Dangerously Damaged (Addicted To You, Book One)
Author:Covington, Lucy

In actuality, the three of us had gotten into Boston late the previous evening and spent the night in a hotel. Early this morning we’d come to check out my room, and then spent an agonizing three hours at Target, picking out all the things my mom thought I was going to need, including but not limited to, a bulletin board (for what?), extra-long sheets (necessary), and house slippers (she’d gotten it into her head that the dorm floors with filthy, and that I was going to acquire some sort of foot fungus unless I was protected.)

 

My roommate, whose name was Rachel Flowers, wasn’t going to be arriving until tomorrow. We’d spoken on the phone over the summer, just a quick conversation which had amounted to me letting her know that I would bring a dorm fridge, and her asking me if I partied, to which I’d lied and said I did.

 

Adam was standing there awkwardly, and I hoped he didn’t think I expected him to wait with me.

 

“You should probably get back,” I said.

 

“Yeah.” But he didn’t show any signs of going anywhere. Then, a second later, his eyes brightened.

 

“Come on,” he said. He took my hand, which was a little bit weird, since he was practically a stranger, but I decided maybe it was a college thing (didn’t people always say you’d make your best friends for life at college?), and just went with it.

 

He led me behind a couple of buildings and then looped back around toward the rear of the administration building.

 

“There’s a back entrance,” he said. “And if we go in that way, you can cut the line.”

 

“Oh,” I said. “That’s okay, I don’t mind waiting, really.” The thought of breaking a rule on my first day was enough to almost make me break out in hives. (I’m kidding. Sort of.)

 

“We just have to figure out how to get over this fence,” Adam said, either not hearing my protests, or just deciding to ignore them. He put his foot on the bottom of the wrought-iron fence behind the administration building and began trying to hoist himself over. “Once I get to the other side, you can climb up and then I’ll lift you over.”

 

Lift me? Oh, dear God. I hadn’t been lifted anywhere since I was ten and my grandpa would have too much to drink at the Cramer family Christmas party and toss me into the air like I was a toddler.

 

I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. I didn’t want to break any rules—and I definitely didn’t want to climb this fence—but at the same time, he was the only person I knew here, and to refuse might lose me the one friend I’d made so far.

 

But then something happened that made the whole thing a moot point.

 

Adam tried to hoist himself over the fence, and his leg scraped against one of the spikes on top, tearing into his flesh and gashing his thigh. Whimpering, he dropped back over to my side of the yard.

 

“Dammit,” he said, grabbing at his leg.

 

“It’s okay,” I said. “Really, it’s not that big of a deal. I told you, I don’t mind waiting.” I kneeled down next to him. A stream of blood was dripping down his leg, and the cut looked deep. I reached into my bag and pulled out a scarf, using it to put pressure on the wound. But I could already tell it was going to need stitches.

 

“Sorry,” he said, sounding sheepish. “I guess we’ll have to join the other line.”

 

“Yeah, probably,” I said. “But first we’re going to have to get you to the hospital.”

 

***

 

The emergency room was a lot less busy than I’d thought it would be.

 

I felt bad for Adam, I really did, but I also couldn’t help but feel a little thrill as we walked through the doors of the hospital. Most people hated hospitals, but I loved them. Everything was so exciting – doctors running around, patients waiting to be seen, tests being ordered, people being healed. It was amazing.

 

“I can’t believe this is happening,” Adam moaned as we sat in the waiting room.

 

“You’ll be okay,” I said. I was filling out his insurance form, asking him for the information as I wrote it down. It felt kind of weird, honestly. I had just met this guy, like, an hour ago. And now here I was at the hospital with him.

 

When it was our turn, we got called into an ER bay where Adam laid down on a cot and waited for the doctor. I didn’t know what to do, so I kind of just hovered nearby.

 

“I think I’ve lost a lot of blood,” he said. “Do you think I’ve lost a lot of blood?”

 

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I think you’re going to be fine.”

 

There was a snort from the other side of the curtain.

 

I frowned.

 

“Yeah, you’re definitely right,” Adam said. “I think I’m just going to need one or two stitches.”

 

“Probably.”

 

Another guffaw from the other side of the curtain. How rude. Some other patient was making fun of Adam’s distress.

 

But before I could decide what to do about it, the doctor arrived. She was a short woman with dark hair named Dr. Singh. She took one look at the cut and told Adam he was most definitely going to need stitches, probably three or four.

 

His face went pale.

 

“Maybe we can use those butterfly stitches,” he tried. “You know, those special Band Aids that close you up so you don’t need to use a needle?”

 

“Those are only for people who have very small wounds,” the doctor said. She patted Adam on the hand. “I’ll be right back after I get the sutures.”

 

She left, and Adam got decidedly paler.

 

From the other side of the curtain, someone muttered, “Relax dude, it’s just a cut, not the end of the world.”

 

That was it.