Keep Me Alive

Keep Me Alive by Natasha Cooper Read Free Book Online

Book: Keep Me Alive by Natasha Cooper Read Free Book Online
Authors: Natasha Cooper
Tags: UK
his face again. ‘I should have known you’d never be so irresponsible. What were you eating? Shellfish? That can be a bugger in this weather.’
    ‘No. I went to friends. It was only sausages, and pretty well-cooked at that. Overcooked in fact.’
    ‘Sounds remarkably unsuitable for such a hot evening. Are you up to a day in court?’ She’d never heard his voice so gentle, or seen his eyes so soft.
    ‘So long as I don’t try to eat anything.’
    ‘Good. Warn me if you need to go out, won’t you?’
    She was touched by the way he made Colin carry all her
paraphernalia as well as the day’s files and gave him strict instructions to take notes for her of every point the defence made. But she was determined to do her job properly.
    The first person she saw when she walked into court was Will Applewood; sitting alone on the claimants’ bench. She wished he hadn’t come. There was nothing for him to do except listen to interminable arguments about contract law or evidence from Furbishers’ employees impugning his brains and business sense. His face lit up as it always did when he smiled at her, and she forced herself to smile back.
    All day, she had to fight waves of pain, concentrating as hard as she’d ever done. There were one or two scary moments, but she held on, took painkillers and another Imodium at lunchtime instead of food, and kept going.
    Antony sent her straight home when the judge rose, telling her that he and Colin would take her stuff back to chambers and he’d see her in the morning.
    ‘And think about whether you want to sue the people who poisoned you,’ he called after her.
    Trish waved him off, but the comment did make her think. Jess, who had eaten quite different food, couldn’t be affected, but if the damage really had been done by the sausages, Caro must be suffering too.
    Jess answered the phone, sounding tearful. ‘She’s in hospital,’ she said, as soon as Trish had said who she was.
    ‘Food poisoning?’
    ‘How did you know?’
    ‘Because I had it too,’ Trish said crossly, thinking no one could be that stupid. ‘But nothing like badly enough for a trip to hospital. How is Caro?’
    ‘I don’t know. Barely conscious.’ Jess gulped. ‘I didn’t know what to do when she started throwing up in the night. I made her mint tea, which nearly always helps, but she couldn’t even keep that down. It got worse and worse and it was hurting her
so much that in the end I called an ambulance. She was furious. But I was so frightened.’
    ‘I’m sure,’ Trish said, in her most professionally soothing voice, although she disliked Jess’s familiar habit of exaggerating everything.
    ‘And I’ve been sitting with her in casualty all day long, trying to help. They took her up to a ward about an hour ago and said there wasn’t anything more I could do. So I came back here.’
    ‘It sounds as though she’s really ill,’ Trish said, with more than a twinge of guilt.
    ‘Of course she is. She could die,’ Jess wailed. ‘And they won’t even let me stay with her.’
    ‘It can’t be that bad. Which hospital is she in?’
    ‘Dowting’s. It’s the nearest. But they say they won’t have any news until tomorrow at the earliest. And by then she may be …’
    ‘They’ll look after her, Jess. She’ll be all right. But what about you? Do you need anything?’
    Jess sniffed, then said, ‘I’m fine, but I stuck to veg. I’ve been telling her for weeks that meat is poison, but she didn’t believe me, you see. Oh, Trish, what’s going to happen?’
    How the hell do I know? Trish thought, while she murmured the kind of soothing reassurances she knew Caro would have wanted her to offer.
    Bob had refused to go to Ron’s pub, which had seemed like a bad omen. Now he was sitting opposite Tim in one just outside Stubb’s Cross, where no one knew either of them. They’d got pints of the local bitter in front of them. Bob had barely started on his, but Tim had drained the lot.

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