You’ll be able to heat up your own baths.
Asking Luc would be so easy, but doing it myself would be so much more fulfilling.
Luc sat in front of me. “What are you thinking?”
Returning to combing out the tangles, I said, “I want to do it myself.”
“It could be a goal, you know? Like something to work toward,” I continued. “And it works like a reward, too.”
“So, we start tomorrow, right?”
“We do,” he replied after a few moments. “Daemon recommended a place I think would be good and safe.”
Relief almost caused me to drop the comb. “I thought…”
“You thought I wasn’t going to push back.” Damp hair fell to the side as he leaned down onto his elbow.
I nodded, lowering the comb. “I know you’re not looking forward to the idea of hurting me, and I know you tried to train Micah and the other kids.”
“Someone’s been talking.”
“Someone other than you.” I tapped the comb against his arm.
Tipping his head back, he caught the comb. “I did try to train them, and in the end, I think I just made things worse.”
“You couldn’t have known what they would do.”
“I couldn’t have known what they wouldn’t do,” he added, tugging the comb free from my fingers. “But you’re not them. I won’t be thinking of them while we work together.”
He tossed the comb aside. “Yes.”
I wasn’t sure if I believed him or not. I knew what had happened with the Origins had carved a deep wound in him. “If you did think of them, it would make sense. No one could fault you for that.”
“I know, Peaches. I’m more worried about hurting you than any bad memories that may or may not surface.”
“But I’m more worried—” I gasped as Luc moved with the kind of speed I just couldn’t track.
He was suddenly in front of me, on his knees. Gripping my hips, he tugged me onto my back. In the span of a heartbeat, he had me under him. “Sorry,” he said, keeping his weight braced on one arm. “But you looked like you needed a Luc-size blanket.”
My pulse thrummed as I placed my hand on his chest. “You’re trying to distract me.”
“I would never.” His voice was full of mock outrage, even as he eased some of his weight onto mine.
The next breath I took was shallow. Neither of us were wearing much, especially me with just his shirt and undies, so there weren’t many barriers between our skin.
Dipping his head, he pressed a kiss to the corner of my lips. “I like this.” His hips shifted, and a sharp swirl of sensation ricocheted through me. “Being your blanket. A lot.”
Feeling a little breathless, I brought my hand to his cheek. “I can tell.”
He lifted his head, and I could see the sudden diamond brightness of his pupils. “Evie…” His gaze roamed over my face. “The things you fill my head with.”
There were things I wanted to talk about with him, important things, but knowing what I filled his head with seemed highly important at the moment. “Like what?”
He turned his head into my palm, placing a kiss against the center of my hand. “You. Me.” Lowering his head, he coasted his lips over my cheek until he arrived at that sensitive spot below my ear. “And things I only ever fantasized about.”
Heat swamped my senses as wanting burst through me in waves. He pressed a kiss to where my pulse beat wildly, and then he went lower. My eyes drifted shut as my head fell back and to the side, allowing him free rein.
“To do anything?” he murmured against my skin, hearing my innermost thoughts.
My toes curled. “I don’t even know what anything could entail,” I admitted.
Stroking his hand up over my waist, he lifted his head and lined up his mouth to mine. “We can discover what anything entails together.”
That sounded like a plan I could really get behind, and boy did I ever want to, but …
Opening my eyes before I got completely swept away, I tugged his head up. “There’s something I want from you.”
His gaze was heavy with intent. “Anything.”
“Tell me about Nancy Husher.”
The change that swept over Luc was as startling as it was expected. Light receded from Luc’s pupils, and the drowsy look vanished from his eyes. His shoulders tensed as his features lost the razor-sharp edge of desire, becoming hard and unforgiving.
“Someones have really been talking.” His tone was as flat as paper.
“And that someone isn’t you,” I repeated quietly and then went on before I lost my nerve. “Her name has come up more than once.”
“Which is too many times.” Candlelight flickered across his jaw. “What could you possibly want to know about that woman?”
I kept my hand on his cheek. “Anything and everything.”
His lashes swept down, shielding his gaze. A heartbeat passed and then another. He didn’t look up when he spoke. “Nancy was a woman who, in place of a heart and a soul, had nothing but obsession and ambition. Kindness and empathy were tools she used to either gain the trust of others or to ensure that she was underestimated.”