He looked away at the far wall and closed his eyes. I watched him take a few deep breathes, his throat working to swallow the air. When he looked back at me his eyes were calm and steady.
“I’m still waiting for an answer.” Kale reminded me.
I was scared. Scared and moved at the same time which made me confused as hell. I should hate Kale but I didn’t somehow. This episode had scared me badly but deep down inside myself I had to admit that a thrill had shot down my spine. I had never had a man look at me so passionately before. To be desired so strongly was like a drug that feed my senses. I was pulled in two directions. Part of me wanted to run while the other half wanted to see what would happen next.
“I’ll try.” I managed to say.
“Try what?” Kale asked.
“I’ll try to meet you halfway.” I finally said.
Kale stood up from the bed and made me jump as I hadn’t been expecting him to do that. He shook his head when he saw my reaction.
“The first thing I think I need to get you to understand is that I won’t hurt you.” Kale told me. “I don’t want you to jump every time I move or talk.”
“You hurt me when you pulled me from my family.” I pointed out.
Kale moved toward me and I tried to back away but my back hit the wall and he was suddenly there. He opened his arms to embrace me as I struggled to get free. He hung on to me as I swore and tried to hurt him but didn’t seem to be affecting him at all. Being so ineffective made me finally cry. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I continued to struggle against the embrace.
“Shhhhh.” Kale was saying softly to me. “It’s okay. Get it out and let it go. You know I won’t hurt you…”
It was very much like the first time he had calmed me down when he had put his clawed hand on me. And like last time it seemed to work somewhat as the anger leaked out of me. My muscles strained and I couldn’t fight anymore. I went weak against Kale and sobbed quietly.
“It’s okay. Your okay Kheri. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“W-what’s going to happen to me?” I finally muttered into Kale’s shirt.
He heard me and answered back with a little sigh that had his chest rising and falling with my head tucked against it. It felt odd to be cuddled by him. I didn’t want to like it but it was hard not to.
“I think that’s up to you.” Kale told me. “I cannot leave you alone. Not right now. You know that. So going to your parent’s home is out. At least for now. Which means we either stay here or go off somewhere to be alone.” He began rubbing my back softly. “I know my family can be hard to put up with. Would you prefer going somewhere else?”
“Like where?” I asked curiously.
“Well there’s a cabin on our property we could go to.” He said. “We actually have three on our land to pick from. Any one of those could work. We would be alone but also without electricity.”
When I didn’t answer, Kale patted my back. “That’s okay. You think about it.”
My arms had hung down at my sides while we talked. Now I brought them up and tried to brush the left over tears from my eyes. Droplets stuck to my lashes and made my hands wetter still.
Kale noticed of course and began walking me toward the bathroom. “Why don’t we get you a wet clothe. It’ll make you feel better.”
True to his word, Kale got me a wet washcloth after I made it to the bathroom. I sat on the edge of the bath tub as he softly ran the cloth over my face. I went to take it from him but Kale pushed my hands away muttering about how I needed to let him take care of me sometimes.
It felt good to be cared for. I felt myself shaking a little as nerves died down to be replaced with relief. I didn’t know how to feel or what to think anymore. How could a man who held me hostage be so gentle? And why was my body betraying me? Even now I felt myself relaxing into Kale’s touch as he swiped the cool clothe over my face. In my head I knew he was doing it longer then necessary. That I should put a stop to it. But here I was sitting on the side of the bath tub silent and accommodating. The truth was, I was tired of fighting, being scared and angry all at once as tender emotions somehow creeped up on me.
“There now.” Kale lifted my hair away as he made to sweep the cloth behind my neck. “How do you feel?”
I sighed. “Confused.”
Kale’s lips lifted slightly in a kind-of-smile. “The same as me then.”
The wet clothe felt like heaven as it hit the back of my neck. Unconsciously I found my head lowering so he could have full access. Why wasn’t I scared? Why did this feel right somehow?
“Your hair is so soft Kheri” Kale whispered drawing my eyes back to him and finding him rubbing my long hair against his cheek. “Like silk.”
I think that was probably my undoing. Never had a man done anything so intimate and romantic with me before. Watching Kale rub my hair against his cheek and turn to breathe it in made my body tighten. I sat still as a stone unable to stop the thrill of emotion that fluttered through me.
He had pulled the clothe away and laid it on the side of the tub so he could use his other hand. His eyes caught mine as he brought both hands up to smooth the strands between his fingers. There was a fire in his eyes. There might have been one in mine too because I was caught up in the moment. But when Kale leaned in to kiss me, that’s when the moment broke. I was still a little scared of him and it spooked me enough to draw me out of my
trance. I pulled my head back.
Kale let my hair trail through his fingers as I backed away. Then he let his hands drop and I saw him shake himself out of the moment. He stood up. We were so close that I could not help noticing the bulge in his pants which made me gasp and turn my head even as another thrill shivered down my spine. I liked that I had caused that reaction in him even as it made me nervous. What the hell was wrong with me?
Kale cleared his throat. “I need to go take a walk. I’ll be back for lunch.” He started to walk out of the bathroom but stopped to look back at me over his shoulder. “I’m leaving the door open. Trusting you not to run off. If I come back and find you left the house, I’ll be very angry Kheri. You haven’t really seen me angry yet and you don’t want to so don’t push your luck.”