Exposed to You (One Night of Passion 2) - Page 75

“Joy? Are you all right?” Katie asked after a moment.

“Yes. I’m fine, I just—”

“Maybe you’d better sit down,” she heard Katie say. Joy sat dazedly in the chair Katie pulled out from the oak table. Had that sudden pain and tightness in her chest been the result of Katie telling Joy that Everett was falling in love with her? It must have been. But it’d felt so sharp. So real.

“Everett, Seth,” she heard Katie call.

She blinked and looked up as Everett and Seth trooped into the kitchen, both of them seeming to tower over her. She felt as if she were seeing them through a heat haze.

“There’s something wrong,” Katie said. “Joy’s ill.”

“No, I’m not,” Joy muttered, even as she blinked to try to bring Everett into focus when he stepped in front of her. He touched her forehead.

“She has a fever,” he said. “Katie? Do you have a thermometer?”

“I should take her to the doctor,” Seth said.

“No,” Joy said heatedly, standing. “I’m fine.”

“I’ll get the thermometer,” Katie said, eyeing Joy worriedly.

Joy met Seth’s gaze and noticed a flicker of fear in his dark eyes. Her heart started pounding uncomfortably in her chest, almost as if it were struggling to do its task.

“The kids in my class have been passing around a bug,” Joy said. “I probably got it. That’s all.” She looked at Everett. “We should go out to the guesthouse. I wouldn’t want Daisy to catch anything.”

“I’m going to take you to the hospital,” Seth declared.

“She probably just needs some Tylenol and some R & R,” Everett said, watching her with concern etched on his features.

“Here’s the thermometer,” Katie said, bustling into the kitchen, Rill on her heels. “Sit down, Joy.”

Joy felt extremely foolish and vulnerable with four people—three of whom were well over six feet tall—staring down at her while Katie took her temperature using the temporal artery thermometer.

“One hundred and one, almost a hundred and two,” Katie said a moment later.

“If you give me the directions to the closest hospital, I’ll take her now,” Seth said, his tone brooking no argument.

Joy sat there, feeling miserable. She didn’t want to make such a fuss, but perhaps Seth was right. Her heart was back to throbbing uncomfortably. Joy suspected it was purely an anxious response. Everett was studying her face closely.

“I’ll drive both of you over to Prairie Lakes,” he said. He glanced at Rill for confirmation. “That’s the closest facility with an emergency room, right?”

“Well, I don’t know if I’d call it an emergency room, exactly. It’s a pretty tiny hospital. Most serious cases go to Carbondale or St. Louis. But they do have a twenty-four-hour doctor on call. Joy will be seen.”

“Okay. Let’s go then,” Everett said, taking Joy’s hand.

* * *

Joy despised the smell of hospitals. She’d had no idea until she was treated for her own cancer h

ow much it had been grafted into her brain during her teenage years—the smell of impersonal, sterile care, of helplessness, of death.

She sat fully dressed in the examination room. The physician had just left after his consultation. Joy had made a request that Seth be called from the waiting room to speak with her.

She smiled at her uncle when he knocked and peeked around the door. He entered, looking entirely too large for the tiny exam room.

“Is everything okay?” He’d asked the question lightly, but Joy saw the lines of dread and worry on his face.

“Yes,” she assured. “Sit down.”

Tags: Bethany Kane, Beth Kery One Night of Passion Erotic
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