Her Disappointment in Me
She’d been warmer than he could’ve imagined as she responded to his every touch like coming alive. Kissing along his collar and joining his mouth as if she couldn’t get enough. Despite that I likely taste like bitter ale.
She was passionate. Loud and beautiful. Generating blissful heat and drowning him in the scent of wildflowers.
I want more. Already thinking of her nipping bites on his chest and shoulder had his body responding in ways that had him shifting next to the window. Ripping his mind away from the erotic images, he refocused on what he saw outside. Unwilling to think about the effects of the decision he currently made.
Somehow spring already crept to warm Meadow Mountain, surrounding WaterRose. Turning grass and the rocky ridge jutting over the slope down to Phalanx Forest, green. Behind the castle was another steep incline that’d open onto the path through Warwood toward Nightway Castle.
Places Bast had memorized every inch of. I could find her again.
But how long would it take? A little voice inside demanded. Making him uncomfortable at the thought of her not being in WaterRose when he returned after bloody brutal missions.
Her mere presence comforting me. He rolled his back along the stone edge of the window, turning to lean against it facing the sleeping woman. She rested on her side, still reaching for him.
I am a coward.
I can’t let her go. He knew it as certainly as he breathed. He couldn’t imagine watching her leave and never come back. And he was somehow certain that’d be her reaction to last night.
He remembered the promise he’d made her that if she were to open to him as she had last night that he’d let her go. If I knew she could trust and care for other beings enough to bond with them, then what threat is she in Ardae?
Then a hideous thought occurred to him. Perhaps she’d only made love with me to escape me.
He studied the pale flawlessness of her face. As white as the fine pillowcase against her cheek. Her hair folded around in sparkling tresses. Wound with shining silver and glimmering gold lights. Her dark brows delicately arched over her eyes and dense dark lashes were soft against high cheekbones. Small pointed chin seeming softer in her slumber. Her face absent its passion and rage as she slept.
It was nearly irresistible to return and lay next to her. Wrap my body around hers.
She purred, tucking her cheek more deeply into the pillow he knew was still heated from the hours he’d lain next to her staring at the long boards crossing the black ceiling, marred with white scratches from her claws.
It was still fresh in his mind. She’s capable of such hatred for me.
Whenever the occasion arose, she was able to flip a switch and despise him. How many times has she shouted her hatred for me?
Yet, somehow, she made his world brighter. Returning to WaterRose was no longer hollow and lonely. His only sadness in returning, the possibility he might not see her for days if she chose not to emerge from her chamber.
Without that joy in his life he was unsure he could keep pressing on.
I was so lonely for so many years. My only joy in watching my brethren find their bits of happiness. He’d thought with his animal magnetism putting all women under a spell, none would ever love him for the man he was.
But every moment here with her is excitement, stimulation, laughter. True laughter.
How could I go without that again? He realized instantly that even if he did let her escape, he’d find himself mercilessly hunting her down to ruthlessly drag her home again.
Home. He understood the complexity of thinking of WaterRose as her home.
Knowing it’d hurt her, and possibly himself, he waved his pointer finger until swirling flakes emerged from around the tip to string out to reach her. Lacing her wrist with a delicate strand which hardened briefly before fading into indiscernibility.
And like a coward he pulled on his boots and strode from the room. A wave of his hand had clothes on the floor turning to floating gold flakes which disappeared through the floor.
A flick of his finger down his chest to his feet made clothes appear on him. Trousers molded his legs. Boots forming around his feet, as he reached the door. He pulled the handle and entered the hallway shirtless.
That’s torn on the library floor. He went that way to pick it up. Not in the mood to answer his brethren’s questions.
He aimed for the front door next. I can’t be here when she wakes and realizes she’s bound to the castle again. To me...
In only a matter of hours he heard her heartbeat speed and her breaths lighten as she woke with the sun above the meadow.
“Sebastian!” She raged. Immediately sensing the magic holding her. “You betrayer!”
He grimaced and like a hound with tail tucked, he crept across the foyer and out the double doors to escape until she calmed.
In all the world the only thing he couldn’t bear to face was Elsabet’s disappointment.