Special thanks to our beta who wishes to remain unknown.
Cameron was happy. He had his car back after a very long month without it. He was determined that he’d never give Chad another reason to take the keys off him again. To celebrate, he’d taken his car to Kelowna for a full service. He was now on his way home and sitting at the lights waiting for them to turn green.
The lights changed colour and he entered the intersection. He saw the van out of the corner of his eye, but only realized it was running the red light at the last minute. He didn’t even have time to think ‘Oh Shit!’ when he felt the impact. His head snapped sideways and cracked against the windshield. His seatbelt prevented him from going through the screen. His left arm smacked into the steering wheel and he felt an agonizing burst of pain when the bone in his forearm broke. He was only vaguely aware of the ambulance arriving. When they asked him questions, he looked at them blankly. His only words were, “I want Chad.”
Cameron was wheeled into Emergency with his neck immobilized and his arm in a sling. He was coherent enough to ask if Dr. Dean was on duty. When Patrick entered, Cam croaked “Can you get someone to call Chad please. His number is in my wallet.”
Patrick glanced up at the nurse from the clipboard he was studying and nodded for her to comply with their patient’s request. “You’re going to be fine, Cameron; just hold as still as you can so I am able to examine you. Then it will be up to x-ray and getting that arm set.” He put down the report and began re-checking Cameron’s vital signs while maintaining a soothing monologue to keep the injured man calm.
Cameron relaxed slightly. “Everything hurts,” he complained. “I’ve got a shocking headache.” He closed his eyes and started to drift off.
Chad had just ended his weekly meeting with his foremen when the phone rang. He frowned when a strange woman’s voice began asking if he was Cameron Jackson’s partner. Answering in the affirmative, his heart started racing as he was informed of his lover’s whereabouts and how Cameron had arrived at the hospital.
He hung up and went into the outer office to let Gerald know he was leaving for the day. Gerald Brewster was his new accountant, and as good as the man was at his job, Chad still missed his old friend. Even knowing Cameron was in excellent hands didn’t prevent Chad from wishing he had Kipper’s supportive influence.
It was a long, frustrating drive to Kelowna but Chad reluctantly prevented himself from putting the pedal to the metal, which would only have resulted in the trip taking longer if he’d been stopped by the RCMP.
Ninety minutes after receiving the worrisome phone call, Chad walked into the ER and right up to Dr. Dean who happened to be standing at the nurses’ station.
“Hello, Patrick. I got word you have someone who belongs to me in your care.” Chad’s statement was light but the lines on his handsome face gave proof to the strain he was under.
“He’s going to be fine, Chad.” Patrick patted his friend’s shoulder while subtly steering him towards a curtained off area. “Cameron has a concussion and has fractured his left arm. He is stable and coherent enough to already be complaining about the damage done to his car.” He pulled aside the curtain so Chad could determine for himself that his partner was indeed all right, if somewhat uncomfortable.
“Chad,” Cameron exclaimed, relief evident in his voice. “Some idiot crashed into me and totalled my car. Plus I’ve got a splitting headache and they won’t let me go to sleep.” He squinted slightly. “Why are there two of you?”
Chad stepped forward as he rolled his eyes, and gently carded his fingers through Cameron’s blond hair. There wasn’t much that kept his Brat down; the young man’s griping made that obvious. “It’s the head injury, sweetheart. It will pass soon, I think.”
“The prognosis is good, Cameron,” Patrick intervened. “There is a slight hematoma which is common and should go away on its’ own. Of course, it would help if you didn’t keep tossing the ice bag aside.”
“It’s too cold,” Cameron muttered. “And it’s not helping anyway. Everything is out of focus and it sucks.”
Dr. Dean just shook his head and turned to Chad. “Once home you can apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for twenty to thirty minutes at a time and repeat about every two to four hours, but only for a day or so as needed. There is little benefit from it after forty-eight hours. Rest is all important to maximize healing. Cameron may have some ibuprofen administered according to the package directions, but absolutely no aspirin.”
“Your instructions will be followed to the letter, Patrick. I guarantee it.” Chad looked pointedly at the young man on the gurney. “Isn’t that right, Mugs?”
Cameron grinned at his partner. “I’ll stay in bed if you stay with me,” he replied with a mischievous glint in his eye.
Patrick barely managed to curtail his amusement. ‘I wonder why I get the feeling that someone might be in for a few fun days?’ he mused to himself as thoughts of his own Brat came to mind.
