Song I listened to for this chapter: What if by Safety Suit. Why cause I really like it.
Hatter, Scott and Riley wait impatiently outside Alice’s door. They are waiting to see if there is a patch on Alice that may help them know more about this nasty new drug. The door soon opens with a nurse holding an evidence bag with something in it.
Riley grabs the bag and runs down the hall, yelling over his shoulder that he will get back to them.
Hatter turns and asks the nurse politely, “Where was it?”
The nurse replies, “On her upper arm. It was hard to spot with how small and clear it is, luckily Ms. Larik saw it.”
Hatter has a flashback of the bloody arse grabbing Alice’s upper arm and realizes that was when she was drugged. Right in front of him and if he had been faster, then she would be fine. Hatter makes a fist and tries to keep himself in control.
Leigh sees his look and hurries to him, waving her hand in front of him.
Hatter blinks in surprise at the small woman in front of him. “Yes?”
Leigh looks up to Hatter and tells him, “You did save her Hatter. I was there and saw the whole thing, you couldn’t have been there faster had you known what was happening. But imagine if he could have had his way with her?” Leigh shudders. “As it was Sam and I are lucky the only bare skin we had was our hands, we will check our tights tonight when we go home.”
Hatter stares at Leigh like she’s nuts and Sam starts to laugh. “We wear skin colored undershirts that are skin tight Hatter, since we get cold at the clubs. Alice normally doesn’t so she doesn’t bother, we are lucky if we can get her to take a jacket. But that is why we probably feel bad, but not as bad as Alice. We didn’t get it applied correctly and then we took it off last night when we changed.”
Scott is watching Hatter carefully and can see him just staring at Alice when one of the girls is not talking to him. Realizing Hatter needs a minute, he gets Sam’s attention and indicates to Hatter. She realizes he is being very still, not like she has observed him at the club and other times lately. Sam casually mentions, “I need something to drink. Leigh, will you come with me?” Leigh looks at her, and then Hatter, and nods.
Hatter barely hears them leave. His eyes are for Alice. He walks over to the bed and sits down in the chair that is next to it. After a couple of minutes, he looks at Scott and asks him, “What will happen if she don’t remember me? I-“
Scott interrupts and says, “We will help her remember, Hatter.” He will do nothing less for this man who has dropped everything to come here to be with her. He realizes now that his own feelings for Alice are just a simple crush, nothing like Hatter’s emotions for her. Yes they were quick, but it is not like they got to do the normal dating scene what with all the drama they now find themselves in.
Hatter nods and sits there with Alice, eventually taking her hand and rubbing soothing circles on it, watching the vitals and hoping she will wake up soon. Eventually, the visiting hours are up and he still stays by her side until the nurses make him leave. Scott takes him back to the club and Hatter goes up to his office to think for awhile, staring out at the city below him. Once he comes to a series of decisions, he calls Scott up to his office.
When Scott enters, he sees Hatter sitting in his chair looking at the city. “Scott, I want to promote you as head of the floor. I trust you, and even though we are going to be playing a dangerous game, I want someone to be specifically looking at the floor personally and, for one, see if we can notice a trend and see if we can put paid to it.”
Scott nods. Hatter continues, “I think it be best if I be absent for awhile. I have other interests that I need to keep an eye on. This be normal for me, in fact I have stayed here this month longer than previous months since the club started. You and Dormie will be charge. And Dormie is not to know anything.” Scott is surprised by this. Does he suspect Dormie?
Hatter turns to him and Scott almost steps back at the intense look in his eyes. “For Alice I will take no chances. And this is who I am doing this for; I know I can trust you. And that is all I know for sure. Understand, mate?”
Scott nods, thinks for a second and asks, “What about Alice?”
Hatter turns to look at the city, but at Scott’s question, he swivels back and looks him in the eye and answers, “I will be there of course. My interest in her was pronounced last night and today. It will mark nothing as unusual. And if I am needed, I will be here.”
