tagCelebrities & Fan FictionStockholm Syndrome Ch. 11-13

Stockholm Syndrome Ch. 11-13

byAddicted2Writing©

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Alex stayed in the hallway while the nurse helped me into bed, where I collapsed into the mattress. After she placed an ice pack under my neck and shot me up with the painkiller, she asked if I wanted Alex to come back in. I went back and forth in my head until I heard myself say yes, but only for a few minutes. While I waited, I tried to think of something to say to him, but it was useless. I came up with nothing.

Even though the medication had already started to work, I had to put my arm over my eyes because the light from the lamp overhead really hurt my eyes. When I heard him stand next to the bed I asked him to turn them off. He did without a word. I was only then able to look at him, staring into his eyes, seeing his red cheeks, his red eyes.

Yes, he was an ass, but I was in a major predicament. I knew no one in Stockholm, and I sure didn't want to go to an empty hotel room for who-knew-how-many days on end alone.

"Alex, is there anything I can say to make you believe that I don't blame you?"

"Say you forgive me." Again, the tone of his voice shook me to the core.

"There's nothing to forgive, but I forgive you anyway." I yawned. Although the painkiller never immediately knocked me out, it seemed it was sending me down fast that time. "I'm still mad at you, though."

His whole demeanor seemed to brighten. "Can I come by in the morning?"

"I don't care." Oh, I cared. I just didn't want him to know I cared.

Then I remembered what I'd said about being with him was a mistake, and I was sorry I'd met him. I sure as shit didn't mean it, especially after all he'd said to explain himself. I wanted to apologize, but the words never left my mouth.

"But you'll talk to me?"

"Yeah." I could no longer keep my eyes open. "But I'll still be mad at you."

---------------

"Hmm, well, it appears to be healing, for the most part," the doctor said early the next morning after looking over my leg. "You eat at lunchtime, and I will let you leave before dinner."

I was elated.

"The physical therapist will be in in a few hours to show you some exercises for your arm and leg. I understand you are on vacation, but you also have a long journey home ahead of you. We will provide you with a crutch to help you get around. However, I am concerned about infection in a few areas."

I then deflated.

"I will give you an antibiotic to prevent it from getting worse. Also, I am not sure it would be in your best interests to leave you unguarded in your weakened state. It will be a few days before you are strong enough to get around on your own, even with the crutch."

I sighed. "I can talk with Jessica Peachtree at the Embassy to see what she can do."

"I am afraid I have already checked with her about this. They have no services for out-patient after care. I also informed her that more than likely you would be released this afternoon, though I advised against you staying at the Hotel Soder alone."

"Dr. Lindberg, I'll be fine there. I can always call the front desk, and—"

"Carrie, I'm sure you would like to leave this dreary place?"

Get out of here? Hell yes.

He smiled warmly. "I heard you've met our famous ..."

No, no! Don't you dare say it! I screamed to myself.

"Do you think if you asked him ..."

Damn it. He'd said it. At that moment he was the second Swede I was mad at.

"No, absolutely not." I said adamantly. "No. No."

"So, that is a no?" He grinned. "Dear, you really do not have any other option, I am afraid."

How about you give me a little more, or a lot more morphine – like enough to overdose – than you meant to give me? That'll solve everything.

After he left I lay in bed going over one solution after another after another. And every one brought me back to the only solution.

"Shit, shit, shit," I said to an empty room.

---------------

"Owowowowow, sh-sh-sh, hmmph," I grunted while the PT showed me different ways to bend my elbow. Flex here, lift here, straighten there. Oh, go flex yourself! I thought, forcing myself not to cry.

I did really well until she started on my leg. Her hands under my knee, she told me to keep it up for as long as I could when she let go; it turned out to be minus three seconds that I held it up. It just flopped back on the bed, resulting in a blood-curdling scream from me. I gripped the railings and prayed the pain would subside. It felt like forever. But she kept it up until I was crying hysterically, and able to hold it up for half a second, literally. So, the PT was the third Swede I hated.

"Good, good. You go for walk."

You are fucking kidding me, right?! She lowered the bed railing and put her arm out for me, like I'd willingly get out on my own after that horrid thought.

"No crutch, just me. Want to feel how much weight you put on your leg."

It was a good thing she was a robust woman. I just knew I'd tilt right over and squash her. At least she'd be in a hospital when I did. She then made it to the number one spot on my personal 'Swedes I Hate the Most' list.

I made it eight steps out of the room before I was holding onto her for dear life, crying even harder than I was before.

"I'm ... I'm done. No more, please," I pleaded.

