“Where do you want me?”
Callia turned away from the window without meeting Zander’s eyes, dropped her arms and pointed toward the end of the king’s now-empty desk. “There. Sit.”
He crossed the floor silently in bare feet and eased a hip onto the end of the king’s long desk. He tested the piece of furniture for stability, and when he was sure it wasn’t going to collapse under his weight, scooted back until his legs were hanging over the edge and his bare feet dangled inches above the floor.
She didn’t say anything about the fact he wasn’t completely naked, and he wasn’t about to bring it up again. To distract himself, he stared down at his toes while she moved around the room. She pulled a small side table with her supplies next to her. Seconds later he felt her hand land on his back and couldn’t stop the way he arched in response. When she said, “Deep breath,” he forced himself to relax as she moved the stethoscope around, obviously listening to his lungs.
The metal against his skin was cold, but her fingers were warm and silky—too warm and silky. His blood was already heating just from being this close to her, and every time she brushed his skin, it set off tremors deep in his body. He focused on his breathing—on the steady in and out—in an attempt to stay calm. When she moved around to stand in front of him, repeating the order, he averted his eyes from her face and focused on the fitted white sweater she wore instead.
Her gasp brought his head up. “What happened to you?”
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
“That’s not nothing.” She focused on his shoulder as she looped the stethoscope around her neck, reached for her bag and came back with gauze and supplies.
“Leave it,” he said before she could touch him. “It’s just a flesh wound.”
She dabbed at the dried blood with a wad of gauze. “The muscle’s torn. You need this stitched closed before infection sets in.”
“It’s already healing.”
“I see that but—”
He grabbed her wrist, stilling her motion. A jolt ran through him at the connection, but he ignored it. The last thing he needed was her hands on his body more than was already necessary. “I said leave it.”
Her eyes slid from the wound to his face and held. And before he realized it, he was staring into eyes like a Caribbean sunset in the human world. Eyes he’d looked into countless times before as they’d made love. Eyes he’d dreamed about numerous times in the years since until he’d woken in a cold and aching sweat.
Thoughts vanished from his mind. The connection they’d had from the first sparked deep in his chest, burned in the bottom of his soul. Tempted him to reach for her and find out if she felt it, too. He couldn’t be the only one who remembered, could he? She had to feel something when she saw him. When she stood this close. When she touched him.
Thoughts, memories, feelings he’d kept buried for a long time pushed in as he stared into her gem-like eyes. A movie of their time together flickered in front of his face. And then when he got to the part where she betrayed him, that blaze went out. Leaving behind nothing but charred ash and ruins.
It didn’t matter what she felt. Their past was over and done with. The Fates had screwed him in more ways than one. There wasn’t anything about her now that could change what had happened back then.
He dropped her hand as quickly as he’d grabbed it. Then glanced back at her sweater. “Finish the exam.”
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