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Robert did not wake. Rather, he became aware he no longer slept. Moreover, he was not alone. The softness of a woman’s leg touched his foot. He lay in the pre-dawn darkness trying to remember how he had come to have a woman in his bed. His mind, traitor that it was, deserted him.
He moved. A mistake. A big mistake. His head split into two pieces and his stomach roiled through waves of nausea. He managed to fall off the edge of the bed and gather the chamber pot before his stomach erupted. Unfortunately, the noise woke his companion.
“Are you all right?” She asked.
The sound of her burr was familiar. Robert glanced up over the bed. Light green eyes, dancing with amusement, stared back at him. Who was she?
“I’m fine.” He bent his head over the pot again and emptied what remained from his supper.
“You English canna’ hold our whiskey,” she said. “I never understood why you insist on trying.” Her tone bordered on sarcasm.
Robert leaned back on his haunches. Too late, he realized he was naked. He reached for the sheet, the sudden movement bringing bile back up into his throat. He gingerly crawled onto the mattress and laid his head against the pillow. Damn his nakedness. He didn’t care. He was sure the girl had seen the unvarnished side of men before.
“Can I secure you something from the kitchen?” The girl asked. She had removed herself from the bed and now bent to take his chamber pot away.
Robert opened one eye. “Leave that. My people will take care of it. Forgive me for not being a better host. Pull the bell. I shall obtain you a ride home.” Robert wanted to die. Not only did his head ache, but also his other betrayed his maleness. Watching her watching him, he could not dismiss her beauty. Blue-black hair with silver highlights hung down her back in a free falling cape. Luminescent skin, eyes the color of celadon, and a mouth that begged for a kiss, had him squirming uncomfortably on the bed.
“I do not need to be taken home,” she said. “I shall walk.” She picked up the chamber pot and turned to go.
Robert barely heard her. He was falling back into the arms of sleep. His last thought before he succumbed to blissful pain free slumber – he would send her some money before he left.
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