The PT would have nothing of it. "You keep going. Take your time, but you have—"

"May I?" I heard someone ask. I didn't have to look up to know it was Alex.

She said something in Swedish to him, which only seemed to piss him off because his voice wasn't as soft-spoken as it usually was. They exchanged a few words before she let go of me, and Alex gently wrapped his long, strong arms around my waist, his hand just under my right armpit.

"Carrie, I've got you. Come on."

"Thanks. Can't take anymore," I sobbed.

"Oh, no, sweetie. I'm not taking you back to your room. We have a hallway to see."

I leaned back up slightly, groaning the whole way. I swayed a little bit, putting some of my weight on me to hold me up.

"Damn it! It hurts!"

"You want to get out of here, don't you?"

"You've spoken to Dr. Lindberg, haven't you?" I tried to snicker but couldn't.

"Yes, I have."

"I hate you."

"I hate you, too," he replied. I wasn't expecting to hear that. "Now get." He pushed me forward, making me take a shuffled step. "Good job. Keep it up."

"Oh, shut up!" I spat, though it didn't come out angrily. His body shuddered with a small chuckle.

Groaning, moaning, crying and whimpering, I made it to the fourth room past mine before I really couldn't take it anymore. Somehow, Alex must have known he'd pushed me as far as I could go and turned me around.

The PT was standing there with a wheelchair to take me back. Her good graces bumped her from the number three spot on my list.

"Let me know when she's in bed, and I'll—"

"Alex, no. Can you ... I want you to ..." Lord knows why I couldn't say it.

"Carrie, she can—"

"I don't care."

"Envis kvinna," the PT said.

"Ja, hon ar," Alex replied as he took the wheelchair handles.

"That's really rude, Alex," I snipped. "What'd she say? Did she cuss me out?"

"She said you were stubborn, and I agreed."

I couldn't really argue with that. I was on a real losing streak so far. Alex kissed the top of my head before he wheeled me into the room. Ah, to hell with the 'Hate' list.

Again groaning and grunting and crying, I made it onto the bed, feeling like I'd run a marathon. I would have curled up into a ball if my body would have let me, so I had to settle with crying with my arm over my eyes.

"Sweetheart, here," Alex said as he put his hand on my wrist and pulled away.

"Leave me alone, please. I'm tired, and I hurt like hell. Just let me cry 'til I pass out." I had stopped crying, though, but was in no less pain.

"I don't care," he said, echoing my own words back at me.

Squeezing my wrist tighter and using a little more force, I lost all of my willpower and put my arm down. Then he placed a damp, cool washcloth over my forever then my cheeks, wiping gently.

I sighed happily. "Hmm. Can you just lay it over my eyes?"

After he did, I felt the mattress sink a little on the side, and he started brushing my hair back. "You still mad at me?" he whispered.

"Yep. Hey, can you get the—" I didn't have to finish my sentence because the nurse had just walked in. Alex quickly stopped and leaned back.

"I have something for the pain, but not strong," she said as she wiped my forearm then inserted the needle. "You have to be wide-awake when you are discharged. Just relax. You'll be in good hands with Alex ..."

"Whoah, wait! What?" I asked, throwing the washcloth off my eyes and looked around for the nurse, but she was gone. "What the hell was she talking about?"

I thought I'd yelled at him, but apparently the painkiller started to work, so there wasn't much anger behind it.

"Oh, um," he stuttered. "I was hoping to be able to talk with you about that."

"Yeah, you'd better start explaining, buddy," I said then yawned.

"Carrie, I'm going to be here for at least another month, and I want you to stay with me at my flat."

"No. I already told Dr. Lindberg no. Period. End of discussion." The pain was all but gone, and I had trouble keeping my eyes open.

He shook his head. "To be honest, I want you with me."

"To be honest, I don't." His face contorted as if I slapped him in the face. "Oh, Alex. I didn' mean that. It's jus' I don't wanna be an imp'tion."

"A what?"

"Impo'tion. I thawwwt you knew En'lish. God! A burden." I slowly closed my eyes.

He chuckled. "I am taking you home."

"No, you're naw't."

"Yes, I am. Say okay."

"No."

"Aw, come on now. I know you can say it. It's just two little letters, O and K."

"O and K," I muttered in a distant, sleep-induced, stupored voice.

"Smart ass. Careeee, say okay."

"Ooookaaay."

"That's my girl."

"Bu' I'm not stay'in with you."

CHAPTER TWELVE

Sometimes a girl says things that she doesn't mean, didn't mean to say, or didn't know what she was saying to begin with. I was in the second and third categories.

"Now, Carrie," the discharge nurse began.

