|5| BODILY HARM |:| (***Unedited Draft***)

Ianca paused before rounding the corner into the living space. Her wet curls laid haphazard around her head. She pulled the flannel shirt tighter against her body as she watched her knight. He crouched in front of the fireplace and lit the paper that engulfed the logs in bright orange and red dancing flames.

She chuckled to herself. Knights were only in fairytales she knew that, but the girl in her that fawned over their heroics couldn’t help but dream.

He stood and limped to the island counter. It was strange to her how he had an injury from war, yet she had no doubt about how capable he was of keeping her safe. She gnawed on her bottom lip watching the serious set of his face, his strong facial features and military appointed haircut. She knew he was retired, but the man didn’t seem to shake some of the details which she found alluring. Her chest pressed against her rib cage when she noticed he was bleeding.

“Let me get that for you.” She tucked her coils behind her ear and averted her eyes, because he just stared at her. She was certain he had no idea who she was by the look on his face.

He cleared his throat and brought his gaze to his injuried hand. “It’s okay. I’ve dressed worse than this.”

“Ah, yes. The seasoned miltary man. What ever could he need the help of a silly ninny of a social media personality?”

He glanced over at her and caught her smirk. He sat on the bar stool and extended his hand to her. “Okay then. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

She cleared her throat to cover the gasp when she took his large rough hand in her own. She examined the damaged appendage then grunted. “Not so bad.” She cleaned it with alcohol and swabs. It had already started to scab. She took the wrapping and went to work covering the exposed flesh.

“Not bad.” The man’s voice rummbled over the words in a way that made her look up from under her lashes to find his hazel eyes. Wasn’t he a work of art? All muscle and angled jaw and-- “Who taught you how to dress a wound?”

“My mom. My dad would come home sometimes with wounds.”

He frowned. “A business man coming home with injuries like this?”

Damn. She said too much as is. “He boxed for exercise.”

“Ah.” The man nodded. “I thought you were talking about your biological father. It must be hard with your father being Ian Solvok, to know exactly who’s responsible for all these attacks, huh?”

She paused cleaning up the wound tending stuff at the mention of her father’s given name. “I’m afraid I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

The man laughed. “We’re not done yet.”

She swallowed when the heat from his hand on her arm flowed through her body. He lifted his shirt and liquid lava filled her from the inside out and settled between her legs. Her eyes grazedover the smooth tanned muscles there. She cleared her throat when she noticed the cut on his side.

“Oh!” She started on cleaning up the wound. It was small barely broke the skin. “This one’s not so bad. No need to wrap it.”

“Very good.” There was silence as she finished up her task. “You don’t have to lie. Everyone knows your connection with Ian.”

“I wish I knew--”

“Stop Ianca. Your life depends on it. Until Ian is taken down your life will always be in danger.”

“How do I know its not the FBI or CIA aren’t behind all these attacks?”

“They aren’t. Trust me. They couldn’t find their asses if it weren’t a hole in their backsides.”

He exhaled. “I want to keep you safe. That’s the job you appointed to me, but I don’t think I can do that if you’re not forthcoming.” He let her go and pushed to standing.

“Adrian will handle it.”

He frowned. “Oh, yeah, because he’s doing such a good job thus far. It’s a miracle nothing happened to you tonight or at the club.”

There was a long silence as she fought in her mind. “Ian wouldn’t hurt me.”

He perched on the chair again.

She glanced up at him from under her lashes. “He never wanted the world to know about me. My true birth family was hidden. THe lengths he went to keep me off anyones radar was above and beyond. The only people who knew were my mother and uncle Adrian. Oh, and Ian’s wife and oldest son.”

“Your adoptive mother or birth mother?”

“One in the same. Despite what people think about him, Ian is my father. He loved my mother. Growing up, I saw him all the time often many times a year and have all my life.”

“Maybe the wife is getting him back for his infidelity.”

“That iceberg of a woman wouldn’t even know how to care. I met her when I was a young child before I knew about the circumstances of things. She was-- a piece of work.”

“Hmm,” he grunted and pulled out his phone. He typed something out and sent the message. He exhaled his gaze examining her with a furrowed brow. “Why do you wear the hair and the contacts?”

She smirked. “It’s my uniform. Helps me get into character. Besides. People don’t want me. They want the Cotton Candy Princess. She’s fun and carefree and desirable. You can’t forget rich.”

He let a few of her damp curls flow through his fingers. “You’re prettier like this.”

She felt the heat fill her cheeks as her eyes averted to her bare feet.

He cleared his throat and stood abruptly. “Sorry, that was inappropriate. It’s been a long day--” He gasped, when she touched his shirt. She grabbed the fabric in her fist when he didn’t make a move away from her and slid her other hand over his chest and rested her arm on his shoulder. She looked up at him and the air caught in his lungs when his clenched jaw and flaring nostrils accompanied his intense glance.


There was a short pause before he responded. “Hmm?”

“Why did you bring me here?”

“This is the safest place I know.”

She closed her eyes reveling at the tone of his voice. “What is this place to you?”

He slid his hand to cradle the nape of her neck. “Home.”



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