Holiday with the Millionaire(5)

By: Scarlet Wilson

The policeman put a hand on her arm. ‘We understand, but Mr Tyler does have a right to press charges.’

‘Charges?’ She could barely get the word out and he could see her start to shake.

‘For assault.’

She wobbled. She looked as if her legs were going to give out completely.

Enough. He needed this to be over with.

‘There won’t be any charges. Not from me anyway. I’m sure Ms Callaway will be able to speak to Caleb about replacing his award.’ He looked towards the other policeman, who’d been talking quietly into his radio. ‘Have you verified us yet? Can we finish this?’

The paramedic raised her eyebrows at him. ‘Actually, no, we can’t. You were knocked out, Mr Tyler. We should really take you to hospital to be checked over.’

‘No. No. I definitely don’t want to do that.’

But as he shook his head he realised how dizzy he was. It was all he could do not to sway. He eyed the sofa for a second, wondering if he should sit down.

‘We’re obliged to take you, Mr Tyler. There can be serious repercussions from a head injury. It will only take a few hours.’

‘In London on a Saturday night? You’ve got to be joking. Every A and E around here will have queues out the door.’ He waved his hand. ‘I’m fine.’

The paramedic frowned and her lips thinned. This woman was formidable. It was time to take a different tack.

‘Look, I’ve just got off a long flight from the US and I’m tired. I just want to find something to eat and get to sleep. I haven’t slept in the last thirty-six hours. You said my pupils were equal, surely that means I’m okay?’

She hesitated and glanced at her partner. ‘After a head injury some symptoms take a while to appear. You might feel okay now, but in a few hours it could be different.’

The policemen were exchanging glances. The only person in the room who couldn’t look at him was Lara—the giant teddy bear.

‘I really don’t want to go to hospital,’ he said steadily.

The paramedic glanced from him to Lara. ‘Well, I’ll have to get you to sign something. Then I’ll give you a final check and leave some head-injury instructions. You can’t be left alone. There needs to be someone around you in case you feel unwell later and need to go to hospital.’

A smile broke across his face. ‘Oh, I’m sure Ms Callaway will oblige.’

Her head shot up. ‘What? Me? No!’ She turned towards the policeman. ‘You’re not actually going to let him stay here, are you? I don’t know him. I don’t want to be left in a house with a stranger.’ Her indignation made him smile even more.

The policeman looked at her. ‘Then perhaps you’d like to stay somewhere else? You did say you made this arrangement at short notice. Maybe there’s somewhere else you can stay?’

She cringed. ‘What? No.’ She was starting to look a bit panicked. But there was no way at this late stage that Reuben was going to ring around friends to find a bed for the night. He’d made this arrangement with Caleb and he was sticking to it—whether Ms Teddy Bear liked it or not.

The paramedic stood in front of Reuben. ‘Can you sit down for a second while I do some final checks?’

She couldn’t possibly know how grateful he was to sink down onto the comfortable overstuffed sofa. His stomach gave a little growl as he noticed all the sweet papers on the coffee table. The smell of chocolate and cheese and onion crisps was drifting in his direction. He didn’t care who it belonged to. As soon as he got rid of these folks he was eating the entire lot.

A paramedic made a few final notes and handed him a clipboard and pen. ‘Sign here.’

He scribbled his name and took the leaflet she proffered. She gave him a suspicious glance as she stood up. ‘If you have any of the symptoms on the card you must attend the nearest A and E.’ She gestured with her head. ‘It’s St David’s, about a mile in that direction.’

He gave her a nod. ‘Thanks.’

The policemen headed towards the door. ‘We’ll file a report but I take it things are settled now?’

Lara stood with her mouth gaping. She looked shell-shocked. ‘But—’

‘I’m sure everything will be fine,’ the other policeman cut in. ‘Goodnight, Ms Callaway, Mr Tyler,’ he said, as all four people filed out the front door.

Reuben stood again, waiting for them all to leave before finally closing the front door behind them. His legs felt heavy, but nowhere near as heavy as the thudding in his head.

He stalked back through to the sitting room, collapsed on the couch and tore open one of the chocolate bars, grabbing the TV remote.

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