice called out, “I need the family of Elizabeth Finkle!”

We both stood quickly. “That’s us,” Michelle said, gripping my hand tightly.

“Come with me, please.” The nurse turned and pushed open a set of double doors, leading us down the hall.

As we followed her through the sterile-smelling halls of the hospital, she started quickly filling us in on Gam’s condition . . . but her words clogged my brain and my mind drifted. I found myself staring at her shoes. There was nothing special about the pink and black gym shoes, but I couldn’t look away.

“Viper!”

The sound of my name broke through my thoughts. Michelle was standing in the doorway of a hospital room, staring at me with her eyebrows pulled down low. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” I nodded. “I’m fine.”

She eyed me skeptically and waved for me to follow her.

The instant I stepped into the room, the familiar hum of machines made every muscle in my body tense up at the same time. I hadn’t been in a hospital room since I said good-bye to Mike, and hearing those same beeps, smelling those same smells, and seeing those same blue curtains made my stomach churn violently.

I stopped in the doorway and ran my hand through my hair, desperately trying to slow my breathing. “Uh . . .”

Michelle took a step closer to me, wrapping her arm around my waist. “What is going on?”

“Nothing,” I lied. “I’m fine.”

The sound of metal scraping on metal filled the room as the nurse pulled the curtain back. Gam was lying in the hospital bed, half sitting up, half lying down. When she saw us, her face lit up in a big, goofy grin.

She pointed at us. “Hey! I know them!”

The nurse shot Michelle and me a look. “The pain that comes with a broken hip is excruciating, so your grandmother will be on heavy pain meds until surgery—”