I felt his hand pull me up and I gasped, my hair coming undone and falling down my shoulders. The dress clung to me like second skin. I looked daggers at him as he laughed.
“What is wrong with you?” I snapped. My body started shivering as he stood on the shore. I noticed that just his feet got wet, and he was still laughing at me.
“You fell in,” he managed to say while laughing. I shivered as another wave hit me, making me wade out of the icy water. The shivers took over my body; he stopped laughing and looked at me with concern.
“Are you okay?”
“No,” I mubled, my teeth chattering. “It was beyond freezing.”
The wind picked up. I felt his arm around me before I realised he had wrapped his jacket around me. I looked up at him and he winked.
“Next time, bring your own jacket,” he reminded me as he gave my hand a tug. I couldn’t help smiling. Of course he had to ruin the moment. My teeth, however, wouldn’t stop chattering, and my body wouldn’t stop shivering. Oh please, don’t get me sick, I thought as I followed him to dry land, my feet barely keeping up with him. It was too cold to move!
His wink replayed in my head and I mentally groaned. Even his wink was sexy. Was there anything about this man that wasn’t?
Apart from his serious attitude problems toward me, it was like one second he despised me and then the next he played the perfect role of a loving husband. But how much of it was really true?
I sneezed as he ushered me into the limo.
“You’re going to get a cold,” he said, frowning for all he was worth.
“Your fault,” I told himI slipped my shoes back on and sat, embracing myself to try to keep warm. I felt the heat in the limo rise up as the heaters were switched on but that didn’t help.
I closed my eyes and placed my head against the window. My body wouldn’t stop shaking. Oh god, suck it up and stop shaking, I quietly berated myself.
Darius bringing me to the beach was a nice gesture, and I really did appreciate it, but did he really have to throw me in the water?
I could feel the fatigue of tonight’s events take me under. I felt something warm cover me and something warm on my cheek push me against a shoulder. I shivered, huddling closer to it. At least it smelled nice, whatever it was.
It was too soon when I felt something poke me, waking me up. I turned around glaring.
I realised we had made it home. I groaned loudly as I got out of the limo. One of my shoes slipped off and I couldn’t be bothered to get it.
I was thankful for the strong arm helping me up. Good old Ma, I can always rely on her. I crashed onto the stairs and swore and cried in pain when my bare toe stubbed against the stair. I heard her chuckle, a bit deep one. Was she sick as well?
Now we canbe sick buddies! Hmm, maybe that wasn’t a good thing...
She helped me upstairs into the bedroom.
“You should change,” she said. God, she really needed to take some cough medicine. Her voice was so deep.
I mumbled something as I heard the door close. I sighed and collapsed weakly onto the bed. I would change...right after I finish my dream with unicorns and rainbow vomit. Who even dreams about them?
“She has a fever, Darius. I am so mad at you.”
Margaret? I felt a warm cloth over my forehead. I tried opening my eyes but they were heavy. It was like they were locked down.
“I didn’t mean it. How was I meant to know the clumsy idiot would fall in!”
I heard a loud sound, which was like a slap, and someone grumbled.
“Well, make sure to keep changing the cloth every hour or so. Her temperature has to come down.”
“What type of idiot gets a fever? Shouldn’t she be getting a cold?”
“Don’t say bad things, boy. She shouldn’t be sick at all.”
I heard footsteps then the door closing and someone sighing. I felt the bed dip and the cloth disappeared from my forehead. I jumped as I felt it on my collarbones.
“Relax, go to sleep,” whispered a voice in my ear. I felt another body next to mine and snuggled closer.
I felt an arm wrap around my shoulder. Since when did Margaret become so muscular?
For the next few hours or days or years, who knew, I felt myself drift in and out of sleep. Sometimes I was greeted with voices, other times it was quiet, but there was always a presence next to me. And then I smelled my mother’s perfume.
Yep, no way was I going to open my eyes now. Don’t do it, Ivory. Don’t do it!
But all my eyes wanted to do was open. They needed the light they have been missing for a while now. They still felt heavy, though, and it was an effort to lift my eyelids.
“Don’t,” I heard my dad warn her. Thank you, dad.
“But she’s missing the cocktail party.”
Are you kidding me? I was like on my death bed!
Once again, my dad came to my rescue. “She’s sick, hun. Let her skip this one.”
I silently thanked my dad for being on my side always. My mom mumbled to herself. Who knew being sick could come in handy at times like this?. I heard their footsteps fade away and another entered the room.
When I let out a long sigh, it was to the pillow. I realised I was lying on the bed on my stomach, with my arms and legs spread out like I didn’t give a care in the world, and really I didn’t.
“How are you feeling?”
“Don’t talk to me.”
“You made me sick,” I said into the pillow, hating the way my nose felt. Urgh, I haven’t felt this sick since, well, grade nine. That was eternities away.
I turned my head to the side when the bed dipped and saw him sitting on the edge and taking off his tie.
“Where did you go?”
He paused half way and raised an eyebrow. “Work.”
Oh right, the rest of the world worked. I closed my eyes again, suddenly feeling lazy to get up. And then it hit me.
“Do I have hyperthemicia?”
“I doubt that.”
“Well, I am sleepy, and tired, and I am sure my heart beats pretty slow. Symptoms of that.” I rolled to my side. Sleeping on my stomach was weird. Not to mention how uncomfortable it was in the...upper chest area. How did girls do it?
“You can’t even say it right. Hypothermia. And no, you look fine. I’m sure you’re fine.”
No, I was not. It was his fault I was stuck in bed all day. Oh god, I needed to get out; my brain was about to eat me. All the thoughts going through my head were like an extremely fast train trying to get off the tracks. See what I mean? I don’t even know what I was rambling about, but cookies do sound nice.
“Come on, get some fresh air,” he said, standing up.
“Ew,” I said, closing my eyes when he started unbuttoning his shirt.
“Go change in a room.”
“This is a room.”
“Your face is a room,” I replied, peeking through one eye. Thank god he stopped. He raised an eyebrow and then opened his mouth, then, probably thinking better of it, he grabbed his tie off the floor and walked toward the walk-in closet.
“Go get ready.”
“Why?” I moaned, pulling the blanket higher. It was so cozy and warm in here, I never wanted to get out. Wait, didn’t I just complain that I was getting too lazy in bed? Not in that way.
“My business partner is coming over.”
“More people I don’t know.”
“You know him,” said Darius, turning on the light in the walk-in closet. “You met him at the party. James,” and with that, he disappeared inside, leaving me looking pale on the bed.
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