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

I didn’t know Adam that well, but still. He was my sort-of friend, and he was hurt.

 

And besides, other patients in a hospital should not be making fun of people. It wasn’t right.

 

“Excuse me?” I said, reaching out for the curtain and yanking it back. “You’re being really rude.”

 

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I stopped.

 

On the other side of the curtain there was a guy getting stitched up by a doctor. It was surprising enough that there was a doctor over there letting this guy make his dumb comments, but it was even more surprising that the guy making the comments was doing it while getting stitched up himself.

 

The patient met my eye and grinned, no small feat since at that exact moment, the doctor was pulling a needle through the cut above his eye.

 

“Me, rude?” the boy asked. “You’re the one who just pulled back the curtain and invaded my privacy.”

 

“It’s not nice to make fun of someone,” I said. But my bravado was gone. It was the way he was looking at me. Something about it was unnerving. His eyes were a deep brown, but they were anything but ordinary. He looked like he was about twenty or twenty-one, and his face was chiseled and rugged, the kind of face that belonged on a male model.

 

I took in a deep breath through my nose, suddenly feeling faint.

 

“I wasn’t making fun of him,” the guy said. “I wasn’t even talking to him.”

 

“Yes, you were,” I said. “You were snorting and judging.”

 

“I don’t snort.” He shifted a little on the bed. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, and I tried not to stare. He had the most perfect body I’d ever seen – lean, toned, with a six-pack that betrayed hours in the gym. There were bruises on his pecs, a tattoo of a cross on his bicep, and of course the cut above his eye. It gave him a certain grittiness that made it clear he hadn’t gotten that body merely from lifting dumbbells in the gym. “I might judge, but I don’t snort,” he clarified.

 

“You did,” I insisted. “You snorted.”

 

“If you say so.” He shrugged.

 

The doctor finished stitching the guy’s wound and tied off the stitches. “I’ll be right back with your discharge paperwork,” he said before walking out of the bay.

 

The boy glanced over at Adam, who was touching his leg and grimacing as he waited to be stitched up.

 

“So what’s with Mr. Yale?” he chuckled.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Why’s he so pussy?” He looked down at his fingers and flexed them, and I noticed his knuckles were all cut up. And then I got it. He’d been in a fight. Figured.

 

“He’s not a pussy!” I whispered. “And we don’t go to Yale, we go to Cambridge.”

 

The boy jumped off his cot, then picked his shirt up and pulled it over his head.

 

“Whatever.” He started to walk toward the door, like he was leaving.

 

“Hey,” I said. “You need to wait for your instructions.”

 

“I know how to take care of myself,” he said, and then he was gone.

 

***

 

Half an hour later, Adam and I were sent on our way with a paper detailing how to keep the wound clean, and instructions to come back in two weeks to get the stitches removed.

 

“I’m sorry about that,” he said as we walked down the steps. “You really shouldn’t have had to babysit me.” He made a face that was something between a grin and a grimace. “I’m the senior, I’m the one who’s supposed to be looking out for you.”

 

“It’s okay,” I said. “I didn’t have anything going on anyway.”

 

“Hey, Cambridge!” someone yelled.

 

I turned around to see the rude boy from the bed next to us, the one who’d been getting stitched up. He was standing on the sidewalk, and he jogged over to us.

 

“Oh,” I said. “Hi.”

 

“What are you doing here?” Adam asked.

 

He ignored Adam completely. “What are you up to now?” he said, his eyes focused on me.

 

“Um, just going to back to the dorms,” I said. “I have to get my friend back so he can rest.”

 

“Yeah, she can’t go with you right now,” Adam said, trying to sound forceful.

 

The boy ignored him again. “Come have a drink with me.” His eyes were on mine, and I had the weird sensation of not being able to look right at him. Every time I did, my heart sped up and my face felt like it was on fire.

 

“I, um, I can’t have a drink,” I said. “I’m not twenty-one.”

 

“So?” He shrugged, like this was no big deal. “I’m not either.” He didn’t offer any more information, but the way he said it made it clear he knew a way around this.

 

“I don’t… I mean, it’s my first day…” I trailed off. It made no sense, but I wanted him to convince me.

 

But before he could, Adam yanked me away. “Come on,” he said. “We have to go.” His tone was urgent, and it crossed my mind for the first time that this strange guy, the one waiting for me outside the hospital, could be dangerous. I wasn’t in Ohio anymore. I was in a major city, talking to a person I’d met in a random hospital, with injuries that looked like he’d been in a street fight.

 

But I didn’t care. I realized I didn’t mind that he might be dangerous. The thought was thrilling and terrifying at the same time.