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Furious, Page 2

R. L. Mathewson

  There was no fucking way that he was going into one of those places again. The rehab center they’d forced him into after the accident had been a nightmare. It was only by sheer luck that Melissa hadn’t tried pulling this shit before now.

  His eyes went back to the two ice bitches that looked smug. Fuck. If they knew that he couldn’t fire them, then he was totally fucking screwed. Chase had no doubt that he’d be able to run both of them off without a problem, but then he’d find himself in the same situation in a day or two.

  No, he needed to find someone he could handle, control even. Someone that would be here for appearances but would leave him the fuck alone so that his sister would hold off on this bullshit plan of hers. Someone like...

  His eyes darted to the woman leaning against the wall. She looked bored, very bored. She also looked really laid back, like the type of person who went with the flow and would be more than willing to collect her paycheck and keep her mouth shut. Yeah, this could work.

  “Fine. I’ll take the bitch by the wall. The two ice bitches can go,” Chase said, already pushing his wheelchair toward his sanctuary.

  “Well, I never!” one of the ice bitches exclaimed.

  “Uh-huh, just don’t let the door hit you on your fat ass on the way out,” Chase said absently since his attention was already focused back on the television. His favorite soap opera was starting and he really wanted to see if Jack was going to discover that Janet had been fucking his father and brother for the past year and that the baby, he thought was his son might really be his brother or his nephew.

  Daytime drama fucking rocked.

  There was a small commotion in the foyer followed by muffled talking. He rolled his eyes as he raised the volume to drown out the bullshit. Melissa was probably filling his new “helper” in on bullshit like paychecks and duties, nothing he cared about.

  Chase tossed the remote on the couch that he had very little use for these days, except for a place to throw his trash, and settled in to watch his show. His beer was lukewarm, but he wasn’t in the mood to roll into the kitchen to grab a new one. Maybe his new little helper would come in handy after all. She could do beer runs, Chase thought with a chuckle.

  “What’s so funny?” Melissa asked as she stepped in front of him but was careful not to step in front of the television. She’d learned that lesson a few months ago.

  His good humor instantly died. “Nothing. Get out.”

  “I’ll get out of your way in a moment. Your new nurse’s name is Sloane Maxwell.”

  “Couldn’t fucking care less.”

  “She’s been hired as a live-in caretaker. She’ll be sleeping in the room next to yours.”

  “Whatever,” Chase said absently, wondering how writers came up with this shit.

  Melissa mumbled something under her breath. “Try to be nice to her. She actually comes highly recommended.

  “I’m sure we’ll be the bestest of friends,” Chase said mockingly.

  She rubbed her temples with her fingertips. “Look, I know this isn’t the ideal situation. I’m sorry that I’ve had to resort to doing this, but you need help. You used to be one of the greatest guys I know, but now...” She shook her head sadly. “Now you’re angry all the time.”

  He snorted.

  Melissa dropped her hands away with a sigh. “You’re alive, Chase. Isn’t that enough?”

  “Yeah, it’s just fucking awesome being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Really makes me appreciate all the little things and all that shit more,” he said dryly.



  “I’m sorry about Amy. I know that it hurt finding out that she left you like that, but you can’t let that bring you down. You need to move on and live your life, Chase.”

  He barely held back his anger. “I’m over that bitch.” And he was. It didn’t hurt that she’d gone and married his best friend and went on the honeymoon they’d planned two weeks after the doctor gave him the news that a wheelchair was going to be his new best friend for the rest of his life. Yeah, he was just fucking peachy about that.

  Melissa looked down at her watch. “Look, Michael’s going to be home soon and I need to pick the kids up from school.”

  “Good. Don’t come back.”

  “Chase” she said on a tired sigh.


  “Fine, but be nice to Sloane. Don’t cause any problems or you’re going to Pine Oaks,” she threatened coolly.

  “Fucking bitch,” he grumbled.

  Melissa looked like she was about to argue but didn’t. Well, she was smarter than he thought. Chase heard the front door close and sighed. It was time for more important things, like his soaps.

  Chapter 2

  “Thank freaking god,” Sloane mumbled to herself as she looked over the selection of cleaning supplies stacked on the shelf above the washing machine.

  She’d been half afraid that she wouldn’t find anything, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Her newest patient had everything from Comet to air freshener and all of it was brand new. No doubt his sister had something to do with that.

  Deciding that the best place to start was the laundry, Sloane picked up a large empty plastic laundry basket and headed to Chase’s room. She didn’t bother knocking since she already knew that he was glued to the television in the living room. If she had to guess, and there was no doubt in her mind that she was right, she’d guess that’s all he ever did.

  That would be changing very soon.

  Sloane cringed as she walked into his room. The sheets on his bed were well-worn, dirty, and in a tangled mess. Dirty clothes, trash, and garbage covered the rest of his room, and it smelled like…well, there really weren’t any words to describe the odors in this room.

  With a resigned sigh, Sloane opened the windows to let some fresh air in the room with the hopes that the small action would make breathing possible once again. Then she stripped the bed and threw the sheets into a pile on the floor for the trash. The blankets were salvageable. They just needed to be washed. She picked up the rest of his dirty clothes and headed into the bathroom they shared and immediately wished that she hadn’t.

