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Blackmailing The Billionaire(2)

By:Melody Anne

Cassie could hear a softly spoken voice calling to her but she didn't  want to open her eyes. There was pounding in her temples and she was  just so tired. If felt like weights were holding her eyelids down, but  with great effort she was able to finally crack them a bit.         



"She's starting to wake up but she's not fully alert. It's not an easy  process. She may not remember anything about the accident, which is  normal in these circumstances. She may not even know who she is. Our  minds tend to retreat, to protect us, when something traumatic happens."

Cassie couldn't understand what the woman was talking about. Why would  she not know who she was? She tried to get past the fog in her head,  tried to fully wake up. She lay there, wondering why she was in bed in  the middle of the afternoon. The last thing she could remember was  walking, and then things got a bit fuzzy. She was just so fatigued - it  was hard to focus.

"Have you had any luck notifying her family?" This was a new voice, an  incredibly deep, masculine voice, which seemed to purr. She was becoming  more motivated to open her eyes, curious to see if the face matched the  voice. She felt her head shake slightly as she tried to clear out the  cobwebs.

"We've notified the authorities and they've assured us their working on  it. Unfortunately, at this time, they haven't found any information.  They're overworked and understaffed and I don't think this is at the top  of their priority list. It would be far less frightening for her if  there was a familiar face when she finally comes to, though. One of the  problems is that she didn't have a lot of information on her, and with  the bruising, it's hard to see if she is indeed Cassandra McIntyre."

"Her identification says her name. Isn't that good enough?"

He sounded unhappy, like he was scolding the woman. She didn't seem to get upset when she spoke again, though.

"We'll get it all worked out. The police will give a proper id if she is unable to remember who she is."

"You're more optimistic than I am. I have a lot to get done and the  sooner this is taken care of, the faster I can wash my hands of the  entire mess." Whoever the man was, he didn't sound happy about being in  the room with her. She wished she could figure out where she was. She  almost smiled at his frustrated tone, then feeling relieved,  unconsciousness slowly overtook her.

Cassie woke again, pulling herself out of the deep slumber. She lay  there for several minutes, afraid to move, keeping her eyes closed. She  was fearful to come fully awake in the alien environment. She first  moved her legs and realized her entire body was aching. What could have  happened to her? It hurt to even breathe in and out. She didn't  understand why she was in so much pain.

Slowly opening her eyes, she saw a dim light shining in the room, and  even that small amount felt like laser beams pushing into her retinas.  Her head was throbbing, and her body felt as if a two-ton truck had run  her over.

She glanced around the small area. It looked like a hospital room, but  how could she have gotten there? She looked over to find an older woman  checking some papers. She was unsure if she should close her eyes and  pretend to be asleep longer, but she'd never been a person to run away  when she was scared. She noticed a needle in her arm, dripping some  clear fluid into her bloodstream. She had to fight the panic that wanted  to surface.

She turned her head to look around more, and it caused instant nausea,  which made her groan out loud. The nurse looked up, quickly setting down  the paperwork she'd been holding.

"You're awake. I'm relieved to see that. How are you feeling, Cassandra?  Do you know if that's your name?" the woman asked. It was the same  voice she'd heard when she'd woken up earlier. She didn't know why, but  it seemed to sooth some of the panic, helping her to calm down.

"Yes," she simply answered. She was only addressing the name question,  because as for how she was feeling, she couldn't say. She'd never felt  so uncomfortable in her life.

"Would you like something to drink? Your voice sounds a little dry."

"Yes, please," Cassie answered. She greedily took the cup the woman  offered, and as the cool liquid touched her lips and slid down her  parched throat, she sighed. Water never tasted so good. She could  imagine how those people who got lost in the desert felt wandering with  nothing to drink for as far as the eye could see. She would gladly give  up food, so long as she didn't have to give up liquid.

She gulped down the entire glass, then looked at the woman pleadingly  for more. The woman's kind face smiled at her. "I don't want to overdo  it, just yet. Let's make sure you keep this down. If you don't feel sick  in twenty minutes then we'll get more." Cassie had to withhold the  protest that wanted to instantly fly from her lips. She was thirsty and  she wanted more. She didn't want to be told no. She barely managed to  keep it in.         



"Do you remember anything that's happened recently?" The woman, who  Cassie figured was a nurse, asked. Cassie's eyes squinted as she  concentrated on remembering the last few days. They were a total blank.

"The last thing I remember is getting off work and then going for a  walk. I don't understand why my mind's so fuzzy. What's going on?"  Cassie asked, trying to push down the panic wanting to erupt inside her.  The longer she laid in the bed, the more afraid she became. To top that  off, the loud jazz band rehearsing in her head didn't seem to be  stopping anytime soon. The pain was so intense it felt as if the skin  was actually pushing away from her temples.

"I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you've been in an auto  accident. "I know it doesn't seem like it right now, but you're actually  very lucky. Your entire body probably hurts at the moment, but you  could've been killed. You have a fractured rib, a few scrapes and  bruises, and a concussion, but there are no life-threatening injuries."  She took Cassie's hand as she said the last part.

Cassie wasn't thinking she was too lucky at that moment. Her body hurt  badly and she found herself wanting to fall back asleep. If she could  pass out then maybe it would all turn out to be nothing but a bad  nightmare.

"Where am I? How long have I been here? How much longer will I have to  stay?" Cassie fired question after question at the nurse. She was  fighting the panic, but maybe if she got some answers her fears would  recede.

"You've been with us for eight days. Do you have any recollection of  what happened?" the woman asked. She was moving around the room, tidying  things up as she spoke in a nonchalant manner. Cassie felt like she'd  been hit by lightning. How did someone tell you you'd lost a week as if  it was no big deal?

She concentrated hard, trying to push her mind to open up and explain  why she'd been unconscious for so long, why her body hurt so much. The  harder she fought with her mind, the more it seemed to shut down. She  couldn't even manage to say anything.

"Do you have family we can contact?"

"No, there's no one left except for me. I have a best friend, but she's a  nurse doing some work in Brazil right now," Cassie sadly replied. "I  just moved to Seattle from back East and I haven't had time to make any  other friends," she finished. Another thought hit her as she lay there.  "Oh my gosh, my job. I'm sure they've fired me by now. They must think  that I walked out on them," she moaned as she laid her head back and  fought the nausea. She was beyond frustrated.

"I'm sorry, Cassie, for all of this. You aren't going to be able to  leave the hospital for at least another few days, and there will be no  way for you to work for at least a month. You've had some bad injuries.  In order to heal, you have to take care of yourself. You must think only  of your health right now. Don't worry about any of the medical  expenses. They're being covered by the Anderson Family."

"What expenses? And why would the Anderson Family cover them?"

"You're in a private hospital, the best one in the City of Seattle, if  not the country," the nurse said proudly, while seeming to stand up a  bit straighter. She ignored the other question, entirely.

Cassie looked around the room with more awareness. She should have  figured out she wasn't in a regular hospital. For one thing, it was a  large room with only one bed. There was a big flat-screen television,  fresh flowers in a nice vase, curtains instead of blinds, and the same  nurse didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave. In a public hospital, the  nurses had such a large list of clients they wouldn't have time to visit  for so long.

"Why are the Anderson's paying for me? And, are we talking about the Andersons?"

"The Andersons are paying for your stay because I was the one who hit  you with my car," a man's voice said, startling both her and the nurse.  They turned in unison to see none other than Max Anderson filling out  the doorway.