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Chapter Fifteen: A Doctor's Visit!

The Ootori estate was more-or-less a full-blown beach-side mansion. As Kyoya carried me down the marble-floored corridors, expensive light fixtures dotting the halls like fairy light, I glanced around with open interest. It was a lot grander than I had thought. No, I mused, frowning as my mind stuttered over the description. That wasn't the right word. Because the Ootori household…

It felt cold. Unused. Like a house with too much space - so much that ghosts were more than able to slip in, stiffening the air.

"You're making that face again." I blinked, turning away from the arched design of the corridor, the walls a dark marble that blended with the floor. It made me feel like we were going deeper into the belly of a cave, each step distancing us from the lively cheer of the rest of the host club as they prepared dinner. Kyoya's face was neutral although his eyes shown sharp and critical in the low light. His body held the same loose confidence that he always seemed to have - as if he didn't particularly care about the rest of the world but was merely tolerating it.

I blinked, trying to gauge what he meant by his previous comment and he returned my stare, his face remaining blank as he elaborated. "Like a kitten that's gotten into its owner's sock drawer."

I frowned, not liking the implication at all as he gave me a sharp smirk. Blood was still dripping slowly from my toes, leaving a grotesque trail behind us and even though Kyoya had been carrying me for a while now, his arms didn't falter beneath my knee and back, his fingers splayed widely.

"I'm not a kitten," I snapped, a hot flush creeping along my cheeks at the most likely "owner." My eyes darted away as I thought about how utterly ridiculous it was to let him get under my skin like this. I was a businesswoman, goddamit. And here I was - my tail wagging for some rich kid's son! Narrowing my eyes, I turned my gaze back to Kyoya's catching the sly tilt of his lips, the heavy way that his slate eyes seemed to watch me in baited amusement. My temper flared, our bet flashing through my mind and making me even angrier. Because how dare he? How dare he yank me around like this? "And you can put me down. No one's around for this to benefit either of us."

His gaze hardened even though his smirk didn't so much as twitch, a tension corded the muscles of his arms beneath me. For a moment, I regretted what I had said. We had been getting along so well and… My heart fluttered as I remembered his lips brushing mine, heat tingling along them now.

That quickly went flying from my mind as his arms tightened and then heaved beneath me, my arms flailing as I was tossed up into the air and then deftly caught by Kyoya again. My mind spun, my hands latching behind his neck as I tried to catch my breath.

"What the hell was that?!" I snarled, livid as I glare into his eyes.

A small smirk graced his lips as he turned a corner, the hall giving way to a series of doors. The smoke in his eyes rolled, laughing at me even as his face smoothed into a polite regret. "My apologies. My arms were getting tired and I had to readjust."

"By tossing me up in the air?" I seethed, feeling my blood boiling in my veins at the innocent tilt of his brows.

His resulting smile was one I absolutely loathed. His eyes closed, his lips slipping into a polished display of good-will - a mask meant to please and give nothing away. Kyoya's hair slipped chaotically into his face, his glasses flashing for a moment as we came to a halt outside a thick, mahogany door with lines of silver edging the sides. "Here's your room."

All of my earlier anger flooded away from me, leaving me with nothing more than a sudden anxiety that made me dizzy. A room meant an overnight stay. And an overnight stay meant that I wouldn't be able to get back to the house by 2 A.M. and make the call to my father. My muscles tightened. Or the 6 A.M. business overview that I had with Mrs. Mercier.

My palm slammed into the door frame with a reverberating crash, my fingers throbbing from the force as I stuttered out a protest. "N-no. I'm not staying long enough to need a room."

Kyoya blinked down at me, our body halfway into the door, his mouth parted in bewilderment. If I wasn't so filled with dread, I might have cheered at the amount of emotional upheaval I was causing him. His eyes flicked pointedly to my foot and then back to me. "Right now you're dripping blood onto my grandparent's summer home."

"I have a conference call at 6 tomorrow morning," I snapped right back.

"We have wifi," he returned and I frowned. His eyes darkened to a stormy gray. "You're not getting on a plane tonight with a foot like that."

"I beg to differ," I huffed, straightening as much as I could while I was still cradled against him like an animal that he had found out in the rain. My nose almost brushed his jaw as I tilted my head back. "Once I get a doctor to look at my foot, I can go home."

