I stare at his bare torso.
He grins. “See, feeling better already.”
My gaze shoots up to his. He winks. Arrogant ass.
He neatly lays his shirt on the bed and unfastens his pants.
My gaze goes from his to the door. “What are you doing?”
“Stripping. I’m not bathing you while wearing a wool suit.”
“The door is open, what are you—”
“I’m not too worried about the two elderly people downstairs who took fifteen minutes to get to the door, or your father in his physically impaired state. Nice guy, by the way. He already complimented my suit.”
“He wrote nice suit on his whiteboard?”
“No.” He pulls off his briefs too.
Well, damn …
“He said, ‘Nice suit.’ It was a little choppy, but that’s what he said.” Flint grabs the hem to my shirt and pulls it off. “Arms around my neck, baby.”
I lean forward and wrap my arms around his neck. He lifts my ass just enough to slide off my pajama bottoms and panties. With one easy motion, he picks me up and carries me to the bathroom, kicking the door shut behind us.
I shake my head.
He eases me to standing and gives me a frown. “You’re way too dehydrated.”
Flint shuts off the water and steps into the bathtub. Then he helps me in before sitting down and guiding me to sit between his legs with my back to his chest. He wastes no time before washing my hair. His fingers massaging my scalp feel incredible. I’m pretty sure I hum an entire symphony.
After he gently and thoroughly washes me from head to toe, he leans back and folds me in his arms with his right hand splayed over my tummy. It covers my whole abdomen right now. “I want you.” He kisses my head.
I blink my eyes open, but I don’t respond.
“And I want this baby.” He kisses my head again.
I slide my hand over his and interlace our fingers. I don’t know how this will ever work out without huge sacrifices, but I refuse to worry about it in this moment—a moment that feels so perfect until the bathroom door opens.
“Ellen? Oh!” My grandma jumps, her hand covering her heart.
I hope it’s still beating.
“Dr. Hopkins … well, I … I just wanted to see how things were going.”
I cringe, biting my lower lip, but Flint doesn’t even flinch, not one single muscle of his flexes a centimeter.
“We’re just finishing up a round of hydrotherapy. We’ll be out in a few minutes. If you wouldn’t mind, Ellen could use some broth soup if you have any.”
“Hydrotherapy …” She nods slowly. “Broth soup … yes, I can do that.”
She eases the door shut.
I let go of his hand and slide my entire body under the water because … Kill. Me. Now. He grabs my arms and pulls me up again, handing me a towel to wipe my face.
“The most embarrassing moment of my life.”
Flint chuckles. “I thought it went quite well.”
“I think brushing your teeth three times is enough.”
Leaned against the doorway to the bathroom, I watch Ellen spit out a wad of foam, gagging a bit each time. Something tells me blowjobs will be out of the picture for a long time. It’s pathetic my mind even goes there, but it does.
“Never underestimate the power of clean teeth.” She sets her toothbrush by the sink and turns toward me. “I’m weak, but I don’t feel like vomiting. That’s good, right?”
I smile, pulling her into my chest. “Never underestimate the power of herbs. But we need to get some food in you. We’ll start with broth.”
She grabs my tie as I start to step into the hallway. I’ve missed her hands on me like this. “Where’s Harrison?”
“New York with my parents. They’re going to watch the ball drop tonight.”
She lights up, still pale as a fucking ghost, but her eyes have some sparkle. “Do they know?”
Sucking my lower lip between my teeth, I shake my head. “I haven’t figured out the logistics of this yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to bring another child into my life without sacrificing the relationship I have with the one I already have.”
She frowns as if it’s her fault she’s pregnant. “And you’re trying to figure out how to bridge the fifteen hundred mile gap between your two children.”
I frame her face and brush my lips over hers, inhaling her minty breath. “I’m trying to figure out how to bridge the fifteen hundred mile gap between us.”
“Speaking of us. How’s this going to go down?” She nods toward the stairs.
