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Sex had just been delivered to his front door…in all its splendid glory.
Rhad stood looking down at the curvaceous woman lying across the front steps of his weather-beaten castle. With the lacy slip she wore and stiletto heels, she could have no other reason for the presentation of such a gorgeous offering.
He didn’t know whether to thank the Fates or curse them for tempting him with such a delicious creature.
His body surged to life, responding to the sight with a joyful leap. He knelt down next to the goddess and pressed his palm to her face. Her cheek was icily cold, her lips blue.
Dear God, the woman was practically dead. With a low curse, Rhad scooped her into his arms and carried her over the threshold and into the dimly lit foyer.
As he moved down the carpeted corridors, he trained his mind to perform the tasks he needed. Run the bath water. Turn down the blankets in the guest bedroom. Dim the lights. Don’t think about the softness of the woman’s body in his arms.
The woman weighed no more than a glass of his favorite Merlot, and by the time he reached the upstairs bathroom, he hadn’t expended as much energy as it took to walk to the backyard garden.
And the woman hadn’t moved nor made even the slightest of sounds. Only the slight rise and fall of her breasts outlined beneath the thin chemise assured him she was still alive.
The steam from the hot water coated the mirror, and condensation ran in rivulets down the porcelain tiles. Rhad eased the woman to the plush rug in front of the tub and checked the temperature in the water before adding several splashes of bubble bath. He needed all the help he could get keeping her delectable body covered.
She stirred and made a mumbling noise. A sense of relief which he didn’t understand washed over him, and he turned to look at her, immediately noticing the way the slip she wore had worked its way up her thigh. Her perfectly smooth thigh.
With more haste than neatness, he disrobed her and, muttering ancient prayers below his breath, lowered her into the water. Warmth coated his forearms, and the feel of slippery, wet skin made his body harden with frantic need.
The petite woman slipped into the water and let out a blissful sigh. As the steam bathed her face, the blue tint began to recede and tendrils of dark blonde hair curled against her cheeks.
The bubbles barely covered the outline of her body, but Rhad didn’t need to see. He’d already felt, and that alone would be enough to give him sweet dreams.
“Master Valentine!” The admonition came to him in rapid fire Romanian followed quickly by the slap of his housekeeper’s shoes against the marble floor.
He stood and whirled around, feeling like he’d just been caught necking behind the schoolhouse. The thought brought a grimace to his face. These days, necking had an entirely different connotation. “Madeline, calm yourself. I found this woman on the front stoop. She was frozen solid, wearing no more than a scrap of lace.”
“And you saved her out of the kindness of your heart,” the portly woman snapped in response, two spots of color riding high on her cheeks. Snatching a towel from the warming rack, she shooed him out of the way. “I’ll take over from here.”
He tossed a longing look over his shoulder and caught a quick, unfulfilled look of full breasts peeking from beneath foamy bubbles. Conjuring up thoughts of cold showers and icy boxer shorts, he mumbled his way back down the stairs.
“Do you think this is the wisest thing to do, Grandfather?” With a worried look on her face, the brunette peered in through the window of the bathroom.
“Well, I’m not exactly sure throwing her on Rhad’s step is going to make him trust her.”
She shrugged. “It was the only thing I could think to do under pressure.”
“Perhaps you should have considered leaving her some clothes.”
“I didn’t have a lot of time. She was in the middle of changing clothes when the tranquilizer took effect. You know I can’t maintain corporeal form very long. I did what I could in the little amount of time I had. I just hope it works.”