They all nodded solemnly. Tony looked at his brother. Matt nodded his head. He was on board with doing whatever it took to stop Novak. Holly paled and snuggled into her husband’s chest. “Dr. Kendall said I could clock out early. I told him I was going to watch over Alicia tonight.”
“Good, we all go home together,” Matt told her. “We can put Alicia on the couch so you can give her medicine in a few more hours.”
Noah and Drake walked them out and made plans to meet in the morning. Tony was determined to hunt Novak down. The man would pay for all he had done. He picked the wrong town to bring his drug business into.
Alicia woke to the sun shining in her face. She tried to sit up and moaned in pain. The memories of last night entered her head. She remembered the hospital, but that was all. She opened her eyes and recognized Tony’s living room. She was wearing the green T-shirt she had worn last time she was here. She turned her head and saw him on his recliner dressed in only sweat pants and snoring. She smiled and wondered how he got her here without her family putting up a fight. She wished she had stayed awake for that. Ray was not his biggest fan, but Alicia saw Tony’s gentle and loyal side. He was a good man and she was in love with him.
“Tony?” she whispered.
He sat up with a start. He yawned and relaxed as if he remembered where he was. “What’s the matter? You need a pain pill?”
“How did I get here?” She tried sitting up. She had pillows behind her back.
He walked over and kneeled beside the couch. He brushed her hair away from her face and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “I kidnapped you, how else?”
She smiled. “That was pretty suave for being non-romantic.”
His smile widened. He looked surprised. “Yeah? Your brother looked like he wanted to tear you out of my arms, but I whisked you away.”
She chuckled, but it hurt her side. “I like seeing you first thing in the morning.”
The house was very quiet and it felt like they were alone. He must have read her mind. “Holly and Matt went to work already. Holly checked on you all through the night.”
“What time is it?” She tried to sit up and winced with pain. Tony helped her until her feet were planted on the floor. She had a pair of his white socks on. He must have dressed her. She found that amazingly sweet.
“It’s ten a.m., lazy. I can’t remember the last time I slept this late.” He stood up and stretched, putting his arms up in the air and arching his back. She drooled. His ches
t was tanned and smooth. She wanted to run her hands all over his fit body. She remembered Holly’s advice to be bold but she didn’t feel attractive right now.
She yawned. “I feel bad you slept in a chair. You should have gone up to your room.”
Tony shook his head no, his expression soft, and it made her feel so warm inside. “I told Holly I was qualified to hand you a pill and a sip of water. I’m not sure she believed me, but Matt convinced her. She went to bed and I watched you until I fell asleep.”
Alicia smiled back. “Holly will make a good mother someday. She has all those instincts when it comes to her loved ones.”
“I can make eggs and cereal with milk,” he offered, looking serious.
“I usually just have coffee and toast,” she informed him.
He shook his head. “Holly insisted I feed you food. You’re taking pain pills. I promised her. She can be mean when you disobey an order.”
He handed her the TV remote and headed toward the kitchen. Since she was enjoying the quietness, she left the TV off. She could hear pots and pans banging. It made her smile. She knew he and Matt had eaten out a lot until Holly came to live here. “Hope you like scrambled eggs,” he yelled from the kitchen.
“I do,” she shouted back, feeling happy despite what happened last night.
He came back fifteen minutes later with two plates of eggs and a glass of orange juice. She made a face at the juice. “Holly’s orders. She said you lost a good amount of blood and you might feel lightheaded. Orange juice will help.”
“Fine.” She took the glass and took a sip of it. She wanted coffee but she tried not to complain. She was touched he was taking care of her.
The day turned out being a good one. They left the TV off and he helped her out to the porch. She sat in a rocking chair and looked out at his huge yard. The breeze was nice and cool. Since he had no neighbors, he told her it was okay to go out with the T-shirt on. They rocked on the rocking chairs and talked.
They shared childhood memories, and she was glad that his mom had been a wonderful mother despite their dad being a mean drunk. She understood now why he and Matt were very close. She told him she and Alana had always been the best of friends. Ray liked bossing her around too much. “We fight and argue, but at the end of the day I know he would do anything for me. Alana and I did give him quite the headache over the years. Alana always had a thing for Noah, and Ray used to get annoyed by it.”
“He is protective of you girls, but it is because he cares, and he is the oldest sibling. It’s more responsibility,” he informed her. “I always took care of Matt and he is always telling me, since he is a married man now, that I should quit being bossy.”
Alicia laughed. Matt had such a hard look. It was hard to imagine anyone bossing him around. “Matt has a point.”