Simone padded to him, pulse racing. His bed-mussed hair showed her how he’d look once he enjoyed her. She fought her urge to smooth back the strands. “Bonjour.”
He made a noise that sounded aroused.
Her heart beat faster. “Finish your bacon, please. While you eat, I should change the sheet.”
He chewed quickly, swallowed, and lifted his face.
She couldn’t imagine anything more pleasant than his mouth on hers. “You can sit in the chair while I tend the bed. Let me help you to it.” She slipped her arm around his middle.
He favored his uninjured leg, brow furrowing, breath coming hard and fast.
She stroked his bandaged thigh. “Does it hurt?”
“Bloody right it does.”
He pressed her against the wall, imprisoning her wrists, his length molded to hers. “You’re driving me mad. I can’t take any more of this. I won’t.”
He slanted his mouth over hers.
She surrendered willingly, joyously, accepting his tongue, melting into him.
His savage growl told her all she needed to know. He desired her.
She’d never been more alive.
His touch branded her soul, claiming it, marking her forever. She twisted free from his hold and wreathed her arms around his shoulders, her fingers buried in his silken hair to keep him near.
Their greedy and wild kiss turned tender and slow.
She ground her hips into his, needing to be closer.
He held her so tightly nothing could come between them.
Pleasure sped from every direction, filling her.
Forever wouldn’t have been long enough to enjoy him. His bristly cheeks rasped hers, the mild sting encouraging her to yield further. She longed to wake up each morning to him and this.
They only had now.
Whatever the future brought, Simone refused to dwell on loss. She’d willingly belong to him for a moment rather than have no time at all. In two or three months, she’d say good-bye. Not today.
A fist pounded on the door.
Royce tore his mouth free and limped to the footboard, too far away from her.
“Simone.” James knocked. “Are you in there?”
“Is Royce awake?”
“Yes, I’m up.”
“Good. Tristan wants to see you as soon as you dress. I brought a clean shirt and breeches for you.”
Simone put out her hand, stopping Royce from crossing the room. “Stay where you are. Rest your leg.” She smoothed her hair and opened the door.
James handed the clothes over. “Once Royce is dressed, I’ll escort him to the dining room.”
“I have to put a new poultice and bandage on him first.”
“No rush.” He crossed his arms and leaned against the opposite wall. “I’ll wait.”
She slammed the door.
Royce washed at the basin. Water clung to his long lashes and chest hair. He scratched his throat.
“I should shave you.”
“Tristan’s not going to wait for that. I have to get dressed.”
“Not before I change your bandage.”
“It’s fine. Do you have a towel?”
She clasped the clothes to herself and kept her voice low. “I enjoyed our kiss, did you?”
He glanced around, then dried his face on the bedsheet. “What happened shouldn’t have.”
“Why not? I want you and you want me.”
“Give me the clothes.”
She twisted, keeping them from him. “Are you worried that someday you’ll leave? I know you will. We can enjoy each other until then.”
Her stomach cramped. “Why not?”
“There’s no point, no future. You deserve better than me.”