CHAPTER 3: ROMANCE

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"That's interesting!'

A familiar voice I could not exactly identify woke me up. I opened my eyes unwillingly, to see that Christopher was standing at my bedroom door, leaning his left shoulder against the doorframe. He could not be there. I was certain I was still dreaming.

His beautiful blue eyes were fixed on me, and his teasing smile sent the sleep instantly away from my swollen eyes. I drew the sheets up to my chest and sat up with a fast move.

'What...How did you get in here?' I asked, glowering at him. My initial confusion had started to give way to fury and exasperation.

He used his hand to shade his eyes, as if he was trying not to look at me, and walked towards my bed. He reached for my T-shirt on the chair next to my bed and then came to sit next to me. His hand was still ridiculously in front of his eyes.

'Kate let me in. She had to rush and she told me to knock on your door.'

'I don't believe it!' I whispered to myself. What was Kate thinking to let him in just like that? His face turned more serious.

'Actually, it was my fault. I told her you were waiting for me. Sorry to let myself in like this, but I've been knocking for more than ten minutes. I was... worried about you.'

'Well, as you see, I'm fine. Quite embarrassed, but fine.' I said in a stiff voice. He took his hand from his eyes and looked at me with his attractive, disarming smile brightening his face.

'Don't worry. I am almost as embarrassed as you are.' he said, but I doubted that.

'I guess you forgot about our meeting.' he went on as he stood up and walked to the door.

'Damn it'! I cursed. I checked the clock on my bedside table. It was eleven thirty. How could I have overslept?

'I'll make coffee.' he chuckled, making for the kitchen.

How many times can a woman make a fool of herself in front of the same man and still hope he fancies her? I asked myself as I got up.

'How can you live on these?' Christopher wondered with his head in the almost empty fridge. 'Do you know there's nothing edible in here ...besides those oysters?' He took one and smelled it before putting it back.

'You don't have to do it, you know.' I said coldly as I walked into the kitchen. I had put on a T-shirt and a pair of loose shorts now. He turned, slightly irritated.

'What do you mean?'

'You don't have to babysit me.'

I was sure he detected the cruelty in my voice but he could not explain it. I could not either. Lack of caffeine in combination with humiliation had turned me into a monster.

'Is that what I'm doing?'

'What else?' I took a long sip of the frappe coffee he had made for me.

'Taking care of you is much better, I gather.' he said.

I looked at him with a frown. 'And why are you taking care of me, Dr Auburn?'

He shrugged. 'As I said, returning your father a favor. Isn't that enough?'

'More than enough. You can tell Daugh next time you see him, that I'm a big girl now. Big enough to take care of myself.'

He closed the fridge door and came to sit on the chair right across. He raised his hand to touch my chin and made me look at him. Once again, his eyes were so capturing that kept me breathless.

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