An Excerpt From: 30 DAYS TO SYN
Copyright CHARLOTTE BOYETT-COMPO, 2013.
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing
She brought the cell phone over to the bed with her and sat down beside him again, tucked the phone under his pillow should he or she need it. She removed the washrag from his head, fanned it in the air a few times to cool it, and then laid it over his eyes again.
“Sucks to be me,” he grumbled.
She laughed despite the fact she was still put out with him. “Yes it does.”
“I hurt, Melina.”
“Turn over on your side and let me rub your neck. That always helps…”
“I’d rather you rubbed my cock,” he said.
“That won’t help your headache,” she said.
“It’ll help one of them,” he responded.
“Behave,” she said, warming to his sense of humor.
“I’m better when I’m bad,” he said but he turned to his side, sighing as she put her hands on his neck.
“You’re as tight as a drum,” she said, massaging the tense muscles.
“I’ll bet you are, too.”
She giggled. “Stop it,” she ordered. “You’re incorrigible.”
“I’m engorged,” he said with a snicker.
“Just hush. I mean it.”
He was quiet as she gently but firmly kneaded the rigid column of his neck. A soft knock at the door turned her head toward the sound. “That was quick.”
“He lives nearby,” he mumbled, his lips against the pillow.
She got up, opened the door and found a man who bore a close resemblance to Jono standing in the hall.
“If you’re here that means he’s really hurting,” the man said and she stepped aside to allow him to enter with his little black bag. “Did he chunder?”
“I’m sorry, what?” she asked.
“Did he puke?” the doctor clarified.
“I don’t know,” she answered.
“Yeah,” he said from the bed. “I puked up tons of shit.”
“Then stop eating shit,” the man said. “I’ve warned you about that.”
She bit her lip to keep from laughing at the exchange as she walked back to the bed. He was once again lying on his back with his knees up, arm over his eyes. “I hurt, bro,” he said.
“On a scale of one to ten?” the doctor asked.
“Fifty,” he replied.
“I wish you’d learn to count. They have classes for that you know. What brought this one on?”
“Piss-assed M?ori wankers who ask stupid fucking questions.”
“Bugger off,” the man said as he put his bag on the bed and opened it. “I ought to let you suffer, you knob head.” He rummaged in the bag and pulled out a syringe and a glass bottle.
“What do you give him?” she asked.
“Demerol for the pain and Vistaril for the nausea.” He glanced at her after he filled the syringe. “Why?” He tossed the bottle back in his bag and pulled out another, adding that liquid to what he’d just drawn up.
“Just curious,” she said. “I get the same meds when I have to go in to the ER.”
“Huh,” Craig grunted. “A match made in heaven. Unbutton your jeans and turn your arse over, Synnie.”
He did as he was ordered, groaning as he rolled over.
“Pull his pants down a bit, will ya, love?” Craig asked.
“She’s been wanting to do that all night,” he said with a smirk
“Will you please stop?” she asked.
“Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a stop button,” Craig said. “I’ve looked.”
“Limp dick,” he growled.
“Asswipe,” Craig returned.
She tugged the waistband of the jeans down his hip and held it in place as Craig stabbed the needle into his patient’s ass as though he was throwing a dart.
“Fuck, Craigie!” he cried out, flinching. “That hurt!”
“Fuck, Synnie, you knew it was going to.”
“Stop being such a pussy,” Craig told him.
“It does burn,” she said.
“Yeah, well he should be used to it by now.”
“I don’t think you ever get used to it. I’ve got lumps on my fanny from years of getting poked,” she stated.
There was a gasp from one of the men—she couldn’t tell which one--then they both howled with laughter, the howl dying down to a fit of the giggles.
“What did I say?” she demanded.
Wiping his eyes from laughing so hard, Craig put a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie,” he said. “In Kiwi-ese, a fanny doesn’t mean the same thing as it does to a Yank.”
“What does it mean then?” she asked.
“Don’t tell her,” he told Craig. He was rubbing his hand on the place where he’d been injected.
“Look it up,” Craig said as he capped the syringe and put it back in his bag then closed it. “He’s gonna be down for a few hours. Are you staying?”
“Looks that way,” she said.
“Good. I won’t worry about the little prick.” He grinned. “I didn’t get your name, Miss…”
“It’s none of your business!” he snapped, drawing his knees up into the fetal position.
“Well, Miss Noneofyourbusiness, it was nice meeting you,” Craig told her.
“It was nice meeting you, Dr. Tonika,” she replied.