“I will need to see you for follow-up care in case there is a more subtle problem associated with a concussion that may not be apparent at the moment. Please call my office to arrange an appointment for early next week. Of course, feel free to call is you have any other concerns. Here is a list of instructions for home care where your arm is concerned.” Patrick handed Cameron a white card which was immediately turned over to Chad, causing Patrick to smile.
“I’ll go see to your discharge papers, Cameron.” With that, the doctor shook hands with both men and left the small enclosure.
“About time too,” Cameron grumbled. He wrinkled his forehead and then groaned in pain before asking, “What do we do about the car?”
“Nothing at the moment,” Chad answered, helping Cameron to slide down to the floor and steady himself. “We’ll call the insurance company in the morning and let them determine if it’s a goner or if it can be salvaged. My primary concern is your well-being, not a banged-up vehicle.”
“I’m fine,” Cameron insisted and promptly discovered that he needed Chad to hold him upright. “I just got the car detailed,” he moaned. “She was my baby. I’m almost sure the insurance was up-to-date.”
“The year’s insurance was renewed at the same time as your driver’s license was, Mugs. Although I doubt the detailing will be covered. We’ll just have to wait and see.” Chad patiently listened to the younger man’s concerns while gradually maneuvering him out to the parking lot.
“Do I get to drive the Ranger?” Cameron asked hopefully.
Chad didn’t think the question warranted a response, so he didn’t give one. He merely opened the passenger door and indicated that Cameron was to get in. Then he walked around to the other side of the vehicle and got into the driver’s seat.
After making sure his partner was buckled in and settled as comfortably as possible, Chad headed for home.
“I’m bored,” Cameron announced less than twenty-four hours later. “Bored! Bored! Bored!”
“I’m sorry you’re unable to play any of your electronic games, Mugs, with that arm of yours out of commission, and that you feel you’ve exhausted our entire video collection. However, there still remains that old-fashion activity referred to as ‘reading’.” Chad was slowly losing patience with his partner’s refusal to entertain himself.
“I can’t read. I keep seeing double and the lines blur. Besides the arm means I can’t turn the pages.” Cameron knew he was getting on Chad’s nerves but he was really sick of sitting still. “Why don’t we go to the Lounge? I can rest there as easily as here.”
“Too noisy there, love. Resting here has improved a lot of your symptoms. The nausea has stopped and the pain is lessening. I know the visual problems keep reoccurring sporadically and your arm is still hurting, but overall things are getting better.”
Chad raised one eyebrow when he saw the expression on Cameron’s face and realized his words were only leading to more arguments. “Of course, if I am wrong and things aren’t improving, we can always go back to the hospital. Mind you, I don’t know how restful you’ll find sitting in out-patients for a few hours. Hmmm, I wonder….” Chad rubbed his chin and appeared to be giving the idea some serious thought.
The look Cameron sent Chad was positively evil. “You don’t mean that,” he stated with confidence. “I’m almost all better.” Cameron truly believed this after one day. “I reckon I can fill in that accident report now.”
“Do the paperwork if you wish, but you are far from back to normal, my good man. You are still under the restrictions given in the ER until your follow-up with the doctor in a couple of days. I’ll be with you the rest of today but I have to return to the mine in the morning. I trust you’ll obey Patrick’s orders in my absence.”
“Yes, Chad, I’ll obey the doctor,” Cameron said sweetly. As far as doctors went he liked Patrick but he still chaffed under the limitations placed on him. “Honest Chad, I really do feel a lot better.” His blue eyes were sincere.
The next day Cameron was up and about minutes after Chad left the house. He tried to complete the insurance forms but discovered his left hand could not hold a pen. He didn’t even try his right hand as he knew it would be indecipherable. Left to his own devices he rapidly became bored, so he reached for his cellphone.
“Hi, Kyler; I’m bored. Want to come over for a while?” he asked as soon as his friend answered.
“Sure; see ya in a bit,” Kyler enthusiastically went along with the idea.
True to his word, Kyler was at the front door five minutes later.
“You’re a life saver,” Cameron declared as he opened the door. “I’m so bored with staying stuck here. It’s worse than being grounded. I have access to everything, but this damn cast keeps getting the way. Come on in. Do you want something to drink?”
“Even though it’s rather early in the day, was there ever any doubt?” Kyler laughed as he pulled his arm out from where he’d hidden it behind his back and stepped over the threshold. He was holding a six-pack. “I heard about the accident and figured you could do with a pick-me-up and I had these chilling.”
