“You’re joking,” Eden insisted.
Malcolm had swiftly carried her and all her belongings up stairs to the roof of her tall apartment building.
She was currently looking at a helicopter perched and ready for take off in front of her.
“You flew a fucking helicopter?”
Malcolm looked at her.
“Car would have taken too long.”
“Is it even legal to- land it here?”
Malcolm simply shrugged and stepped into the helicopter. Setting her duffle bag down in the back and set Eden in the seat beside his.
“I do not think anyone would care, frankly.”
Eden looked down. Right. He was the alpha of the whole damn country. No one would dare challenge him.
“So are you just going to take off in your helicopter every time I call you?” She asked, rolling her eyes.
Malcolm gave her a hard look.
“If I think you are in harms way then I will be there to protect you by whatever means necessary.”
His voice was stern and icy cold. Eden wanted to ask him why he cared so much. But she was already ready to fall asleep again. She didn’t care to argue with a man as aggravating as him at this hour.
Malcolm fastened her into the seat and tightened the safety restraints.
He handed her a set of ear plugs.
“It can get quite loud.”
She nodded and put the earmuffs over her head.
Eden closed her eyes and dug her nails into his palms as she heard the helicopter start up and begin to rise off the ground.
She opened her eyes several moments later and allowed herself to look at Malcolm.
A hard expression had settled upon his face. His furrowed brow and tight set jaw made him look unfairly more attractive.
Eden took a deep breath and forced herself to look away.
This man was not even near her reach. She needed to stop whatever she was feeling before it was too late.
She glanced at him again.
He was an insatiable flirt. He was an alpha used to getting whatever he wanted. And he clearly wanted something from her. She just couldn’t figure out what yet.
He must have noticed her staring because he turned his head and looked at her. His almost sour expression melted away and a wolfish grin spread across his lips. Followed by a wink.
Eden quickly looked away. He was toying with her. If his goal was to unnerve and confuse her then he had succeeded.
She turned her line of sight to the window to her right. A gasp nearly escaped her mouth as she stared at the glowing city lights beneath them.
Looking ahead she saw the warm inviting lights that illuminated his castle.The helicopter veered slightly left and began to descend to the roof, near the massive glass dome that was the greenhouse.
When the helicopter landed Malcolm hastily unfastened both of their restraints and lifted Eden into his arms once again, carrying her toward the greenhouse.
“Are you going to carry me around everywhere now?” She taunted.
Malcolm’s gaze drifted down to hers.
“There are still pieces of glass in your foot. If you try to walk you will only lodge them deeper into your foot.”
Eden blushed. She was only being rude now. Even with everything aside he was still her boss. And all he had done was try to help her.
She felt as if she acted like she disliked him she may begin to feel the same. So far it wasn’t working.
Malcolm entered the greenhouse and the thick smell of vegetation filled Eden’s nose. She smiled softly. The greenhouse was truly one of the most beautiful places in the castle.
He set her down on a plush couch toward the back of the building.
“Wait here I will return shortly.”
Malcolm turned on his heel and disappeared as he walked down a row of plants.
Eden groaned and held her face in her hands.
“What’s wrong with me,” she sighed.
Why was she so adamant on acting so defiant and hostile toward him?
It wasn’t the first time this behavior had flared up either.
Malcolm came back with a black bag, a basin of water and a fistful of what seemed to be freshly uprooted plants.
He set down the bag and sat down on the couch, placing Eden’s battered feet in his lap.
Eden nervously pulled down the long shirt. She wasn’t wearing any pants and the slight elevation of her legs caused the shirt to slip back.
Malcolm didn’t seem to notice. Not even to tease her or make some smartass remark. He was completely absorbed into the task at hand.
He dipped a white rag into the basin with warm soapy water and wrung it out before gently cleaning the blood away from her feet.
Eden clenched her jaw and grimaced as the soapy water and rag made contact with her cuts.