Scott agrees and the two of them get to work on what their plan of action will be. Scott is impressed with Hatter. Most guys would be fighting their emotions in this situation… Maybe it’s a Brit thing? He looks at Hatter and realizes it is simply because Hatter trusts his instincts, and those instincts have taken him out of the DJ booth and set him on this path. Scott is grateful after hearing from Riley that there had only been one other victim, but still, more are suspected.
A couple of mornings later, Alice wakes up feeling awful, but not as bad as before. She looks around the room and sees flowers everywhere that she guesses are for her. She also sees a chair pulled to her side of the bed like someone had been there recently and wonders which of her friends it had been.
A nurse opens the door and smiles at her. “Ms. Hamilton! We are so happy to see you awake, how are you feeling?”
Alice replies, “Not as ill as before but not well either.” She remembers something and asks questionably and softly, “I had some sort of tea and it made me feel better, may I have some of that?”
The nurse brightens. “Oh the tea! It really tastes bad, but your young man left some with us for you, and for us to test to find out what it is. It helps with the drug you know.” She leaves before Alice can ask any questions.
Like who is her young man – and since when did she have one of those? And what drug? Before she can think anymore a knock sounds on her door and then Sam comes in, notices that Alice is awake and has a huge grin spreading across her face. “I am so glad you are awake!! Everyone will be happy once they find out.” She frowns and then tells Alice, “We need to get you better so I don’t say anymore corny crap like that again.”
Alice looks at her and grins. Then all of a sudden, she has a flash of the warm brown eyes that have plagued her and she gets the feeling that there is something she is forgetting. Something important. Alice looks at her best friend and can’t help herself and her curiosity. “Sam, why do I keep remembering these beautiful brown eyes and who is my young man the nurse was telling me about?”
Sam’s smile gets wider and before she can answer, the door opens, and brown eyes is standing there with flowers in his hands. Alice’s stomach feels like it is free falling, he really is gorgeous. He looks around and seeing Alice awake, a big smile spreads across his face. Then a minute later, it falls as if he remembers something.
Alice stares at him and can feel her frustration building again. Why can’t she remember? She always remembers and she can feel that what she’s forgotten is very important. Her frustration gets the better of her and she demands of him, “Who are you, and why am I so upset I don’t know!?!” Alice can feel the tears threatening to fall, and angrily dashes them away. Alice normally doesn’t cry and doesn’t want brown eyes to think she is weak. She looks again at him, and it all falls apart. She wants to feel safe and she knows that this man will do that… that he’s done it already?
She can’t stop the flow of tears anymore. Before she registers what’s happening, brown eyes drops the flowers on a table and is at her side faster than Sam who is standing closer to her. “Alice!” He drops in the chair by her bed and grabs her hands, holding them in his own. Alice turns to him, her frustration evident in her sapphire eyes.
Hatter can’t help himself and he raises one hand and gently wipes the tears from her face, saying softly, “Alice. Please don’t cry, let me fix whatever is wrong please.” She stares at him knowing that this feels right and feeling like she should know who he is…
Hatter never expected her to recognize him, much less to be so frustrated that can’t remember everything that she cries, breaking his heart. He had been overjoyed to see her awake until he remembered she probably didn’t remember him. Now, he just wants to fix whatever had made her so sad when she saw him.
Alice feels calmer… safer with this man. She leans into his hand and looks into his eyes. He just stares at her looking partly in shock. Alice realizes he may not answer her and looks for the only other source of information in the room. She turns to Sam, hoping that she can clear up this mystery.
Sam looks at her friend and can easily see the frustration. She, too, is happy Alice feels something for Hatter and it makes her want to tell Hatter, ‘See? We told you not to lose hope.’ She sees the question in her friend’s face and taking pity on both of them, softly answers her, “This is Hatter.”
Alice gasps as more memories flood her brain of that night – how could she have forgotten him? She turns to him and simply says, “You saved me.” He had not only saved her from the man on the floor, but she now remembers her deciding to give whatever this is between the two of them a shot.
Hatter smiles at her happily. He holds her hand, wishing he can gather her to him. Before he can stop himself, he tells her, “And I am still wondering why I need to know your sign.”