“Cool!” Cameron felt a momentary unease but shrugged it off. One beer wasn’t going to kill him. He opened a bottle, handed another to Kyler and put the rest in the fridge. “So anything interesting happening I should know about?” Cameron inquired before taking a long swallow. “I should be back at work as soon as I get the all clear in a couple of days. I’m still kinda sore and Chad’s being pretty anal about the rest and relaxation routine.”
“Yeah, R & R can be great but it pales quickly when you’re on your own.” Kyler downed a mouthful of the chilled brew. “Too bad about your car though; especially with all the work you’d just had done to it.”
“Tell me about it,” Cameron gripped. “And I just got it back. Oh well, if it’s a write off I may be able to trade up. I should get the full insurance so there is no issue with money. I’m sure Chad will see my point of view. A nice little sports car would be great. We have the Ranger for long journeys and off- roading.”
“Neat plan, if it works. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you,” Kyler teased and got up to get them each another beer.
They were surprised when they realized the morning had somehow passed them by. Sharing beers and good times had that effect. Of course, they were even more surprised when Chad walked in unexpectedly.
“Hi lover,” Cameron greeted. “I didn’t know you were coming home for lunch.”
“That’s not exactly why I’m home, Mugs.” Chad hung his jacket over the back of a chair and frowned at the six empty bottles on the table. “While I appreciate you stopping by, Kyler, I can’t say the same for the gift.”
“Yeah, well….” Kyler stammered, his face turning red. He’d known this man for many years and found he still hated any form of censorship from him as much now as he did when a teenager. But he also knew that Chad never held his mistakes against him. “Ah, I better get going. I got a couple of clients to visit this afternoon,” he explained, making a hasty escape.
“Why would you think mixing alcohol with a head injury was a good idea, Cameron?” Chad asked sternly as soon as the back door closed behind their departing guest.
“Umm….” Cameron knew things were deadly serious when Chad didn’t use his affectionate nickname. “I guess I didn’t think.” he reluctantly admitted. “It wasn’t on the list of things Patrick gave us.”
“Like me, he erroneously took it for granted that it was a given.” Chad shook his head and rolled his eyes in sheer exasperation. “There are numerous reasons not to drink while concussed. You’ll be learning a lot about the issue over the next few days when you research the subject matter and write out a two thousand word essay for me.” He stood with his arms crossed and waited for the expected wail of objection. He didn’t have to wait long.
“Chaaaad,”" Cameron whined. “I get it. I don’t need to write about it. Besides, I can’t type with my arm like this.” Cameron was scrambling for any excuse he could think of. “And I’ve got a headache,” he finished with blue eyes in full puppy-dog mode. It didn’t work.
“You’ll have to work on the project in short bursts of time to avoid worsening your headache. You’ll also have to use the hunt-and-peck method of typing,” Chad responded rather unsympathetically. He set about putting together a quick lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches, and placed them on the table. Then he fetched two bottles of water from the fridge all the while keeping an eye on the dejected-looking man watching him. He sat down next to his partner, taking Cameron’s slightly smaller hand into his own. “I have to go away for a couple of days, Mugs. Plans to check out some new equipment for the mine are falling into place sooner than anticipated. The company plane will be landing in approximately three hours to take one of my managers and myself to Seattle. Dave Stewart will be picking me up at three o’clock.”
Chad sighed as he took in the blank expression on Cameron’s face, realizing the younger man was struggling to come to grips with all he was being told.
“I’m sorry to be leaving you at this time, but Kipper is only a call away. He’ll also be checking in on you. There are plenty of meals in the freezer so you won’t have to cook anything from scratch. I’m more than okay with you having friends over, provided you don’t completely wreck the house,” Chad joked in hopes of easing the stress associated with this unavoidable situation they found themselves in.
Cameron had known when they’d got together that Chad was the boss of the mine and he’d got used to Chad being called in or away at a moment’s notice. But that never made the inevitable trips any easier.
“That’s kinda short notice,” Cameron commented, making a valiant effort to sound casual. “Do they know I’ve been in an accident? How long will you be away? Kipper doesn’t need to babysit me. Besides, I’m sure he’d rather spend the time with Gaetane. Do you need help packing?" Cameron was desperately trying to be supportive.