It was just after seven, and I was in the wheelchair in my hospital room waiting to get the heck out of there. I was permitted to shower, which was the best shower I'd ever had, being that it was the first in five days. The lukewarm water stung my leg wound and the cuts here and there as well. But it was washing my hair that really made me feel better.

"There is an appointment already set for you at ... half past two Monday." She looked over at Alex, who was sitting on the bed. "Du kommer att föra henne?"

He smiled, staring at me. "Yes, I'll get her here on time."

"Great. Dr. Lindberg will take the stitches out then, but ..." She spouted something off to Alex, who only nodded. I was too physically drained to even care what she said. "In the bag are an antibiotic, your refill of Lisinpril and a tabular painkiller, but take that after food only. Do you have any questions?"

"No. I can' think of anything."

"Okay. Remember, the doctor wants you off that leg entirely, except to go the bathroom, and use your crutch. No more than five minutes, okay? At any time if you get severe headaches that acetaminophen will not get rid of, or any nausea, and/or vomiting, you call us immediately. Understand?" I nodded. "Good. You are ready to go." Damn, finally! I thought, having a visual of me doing the victory dance. "I will get the orderly so he can escort you out."

"That won't be necessary," Alex commented as he stood. The tone in his voice was very much Eric Northman's: deep but soft, husky, yet authoritatively.

"I am sorry. It is hospital policy. You may push her, of course, but the orderly must be present. Be well, Carrie."

"I will. Thanks." She had just reached the door. "Oh! Can you tell the physical therapist I am truly sorry for being ... such a bitch?"

She smiled. "Of course I will, but you were an angel compared to some of her patients."

When she left, Alex knelt in front of me. "My little angel," he cooed then grinned. "I like that."

"Alex, I can pretty much guarantee I won't be an angel for a couple of days."

"I'm up for that challenge. I've got a driver who'll drop us off at my place. There's lots of leg room, and hopefully you won't be up for too long."

"Why not take my rental ... oh, shit! I totally forgot. What happened with—"

"I forgot to tell you. I returned it Monday morning. I hope you don't mind."

I relaxed. "Oh. Thanks. We'll need to swing by the hotel to get my luggage."

"Already in my flat." I thought I was the queen of planning, but apparently Alex was one step ahead of me, damn him. "Are you still mad at me?"

I narrowed my eyes at him, trying not to grin. "It depends. Are you gonna feed me?"

He smiled. "Anything you want."

I couldn't hold the grin back anymore. "Can I get ice cweam?"

"Every flavor, if you want it."

"Gelato? Dark chocolate and sea salt or cherry broccoli."

"Ew. You're pushing it."

"Can't blame a girl for trying." I grinned. "I'll think about it."

About half an hour later we were sitting in the back seat of Gustaf's car, who was our driver for the day. As awkward as it was meeting someone in his family, Gustaf seemed like a good guy.

It wasn't my intent to snuggle up beside Alex, but my body just gravitated toward him. He put his arm around me, and I put my head in the crook of his arm.

"Alex, why did you bother your brother to drive us?" I whispered so Gustaf couldn't hear.

"Because I didn't want to ... It was just easier." I didn't like the tone of his voice, for some reason.

"Easier than what?"

He sighed. "I didn't want to drive."

"But you drove my rental to the airport," I pointed out.

"No, I didn't. Gustaf and Eija helped me out." His chest rose, his body tensed.

"Huh?"

Then it hit me. I remembered my car accident twenty years earlier, the one that caused my ten-year later neck surgery; arthritis had set in because of that. I leaned my head back and looked over his face, waiting for an explanation.

"I drove with Bill in his car while Gustaf drove yours."

"Yep, that's me! I am now a chauffeur. Chauffeur Charlie, at your service," Gustaf chimed in. I glanced briefly at the rear view mirror; he winked.

"Gustaf, knock it off," Alex said sternly and very brotherly.

"Hey! Would you like a tour of the city from the back seat?" Gustaf asked. "I can drive you by Alex's grade school or the corner where Evelina Mellgren gave you that black eye. Heard she got married and—"

"Håll käft!" Alex barked. "Aren't chauffeurs supposed to shut the hell up?"

"Normal ones, yes. But brother chaueffeurs ..." I couldn't help but laugh.

He squeezed my shoulder, bringing me back to him. "But why couldn't you—"

Then I got it. It takes some people a while to get behind the wheel after an accident. If there is a passenger that's really hurt, it takes even longer. I couldn't think of anything to say to comfort him, so I took his hand and held it tight for the remainder of the thirty minute drive, which felt like thirty hours.

