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Chapter 9 - Deck the Hospital Halls

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Chapter 9

KISSING MAXWELL Weston was not that bad.

It was pretty nice.

He knew how to move his mouth over mine without making it feel like a hostile takeover via high pressured male body fluids.

His mouth was gentle yet overpowering at the same time. I found myself kissing him back, pressing my mouth against his to smell his skin, explore the warmth of his lips, and the roughness of his stubble.

A kiss between a husband and wife wasn't like that between lovers. It was slower, more understanding, and a little less of a struggle for dominance. It was between two people who knew they had all the time in the world to get to know each other.

As the kiss went on, I had to say; I think my passion for him was outstripping his for me. He saw me as a woman he had a thousand times before who was here to care for him, to nurse him, to comfort him.

To me, his body was an exotic landscape that I had never been to before.

"Maybe, if we keep doing this, it will help me jog my memory," he whispered to me as we finally parted.

"Maybe," I said in agreement. I winced a little as I looked down at his crotch. Okay, something was growing in there, and it wasn't just our emotions for each other. Maxwell finally looked embarrassed. He threw a pillow over his erection and turned his hips away from me.

"This is not the time or place for this," he said.

"Maybe your body remembers what your head doesn't."

"I don't have the physical dexterity to follow through right now." He laughed softly at my disappointment. "We'll continue this when we get home. I don't want one of those chubby, loud-mouthed nurses to walk in on us mid-coitus."

"Okay," I said and tucked a strand of my messed-up hair behind my ear. "I'll go sit over there and leave you in peace."

"Hey, Scar," Maxwell said as he laid on the bed with one arm over his forehead, as though he wished he could channel some memories back into his brain. "Maybe if my memories never come back, we can go back to the Bahamas when this is over. We can relive our memories so I can remember."

"Yeah, that sounds like a plan," I muttered and texted Joey.

Photoshop photos of me and Maxwell on the beach, stat!

Are you still with him? It's Friday night! Take a break!

I had to chuckle at Joey's frantic text. He probably thought I was trying to score extra brownie points with Dr. Alexeev by wasting my Friday night working on Project Bozo. The truth was, I couldn't bring myself to leave Maxwell so soon. What was wrong with me? This was Maxwell Weston! He was my boss's drunken asshole of a son. Could I even consider him Dr. Alexeev's son? I was sure if I ever asked her a question as personal as that one, she'll take away my lab key and cancel me from my graduate program. 

I couldn't possibly be sitting here with an inkling of care for that bozo's condition. He wouldn't care an iota about my welfare if he knew who I really was. I knew that because I am an intellectual and I knew a great many things. However, even with that knowledge, here I was, settling down on the hospital couch like a dutiful wife. 

"What are you doing all the way over there?" Maxwell finally asked as he arched his neck up and looked at me. "I won't try anything inappropriate, I promise. Come sleep beside me."

"Go to sleep," I said. "I'm not lying down on that hospital bed that you've been sweating into all day. This is a hospital. Who knows, maybe the last person in that bed died in it."

Maxwell chuckled at that. "All right, all right. I'll let you off the hook for now. You know I don't enjoy sleeping apart."

Ah shit. I swallowed hard as I pretended to be absorbed with my cellphone. For a second there while we were kissing, I could see myself making love to that hot muscle-bound stud. But now he was telling me he expected to cuddle afterward?

Ugh, that was a completely different set of expectations. I couldn't cuddle a guy and then break his heart by stealing his company. It just seemed wrong.

The pain meds that Maxwell took soon knocked him out cold. I should have gone home after he drifted off to sleep. I don't know why I stayed. I made myself comfortable in one of the pull-out couches across the room and set up my laptop station there.

I wasn't sure why I wasn't heading home. I told myself I needed to get used to being around Maxwell if we were going to play husband and wife all weekend. There was no avoiding it. I had to get used to having him in the room, listening to the sound of his voice and, in this case — the sound of his periodic snoring.

But that wasn't the only reason, was it?

Maybe, I was developing warm, gooey feelings for him. I hadn't been with a guy for so long I had forgotten how it felt to be wanted. I really shouldn't fall for Maxwell Weston. He was so gorgeous and strong; he was nothing like the men I usually dated.

Maxwell had turned onto his side as he slept. Lying there under those flimsy hospital blankets, he didn't look so threatening. I liked the sight of his closed eyes, his arms drawn close to his body, and his tousled blond hair. Why couldn't he be quiet and unconscious all the time?

I heard his phone buzzing, so I got up to turn it off before it could wake him. He needed his rest. As I picked up the phone, I saw a text message.

"Hey baby, are you up? Want to come over?"

The sender was listed as an unknown number. I supposed it was because the phone didn't have his old contacts in it.

I didn't know why I did it. Maybe I felt a knee-jerk feeling of possessiveness over this man that I had just met. I texted back.

Who is this?

It's Maureen. You remember? Your girlfriend?

I threw the phone down and backed away from it. 

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by Althea Liu
When Ph.D. candidate Scarlett is forced to play loving wife to her me...
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