Stage West - Lindsay, Page 2Annie Pelle
As they left the ranch, the paramedic called the clinic and gave them the patient details. They would call the air ambulance company and put them on stand-by.
Nick was still unconscious when they arrived at the clinic. He was brought into the room and give some IV fluids but it was determined that he needed to be transported because he was still unconscious.
The doctor let Lindsay into see him. She came in and saw him hooked up to machines and IV’s. “How is he?” she asked worried for the man she loved with all her heart.
“He is stable. The helicopter is on its way here and he will go to the hospital in Phoenix. There is room if you want to go too.”
“Yes, please. In case he wakes up and needs a familiar face.”
He left the room a moment later leaving Lindsay alone with Nick. She picked up his hand that was not injured and cradled it against her. “Come on Nick, wake up and talk to me.” His hand flinched as she started to talk to him. “Come on Nick, wake up. I need you and I love you” she whispered close to his ear. But he did not move or wake up. She continued to cradle his hand until she heard the helicopter arrive.
Nick was moved to the helipad and loaded into the air ambulance along with Lindsay and the flight nurses. Lindsay had called the ranch and reported that they were flying to Phoenix. David said he was on his way and would see her shortly.
Nick started to regain consciousness on the flight. The nurse encouraged her to talk to him. She leaned over and spoke to him. “You are going to be okay Nick. You are in a helicopter on the way to the hospital in Phoenix.”
He started to struggle and sit up. “No, leave me alone. Get away from me. I don’t want you here. Get out.”
“Nick, it is me, Lindsay, just relax. You are hurt.”
“No, get away from me.” He thrashed against the straps on the gurney.
Lindsay sat back in her seat astonished at his words. The nurse spoke to him until he settled back down and slipped back into unconsciousness. “Head injuries are tricky. He didn’t know what he was saying.” The nurse told a white faced Lindsay who nodded in agreement. Lindsay didn’t believe her though, she knew Nick and he didn’t say things he didn’t mean.
They arrived at the hospital in Phoenix and were met by Gabby, Nathan and Nick’s brother Travis. Lindsay led them to the waiting room while Nick was examined in the emergency room. They had been waiting about an hour when David, Dalton and Sarah arrived.
“How is he?” Dalton asked
“We don’t know yet.” answered Nathan.
“Nick Cates family.” someone asked from the door.
“Yes, here.” Nathan stood.
“I am Dr. Cameron. I am an orthopedic surgeon. We are going to be setting his lower left leg in a cast and his left arm. He has a concussion but it is mild.”
“Can we see him?” Dalton asked
“Later. We need to get him in casts and moved to a room. He will spend the night at least here and then will need a least a week of bed rest at home. He is going to be fine. Everyone relax.”
The doctor’s report and soothing words did help everyone but Lindsay to relax. Gabby and Nathan were taking a few much needed deep breaths. Dalton was hugging his crying wife and David went to make a phone call.
Lindsay was sitting alone in the waiting room while everyone went to see Nick in his room. She couldn’t be near him again; he didn’t want her near him either. Nathan came to sit by her “Thanks for riding with him. I am sure he appreciated it even if he didn’t know you were there.” Lindsay knew better but answered Nathan graciously.
Everyone left the hospital as visiting hours ended, Lindsay had gone into Nick’s room just so her family wouldn’t get suspicious of anything. Thankfully he was asleep and didn’t know she was there. She stayed just a minute to reassure herself that he was really okay then she joined her family.
David and Lindsay rode back to the ranch together as did Dalton and Sarah. David had arranged a hotel room close by for Gabby and Nathan who would probably bring Nick home tomorrow. David and Lindsay were pretty silent as they arrived home. “You okay Lindsay? I know today was kind of tough.”
She had been moving towards her bedroom when David spoke but she turned back to answer “I’m fine. It is just the stress of the day. See you in the morning.”
Lindsay was working in her office a week later when Gabby called in. “Can you do me a favor?
“I am baking a cake and can’t leave it but Nick needs his lunch. Can you take it to him?”
No she cried silently “Sure” she answered Gabby. “I’ll be right there.”
Nick had come home from the hospital two days after his accident. He was on bed rest at Gabby’s house and Lindsay had avoided going to see him. Until now. I’m sorry Nick; this was your mother’s idea. I tried to stay away.
“Nick?” questioned Lindsay “I have your lunch.”
“I’m in the living room.” Nick responded
“I’m sorry to bother you, but your mom couldn’t leave the kitchen.” she said putting the lunch tray down where he could reach it.
“You are not bothering me, it is…”
“Can I get you anything else?” Lindsay asked. He asked for something to drink and she escaped to get it for him. She returned with the water and put it within reach and went to leave.
Nick began “Thank you. How are y..” Lindsay spoke at the same time “Bye.” Lindsay mumbled and turned again to leave
“Did you need something?” she asked quietly but didn’t turn to face him or even lift her head from the downcast position she had assumed.
“No, can you talk to me a while?”
