Callie tucked her brother into bed and once he fell asleep, she left her room in search of her husband.
She found him outside her door, leaning against the wall with his sword beside him.
“Sin? What are you doing?”
“‘Twould appear I am sitting.”
“And why are you sitting there?”
“Because it’s rather difficult to sleep while standing.”
Callie faltered as his meaning became clear. “You are sleeping outside my door? Why?”
“Because if I slept outside of Simon’s door, the innkeeper might think I’m strange.”
His sarcasm was beginning to wear on her. Still, a smile hovered on the edges of her lips. “You could come inside and sleep.”
Sin stared at her body wrapped in plaid. Her curves evident from the light behind her, she wore her coppery hair loose around her shoulders. She looked like a goddess standing there. A breathtaking angel come to save his rotten soul.
And he wanted to devour her like some ravenous wolf. To take her into his arms and sate the aching burn in his blood. It was an urge so strong, he was quite amazed to find himself still on the floor and not inside her.
Nay, he couldn’t sleep in her room. Not with her. Not when he felt so out of control with himself. “I am quite fine where I am.”
“Sitting on the floor?”
To his astonishment, she knelt beside him and kissed him lightly on the cheek. His skin burned from the softness of her lips. “Thank you, my fierce protector. I shall sleep much better knowing you are out here growing stiff and cold.”
Sin arched a brow at her sarcasm. He was stiff all right, but far from cold.
She rose and moved back into her room. “By the way, should you see the demon Old Red Cap, please give him my best.”
Sin snorted as she closed the door. Little did his wife know, he was Old Red Cap.
Callie tried her best to sleep, but after an hour, she couldn’t stand it anymore. The thought of Sin outside on the cold floor was more than she could stand.
Getting up, she grabbed her blanket and pillow and opened the door, then paused. Sin slept with his back to her, stretched out across the doorframe.
Her heart lurched at the sight of him lying there on the cold, hard floor where his black armor no doubt bit into him. He didn’t even have a blanket to cover him. There was no way he could possibly be comfortable lying that way.
Wanting to give him whatever comfort she could, she took a step forward.
Faster than she could blink, Sin rolled over, drawing his sword and angling it at her. The tip of it was barely an inch from her throat.
She gasped in panic.
Blinking and frowning, Sin lowered his sword. “Forgive me, milady. I should have warned you that I sleep lightly and that I come awake ready to fight.”
“I shall remember that.”
Awkwardly, she handed him the pillow and blanket in her hands. “I thought you might have need of these.”
Sin stared at the items. In all his life, no one had ever seen to his comfort. Indeed, he remembered a time once when his step-mother had purchased apple drinks at a local faire for his brothers.
Barely seven, he had watched them gulp down the cider while his own parched throat had burned.
“Might I have some, too, please?” he’d asked.
His step-mother had curled her lip at him, and scowled as if he had asked her to give over one of her limbs. “Find water if you’re able. It’s free and good enough for the worthless likes of you.”
It had been the last time he had ever asked for anything. “Thank you,” he said, taking the pillow and blanket from Callie’s hand.
She smiled and returned to her room.
Sin placed the pillow on the floor and returned to lie down. As soon as his head touched it, he caught of whiff of lavender. Callie’s scent. Closing his eyes, he savored the sweet smell of her and imagined the way her thighs had felt as he ran his hand over them.
The entire time he’d touched her, all he had thought about was burying himself deep inside her. Of feeling her arms holding him tightly.
Pain assailed him. Why was she kind to him when she, even more than the others, should hate him? He was her enemy. Her father had hated all things English and yet she showed compassion and kindness to him.
Morbidly, he tucked his sword back under his body where he had learned long ago to sleep with it. The cool steel pressed against the heat of his chest as the hilt and chain mail bit into his flesh. It reminded him of what he was. A warrior. There was no place in his life for comfort. No place in his beleaguered heart for a wife.
Alone was what he knew and alone was how he intended to stay.