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Authors: Elizabeth Nelson

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Cautious

BOOK: Cautious
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Cautious

A Rescue Me Romance

 

by Elizabeth Nelson

 

 

 

Fi
rst Kindle Original Edition 2013

 

A Bristlecone Book

 

All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Nelson

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author and/or publisher. No part of this publication may be sold or hired, without written permission from the author.

 

Visit my website at:
https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethNelsonRomance

 

 

CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

 

Sharp piercing pain shot through her head, down her neck, and into her arms as she tried to move. Her eye lids felt like they were being forced closed by lead weights and
there was the unmistakable stench of gasoline surrounding her. The metallic taste of blood in her mouth gagged her. It sounded like there were sirens and people shouting, but she couldn't be sure if it was real or just a result of the deafening ringing in her ears. Where was she? Why couldn't she move? She tried to lift her head and look around, but the pain that ripped through her skull was paralyzing. "Ouch," she whimpered.

"Over here!" a male voice shouted. At least she thought it was
a man's voice. Nothing seemed real at the moment.

"Is she alive?" a woman's voice asked.

Oh, god! A wave of panic washed over her. What if they left her here? She had to do something—move, speak, make noise, something, anything to alert these strangers that she needed help.

"Ma'am? Can you hear me?" It was the man's voice again.

"Y…" Her voice gave out. She attempted to clear her throat, which felt like it was on fire, and ended up coughing and choking.

"She's alive!" the man hollered. "I need help over here."

"It's going to be okay. We're going to get you out of here." His voice was husky, yet calm and reassuring. "Can you tell me your name?"

Yeah, because talking
worked out brilliantly before.
She licked her lips and cringed at the taste of blood. Here goes nothing. "Misty." Her voice cracked, but at least she'd gotten the word out without choking on it.

"Hi, Misty. I’m Aaron."

She managed to crack open one eye to get a look at her savior. The flashing lights in the distance, the glow of the full moon in the sky, and the vibrant bright white teeth that smiled at her made him look like an angel from God—a celestial being put here, in this place at this exact moment to save her life. Her eye closed on its own volition and everything was once again dark.

***

The steady beep, beep, beep, rhythm of the heart monitor slowly grounded Misty's mind and brought her around to consciousness. An IV needle was inserted into the back of her right hand and affixed to her skin with white medical tape. She was lying in a hospital bed, dressed in one of those annoying blue and white gowns, her body covered in a thin white blanket and she was freezing. Misty attempted to sit up and winced with pain. She brought her hand to her head and cringed. "Ah, my head," she groaned.

"Good morning, Miss Bauer, how're you feeling today?" A short woman with black bobbed hair came into the room carrying a picture of water and a plastic cup with two pills in it.

"Sore. My head is killing me. And I'm cold." She shivered and it felt like every muscle in her body had been severely beaten and were now in mutiny against her. "How do you know my name?" Misty had no recollection of getting to the hospital or of telling anyone her name.

The nurse helped Misty into a sitting position and then covered her with another blanket. "The medics brought your purse with your identification when they brought you here last night."
The nurse took the clipboard from the foot of Misty's bed and wrote down several things before returning it. "I'm Janelle, by the way. Here," Janelle handed Misty the pills and poured her some water. "Take those. It'll help your head."

Misty swallowed the pills and took a long drink of the ice cold water. "What happened?"

"You don't remember?"

Shaking her head, Misty said, "Only bits and pieces. I remember being in my car and then a man talking to me." She closed her eyes and tried to picture that man. He said his name was Aaron and he had the most beautiful smile she'd ever seen. It was so full of life and optimism. His eyes had been bluer than the water in the Cayman Islands and they were just as vivacious as his smile had been.

"You were involved in a serious car accident on Route Nine last night."

"Am I okay?"

Janelle nodded. "You have a lot of bruises and a mild concussion, but other than that you're absolutely fine. Dr. Wilmer kept you overnight for observation, but you should be able to go home this afternoon. It's a good thing you were wearing your seatbelt. You were much luckier than some of the others involved."

That explained why her head felt like it was being split in two every time she tried to move and why her whole body creaked and groaned.

"The doctor will be in to see you soon. Do you need anything else?" Janelle asked.

Misty shook her head before laying back and closing her eyes. Slowly, the events that led up to her being here filled her mind.

She cranked the volume on the radio and sang along to Journey's
Don’t Stop Believin'
as she slowly pressed harder on the accelerator. The engine of her metallic blue Mazda MX-5 convertible purred and hummed giving her the ultimate feeling of exhilaration. A feeling she never thought she'd feel again. The wind whipped her long auburn hair around her face, caressing her like a lover, who no matter how much he touched her, would never get his fill. Misty tilted her head to the sky and closed her eyes for just a moment to luxuriate in the warm, evening summer air and the smell of fresh cut grass.