“I guess” she said reluctantly but didn’t move to sit down
“You can sit down.” Nick gestured to the chair
She sat down, but didn’t say anything.
“Lindsay, is something wrong?”
She shook her head
“Lindsay, this isn’t like you. What is it?”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I have to get back to work.” She said as she stood to run from the room.
“Thank you Lindsay. I appreciate you bringing my lunch.” He said momentarily halting her flight.
She mumbled a you are welcome and left. Nick was stunned. She didn’t even ask how I was or anything. She didn’t even look at me. I have been home for days and she hasn’t come by and now this. What is wrong? He wondered.
Nick ate his lunch thinking about Lindsay. She was so special to him only she didn’t know it. He had known her most of their lives but in the last few months his feelings for her had changed. She was becoming so important to his happiness, now how to get her to see that.
Nick fell asleep and dreamed of Lindsay dancing with him. Riding with him and loving him forever.
Lindsay however was rushing to her room to have a good cry. She had to take some time off and soon. Nick would be up and around soon and she needed to be gone.
Nick’s bed rest period had been over for about a week now and he was getting around on his walking cast. He couldn’t do much work but he was glad to be up.
Nick walked up the main house for dinner. He greeted his mama and she asked him to go get Lindsay for dinner. As he walked to the hallway, she came out of her office and stopped. “I was just sent to get you” Nick called as she paused. “Dinner’s ready.”
“Thanks but I am not hungry. I was just going to tell Gabby not to expect me. Would you tell her for me?”
“I can. You haven’t eaten dinner with us in days. You sick?”
“No, just not hungry. Excuse me.” She said without looking at him and walked to her room. She walked away from me again. I can’t believe this. Nick thought as he returned to the dining room.
“Where’s Lindsay?” asked Gabby
“She said she wasn’t hungry.” Nick answered
“Again?” questioned Dalton “Is there something wrong with her?”
Everyone shrugged and started eating. Sarah was concerned for her friend. Lindsay wasn’t eating or talking to anyone and it was time for a heart to heart. Sarah finished eating and went to find Lindsay. She knocked on her door but there was no answer. She went back to the table and sat down again.
“Well?” asked Dalton
“She didn’t answer the door so I don’t know where she is. I will talk to her later. Let’s head home.”
David was relaxing in his room when there was a knock at his door. “Come in”
“David, can I talk to you?”
“Sure, sit down.”
Lindsay sat on one of the chairs in the sitting area and tried to think of the best way to start this conversation.
“Lindsay, what’s wrong?”
Lindsay took a fortifying breath “I am resigning from ranch manager and moving away. I don’t want to work or live here anymore. You will have to hire someone to manage the ranch business.”
“NO!” David shouted. Lindsay was glad it was just the two of them in the house. His shout would have brought the whole house to see what was wrong and she didn’t want anyone to know she was leaving.
“I wasn’t asking your permission. I’m telling you.”
“The answer is the same. No.”
“Please David, this is very important to me.”
“NO, but I want to know why you mentioned it.”
“It is personal.”
“And I am your brother so tell me.”
“I can’t.” she replied softly
“The answer is no. You are my sister; you will live and work here.”
“David, I really need some time away.”
“Then take a short vacation.”
“How about a month and I will take my work with me?”
“What is this all about? And why a month?”
“Please trust me David; I need to be away from here.”
“Ok, but if I think it isn’t working I want you to come home.”
“Thanks. I will make it work.” Lindsay said
“Lindsay, I wish you would tell me what is wrong.”
“I can’t.” Lindsay gave him a sweet smile “Please have faith in me.”
“Thanks. I love you David. I’ll see you in a month.”
“I love you too Lindsay.”
Lindsay had enjoyed her first day away from home. She had accomplished more work in a few short hours than she had in weeks at home. David hadn’t been thrilled with her leaving but finally gave in. “But only if you can still do business away from home.”
She hadn’t told Dalton that she was leaving. An email had been sent to Sarah explaining that she would be away for a month but to call or email her sometimes. Sarah wrote back immediately wanting an explanation.
Lindsay wrote back “I need a long vacation.” She knew Sarah wasn’t going to accept that explanation but it was all she was going to get from Lindsay. Whether or not David chose to tell them what she had originally requested was up to him.
The next morning Lindsay woke refreshed and feeling better than she had in months. She was going to the gym and then to spend the day at the spa. She loved being one of the owners of this hotel. She got dressed and left her room. As she waited for the elevator, the door to the other suite opened. She turned to see who Dalton had let stay in his suite and found herself looking at Nick Cates.
“What are you doing here?” they each asked at the same time
Lindsay responded “I am on vacation for a while.”
“Me too” Nick agreed
No, this can’t be. I left because of you! Lindsay groaned silently. Thankfully the elevator arrived and she got in hoping he wouldn’t join her but he did.
She pushed the button for the floor for the spa and he pushed the button for the dining room. She didn’t speak or look at him.
“Lindsay?” Nick cleared his throat “Do you want to have breakfast with me?”
