ADALIA SAT beside the infinity pool at the Grace Hotel and looked out over the deep blue ocean. Trent was inside, a quick business call to sort out his affairs before their honeymoon got into full swing.
She sighed and a smile parted her lips at the taste of salty sea air. Santorini, Greece had been her choice. The quaint white structures and sloping stairs, the city tucked against the mountain, built from the rock itself, was her idea of a fairytale.
They’d arrived a few hours ago and she itched to go out and explore, but there were matters to attend to before they could go anywhere. It irritated her that Trent took the business calls for the bakery, while she didn’t have a true business of her own.
One day, she’d be the one in the expensive hotel room, making the calls, buying and selling and checking in on progress. At least, that was her dream.
“You’re quiet, my love,” Trent said, strolling from the cool interior and taking a seat beside her. He’d opted for an open neck cotton shirt and white pair of slacks. His tan biceps bulged to free themselves from the sleeves restraining them.
Adalia swallowed, overcome by desire again. Every day with Trent was different, an adventure, but one thing would never change – her need for him.
“How was your call?” Adalia asked, squeezing his hand in hers.
“Oh fine, fine. Just some news on the space frontier. We’re going live with the IPO in a couple months, so things are going crazy.”
“IPO,” she repeated, wriggling her eyebrows. “You’re opening the company to trade?”
“It’s the next big step. We should’ve done it years ago. Take a look at SkyLyft. They’re trading and apart from the debacle with the crash, they’re doing pretty damn well.” Trent scratched his chin with the tip of his index finger. “But do you really want to talk business, gorgeous?”
“I want to do many things. Including you,” she quipped.
He chuckled and picked up a bottle of champagne from the poolside table. He poured for both of them, then handed her one.
“I think we’re overdue for a toast after all the shit we’ve been through,” Trent said, then clinked the rim of his glass against hers.
“I couldn’t agree more.” She raised the flute to her lips. Nausea bubbled in her stomach and she pulled it away again.
“Nothing… I just feel a little strange. I’m fine, really, don’t worry.” It was probably the plane food. They’d served some kind of exotic Indian dish and it hadn’t gone down well.
Trent slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. He leaned his head against hers and they looked out over the ocean together. “I couldn’t have chosen a better destination myself.”
“Oh please, you would’ve had us hiking in Machu Picchu,” she said, then pressed a hand to her stomach. Man, the last thing she needed was to start their honeymoon going down on the toilet. That would almost be as bad as DeShawn’s attempt to discredit her at the wedding.
Trent’s eyes glistened in the morning light. He tipped his head back and soaked up the sun.
Bile crept up Adalia’s throat and she stood abruptly.
“What’s wrong?” Trent rose immediately and stroked his fingers down her spine.
“I don’t know. I just don’t feel well.” She managed to stand before the nausea completely overwhelmed her. She slapped her palm across her mouth, turned and sprinted for their room. She crashed through into the pristine white suite and grimaced at the off chance she’d let loose before she hit the bathroom.
Adalia skidded around the corner and slid into the bathroom. She didn’t have time to close the door. She crouched over the toilet and let breakfast, dinner and what had to be every meal she’d ever eaten present itself in reverse order.
“Oh god, Adalia,” Trent hurried into the bathroom and stroked her back. “It’s okay, I’m here.”
She didn’t have the strength to wave him away. So much for romance on their honeymoon. She spent another two minutes in the same state, then flushed the toilet and collapsed against the wall.
Why was everything white in this damn place?
Trent handed her a couple squares of toilet paper and she dabbed at the corners of her mouth. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled, “I didn’t expect that to happen.”
“Don’t say sorry, Adalia. It’s not like you can help it. I’m worried about you… this looks like food poisoning. We should go see a doctor.” He cupped her cheek in his palm and tilted his head to the side, bright blue eyes brimming with concern.
Adalia could barely lift her head. She was exhausted and sweaty, and God, she just wanted a glass of water and a good sleep.
“Don’t be ridic –” She pushed him back and vomited noisily into the toilet again. Where could all this have come from –? She’d surely puked out everything else.
“That’s it. We’re going to see a doctor.” Trent rose and hurried into the living room.
Adalia flushed again and struggled into the standing position, then shuffled to the sink. She grasped her cheeks and slapped them to take away the numbness. What the hell was this?
She’d read an article once about eating yogurt to get the local bacteria when visiting a new country, but this was insane. She’d hardly had a chance to unpack. Hell, she’d eaten nothing since they’d arrived, not even a sip of damned champagne.
Adalia brushed her teeth, then washed her mouth out and gargled. That would have to do for now – there was no helping the clammy hands and weak knees.
Trent appeared in the doorway. “Are you done?”
“Yeah, I’m okay. Trent, we really don’t need to go to the doctor. It’s just a bug… it will pass.”
“Like hell it will. Let’s go. There’s a doctor just around the corner.” He guided her from the bathroom with a smile and a gentle caress in the small of her back.
