IT WAS almost dawn when Amara fell asleep, but she still left the bed at six AM. She felt obligated to prepare breakfast for Rowen. She was setting up the table when he walked into the kitchen.
“Did you even sleep?” Rowen asked with a knotted forehead.
“A bit.” She pulled a chair. “Have a seat and eat your breakfast. Chop-chop, or else you’ll be late for work.”
Rowen was smiling as he sat down.
“You prepared a lot. It’s just the two of us,” he said while looking at the food on the table.
She sat on the chair beside him.
“I don’t know what you eat for breakfast, so I prepared bread and rice meal. Don’t worry, whatever left won’t go to waste. That would be my lunch for today.” She filled his cup with coffee.
Rowen held her by the wrist after she was done filling their cups. And that very moment, Amara felt butterflies circling her belly. She felt her cheeks burning too.
“You should eat a decent meal. I filled the fridge with food. You can cook anything you want,” he said.
She pulled her hand away.
“I know. But since I am writing non-stop, I don’t have time to cook. And wetting my hands after long hours of typing is bad, you know.”
Rowen just looked at her. She did not know what was running inside his head.
Amara rose from her seat.
“Go on, eat. I’ll just feed my cats.”
She almost ran to reach the backdoor.
Amara let out a long, deep sigh. Would there be a day her system would stop reacting toward Rowen?
She opened the plastic container where she hid the kibbles. She started filling the feeding bowls one by one. The sounds of it were enough for her cats to come over, they knew it was feeding time.
The cats were eating peacefully until one greedy cat stole food from another.
“Hey, didn’t I told you it’s bad to be a greedy kitty?”
The two cats started growling at each other. Amara knew what would happen next, so she picked the greedy cat. But the other one got jealous and bit her foot. Maybe it thought that she was favoring the greedy one.
“Dul!” she yelled.
Dandan jumped and ate the food Dul left on his bowl.
She hunkered and wiped the blood from her foot. Amara went back inside the house and headed to the bathroom. She was washing her foot when Rowen appeared.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Dul bit me.”
“What?” He came to her immediately. “Let me see.”
He squatted in front of her and inspected her foot.
“It’s okay, Rowen. I got a lot of cat bites and scratches for the past years and nothing hap—”
He raised his head only to glare at her.
“The wound looks deep. Look, it’s still bleeding. Have you ever got vaccinated of anti-rabies?”
Amara pulled her foot away.
“No need for that. I just have to wash it with soap under running water for at least fifteen mi—Rowen!”
He lifted her and carried her out of the bathroom.
“What are you doing? Put me down!”
“I am taking you to the hospital whether you like it or not,” he said firmly.
“I told you I am fine. You’ll be late for work. And one more thing, this is against our rules. I clearly told you last night that—”
Rowen lowered his head and glared at her.
“Shut your mouth, Amara. You’re making my ears hurt.”
The next thing she knew, Rowen had successfully put her down on his car’s passenger’s seat.
AMARA wanted to scream when she saw the syringes on the tray the nurse brought. If not for Rowen, she’ll jump out of bed and stormed out of the emergency room.
“R-Rowen… I’m fine, really. This is not necessary…” she whispered.
He put his index finger above her lips. “Quiet.”
Amara whimpered when she saw the nurse picked a syringe. She folded her knees and covered her foot with a pillow.
Rowen looked at her with his jaw dropped open.
“What the hell, Amara?” he said afterward.
“I don’t want vaccines, Rowen. I’m afraid of needles.” She started crying like a child. “Let’s go home, please… Hmm?” She tugged his shirt.
“Amara.” He sat on the edge of the bed. “This is for your own good.”
“Damn it, I’m fine!” she cried. “I don’t even care if I turned into a cat one day. Just take me home…”
Rowen cupped her chin and tilted her head. “I’m here with you. There is nothing to be afraid of.”
His words sound comforting. But still, she was afraid. Amara also has a low pain tolerance.
“It’s mind over matter, Amara. You just have to divert your mind with other things,” he added.
Yeah, right. She needs a diversion, and there’s only one thing that can divert her mind. She raised Rowen’s shirt and buried her face on his stomach.
“You said I need a diversion. This is it.” Amara lowered his shirt again. She just needs to hide beneath his shirt until the injection was done.
She felt Rowen sucked his breath three times before he snaked his arms around her head.
“Please do this fast,” Rowen told the nurse.
Amara felt the nurse pulled her feet. She closed her eyes and sniffed Rowen’s fresh and masculine scent. She loved how calming it was to be that close to him. It was amazing how he could make her crazy and calm.
AFTER settling the bill, Rowen went back to the emergency to pick up Amara. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, swaying her feet as if nothing happened a while ago. He heaved a deep sigh and sauntered toward her.
“Let’s go home,” he told her.
Amara looked at her with pouted lips. She extended her arms like a child who wanted to be carried.
“What?” He narrowed his natural, narrowed eyes on her.
“Carry me. My foot felt numb, I can’t walk.”
Rowen turned his back on her.
“Where are you going?” she yelled.
“I’m going to get a wheelchair.”
And then his phone buzzed in his pocket. He immediately answered the call from his assistant.
“Hey, where are you?” Klint asked.
“I’m at the hospital right now,” he said. “I might not come to the office today. Sorry.”
“Oh… are you sick?”
“I need to take care of someone today.”
“Have you finally got yourself a girlfriend, Rowen?”
He turned to Amara. They haven’t talked about if they will let their other people know about their set-up.
“I’m helping a friend,” he said and then hung up.
Rowen must discuss that matter with her once they got home.