The Billionaire's Obsession(10)

By: J.S. Scott



I can’t cling to him. I can’t get used to him being around.

She sighed as she turned off her Kindle, a gift from Zane to keep her from going stir-crazy, and set it beside the bed. Today had been quiet. Her mom had gone back to Montana, and no one had come to visit yet. Even Zane was strangely absent.

I can’t expect him to sit around here and baby me forever. He’s an important man with a very large company to run.

Just as the thought ran through her head, Zane came through the door, closing it behind him.

“What’s that?” She nodded to the enormous bag in his arms.

“Contraband,” he answered with a rare grin. “We both know hospital food sucks.”

Her breath hitched as she watched a mischievous look cross his irresistibly handsome face. When Zane smiled, it was nearly infectious. At least it was for her. He was always so serious that his naughty expression made her heart skitter and warmth spread through her entire body.

Ellie watched as he pulled out several large containers of Chinese food, then some junk food, and finally a bag of her favorite specialty chocolate. He pulled paper plates from the bag and loaded one up before he placed it in front of her with plastic utensils. “Eat,” he insisted as he dropped the candies next to her plate, and then pulled out a soda and opened it for her.

The smell of the Oriental cuisine made her mouth water. Chinese was her favorite. “How did you know?” He’d ordered her favorite dishes.

He hesitated before answering. “You and Chloe used to go for Chinese a lot. I figured you liked it.”

“And the candy?” It was her favorite, and she didn’t buy it often because it was pricey.

He shrugged. “It’s chocolate, right? You like chocolate. Or at least you did when we were younger.”

Ellie was convinced that it was his scientific mind that had led to a couple of very good educated guesses.

“That’s my favorite, too. Thank you.” Unable to wait any longer for her first decent meal in months, Ellie picked up her fork and prepared to dig into her food. “At least I won’t have to feel guilty about eating a ton of carbs and chocolate.”

Zane frowned at her. “Why would you feel that way at all?”

She rolled her eyes. “I used to be fat, Zane. If I keep eating like this, I’ll gain all that weight back.”

“Good. You were never fat. Eat,” he insisted.

She had been overweight, but she wasn’t right now, and she actually needed to put on some pounds, a novel experience for her since she had been chubby since she was a child. Being able to eat without guilt was the only bright spot in this otherwise nightmarish experience.

As she shoveled food into her mouth, she could feel Zane watching her, but when she looked at him, he looked away and started filling a plate for himself.

Between bites, she told him, “God, this is either really amazing food, or I’m so hungry that anything more edible than hospital food tastes good.”

“It’s good,” Zane confirmed, seating himself in a chair next to her bed and starting to eat. “It’s the best Asian food in the area. I’ve tried every one of them. It’s one of my favorites, too.”

Ellie watched him covertly as she ate, her heart flip-flopping just as it always did whenever she saw Zane. Now that he was her rescuer, it made her youthful infatuation spring to life again.

It’s hero worship. It has to be. Zane was responsible for saving my life. I absolutely am not really attracted to him.

Irritatingly, Ellie had to acknowledge that she wasn’t totally convinced her desire to devour him along with her food wasn’t all about the fact that Zane saved her.

Something about Zane Colter had always attracted her like a giant magnet. She’d never figured out whether it was because he was amazingly smart, or if it was the fact that he was the hottest guy she’d ever seen. His dark hair was a little too long, and occasionally some of those black tresses fell onto his forehead, making him seem more approachable. He had the trademark Colter eyes, gray and ever-changing in shade, depending on his mood.

She could say Zane was nice, but one would never know it. She knew because she was acquainted with him, but he was often distracted or quiet, not because he was a jerk, but because he simply had nothing to say.

Ellie was pretty sure he didn’t give a damn about status, or what kind of clothing he wore. Mostly, she’d seen him in jeans and flannel shirts. In the summer, he opted for a T-shirt. His big feet were usually in a pair of hiking boots, and his hair had no semblance of order or even a definitive cut. Nope. He definitely wasn’t a guy who spent a lot of time trying to look trendy. He never had been. Maybe that’s why she’d always liked him. He was naturally hotter than hell, but never acted like he knew it.

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