By the time we drove up to his building, I had zero strength. Alex got out of the car and walked around to the other side to help me out.

Gustaf got out and stood by him. "Anything I can do?" he asked Alex.

"Yeah, can you get her crutch out of the trunk, please?"

"Why, yes, of course, certainly, Master Skarsgard," Gustaf replied in a British accent, winked at me then went to the back of the car. Alex grunted under his breath.

I scooted over, took Alex's hand and carefully, very slowly, pushed myself out of the car, all the while moaning and groaning.

"Hmmph, I'm gonna need you to—" I straightened my legs, not putting any weight on my right leg.

I groaned as he took me, and I leaned into him. "I've got you. I've got you."

"Gustaf keeps winking at me," I whispered, but I wasn't angry or anything.

"I'll kick his ass later for you."

The trunk closed and Gustaf came to us. I gathered up my courage and tried to take a step with my right leg. "Ow, ow ... ow, shit."

"Whose ass are you—" He stopped when he saw me struggling. "Can I help?" His voice was genuinely concerned.

I said no, but Alex said yes. Maybe I needed a little more help than I thought. "Please, Gustaf. Um, my right arm's pretty sore, so if you could—"

Alex grabbed a hold of my waist. "Put your arm around me, Carrie." I did without a second thought. "Gustaf, you do the same."

"Geez, Alex. I don't need—"

"Yes, you do," he said firmly. "And if you even attempt to argue with me, I'll put you right back in the car where you'll sit until you decide not to be so damned stubborn." His tone was playful, but I took the hint. I growled at him but smiled.

So, I had a Skarsgard on each side of me holding me up, slowly progressing up the sidewalk, and it was going well. I was hopping on my good leg, the guys both bent over because I was much, much shorter than them.

"This must be a sight," Gustaf said. "Three people and seven legs."

I was about to tease the guys that I was the cream filling in a Skarsgard cookie when I made the mistake of instinctively stepping on my right foot. I cursed loudly and had to stop. My head was beginning to spin terribly and was feeling a little nauseas.

"Hang in there. We're right at the door," Alex said reassuring. The door opened seemingly on its own until I saw a woman holding the door for us. "Tack." Thank you was one of about five Swedish translations I knew. "Hey, hey," he said as he hit the button to the elevator.

"Carrie, lean into me. Gustaf, let go." When he let go, Alex cradled me stronger in his arms. My ears ringing loudly, I wrapped both arms around him, put my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes. The elevator opened and he guided me in.

"Alex, she's looking really pale," Gustaf commented.

I felt his body shift. Wiping the side of my face, he said, "Yeah, she is. We're almost there, sweetheart. We'll get you straight into bed and you can sleep for three days if you need to."

"Hmm," I muttered. "I can barely handle one Skar—"

"Hey, Gustaf," Alex interrupted, his voice much louder than it needed to be, which startled me a little. "Tell Granma I'm sorry I won't be able to make it ..." I then lost my hearing.

The next thing I knew I was laying on a bed, my legs over the edge. I screamed bloody murder, crying, as it felt like my right leg was splitting in two again. With no doing of my own, my legs were lifted and my body naturally turned all the way on the bed, my head resting on a pillow.

"Carrie, you stay right here. I'm going to say goodbye to Gustaf then be right back. You okay?"

"No," I answered honestly. "Th'nk 'em for meee," I slurred.

"Will do."

Second obstacle in the bag, I thought to myself as I lay there. My head stopped spinning, the nausea was gone, but I had a wicked headache.

The bed suddenly sunk down on one side. "I'm back. How ya doin'?"

I turned toward him and forced my eyes open. "Asp'rin."

"Okay. You have a while to go before another painkiller, I'm afraid. And I've got the aspirin right here, bendy straw, even."

"What's a benty straw?" I asked as he grabbed the glass from the nightstand, scooped something up and brought them toward my mouth. When I saw the straw I smiled stupidly. "Oh, it bends. I thought it was Swedish for something."

He chuckled. "No. Here." He handing me the pills, which I put in my mouth. "Bend your head a little more so water doesn't spill. I don't want my comforter ruined." I didn't think twice about his comment.

He guided the straw to my mouth, and I swallowed the pills. "Thanks. I won't need the painkiller yet cuz I'm ready to sleep now."

"Good," he said as he stood, grabbed a blanket that was hanging over the back of a chair and covered me before sitting down beside me again. He snuck Lucky onto the bed, goofing around like the stuffed teddy bear was climbing up itself, jumping on my stomach and doing a little dance. I laughed, smiled and stuffed it under my left arm, squeezing it tight.

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