His jaw tightened, a ticking starting at the ridge of his cheek, his eyes going darker as he stared down at me. "You're not going anywhere without someone going with you. Not with your foot like this."

"I'll hire a babysitter," I snapped sweetly, flashing him a fake smile. My fingers clenched down on the sturdy wood frame before letting go demurely. "If you'll just taking me to the sitting room, I'll happily get treated by your doctor and be on my way."

Beneath my side, Kyoya's chest rolled, tightening and cording in a way that made me very aware of the fact that he had been carrying me for the last hour like it was no problem. Which meant he was freakishly strong. The muscle in his chin was still ticking as he strode purposefully into the room, ignoring my spluttered protests and all but threw me into a rose-gold loveseat that sat up against an enormous bed covered in the same soft pink and dazzling gold sheets and pillows.

"What the hell do you think you're do-" I stopped talking, all of the breath whooshing out of me as Kyoya's hands gripped the back of the seat, his body surrounding me.

It happened so quickly that for a moment, my whole world went off-kilter, knocked silly by the sheer force of his warmth, his familiar ink-stained scent tampered by the ocean. This close, his eyes were consuming, dark and stunning in the brighter light of the room. He was close, very close.

"I'll tell you what the doctor will most likely do when he gets here." His voice was lower, taunting as he whispered to me and I resisted the urge to shiver as I felt his breath blowing warmly against my lips. "He'll probably give you a little pep talk, numb the area and then disinfect it. Then this nice doctor is going to tell you, very calmly, that you'll need stitches because you decided to split your foot open and not some less mobile part of your body-"

I opened my mouth, ready to protest that last bit but quickly shut it as Kyoya's head shifted to the side, his nose bumping mine in an intimate reprimand. My heart skittered, stopping as his lashes dipped, his eyes trailing to my lips for a long moment. I felt my insides kindle, lighting, a warm ache starting in my abdomen. Slowly, he took a breath, his eyes flicking up to mine.

"Then he's probably going to give you an anesthetic because my last name is Ootori and you're my guest and he knows that if you aren't comfortable than he won't be comfortable for a bit either." This part seemed like a threat and… I blushed, unable to tear my gaze away from his. "Then the stitches will happen, bandages and then another round of cleaning. And then finally he'll give you a little orange bottle filled with pills and tell you that for the next 24 hours you need to be under supervision and that it's advisable that you don't fly for that amount of time either."

His hair tickled my brow, soft and teasing as he tilted his head to the side, his eyes darkly heated, intense. I gulped and that gaze followed the closing of my mouth, the movement of my throat as I swallowed. Unwanted, my fingers fidgetted in my lap, my injured foot weakly suspended above the carpet as I stayed trapped between Kyoya and the loveseat.

The muscles in Kyoya's shoulders rolled, drawing my attention for a moment before his voice snapped my gaze back to his."Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?"

I took a breath and then another one, stuttering out an answer. "To wait for your doctor so that I can ask him and not listen to my fake boyfriend."

A startled flash of a smile curled his lips, his almond eyes crinkling with genuine amusement as a short chuckle burst from him. It was oddly endearing and my heart clenched at the sound. His eyes lightened for a moment and I watched in wonder as some of the brown spiked through the silver.

Slowly, Kyoya leaned back, pushing away from the loveseat and stuffing his hands into the pockets of his swim shorts. I blushed, glancing to the side in embarrassment as I remembered all over again that he wasn't wearing a shirt. I blinked, catching sight of the soft pink color schemes, the gently feminine tones of the faux fur throw blankets and cream-colored reading chairs overlooking a floor to ceiling window plan. A large tv hung against one wall, facing the large, downy bed. It was…

"Pink," I blurted out, blinking around in wonder. "This is very pink."

"Each room has a theme," Kyoya said quietly. "The theme for this one is Princess." I stared at him, taken aback, watching as a small smile curled his lips. "I thought it was appropriate."

I didn't know how to take that.

For a moment, we were caught in an odd tug-of-war, neither of us speaking as we stared at each other. The confident slope of his shoulders was still there, a posture one of lazy, self-assurance.

"Do you come here often? Your family?" I hadn't meant to ask the question. It felt like I was prying even as the words slipped from my lips and I winced, regretting them almost immediately as Kyoya's face shuttered.

His face held the same tense edge that I had seen so many times before - calculating, analyzing my response. "Why do you ask?"

