one thing at a time. Let’s see how it feels just to get up and walk around. You took a severe bump to your head. You might get dizzy.”
He was right, Laura conceded. “I never realized how much I disliked hospital environments until last night,” she grumped. “You’re right. I’ll take it one step at a time.”
Already color was coming back into her pale cheeks. He wanted to lean over and brush that slope of cheek to find out if Laura was as soft as she appeared to be. Morgan put a clamp on the simmering desires that automatically surfaced whenever he was around her.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
He grinned. “No, I had a lousy night’s sleep.” He always did, but he didn’t want to say that.
“Look, I know it’s terribly awkward for you, having to stay at my house one night just to play baby-sitter. We barely know each other, but I trust you.”
“I think I’ll manage to sleep under your roof,” he said dryly.
“You don’t mind?”
“No.” In all honesty he was looking forward to sleeping in a real home.
The nurse came in with a clipboard holding several papers. Another nurse followed her. For the next fifteen minutes, Morgan was busy taking instructions on how to dress Laura’s eyes twice daily and bandage them. She signed the forms with his help, and then a wheelchair was ushered into the room.
Morgan gripped her hand. “You ready to fly this place?” he asked.
Eagerly Laura threw off the covers, exposing the long cotton nightgown. “Just get me my chenille robe and we’re gone.” Right now all she wanted was home.
“Sasha!” Laura cried, throwing her arms awkwardly around the whining Saint Bernard. Laughter bubbled up in her throat as she hugged her dog affectionately.
Morgan stood back, suitcase in one hand, and quietly closed the front door behind him. Sunlight poured through the east windows, illuminating the living room, alive with life. Laura looked tiny in comparison to the huge, tail-wagging Saint, who panted happily and whined a joyous greeting to her mistress.
Laura stood, her hand moving outward, connecting with Morgan’s. He was always there, somehow sensing when she needed his help. “Oh, Morgan, it’s so wonderful to be home!” Her voice trembled, but she didn’t care.
He smiled, holding her hand more firmly. “I know…Come on, let’s get you to your bedroom.”
“No, take me to the bathroom, will you? I want to fill the tub with orange blossom bubble bath and soak off this hospital smell!”
Her enthusiasm was infectious, and he chuckled. “Okay, little swan, let’s fly to your bath so you can smell like oranges instead of antiseptic.”
Morgan led her into the long, rectangular bathroom that had a green carpet and sunny wallpaper covered with white and yellow daisies. He marveled over his and Laura’s innate ability to work as a team without any conversation. Laura started filling the bath and poured the bubble liquid into the water, the scent of orange blossoms filling the air. He left and went to her bedroom. In no time he had chosen a pair of tan slacks, a pink blouse and lingerie for her to wear after her bath. Placing them on the vanity, he shut the door and left.
It was past noon and he was hungry. Walking out to the kitchen, he fed the noisy baby robin, then attended to the details of a lunch for himself and Laura. Sasha sat at his feet, thumping her thick tail, as he made peanut butter sandwiches. “No,” he told the dog, “this other sandwich is for your mistress.”
Sasha tilted her head, whining.
“Oh, all right….” Morgan threw her a slice of bread and watched it disappear inside her cavernous mouth. “Good thing you’re friendly. I’d hate to get bitten by the set of choppers you’ve got,” Morgan muttered, and went back to making lunch.
Laura emerged half an hour later. Using her hand, she followed the hallway wall until it intersected with the kitchen. “Are you in here?” she
Dick Couch, George Galdorisi