Part nine

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Thud, thud, thud, Kate realised that the unbearable pulsing pain was her own head. Opening her eyes, she realised she was still on the sofa, flat out in Mason’s apartment. He was sat across the room in a large armchair, his laptop open on his knees and he seemed engrossed. She studied him for a few moments, his dark hair covering his bowed face, he was such a good looking man, strong features, yet with a softness that she found so appealing. She could study him for ages and never get bored, then suddenly his eyes flicked up and met hers, and she noticed them flare with surprise.

                “Hey!” His voice was quiet as he lowered the lid on the laptop. “You ok? You’ve got a bit more colour at last.”

                “Did I...?” heat flushed her face as she remembered going woozy, had she fainted?

He nodded, “yep! You fainted. I made sure that was all it was honest.”

                “Was I out for a while?” The fact that she had no recollection was more than a little worrying.

Shaking his head, he leaned forward in the chair, “no, don’t you remember me helping you to get comfortable? You were a bit grumpy, but that’s how I knew you were ok!” His laugh set her nerves on edge.

Responding with a groan, Kate wondered when this perpetual humiliation would end. She was mortified, he’d carried her to bed, mopped her brow, cleaned up after her, fed her...not even her mother had done that much for her since she was in her teens, but then she couldn’t remember ever feeling this ill. Not that that made her feel any easier. This went against everything she was.

                “Do you want a drink?” he asked with a smile, jumping to his feet.  “You must be parched!”

She so wanted to stand up, but her head was too heavy, her body too weak, looking at him she fought to keep the anger and resentment out of her eyes giving a nod of confirmation.

He responded with a grin, “I bet this is torture hey? Having me wait on you...a loyal servant!”

Crossing the room he opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of orange juice, “OJ ok? Or would you rather apple?”

Kate shrugged with indifference, it really was the least of her concerns, then she realised how ungrateful she seemed, “sorry Mason, this is all just so...”

He merely smiled offering her the glass half filled with juice, “not a problem, quite nice having someone here.”

Slumping back against the sofa she swallowed most of the drink in one go, hating the scrutiny of Mason, hating being in such a vulnerable position...but there was a large part of her that realised that if she’d been home...alone, then she’d have been in a horrible position, sick and alone. As it was he was looking after her, and she had to be grateful for that.

                “You feeling any better?” Mason had sat again in the chair opposite and was watching her intently.

She shrugged, that’s all she seemed to be doing, appearing disinterested like a petulant teenager! Shaking herself mentally, she smiled as best she could, “yes I do. Thanks for this Mason, I do appreciate it, I think I’m ready to go home now.”

He laughed out loud, “will you stop! You’re not Superwoman, you CANNOT do everything. Will you just relax and let me look after you for a minute? You’re ill, weak, prone to faint again. If you go home who’ll find you if you fall? Who’ll get you drinks? Medication? Chicken soup?” he asked with a flourish. “No one is the answer. This is a lucky situation where I have nothing in my diary, you need someone keeping an eye on you...so just go to sleep and get better. I’ll make us some food ok? You haven’t’ eaten by my reckoning in at least twenty four hours, probably more.”

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