sticks & stones (cut & run 2) - Page 76

“Made the mistake,” Deuce echoed. “What happened?”

Zane finally looked over at Deuce. “Oh, he didn’t hit me or anything before he woke up,” he said as the corner of his mouth turned up. “But he sure was cranky once I got his attention.” His eyes slid back to Ty. It had to be the IV keeping him under now, he thought clinically. Ty usually woke up in a snap if he sensed someone close. That, or he wasn’t getting better, and that didn’t bear thinking about at all.

“You’re lucky you just got cranky instead of hit,” Deuce told him fondly.

“Yeah,” Zane agreed. “After he woke up, we had a talk about things we were afraid of. How we might die. Heights. Small places with bugs,” he listed off.

Deuce smiled and nodded. He looked back down at Ty, but the smile fell as he watched his brother toss and turn. “Ty has a lot of bad dreams,” he said to Zane, his voice sad.

Zane wondered what Deuce expected him to say about that. Of course, the man had no idea that Zane was living with the same problem. “That’s why he keeps quiet, you know.”

Deuce looked up at him, still frowning. “Why?” he asked.

“So you don’t have bad dreams. So your mom and dad don’t have bad dreams.”

Deuce looked at him for a long time before the corner of his mouth twitched into a smile. He nodded and returned his attention to Ty. “You know him better than you think you do,” he said thoughtfully. “You want something to drink?” he asked as he pushed himself out of his chair.

“Yeah, sure,” Zane answered as he rolled his shoulders back and realized he still had his jacket on from his last cigarette break. He shrugged out of it and tossed it over the small rolling tray table that had been pushed to the side.

“Back in a minute,” Deuce said to him as he left, patting Ty’s bare foot as he passed the end of the bed.

Ty groaned as the door to the room clicked when Deuce opened it, and his foot twitched where he’d been touched. Zane shook his head. The last time they’d been together in a hospital room, it had been him in the bed. He remembered it hazily because he’d been so drugged. But he could still see the upset expression on Ty’s face when he’d announced that he had to leave while Zane had to stay. He remembered a short, gentle kiss. And he remembered the guilt on Ty’s face when he’d told Ty to go while he was too drugged to stop him.

Sighing, Zane paced around the bed and sat in the chair crammed between the bed and the window. As he sat down, the chair jarred the bed a little. Ty flailed under the thin hospital sheet, both arms and both feet coming off the bed like a baby who’d been startled. His IV rattled, and the plastic side rails of the bed banged noisily as Ty gasped and tried to sit up.

Zane leaned forward. “Be careful,” he cautioned. He reached to try to catch Ty’s flailing arm and save the IV. “It’s okay; you’re okay.”

Ty hissed as the IV tugged, and he put his hand over the line and looked up at Zane accusingly. Rolling his eyes, Zane sat back. “Welcome back to the land of the living.”

Ty responded with a grunt as he looked down at the cast on his hand and the IV in his arm. He looked around at the room and then over at Zane with narrowed eyes. “Hungry,” he muttered, his voice rough and hoarse. “You ate my lunch, huh?” he asked.

“And it was yummy too,” Zane drawled. He was relieved to find that Ty must have remembered the last time he woke when they’d told him what had happened. Ty had not taken it well when he’d been told the cast would have to stay on his hand for a minimum of three weeks, and Zane had been dreading the possibility of having to tell him again. There was a chipped bone in there somewhere, and the doctors wanted the entire hand immobilized just to keep any infections from spreading further as the antibiotics did their job.

Ty glared briefly before allowing a slow smile. His eyes drifted closed, and his shoulders slowly began to relax. “How long have I been asleep?” he asked as he forced his eyes open again.

“Twelve hours, give or take,” Zane said as he leaned back in the chair. “How much better than roadkill do you feel?”

“Depends,” Ty muttered. “Never felt roadkill.”

Zane’s lips quirked as he leaned forward and propped his elbows on his knees. “Deuce is real torn up,” he said seriously. He wasn’t even going to mention Earl.

Ty’s chin jerked to the side, and he looked at Zane with wide eyes. “Why, what happened?” he asked worriedly.

“Over you, jackass.” Zane bit back the rest of what he was about to say before shaking his head. “It was close. We almost didn’t get you here in time.”

A hurt look flashed through Ty’s eyes before he looked away, concentrating on the hand that was resting in his lap instead. “Oh,” he responded, abashed.

“Yeah, oh.” Zane rubbed at his eyes again. He would have to sleep soon. He hadn’t managed more than a few minutes stolen here and there since reaching the hospital, and he’d never slept more than a couple hours at a time on the mountain. He was still too jumpy, even being so exhausted. All he wanted was Ty in a bed next to him and a week to do nothing. “He wasn’t the only one worried,” he muttered, although he figured Ty wouldn’t appreciate it.

Ty glanced at him and winced. “Wasn’t exactly the relaxing vacation it was supposed to be,” he agreed slowly as he began to poke at the plaster of his cast and pluck at the tufts of gauze sticking out of it.

Zane just had to chuckle. “No, it hasn’t been. Christ.” He shut his eyes and leaned back against the chair.

“Well, it would’ve been,” Ty insisted under his breath. He sniffed and looked around before asking, “They go home?” He sounded forlorn.

“No. Deuce is getting us drinks. Mara’s back home with Chester, but she’s coming back soon. And Earl’s taking a walk.”

Ty sighed and closed his eyes, resting back into the bed. “Taking a walk, huh?” he asked, resigned.

“Would you please look at me?” Zane asked. Ty needed to understand how Earl was reacting to this mess. If he chose to keep lying to him after, that was his business. Ty forced his eyes open and turned his head to look over at Zane blearily. “He’s not angry,” Zane said. “He’s upset about what happened up on that mountain and about what he said to you. All this hospital shit just put some lovely little icing swirls on that apple pie of your mom’s. Understand?”