“I don't know what to write,” I muttered, pushing my chair back away from the desk. “Anything I put on paper is going to be crap anyways,” I added with a snarl as I made an exasperated gesture at the computer. The woman with the honey blond hair sitting on my couch arched an eyebrow. She looked over to her brother, who leaned against the doorjamb and looked solemnly at me.
“It's late,” he rumbled, “Why don't you go to bed?” I looked over at him, restraining the urge to give him my best glare. His sober expression brightened at my scowl. As my frustration shone with greater clarity on my face, he laughed. His sister rolled her eyes at the two of us and sighed. “Go,” he said with a bright smile, “Go on. You need your rest. You can write tomorrow.”
I fixed the computer screen with that glare I had been contemplating when his sister said lightly, “Even authors need their sleep. Especially when they're stuck on something.” I groaned, feeling like I was a terrible hostess. At the same time, the twins were right. It was late and I did need my sleep. “Go, we'll mind the rest of this stuff. It's not like you need to be up all night,” she said breezily, “After all, it's not your job to entertain us. And my brother and I have a few things to talk about. Get some rest. We'll mind this business.” I sighed and conceded defeat to her logic.
Several hours later, I woke to find my vision obscured by a tangled web of golden hair. To my left, he lay with an arm wrapped around my waist. To my right, she was curled on her side, her body close to mine. Their hair lay tossed over my face like some kind of silken veil, as though dainty fairies had draped each strand with the greatest of care. I was starting to think about getting up when his arm about my waist tightened slightly.
His sleep roughened voice murmured in my ear, “Warm. Stay here.” His sister said nothing but snuggled closer to me. I reached blindly for the blanket when his hand and mine touch. I felt something like an electric thrill race up my arm from that contact. I could feel him smile. He sat up slightly and pulled the blanket and the small pile of furs up over the three of us.
Within that nest of warmth, I realized that I felt entirely safe and at peace. It was a realization that surprised me. I rolled over to face him. Long strands of hair fell between us. He smiled at me in the whisper of shadow cast by his hair. It was a lover's smile. Not a lustful one but one of deep sweetness and affection.
I blushed and suddenly looked away from his face. His callused right hand lightly cupped my cheek and resisted my effort to look away from him. At that slight assertion of control, I looked to his eyes. Eyes the color of green grass seemed to glow as I looked deeply into them. “Just be,” he said softly.
Carefully, he gathered me closer. His face a breath away from mine, I realized that I had no choice but to look at him or close my eyes. Panic whirled up like a bird beating against a cage. “Shhh,” he soothed, placing his fingertips over my lips. My heart hammered and my mouth went dry.
“Shut up and kiss her,” his sister grumbled, pulling a greater share of the blanket over herself.
My eyes widened as he smiled. His hand moved away from my face and the urge to flee lashed at me. At the same time, that terrible sweetness in his eyes held me pinned in place. Gently, he brushed the hair out of our faces. I stared at him helpless and horrified and hopeful all at the same time. He rolled forward.
His body settled against mine, pressing me down into the mattress. I gave a startled squeak and he chuckled softly. “Little mouse,” he said, his tone both teasing and endearing. As his mouth closed over mine, I closed my eyes and shivered. Slowly, I melted into that kiss, my mouth opening slightly to sigh.
Tenderly, his tongue moved over the inside of my lower lip and slid against mine in an intimate caress. His hands moved, seemingly of their own accord to hold my face between their warmth. Somehow, my hands found their way to the thicket of hair over his heart. Fingertips nestled in those wheat gold curls, I could feel his body heat like pure summer sunlight against my skin and the steady throb of his heartbeat beneath his. Dizzy and confused by the mixture of delight and desire that rose up within me, I did nothing but shiver and sigh. He laughed softly, breaking the kiss to bury his face against the hollow of my throat.
Holding me tightly against himself, I heard him whisper against my skin, “Soon.” I felt as though the world swam with beauty and that I was captured by a sunbeam. Even as a part of my yearned to tumble into that riot of pure delight, I trembled. Fear had snaked its way into my heart.
He gave a pained groan. “I will free you from its grasp,” he vowed quietly, “I will find away and you will laugh again.” I closed my eyes and did my best to push the fear that all of this was little more then a dream aside. He kissed me again. There was a desperate hunger in that hard kiss and a promise that more was waiting for when I was ready.
Confused and ashamed of my resurgent fears, I closed my eyes and wept. He rolled to his back and set my head against his chest. I listened to the reassuring pulse of his heart even as his sister wrapped herself about us and drew the covers close, knowing that I needed warmth to ease the terror of past trauma out of me. As he held me, he whispered, “Soon.”