Elizabeth - Page 22

I put my hand to my mouth and stifled my laughter as Phillip’s face flushed the same shade at my lipstick.

“Talk soon!” Cristoff exclaimed.

Then he shut the bedroom door behind him and left the two of us alone.

“I mean, what did you expect?” I asked.

Phillip whipped his gaze over to mine as my smile fell into a smirk.

“We’re engaged. Which means we will technically be sleeping together,” I said.

“I uh, I’m going to head back to the library. Saw a book in there that caught my eye.”

And before I could say anything about it, Phillip practically fell over himself to get out of the room.

Teasing him was so much fun, especially when he blushed the way he did. Another thought dawned on me: how much sexual experience did he have? I’d done a little bit of research on him after the painful rejection the other night, and there wasn’t anything on him dating. No articles on him courting women around. No gossip columns boasting of a secret wife somewhere. It was as if his love life was nonexistent.

Was he embarrassed because he didn’t think he had the skills to pleasure a woman like me?

It was shocking to me when I found that lack of information on him. He was a handsome billionaire, one touted in the media as New York’s most eligible bachelor. He had to have had women throwing themselves at him on a regular basis. So, why was he acting like such a shy child?

I watched the door close behind him, and I jumped as it latched. He really didn’t want to be alone with me, and that idea hurt more than it should have. I was getting too attached. Too into the role. Maybe some time apart would do both of us some good, because I apparently needed a reality check.

I went and sat on the edge of the bed, sighing at its comfort. I wondered if Phillip would even sleep with me in it. For all I knew, he’d find some extra bedding somewhere and sleep in the damn tub.

I shook the thought away before I pulled my phone out of my pocket.

“New York Mental Health, this is Donna speaking.”

“Hey there, Donna. It’s Elizabeth.”

“Well, you’re calling in early. Still in Vienna?” she asked.

“I am. I wanted to see if you could patch me in to my mother’s nurse? I want to check on her and see how she’s doing.”

“You’re in luck, because she just walked by me a few minutes ago. I’ll patch you through to her office.”

“Thank you so much.”

I sat there on the line and gazed out the terrace windows. Cristoff’s place was gorgeous, and part of me was anxious to get out to the horses. I hadn’t gone horseback riding in years, and I missed it. There were these trails my father had built specifically for me, and my horse and I would ride them all the way out to the creek. He bought me this beautiful red-haired horse with a black mane and tail. I called him Brick, and he’d been my best friend for so many years. I’d ride him bareback out to the creek and take snacks with me; then I’d lie against him by the creek and feed him apples and carrots while listening to the babbling brook roll by.

I missed that horse more than I could stand.

“Elizabeth. This is Nurse Donovan.”

“I’m sorry to call so early. But I wanted to check on my mother after things kicked up a couple of days ago,” I said.

“Don’t worry. I completely understand. We’ve been expecting your call. Your mother’s doing really well. No other letters have come through, and no one’s attempted to come in and access her in any way. Her new sleeping medication is working like a charm as well. We haven’t had any midnight episodes in the past couple of nights.”

“Have the police said anything about the letter?”

“Only that they’re looking into things. But that’s all I have for you on that front. I promise you, however, the second we hear something, someone will call you.”

“I appreciate it. Tell my mother that I love her, and I’ll come see her once I get back into town.”

“I’ll let her know. You enjoy your vacation, okay? Your mother’s safe here.”

Vacation. Such a funny word.

“I know she is. Sometimes I just need to hear it, though,” I said.

“I understand. And if you ever need to speak with me, call anytime. I’ll be here,” the nurse said.

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