I gulped, mentally belittling myself as I went through the variety of small talk that I had learned from my parents. How are your investments doing? Any new stocks to look into? Your house is quiet gorgeous - in fact, we were looking into… I skirted around the reason I had asked, trying desperately to find a way to say anything but what I was really thinking.

But his gaze was so sharp and with every passing second, I could feel it growing harder and harder-

"It - it's just that it feels… a bit empty here." I winced, my gaze taking a nosedive as I stared anywhere but into his eyes. "What I mean to say - it's a lovely house but it doesn't feel very… welcoming."

If this didn't get me kicked out than I wasn't entirely sure what I could do other than dance naked through the halls.

"My family…" My gaze jerked up, meeting Kyoya's in alarm as he gave a soft chuckle. But it didn't feel like a laugh. No, it was the closest sound I had ever heard to actual rage. I blinked as he glanced around, eyeing the finary in this room with bland disdain. A sharp, deadly smile curled his lips. "My family doesn't go on family vacations."

In that moment, he looked so… hurt that I thought I might cry. His face was blank, his body still poised in that lazy posture. But his eyes as they ran over the gold trimming along the ceiling and floor, the ornate, rounded table that sat just beside the reading chair radiated, burning across the space like a heater set to high. My mouth went cottony, my foot throbbing weakly as I sat stiffly against the loveseat, wanting to say something but not knowing what.

"My family doesn't either," I blurted, blushing as those eyes drifted to me, a single brow raising as I blundered onward, clumsy and unsure. "Go on vacations… Sometimes I think… that they don't know how to be happy if they're not...away...from us..."

I flinched, swallowing the words with each pause like a fisherman trying to reel in his catch. I tried to think of the last time I had said those words to another human being and then flinched again when I realized that Kyoya would be the first.

His head tipped to the side, inquiring and I tried desperately to reign myself in, floundering as the words came pouring out. "My mother's traveling Greece - she's been gone for… two years? And my father spends most of his months in our cottage in Corrèze."

I didn't know what else to say, feeling oddly bare in the small room. Nervously, I looked down at my fidgeting fingers, one crawling over the rest like a drowned sailor treading water. Too real - this relationship was becoming too real. I could barely catch my breath from one moment to the next-

Kyoya's fingers curled into my hair, winding a curl around his finger with a gentleness that made my heart thud unevenly against my ribcage. My eyes jerked away from the action, colliding with his for one fleeting, heated moment. His gaze had gone soft, softer than I had ever seen it before, a sad smile curling his lips as he brought his fingers to my lips and kissed my curls, his eyes closing for a moment.

Heat crept along my stomach, moving slowly but thoroughly up to my cheeks. There was a reverence about the action, a devoted sort of understanding as he had caught my gaze moments before.

I stared dumbly up at him as he slowly straightened, brushing my curls back over my shoulder, his fingers grazing my cheeks in an action that I didn't think was at all unintentional.

"I'll go get your bags and show the doctor to your room," he murmured, his voice gravelly and low before he turned away and made his way swiftly to my door and away.

And I sat there, blinking dumbly after him, unable to move from my spot. It was a devilish talent to be able to completely incapacitate someone with the barest of touches. It confounded me, made me doubt my own sanity. It also… lit me up, made my insides vibrate with warmth. I wanted to talk to him more, I realized and then my heart sank. Because it also made me want to call off the bet. Did he really like me? Or..?

A soft knock interrupted my thoughts followed by the jolly greeting of an aged doctor and a brawny, male nurse. How long had I been sitting here? I frowned. Thinking about Kyoya. That wasn't a good sign.

The visit went much the way that Kyoya had described it. To the point that I almost threw a pillow at the doctor's head in an attempt to add some diversity. I bypassed that to instead, turn on the news and not think about the fact that my foot was currently being stitched back together in Kyoya Ootori's family beach house.

By the time the pair were done cleaning and stitching and giving me a series of instructions that I could barely remember, I was so exhausted that I crawled drunkenly over the loveseat to under the covers. The anesthetic was so strong that I could barely keep my eyes open for one second longer.

I fell asleep to the monotonous drone of news reporters talking about the next great economic boom, the room flickering around me.


Please review. I'm exhausted but I really hope that you guys liked this chapter and if you did... well, ya'll have been around for 15 chapter so I think you know what to do.