In the darkness, Callie Daniels could feel the burn of perspiration begin to bath her skin. Her legs trembled, then violently shook. Her hands thrust out from under the comforter and began jerking in awkward movements; as though she were desperately trying to claw her way out of a bad dream. In a matter of seconds she bolted upright in bed.
Her head ached and her vision was slightly blurred. She reached her hand to the back of her head where she immediately felt a golf ball size knot protruding; which, she decided explained the mother of all headaches she was experiencing. Then it came to her. After opening the door and seeing Sloan standing there she had passed out!
Slowly she climbed her way out of the softness of her bed and walked the short distance to the bathroom. At the faucet, she turned on the cold water and began splashing the iciness on her face hoping to wash away the dizziness. After she was through she reached behind her and grabbed a towel that was hanging on a rack then blotted her face and neck dry. With the wave of dizziness slowly passing, she opened the medicine cabinet that was directly in front of her and took out a small white bottle. She dumped three extra strength Tylenol into the palm of her hand then instantly popped them into her mouth. She filled her cupped hands with water and instantly swallowed the pills.
"Shit!" She said, suddenly remembering Ray was downstairs.
At once it all came flooding back to her. Ray had pulled in the moment she saw Sloan and passed out. So why didn't he see him? Certainly if he pulled in the moment he said he did, he would have seen him...or at least seen him running away!
It was Ray that put her into her own bed and took care of her--as he always did--and it was Ray that put her into her gown. It didn't even bother her that he recently saw her in a lace bra and panties.
At forty-eight, Raymond Jenkins could have been her father and that was exactly the kind of relationship they had. They were best friends. Soul mates without a romance.
Was he lying about Sloan? She couldn't get the question out of her head.
Once she was back into her bedroom she stripped of her nightgown then grabbed a pair of gray sweat pants that were laying on top of a chest of drawers and put them on, along with a simple white tee.
Instinctively Callie rubbed the back of her head. The moment her hand made contact with the well-formed lump she couldn't help but let out a moan of agony.
Deciding she could use that cup of tea now--she remembered Ray was making--she walked out of her bedroom and into the hallway.
She walked into the kitchen and found Ray seated in one of the padded chairs at the oak table. His head was dropped to his lap, giving off the appearance he had fallen asleep.
"Ray?" She whispered. If he had fallen asleep she didn't necessarily want to wake him, but she also couldn't have him sleeping in a wooden chair the rest of the night. The least she could do was offer him use of the sofa.
He didn't hear her come in and nearly jumped out of his chair when she spoke.
"Jesus Christ!" He yelped. In a rush he carelessly put the paper he was reading back in its pile, praying to God that she didn't notice what he was doing.
"I thought you were asleep." She said.
At once, she noticed the stack of papers she had left on the kitchen table for anyone to see.
Although she didn't mind him snooping--that was the kind of relationship they had--she knew exactly what his reaction would be...and now she knew, would not be a good time for it.
Her heart dropped with a sudden thud. He wasn't asleep at all she realized. He was busy reading all the newspaper articles, court documents, and other various papers she had left carelessly lying around.
"How are you feeling?" He got up from the table and went to where she was standing instantly draping an arm around her shoulder.
It was noticeable that he was trying to change the obvious. "My head is killing me!" She complained.
She gratefully played along. If he didn't mention anything, she wouldn't have to explain anything...or at least try to explain.
"Yea...well you whacked it pretty good on the door when you went down kid." He took a sip of his whiskey laced tea. "You'll probably have a nice bump there in the morning."
"I already have one the size of Texas." Without thinking, she rubbed at the soreness again and instantly knew the Tylenol was well at work. "Doesn't hurt too much now though."
"Let me make you a cup of tea." He offered, leaving her sitting at the table.
She couldn't understand why he hadn't asked her about it yet. God knows he wanted to! She knew him well enough to know that it was eating a hole right through his gut. It would only be a matter of time before he asked. And she would have to do the one thing she promised herself she would never do.
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