“I can’t. I have an appointment at the spa.”
“How about dinner?” he tried again
“Maybe, I have a table in the steakhouse at seven. If you want to come, just tell them to seat you at the table.”
“I’ll be there.” Nick said as they reached the spa and she stepped off. She waved back at him to acknowledge that she heard him.
Lindsay walked quickly to the gym to work off the stress she had acquired in that short elevator ride. I must have the worst luck. Who else would leave home and the problem follow her on vacation? She went back to exercising and then went to the spa for her massage.
Lindsay saw that Nick was already seated at the table when she arrived. The hostess gave him a sly smile of welcome as she seated Lindsay.
“Hi.” She said as she sat down
“Hello. You look nice.”
“Thank you.” Lindsay replied and moved to look at the menu as the waitress approached.
They gave their dinner orders and tried to think of something to say to break the silence. “How was your day?” Nick asked
“Nice. I had a spa day. You?”
“I went out to a ranch outside of town to look at some horses.”
“You are here to work then?”
“No, just wanted to see some of the results of the breeding program.” Nick replied.
“How are your arm and leg doing?” she said interrupting him
He held up his arm that still remained in the cast. “They are still healing. Another couple of weeks in the cast and then physical therapy.”
“Good. I am sure you haven’t enjoyed those casts.”
“No, I can’t ride as well.”
“Ride? What are you doing riding with….” Lindsay ducked her hand and waved her comments off “Sorry, none of my business.”
“Nick? Is that you?” a voice interrupted him before he could respond to Lindsay.
“Cassie?” he said recognizing the woman who stopped at their table.
“What are you doing here?” Cassie asked
“Cassie this is Lindsay Matthews. Lindsay this is Cassie Reynolds.”
“Nice to meet you Cassie.” Lindsay said to the beautiful woman.
“Nice to meet you too” Cassie said and then turned to Nick. “Want to meet for drinks later at Club Red?”
“Ah, maybe. If I can make it, I’ll see you about ten.”
“Sure. Bye Lindsay” Cassie said as she walked away with a hopeful smile to Nick
“You can go with her if you want Nick, we don’t have to have dinner. The kitchen can cancel your order.” Lindsay moved to signal the waitress.
“No” Nick said “I want to have dinner with you.”
The server returned with their drinks “How do you know Cassie?” Lindsay asked
“One time when Dalton and I came here for a vacation, we met up with Cassie and her friend and had some laughs. She and I kept in touch for a while, but it didn’t last.”
Lindsay nodded. Their dinners arrived and they began to eat. Lindsay was extremely nervous and didn’t eat much. The reason for her being on vacation was sitting across from her so why did she think she could eat.
“You are not eating.” Nick commented.
Lindsay nodded “I guess I am not hungry after all.”
“Why are you on vacation? You didn’t mention it.”
She couldn’t respond, it was just too difficult to sit there and pretend she was fine. In reality, she wasn’t fine, she really was sick to her stomach from the anxiety “Nick, I am not feeling well. I am going to go to bed. Enjoy the rest of your evening.” She said as she got to her feet and left the restaurant.
Dammit. She walked away from me again. I am sick of this. He went to he
r room to talk to her but she wouldn’t answer or she wasn’t there. Tomorrow, I am going to hog tie her if I have too.
Nick knocked on Lindsay’s suite the next morning. He hadn’t slept much and knew he wouldn’t until he talked to her. The door opened only it wasn’t Lindsay, it was housekeeping. “Where is Miss Matthews?” he asked the butler.
“She left early this morning, sir.”
“Left as in for the day?”
“No, she checked out.”
“Thank you.” Nick replied as he turned for his suite. He was calling her cell phone before he reached the door. She didn’t answer but he left her a message to please call him. Then he was dialed Dalton “Where is your sister?” Nick asked in frustration before Dalton finished his hello
“I assumed she was in Las Vegas.”
“Well, she checked out of her suite.” Nick grumbled
“Why? Where did she go?” Dalton asked suddenly worried
“How should I know? I went to talk to her and the butler told me she was gone.”
“Call her cell phone.”
“I did, she didn’t answer it.”
“I’ll call her and find out where she is.”
“Call me back.” Nick said as he hung up
Dalton dialed Lindsay’s cell phone. “Where are you? Nick said you checked out of the hotel.” He stated after her greeting.
Lindsay went to defense mode “You didn’t tell me he was going to be there.”
Dalton countered “And you didn’t tell me you were going to be there.”
Lindsay responded defensively again “I’m sure Sarah or David told you I was going on vacation.”
“Yes, Sarah did. She communicates with me. Something I also expected from my sister. But why are you gone for a month?”
“Because I need it.”
“I just do. I’ll talk to you later.” She said as she hung up on him.
But where are you? Dalton thought as she hung up on him. He dialed her again but she didn’t answer.
He called Nick back. “Where is she?” Nick said in greeting
“She didn’t tell me”
“Call her again.”
“I did. She didn’t answer.”
“This is unbelievable.” Nick said frustrated