“Sherra, I need that gauze,” Doc snapped. “Stop ogling that chest and hand it to me.”
She jerked upright, aware of Kane slowly straightening as much as Doc would allow. She handed him the gauze, her mind a morass of confusion. She had never expected to see such scarring on the man she had come to think of as invincible over the past months. Her own anger and tangled emotions aside, she knew she had never imagined a time that she could conceive anyone actually wounding Kane enough to immobilize him. She hadn’t completely believed Merinus until now. She stood there, disbelief filling her as she helped Doc automatically. Handing him what he needed when it was needed, fighting the guilt and rage that filled her each time his muscles bunched. He didn’t whimper or flinch, he endured the pain as though it were no more than an irritation.
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“You didn’t need too many stitches, but this wound is a mess,” Doc said as he applied the last stitch.
“You need to allow it to rest for a while. I’ll change the bandages daily, give you a shot for the pain tonight and keep an eye on it. If it gets infected we’ll be in for a battle. We don’t want that to happen.”
Kane only grunted.
Sherra stood silently as Doc gave him an injection for the pain, then bandaged the shoulder.
“Can you get him to his room?” he asked Sherra. “Everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. They’ll let him get back in the fray rather than putting him to bed where he should be when this shot takes effect.”
“I’ll take care of it.” She nodded firmly, meeting Kane’s smirk as his head raised. Damn him, even wounded he had to be a mocking ass.
“He’ll be pretty dazed until he goes to sleep. Stay with him.” Her gaze flew back to the doctor as she began to prepare her excuses.
Was he insane? Stay with Kane? He was well aware of the effect that just being on the same property with him caused. He knew damned good and well what the same room would do.
“Don’t you give me that look, girl,” Doc snapped. “Someone has to stay with him and you’re the only one here. Now get him out of here.”
“Come on, kitten.” Kane’s voice was tired as he pushed himself to his feet, his other hand gripping the wounded arm. “Come tuck me in all nice and quiet and I’ll let you go peacefully.”
“Stay with him,” Doc snapped again as Kane finished speaking. “No argument.”
The world was just out to get her, Sherra decided as she pushed herself against Kane’s side, looping her arm around his bare back.
“I want a damned bath,” he informed her stiffly as they moved from the room. “I’m not touching my clean bed like this.”
She sighed. Yes, the world was out to get her. She prayed someone, anyone, would be available to help him other than her. She moved him to the elevator and hit the button for the main floor where Kane had taken a room. Thankfully, it would open up not far from his door.
“Did you get the bastard?” he asked her as they entered the elevator.
“Yeah. I growled at him and showed some teeth. He passed out cold. I wish they’d at least send someone with backbone. These pansies faint if you smile at them the wrong way.”
Kane grunted. He was leaning heavily against her as the doors opened, though, an indication that the painkiller was beginning to affect him.
“Let’s get you to bed.” She led him from the box and toward his room.
“Bath first,” he reminded her as he breathed in deeply. “I swear to God, this day has been hell.”
It was a new day, but she wasn’t about to point that out to him. It was after two in the morning and dawn wasn’t far away. She knew he was up before five every morning and usually still awake at midnight. He worked as hard, if not harder, than any of her family.
“Fine. Bath.” What could it hurt? She would put him in the tub, wash his back for him and make sure she was there when he was ready to get out. No big deal. She knew Doc’s drugs. They would make him a little dazed, kind of woozy, but he could stand up on his own. She couldn’t anticipate what was to come.
He couldn’t unbutton the snug jeans. His arm was useless. Swallowing tightly, she unbuttoned them with trembling fingers, more than aware of the thick bulge beneath them. Keeping her eyes carefully averted, she eased them and his snug briefs down his powerful legs before he sat on the small chair beside the tub and let her unlace his boots.
Finally, gloriously na**d and heavily aroused, he was able to step into the wide tub and lean back against it wearily. His head rested on the back, his eyes closing.
“You can’t go to sleep, Kane.” She was shaking as she watched the head of his c**k bob along the tanned flesh of his abdomen. Only Kane would have a hard-on while he was half dead. It was just her luck.
“I’m awake,” he muttered. “Just give me a minute.”
He lifted his good arm, his fingers scratching lazily at his scarred chest. She followed the action, her eyes held captive by the thin scars, her heart aching at the pain they must have caused.
“He caught me outside the lab grounds,” Kane said softly, causing her head to raise, her gaze to meet his.
His eyes were dilated and drowsy now.
“I’m sorry.” She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to feel.
“Bastard thought he could bury me and just walk away,” he said softly, though his voice throbbed with anger and pain. “I managed to dig myself out and crawl through the brush. Some hikers finally found me. Half dead, fevered. They got me to a hospital, but I was pretty out of it by then. It was weeks before they were able to find out who I was. Months before I was coherent. By the time I was able to get help to you…” he swallowed tightly, “the labs were gone. They said everyone had died. Nothing was left.”
He closed his eyes again.
She thought he had just walked away. She covered her face with her hands. Even after Callan and Merinus had told her what Dayan said, she still hadn’t believed it. Not completely. Not clear to her heart. She didn’t until now.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered again.
He shook his head slowly. “Fuck it. Help me wash this grime from my body, Sherra, so I can at least sleep a while. I’ll figure the rest of it out tomorrow.”
Sherra felt her heart slam into her chest. Her pu**y was screaming out in victory. Her hands were almost vibrating in pleasure at the thought of stroking his flesh, even with the barrier of a washrag against it. Slowly, she knelt beside the tub and lifted the clean cloth from the small basket hanging on the edge. Dipping it into the water she lifted the bar of soap.