Delicious Desires

By: Jackie Williams

Caroline stared up at him, her brain aching with shock.

“Why didn’t you take me to hospital if I was unconscious?” She felt it was a reasonable question given the situation but he just shrugged.

“What? And sit around in an overcrowded casualty for hours. You weren’t completely out of it and they probably would have assumed you were drunk. I called my own doctor instead. He is far more reliable in that sort of situation. I would have taken you after his assessment if you had needed it.”

Caroline presses her fingers to her forehead. “What happened to me? One minute I was fine and the next...I was only drinking spritzers but I could barely stand up straight. I couldn’t even remember why I was in the toilet.” Her voice was a fraction firmer. He sounded so confident and it was rubbing off on her.

He sat on the edge of the bed and handed her the tea again. She took it and sipped the hot liquid gratefully, feeling it burn her dry throat as it went down.

“I think they drugged your drink, you seemed to go downhill fast and you haven’t woken properly since. I called my doctor out to you. He came as soon as we arrived back here, but as you appeared in no immediate danger he said it’s just best to let you sleep it off.” He watched her face, carefully looking for signs of distress as he spoke softly.

She gulped another mouthful of the tea.

“I can’t thank you enough.” She gasped out, the relief washing over her as fragmented images of the way he’d rescued her leapt into her head and her thoughts lingered over how he had held her so closely in his arms just before she had blacked out.

His smile was wide now, the dimple showing deeply.

“That’s okay, it was my pleasure. I love rescuing damsels in distress. And I got a bit of a workout into the bargain.” He held up an arm and flexed one of his massive biceps at her. She swallowed another sip of tea and tried not to stare as his huge muscles stretched his soft t-shirt.

“Perhaps they will have learned their lesson. One of them is going to have some serious dental bills coming up and hopefully even some cosmetic surgery on his nose. The other, well, with a bit of luck I ruptured something. He didn’t look like he was going to get up anytime soon. I shouldn’t think that they’ll try it again.” His eyes were twinkling, laughing at her expression, and then he was suddenly serious as he added, “They must have put something in your wine while you were dancing. Rhohypnol I’d guess, well that’s what Dan, my G.P. reckons it was. Apparently you can’t taste it. Perhaps it would be best to not leave your drink unattended another time.”

Caroline shook her head quickly, ignoring the pain shooting through her temples.

“No, never again.” She agreed fervently as her heart started beating erratically. “I can’t believe I was so stupid, I don’t go to night clubs very often now and I never even gave it a thought. You think that sort of thing only ever happens to someone else.” She paused for a second, breathing deeply. “I don’t even know your name. I’m Caroline Masters, but you probably know that since you’ve checked out my I.D.”

He smiled and nodded.

“Yes, I knew, and I’m Adam Cavendish.” He handed her some toast as he took a bite from a slice himself, but she didn’t eat it immediately. His name was not unfamiliar. He was constantly mentioned in the newspapers, having owned or designed many of the most prestigious developments in the country.

“You may not want crumbs in your bed.” She held the toast carefully, looking at the crisp white bed linen, trying not to think of how much it may have cost, and at the same time trying not to drip butter onto it.

“That’s okay, it’s not my bed. You’re in one of my spare rooms. I’ll ask Tricia to change the sheets later, so dig in,” he encouraged, smiling broadly at her.

Caroline was mortified, her jaw dropped.

“God, your wife knows I’m here? She must be a very understanding lady.”

He laughed out loud at the stricken look on her face.

“No, don’t worry, you’re not about to have your eyes scratched out by a jealous spouse. Tricia’s my cleaning come house-keeping lady. She made the toast incidentally; I’m completely useless in a kitchen. No, there’s no wife, or even a girlfriend at the moment. I couldn’t stand anyone around me all the time. I’m far too busy building a decent future.”

Caroline frowned slightly as she remembered who he really was and what he was doing, even inadvertently, to her.

“Yes, of course. Too busy having small businesses thrown out of their premises and ruining them in the process. I’d forgotten about that for a moment.” She was suddenly fierce and her green eyes narrowed alarmingly at him.

Adam sat back, shocked at her sudden animosity.

“Now hang on just a moment. It’s nothing personal.” His voice was hard and a muscle twitched under his solid jaw. “I’m creating something great here. It will be a fantastic development, hundreds of jobs will be made in the long run and you could still have your shop there anyway.” He defended himself, his forehead creased in frustration at her.