Yellowstone Redemption(8)By: Peggy L Henderson
“Damn.” He touched his forehead. “What the hell happened?”
“You must have been caught in the storm two days ago. You were lucky the Absarokas found you and brought you here.” Sarah bent and reached for the bowl on the ground. The water had already seeped through the cracks in the wooden slats.
She kept a wary eye on the man in the bed. He was still too weak to be a threat, but Sarah’s hand instinctively felt for her knife, reassured that it was securely strapped to her hip.
“Two days ago? Shit. Where am I?”
“The Madison River Valley,” she answered.
The man shot her a perplexed look. “Madison? Why the hell there? Why not just take me to Canyon? They have a medical clinic.”
It was Sarah’s turn to look perplexed. This man must not be right in his head yet. Unsure what else to say, she asked, “Would you like some food? Some strong meat broth will help you warm up.”
“Yeah. Sure,” he answered absently.
Sarah hurried from the room, eager to put some space between herself and this strange man.
Chase sat up, leaning his head back against the wooden logs that made up the walls in this room. He glanced around. Where the hell was he? This was definitely not a medical clinic. It looked like a scene out of an old west movie. The dim room had one small glass-paned window, and from what he could tell, it was getting dark outside. A simple wooden dresser stood on the wall opposite the bed. Was that a bearskin rug on the ground? Chase shook his head. The coverings on the bed were mostly hides and furs as well. A bunch of Native American-looking knick-knacks hung on the wall.
A slow smile spread across his face. Okay. He’d bite. Todd and the other boys were trying to pull one over on him again. Complete with a cute little Indian nurse. The dark-haired beauty certainly completed the scene. Her mahogany hair was braided in one long rope down her back from what he’d seen. Her pants looked like fringed buckskins, complete with moccasins. Her cream-colored shirt fit loosely and was held together at her waist with a belt. Was that a real knife he’d noticed hanging off the belt? Shit, this could get mighty interesting. She looked vaguely familiar to him. She probably worked at one of the concession stores at Canyon. You’re losing it, Russell. A cute little chick like that, and you didn’t take a closer look before? Well, maybe they could get better acquainted now.
He pulled himself further into a sitting position. His head spun. Damn. He hadn’t felt weak like this since that one year he caught the flu. That had been a nasty strain, and Chase had been laid up in the hospital for a week. He’d missed almost a month of football practice. That was during his freshman year in high school. He’d been surprised the coach had kept him on the team. But Coach Beckman had always believed in him. Always told him to strive to be better. He’d been more of a father figure than his old man. He sure missed him. Right after the end of senior year, after Chase was announced All-Star Quarterback, the coach had had a massive heart attack. It had been quite a shock. Maybe he wouldn’t be here right now if coach Beckman was still alive.
Chase heard a squeaking at the door, and looked up. His cute little nurse was back. She held a steaming wooden bowl and spoon in one hand, and a rustic-looking lamp in the other. Their eyes met. She didn’t smile. Her eyes were large and round, but damn, if they weren’t the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. A vague memory tapped his brain. A dark-haired, blue-eyed angel staring intently at him while he was flat on his back.
She set the lamp on the little table next to the bed, and held the bowl out to him. “This might be a little hot. But it will warm you.”
“Thanks.” He took the bowl from her, and set it on his lap. She was about to turn and walk away. Without even thinking, his hand snaked out and grabbed her around the wrist, pulling her down on the bed. “What’s the rush, Pocahontas? Stay and keep me company. I’ll let you feed me, if you’d like.” He flashed a grin that he knew worked on girls every time.
He had no idea how it happened, but the next thing he knew, he was staring at the pointy tip of a huge hunting knife. And it looked razor sharp. The girl had it pointed inches from his jugular. Chase scooted back in surprise. The fast movement caused the bowl on his lap to spill.
“Holy shit!” He jumped to the side and tumbled off the bed on the opposite side, landing on the floor with a loud thud. Damn, that soup was hot. And it had spilled all over his pants, scalding his family jewels. He hastily unbuttoned and unzipped his shorts, hoping to minimize the damage. Kicking the shorts off his legs, he pulled himself off the ground. His boxers were wet, but at least not hot where it counted. He peered up and over the bed. The girl was gone.
“Damn, Russell. What the hell was that about?” He’d certainly never gotten a reaction like that from a girl. One of the benefits of being a star athlete. All the chicks wanted to go out with you. He was used to girls – cute or otherwise – to flaunt themselves at him. Having a knife pointed at his throat was an entirely new experience.