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I don't know for how long I sleep, but when I wake up, Adrian is still in the room, still working. I take that time to just watch him in his element. His eyebrows are furrowed and he looks focused. Sexy as hell. His dark, dark hair is all kinds of messy.

I feel a little better now, but my body still hurts and my throat is still sore.

Adrian notices I'm awake when I try to place my head on my palm so I could see him better. The lines on his forehead smoothen when he looks at me. And then he smiles. And everything suddenly feels better. "Hi," I crook out.

Adrian closes the lit of his laptop and stands up, stretching. He's still in his suit, sans the jacket, the sleeves of his white dress shirt rolled up to his elbows, the top two buttons undone.

"How are you feeling?" he asks, coming towards me.

I shrug. "Better."

He looks at his wristwatch. "Good thing you woke up. The doctor should be here soon."

"I don't think I need a doctor, to be honest. I'm already feeling better."

"Nonsense, Cassandra. I want her to tell me that."

"Her?" I repeat, hiding the smile that wants to come out on the surface. "Is your doctor a female?" I wonder.

Adrian slightly purses her lips. "No, but I'm sure as hell not letting another male touch you."

I want to roll my eyes, but I kind of like this possessive side of him. It's him showing his true emotions. The one thing he's bad at hiding is his jealousy. "Okay," I say softly, amused.

Adrian sits down on the edge of the bed. "Do you need anything? Tea? Anything to eat? More pillows?"

I shake my head. "I'm fine," I say. "I do need to ask you something."

Adrian's face becomes serious and that's an indication that he probably already knows what I'm about to ask him. "Go ahead," he says.

"What did my mother want?"

Adrian sighs, tentatively rubbing his eyebrow. "Your mother ... is an interesting woman. In a strange way, I'd say."

That doesn't assure me at all. It doesn't tell me much, either. "I know, but what does that mean coming from you? What did she say?" I panic a little, sitting up on the bed.

Adrian gauges my expression, his eyes never once leaving my face. "I don't care to go into the details because I don't find them important enough for you to know. She asked for money."

I should've known. I suspected it, but I thought she had at least some dignity left. I thought she'd come to me about it. "She asked you ... for money?"


"I hope you didn't give her even a penny!" I exclaim, but my voice doesn't allow me to be nearly as loud as I want to be.

"She's your mother," Adrian says softly, putting his hand on my leg.

I shake my head in disbelief. "Adrian, no," I say quietly. "That is not your battle to fight."

He presses his lips together, looking angry. He removes his hand from my leg. "I beg to differ."

"But, as you said, she is my mother and you don't know her like I do, Adrian," I say seriously. He shouldn't have done anything without asking me about it first.

"It's over now, Cassandra. She is not going to bother you."

I snort. "No, she's going to bother you. She'll be coming back for money."

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