Unbuttoned By Her Maverick Boss(6)

By: Natalie Anderson


She knocked. No answer.

She knocked again. Still no answer.

Without thinking about it she tried the handle. The door swung open and she stepped inside.

The space was huge—and much brighter than the dimly lit stairwell. Sunlight shone through the skylight windows in the roof. She blinked rapidly and took in the scene. This wasn’t office space. This was an apartment—Lorenzo’s apartment.

And if she wasn’t mistaken, the sofa was occupied.

‘What’s wrong?’ Pure instinct drove her forward to where he was sprawled back on the wide sweep of leather.

It was hard dragging her eyes up his chest to his face but once she did she was able to focus better. Beneath the tan he was pale, but dark shadows hung under his eyes. Hell, if this was a hangover she’d be so mad with him.

‘Sore throat.’ A total croak, not the slight rasp of yesterday.

Sore throat and then some, Sophy reckoned. He looked dreadful. Actually he didn’t, he looked one shade less than magnificent. So that meant he really must be sick. She couldn’t help give him the once over again. Just impossible not to when he had the most amazing body she’d ever seen up close.

He was in boxers—nothing but boxers. Not the loose fitting pure cotton kind, but the knit type that clung to his slim hips, muscled thighs—and other intriguing bits.

So that was that question answered. And a few others too.

Sophy stopped her gaping. She needed to pull herself together and deal with him.

‘You have a temperature.’ It was obvious from his glistening skin. She marched to the kitchen area in the open-plan space. Poured a glass of water. Wished she could snatch a moment to drink one herself, but she was too concerned about how feverish he looked.

‘I’m fine.’ He coughed, totally hacking up that lung.

‘Of course you are,’ Sophy said smartly. ‘That’s why you missed our meeting.’ She held out the glass to him. His hand shook as he reached for it. She took his fingers and wrapped them round the glass herself. Only when certain he had it did she let him go.

Their eyes met when she looked up from the glass. She saw the raw anger in his—impotent anger.

‘I’m fine,’ he repeated, grinding the words through his teeth.

Yeah, right. He was shivering. He ditched the water on the coffee table in front of the sofa after only the tiniest sip. His laptop was on the table too, the faintest hum coming from it. Did he really think he was capable of work?

‘When did you last eat?’ she asked, her practical nature asserting itself.

He winced.

‘I need to take your temperature.’

‘Rot.’

She gingerly placed her palm on his forehead. Snatched it away at the same time that he jerked back.

‘Quit it,’ he said hoarsely.

She curled her tingling fingers. ‘You’re burning up. You need to see a doctor.’

‘Rubbish.’

‘Not negotiable.’ Sophy pulled her mobile from her pocket and flipped it open. ‘I can get someone to come here.’

‘Don’t you dare.’ It would have sounded good if his voice hadn’t cracked in the middle. He tried to move, evidently thought better of it and just rasped bitterly, ‘Sophy, back off. I’m fine. I have work I need to get on with.’

She ignored him, spoke to the receptionist at the clinic she’d been to all her life. Two minutes later she hung up. ‘A locum will be here in ten.’

‘Too bad. I’m not seeing him. I have to do this—’

‘Your social networking will have to wait.’ Sophy closed the laptop. Picked it up and put it far, far away on the kitchen bench.

‘Bring that back here—I was working.’

She went close and looked down at him. ‘I really wish I had one of those old-fashioned mercury thermometers. I know where I’d stick it.’

‘Don’t.’ His hand shot out and gripped her wrist—hard. ‘You’re right. I’m not feeling well. And if you keep provoking me I’ll snap.’

Really? And do what?

She stared into dark eyes, saw the tiredness, the strain, the frustration—and even deeper she saw the unhappiness. At that she relented. ‘Okay. But you have to stop fighting me too. You’re sick, you need to see a doctor and you need taking care of.’

He shifted on the sofa.

‘Look, it’s happening whether you agree or not, Lorenzo. Why not make it that bit more pleasant?’

He breathed in—she could see the effort hurting him. He closed his eyes and she knew she’d won. ‘Okay, but you’ve done your thing. You can go now. Kat can send the doctor up.’ Another tremor shook him.

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