Read Monroe, Marla - Their Broken Lady (Siren Publishing Ménage Everlasting) Online
Authors: Marla Monroe
Tanner walked out of the room after the orderly took Amber for her X-rays and headed for the waiting room where he was sure Bryan was cooling his heels. He wouldn’t like being relegated there, but he couldn’t go back, since he wasn’t family. Tanner was an exception since he was a doctor there at the hospital.
“How is she?” Bryan asked as soon as Tanner walked into the room.
“She’s doing fine. They just took her to X-ray.”
“She’s beautiful, Tanner. I don’t know about you, but I’m already half in love with her.”
“You just met her, Bryan. That’s not like you. You don’t fall for anyone. What gives?” Tanner had a feeling she was the one for them, but he wasn’t going to say anything to Bryan yet.
“I can’t help it. Almost as soon as I touched her, I felt it. She’s special, Tanner.” Bryan paced in front of Tanner. “We’ve got to figure out how to get her to go out with us.”
“She’s not from around here, Bryan. She doesn’t know anything about us and the fact that we share. I’m not so sure she’s going to go for it.”
“So we date her separately for a while, then when she’s used to us, we explain it to her.”
“As soon as we start dating her, someone is going to talk to her. Not going to work like that.” Tanner wasn’t sure what would work, either. He needed to think about it.
Bryan ran a hand through his shaggy hair, obviously frustrated.
“Let’s see what the doctor has to say about her injuries, and we’ll go from there.”
“Hell, you’re a doctor. What do you say?”
“I haven’t seen the X-rays yet. I’ll know more when they get back.” Tanner forced back a smile.
“Fine,” Bryan said with a sigh. “I’m just anxious. I’ve never felt anything for a woman like this.”
“They should have the films ready to read by now. I’ll talk to you again in a little while.”
Tanner walked back through the emergency room doors and headed for where he saw Dr. Quincy pouring over the X-rays.
“What do you think?” he asked when he walked up next to the other doctor.
“I don’t see anything to suggest broken bones. What about you? See anything?”
Tanner studied the films, but he had to agree with is peer. “Nope. Looks clean to me.”
“I’ll recommend the usual treatment for her and send her home, then.”
“Sounds good to me. Thanks for taking care of her.” Tanner shook the man’s hand.
“Don’t be a stranger at the club. Nothing good to talk about without you two there stirring up gossip.”
Tanner just shook his head. The other man walked off to talk to Amber about her injuries. He would give her time to assimilate her instructions, then go in and get her ready to go home. He looked once more at the X-rays, then headed for her room.
She was sitting up with her legs hanging off the table when he walked in. He frowned.
“Didn’t Dr. Quincy tell you to keep that foot propped up for twenty-four hours?”
“Yes, but he dismissed me, so I’m waiting on my paperwork. I’ll take a taxi home.”
“Nonsense. We’re taking you home,” Tanner told her.
“I don’t want to be a bother,” she repeated.
“You’re not a bother. Get that out of your head. Now the nurse will wheel you outside, and we’ll pick you up and take you home. I’m going to stop by the nurse’s desk and tell her myself.”
She sighed and hung her head. She was obviously hurting despite the pain pill the nurse would have given her. She wasn’t arguing with him anymore. Tanner was glad, though he hated she was in pain. He walked out to the desk and told the nurse that he would be taking her home. Then he headed toward the waiting room once more.
“Okay, she’s ready. Let’s move the truck to the door,” Tanner said.
“Is anything broken?” Bryan asked.
“Nope, thank goodness. Bad sprain is all.”
Bryan nodded and headed for the door and out to where he had parked the truck with Tanner beside him. They pulled up outside the emergency room entrance where the nurse already had Amber in a wheelchair waiting on the ramp.
Tanner hopped out of the truck and helped her stand before he picked her up and sat her between them once more. After buckling her seat belt and thanking the nurse, he climbed back in and Bryan took off.
“Where to, Amber?”
She reluctantly gave them her address and sighed.
Tanner realized she lived on the other side of Blue Springs in the run-down house on the road to their ranch. They had often talked about buying the house and having it torn down.
“What about your car?” Bryan spoke up.
“Oh, I forgot about it,” she said.
“Drop me off at her car and I’ll follow you to her house,” Tanner said.
“Really there’s no need to go out of your way like this. I can get my car later.”
“It’s not a good idea to leave it parked uptown overnight, much less several days. We’ll get it and you’ll have it when you are able to drive again.” Tanner wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“Where are you parked,” Bryan asked her.
She sighed and let her head fall back against the seat.
“I’m on third. It’s a mocha Nissan Pathfinder.”
Bryan nodded and changed directions.
* * * *
Her ankle was throbbing, and she had the beginnings of a headache. She figured she was better off giving in. She really didn’t feel up to an argument. Amber reminded herself that once they dropped her off, they would be out of her hair.