“It was short notice,” Chad agreed. “We had thought it wouldn’t happen for another week or two. They didn’t know about your accident, but they do now. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done about it. I’ll be gone less than two days, so there is very little packing to be done.” Chad mentally reviewed the list of questions to make sure he answered them all. “And Kipper will not be babysitting, as you put it. He will stop by, but it is more for my peace of mind than to see if you’re up to no good. Now finish eating your lunch as I have plans for the next hour or so.”
“Oh?” Cameron raised his eyebrows. “Is it along the lines of ‘I’m sick not dead’ statement that I tried to convince you of last night?” he decided to nobly ignore the comment in regards to Kipper’s upcoming role.
“If you don’t eat like you were told to, you might never find out.” Chad bit back the smirk that threatened at the sight of the other man hastily grabbing up his sandwich and taking a big bite.
Ten minutes later, Cameron’s cast was completely water-proofed in the special wrap Chad had picked up at the drugstore, and both men were standing in their large shower enclosure. With his partner’s hair shampooed, Chad began sensually soaping Cameron’s body. He took his time moving the sponge over the areas that he knew aroused his lover the most.
Rinsing away the soap, Chad slowly nibbled and licked his way along Cameron’s jawline. He continued the loving assault down his partner’s neck and chest. The pressure he applied to the younger man’s shoulders encouraged him to slide down the cool tiles until his bum was resting in the hard floor. Chad then knelt between Cameron’s splayed legs, leaned forward and took the swollen shaft into his mouth.
Warm water gently cascaded over them as Chad steadily tormented his lover until Cameron shouted out his climax and slumped against the wall, panting. Pulling him up and supporting him, Chad lowered his head and thoroughly kissed his precious Brat. His tongue demanded entry into the sweet mouth and was granted it.
Cameron drowned in the kiss. Once they disengaged, he looked up at his partner. “Your turn?” he asked huskily, his hand casually moving downward and cupping his lover in a most intimate fashion.
Their last hour or so together flew passed, and all too soon it was time for Chad to leave. He tucked Cameron into bed with a few last minute instructions about resting and taking care of himself, and then he was gone.
It was only the first day of Chad’s absence when boredom reared its’ head once again and in full force. Cameron’s attempts to start his essay had been a disaster. He’d discovered that as impossible as it was for him to write, it was even worse trying to use a mouse. As for the touch pad, he had turned the air blue attempting to navigate the net using that device.
Giving up on that endeavour had him ringing up a couple of friends and inviting them over. He assured Kyler that Chad had gone away for two days and the coast was clear.
“Hi Kyler,” Cameron merrily exclaimed when answering the door. “Come on in. Kadyn’s here already.”
“Look, no beer,” Kyler declared with a laugh, holding up his empty hands.
“Just as good,” Kadyn called out. “Cause I brought milkshakes for everyone.”
“Hope you remembered my fav is chocolate.”
“Like I’d ever forget, Kyler; or be allowed to.”
“Just who doesn’t love chocolate milkshakes?” Cameron quipped. They moved into the living room to enjoy the cooling treats; chatting casually and reviewing old pranks they’d pulled together.
A germ of an idea came to Cameron while they discussed how much they hated writing lines. “Look guys, can you help me research this paper I have to write. Once I’ve got the info I can peck away and finish it.”
“Exactly what do you want from us, Cam?” Kyler queried.
“I’m supposed to be working on a two thousand word essay but got bored with it. But I don’t want to try for a book,” Cameron explained. “Not that I can do it anyway. Have you ever tried using a mouse while wearing a cast? Maybe with your help, the prospect of writing this will begin looking up.”
“I don’t mind looking up info on the net,’ Kadyn offered. “But I really hate putting it all together so that it makes sense.”
“I’ve got some practice at doing that,” Kyler stated. “Let’s start gathering facts. What’s the subject?”
“Reasons not to drink while concussed,” Cameron replied, rolling his eyes. "Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. Once we’re done, I’ll shout for lunch. The Ranger’s outside. Chad won’t mind if I use it.”
“Well there’s sure enough info available,” Kadyn announced a short time later. “And it probably adds up to more than we really needed or wanted to know.”
“A lot of sites that mainly come to the same conclusion,” Kyler commented. “Drinking after a head injury is a big no-no.”
“There’s a lot of stuff a person shouldn’t do and just as much about things they should. But most of it is straight-forward, don’t you think, Cameron?” Kadyn asked, still perusing the screen in front of him.
