Chapter 16 - Emmalyn
Emmalyn woke abruptly when she was dragged across Kell’s chest and thrown to the floor. The pain of her body landing on her bad arm momentarily stunned her. She took several deep breaths then pushed herself up and looked towards the bed. It horrified her to see a large dagger imbedded in the pillow where her head had been only moments ago. Grunting and the sounds of swords clashing drew her attention. When Emmalyn turned, a shirtless Kell was battling three large men dressed in black. With it being the middle of the night, the room was bathed in darkness and it was difficult to make them out. Kell was holding his own, but with three attacking at once, he wouldn’t be for long. Emmalyn needed to do something immediately, or things would take a turn for the worst.
Glancing around she found she was close to the large tub. Kell had placed her in the bed on the side closest to the wall, she assumed so he was closet to both the window and door. His protectiveness always surprised her. However, when he had thrown her from the bed she was on the opposite side of the room. He was pinned down in the corner and had nowhere to go. The first thing Emmalyn did was rip the ridiculous sling off and hurl it to the floor. It hampered her movements, and she needed both her arms if she would successfully help him.
One man suddenly lunged at Kell and she watched as a bloody line appeared across his chest. He grunted, but showed no outward sign it bothered him. It didn’t look deep, but she could imagine it was painful. The third man couldn’t get into the small space, so he was effectively blocking the door, meaning she couldn’t get help. With no other options she picked up the empty pitcher, scooped up a hefty amount of ice cold water, and hurled it at the two men closest to Kell. They cursed and sputtered in surprise as the water hit them, giving Kell the opportunity he needed. He wasted not a second driving his sword through the closest man’s chest, then shoving his boot against him, and pulling the deadly blade back out. She stared at the man as he dropped to floor and didn’t get up.
A battle cry had her turning in time to see the man near the door abandoning his post and charging straight at her. Kell was still in the corner battling the second man, and would be of no help. Turning again, she picked up the stool Kell had sat on earlier and heaved it at the man’s head. It was a perfect shot. The man stopped abruptly as blood poured out of a cut above his eye, then he turned furious eyes on her. Without thought Emmalyn screamed as loud as she could, knowing if one of Kell’s men was close there would be no way in hell they wouldn’t hear her. The man cursed, then charged again. She had just enough time to drop to the floor and roll towards him. He was so intent on getting to her; he had no chance of getting out of the way. She hit his legs with her fireman roll and his forward momentum caused him to crash to floor. When she turned to look back at him, it was to see him out cold on the floor and blood surrounding his head. It appeared he hit it on the side of the tub as he fell.
Emmalyn jumped back to her feet and turned, just in time to see Kell run his blade through the last man’s shoulder. The man screamed in pain and dropped his sword to clutch desperately at the gaping wound. At the same time the door came flying off its hinges as Torin ran through it in his haste to get in the room. Both Oryn and Behr immediately followed him. They took in the scene and the wounded man staggering on his feet and let out a string of colourful curse words.
“Get him out of here and get him back to camp. I want him questioned immediately,” Kell demanded as he pushed his damp hair off his face.
Emmalyn caught his eyes as they darted around the room, and she could see the instant relief when he discovered her unharmed. A commotion outside had her looking away and glancing towards the window. The sight below had her smiling and shaking off the last remnants of fear.
“I don’t think that’s necessary,” she interrupted. “It appears the camp is coming to you.”
When Emmalyn turned back around Kell was there, causing her to squeal in surprise. He had the shirt he discarded before joining her in bed in his hands and another intense look on his face. In a flash it was over her head and he was pulling it down and helping her get her arms through. Then he was dragging her close and crushing her tightly in his arms. She didn’t fight him, the adrenaline was crashing, and she needed his comfort. Everything that happened moments before was hitting her, and she realized how close both of them had come to death. Her legs collapsed under her, and if Kell hadn’t been holding her she would have fallen. He hooked her under the knees and lifted her up, cradling him against his warm chest.
