“You’ve gone a little green.”
“Let’s just do this, shall we?” Before I embarrass myself.
This is why I eat steak and fried chicken!
Hunter took her hand, and she knew he was worried. She could feel all of their concern, and her stomach began to make noise, and she released a whimper. They were sitting in Hunter’s office, and she sat down, and winced as her stomach began to hurt.
“Thank you all for coming today,” Hunter said, taking a seat. “As you are aware, there have been a couple of headlines that I’ve not particularly liked, and I think it’s time that I cleared the air.”
“Yep, I agree,” Payton said. She tried to smile, but it came out more like a grimace she was sure. “I’m not a whore.”
“No, she’s not.” Hunter took her hand, and she squeezed it, hating that her hand was slick with sweat.
Just keep going. You can handle this. Come on. My stomach, ouch.
“Payton and I met at a charity event, and I pursued her. She was nice, genuine, and I wanted her. Plain and simple. We are together.”
“What about the implication that she slept with you to get the job?”
“I slept with him because I wanted to. Not because of any job,” she said. Pain was making her testy.
She took a sip of the water, and swallowed it down. She left Hunter to do the talking as he had the right words.
The pain was getting even more difficult, and she was trying not to draw attention to herself.
“Payton, how do you feel about Hunter?” one reporter asked.
In pain, feeling like she was going to die at any moment, possibly vomit and crap her pants, she didn’t put a filter on her words. Any other time, she would have been coy, or witty. This time, she was blatant.
“I’m completely and totally in love with him. I want him to be the father of my babies, and if I’ve not completely scared him away, I am hoping he’ll agree to marry me.” If that wasn’t bad enough, she grabbed the nearest trash bin, and began to vomit. Once it started, it didn’t seem to want to stop.
She threw everything up, and knew people had recoiled from the smell. The pain increased, and as she couldn’t stop vomiting, she began to cry, and freak out a little, gasping for breath, and then choking a little.
Rick, Daryl, and Hunter all sprang into action.
Hunter took the lead, getting her out of the office, and down to his car, where she vomited all the way there. “I think I got vomit in my hair,” she said, crying.
“It’s okay. We’ll clean you up, babe.”
“I’m so sorry.” Like all the times before, whenever she was ill, she began to sob, feeling even more sorry for herself.
“We’re going to get you home, and clean you up. Put you to bed.”
“What about the interview?”
“Rick and Daryl will deal with it.”
“It was the fish.”
“What was the fish?”
“This. I’m not pregnant. It was really bad fish. It smelled rotten. I’ve never had sushi before. I didn’t know if it was some weird sauce they put in it.”
“If sushi smells bad, you’re not supposed to eat it.”
“I know that now.” She began to cry.
“Oh, babe, it’s okay. It’s just a little vomit. We can handle this.”
“I think I crapped my pants.” She was full-fledged sobbing now.
He got her to his place, and much to her relief, she hadn’t soiled herself, but vomit was indeed in her hair. Hunter was so sweet, so caring, so loving. He cleaned her up, and watched over her as she soaked in the bath.
When she started to fall asleep, he helped her out, and put her to bed.
Opening her eyes, she curled up in a ball, pressing a pillow to her stomach. “Did I embarrass you today?”
“Not at all. There’s nothing you can do that would embarrass me.” He pushed some of her hair out of her eyes.
“I vomited, and I told them that I loved you, and everything else.”
He began to smile. “Can I let you in on a little secret?”
“Will it make me cry?”
“It might, but it’ll be a good cry. Trust me?”
“I do trust you.”
“Good.” He ran his thumb across her lips. “Because I more than care about you, Payton. I am in love with you as well. You, with your sexy ass, juicy tits, and wonderful curves. You have made me want to be more than a businessman.”
Her heart was pounding, and more tears flooded her eyes.
“You mean that?”
“I do mean it, Payton. I love you, and I don’t know when it began. I only know that I can’t stop thinking about you. Thoughts of you consume me every single day. I love you more than anyone else in this world.” He pressed a kiss to her lips. “You see, you didn’t embarrass me when you told those reporters the truth. You helped me see your feelings. You’re incredibly stubborn, and you keep a great deal to yourself.”