Page 53 of The Secret Father

No wonder he looked like death. It was surprising he was still on his feet. ‘Wait here, Sam; there’s something I have to do. Don’t go anywhere until I come back.’ To her relief he didn’t query her instructions. Exhausted, he slumped back into a chair.

Lindy found the nurses’ station. ‘Could you page Dr Bohman for me?’

The administrator didn’t keep her waiting long.

‘I’ll have a cab waiting at the exit for you.’ He handed over the security card that unlocked the staff entrance. ‘There shouldn’t be any press hanging around that side of the building.’ He glanced at the gold watch on his wrist. ‘Is that all now? Because…’

Lindy planted a kiss on his cheek. He looked startled and pleased. ‘That’s it, I promise,’ she told him. ‘And bless you.’

Sam didn’t evince much interest as Lindy led him out of the building, after first leaving the contact number of the hotel Adam had given her at the nurses’ station.

She gave the name of the hotel to the cab driver. She sighed with relief as they were whisked through the hospital gates without incident.

Lindy sat and watched whilst Sam ate the food she’d ordered from Room Service. Before he’d finished eating his head fell back and he was instantly asleep, as only the very young or the completely exhausted could. I love him so much it hurts, she thought as she watched him. In sleep he had a touchingly defenceless look. She couldn’t fool herself that that would last.

She’d appeared when Sam had pushed himself beyond the boundaries of physical and mental endurance. When he woke up he’d be the Sam of old and nobody, least of all her, was going to lead him anywhere! She wasn’t complaining—she’d wanted to help and, in a small way, she had by being in the right place at the right time.

No, her lack of trust had ruined anything they might have had together. Knowing she’d let the past ruin what could have been a golden future left a bitter taste in her mouth. If she’d ever needed proof that Sam was a loving father, she certainly had it now. If only she’d been capable of faith…

The sound of his regular breathing didn’t alter as she removed his shoes and placed the quilt from the bed over him. She didn’t bother unpacking her small overnight bag. There wasn’t much point. It didn’t contain anything much beyond the barest essentials. With one last look at his sleeping face she lowered the lights and climbed into the double bed alone.

A muffled curse and a clatter woke her in the early hours of the morning. ‘Sam?’ Still half asleep, she switched on the bedside lamp.

Sam was standing at the far side of the room. He’d knocked over a small table. He blinked in the sudden light. ‘What the hell? Rosalind?’ Incredulously, he turned towards her. Seeing the wariness slip into his eyes, she could have wept. ‘Where am I?’

‘Don’t you remember?’

‘Ben did wake up? That wasn’t a dream?’

‘No, that wasn’t a dream.’ She levered herself up on her elbow and adjusted the neckline of her baggy nightshirt back over her shoulder.

A deep sigh of relief lifted his big chest and she could see the ripple of muscles through the thin wool of his knitted shirt.

‘What time is it?’ He looked at the face of his wristwatch. ‘Why did you let me sleep this long?’ He scowled as he reached for the phone.

‘I left the number by the phone.’ The hospital was his first thought, as she’d known it would be.

Sam picked up the piece of paper and flicked her a quick glance before he addressed himself to the task in hand.

‘He’s asleep,’ he said a few minutes later. The tension was still in him, but it was under control now. ‘They don’t give much away.’

‘Was he badly injured?’

Sam shot her a surprised look. ‘You don’t know?’

What could she say? That she’d just jumped on a plane without even being aware of the full facts?

‘Not really.’

His eyes were narrowed speculatively, but he replied readily enough. ‘He got hit by a drunk driver.’ The viciousness in his eyes made Lindy shiver. He looked capable of wringing the life out of the criminal fool. The empathic link between them made her ache.

‘Multiple injuries, internal bleeding and a fractured skull. They say they’ll let me know if there’s any change overnight. Now, do you mind filling me in on a few facts? Just how the hell do I happen to be in a hotel bedroom with you?’

That was the one question she’d been dreading. ‘They only had one room left.’ She tried to quell the blind spurt of panic as he came over and sat on the side of the bed.