Stranger In His Bed. Lauren Canan

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Название Stranger In His Bed
Автор произведения Lauren Canan
Жанр Современные любовные романы
Издательство Современные любовные романы
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781474076746

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it. And if you become frightened, I’ll be close by.”

      She didn’t think she was a negative person, but if the good doctor hoped coming to live in this place was going to stir any memories, he was sadly mistaken. She might not remember a ride in a limo, but no way would she forget living in a castle.

      Yet apparently that was exactly what she’d done.

      Her door opened, and a man held out his hand to help her out of the car and into a waiting wheelchair. “Welcome home, madam,” the man said and attempted a smile. Two other men, clearly security, waited on either side of the front door.

      The ground floor of the mansion, at least what she could see en route to the elevator, was amazing. Pure elegance even a visiting royal would appreciate. They wheeled through the marble and glass foyer, then slipped by the huge living room to the right and a dining room that could easily seat four dozen people on the left. Beyond was the kitchen. She smiled and waved at the staff who had come out to welcome her home. They looked at each other in surprise. One hesitantly waved back. Before she could ponder that odd reaction, she, Wade and the attendant who pushed her wheelchair were inside of a small elevator, and for the first time, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirrored walls.

      There were few words that could describe the reflected image. Horrible was one. Appalling was another. It was so not her. Her hair hung in long, limp tendrils. Her face was still pretty banged up, although the bruises were fading to a relatively nondescript yellow. Her left eye was bloodshot, and she could see a slight, almost healed cut on her bottom lip. The swelling was going down. She patted her face. Overall, she looked like she’d been in one whale of a fight and had not been on the winning side.

      There was a soft ding, and the doors opened onto a wide corridor, the floor inlaid with beautiful white and gold-embossed marble tiles. The attendant wheeled the chair to the right and followed the hallway almost to the end, finally turning into a large bedroom. It was done in pastels, primarily in varying shades of green. Very nice. Very soothing. Very bland.

      “Does this suite suit your needs?” Wade asked from the open doorway.

      “Yes. It’s great,” she replied. “It’s...big.” The spacious room had a separate sitting area on the far end, with comfy-looking chairs surrounding a fireplace. French doors opened onto a huge terrace. There was even a bar with a small fridge. A luxurious bed with silk wrappings completed the effect.

      “ in here as well?”

      He watched her almost as though he was measuring the question, and she thought she saw a spark of devious temptation flash in his eyes. “No. My suite is next door.”

      A feeling of relief rolled through her. At the same time, it struck her as odd that a newly wedded couple would have separate bedrooms. More than likely he was letting her have her own room, thus giving her space and time to readjust rather than push her to move directly into the master suite. And she was grateful. She wasn’t ready to share a bed with a strange man despite her attraction. And regardless of any marriage certificate that might say otherwise, he was a stranger.

      Standing up from the wheelchair, she walked around the room, looking at the paintings and art objects decorating the space. Most of the paintings were by renowned artists, some of which she recognized. There were pictures of flower gardens and old ivy-covered stone walls and gates.

      “Either you or your designer has very good taste.”

      “You know art?”

      She shrugged. “I recognize Monet and Barber. And I guess I know what I like.”

      “Do you?”

      She pivoted around to face him. Her heart skipped a beat at the look of sensuous suggestion on his face, in his voice. She had the distinct impression he wasn’t talking about fine art. Was he flirting with her? Establishing his claim? Or had her imagination overtaken her common sense? Still...he was her husband. Maybe he was reminding her of that fact.

      Not sure how to respond, she turned to look at the painting hanging over the mantel. A little girl with long reddish-blond curls stood in the corner of her room, presumably being punished for something she’d done. Her dog, a little brown terrier, stood guard against anyone who would come near his child. A name flashed through her mind. Murphy. She turned to Wade. “Is...Murphy here?”

      A sharp frown met her question. “Who?”


      The gracious warmth of his welcome instantly turned to icy cold foreboding. “There is no one named Murphy in this house.”

      His clipped reply indicated she’d struck a nerve. But why? Who was Murphy? Why did she remember that name when there was no face to go with it?

      “I have work I need to take care of. Henry, our chef, put a menu next to the phone. I have taken the liberty of arranging your first meal based on the foods you generally like. If it isn’t acceptable to you, feel free to order something else. Call the number on the bottom of the menu once you’ve made your selection.”

      “That was very thoughtful. Thank you.”

      “Your mother’s phone number is on your bedside table in case you don’t remember it.” With a sharp nod, he left the room, closing the door behind him.

      What was that all about? She had no idea why simply asking about a name would cause such a change in behavior. His sudden hostility caused regret to surge through her. Apparently there was someone named Murphy who stood between them. It wasn’t a good feeling. How could she remember that name and not remember her own husband? A numbing chill slid over her. Was another man the reason Wade had acted so distant?

      A soft knock on her door brought her out of her worried contemplation.

      “Yes? Come in.”

      The door opened to a stout young woman in a nondescript black dress and shoes.

      “Excuse me? Mrs. Masters? I’m not sure if you will remember me. I am Rowena. Roe. Mr. Masters asked me to assist you with anything you need.”

      “Oh. That’s very thoughtful. Thank you, but I’m fine.”

      The maid hesitated before saying, “I hope you feel better very soon.” Then she backed out of the door.


      “Yes, ma’am?”

      “I think... Could I change my mind? Would you mind helping me draw a bath?”

      “Yes, of course, ma’am. I’d be happy to.” She hurried past Victoria and disappeared into the bathroom.

      Victoria ventured into the huge closet while Roe started the bath. It was lined with clothing for every occasion. Many garments still had the price tag attached; others were still in the designer’s bag. Shoes filled one wall, and in the built-in bureau, there was lingerie in every style and color.

      She was a clothes hog. It looked like she’d bought more clothing than she would need in a year. Maybe two.

      “Your bath is ready, Mrs. Masters.”

      “Thank you.” She smiled at Roe. “You’re very kind.”

      That earned her a surprised, wide-eyed stare from the housekeeper. “Thank you, ma’am.”

      Grabbing a robe, she ventured toward the elegant powder room, then on to the beautiful marbled bathroom. The oversize jetted tub couldn’t have been more appealing if it had been edged in twenty-four-carat gold. Across the room, a glass shower large enough to hold five looked equally tempting. But right now, she wanted to soak away the hospital smell. The dull ache in her head persisted, but hopefully the warm water would take care of it. Soon she was lying back, eyes closed, as the hot jets of water massaged away the soreness from her bruised body. She grabbed the liquid soap she’d selected from a wide array of bath salts, soaps and shampoos in a cabinet. Soon she was inhaling the wonderful exotic scent and enjoying the sense of cleanliness it offered.