‘Move,’ he hissed, as he nudged her with his hip. She looked around. She had no idea where anything was in this place. She recognised the belligerent edge to his voice. Her sister had had it frequently as she’d hypoed as a child. That fine line where she hadn’t been able to focus or steady her thoughts and had moved into auto-protect mode. It was almost as if the adrenaline fight-or-flight reaction had kicked in and it had been survival of the fittest.
‘What does he like to eat?’ she asked Dave, as she started searching through the cupboards for something suitable. She needed something to give him a quick blast of sugar in his system.
Dave hesitated. ‘Strawberries and apples—he has a smoothie every morning. Or he did, until this happened.’
She reached past Mitchell, who was still fumbling in the refrigerator. ‘Get him over to the sofa.’ Her words were brisk. She had to act quickly. She grabbed a punnet of strawberries from the fridge and some apples. The blender was sitting on the countertop and she threw the whole lot in and held down the lid while pressing the button. She pulled a carton of yoghurt from the fridge too. It was peach, totally random, but it would have to do. She dumped it in the blender as well and kept pressing. Dave appeared at her side, putting his hands on Mitchell’s shoulders and guiding him over to sit down. ‘What’s going on?’
‘His blood sugar is too low. If I can get something into him quickly, he should be fine,’ she said over the noise of the blender.
She grabbed a glass from one of the open cupboards and dumped the contents of the blender into it. There were some straws scattered across the countertop and she pushed a couple into the drink. Seconds later she sat down on the sofa next to him.
‘Hi, Mitchell, I’m Samantha, your nurse. Can you take a little drink of this for me, please?’
She held the straw up towards his lips and he immediately batted it away with his hands. ‘No, leave me alone.’ Her stomach was doing flip-flops. Every person was different, but from past experience her sister could also be slightly aggressive while hypoing. Not an ideal scenario. Particularly with a man who had more muscle than she did. Thank goodness Dave was here. Maybe he would respond better to a familiar face?
She held tightly on to the glass and persisted, ‘It’s your favourite. Just take a sip.’
His eyes had that slightly wild look in them, definitely unfocused as if the world around him wasn’t making sense. He hesitated for a second, before finally taking a reluctant sip. After a few moments he sucked a little harder, as if he’d recognised the taste of what he was drinking. He grabbed the glass from her hand and held it close to his chest while he sucked.
It was a slow process, but one that Samantha was familiar with. She was patient, she could wait. Five minutes later the glass was nearly drained. Her hands were itching to find a blood-glucose monitor and check his levels—there had to be one around here somewhere. But she didn’t want to leave his side.
Dave was looking pretty uncomfortable. He clearly wasn’t used to anything like this and it was obvious she was going to have to give him a few lessons in dealing with diabetes too.
‘What do we do now?’ he asked.
‘Now?’ She sat back against the sofa. It was every bit as comfortable as it looked. ‘Now, Dave, we wait.’
THERE WAS AN angel floating around in his vision. An angel with blonde curls, bright blue eyes and a matching jacket. She also had a weird matching hat on her head that made the curls look as if they were suspended in mid-air. Strange. His dreams didn’t normally look like this.
The angel kept patting his hand and talking to him quietly. Those weren’t the normal actions of a woman this hot in his dreams either. Maybe he was turning over a new leaf?
He smiled to himself. Maybe he could take his dream in another more Mitch-like direction?
There was another voice in the background. It was annoying him. Eating into the little space in his head that was cloudy and comfortable. But something else wasn’t comfortable. His back ached. And for some odd reason he felt cold.
His hands touched his bare chest. Why was he half-dressed?
He sat up, trying to unload the fuzzy feeling around him. Ahh. He recognised that voice. The background noise was Dave. He was talking the way he did when he was nervous, too fast, his words all joined up and practically rolling into one.
The blue angel was still misting around. She was talking to him again. ‘Hi, there, Mitchell. Are you back with us?’ She didn’t wait for a reply—just as well really, as his mouth felt a bit thick—as if someone had just punched him and given him a split lip. He stuck his tongue out and licked. No, no blood. But there was definitely something else, something familiar. Strawberries. When had he eaten those?
His brain was starting to function again. Tiny little jigsaw pieces slotting into place to give a bigger picture.
But one thing was still standing out a mile. The unfamiliar.
She touched him again. Only on his arm, but it was enough to make his senses spark. Contrary to public belief, Mitchell Brody didn’t like people touching him, pawing at him. It made him feel as if he were for sale. Like a cashmere scarf or leather shoe being stroked in a women’s department store. Yuck.
He shrugged her off and sat up. ‘Who are you?’ He shook his head, it felt like jelly was in his brain.
She smiled. A beaming white, perfect-teeth kind of smile. Who was her dentist?
She held her hand out towards him. ‘You’ve been expecting me. I’m Samantha Lewis, your nurse. The agency sent me to help you manage your diabetes.’ The smile disappeared from her face. ‘And not a moment too soon. Why did they discharge you from hospital before I got here?’
A frown creased her forehead, ruining the smooth skin and showing little creases around her eyes. He’d liked her better before.
He moved in the chair, turning around to see the mumbling Dave.
‘Dave, what’s going on here?’ His voice sounded a little funny. A little slow. His eyes took in the chaos in the kitchen, which looked as if food had exploded all around it. He stood up and pointed. ‘And what on earth happened in my kitchen?’
The last thing he could remember was looking at the clock and wondering when his nurse would arrive. He hadn’t even decided what room to put her in.
His shirt was flapping around and he did up a few of the buttons haphazardly. Not that he was embarrassed by his body. The amount of calendars he sold every year put paid to that idea. But it was hardly an ideal meeting with his new nurse. When had she got here?
New nurse. Now his brain was kicking back into gear he was more than a little surprised. He had kind of expected some older matron-type who’d bark orders at him for the next three weeks.
He certainly hadn’t expected some cute, slim, blonde-haired, blue-eyed chocolate-box-type cheerleader. In lots of ways he should be pleased.
But he wasn’t. Not really. Something wasn’t right. Was this what the doctor had warned him about? How sometimes with diabetes you could be unwell?
After tonight’s display he needed someone to get his condition under control so he could start on his tour. People were counting on him. Kids were counting on him—not to mention their families. The last thing he needed was some bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young girl hanging around him, distracting him.
She tapped him on the arm. The expression on her face had changed. She wasn’t all smiles now. She was deadly serious. ‘Mitchell, can you tell me where your blood-glucose meter is? You need to check your levels then we’ll have a chat about what just happened.’
She spoke to him as if he was a child. Her tone and stance had changed completely.
So Mitchell did what he always did. He completely ignored her and walked over to the kitchen, crunching on some broken glass on the tiled floor. ‘Who broke a glass?’ he yelled, spinning around to accuse Dave and the
strange new nurse.
He held his hands out. ‘What happened, Dave? Who did it? Who’s been in my kitchen?’ He didn’t like disorder. That’s why it was so much easier staying by himself—there was no one else around to make a mess.
Dave was pushing things back into cupboards. He turned around and rested his hands behind him on the countertop, hesitating before he spoke.
‘Well, actually, I wasn’t here. I went to pick up Samantha at the airport. And when we got back...’ His voice tailed off as if he didn’t want to finish.
Mitchell could feel his exasperation reach breaking point. He had no idea what was going on in his own home. ‘When you got back, what?’ He glanced at the clock and blinked, then looked again. The last two hours of his life seemed to have vanished without him knowing where they’d gone.
Dave laid a hand on his shoulder. ‘You were raking about the cupboards and the fridge. We weren’t quite sure what you were doing.’