Chapter 3

"Good God! Nico, what just happened?" As he spoke, Adrian dropped to the ground to cradle Damaris in his arms.

Nikolas just shook his head and pulled out his cell phone to place a call into the police for an ambulance. Although he would love to tease Adrian about having the girl swoon over him, he knew that it was inappropriate.

Having given directions to the operator, Nikolas snapped the mobile phone shut and returned his attention to Damaris. She hadn't yet regained consciousness, despite Adrian's best efforts to coax it from her.

"Nico, what do you think is wrong? Is she alright?" Adrian was clearly concerned. Part of him was worried about Damaris' health, while the other part felt somewhat guilty for having placed her in such a state.

A wave of relief fell across the two men as they saw the ambulance approaching.

Having loaded the still-unconscious Damaris into the back of the ambulance, Adrian and Nikolas rushed back to the limo to follow them to the hospital.

When they arrived at the hospital, they were caught up in a flurry of action – papers and doctors and nurses, whizzing around them. Adrian and Nikolas did their best to keep up with Damaris.

Finally the confusion ceased and a young doctor came out to the two men. "There is no need to worry, we have stabilized the patient and she is sleeping peacefully now. Ms. Jones is suffering from a relatively bad case of dehydration and exhaustion. While some rest and a steady intake of fluids should have her back to normal in about a week, we would like to keep her under our care for the next 24 hours before releasing her. Right now, she may have one visitor at a time, but we'd like to limit it to family members only."

Nikolas quickly piped up, "Actually, Ms. Jones doesn't…," but Adrian cut him short before anything else could be said.

Instead he interjected, "Doctor, I am Damaris' fiancé, and I would appreciate a few minutes with her before we discuss her care any further, is that alright." With that, Adrian shot a silencing look to Nikolas, while the doctor merely nodded his head.

Without so much as a backward glance, Adrian strode purposefully to the door of Damaris' hospital room and walked right in.

Although he knew she was sleeping, Adrian felt it necessary to alert her to his prescence. "Hey honey," he said without thinking, "The doctor's have seen you and they say that everything is going to be alright."

By this time, he had come to her bedside and was sitting next to her sleeping form, holding her hand. His usually booming voice was softer as he spoke to her, "Damaris, I have never met you before today, yet when I looked into your haunted eyes today I felt like I could see into your soul. I don't know what has caused you to do this to yourself, but I am vowing now that it will never happen again. The doctor's are going to release you tomorrow, but I don't think I trust you to take care of yourself, so I'm just going to have to come up with some other alternative…"

With that, there was a soft tap on the door and Adrian looked up to see the young doctor pointing to his watch. Nodding at the doctor in recognition, Adrian stole a final glance down at the woman by his side and whispered a quick, "I must be off, sweetheart, but I'll return tomorrow. Goodnight." He then planted a soft kiss on her forehead and left the room.