Chapter Fifty Eight
“You were never this argumentative before,” Adam commented, tugging a lock of her hair.
“I was,” Iman told him. “You just didn’t know me then. I was really worried about you,” she explained.
“I was really worried about me too. Worried that I’d lose my mind.”
Iman rolled her eyes. He’d gotten more worked up about recovering than being hurt in the first place. “It wasn’t that bad.”
Iman opened her mouth and Adam bent down, cutting her off with a kiss.
“Did I find a mute button?” he asked playfully.
He was better out of a hospital, Iman conceded. There was colour in his cheeks and his eyes didn’t look so dull any more.
Now if only the nightmares would stop…
She pushed the stray thought away. Today was a good day.
“Iman?” Adam tugged on her hair again. “Something wrong?” His eyes were dark with concern.
“Do you remember the day we met?” Iman asked, picking up the thread of their conversation. Nightmares had no place in the bright patch of daylight they lay in.
“What did you call me?”
A groan was the only answer.
“A spoiled princess,” Iman answered her own question. “You know, if you’d met me a few years earlier, you’d have been right. I was a princess, or at least I was treated like one.”
“Were you a terror?” Adam shifted, tightening the arm he had wrapped around her.
“Careful,” Iman cautioned. He still wasn’t fully healed yet. And he seemed to forget his injuries constantly.
“I’m fine,” he said dismissively. “Tell me more about being a tiny terror.”
“I wasn’t exactly a terror,” Iman protested. “Just kind of pampered.”
“So you were just a little brat.”
Iman caught the emphasis this time. “No short jokes.”
“But they’re so easy. And you have to admit, you’re small.”
Compared to him, she was. Lying together, she fit neatly under his chin and the tips of her toes only just grazed his ankles if he stretched. He’d carried her yesterday without being noticeably winded, even with stitched together holes in him.
She’d been scared of how huge he was before. Now, the only time she spared a thought to his bulk was when appreciating what a nice big pillow he made.
She put a hand to his chest, feeling it move as he breathed.
“Yes, I’m fine. No, you’re not hurting me and no, I do not need to go back to the hospital.” Adam pre-empted her.
“How did you know what I was going to ask?”
“You were fondling my bandages,” Adam replied. “Stop worrying about that. Tell me more about being a bratty kid.”
“Are you sure-” Iman began.
“You carried me yesterday.” He’d gotten out of a hospital bed to do it too. Iman scowled.
“You were the smallest thing in the room. And they discharged me after that, didn’t they?”
“So I’m fine,” Adam continued.
“But-” He kissed her again.
“I’m fine. And I’m starting to like this mute button.”
Iman smacked a hand against his chest without thinking about it and Adam winced. “Not that fine.”
“What? Oh!” She scrambled away. There was a hole in him, she berated herself. How had she forgotten that?
Adam watched Iman scoot away so far she was in danger of falling off the bed and held in a sigh. No matter how many times he told her he was fine, she seemed convinced that he was five seconds from falling down dead.
He reached across and towed her back to him. “Relax. If you hurt me, I’ll tell you.”
“Okay,” she agreed doubtfully, hesitantly laying back against him.
Adam lay there for a minute, appreciating her weight. It was still strange that he could do this again. Less than three weeks ago, he’d thought she’d never speak to him again and now, here she was worrying about hurting him.
How quickly things changed.
Things hadn’t gone back to the way they were – he’d begun to understand that they never would. He would always carry guilt for the blood that was on his hands but the burden of it had slowly begun to weigh a little less with every name that he’d ticked off that list.
Only five names. And Blackwell, but Blackwell didn’t count. He’d have killed Blackwell on his own if given half a chance.
That last name had been ticked off by someone else.
It was over but he hadn’t been the one to end it.
Could he let it go knowing that someone else had paid the balance of his debt?
Adam was beginning to fear that the answer to that question was no.
He was woken by the sensation of hair tickling his face. Adam took a deep breath and his nose filled with the scent of Iman’s shampoo. Gingerbread.
He’d never be able to eat it again without thinking of her.
His stomach let out a growl and Iman laughed from somewhere above him. He pried his eyes open and a smile spread across his face.
No nightmares this time.
“Hungry?” Iman asked him. “I cooked.”
She could cook? She’d never told him that. He said as much and she blushed lightly.
“I’m not as good as you. I never got much practice since there was always someone running the kitchen. But I know how to feed myself. And now you too.”
She took hold of his hand and urged him out of bed. “Kitchen’s on the right, come find me when you’re done,” she instructed, shoving him gently in the direction of the bathroom.
Adam found her in the kitchen, just where she said she’d be. “This is really nice,” he told her, meaning the house. He’d taken a few detours before finally ending up at the kitchen and had peeked into most of the rooms.
She lifted her head from where she was fussing with something. “It is. My grandfather thought it would be better.”
Adam wasn’t surprised that Ibrahim had noticed the difficulty he had being in the mansion. “He was right.”