“It’s Craigie. Call me if that headache isn’t gone in four hours and I’ll jog over and pop him again. I love hurting the little wanker.”
She liked Craig. He had the same goofy grin that she had come to adore on Jonny and wondered if all M?ori men of his acquaintance smiled so readily and were so personable, if they all teased him so unmercifully. She started to walk him to the door.
“He can leave without your assistance. Come here.”
Craig rolled his eyes. “Better scoot. That’s his pissy tone.”
“Yes, I know. I’m all too familiar with it,” she said.
She looked around to find him on his back once again with his hand outstretched toward her.
“Call me if you need me,” Craig said again.
“Thank you,” she said as he opened the door and exited, lifting a hand in acknowledgement of her gratitude.
“He’s a nice man,” she said when she returned to the bed. She slipped her hand in his and he placed it against his chest and snorted.
“That’s a load of lod cods wollop,” he replied and she stared at him, wondering if that was a real phrase from his homeland or Demerol-induced gobbledygook.
“Is there a dictionary of New Zealand words and phrases I can buy?” she asked.
“I’ll teach you everything you need to know after I let my ferret run.”
“What?” she asked.
“Lie down with me,” he mumbled, his words beginning to slur from the potency of the narcotic.
“You need to go to sleep,” she said. “I’ll sit over by the win…”
“You lie down with me, Melina!” he ordered. “You lie down with me!”
“All right!” she snapped. “Let me take off my sandals.”
“T-shirt and jammies in the dunny,” he said, running his hand up and down hers, pressing it harder against his chest. “That’s what you sleep in every night—t-shirt and jammies.”
“Of course you’d know,” she said and tried to slide her hand from under his. “I’m assuming dunny is New Zealandish for bathroom?”
“Kiwi-ese,” he corrected. “I speak Kiwi-ese.”
“Well, let go so I can go change.”
“T-shirt and jammies. Pretty little cotton jammies wid bundy wabbits on ‘em. Sweet little cot…” he said, the last word fading away as the drug took complete control of him.
As she pulled her hand back she watched his lips part and thought he was out. She sat there looking at him and realized she was beginning to like the arrogant, highhanded jerk—which was no doubt what he intended. Any woman would consider him a box full of eye candy and the taut muscles beneath the tight t-shirt were enough to fan the lowest of flames into a full conflagration of lust.
“You are way too handsome for your own good,” she said softly. “Or for mine.”
She looked down at the hand that lay on his chest. It was a strong hand with short, clean, professionally manicured nails. The large signet ring he wore gleamed as his chest rose rhythmically in slow cadence to the soft breath coming from his parted lips.
She went into the bathroom and found a new pair of pajama bottoms and a bright pink t-shirt folded neatly on the vanity. The pajamas were pale blue with tiny koala bears climbing eucalyptus trees. G’day Mate! was written in pink script across the front of the t-shirt.
“You are a goof ball,” she whispered as she began to undress. “You really are.”
He was beginning to burrow a tiny hole inside her heart like one of the little kiwis she’d seen on the National Geographic Channel. He was becoming her Kiwi in more ways than one.
Clad in the soft cotton pjs and t-shirt, she started to turn off the bathroom light but thought better of it. The room was very shadowy—as it needed to be for him to sleep—but if she needed to get up to take care of him, she didn’t want to be blundering around in the dark. She did, however, ease the door almost shut and was annoyed that the shaft of light from the room fell directly on his face.
“No wonder you had your arm over your eyes,” she said as she crawled into the bed beside him.
She thought he was out of it but as soon as she lay down, he rolled over and gathered her in his arms before she could react. He put his forehead and nose to hers but didn’t open his eyes.
“Night, baby,” he mumbled.
“Go to sleep, Kiwi,” she said and watched him smile. He took three breaths and completely relaxed and the fierce hold he had on her loosened.
Her gaze wandered over his face. In the low light, there were dark hollows under his eyes and the pain had given him a slight pallor. Though his lids were closed, she could picture the vibrant blue of his eyes and knew at that moment should he open them, the pupils would be wildly dilated from the drug. He looked younger. He looked vulnerable and for some reason that brought out her protective instincts. Something moved inside her and she knew she’d never knowingly hurt him.
“You wouldn’t be the first woman to do that to me,” he’d said and she wondered what he’d meant.
“Melina…” he said on a long sigh and she realized he was floating in that muted, numbing nether world of the narcotic where nothing registered. Soon he would be under completely.
“Kiwi,” she whispered and snuggled against him.
As she drifted into sleep, she took the sight of his face down with her into her dreams.