tagRomanceHog Wild Ch. 02

Hog Wild Ch. 02

byoohsexypenguin©

Holly opened her eyes and saw... a bright light.

"Oh God," she moaned, squinting against it and feeling a sharp pain her hip. Looking around, it dawned on her that she was in a hospital room.

And then she remembered a car. Coming out of nowhere.

Running into her.

"Oh God," she said again, raising her hand to her head and making sure there were no major dents or gashes.

"Good thing you weren't wearing a proper Harley helmet, otherwise you might've banged up that pretty face of yours."

Holly jumped, startled by the voice coming from the corner of the room. Spying Alex lounging in what looked to be an uncomfortable chair, she asked, "What are you doing here?"

Alex smirked at the accusatory tone of the question. "Well, how's that for a thank you?" he drawled, standing up and strolling over slowly to her bedside. "I go through all the trouble of calling an ambulance and pretty much saving your life, and all you can say to me is 'What are you doing here'?"

The truth was that Alex had never been more scared in his life. His heart had stopped when he saw Holly go flying over the hood of his car; since then he had been waiting impatiently for any sign that she was going to be okay.

Judging from the scowl on her face, he'd have to say she was almost completely back to normal.

"No one said you had to rescue me," Holly snapped, wincing at the pain in her hip that continued to grow worse. "Besides, how did you even know I was in an accident? Were you following me?"

"No... well, yes, kind of," Alex said, looking sheepish. He raked his hand through his dark hair, and Holly couldn't help the flutter in her stomach as she was once again faced with how good looking this man was.

"Why were you following me?" she asked, trying to sit up in the bed. The movement was painful for her, and she openly grimaced.

Alex reached out a steadying hand, helping her adjust her position. "Careful there, Tiger," he said. "Don't want to make it worse, now, do you?"

"Just answer the question," Holly said, wondering why Alex had even bothered coming to he hospital if all he was going to do was antagonize her.

"Okay, you want the truth?" Alex said, resisting the urge to brush a fiery tendril out of her face. "That car you hit... was sort of... my car."

Holly was staring at him. She looks gorgeous even in a hospital gown, Alex thought, becoming more nervous with every second she didn't answer.

"Are you kidding me?" Holly said finally, her features scrunching into an angry frown. "Don't you even look where you're going? I could've been killed!"

"Whoa there," Alex said, holding his hands up in surrender. "I don't deny any wrongdoing, and I'm very sorry for this."

Holly cocked her head, looking skeptical.

"What?" Alex asked, starting to feel irritated. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Holly shrugged. "I don't know," she said. "You just don't seem like the type..."

"Who would feel sorry for something they've done?" Alex finished angrily. This time he was the one who was frowning.

"It's not like you can blame me," Holly retorted. "We didn't exactly start out on the right foot, and you were a total jerk!"

"This is great," Alex muttered, pacing next to the bed. "I was scared shitless that I'd killed you! And the only reason I was following you was to apologize for being a jerk!"

Holly felt her temper start to cool. "Really?" she asked.

"Yeah!" he said, cutting her off. "You are an ungrateful brat, you know that? Not once have you said thank you for taking care of you."

Holly dropped her eyes to her hands, which were entangled in her lap. Alex noticed that she was blushing.

"You're right," she said, looking up at him. "I should have said thank you for getting me to the hospital as soon as possible. I'm sorry."

Alex took a deep breath; he hadn't expected to wrench an apology out of her so easily. Feeling a bit guilty for yelling, he walked closer to the bed and held out a hand. "Truce?"

Holly met his eyes, and seeing that he appeared to be sincere, accepted the handshake. "Truce," she said, the corner of her mouth turning up a bit. Alex returned the grin and felt himself relax a little.

"So what about my bike?" Holly asked. "Is it okay?"

The moment of relaxation was over. Alex hesitated. "Uh, your bike... well, it's a bit..."

Holly had a flash of anxiety as she listened to Alex hem and haw. "What are you saying, Alex?"

"Your bike is... not good."

Alex stole a glance at Holly, and felt sick at the crestfallen look on her face. She looked about ready to cry.

"So, is it totaled?" Holly asked, her eyes closed. She was trying not to let any emotion show, but she was devastated. It was the one thing she had left that tied her to her parents.

"Not completely," Alex hedged. "But it'll take a pretty penny to get it all fixed up. I'm so sorry, Holly."

