Delia's Gift (Delia 3) - Page 43

“No, no. We won’t let you out of our sight. Don’t concern yourself anymore about that. Please, do what I ask, even if it seems foolish. Humor a worried grandfather.” He widened his eyes and shook his right forefinger at me. “Mrs. Newell was not pleased with your blood pressure. That’s the first time I’ve heard her sound so concerned about you. Now, please, go rest.”

He patted my hand, stroked my hair once, and gazed at me with pleading eyes.

Maybe it was my imagination, but I could see Adan in his eyes. I nodded and returned to my suite. I would have to go to sleep worrying about my cousin Edward. I wasn’t sleeping well these days, anyway. It was starting to get uncomfortable for me. I tossed and turned, waking often. Then, very late, close to midnight, I heard voices and footsteps in the hallway. Someone had come up the stairway. I remembered that Teresa had been preparing one of the guest suites not far from mine. Curious, I rose and went to my door. I listened for a moment, and then, even more curious, I stepped into the hallway and looked toward the stairway.

Just reaching the top was Stevens, Señor Bovio’s driver. He was carrying two large suitcases, one in each hand. Coming up behind him was Mrs. Newell. She paused at the top of the stairway and looked in my direction.

“Why are you awake and out in the hallway?” she asked.

“I heard noise. Who has come to stay here?”

“I think it’s pretty obvious,” she said, nodding toward Stevens, who continued toward the suite. “I’m staying here now until you give birth. Go to sleep.”

She walked on after Stevens.

She was moving in? There was nearly two months left. What about her husband, her own home? How could she be here day and night every day? I watched her enter the guest suite. Moments later, Stevens emerged. He didn’t look my way. He walked as if he were in a trance, taking great care to step softly over the tiled floor, descending the stairway so quietly he could have been floating. Once again, it was ve

ry quiet. The hallway lights dimmed, and the spidery shadows crawled out from the corners and up the walls.

She was moving in? I wouldn’t be able to take a deep breath without Mrs. Newell knowing about it now. Any other woman in my condition probably would be grateful to have such immediate and constant professional attention, but to me it felt like a collar being tightened around my throat.

I retreated to my bed and again tried to sleep. Just before morning, I did sink into a deep repose, but I heard the curtains being pulled open and felt the sunshine spill through the windows and over me.

“You didn’t bathe last night,” Mrs. Newell said, approaching. “Proper hygiene is even more important now. I’m running a bath for you.”

“Not yet,” I told her. “I’m tired. I want to sleep.”

“Oh, you’ll have plenty of time to sleep. A bath will even help you fall asleep again. Get up, please,” she said.

When I didn’t move quickly enough to satisfy her, she pulled my blanket away.

“The more cooperative you are, the happier you will be,” she told me, blinking a smile.

She reached for my hand. Too tired to put up any resistance, I let her help me sit up.

“I guess I was right in regretting I had given permission for your little excursion yesterday. It was too much for you.”

“No,” I said.

“Please. There’s no sense in debating about it. Look at you. However, what’s done is done. Here are your slippers. I’ll check the tub,” she said, going to the bathroom.

I closed my eyes and nearly fell asleep again sitting up, but she was back quickly to get me moving.

In the bathroom, she pulled my nightgown up and over my head. I started to get into the tub when she stopped me.


She began to study my body and actually squatted to look at my legs. Suddenly, she squeezed my right calf, and I cried out.

“There’s swelling here,” she said, looking up at me with eyes of accusation. “Why didn’t you tell me you had sensitivity? How am I supposed to do my duties if you don’t follow what you’ve been told?”

“I didn’t feel anything until just now.”

She looked skeptical and then stood up. “Get into the tub,” she told me.

I stepped in carefully and lowered myself, surprised at how hot the water was. When I mentioned it, she said I’d get used to it. My second surprise came when she took the sponge before I did and began to wash my body.

“I can do that myself.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Delia Horror
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