“Get the bodies out of here and secure the building. Find the innkeeper and figure out how the hell this happened,” Kell demanded gruffly.
Emmalyn heard grunting, so she assumed they were doing what he asked. When there was a commotion Kell froze and started shouting, causing her to twist in his arms and look in the direction of the third man. The man was holding a small dagger to his neck, and while she watched he dragged the blade across. All Kell’s men moved, but none were in time, the man fell to the floor and stared back at them vacantly as blood poured from the cut. Emmalyn buried her face in Kell’s neck and tried to block out the sight before her. Kell moved, but she didn’t lift her head to see where he was headed, she kept it right where it was. A minute later a door was kicked closed, and then Kell was sitting with her in his lap. He held her as she cried and stroked her long hair, while placing tender kisses on the top of her head.
“Calm my wee warrior,” he demanded, when more time had passed. “The threat is eliminated, and there should be no more drama tonight.”
Emmalyn lifted her head and took in his concerned expression. “I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I don’t usually break down like this. I seem to do that a lot these last couple days.”
Kell swiped at her tears with the pad of his thumb as he smiled down at her. “You are strong when you need to be, and you show your weakness when it is safe to do so. There is no need to apologize. You defended yourself and me and made me proud. I have told you before, and I will tell you again. You are stronger than most and you show many traits the females of our world lack. I am honoured to have you by my side, and even though your actions were foolhardy, I will admit that you may have just saved my life today. They backed me into a corner and I had little room to fight, it was a bad situation, even for me.”
Emmalyn smiled at his words and latched onto the one thing he said she knew could get a reaction from. “I saved you,” she announced, then smirked as she continued to gloat. “A tiny badass woman from another world saved the big bad warrior.”
Kell chuckled and her heart swelled. “I don’t know that I’d put it quite that way,” he countered, but she was shaking her head.
“No takebacks,” she announced as she patted his very hard, very warm chest.
Kell looked at her a minute in surprise, then threw back his head and laughed. When he had calmed, he grinned down at her. “You were made for me,” he admitted. “And although I have been trying to fight the pull I feel for you, I can’t anymore. Emmalyn Kensleigh, I am head over heels in love with you.” When she went to interrupt he placed a finger over her lips. “I understand we haven’t known each other but a few days, however I feel for you like I have felt for no other.”
“No one has ever told me they love me,” Emmalyn whispered as the tears once more started to flow. “I feel comfortable with you, I feel safe with you, and I feel cherished. I love you too Kell.”
“Thank fuck,” Kell growled before he took her mouth with his.
It was a deep kiss, full of the passion she knew he had been holding back before. It burned her with an intensity that scared her. She had met her match and knew she would love no other. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held on tight as she melted under him. When his tongue pushed inside and met hers, the taste of him sent her spiralling towards something just out of her reach. She needed more. She wanted to touch him, she wanted to taste more of him, and she wanted to feel him everywhere.
“More,” Emmalyn moaned when he pulled away and drew in a deep breath. She tried to pull him back, but he resisted as he shook his head.
“I’ll give you more sweetheart, but not here when I’m covered in blood and there are dead men close by,” Kell gently reminded her.
It was then Emmalyn recalled the cut on his chest. She almost fell off his lap in her haste to get off him. She didn’t know if he had any other injuries, but she was desperate to find out.
“I’m so sorry,” she cried as she ran her hands over his arms and back, searching for more. He caught her wrists and pulled her closer.
“I’m fine, it’s only a small scratch,” Kell assured her, causing her to stare at him in shock. If that was a scratch she’d hate to see what other wounds he had gotten over the years.
“Fucking He-Man Warrior,” she huffed as she eyed the wound. “I’m cleaning it and applying the ointment you used on my arm. And if you fight me I’m kicking you in the shin,” Emmalyn furiously declared.
Then she kicked him anyway, because he threw back his head and laughed. Unfortunately, she knew it hurt her foot more than it hurt his shin.