(Christmas Cookies – Depositphotos)
I should have gotten a lot more done this weekend. Except I’m currently trying to fight off some ick. I’ve been chugging tea all day, in hopes of making my throat feel better. It doesn’t. I had hot and sour soup for lunch. It didn’t help. I finally broke down and took some cold meds for the slight fever I had earlier in the afternoon.
I had big plans to figure out cookies to bake next weekend, and maybe start on the grocery list. Instead, what I’d really like to do is curl up in bed. If it was a different week, I might seriously consider taking off from the day-job, but we have a pretty busy couple of days coming up, so I’ll go to bed early tonight and medicate, and keep my germs to myself while we get through Tuesday. Then we’ll see.
I’m going to attempt to get something done this evening before my early bedtime, but before I do, I have a little story snippet for you, from Hunting Medusa.
Andi realized before she opened her eyes that the Harvester was sleeping with his arm around her. It was why she was so warm.
She frowned and peered through her eyelashes. Early light shone in the window on the other side of the room. The last thing she remembered was racking her brain trying to figure out if the Harvester had any other special talents he hadn’t told her about besides the lock thing. Now she was beneath the sheet and blanket, and his body heat warmed the back of her even more.
She shifted slightly, and knew when he came fully awake.
“Good morning, Andrea.”
She didn’t answer, setting her jaw.
His fingers slid slowly over her belly as he withdrew his arm, and she ground her teeth against the surge of PMS-fueled desire, certain the caress was a deliberate tease. Not that she’d give in to her hormones again. Not with him.
“We have work to do today.”
She shut her eyes.
“I have something for you.”
Something soft brushed her cheek, and she realized it was the sleep mask. She jerked her head away.
“You did agree.” His tone was patient.
She glared at the dresser and watched a big gouge mark appear on the side.
“Ah, yes, definitely time for this.” He chuckled and slipped it over her head.
Andi kept her mouth shut, hoping she didn’t grind her molars to dust.
“Do you want to hear our plans for the day?”
She curled her fingers into a fist beneath the blankets, trying to tell herself it was best if she didn’t hit him again today. Not three days in a row.
“No? You’re not at all curious?” He adjusted the mask, then touched the short hair at her nape. “I have something I want you to see, but it will have to wait for a day or two now. Today, we’re going to figure out a place to go to avoid my cousin when he gets back from Ohio.”
She jerked her head in his direction before she could stop herself.
“Mm. Yes, it seems Cousin Stavros got orders from our great-uncle to follow my hot lead there instead of heading here to follow up on his own leads. That gives us a few days to decide what to do.”
She turned her head away again on the pillow, considering. She hadn’t actually seen the entire message he’d posted, just the part about being on her trail and that he would complete his assignment in the next few days. She hadn’t seen where he told them he was.
He patted her hip. “Come on. Time to get up.”
She sat up reluctantly, her mind awhirl. It was possible he had actually lied to his cousin. But why? Because he wanted the glory for himself? Because he wanted the amulet even more desperately? She couldn’t begin to guess at his reasoning.
His strong hands settled at her waist to lift her to her feet.
She stumbled, off-balance from her imposed blindness, and he steadied her against him.
She took a step back, bumping into the bed, and he chuckled.
“I don’t think you’ll make it down the stairs this way.”
“I’m fine,” she said stiffly, reaching out to push him away.
He flattened her hand on his chest so she could feel his strong heartbeat. “I meant with the handcuff.”
She clenched her jaw.
He undid the cuff, and she wondered idly if he’d used the key or his handy talent. Then he caught her wrist in his free hand and turned her.
She concentrated on getting out of the room without crashing into anything. Or into him. She made it down the stairs without incident, then sat when he gave her a gentle nudge into a chair at the kitchen table.
“What would you like for breakfast?”
He was silent for a few seconds, and she smiled, childishly pleased with herself.
“For a woman who’s just missed out on what was bound to be a very unpleasant encounter with Stavros, you don’t sound very grateful,” he said at last.
“One Harvester or another.” She shrugged.
His silence this time was more protracted, and tension filled the room.
She realized he may not just be thinking of his task, but of what had occurred between them already. She felt heat in her cheeks, suddenly grateful he was behind her.
Eventually, she heard him moving on the other side of the island, and she relaxed a little. Her belly twinged, and she stifled a sigh. Right on time. She stood up.
“Where are you going?”
“Bathroom.” She felt her way to the end of the table, mentally reviewing the space ahead of her. About fifteen steps to the half bath between the kitchen and living room, and no furniture in her path.
He didn’t argue, but his footsteps came nearer, and then his fingers caught her wrist.
“I can get there on my own.”
“I’m sure you can.” Nonetheless he guided her along the short hallway. “I’d hate for you to bump into anything and bruise yourself.” He released her at the doorway.
Andi didn’t flip him off as her first instinct suggested, but instead went into the smaller room and closed the door firmly—she hoped right in his face. She flipped the sleep mask up and glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the sink. Her spiky hair would have to wait. Right on cue, another cramp made her flatten one hand low on her belly.
A few minutes later—some aspirin washed down with a little water and her hair finger-combed—she hesitated for a few seconds, then tugged the sleep mask back down and fumbled for the doorknob. He might not still be standing outside the door, so if she walked back to the kitchen without the mask, he’d have time to turn away before she could do any damage to him. And he had held up his part of their bargain last night by producing the scissors she wanted.
Kallan met her at the door and guided her back to the table. “Do you need anything else?”
“The couch and a heating pad in about half an hour.” She sat. If he intended to wait on her, then he could really wait on her.
One of his hands brushed over the top of her head as he moved away. “I’ll see what I can do about that.”
She frowned. “And stop touching me.”
He muttered something she couldn’t quite hear, then banged a pan onto the stovetop.
Our nearly-19-year-old kitty seems to be having some issues, too, today. We could use some good thoughts while we wait for the vet to come take a look at her tomorrow.
Did you get everything done this weekend that you wanted? Or did you have other things get in your way? Have a good week!
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