Cameron read the information over Kadyn’s shoulder. “I guess so,” he replied. “I only have to write about the drinking thing, so let’s concentrate on that. I’ve managed to peck out most of what we’ve found on the laptop. How about we break for lunch, then come back and arrange the stuff into a coherent essay this afternoon. We can take the Ranger to the Golden Arches.”
“McD’s it is. You must have heard my stomach growling, Cam,” Kyler joked, watching as the computer and laptop were shut down.
“Sounds good to me too,” Kadyn laughed and rubbed his mid-section. “Yeah, I’m kinda running on empty.”
The three young men piled into the Ranger and Cameron carefully pulled out of the driveway. He felt a little disconnected but was sure he could drive safely. They made it to McDonald’s and as luck would have it, the restaurant wasn’t too busy. When Cameron tried to park, his perception was so out of whack he ended up straddling two parking spaces.
“Not exactly on target here, Cam,” Kyler teased after getting out of the vehicle and seeing how it was parked.
“Are you sure it’s all right to drive while concussed, Cameron?” Kadyn’s frown indicated his doubt that such an activity was a smart idea. “Maybe we should have check it out when we were doing research for the drinking stuff.”
“Nah,” Cameron scoffed. “I’m just not used to driving the Ranger one-handed, that’s all. Come on, I’m starving.”
After eating they jumped back in the Ranger and Cam drove home. Not for the world would he tell his friends he was feeling as though he was driving through fog. He was relieved when they arrived at their destination without mishap.
With a lot of help from Kadyn and Kyler, he succeeded in finishing his essay. He also managed to retain a feeling of virtuousness as he waited out another long day for Chad’s return.
Chad arrived home later than he’d planned. He had texted Cameron when the small plane he was on finally taxied out to the runway.
Right now he was hot, tired and in dire need of a refreshing shower. But mostly he just wanted to see how his beloved Brat had fared in his absence. The entire trip had been a bust in his estimate. The equipment was substandard at best and with the safety of his men foremost in his mind, he had talked the owners out of purchasing any of it. He let out a long cleansing breath when he remembered the battle that had been. But he’d stayed strong and won his case.
Now he was where he should have been all along. Dropping his overnight bag by the door, draping his suit jacket over the back of a chair and placing his briefcase on the table, he called out,” Mugs, I’m home!” He loosened his tie as he walked into the lower hall.
“Chad!” Cameron vaulted down the stairs, predictably lost his balance and crashed into his lover’s chest. “You’re home!” he declared, after they had untangled themselves. “Missed you.”
“Missed you too, sweetheart,” Chad murmured, giving the younger man a hard squeeze before setting him at arms’ length. “How was your weekend?”
“Good. Kyler and Kadyn came over and we hung out together. Kadyn brought milkshakes with him and we drank those. No alcohol.” Cameron grinned up at Chad.
“Good man. I’m happy to know you weren’t too bored while I was away. Get any of your assignment done? It’s not a big deal if you didn’t as I never put a time period on it.” Chad took Cameron’s hand and began leading him up the stairs.
“It’s all finished.” Cameron eagerly followed his partner. “But do you have any idea how hard it is to use a mouse when your arm is in a cast?”
“Can’t say as I do, Mugs.” Chad kept his smile hidden. “You can show me tomorrow after we get back from your doctor appointment. Right now I am planning to end my trip the same way I started it, with the two of us showering together. Difference this time will be me staying in bed with you afterward. It’s time to reconnect, my love.” The big man’s voice was husky with the promise of things to come.
Cameron started shedding clothes as they walked towards the bathroom. “Sounds like a plan to me. Reconnect as often as you want.”
“Nice being on the same page, isn’t it?” Chad chuckled at his Brat’s reflection in the mirror. “Here, let me help you. It’s best to undo the buttons before pulling your shirt over your head, my lad. But I do appreciate the urgency.”
“Details, details,” Cameron joked. “You should be admiring me, not obsessing on minor disrobing specifics. You undo them. It took me ages this morning to do them up. And before you ask; no, I wasn’t going to be beaten by a shirt.”
Chad made short work of getting them both undressed. Then he reached for his lover to take full advantage of them being naked. Their warm bodies fit together in all the right places as their dance of love began.
Cameron woke up to find an empty space next to him. He pulled on some pajama bottoms and went in search of his lover.
Chad glanced up from the pancakes he was cooking and smiled. “Morning, sunshine. Did the smell of coffee wake you up or were you still missing me even after our exhilarating night?”