Bryan pulled up beside her car and Tanner held out his hand for her keys. Amber dug in her purse and produced the keys for him. He smiled and stepped out of the truck. They waited until he had the Nissan started then headed for her house. Bryan followed directions without a hitch. Usually people had to ask twice where she lived.
“Here we are,” he said as he pulled in behind where Tanner parked her Nissan. “You’ve done a lot to the house. We’ve noticed on our way back and forth to town. It was in really bad shape there for a while.”
“You drive this way?” She realized now why they knew the way so easily. The lived out in her direction. That didn’t bode well for her.
“Yeah, about eight miles further down the road is our ranch.”
Tanner opened the door to the truck and unbuckled Amber’s seat belt before she could do it.
“Let’s get you inside and comfortable. You’ll feel better with your foot elevated.” He handed the keys to her car over to Bryan. “You can unlock the door for us.”
Bryan jumped out of the truck and hurried around to get the door open by the time Tanner had her in his arms and walking toward the house. He stepped up on the little front porch and walked into her house. It wasn’t much, but she loved the place. Now she looked at it through someone else’s eyes and cringed. Sure, the paint had helped, but it still had cracks, and the wood floors needed refinishing.
“Which way to your bedroom?” Tanner asked.
“There’s only one. It’s straight through the kitchen.” The house was an old shotgun house. The rooms were lined up one right behind the other. Her bedroom and the bathroom were all in the back. Tanner nodded and carried her through her dingy kitchen and into her little bedroom. Bryan followed behind them. With both of them in the room, it felt positively tiny. They took up all the space and most of the oxygen in the air. She felt her heart flutter in her throat.
Bryan pulled back the covers of her bed and Tanner laid her on the bed. He took off her one remaining shoe since the other one was broken in a garbage can somewhere. Her panty hose were of course ruined, and her skirt hadn’t fared much better. She would probably be throwing it away along with the hose.
Tanner lifted her leg and placed her spare pillow under her ankle to elevate it.
“Would you like help getting undressed? I’ll have Bryan step outside.” Tanner said it with a straight face.
Amber honestly couldn’t believe he had offered.
“Uh, no. I can manage on my own from here. I can never thank you enough for all you’ve both done, but I can handle it from here,” she said with a strained smile.
“I’m going to write our numbers down on something. If you need anything at all, just call. We pass through here every day. We can always stop on the way and bring you something or help you with something.” Tanner picked up her pad by the bed and quickly scrawled on it. “These are our cell phone numbers. You use them if you need us, day or night.”
“Um, thanks, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.” She could almost feel the smile crack on her face. She needed them out of her house. They were overwhelming in such a confined space.
“We’ll lock up on our way out. I left your keys on the kitchen counter,” Bryan said.
“Thanks. I really appreciate it.”
Tanner patted her shoulder and they turned to leave. She let out a breath once she heard the outside door close. Thank God they were gone. She had never been so uncomfortable in her life. They were bigger than life and bossy. It was a combination she would do well to steer clear of.
Amber tended to lean toward big strong men who also turned out to be mean. They always started off fine. Then, somewhere along the way they began to get bossy and from there, they got controlling. Before it was over with, they were beating her. She had just gotten out of such a relationship a little over a year ago and moved to Blue Springs, Texas, in an attempt to start over. Her last home had been in Memphis, Tennessee. Blue Springs was a welcome change from Memphis, with its high crime rate and dirty streets. She had fallen in love with it the minute she drove into town. She decided to stay if she could find a job. As it was, the teller position at the bank was open when she needed it. It worked out great.
Amber sighed and began the arduous task of undressing. She slipped out of her blouse first, and laid it on the other side of the bed. Next she rolled over with a wince and unzipped her skirt behind her, then shimmed out of it. Her panty hose were a mess, and proved to be difficult to get off. By the time she had them down to her ankles, she was worn out and her knees were burning. Her elbow felt like someone had hit it with a baseball bat, and her ankle protested the pressure of the hose until she managed to pull them completely off. She slipped out of her bra, but decided to sleep in her panties and nothing else. It wouldn’t hurt for one night. She was exhausted from struggling with the damn clothes.
Amber settled down with the covers pulled up to her chin and her foot still on top of the pillow. It left most of her right leg exposed, but she would be fine. It wasn’t cold at night.
As she drifted on the edge of sleep, Amber thought about the two men who had helped her. They had been very nice, but like she had surmised earlier, they were bossy. At least Tanner was. Of course, his being a doctor might have something to do with it. Bryan seemed to go along with whatever Tanner said. She guessed Tanner to be the older of the two men. Of course, they were not old by any means. They were probably in their early thirties. Tanner wouldn’t have been out of medical school long.
She realized she was obsessing over them and willed herself to stop thinking about them. With that, she fell asleep.
* * * *
“I don’t like her living in that house. It’s a disaster, and the lock on the door was flimsy. The damn roof probably leaks.” Bryan started complaining to Tanner the minute they got back in the truck. He knew Tanner would ignore most of what he said, but he still said it. To his surprise, Tanner agreed with him.