  The walk-in shower stall looked like it hadn’t been used in months. He probably hadn’t used it since the last time help had been forced on him. From what she’d heard and saw, her new patient had given up on life. He wasn’t taking care of himself and he had a bad attitude that was guaranteed to make his life miserable.

  In other words, he was definitely going to be a challenge.

  Sloane finished picking up the dirty clothes in his room, the bathroom, in the main hallway, and even in the kitchen before starting a load in the washer. Then she went around the house picking up trash. When she walked into the living room, Chase pointedly ignored her, which was fine with her. She’d rather get the house straightened out before focusing on him. When she turned her attention to him, she wanted to be able to focus completely on him.

  Once the trash was done, Sloane attacked the bathroom and then the kitchen. She scrubbed them both until they shined. Then she attacked his bedroom, her new room, and the foyer. Once that was done, Sloane attacked the living room, where Chase once again ignored her until she pulled out the vacuum. Then he screamed at her to wait for a “fucking commercial.” The only time she stopped cleaning was to offer to make him something to eat, for which he replied, “Fuck. Off.” After she grabbed a bite to eat for herself, she returned to the tedious job of making the house livable.

  Five hours later, the house was sparkling clean and Sloane was exhausted. She really wished that she could sit down and relax for the rest of the night, but she still had one last thing to do and there was no way that she was putting this off until tomorrow.

  Straightening her spine, Sloane walked into the living room and stepped in front of her new responsibility. He grumbled as he tried to look around her.

  Finally, when it became obvious that she wouldn’t move, Chase snap
ped, “Do you fucking mind?”

  “Nope, not really.”

  “What the hell do you want?”

  “I have to do something,” Sloane said casually.

  “Well, then do it and get the fuck out of my way!”

  She nodded slowly in agreement. “That’s a really good idea.”

  Chase snorted in disgust as he took a sip of his beer while she walked behind him. Before he could stop her, Sloane released the brakes and rolled his wheelchair back. Realizing what she was up to, Chase reached out to grab hold of the doorway to stop her, but she moved him away before he got a chance.

  “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!”

  Sloane ignored him as she turned the wheelchair around and gave it a push. He tried to take over, but she continued to push the wheelchair forward and didn’t stop until she had him in the bathroom. Once she had him inside, Sloane locked the bathroom door behind them.

  “What are you doing?” Chase asked as he shot the closed door a wary glance.

  “Not much,” Sloane said as she set the small white plastic bench in the shower. Then just as quickly, she rolled him next to the shower stall so that she could switch him to the bench without having to carry him. Not that she could. The man had a good sixty pounds on her, but she’d done this enough to know exactly how to get him out of his chair and onto the bench without throwing her back out or dropping him on the floor.

  “No!” Chase yelled almost immediately.

  “This isn’t up for discussion. You smell. While I’m working here, you’re going to take better care of yourself.”

  “Don’t tell me what to do!” he snapped, sounding like a child. She understood where he was coming from. He was a grown man placed in a situation where he was forced to rely upon others. She could sympathize, but that’s as far as she could allow her emotions to go. He needed someone to take care of him and help him adjust to his new life even if that meant fighting him the whole way to do it.

  With the swiftness of seven years’ experience, Sloane reached over and grabbed him beneath his arms and pulled, giving him no choice but to go with it or fall. He swore, but he didn’t fight her. Smart man.

  Once she had him on the bench, she pulled the wheelchair away just as he reached for it.

  “Fucking bitch!”

  “That’s me,” Sloane said easily. “Now, we can either take your clothes off or you’re taking a shower with them on. Your choice,” she said in a no-nonsense tone that clearly told him that she wasn’t going to be backing down anytime soon.

  Chase folded his arms over his chest as she stood there, patiently waiting for him to make the next move. For several minutes, he sat there, glaring at her. Finally, when it became obvious that she wasn’t going to budge, he yanked his shirt off over his head and threw it at her.

  Sloane caught it and tossed it in the hamper. When she went to help him with his underwear, he glared at her until she stepped back. Good. He had some fight left in him, which was always a good sign.

  Once he was completely naked, he casually dropped his hands in his lap. “Let’s get it over with,” Chase snapped, looking extremely pissed.

  “We will, but first things first,” Sloane said, turning her attention to the small leather bag she’d placed on the counter. After pulling out her kit, she turned to face him, noting the way that his eyes widened in surprise when he saw what she was holding.


  “What the hell are you doing?” Chase bit out as he struggled not to panic.

  There was a reason why he didn’t want anyone here. Well, besides the fact that he didn’t need anyone’s help, that is. He hadn’t had much luck with the nurses in the hospital, rehab or the few that his sister had managed to stick him with when he first came home.

  Several of them had abandoned him when he couldn’t move, leaving him lying in his own piss and screaming in pain. He’d been denied the basics of life, making him feel so damn helpless that he could have cried. He’d also dealt with a few that liked to use threats to get a reaction out of him. One of them had actually tried to go through with it. Now he was forced to watch as this strange woman came at him with a pair of scissors and he was helpless to do anything about it. He could fight back if he had to and would. He’d done it before and would do it again, but that didn’t change anything. He was completely at her mercy and he didn’t trust her.