“They like me. All of them. Your grandfather said it’s so rare to find doctors who make house calls these days, and your dad smiled. I think he’s impressed not only with my suit but also with my bedside manner.”
“Bedside manner?” She quirks a brow. “You sent me a bottle of personal lubricant. My dad thinks it was a watch. He was pissed you didn’t get it engraved!”
I chuckle. God, I love this woman. And there it is—the truth. I love her and it hurts like hell to not know how to be with her. I grin to hide my concern. “Such a wasted purchase on my part. By the time we explored that territory, you were plenty lubed all on your own.”
Her jaw plummets to the ground.
I pinch her cheeks. “There’s my girl. Finally, a little color in your face. Shall we go eat?”
As expected, Grandma eyes me with suspicion. The mood here has changed. I no longer feel like the hero doctor who makes house calls. I feel like the teacher who just got caught with his hand up a student’s skirt.
“How was your hydrotherapy, sweetie?” Ellen’s grandma sets a bowl of broth at the table and eases into the chair next to her.
Ellen smiles, giving me a quick glance. “Grandma, Dr. Hopkins is not really a doctor. His name is Flint. I told you about him and his son Harry. Remember?”
Grandma looks at me. I give her a wink, sitting across from Ellen.
“Oh, why did you say you were a doctor?”
“I didn’t. I said I was here to take care of Ellen. You inferred doctor from that. I didn’t argue.”
Ellen sips her soup and wipes her mouth with a napkin. “Flint is an attorney. He’s good with word manipulation.” She smirks before taking another sip of soup.
“Samuel, he’s not a doctor.” Grandma calls like she wants the neighbors to hear too. “Hydrotherapy is not a real thing. It’s just a perversion.”
“A what?” Samuel either lacks good hearing or needs to turn the TV volume down. It’s pretty loud.
“El-len …” Ellen’s dad calls her name.
She eases up from the table and sits on the arm of his recliner.
“Yes. He’s the guy I told you about.”
“Love … him …”
My favorite blue eyes shift to meet my gaze, and she nods, giving her attention back to her dad. “Yes. I love him.”
I want to pound my chest. The last time I felt like this was the day Harrison came into this world.
Her dad grabs a whiteboard from the end table and writes on it. She reads it, giving me another smile.
“His parents are in New York with Harrison. Flint came to spend New Year’s Eve with me.”
I guess we’re not sharing the baby news yet. It’s a relief since I’m not sure what I’m doing here, except taking care of a sick woman and unborn child. I still don’t know how I’m going to explain this to Harrison without blowing up his world.
Harrison doesn’t like it when I change his sheets or rearrange the furniture in the family room. A baby and a possible relocation will completely overwhelm him. Cage is right, I coddle him. But killing his mother buys him more than the average amount of coddling. Killing his mother means I owe him a life that doesn’t involve turning his world upside down.
“I’m feeling better, Dad. Flint’s not a doctor, but he’s really knowledgeable about herbs. In fact, after your stroke, he used herbs to get me on a plane. When he’s not being completely obnoxious, he’s pretty fantastic.”
I narrow my eyes at her. Fantastic.
“Well …” I lie on my bed that Flint just stripped to wash my sheets. His household domestic skills are quite impressive. “I think my dad likes you, even though you’re not a doctor.” I grin. “But I’m pretty sure my grandpa still thinks you’re a doctor.” Flint lies beside me, holding my hand. “But my grandma … a hundred bucks says she’s on her iPad right now doing an internet search on hydrotherapy.”
He turns toward me, resting his head on his hand. “And how are you feeling?”
“Like a new woman. I’m still pooped and I haven’t done anything, but I don’t feel nauseous. You and your contraband herbs are my magical unicorns.” I yawn. “But I do need a nap. Why don’t you let my babies out of their cage so they can come cuddle with us for a nap?”
Flint turns his head, giving my babies a look. I doubt it’s a favorable look. “Maybe we wait until tomorrow or the next day when I leave.”