‘Aaron, I brought you some dinner,’ I open my eyes to see Rita holding a tray. I scoot up the bed and push the oxygen mask down my face.
‘Thanks,’ I smile at Lottie and she beams back visibly relaxing.
‘I brought mine as well, I hope you don’t mind,’ she puts the tray on my legs and shuffles next to me. ‘You have been asleep for ages; I got a right telling off. Andrea was very annoyed, she guarded the door and wouldn’t let anyone in while you slept, I think she likes you,’ she giggles.
‘Of course, she likes me she is my bodyguard,’ I chuckle and roll my eyes.
‘Oh, that is so cool,’ she gushes as she takes the covers off the plates, its pork chop and sausage and mashed potato with gravy. My stomach growls and I grin at Rita as we eat in silence.
‘Thanks for taking me,’ I manage lifting the mask from my face I had replaced it after dinner feeling breathless again. Rita is sat on my bed holding my hand. Her brow furrowed with concern.
‘Hmm,’ I look up in time for Rita’s soft lips to touch mine as she kisses me tentatively. I am a bit startled, and then kiss her back. She pushes me back into the pillows as her tongue skims my lower lip asking for entry. I allow her and there is no stopping my groan of approval as her small hands fist my hair tugging on it. Eventually she pulls back breathing hard her cheeks flushed a shy smile on her lips which are pink.
‘Do you want to see the horse’s tomorrow?’ She gazes at me expectantly and I can see she is trying to make up for earlier.
‘Yes please, I would like that, as long as there aren’t any stairs,’
‘No, no stairs and Gillian had your horse brought here so we could go riding when you are better,’ she gushes all excited at that prospect.
I lean forward and kiss her to show her I’m not cross with her because I have to stay in bed the rest of the day. I chuckle when Andrea enters my room scowling.
‘Naomi sent me to watch you, it would seem as soon as I take my eyes off you, you get into trouble,’ she grumbles while pulling a couple of packs of cards from her pocket. ‘Poker?’ she looks at me while shuffling one of the packs and I nod grinning. She taught me when I was lonely missing Her when she was away.
‘Andrea, who was that at the beach, they were after me weren’t they?’ I gaze at her as I lose yet again, glad we aren’t playing for money or even worse Vodka shots.
‘Yes, madam Ramsbottom isn’t the only person who knows what you are for.’
'Madame Ramsbottom?' A frown creases my brow.
'Gillian, your companion,' Andrea looks at me like I am stupid.
Oh, She, I never knew her name,' I laugh. 'So the people on the beach,' shuffling my cards I glance up.
‘They were the Dread riders,’ Andrea snorts derisively. ’A rambling horde; they are led by a Lady Arilla. She is a very astute woman and spends a lot of her time trading Adams and information. Gen-Corp have a treaty with her and monitor her Adams, as does the United Human Federation.”
‘I don’t think I like the sound of them,’ I mutter sorting my cards.
‘No, but I suspect they are actively searching for your brother ,’ Andrea picks up a card while regarding me.
‘You could have given me to them, named your price, you know what I am?’ I glance up at her.
‘That would not be beneficial to me or my reputation.’ She answers as she beats me again. ‘You will return to Tribe with Rita,’
‘What about my brother I thought I was finding him?’ I glance at her as she studies her cards.
‘There has been a problem that Gillian is sorting out. Don’t worry he is safe,’ she glances at me.
I am allowed up after lunch. I put my favourite black jeans on, and a warm jumper, the château is cold.
Rita appears and I stand up from the bed, smiling at seeing her, she grabs my hand and drags me out the room making me laugh.
‘Rita, what’s the rush,’ I gasp following her.
‘Slow down,’ I manage, and she stops turning to me her eyes wide with worry.
‘Oh, sorry I forgot again. I am so sorry, gosh I am so rubbish aren’t I,’ she puts her hand over her mouth.
‘No, it’s fine,’ I chuckle pulling her in for a kiss.