He watched as the color drained from her face, making her freckles stand out even more. "I can pay for it, if you want," he hastened to add. "I should anyway, seeing as it's my fault..."

Holly shook her head, not allowing Alex to finish. "Absolutely not," she said.

"Why not?" Alex said, feeling annoyed at her refusal. "I want to pay for it, Holly."

"No!" Holly said, her voice rising. "I don't want you paying for it, alright?" Her face had flushed again, her temper once again beginning to surface. "I don't need your money, and I don't need your pity."

Alex shook his head. "You are so stubborn, you know that?" he said bitterly. "Too proud to accept any help, like you're so high and mighty."

"And what about you?" Holly spat. "What, you think paying for some poor girl's bike will redeem you from being an arrogant dickhead?"

Alex's amber eyes flashed, and he opened his mouth to defend himself just as the doctor entered the room. "Uh, sorry if I'm interrupting," Dr. Moore said, his eyes going from Holly to Alex.

"You're not," Holly said quickly, grateful that there was someone else in the room. Things had been getting far too heated.

"Keeping watch over your girlfriend?" the doctor asked, looking over at Alex.

"I am not his..." Holly began angrily, her eyebrows furrowing.

"Yes I am, Doctor," Alex interjected loudly, cutting across Holly and shooting her a look to keep quiet. "What's the prognosis?"

"Well," Dr. Moore said, looking over the charts in his hands, "it seems all that's wrong with her is some major bruising and some swelling in her hip area. She could go home today."

"Wonderful!" Holly said, cheering up immediately at the idea of going home and finally being rid of Alexander Grant.

"There are provisions, young lady," Dr. Moore said, addressing Holly. "I want you to take it easy for the next week."

"Is that all?" Holly asked, eager to get dressed and leave.

Dr. Moore cocked an eyebrow. "No," he said. "I also want Mr. Grant to assist you in your daily activities. I want him to make sure you don't do anything that could put stress or strain on your hip area while you're healing."

Holly scowled. Looking over at Alex, she felt enraged at the look of smug satisfaction that had come over his face. "But Doctor..." she began.

"Don't worry, Doc," Alex said, once again cutting her off. "With me around, she won't even have to lift a finger."

"Alright, then," Dr. Moore said, oblivious to Holly's open-mouthed stare. "I'll prepare your release papers, Miss Sullivan." And with that he turned and walked out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

Holly whipped her head around to look at Alex. He was wearing an insufferable smirk. "How dare you lie and say that I'm your girlfriend!" she hissed, her disgust evident when she said the word 'girlfriend'.

Alex shrugged. "It was the only way they'd let me ride in the ambulance with you."

"You had no right!" Holly squealed, her nostrils flaring a little in the midst of her tantrum. Alex fought back a laugh; she made quite a cute sight when she was seething.

"Come on now, Holly," he said, his voice gentle in an attempt to be placating. "Having me look after you won't be so bad, will it?" He tried to pinch her cheek teasingly, but she slapped it away.

"I'd rather risk permanent hip damage," she said, narrowing her eyes at Alex. To her dismay, he merely chuckled and started for the door.

"You might as well get dressed," he said over his shoulder. "I'll be waiting outside."

As the door shut, Holly grabbed the pillow from behind her head, placed it over her face, and screamed with all her might.

*

Alex hailed a taxi, aware that Holly stood slightly behind him with her scratched up helmet in her hand, and was pointedly looking anywhere but at him. She looked fragile and small in her leather jacket, and her mouth was in a tight line. She looked ready to bite his head off if he so much as breathed in her direction.

Never one to play it safe, he decided to talk to her.

"So, your place or mine?"

Holly glared at him. "Mine, and you most certainly will not be invited in."

Alex was surprised she didn't stick her tongue out at him, as petulant as she sounded. "Fine, we'll go to yours," he said, watching as a cab pulled up to the curb. Holding the door open for her, he said, "But you heard the doctor, I have to take care of you."

Holly said nothing as she settled in her seat, dropping her helmet on the floor of the cab. She turned her body away from him jerkily and winced as pain shot through her from the movement.

"Are you okay?" Alex asked, surprised at the concern that had arisen in him. He found himself wanting to protect her; it was a feeling that had lain dormant for years, and it caught him off guard.

"I'm fine," Holly snapped, not wanting to reveal just how much her hip hurt. She gave the taxi driver her address, then fell into a resolute silence.