“Missed you,” Cameron simply replied. “Coffee is a nice bonus. Coming back to bed?” he asked hopefully. In the morning Cam’s conversation skills were almost non-existent.
“No can do, Mugs. Neither can you. Check–up with Dr. Dean, remember?”
Cameron wrinkled his nose, but he knew better than to argue. He didn’t like doctors, but on the other hand he did like Patrick. Hugh, who had given him swimming lessons, still intimidated him slightly. “Guess I’ve got no choice,” he finally muttered.
Chad chuckled at the hesitant compliance. He noticed that despite the enthusiasm for their morning outing, his Brat still ate a hearty breakfast.
While Cameron was getting dressed, Chad went outside to back the Ranger out of the garage. He wasn’t too happy to discover he had to adjust the driver’s seat in order to get in. It was ample proof that the vehicle had been driven during his absence.
Walking through the porch door and letting it slam behind him, Chad hollered out, “Cameron Kirk Jackson, get your butt down here!”
Cameron froze when he heard his full name. That was never a good sign. He padded down the stairs and wondered why Chad always looked so much bigger when he was in trouble.
Chad stood with hands on hips, glaring down at the nervous man in front of him. He waited a few moments to be sure he’d be able to speak in a calm, controlled manner. It was not that he objected to Cameron using the Ranger under normal circumstances, but when still under the effects of a head injury, it was a definite no-go.
“You wouldn’t possibly have any idea as to who was driving my car while I was gone, would you? The seat is pushed forward and I certainly don’t remember moving it.”
It was times like this that Cameron almost wished he hadn’t promised Chad he’d never lie to him again. “It was me,” he admitted. “But then you knew that. I treated Kyler and Kadyn to McDonald’s when they helped me with the essay.”
“Thank you for that truthful answer, Mugs.” Chad sighed and raked his fingers through his hair. “Do you have any idea just how dangerous that was? Driving concussed is not much different that driving while impaired. You put not only yourself but also two of your best friends at risk.”
“Well I did feel a bit strange,” Cameron disclosed reluctantly, relaxing a bit when Chad used his nickname. “But we got back safe and sound. Which isn’t the point you’re trying to make, right?”
“Right! Look, we’re running late; so we’ll discuss this in much greater detail after your follow-up at the clinic.”
“Can’t wait,” was Cameron’s smart reply.
Chad rolled his eyes but didn’t comment on the remark. He knew his Brat already had enough to answer for.
They were on time for Cameron’s appointment and at his partner’s request, Chad accompanied him into the doctor’s office.
“So how have you been since I saw you at the hospital last Thursday, Cameron?” Dr. Dean inquired, quickly perusing over his notes. “Any headaches, dizziness, nausea?” He efficiently began taking his patient’s vital signs, satisfied that all were within normal range..
“I don’t get the headaches anymore. Well, not really bad ones,” Cameron said in reply to Patrick’s query. “I get tired quicker. My co-ordination is improving, but not back to where it was. I sometime feel qu...,” he blushed as he caught what he was going to say; “strange. I feel strange,” he finished lamely.
“So a bit of disorientation still remains, but you’re no longer feeling dizzy or getting sick to your stomach, is that correct?”
“Yes. I ate a huge breakfast this morning and feel fine. How long do I have to have this cast on? It was a fracture not a break, right?”
“They’re one and the same, Cameron,” Patrick informed him as he gently manipulated the fingers protruding from the cast. “You have a closed fracture of your radius. That’s a broken bone without an open skin wound. I see you’ve kept the cast clean and dry. There is no swelling so I trust at some point in time you followed the instructions I gave you for applying ice periodically and keeping the arm elevated above the heart as much as possible.”
The doctor glanced at Chad and saw the older man rolling his eyes as if to indicate he wasn't about to go there.
Cameron ignored his Top even though he’d caught his expression. He bit back a sarcastic comment just in time to hear Patrick continue on.
“Now, as far as when the cast can be removed,” Patrick continued. “It will be at least four weeks.” He waited for and heard the groan of disappointment emanate from the young man on the examining table.
“Why so long?” Cameron bare managed to stop a whine at the frustration he felt.
“Breaking a bone can be traumatic to the body. Fortunately, they are natural healers and over time produce new cells that rebuild the damage. Eventually, this growth will close up the break, but it is important to keep the injury immobilized so the bone heals properly. After the cast is off, you’ll need some rehabilitation to strengthen the arm. You’ll just have to be patient, Cameron.”
