Everything hurt. I had pain in places I didn’t even remember I had. Sitting on the hospital bed, I could barely move without feeling a twinge of ache. They’d given me some Vicodin, but it obviously hadn’t fully kicked in yet. Or if it had, I needed some stronger shit. Where was the good stuff? Why wasn’t I on a morphine drip? I had broken bones, lacerations, some surface burns, bruising, and a mild concussion. Shouldn’t that warrant the use of heavy narcotics?
The curtain partition that separated my bed from the rest of the ER whipped back. I looked up, and I couldn’t help the grin that stretched my face. It even hurt to smile. But my boyfriend was standing there, and just seeing him made me feel ten times better. Sam and I had been together for three years, co-habitating for the last eighteen months, and he was it for me. The love of my life. The fact that he was here made all the aches and pains recede a little further. Or maybe the Vicodin was finally doing it’s job.
“I’m okay,” I said soothingly, because he looked about ready to fall apart. “It looks worse than it is.”
He nodded fast, and whispered, “Looks pretty bad.”
“I know, but it’s not.” I held out the hand that wasn’t currently in a splint and waiting for a cast. He practically ran to the side of the bed, taking my hand, and squeezing it tight. His pretty blue eyes filled with tears, and his gaze roamed over my face and body, cataloging my injuries.
“You’re so lucky,” he whispered, and his voice hitched. “If someone hadn’t seen the accident, if you’d been left out there–” His words left him and he made a little choking noise.
My right side was fairly uninjured. The other car had t-boned mine, slamming into the driver’s side, but a little bit behind where my seat was. My left wrist and hand were broken, and I had deep cut on my left thigh that had required fifteen stitches, but the right side was just banged up. I grimaced as I slid over a few inches to make room for Sam to climb up on the right side of the bed. He didn’t hesitate to do so, though he was careful of how he touched me. I put my arm around his shoulders, and he laid his head ever so gently on my shoulder.
“But they did and I’m okay. I’ll be healed in no time. Before you know it, I’ll be able to bend you over the bed and fuck your tight ass.” I was trying for levity, but I didn’t quite manage it.
Sam’s head jerked up, and he scowled at me. “Not funny. You could have died, Nathan!”
I knew I was in trouble by his use of my full name. I made a soothing noise. “I know, but I didn’t. I really am going to be okay,” I said softly, then leaned forward to place a kiss on his forehead. His eyes slid closed for a minute, before snapping open again.
“We have to sign papers,” he said urgently.
I blinked. I didn’t quite follow his sudden topic shift. I blamed it on the concussion. “What papers?”
“Papers that say that I’m your emergency contact and that I can make health decision for you. And vice versa,” he said. I continued to stare at him, not exactly understanding, and his eyes filled with tears again. “We aren’t married. We can’t get married here and even if we got married somewhere else, this state doesn’t recognize it. I almost couldn’t back here to see you. They tried to stop me. But one of the nurses told them you called me, that you wanted me. If you’d been unconscious, I would’t have even known and I couldn’t have gotten back here and–”
“Okay,” I cut him off because he was getting worked up. I didn’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. Our lives were as entwined as they could be; I should have thought of that earlier. We should have already had that in place. “We’ll take care of that as soon as I get out of here, all right?”
He nodded, his body relaxing a fraction. “When are you getting out of here?”
“I’m not sure. I’m waiting for a cast on the wrist. A few more hours at least. Or maybe sometime next week with how fast they’re moving around here.”
Sam managed a weak chuckle, then let out a heavy sigh. “I was so scared. I love you, Nate.”
“I love you too, babe.”
“And we’ll sign papers?” he checked, glancing up at me.
“We’ll sign papers,” I confirmed.
He nodded. He leaned a little more heavily against me knowing that, even bruised and battered, I could still take his weight. We settled back against the bed, prepared to wait however long it took until we could go home. Together.