A Changed Man (Altered Book 1) (8 page)

BOOK: A Changed Man (Altered Book 1)
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"That does seem far fetched; no offence, but look at you! You look a little big to be kidnapped." She looked him up and down. "So when you say time, how much time were you thinking?"

"I was drugged. Maybe I could stay the night? I haven’t had any food or water in a while.  I'm very weak. If I could just get some strength back, I could figure out what my next move is."

"Drugged? Why would someone want to drug you?"

"It's a long story; one I promise I will explain to you once my head clears. May I stay?" 

Jackie stared at him for a few minutes.  Normally, she would have said no way in hell, but for some reason she couldn't bring herself to say that to this man.  She still felt as if she knew him from somewhere.

"Okay, you can stay one night. I'll feed you and you can sleep but tomorrow you have to make other arrangements."

Remington let out the long breath he'd been holding. "Thank you!  You won't regret it I swear."

"Let's hope we both don't." Jackie refilled his glass again.

 

 

Remington sat there at the table trying not to pass out.  He was in so much pain, but he was also starving. He watched the woman move around the kitchen. She opened the fridge and pulled out bread, ham, and cheese. She looked over to him. "Mayo?"

"That would be great, thanks.”  He said still watching her. He didn't notice it before in the dim light of the shed, but she was beautiful. She had big blue eyes, and shoulder length dark blonde hair. Her nose was slender and her jaw line defined, but still soft with adorably full cheeks. He watched her move around the kitchen like she was floating, every movement fluent, and purposeful.

Jackie could feel him staring at her, she stood making his sandwich with her back to him, not wanting him to see the blush she could feel crawling up her cheeks at the moment. "So, are you going to tell me your name or leave it a mystery?"  She asked.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I can't seem to focus. My name is Remington.”

Jackie brought the huge sandwich over to the table and sat it in front of Remington. "I'm Jackie, nice to meet you." She held out her hand to shake but before he would touch her he looked down at his own which was bloody and filthy.

"Can I wash up?" he asked looking embarrassed.

"Oh, of course." Jackie helped him to the kitchen sink, when he was done washing the dirt and gore from his hands she handed him a towel. He dried his hands and Jackie helped him back to his seat at the table and sat across from him.

"I really appreciate this." He said, taking a huge bite out of the sandwich. "Not many people would be so trusting."

"Yeah, well, I guess we'll see just how smart I am."

He set down the sandwich and looked her right in the eye.  "I promise you, with every fiber of my being, I won't hurt you. You can trust me."

How could she not believe such a sincere affirmation? She looked into his dark blue eyes and that feeling of familiarity ran through her again. She nodded.  Remington picked up his sandwich and finished devouring it.  After two more sandwiches, a coke, and another glass of water Remington seemed to finally be full.

"Why don't you go take a shower?” Jackie said, "and then we'll see about bandaging up some of those cuts.  They look pretty nasty.”

"I would like that, thank you." Remington said, "I’m not sure how long I can stand though, do you have a tub?"

"Sure, let me go start it for you."  Jackie went in to the bathroom and started the water running in the tub; getting it as hot as she thought he could stand with all those open wounds. She pulled a fresh towel and washcloth from the linen closet and sat them on the edge of the tub, along with the bar of soap and shampoo so he wouldn't have to stand up to reach for anything. She glanced at herself in the mirror.
I look like shit, s
he thought to herself.
Still better than him though
she giggled, and left the bathroom.  When Jackie returned to the kitchen Remington had his head down on the table and was fast asleep. She quietly picked up his plate and glass and brought them to the sink not wanting to wake him until his tub was full. She put everything away grabbed the rife and went to her bedroom to see if she had anything he could put on after his bath.  Laying the gun on her bed she started digging through her drawers.  She found a big t-shirt that she used to sleep in but had no clue what she was going to do about covering his bottom half. She would throw his clothes, or what’s left of the tattered material, into the wash once he got in the tub.  They would take awhile to wash and dry though. She grabbed the big throw at the foot of her bed. He could wrap that around his waist; it would have to do. She took the throw and shirt into the bathroom and laid them on the sink. The tub was almost full, time to wake up her guest.

She walked back to the dinner table and placed a gentle hand on Remington’s shoulder. "Remington" she whispered. He didn't stir. She shook him again, a little harder this time. "Remington." His eyes opened and he looked at her like a child waking from a long nap he didn't want to take in the first place. It must have taken him a minute to remember where he was because his eyes held surprise for just a brief second, and then he sat up.

"I'm sorry, I must have dozed off,” he said sheepishly.

Jackie let out a small laugh. "It's okay.  Your bath is ready."  Jackie helped Remington to the bathroom. "Do you need any help getting in?” She asked.

"You would do that?"  He asked surprised. "You would help a naked stranger get in to the tub?"

There was that half smile again. Reminding Jackie of the cat that ate the canary. She couldn’t help but smile herself. "Well, I don't really want to, but I could close my eyes if you needed me to help."

"No, that’s okay. I can manage."

Jackie let out a relieved sigh. It’s not that she wouldn't mind seeing more of this well built specimen, but under the circumstances it wasn't a good idea. "Okay, well I'm going to go rustle up some bandages and ibuprofen.  If you set your clothes just outside the bathroom door I will throw them in the wash.  I left a shirt and a throw on the sink. Just yell if you need anything."

Remington was still surprised by this woman’s generosity; living way out here all alone had to be scary for her sometimes. Then having a bloody stranger show up with a crazy story about a kidnapping and wanting to stay the night would have had most people calling the cops without hesitation. He got lucky, and he wouldn't forget it. "Thank you, you're very kind."

