I smile and open my eyes a crack. As the events of the last twenty-eight hours come back to me, the smile disappears and my eyes open completely, meeting Chloe’s concerned ones.
“Angel.” I swallow, gently pulling her closer so I can press my lips to her forehead.
“Why am I here?” she whimpers, and I can hear the tears in her voice.
I pull slightly away from her so I can look into her eyes. “You got sick and passed out in the bathroom of the club.”
“I told them I didn’t want to drink,” she says faintly, making me instantly annoyed with the people she had gone out with. I should have known better than to trust anyone with her care.
“It’s okay,” I say, sitting up on the side of the bed while pressing the call button for the doctor. Then I slip on my shoes.
“Are you okay?” she asks, and the touch of her hand causes me to let out a sharp breath.
I’m so maddened by the thought of what could have happened to her that I could kill. I turn towards her and push my own personal demons aside. She needs me now, and I cannot let my own emotions overrule that.
“Fine, Beautiful,” I tell her, running a hand over her hair.
“Sir,” Ricket says, which is followed by someone else’s, “You’re awake.”
When I turn my head, an attractive man a few years younger than I am walks in wearing a set of dark-blue scrubs.
“I’m Alex, Chloe’s nurse.” He smiles, looking at Chloe a little too long before his eyes meet mine at me.
“We’re fine, Ricket. Thank you,” I say, watching him leave before turning to look at Alex.
“I’m going to get the doctor. Do you need anything before that?” he asks Chloe, taking a step closer to the bed.
“I need to use the restroom,” Chloe says softly, her cheeks turning slightly pink.
“I can help you with that,” he says, but I block his way.
“You just get the doctor. I’ll make sure she makes it to the restroom,” I snarl, and a smile twitches his lips, making a growl vibrate my chest.
“Let me just unhook her IV. That way, it’s a little easier for you,” he says.
I want to tell him no, but I know that, logically, that doesn’t make sense, so I reluctantly step aside so he can get to Chloe. It only takes a second for him to get her unhooked, and then he leaves the room.
“I can walk,” she complains as I pick her up and carry her into the bathroom.
“Not yet,” I tell her, helping her to the toilet. I stand at my full height over her, and her eyes narrow.
“You don’t need to wait in here with me. I’m fine,” she says.
I sigh, shaking my head. “Until the doctor says otherwise, you’re not to be left alone.”
“I hate when you get bossy,” she grumbles.
I shrug. She can find it annoying all day long, but it won’t change anything.
After she finishes in the bathroom and I help her wash her hands, I carry her back to bed just in time for the doctor to walk into the room followed by Nurse Alex.
“Miss Kasters,” Chloe’s doctor says, coming to stand next to the bed, “how are you feeling?”
Chloe looks from the doctor, to me, then back again. “A little out of it,” she frowns.
The doctor nods and looks down at the tablet in her hand. “That’s understandable. Your blood results came back, and it appears you had quite a bit of the drug Ambien in your system.”
“Isn’t that sleeping medication?” Chloe asks, and I take her hand in mine.
“Yes, but it’s also used as a predator drug.”
“Do you mean like a date rape drug?” Chloe asks, and her nails dig into my skin.
“Unfortunately, yes,” the doctor replies softly.
“Did I…” Chloe whispers then pauses to look at me.
The fear and confusion I see in her eyes has me moving so I can hold her face between my hands. “No, Beautiful,” I reply on a hoarse whisper. “You passed out in the bathroom at the club, but no one touched you.”
Her eyes close, and I pull her closer to me, placing my lips to her forehead.
“No one touched you,” I repeat against her skin.
She nods, and I sit back.
“I know this is very upsetting, but everything seems to be fine now.” The doctor smiles softly at Chloe.
“How long must she stay here?”
“I would like to monitor her for the next two hours. If she doesn’t show any signs of having a concussion, I’ll release her.” She looks from me to Chloe and lowers her voice. “I need you to let me know if anything changes over the next seventy-two hours. You have been asleep for a long time, but we believe that it was due to the amount of Ambien in your system.”
“Maybe it would be best if she stays here,” I state, not wanting to risk something happening to her while out of the hospital.
“I’m fine,” Chloe says, and I look at her then back at the doctor.
“Are you sure it’s a good idea to send her home?” I ask, watching a smile twitch her lips as Chloe cuts me off with, “I’ll be okay.”
I let out a breath and look at my angel. I despise that this has happened, and I don’t know how I’m going to function. Since I met Chloe, I have felt the need to protect her. Now, with this turn of events, I feel that urge getting stronger.
“If the doctor says you should stay, you’re staying,” I state, leaving no room for an argument.
“She already said I could go home,” Chloe says, and I hear a chuckle from either the doctor or “Alex the Nurse” and ignore it.
“Maybe we should get a second opinion,” I grumble under my breath.
“Nolan, that’s ridiculous,” she states, rolling her eyes.
I begin to wonder if she hasn’t really hurt herself. I can’t remember Chloe ever being so defiant.
“She just told you I’m okay. If anything changes, I can come back.”
“Okay,” I say and then look at the doctor. “I’ll need the number for an at-home nurse.
“Nolan,” Chloe chimes in.
“No,” I assert, swinging my head in her direction. “If you’re coming home, we’re doing it my way.”
She must understand from my tone that this is not something I will budge on, because she instantly jerks her head in an up-and-down motion.
“Now, if that’s everything, she needs her rest until you release her,” I bark, looking from Chloe, to her doctor, and then to Alex.