Slowly walking across her bedroom, Zoey reached for the brace, putting it back on. She removed it to do her exercises and shower. The pain level had decreased after a few days, making it easier to get around her small house.
Penni had driven her to the doctor a few days ago, patiently waiting outside until she came out. Then Grace had volunteered to drive her the next day to the orthopedist appointment that her primary doctor scheduled. Despite her protests, they then took turns driving her to the physical therapist who taught her some exercises to help her recuperate.
Turning to leave the bedroom, her eyes caught on the lonely pet bed that laid against the wall. She promised herself that, as soon as her knee was strong again, she would resume the search for a dog of her own.
She missed Hannibal. The short time she’d had with him, he filled the emptiness that no amount of friends could erase.
Going to her kitchen, she fixed herself a piece of whole wheat toast, smearing peanut butter on it to tide her over until lunch. Grabbing a bright red apple, she took a picture of it and one of her flowery dress, tweeting it to her followers.
My morning snack matches my outfit.
Humming, she grabbed her cell phone and her wallet, putting them in her pockets. Jiggling her car keys in hand, she almost decided to leave the crutches, but she didn’t want to chance it. She might need them from the parking garage to her office.
Carrying them in one hand instead of using them, she closed her door, anxious for her first day back at work since dislocating her knee. She wanted to go back on Monday, but her appointments had delayed it. Now she would be working late for the next two weeks to get back on track.
Zoey returned the greeting to Kent as he walked to his car with a briefcase in his hand.
“How’s the leg today?”
“Much better, thanks.”
She sighed inwardly when, instead of going to his car, he strode toward her, taking the crutches out of her hand.
“They’re not going to be much help to you if you don’t use them.”
“Unless I’m doing a lot of walking, I don’t need too. Besides, they make my armpits sore.” She had hoped to turn him off by mentioning her sore armpits.
She gave another inward sigh when it didn’t work.
“I can sympathize. I broke my leg when I rolled my first car. You have to wrap a small towel around the rubber part. I could show you how….”
“That’s okay.” Zoey hurried to open the car door, taking the crutches from him and placing them in the passenger seat. “I’m hoping I won’t be needing them much longer.”
“Are you sure you can drive? I could drive you? I’m not in a rush—”
“It’s good exercise for my leg.” Reaching down to remove her brace, she tossed it onto the seat with the crutches. “Thanks for the offer, though. I appreciate it.” Getting into her car unabashedly, she reached for the door handle to close it. “Have a great day, Kent.”
She expected to see either frustration or annoyance on his tanned, handsome features. Instead, vivid green eyes wryly met hers.
As he stepped away from the car, Zoey shut the door before giving a jaunty wave as she drove away.
Flicking her radio on, she began singing to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Bouncing in her seat as she drove, she ignored the honking horns as the morning traffic sped past her.
Checking her rearview mirror to gauge how many cars were behind her, she noticed a motorcycle two vehicles back. She had seen the same motorcycle yesterday and the other day when she went out to her appointments. Usually she never gave motorcyclists a second glance, but the biker behind her was distinctive in his height and build.
Pressing on the gas, she swerved between two cars, causing another round of furious honking. Coming to a turn-off on her left, she drove under the green light and dodged a FedEx truck to make the turn. Looking in her mirror, she saw Stump follow her.
Braking sharply, she entered a shopping center’s parking lot, bringing her car to a stop. Jerking her car door open, she got out, waiting for Stump to bring his motorcycle to a stop next to her.
With a leather-gloved hand, he raised the visor on his helmet. “Have you lost your fucking mind?”
“Why are you following me?” Remaining calm in front of the hostile man wasn’t easy, but she was determined to stop letting him intimidate her with his overpowering personality. Her own personality was much more subdued during confrontation, which gave Stump the upper hand. She preferred using a reasonable approach when dealing with men. However, some men needed to be shown she could push back if she had to.