“Not one of my strengths,” Cameron muttered before perking up to ask, “Can I go back to work? I’m going stir-crazy. I’m sick of peace and quiet.”
“Well, as you’re over the aftermath of the head injury for the most part, I see no reason why you can’t ease back into your shifts. Just keep them short; no more than three hours to begin with. If your hand shows signs of swelling or the finger begin to feel hot, come in to see me immediately. Can you do that?”
“That okay with you, Boss-man?” Cameron turned to Chad.
“Yes, we’ll work out a new schedule for you.” Chad got to his feet and held out his hand. “Thank you, Patrick. Trust me when I say your guidelines will be followed to the letter.”
Chad and Cameron were walking into their home twenty minutes later, both with the same issue on their minds.
“Ummm, do we need to talk?” Cameron was hoping desperately that his injuries would buy him some slack.
“I would imagine we do, Mugs.” Chad took his partner’s hand and led him into the living room. Taking a seat on the recliner, he hauled Cameron down to sit on his lap.
When the younger man opened his mouth to speak, Chad put a finger to Cameron’s lips. “Shh, I’m speaking first. Now, I knew you’d get bored while I was away. It was a given; written in stone actually. So I don’t mind in the least that you had friends over. In fact, I said as much before I left. I am not even overly bother by them helping you with your essay. Although, I do think it would have benefited you more to have done it on your own, but maybe this way you all learned something. It is that you repaid your pals by taking them out for something to eat and drove while still not well enough to do so, that I am having a lot of trouble with.”
“I still did the essay,” Cameron protested. “They just help with the information search as I couldn’t use the mouse.” He chewed his bottom lip. “I didn’t know about the driving thing; it never occurred to me.”
“I’m not buying that, Cameron,” Chad sternly stated. “For God’s sake, man, you had trouble maneuvering a bloody wireless mouse. You must surely have realized at one point that driving a truck was out of the question.”
Cameron knew when Chad started swearing things were getting out of hand fast. “Really, I never even thought about it until I was actually driving. I couldn’t chicken out then because Kyler and Kadyn would never have let me live it down.”
“And you think they’d have an easier time letting you ‘live it down’ as you put it, if one or all of you had been hurt….or worse?”
“No,” Cameron sadly murmured. “You know I’ve got no defense to all this, right?”
“I’m afraid not, Mugs. And unfortunately your days of boredom are far from over. Until further notice, the Ranger is completely out of bounds for you. You now also have a second essay to do. This time you’ll do it totally on your own, mouse troubles or not. As soon as that cast comes off, you’ll have lines to write; lots and lots of lines.”
“That sucks!” Cameron complained. “Why an essay and lines? I hope you’ve got a good supply of electronic mouses ‘cause I can see some flying. It was a close call with the first blasted essay. That’s why I needed help.” Cameron attempted to cross his arms in defiance but his broken one would not co-operate.
“Take heed, Cameron, and practise using your right hand for a while. You’ll only throw one mouse, and it will be the last,” Chad warned. Then his arms tightened and he tried to keep the tremor out of his voice. “I could have lost you twice in less than a week, Mugs. The first time would have been through no fault of your own. However, the second would have been due to your own disregard of the danger signals. I cannot keep you safe by wrapping you in cotton, nor would I attempt to do so. But I will do my best by encouraging you to learn to take care of yourself. Mind you, when need be that encouragement will be forthcoming by the use of my hand.”
Cameron leaned back. “I’m sorry, Chad. I was just thinking of myself, not how things affected you. I think I scared me as well.”
“I know, sweetheart. But we’ll get pass this, we always do,” Chad assured his young partner. “We’re going to be spending more time together over the next few weeks. That might hold the boredom at bay. Your working shifts are going to be weekday mornings only until that arm of yours is back to normal. You can spend afternoons and weekends with me, either at the mine or the lounge. As you’ve probably already guessed, your newest essay will be on driving while concussed. The lines we will go over later when the time comes. You’re not grounded and you’re not on a short lease, Mugs. It just us devoting added time to each other and our relationship. I hope that works for you.” He began placing soft kisses on his lover’s head while rhythmically rubbing his back.
‘Spending more time with Chad?’ Cameron couldn’t think of a better way to recover from the injuries he’d sustained in the car crash, or for dealing with boredom.