Alice stares at him in shock and then starts laughing. Sam smiles at the sound she has missed so much. Hatter is glad she is no longer sad and loves the sound of her laughter. When she calms some, she cheekily tells him, “I am still not part of a harem, right?”
Hatter stares at her with such a tender look on his face before he smirks and says, “No, but we can start one if you want one, luv.”
Alice grins and tells him frankly, “No, not at this time. I think I will have a handful with just you.” His eyes widen a bit but she never loses her grin. She has already made the decision to try, and she wants him to know it. Especially since she is still unsure of why she is in her hospital…
Hatter’s grin matches hers and he replies, “Well, if you think you can handle me, I have no problem trying. But I will need whatever that sign is, according to you.” Then he sighs to himself, knowing he is right to trust his feelings so far. She is perfect for him, with her comebacks and the obvious ability to set him straight. He won’t mind working to keep her and will do what he can to make her see it.
Sam is enjoying watching the two of them react to each other and is happy Alice now remembers more. She can tell that Hatter brings out Alice’s snarky side, a side most people don’t see. They will need each other, first to get Alice through the last of the withdrawal, then to catch the person who did this. She doesn’t envy them, but if they can work their way through all this, they may have a chance.
Alice is happy. She remembers what had been bothering her, and she has also realized while they were speaking that this Hatter must also be her young man. She definitely remembers their conversation and the one that followed after where they both basically told each other they were interested in each other. From there it is hazy, but she does remember him taking care of her, and also that damned tea! Now, she makes sure to follow through with her decision. Until he doesn’t want her anymore…
Scott walks in later and is surprised to see Alice awake and holding Hatter’s hand while she speaks with Leigh and Sam. She looks at him and her smile gets bigger. “Scott!”
He walks over and gives her a little hug and glancing at Hatter and Alice’s joined hands, he quips, “Well I guess I don’t need to answer your question from breakfast.” Alice laughs and tells him, “Nope!” Popping the ‘p’ in there.
He grins back at her. Now that she is awake maybe Hatter will pay more attention to the club and the plan that Riley has put together. They really need Hatter’s eyes on this since Riley had been correct before in the conference room by saying that Hatter seems to have a knack for finding out people in his organization that are detrimental to the well being of others, both in the establishment and to him and his.
Hatter sees the look in Scott’s eyes and groans. “When I promoted you, you were supposed to take some of the work off of me, mate.” Hatter’s grin never fades though.
Alice looks back and forth trying to figure out what is going on. “Promoted him? Why did you promote him? Not that Scott probably didn’t deserve what ever work you wanted to put on him, he was having it too easy anyways.”
Scott shakes his head at her and replies, “Alice, not everyone is a workaholic like you my dear. There is nothing wrong with enjoying life and not wanting to spend every minute focusing on others.”
Alice rolls her eyes. It is a conversation she has had many times with Scott, Leigh and Sam. They think she works too much and she thinks she doesn’t work enough. It is a conversation that they seem fated to have for many years. Maybe after school she will relax.
Hatter has been watching her and realizes that he may have a bigger job in front of him when this business with his club is all over. He’ll have it rough in getting her to realize there is wisdom in the saying, ‘stop and smell the roses.’ But he sort of understands her reasoning since he did the same when he was trying to make in LA. You don’t stop or someone else will come along and make it better than you can. Then all your work will be for nothing. You need to ride the coattails of success on what ever ride it wants to give you. But the deal is not her trying to make money and success. She already has it. There is some reason she feels guilty for it. That will be what he needs to address.
Hatter asks Scott, “Is everything alright or is it you just want me to check over your work again?” He smirks at Scott knowing when he puts it that way it riles him up.
Scott glares at Hatter and warns him, “If you don’t behave, I’ll tell Alice who you are!” He was shocked when he found out, not only Hatter’s real name but who he is, also. He recognizes the name and is sure the others will too since they go out partying more often. Now, he likes dangling it over Hatter, knowing that he will never give the information out unless Hatter tells him he can. But Hatter doesn’t know that, right?
Hatter glares at him and decides to diddle Scott. “You do that and I make your arse redundant.”