Dr. Michelakis had a moustache to rival Yosemite Sam, and deep brown eyes which expressed a lot of sympathy. He tugged on one of the face caterpillars and leaned forward.
“What’s the problem?” he asked, in his thick Greek accent.
Adalia leaned back in the plastic chair at the front of his desk and laid her hands over her belly. “I’ve got a tummy bug or something. I keep throwing up and I feel a bit sweaty and weak.”
The good doctor squeaked back in his chair and studied her, gaze sweeping over her belly and then to Trent.
“Alright. We take urine and blood sample, then we check to see the problem.”
“How long will it take until we know what’s wrong?” Trent asked, grasping Adalia’s knee and running his thumb along the outside of her thigh.
“Maybe hour or two. Our lab is empty of samples now, so should go very, very quickly.” Dr. Michelakis rose and walked to the door. He opened it and shouted something in Greek, then walked back to his desk. “Nurse is coming now to take your blood sample.” He slapped a plastic receptacle onto the table and smiled at Adalia. “You make a pee in this one now.”
What a charmer. She nodded to him and snatched up the plastic container, then hurried out of the room and to the restroom across the hall. Five minutes later, she was back in his office with a vial of yellow fluid. A nurse was waiting, holding a needle and a syringe.
“Is this really necessary?” she asked. “It’s just the flu or stomach bug.”
“Just let the nurse do what she has to do, Adalia,” Trent advised.
She shot him a venomous look. He wasn’t the one who had to get holes poked in him by a trigger happy Greek nurse with a nose that could’ve climbed trees.
The bloodletting was done in another fifteen minutes and Adalia settled in to wait. They’d decided to hang around in the doctor’s office. Actually, Trent had decided they weren’t going anywhere until they knew what was wrong with her and how to fix it.
“You’re blowing this out of proportion,” she grunted. “So what if I have food poisoning? I’ll throw up a couple times and stay in bed for a day or two. It’s not a big deal.”
“Of course it’s a big deal,” he snapped, “I want you to enjoy our honeymoon, not be confined to the bedroom. At least not under this pretext. God, Adalia. Don’t you care about your own health?”
“Don’t start on me, I’m not in the mood,” she said.
The office was empty. The doctor had popped out to catch a quick lunch. Apparently, things moved slowly in Santorini, and his afternoon was clear except for the blood and urine tests.
She grabbed the bottle of water Trent had bought for her and unscrewed the cap. She swigged a few gulps then pulled a face at the resurgence of nausea.
“What is it? Do you need to go to the bathroom? Are you going to throw up again?” he rattled off the questions in rapid succession.
“Oh my God!” Adalia slammed the bottle onto the table top. “Would you fucking relax? You’re starting to get on my nerves now.”
“I’m just looking out for you,” he said, his tone turning sullen. He looked out the window and silence fell between them.
Oh well, it was better than constant questions and concerns. She’d never seen him this way before. He was terrified for her safety, yet there was nothing seriously wrong with her. Trent had revealed a different side to himself, a more vulnerable side. Maybe if she hadn’t been about to toss her cookies all over the desk, she would have found it endearing.
The door cracked open behind them and Trent straightened and turned. Adalia stared dead ahead, seething for God alone knew what reason. Because Trent cared enough to rush her to a doctor? That was a good trait, so why did it piss her off this much?
“Ah good, you still here.” Dr. Michelakis entered and bustled to his desk, carrying a brown folder and a moustache coated in bread crumbs. He took a seat and brushed the remains of his lunch away from his lips.
“So, what’s the verdict?” Trent asked, before Adalia could say a word.
“Yes, what’s wrong with me?” Adalia followed up, casting another expression of irritation at her husband. What a way to spend their first day as a married couple.
“Is very simple. I look at the urine sample first and find out the result, but want to confirm with blood test.” The doctor opened the file and slid two pieces of paper onto his desk. He positioned his elbows on the wood surface, balled up his fists and pressed them into his cheeks while studying the results.
“And that means what?” Adalia tapped her foot impatiently. She wanted to get home and nap as soon as possible.
“It means what I suspected. You are going to have a baby.” He spread his arms wide, then made a cradle and rocked it from side to side. “Congratulations. Such a lovely surprise.”
“What?!” Adalia spat. “You’re kidding, right? I’m pregnant? I’m getting sick because I’m pregnant. Is this some kind of joke?”
“No joke. You no worry, this is good news for you. Good news about little baby.” Dr. Michelakis stood and gestured to the door.
Adalia couldn’t bring herself to stand. “I’m pregnant.”
“Yes, now have good afternoon. You take the vitamins.” He scratched out a prescription on a piece of paper and handed it to Trent. He accepted it, expression completely blank.
Adalia’s mind was a mess of emotions and thoughts. How was this possible?
She didn’t look at Trent all the way to the drug store. They got back to the hotel and she walked into the bedroom and closed the door, then climbed right into bed, gripping her stomach.