"Are you not going to talk to me?" Alex asked, both amused by and irritated with her ignoring him.

Holly still did not speak.

"You're not even going to ask me what's become of your precious Harley?" Alex goaded, knowing that it would bait her into finally talking.

He was right. Keeping her gaze fixed out the window, she asked quietly, "Where is it?"

Alex mentally patted himself on the back in victory. "After I called the ambulance, I called a tow truck. It's at a local bike repair shop."

Holly nodded. "Okay, thanks," she said. Then she was silent again.

Alex ran his hand through his raven colored hair, frustrated by her iciness. Well, can you really blame her? he chided himself. It's not like you've been Prince Charming.

Resigning himself to the cold shoulder, he sat back in the seat and sighed.

*

Holly was hobbling up the stairs to her fifth floor apartment, cursing her luck that the elevator was now undergoing maintenance. Alex was behind her, ready to help her if she needed it, but she refused to show any weakness.

As a result, it had been a good five minutes and they were just barely on the second floor.

"If you lean on me, this would go a whole hell of a lot quicker," Alex said, exasperation evident in his voice. Holly ignored the twinge in her stomach as his deep voice rumbled through her. Even if the sight of Alex caused a spike in her blood pressure, the sound of his voice clearly caused a spike in her hormones.

"If I'm going too slowly for you, you can just go home," she barked. "I don't need you."

Alex bristled at her tone. "I'm not going anywhere, you harpy," he replied tersely. He was rewarded by the sound of Holly's sharp gasp, giving away that she had clearly been offended. "I just don't know why you won't let me assist you."

Holly stopped, turning her head to glower at him. "Why are you really here, Alex?" she asked. "To make my life even worse?"

Alex bit back a snappish response. He saw that, despite the anger in her jade eyes, Holly looked tired and wary. Maybe try a different approach, he thought.

"Not at all, Holly," he said, forcing his tone to be even and calm. "All I know is that you're obviously in pain, and it would be easier on you if we got you lying down sooner rather than later."

Holly stared at him, seeing the reason in his words. Drawing herself up, she gave in. "Fine," she murmured.

"Thank you," Alex said, coming up next to her and wrapping her left arm around his shoulders. "Now, lean your weight on me."

The trip up the next three flights of stairs was much easier, as was the silence between the two of them.

*

Approaching the door to 54A, Holly saw a piece of paper taped to it.

When she was close enough to read it, she saw red.

"What the hell?" she yelled, unable to believe her eyes. "First I'm late for work, then I'm nearly killed, and now I'm being evicted?" Tears of aggravation sprang to her eyes. "What have I done to deserve all this?"

She sank back against Alex as she let a few teardrops fall down her cheeks. Alex frowned, staring at the note in her hand. "You haven't paid your rent for the last two months?" he asked.

"No," Holly said sadly, the tears falling freely now. "Haven't b-been able t-to afford it."

Alex stared at her, feeling a strange spasm in his heart as he watched her cry. "How many days do you have to move out?"

Holly looked at the note again. "It s-says I h-have two w-weeks." She was sobbing now, but she didn't care. This day was far too much for her to handle.

Taking a deep breath, Alex made a decision. "Please don't cry, everything will be okay," he said, wrapping his arm more tightly around her. He almost cringed as he heard himself say next, "You can move in with me."

Holly abruptly stopped crying. She wasn't sure she'd heard correctly.

"What?" she asked. "Are you serious?"

Alex nodded. "Of course I am," he replied, taking the note and crumpling it before dropping it to the ground. "We'll put your stuff in storage, and while we try to find you a new place, you can stay at mine."

Inwardly Alex was struggling with himself. What the hell are you doing? a voice in his head shouted.

"I hardly know you!" Holly said, wiping her face. "I can't live with you!"

She's right, you know, the voice in Alex's head argued. "It's only temporary," Alex argued, choosing to ignore reason and go with his instinct. "And besides, it would be very convenient, since my job is to take care of you and your job is to assist me while I'm working on my book."

Holly said nothing, and for a moment Alex steeled himself for rejection. For some reason, he found himself hoping she'd agree to the deal.

"Okay," she said finally. "I'll stay with you."

Alex released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "It's settled, then," he said, smiling in an effort to reassure her.

But silently he prayed that neither of them ended up regretting this.

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