Alice is intrigued but she looks at Hatter and notices there is a glint in his eyes, like he when he was mouthing off to her over the past couple of hours, and realizes that Scott is being conned. She looks away at Leigh and Sam and sees that they are also trying not to laugh. “Hmm and what would I care Scott? Hatter will tell me sooner or later.” She looks back at Hatter with an innocent look.
“Oi! You think you can just diddle me woman?” Hatter is clearly enjoying himself, his accent getting thicker. He can’t help himself and grins at her.
Alice grins back at him and quips, “How bad can your name be anyways? Wait… it’s not Mortimer is it?” She shudders in mock sympathy.
Scott can’t help himself and starts to laugh at Hatter’s complete look of disgust. Sam and Leigh join him seconds later. He chokes out through his laughter, “You best tell her boss, she will get worse until you tell her.”
Hatter stares at them and shakes his head. “You think you are all so bloody smart do ya?”
Alice bats her eyes at him and says, “Yep!” She didn’t pop the ‘p’ this time since her head is starting to pound again. She slightly winces.
Hatter’s been watching her and noticing the wince, he comments, “Right, now I think it is time for either more tea or whatever cocktail they have made up for you now, Alice.”
Alice looks at him, feeling a little frustrated. Before she can say anything Hatter tells her quietly, “Now you want to get better so that we can get that bloody arse wipe and put him behind bars. Not that I am happy with this, but if you insist, I will wait. But only with the guidelines we agreed upon.” Hatter stares into her eyes making sure she was understanding the risks and what he is sacrificing for her. But he understands her need to do this and that is why he will help, with stipulations.
Alice sighs and grudgingly nods. She will do what it takes to get out of here. She wants revenge on the guy who put her there and Hatter is going to give that to her. With some guidelines, but he will do what he can.
She says with false cheer, “Where is that tasty tea?”
“Actually, we are giving you an IV, since we know what is in the tea.” Mark walks into the room with an odd colored bag in his hand. “Hatter’s mom was very talented. All natural, but with what I have seen, a very good blend of medicinal herbs. Of course that gives it the awful taste, but with this, it should make your withdrawal easier.” He adds the bag to her IV and turns to Hatter, “Please let her know she may have saved people’s lives with this also.” He leaves after checking her chart, making a comment that visiting hours are almost over.
Her friends take the hint, carefully hugging her and leaving the new couple alone for the rest of the time.
Alice turns to Hatter and tells him, “Hatter, I am not good with relationships. So if anything happens…” She trails off not wanting to say that what she knows is the truth, it will be her fault.
Hatter looks her in the eyes and tells her softly, “Well, we are in a fine fiddle aren’t we? Me, who never been in a relationship, and you, who not be good with one. Alice, why don’t we just make a go at it and see what happens. Because I am not going to give up.”
Alice looks at him, and feels a faint stirring of hope. “That sounds a good idea… at least until that harem is around.”
Hatter smirks at her. “I guess I will have to make sure you don’t need a harem, huh, luv?” They grin at each other and Hatter reaches out a hand and gently cups her face. His grin fades as he stares at her, and then slowly, so she can pull away if she wants to, leans forward and gives her a gentle kiss. He is careful, but he pours his feelings in that kiss, but leaves it to her if she wants to return them.
Alice’s breath is taken away with the depth of this kiss. He is leaving it up to her, but she not only feels the same feelings, but she is surprised that she wants to return them to this man who she’s learned has dedicated himself to making sure she is okay, even though he was very much aware that she may not remember him. She gives him her feelings freely and with no hesitation.
Hatter is overwhelmed that she returns his feelings. He ends up being the one breaking the kiss, but he leans his head on hers and asks her softly, “Will that help delay the harem for awhile, luv?”
Alice still has her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open. Wow, can Hatter kiss!! She agrees with him while she tries to pull herself back together and opens her eyes to Hatter’s smirk. He can tell how he affected her! She blushes and his smirk gets wider. “I will take that as a yes.” He kisses her forehead and tells her softly, “I will be back in the morning, luv.” And then he leaves while Alice is still trying to bring herself down from that kiss. WOW!