The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 86

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One side of his mouth curved up.

“You shouldn’t grin about that,” I told him.

“He shouldn’t have said what he did to you.” The smile faded. “Do you need help with anything?”

I arched a brow.

“Dirty mind,” he murmured, that half grin of his making an appearance once again. “I was talking about the bath. Do you need anything?”

Somewhat disappointed, I looked around the bathroom. “I can get the stuff.”

“Or you can let me be all helpful,” he offered, and because I didn’t want him to leave, I nodded. “What do you want?”

Luc went about grabbing what I asked for. Body wash and a loofah. Cleanser for my face. A big fluffy towel placed on a small wooden stool.

“I want to wash my hair,” I said. “I need to wash my hair.”

“Got it.” He grabbed two bottles out of the shower caddy. “Let me grab you a pitcher. That should help.”

Stepping aside, I waited until he slipped out of the bathroom before turning to the bath. I sat down on the ledge, curling my toes into the fluffy mat. The water was hot to the touch, but I thought in a few more minutes it would be cool enough, especially if I used the cold water to rinse the shampoo and conditioner out.

I pulled my fingers from the water and stood, my gaze sliding to the half-open bathroom door. I don’t know what I was thinking, or maybe I wasn’t thinking at all as I reached down and wrapped my fingers around the hem of the borrowed shirt. Maybe it was being asleep for so long and waking up to hear Luc whispering his innermost fears. It could be the little piece of hope Dr. Hemenway’s theory gave me. Perhaps it was the dream that was really a memory. Or maybe it was hearing Luc say he loved me.

I didn’t know, and I wasn’t sure it even mattered as I pulled the shirt off and then shimmied out of my undies, dropping both items in the hamper.

There was no turning back now.

Stepping into the tub, I sank down, sucking in a sharp breath at the shock of the hot water. It took a couple of seconds for my skin to adjust, and then … goodness. Leaning back until my shoulders were underwater, I almost moaned as the heat of the water invaded the stiff muscles along my back.

I sat up, tucking my knees to my chest as I eyed the soap. My pulse was pounding so fast as I waited, having no idea how Luc would respond. I doubted he’d scream, “My eyes!” and run from the room. I was sure he would be more than happy to see me like this, but this was bold.

I liked being bold.

Grinning, I planted my cheek against my knee and closed my eyes. It was only a minute more when my heart skipped a beat. I sensed Luc’s return, and it had nothing to do with any alien DNA in me. Even with my eyes closed, I could feel the intensity of his stare, heavy and as hot as the water.

Opening my eyes, I saw him standing in the doorway, an old-fashioned white pitcher in one hand and a large plastic storage container in the other. He didn’t move. I wasn’t even sure if he breathed as he stared at me with pupils that shone like stars.

Heart still thrumming, I said, “I didn’t want to wait.”

“I see.”

He spoke only those two words, but they were full of so much want and need that I shivered. I took a small breath. “I thought you could help me wash my hair.”

All Luc did was place the pitcher on the vanity, the container on the floor near the tub, and then he backed up again, returning to the doorway.

“And I thought since you heated up the water, you should get to enjoy it while it’s warm. The tub is big enough.” And it was. The tub wasn’t a Jacuzzi or anything like that, but it was definitely wider and longer than a normal tub. He still hadn’t moved. I lifted my cheek but kept my knees to my chest. “If you want to.”

His mouth opened and then closed. He took a moment. “I don’t know if I can.”

I had not expected that response.

At all.

A different kind of flush swept over my skin, having nothing to do with the heat of the water or the fact I was completely super-duper nude. Oh, man, I’d made a mistake. A big one. A big old naked mistake, and I was going to drown myself—

“You misunderstood. Or I misspoke,” he cut into my thoughts. “I don’t think I trust myself to just share that bath with you and wash your hair. There’s going to be a physical reaction. From me. For you. It’s going to be obvious, and that should probably embarrass me, but it doesn’t. You could be wearing a hazmat suit and covered in cow dung and I’d still have a physical reaction to you.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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