When she reopened her eyes she was greeted by a tractor trailer that had jack knifed in the road. Two cars coming from the opposite direction had slammed into the trailer and were in flames. Three cars ahead of her had managed to stop before hitting the truck but had rammed into one another. Misty's heart rate spiked and her body buzzed with adrenaline. She gripped the steering wheel tighter and slammed on the brakes. Her car skidded and she tensed, prepared for the impact of hitting the SUV in front of her, but instead the rear end of her car spun around, clipping the rear end of the SUV and she, along with her car, went tumbling end over end into the empty field. Misty screamed and squeezed her eyes shut praying she'd survive. Praying her airbag would deploy and save her from bashing her face on the steering wheel. Praying she'd be able to get out of the car once it stopped.

The sound of the door opening snapped Misty out of her memory. A tall, thin man with graying hair and thin wire-rimmed glasses entered her room. He was attractive in a Harrison Ford sort of way. "Hi," Misty said.

"Hello." He smiled and she noticed his teeth were a bit yellow. "I'm Dr. Wilmer. How're you feeling?"

"Sore."

"That's to be expected," he said as he began to take her vitals. None of it hurt until he shined his tiny light into her eyes. The pain was instant and searing. Her eyes teared up as she tried to blink away the spots in her vision. "The sensitivity to light will go away. In the meantime I would suggest wearing sunglasses for comfort."

"Okay." She rubbed at her eyes.

"I'm giving you a prescription for Tylenol with codeine to help with the pain. I want you to follow up with your own doctor within the next couple of days, okay?" Dr. Wilmer set the written prescription on the table beside her bed. "If
you have any nausea, vomiting, memory loss, ringing in the ears or severe fatigue I want you to come straight to the ER."

"All right."

"Good. Janelle will be in shortly with your discharge papers."

"Thank you." Misty smiled weakly. She was being released from the hospital and she should be happy, but all she could do was worry. Her car was totaled which means she didn't have a way to get home. She was new in town and didn't know anyone which meant she didn't have anyone to call to come pick her up.
I could always call a cab.
Then she remembered she didn't have any cash on her. Well, isn't this just perfect? There was always her sister. Misty frowned at the thought. When Misty had decided to pack up and move to Enbridge Falls after her nasty break-up with Richard, her sister had not been supportive of Misty's decision. The already rocky relationship between them took an even deeper nosedive. She sighed as she reached for her phone. What other choice did she have?

****

"I told you it wasn't a good idea to move away from home," Amanda said as she helped Misty settle onto the couch with a pillow. "You're not even gone a couple weeks and look at you."

Misty rolled her eyes. Not only was her sister judgmental, she was overly dramatic. "I'm fine, Mandy. It's just some bumps and bruises."

"I wouldn't call a concussion and a night in the hospital just some bumps and bruises." Amanda plopped down on the couch next to Mandy and looked around. "It's a nice apartment at least."

Misty let that last comment slide. Amanda always had a way of making people feel small and insignificant. Her comments, which sounded like compliments, were really nothing more than veiled insults. "I'm fine. Really. You don't have to stay." Misty had known it was a bad idea to call her sister, but the damage had been done and now she had to deal with it. She hadn't expected Mandy to stay though.

"If I leave who's going to take you to the insurance company and help you get a rental car?"

"You're right," Misty said with a sigh of defeat. A nagging in her gut told her that there was something else going on with her sister though.

"Of course I am." Amanda grinned.

Misty grabbed the remote from the coffee table and clicked on the television. She flipped through the channels
until she found the local news, which was doing a report on the crash last night. Misty turned up the volume.

"Fifty-four year old Jonathan Gilles fell asleep behind the wheel of his eighteen wheel tractor trailer, causing him to jerk the steering wheel and jackknife his trailer into oncoming traffic," the reporter said as the camera scanned the section of Route Nine where the accident had occurred. "Several vehicles were involved in the pile-up leaving four people dead and six others injured. With me now is Aaron Price of the Enbridge Falls Fire Department. Y
ou were one of the first responders on the scene, correct?" The reporter held her microphone toward Aaron.

"Yes, that's correct. I was on my way home when I came upon the accident," Aaron said.

"What was your initial reaction?"

"To help…"

Misty leaned forward as Aaron continued to speak. That voice. That face. That name—Aaron. "That's him," she muttered. That was the man who'd pulled her out of her car.

"Who?" Amanda asked.

"That's the guy who rescued me," Misty said pointing at the television.

"He's cute." Amanda stood and went to the kitchen. "Are you hungry? I'm starving."

"Yeah," Misty said absentmindedly and turned her attention back to the television. The reporter thanked Aaron for being a local hero and he smiled. His smile was just as vibrant as it'd been last night and it made Misty's heart flutter. He was absolutely gorgeous. She'd give anything to see him again—to thank him for saving her life.

"You don't have anything to eat," Amanda complained as she searched through the cabinets.

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