Malcolm looked up to her.
“I’m sorry I know it hurts I’ll be as quick and gentle as I am able.”
Eden almost laughed at how apologetic he was being. It was her fault in the first place for not being more careful about where she stepped.
He continued to clean the blood and glass off her feet, picking out some larger pieces with a pair of tweezers.
Malcolm mumbled something inaudible and pulled out disinfectant and cotton swabs from the bag.
He looked up at her as he began to swipe the disinfectant soaked cotton over the wounds.
“Do you know something I don’t about the attack?”
“About the crows?”
Malcolm seemed to collect his thoughts for a moment.
“Any knowledge I withhold from you regarding this matter is for your own good.”
A flash of anger struck her.
She sat up and folded her arms across her chest.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“It has been a long night for the both of us. Please just let me finish attending to your injuries and I can explain more to you later.”
Eden narrowed her eyes at him.
“Do you promise?”
Malcolm discarded the cotton and picked up the plants.
“Yes,” he said. Looking up at her before peeling back the fluorescent orange buds on the plant.
“What kind of plant is that?” She asked in amazement.
“I call it poúki.”
“You call it that? Are you implying that you discovered it?”
Malcolm shook his head.
“No I am implying that I created it.”
Eden blinked a few times.
“Oh,” she replied stupidly.
He dipped his finger into the bud and scraped the pod clean of its thick orange colored salve.
Malcolm gently smoothed on the substance into the wounds.
Eden nearly let out a sigh of relief. The salve was cool and refreshing against her aching feet.
He went through several buds of the plant. Peeling back the petals and applying its properties to her injuries until he seemed satisfied.
He then retrieved a roll of gauze and began to wrap her feet.
“Poúki salve is an extremely potent and effective treatment and speeds up the healing process exponentially. However, I don’t want you on your feet for the next fourteen hours, alright?”
Eden nodded in agreement.
“Does this mean you’re going to carry me?”
“If you require moving locations or desire me to then yes.”
And with that he lifted her into his arms once again.
Eden wrapped her arms around him and looked up at him as he made his exit from the greenhouse.
He seemed to be stressed. An ashen look of worry and turmoil was cast over him.
Malcolm closed the glass greenhouse doors behind him and locked them. He made his way to another door across from the courtyard and began to descend several flights of stairs.
He walked down hallways and turned three corners.
“I’m always getting myself hurt aren’t I?” She laughed lightly.
Malcolm looked at her endearingly.
“The first time was my fault.”
“You saved me from being shot,” she countered.
A small smile formed on his face.
“You are something else, Miss Eden Glace.”
He opened the door to a guest room.
“My personal quarters are on the next floor, if you need something you are more than welcome to stop by,” he said closing the door behind him.
Malcolm peeled back the plush covers on the large bed in the center of the room.
Setting Eden down she found herself looking up at him. Staring.
He pulled the covers into her lap and brought his hands to cup her face.
“Is there anything else you are in need of before I let you rest for the night?”
Eden tried to ignore the way he gently brushed his thumb against her cheek.
“No I’m perfectly fine thank you,” she replied. Trying to keep her tone steady.
Malcolm nodded slightly and began to caress her lower lip with the pad of his thumb.
His brow knit together. As if he were at conflict.
Eden’s gaze flickered up to his.
Her cheeks flushed when the intensity of his eyes seared into hers.
Malcolm was standing far too close. She could barely breathe. She could feel the warmth from his body from how near he was.
“May I kiss you?”
The request was so quiet and soft Eden almost believed she had imagined him uttering the words.
A small eternity passed. Slipping between the empty spaces of the room.
“Yes,” she said breathlessly.
The same intense expression remained on his face as he tilted her chin ever so slightly upward and kissed her parted lips.
The kiss was soft. It was laced with lingering and reminded her of sunshine.
Malcolm pulled away and placed one more kiss against her forehead.
“Goodnight,” he said to her before leaving the room.