 

 

Jackie left the room pulling the door closed. She went to the guest room and opened the trunk at the foot of the bed. She pulled out fresh sheets, pillowcases, and a down blanket and made up the bed. She then went over to the closet where she remembered seeing the big white case marked with a red cross that was the first aid kit.  She hoped it was stocked for Remington’s sake. Jackie laid the case on the bed and opened it up.  It looked like a surgeon stocked it. It not only had a variety of salves and different sized bandages, but it had surgical sutures, scissors, clamps, scalpels, a hemostat, forceps, and a few other tools she had no idea what they were.  It held alcohol pads, an EpiPen, and ace bandages. She also found numerous bottles of pills; some for upset stomach, some for allergies, a prescription bottle of amoxicillin, and two prescription bottles of oxycodone with her grandmother’s name on them.
What in the world did you need these for gram?
She thought. She talked to her grandmother at least twice a month and she never mentioned being hurt or in any pain; she never mentioned owning a shotgun or having a handyman for that matter. Jackie felt like her gram had some double life she didn't know anything about.
And who in the hell stocked this thing?
Jackie noticed the lid of the case had black cloth stretched over it.  It was closed with a zipper. She unzipped the material and there were numerous braces; one for the knee, elbow, wrist, ankle, and a big one you wrapped around your back. Jackie closed the case back up and brought it to the living room, setting it down on the coffee table. She walked back to the bathroom and saw Remington had left his clothes outside the door.  She picked them up and made her way to the small laundry room beside the kitchen.  She put them in the wash, turned the knob to HOT, and doubled the amount of detergent she normally used.  Jackie returned to the bathroom door and tapped on it lightly. "You okay in there?" She asked. She couldn't hear anything coming from the bathroom. She knocked again, this time harder. "Remington? You okay in there?"

"Yes! I'm fine. Sorry, I must have fallen asleep again."

"That's okay. I found a first aid kit and some pain pills.  I'll wait for you out in the living room."

"Great!  I'll be out in a few minutes," he said.

Remington didn't want to get out of the tub, but the water was starting to cool off. He was feeling better already; with his stomach full and the hot bath loosening the knots in his back and neck, he didn't feel to worse for wear. His ankle was throbbing though, and the gashes on his legs stung. There were a few that would need stitches he was sure. He stood up slowly, balancing on one foot, and sat on the edge of the tub. Leaning over he pulled the plug to let the dirty water drain. He swung his legs around and out of the water and grabbed the towel to dry himself off. He stood and limped to the sink. Looking in the mirror he hardly recognized himself. The right side of his face was bruised and swollen with a small open wound at the top of his cheek, his shaved head and the stitches protruding through what little hair he had grown back, and he had huge dark circles under his eyes. He grabbed the toothpaste from the side of the sink and put a big glob on his finger and brushed his teeth the best he could. After rinsing his mouth out numerous times, he put on the shirt she left for him.  It would be a nightgown on her, but on him it was tight and barely covered his stomach.
It smells like her,
he thought. He wrapped the throw around his waist and walked out of the bathroom. Remington walked in to the living room and felt like he was punched in the gut.  Jackie was sitting on the couch and talking in hush tones on the telephone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      Chapter 6

 

Jackie heard a gasp behind her; she turned around to see Remington standing behind the couch staring at her with a wounded look on his face.  "Hey Sarah? Can I call you back? Ok, talk to you soon. Bye."

"Are you okay?" She asked Remington.

"Uh yea, I just thought..."

"Oh! No, yeah, that was just Sarah. She's my best friend; she lives in Cheyenne.  She called while you were in the tub."

"You had me worried for a minute." He said.

"Well as far as I'm concerned we have a deal. You don't do anything stupid and I don't call the cops." She said with a small smile. 
She really needs to stop smiling at me like that.
He thought.

"Deal." He replied.

"Okay, come sit down and let’s take care of those injuries."

Remington walked around to the front of the couch and sat down.  "I'm not sure where to start," he said.

"Well what’s bothering you the most?  The ankle?" She asked.

"Yes."

"Then that’s where we'll start." Jackie couldn't get over the difference the bath made.  Even with the side of his face bruised and swollen the man was gorgeous. He looked like he stepped off the cover of GQ; well, fell off the cover, then landed on the street and got run over by a semi. Jackie opened up the case and started pulling things out.  First was the bottle of painkillers. "Here, why don't you take two of these, it will take the edge off." Then she handed him two of the amoxicillin and a glass of water. "Some of those gashes are pretty bad; these should help in case of infection."

"Thanks." He said, popping the pills in his mouth. "That’s quite a collection.  Where did you get all this stuff?" He asked, digging through the case. "This looks like a military field case."

"Um, I'm not sure. I found it in the guest room closet when I moved in." She answered.

"You just move in?" He asked. "Maybe the previous owner was in the military."

Jackie looked at him, trying to decide how much to divulge to her new guest.  After all, he wouldn't be here long. "Actually, it was my grandmothers." She said. "She passed away earlier in the year and left me this house."

"I'm so sorry." Remington said sincerely.  "Were you close?"

"She raised me."  Jackie answered; "I miss her terribly."

Remington could see her eyes turning glassy. He gave her an understanding smile. "Well she sure knew how to stock a kit."

"Yeah!" Jackie laughed wiping at her eyes. "It seems she was just full of surprises. Now, lets see that ankle."

Jackie had never seen bruising this bad, but she wasn't a doctor so she couldn’t know how serious it actually was. She had his foot in her lap and was feeling around for any breaks in the bone. "I don't feel anything protruding, but it’s so swollen it may be hard to tell." She said. "Could be fractured, but I can't feel a break." She continued running her hands up and down his ankle softly pressing on the bones.  Remington winced.

BOOK: A Changed Man (Altered Book 1)
10.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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