The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 23 - Olivia (Part 3)

Cameron was still sitting on the toilet with most of his wounds cleaned and bandaged up. The doctor was working on his ear. It was still a grizzly, bloody mess that made her cringe while Cameron grimaced with the doctor’s movements.

“It appears to be nerve damage,” Doctor Waaban said as if sensing her there. He continued to work, wiping away the blood that continued to dribble after. “Nothing too serious and will heal in a day or two. You will feel off-balance on your feet until morning, no longer than a day. You will feel dizzy with sudden movements for at least a day, so take it slow and easy. Don’t sleep on it, I think that’s a given.”

He wrapped Cameron’s head in gauze. “I expect to see you in my office tomorrow morning.”

“Thanks, Doc,” Cameron said as Doctor Waaban secured the gauze and stepped back to give him a once-over for anything he missed.

“How are you feeling?”

“Fine right now.”

“Get up slowly,” Doctor Waaban commanded.

Cameron obeyed and reached for the edge of the vanity to steady himself.

The doctor didn’t miss that. “Dizzy?”

“A bit.”

The doctor told him to wait a minute before ordering him to walk slowly to the bathroom door. Cameron obeyed, his hand trailing across the vanity’s surface as he moved toward Olivia. He flashed her a cheeky grin, but it was half hidden with another bandage covering his other cheek.

She flushed, looking away, as he was still naked and not at all ashamed by it.

Cameron stopped in front of her and leaned against the wooden door frame, hovering over her.

“How was that?” Doctor Waaban asked behind him.

“Okay,” Cameron said softly, his breath blowing gently against her hair.

“Good, good. Let’s make sure you make it to bed alright and we’ll be on our way.”

Olivia swallowed at his closeness and stepped back to let him pass through.

“Reach out to him in case he loses balance,” the doctor ordered her.

She took his hand closest to her and held her other arm a few inches away from his back. She snorted, looking over her shoulder at the doctor. “Do you see him? If he falls, he’s taking me with him.”

Cameron and his father chuckled while Doctor Waaban grinned in amusement.

She walked carefully by his side. His strides were steady despite his sluggish pace and he made it to the bed in a minutes before easing himself down.

“Walking seems fine when I take my time,” he reported as he carefully made himself comfortable on the bed. “Getting up throws me off.”

“That’s good. You should be back to normal by morning with our healing capabilities,” Doctor Waaban said as he came to Cameron’s side and looked him over once more. Satisfied, he covered Cameron with the blanket and returned to the bathroom to gather his equipment.

Cameron’s father set the two mugs in the sink before going to Cameron’s side and speaking softly with him.

Olivia turned away to give them some privacy and dug through her luggage for her pajamas. Cameron could sleep in the nude with all his injuries but she sure wasn’t. She set her pajamas on the arm of the couch, waiting for the doctor to leave the bathroom, and went to the kitchenette to pour two glasses of water—one to put on Cameron’s bedside table and one to put on hers. By that time, the doctor was ready to go and Blair bid them both goodnight and told them he would come back tomorrow to pick Cameron up.

Olivia saw them to the door, thanking them, and then went to the bathroom to change, brush her hair and teeth, and get ready for bed.

Cameron was standing outside the door when she opened it, causing her to jump in surprise.

“You’re supposed to be in bed,” she scolded.

He smirked back. “I still need to use the bathroom.”

She stepped out of his way so he could go in. At least he was well enough to move around on his own again. That was a plus.

She waited for him to finish so she could help him to bed if he needed it. He grinned at her when he opened the door and saw her standing there.

“My, my, are we eager for something?”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m waiting on you if you need any help.”

“Well, I shan’t make you wait any longer, my dear.” His grin broadened.

Was he teasing her?

She narrowed her eyes, trying to read him better.

If he was trying to come onto her, he looked ridiculous with half his face bandaged up and several parts of his body were likewise bandaged—except for one area south of the border she refused to let her eyes roam.

He wiggled his eyebrows at her and she rolled her eyes and released her arms, putting them at her side. “I was worried about you, okay?”

If that grin could get any wider, it did. His eyes crinkled in the corners. He reached up and touched her cheek. “Okay.”

Closing her eyes, she gave in to the sensations his gentle caress caused. As much as she wanted to deny it, her body craved his touch.

“I will always come back to you. I will die fighting to come back to you.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” she whispered. Emotion clogged her throat.

That was what she feared most. Allowing him into her heart only to have him leave like her father. Allowing him into Chloe’s life only to have him abandon her too. Afraid of falling in love with him if she couldn’t count on him to stay.

The fact that she couldn’t control this need to have him scared her. She didn’t want to be dependent on him. She pushed and fought against it and in doing so, pushed him away.

And it was crushing her.

He pulled her into his arms and she melted into the warmth of his body. His smell, although tainted with rubbing alcohol, eased her mind and exhaustion from the stress and events of the day began to sweep over her.

“Let’s go to bed.” His voice was low, laced with the heavy pull of sleep.

Nodding, she drew away, holding his hand with their elbows bent for support, and walked next to him across the room to the bed. She helped him to get settled in before she went around to the other side and climbed in next to him. She barely got settled when he slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her back flush against his chest.

“Cam—” she began, but he shushed her.

“I just need to hold you, Liv,” he murmured in her ear.

Heaving a sigh, she closed her eyes and relaxed in his embrace as he rubbed his nose against her hair. His natural smell enveloped her and the warmth of his body eased away the tension from her muscles.

He was asleep within seconds and it wasn’t long before her breath evened out and fell in sync with his.

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