If she knew Adam the prestigious award for medical research was probably stowed in a dark cupboard somewhere, which was where this photo was likely to be stowed too, she thought with a wry smile.
‘That’s your brother-in-law?’ Sam placed a shapely, blunt-ended finger on the spot where Adam smiled back at the camera.
Lindy snatched the photo away. She hadn’t even been aware that he was looking over her shoulder. ‘Yes, that’s Adam,’ she confirmed.
Perhaps he hadn’t noticed. ‘Anna thinks so,’ she responded carefully.
‘Then he’s not your boyfriend?’
It had been too much to hope for. ‘Obviously not.’ If he tries to suggest that I’ll sock him, so help me…she thought.
He didn’t try to take a rise after all. ‘That figures.’
‘It does?’ she responded, seriously worried by the expression on his face.
‘You didn’t come here to see Bohman, did you, Rosalind?’
‘Not directly, but he was very helpful.’ She managed a good example of her very best cool, professional smile.
‘Why did you come here?’
Even though the air-conditioning was a little on the cool side she was sweating.
‘You just happened to be passing?’
She gasped. That was plain cruel. He knew; she could see it in his eyes. But he wasn’t going to be satisfied until she admitted it.
‘I saw the headlines about Ben and I thought…’
‘You thought?’ he prompted.
‘I thought you might need my help.’ It sounded feeble, and she knew it.
‘So you hopped on the first plane,’ he deduced. ‘Wasn’t that taking good neighbourliness to extremes?’
He was taunting her and she didn’t deserve that! So he was still mad with her for not trusting him, but this wasn’t fair. She placed her hands on her hips and eyed him belligerently.
‘I came because I had to. Because I love you!’ she declared. ‘Satisfied?’ Tears trembled on her eyelashes.
‘NOT nearly satisfied,’ said Sam.
‘What do you want—blood?’ Lindy burst out.
‘Only a little bit, but if this is a bad time I can come back.’ The impatient incomprehension on Sam’s face made the young medic wish himself elsewhere.
They’d been so immersed that neither of them had noticed the white-coated figure enter the room.
‘No, no, that’ll be fine.’ Sam played the perfect patient flawlessly as he swiftly soothed the apprehensive doctor. He rolled up his sleeve.
Lindy bit her lip; the urge to giggle obviously stemmed from hysteria. Under the circumstances humour was wildly inappropriate.
‘Do you happen to know what blood group you are?’
‘AB negative. Is that good?’
‘It’s rare.’ The white coated young man admitted. ‘And it’s the same as Ben’s, which is a start. You won’t feel a thing.’ The platitude brought an ironic smile to Sam’s lips. ‘There. All finished.’
‘He looked about sixteen,’ Sam commented as he rolled down his shirt-sleeve once the medic had departed. ‘Hell, that’s one of those things I always swore I’d never say when I was a kid.’
‘Our own expectations are usually the hardest to live up to.’
‘So you love me, then?’
Lindy cast him a wary look. He sounded as though he was discussing the weather. ‘This is no joke.’ It was callous of him to derive pleasure from her misery. Was that pleasure she read on his face? It was hard to interpret the flare of emotion in his eyes.
‘It’d better not be.’
This ambiguous statement didn’t give her any further insight into his reaction to her declaration. At least he hadn’t laughed or looked triumphant. Perhaps the way she’d treated him no longer seemed particularly important, considering what he’d been through the last few days. Slipping down his list of priorities gave her little comfort. At least when he hated me he was thinking about me, she mused. The sheer perversity of this thought made her frown.
‘You needn’t worry that I’m going to read too much into last night,’ she reassured him. ‘I know the circumstances were exceptional.’ She knew his passionate intensity had been a form of release from the unbearable tension he’d been under. Perhaps friendship could be salvaged from this mess?
‘You feel you were some sort of passive receptacle providentially sent to liberate my pent-up emotions?’ The flicker this time was quite definitely anger. ‘Strange,’ he said softly. ‘You didn’t give the impression of passivity.’ She squirmed under his relentless scrutiny. ‘The last time I had unprotected sex a baby was conceived.’