“Will you stop fussing?!” I protested as I sat up in the hospital bed, leaning against the pillows that Zara had fluffed like ten times over. “I’m okay. Can’t you see that? Can’t you all see that?” My gaze circled the room of the medical facility in Buenos Aires, slowly taking in all the concerned faces. Kyle, Ryan, and Chase had crowded the room. But the world was growing hazy, the pain fading as darkness crept into my vision. The day had been a blurry fevered dream. I blinked rapidly, realizing everyone was staring at me.
“You can’t blame us for being concerned,” Zara smiled warmly and gently rested her hand on my shoulder. “You gave us quite a scare.”
“Sorry for spoiling your surprise visit,” I said with a faint smile. “Guess the joke was on you.”
“I’m just glad I was here,” she effused.
“What happened?” Chase queried. “The doctor says it was a severe case of food poisoning. What did you eat when you and Zara went out to lunch?”
My companion jumped to respond. “We just had pasta. Mine was fine maybe he’s was off or something?”
“How convenient!!” Angry murmurs echoed across the room.
“Then you’ll be happy to know I’ve filed a lawsuit against the five-star restaurant that almost killed Coleman,” Ryan met her eyes and rasped. “It’s funny how you ate the same thing but you’re still standing,” he shot a glare at his victim.
“Guess she’s not as fragile as she looks,” Kyle regarded her suspiciously until she squirmed under his scrutiny. “She was sleeping with the enemy after all.”
“I see Corbyn told you…but you must know that Deacon was a mistake. One that I regret,” she defended and her jaw tremored slightly. “I confessed everything to Corbyn and what matters is he didn’t judge me, he understood.”
“Understood what?” Chase snorted. “That Deacon banged you senseless in one too many moments of weakness?!”
“It was poor judgment on my part and it was before the whole thing with Blue!”
“You mean before he tried to force himself on the one woman that you hate the most?” Ryan added. “We all know there’s no love lost between you and Blue. You hate her guts.”
She simply flicked her hair back over her shoulder. “What matters is Corbyn believes me. You will never trust me and I accept that. But I don’t care what the rest of you think of me.”
“Well you should,” Kyle interjected. “And the only reason you ‘confessed’ is because you were caught out.”
“That’s not true! I was going to tell him-”
“Guys please, stop!” I cried out and sagged back on the pillows, queasy and fatigued. “Can I just be left alone? Please?” This was all too much to take in. I just wanted to sleep.
“Good luck with that,” Kyle said just as his wife burst through the room.
Maya skipped all formalities and rushed to my bedside. “I came as soon as I heard,” she fretted, her eyes scanning my ashen face that was drawn in a look of pain. “I was held up in a meeting at the university-are you okay?” she asked as she flustered and hovered over me. “I called your parents. They should be here tomorrow morning.”
“You shouldn’t have called them, Maya.” It took a lot of effort to talk. “Not necessary…” I put my head back and closed my eyes for a moment, but the pounding headache and the burning in my stomach only intensified.
“You’ve been lying in for two days. And were wheeled straight to the ICU when you got here,” she ranted. “Why wouldn’t I call them after this story has been splashed all over the news??”
“Tired…” I panted, my body convulsing with aftershocks from the life-threatening episode.
“You go ahead and rest,” she pressed a kiss on my forehead and stepped away when my eyes slid shut.
“Food poisoning?” I heard her whisper fiercely. “Where was this? I hope you’ve started a lawsuit Ryan?!”
“He did,” the boys chorused.
“This isn’t my fault,” Zara blurted out. “I even had some of his food and I’m okay. He probably reacted differently.”
I was too weak to ask her why is she lying? She didn’t even touch my plate. Maybe she was trying to save her own skin? Can’t blame her though.
“You’re a liar, Zara Wilson,” Chase called her out. He just wanted someone to blame but Zara was right, this wasn’t her fault. It was just an unfortunate incident.
“I didn’t know this was going to happen!” she squeaked. “I swear!”
“Liar!” Chase repeated. “I don’t trust you or anything you say!”
“Let’s all calm down,” Maya said. “Let’s not make this a big issue. It seems like it was an innocent mistake.”
“Right!” was the unanimous response.
“Where is Blue?” Maya enquired. “She called me last night, I thought she’d be here by now.”
She wasn’t coming. I knew that. Why would she after the way we parted? We couldn’t even stand to be in the same room nowadays. It was probably for the better if she didn’t show her face here anyway. I didn’t need her pity.
Though a small part of me wished she was here…
My friends moved off and their voices faded into the noise of the hospital corridor. At least I could finally get some rest.
I drifted into a doze and was brought to life by her faint, sweet scent that was close. The blinds were drawn to seal away the fading sunlight, and Blue was curled up in a ball, her arm draped across me protectively. I smiled to myself and had the pleasure of watching her sleep. After a while, she stirred and finally, her eyes fluttered open.
“You came,” was all I could say.
“Nothing would keep me away,” she said, softly and distinctly. “I hope I didn’t overstep?”
“Never…” My voice was husky and bewildered as I gazed at her.
“I’m so glad you okay!” Relief flooded her, and she flung her arms around me. “I was so scared!” she buried her face in my shoulder and sobbed her heart out.
“It’s okay…” I hushed her. “I’m okay…” And that right there was the best part of our relationship. No matter how many times we fought or how hard we fought, we would always find our way back to each other, somehow, someway.
To be honest, I couldn’t even remember what the last fight was about and frankly, I didn’t care.
All that mattered was that she was here in my arms, where she belonged.