She merely nodded, crossing her arms and silently daring him to argue.
“How in the hell did he get there?” Ryan asked.
Piper nodded toward another ambulance and guided Ryan toward the open back. “He doesn’t remember.”
Ryan, still holding his side, put his foot on the back step. “He doesn’t remember how he got into the semi?”
“He doesn’t remember anything,” she whispered. “He didn’t even know his damn name was Alex when I was talking to him. He didn’t recognize me and he was totally clueless.”
“Damn it.” Ryan glanced around at the group of Mexicans being tended to by EMTs and talked to by the cops. “He has amnesia?”
Piper shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. He had a good-size knot on his head, but that could’ve happened from the accident. He’s on his way in the squad I came with, so we’ll catch a ride with another. Right now I think we both need to get to the hospital for multiple reasons.”
“I don’t need to get checked out, but I’ll appease you only because I want to see Alex for myself.”
Piper studied him, as if she could see beyond the surface and actually make an official diagnosis.
“You all right?” he asked. “You look a little pale.”
Piper caught his worried gaze and smiled. “I’m fine. And if the doctors give you the go-ahead and release you, I’m going to kick your rear end for worrying me to death when I saw your overturned car.”
Ryan’s wide, signature smile spread across his face. “There’s that Piper love. Come on. Let’s get to the hospital.”
“Oh, God, Ryan.” She held a hand on his arm before he could step into the back of the ambulance. “What about Cara? Someone needs to call her.”
Piper couldn’t even imagine what Alex’s fiancée, Cara Windsor, would think when she was told he was alive. Piper was stunned and thrilled, but she was worried about how extensive this memory loss was.
“Let’s get the facts from the doctor first,” Ryan suggested. “We can’t have her running all in there in hysterics and shock. We need to prepare her for this and have concrete information.”
Piper nodded. “I agree. Let’s get to the hospital. And while you’re getting checked out, I’ll find out Alex’s status.”
She held up a hand. “The fact my heart rate is still out of control after not knowing if you were okay or not gives me the right to override anything you say. Now get your butt in and let’s get to the hospital.”
Piper stood inside the thin white curtain separating Ryan’s cubicle from the rest of the Emergency Room.
She crossed her arms and smiled. “Anything else you want to tell me?”
Ryan shrugged. “Not really.”
Narrowing her eyes, she stalked forward. “Keeping the bruised ribs and concussion to yourself?”
“I’m fine,” he assured her. “Nothing a little over-the-counter pain meds won’t fix or a good shot of my grandpa’s bourbon. A cure-all, he always claimed.”
Piper rested her hands on her hips, pulling the buttons across the chest of her cute little EMT uniform. Damn, but she was pretty when she was angry or about ready to light into him like some mother hen.
“You have a concussion, Ryan. No drinking.”
“You medical types always take the fun out of healing.”
As he’d intended, she took his joke and rolled her eyes with a hint of a grin.
“Seriously, I’ve had way worse getting bucked off a horse.”
“You’re staying at my place tonight,” she told him, pointing her finger at his chest. “No arguing.”
As if he’d turn down that invitation. Piper wasn’t only his best friend, but a friend with whom he’d always wanted more. Yeah, he may have a concussion from that accident, but he wasn’t dead.
He’d never pursued anything beyond friendship with her for a couple of reasons, the main ones being he was always traveling and she’d never shown any interest in him on an intimate level.
Added to that, her father had been a rodeo star and he’d heard Piper swear on more than one occasion that she’d never, ever fall for a cowboy.
But he was home now and ready to see if something beyond friendship could exist.