Chapter Nineteen

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Mathew eyed his watch for the third time. Where is she? Surely the line isn't that long. There are restrooms all over this hotel.

"Listen Naomi, could I trouble you for one minute?"

"You want me to go check on her?"

"Would you?" Mathew asked.

"I'll be right back."

Naomi stood and made her way across the ballroom to the outer alcove. She found Sunny lying down on the chaise just inside the ladies room; her face pale and beads of sweat clinging to her forehead.

"Sunny? Are you okay?" She bent down, placing her hand lightly on Sunny's shoulder.

"Just give me a minute...I'll be okay."

"You stay right here. I'm going to get Mathew."

"No! Please—don't." She reached out for Naomi's hand.

"Let me get you some water then. You're probably dehydrated. I'll be right back." Naomi quickly walked back to the ballroom, running into Mathew just as she stepped inside the main doors.

"Did you find her?" He asked with concern.

"Oh Mathew, I'm afraid she's sick. She's lying down in the lounge just inside the ladies room. You go on. I'm going to get her something to drink." She touched his elbow then continued on toward the bar.

Mathew jogged to the ladies' room, not bothering to knock before he entered.

"Sunny?" He kneeled down beside her. "Please tell me this is all part of your act."

"I'll be okay. I just felt faint."

"Let me call Dr. Sumner." He started to stand, but she grabbed his hand, pulling him back down beside her.

"Don't bother Dr. Sumner. I'll be fine. Just take me home."

Naomi opened the door as Archer and Mathew helped Sunny into the passenger seat. Mathew reclined the seat slightly, secured her seat belt around her then gently closed the door.

"I can't thank you two enough." He turned back toward the Martins. "I'm sorry we have to cut our evening short."

"We're just sorry that Sunny's not feeling well. Please let us know if we can do anything for you. Anything at all." Naomi patted Mathew's hand.

"We really did enjoy our time with you. Let's get together real soon. Right after the holidays? That is if you're not too deep in the wedding."

"We'll make time. I'll give you a call." Archer extended his hand and the two men shook firmly.

"Good night." Mathew smiled as he opened his car door.

Once inside the car, he turned on her favorite soft rock station before pulling away from the valet stand. Sunny remained silent with eyes closed. Her body appeared to be tense and from the expression on her face, he knew she really was feeling poorly. Careful what you wish for. He reached for her hand, holding it snugly in his.

"I'm so sorry this happened. I guess our little plan backfired." Gently, he rubbed his thumb across hers, hoping in some small way to help her relax.

"I'll be alright," she whispered.

"Are you hungry? I bet you're hungry. You only ate two bites."

"I'm a little hungry I guess."

"What sounds good? You name the place. I'll take you anywhere you want to go."

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