One week ago today, I washed up on a river bank with no memory of who I am. I walked a few miles until I came to a town. I found a pharmacy and picked up a travel sewing kit, a first aid kit, and some pain medication. I was covered in blood so the person at the counter called the police.
When the officer arrived he was hot as hell but no-nonsense so I kind of hated him. I didn’t do anything wrong, that I knew of. He asked my name, which I obviously couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t tell him anything about myself. He ended up buying the first aid kit and pain meds and then promptly drove me to a house not far from the pharmacy.
It turns out this was the town physician’s house. He asked me a bunch of questions but I didn’t know how I got hurt. All I knew was my head, a knee, an ankle and my sides ached. Someone beat the life out of me and shot me. Thankfully they had terrible aim and missed vital organs. Not long after that, I passed out.
I woke up a day later in a bed in a cottage all clean and bandaged up. I wandered around when that same hot, gruff cop walked in; coffee mug and paper in hand. He pointed me to the bathroom and told me breakfast would be ready shortly.
He doesn’t seem like a friendly man but he put himself out for me so I couldn’t blame him. I limp off to the bathroom and into the shower. We had a tense, silent breakfast and he went to work. He left me his phone number if I needed him but I could tell he’d rather I didn’t use it.
Up until today, I entertained myself by watching television and cleaning his house. I was going to try and cook but realized I don’t know a thing about it. I felt useless so I watched a beginner cooking show and found a wonderful homemade mac and cheese recipe that sounded delicious.
I’m just waiting for the oven timer to go off about two minutes before he comes home for dinner. It turns out he’s one of only four officers that work here and he’s the boss. That in itself is extremely sexy. He gets my fire burning but he pays me little to no mind. It sucks for me because I can imagine he’s amazing in bed.
The timer goes off and I set the Mac and Cheese on the table. It smells pretty good. Although I feel even a complete moron couldn’t screw it up. Hopefully, Ryder doesn’t hate it or get mad that I used his food without asking… that would be unreasonable but honestly, who knows?
“Have you remembered who you are yet?” he asks when he sits down at the table.
“No… I saw a flash of memory but it may as well have been nothing. It was the back of someone’s head from the back seat of a car.” He grunts in response.
“You should find a name you like. I can’t keep calling you the kid with no memory.” He sighs before he gets up from his seat to grab a drink.
I wait for him to sit back down so I can look him in the eye, “sorry for being an inconvenience.” I walk out of the room and go back to my temporary room.
Ryder stands and follows me, “I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean it would be better for everyone if you had a name. I’m also assuming calling you a kid didn’t help. You aren’t a kid but you’re a good ten years younger than I am”.
“I don’t care about the kid comment. I care that you are cold. I know you don’t know me from a hole in the ground and you don’t owe me anything but it would be nice if I didn’t feel like you’re holding a seven-year grudge for something neither of us can remember.” He snickers and asks me if I want to eat.
I would love to eat, I’m ravenous. I wonder if I’m always this hungry. We walk back to the table and eat. It’s cooler now but still tastes alright. I’m so relieved. He seems to enjoy it too. I’m no Martha Stewart but I think I did alright. I disliked her show but she seems to know a few things.
Ryder thanks me for cooking and heads back out the door to go back to work. He sprays this weird-smelling spray all over himself and then jumps in his truck and leaves. I have found I long for company. I’m relieved and somewhat serene when he’s around but the moment he leaves I’m on edge. I feel like I’m being watched so I live with the curtains closed but that makes me feel like the walls are closing in.
I try to reassure myself that it’s only a few more hours before he’ll be back but I’m feeling more paranoid than any other day this week.
Names. He said I should find a name I like. That should be able to distract me for a while. This place has the absolute most garbage internet. Thankfully it’s not dial-up but it’s like whatever came immediately after dial-up. Finally, after an eternity, I can type in boy or unisex names.
I search through all the names but many of them are repeats with different spellings and I dislike most of them. I read the list again when Reade caught my attention. I don’t like the spelling but Reid I like. I’ve also found reading keeps me from losing my mind. It’s a damn shame this man has nothing good to read, Moby Dick is not my idea of a good time. I like getting lost in it.
Bored, I search for somewhere I can read free books since I don’t have any money and I find some sites but after fifteen minutes of finding nothing that interests me, I sign up for a website that sends links to free books on Jungle, the book app that Mr. Grouchy pants has on his tablet. I hope he doesn’t mind that I’m taking it over.
The screen door slams shut which makes me jump out of my skin. I guess I fell asleep at some point.
“Have you found a name you like yet?” He questions me when I sit up.
“Yeah, Reid.” I stand and stretch. Is it just me or is stretching the single most amazing feeling that only lasts like five seconds?
“Ok, Reid, I’m going to bed.” He takes off his jacket and hangs it on the coat rack before he walks through the kitchen to his bedroom.
The man is gorgeous. Rippling back muscles, perfectly sculpted arms, thighs, and butt. His abs are probably hard enough that you could clean your dirty laundry on them. I shake the thoughts from my head and go to bed myself.
The next morning I woke to the delicious smell of meat cooking. My stomach grumbles like I haven’t eaten in weeks. Ryder lets out a low chuckle almost as if he heard it but that isn’t possible. I get dressed and make my way to the kitchen.
“Morning. Are you hungry?” I swear I see a tiny smile grace his face but I blink and any trace has been wiped away.
“Starving.” I sit down and grab some bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, and eggs.
We eat in silence when something gets his attention. He gets up, grabs his gun, and goes outside, “Stay here and don’t move”.
A few minutes later he comes back inside and he looks pissed. I hope it’s not directed at me, I didn’t move.
“Have you gone outside?” His tone is almost threatening.
I frantically shake my head, “I haven’t. But I have felt like I’m being watched. I close the curtains right after you leave in the mornings”.
“Promise me you won’t go out there. It isn’t safe for you right now.” He seems like he’s almost concerned.
“What, you think I’m being hunted by a big ol’ bear?” I smile but he doesn’t think I’m being funny.
“Reid, this is serious. There are people here who don’t like your kind and have a good reason. Though I don’t believe we should be held accountable for the mistakes of others, I can’t make people see things my way.” He runs his fingers through his hair.
“What do you mean by my kind? Are the townspeople racist?” That’s disappointing.
“No, fuck. You really don’t know anything about who you are, do you?”
I shake my head no but he seems to know something about me. This is great!
“I will explain later. And no I don’t know who you are, I just know what you are.” He turns and heads back outside.
He knows what I am? What kind of vague nonsense is that? We’re mammals. We are human males; of course, he knows what I am. What a weirdo.
I get bored waiting for him to come back so I search for another recipe to make. I have nothing better to do. I found a recipe for Shepherd’s pie and it sounds delicious. I go check if he has everything I’ll need to make it and he does. This will keep me busy for a while. I put on some music and get to work.
I wonder what he’s doing out there…