  He didn’t trust anyone.

  She moved quickly behind him as he contemplated dropping forward and trying to crawl out of here, but she’d locked them in.


  “How do you like it?” she asked, confusing the hell out of him.


  “Your hair. How do you like it? Short or long?”

  He was...confused.

  “You’re cutting my hair?” Chase had to ask, needing a little clarification.

  “It needs a trim,” she said, gesturing to his hair. “How do you want it?”

  “Short,” he heard himself answer before he remembered that he was supposed to make her job difficult. He reached up and ran his hand through his long greasy hair and winced. It had been a long time since it had been cut. The last time he’d cut it had been about seven months ago. He’d been so disgusted by it that he’d shaved it off. The asshole, as he liked to refer to that prick Melissa forced on him, had gotten a kick out of making the rich boy beg for something. Chase refused to beg for anything as the asshole soon discovered.

  “Sounds good to me,” Sloane, he thought her name was, said.

  Knowing that he really didn’t have a choice, he sat there as she began clipping away, preparing himself for the worst. She hummed softly as she worked, but it did nothing to calm his nerves. Was she going to make him look like an even bigger freak? Not that he went anywhere, but that didn’t mean he wanted to be someone’s personal joke.

  Ten minutes later, Sloane sighed with satisfaction as she put the scissors away only to come back with the electric clippers. His eyes narrowed on her while she leaned in front of him.

  “Your beard,” was all she said.

  “I like it,” Chase bit out. He didn’t. Not really. It itched like hell, but he ran out of razor blades a month ago and the store that delivered his food always forgot them along with half his order. What the hell was a man supposed to do without Doritos?

  “It’s uneven, greasy, and call me crazy, but with your beautiful hair, intense green eyes and coloring, you’d look better without a beard or at the very least, a shorter one. Let’s shave it now and if you don’t like the naked look, then you can always grow it back and trim it.”

  He discovered that he was too damn tired to argue. Thanks to her incessant cleaning earlier, he hadn’t been able to get in his customary four-hour afternoon nap. Just sitting there while she worked on him with that damn humming was lulling him to sleep.

  If he answered her, Chase didn’t remember. She probably just took his silence for an answer anyway. No doubt she was used to doing whatever she wanted with her patients because she knew that she could. That wasn’t going to be the case with him. At least, it wouldn’t once he wasn’t so fucking exhausted.

  She made quick work of his beard. Once she was done, she stepped back and appraised her work. Great, he was a fucking canvas now. A slow smile spread across her face, a fucking pity smile. He knew he was hideous, and now, so did she.

  Sloane held a mirror in front of his face before he could look away. He blinked and then blinked again for good measure. His hair looked good. His face was...

  He turned away.

  “Get it away from me,” Chase said, hating to see the reminder of what he’d become. It was funny how a year ago, he’d had no problem looking in the mirror.

  “Well, I think you look very handsome,” Sloane said with a pleased smile.

  “Who fucking cares what you think,” Chase bit out coldly.

  If he hurt her feelings, she didn’t show it. Sloane smiled patiently as she walked back to the sink. As she searche
d for something on the counter, he felt his eyes start to drift shut. For a moment, he considered fighting against the exhaustion that was threatening to take over, but in the end, he simply gave in.

  Moments later, his eyes blinked open when something was nudged into his hand. He looked down to find a new toothbrush covered in toothpaste loosely held in his hand. Without thought, Chase started brushing his teeth. A few seconds later, she took him completely off guard when she knelt down in front of him.

  Anger surged through him as he brushed his teeth a little harder than necessary. This was just what he fucking needed, a beautiful woman reminding him that he was no longer a man. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t his type. She was still a woman and he was a man that she didn’t know. She should be wary of him and she sure as hell shouldn’t be kneeling down in front of him like he was a fucking eunuch.

  She continued to hum as she clipped his toenails, momentarily distracting him from his justified anger. Chase cringed at the looks of them. He’d meant to get to them sooner. He opened his mouth to apologize and then promptly shut it. He wouldn’t apologize for anything.

  Once she was done, Sloane stood up with a cheery smile that made him want to hurl. Instead, he spit a mouthful of toothpaste on the floor between her feet simply because he could.

  “Lovely,” she muttered, squishing her face up adorably and nearly making him smile.

  “Alright, moving along,” Sloane said softly as she returned the clippers and his toothbrush to the counter before returning to his side. Smiling, she grabbed the handheld showerhead and turned the water on while he watched her every move.

  Sucking in a breath, Chase steeled himself for the revenge that she was about to lay on him. This was a popular move among the nurses that he’d dealt with. They’d turn the water on at full blast and “accidentally” hit him with scalding hot water or leave it cold, put the nozzle just out of reach, and walk away, leaving him to freeze his balls off. Of course, their selection depended on just how much he’d managed to piss them off and what they thought they could get away with.

  Cold or hot, he was ready.