Arabel stopped massaging David for a moment. She knew what took place in the marriage bed required great sacrifice for the woman. Once, when she'd been collecting herbs near the nunnery she'd seen a man take a woman in the woods. The woman had moaned and cried out.
A tremor passed through her. Arabel knew the marriage bed contained indignities for the woman, but the actual sight of such an act had appalled her. Why had the woman submitted? Although the woman had grimaced and groaned she had not beaten the man off. When Arabel had run back to inform the head sister of such savagery, the nun had admonished her for looking and told her to pray.
She avoided Sir David's keen-eyed stare as she worked the salve into his arm. Heat prickled along her spine. "I'll not be discussing the marriage bed with you. I know enough to tell you to mind your own business. I can see from the gleam in your eye, you've too much interest in the subject for a wounded man."
"So the nuns taught you what's involved? I wonder how they learned it?"
The man was an outrageous tease. "Sir David! Enough! Prayers were involved," she answered before twisting the top back on the salve.
"Lots of them, I'm sure," he answered drolly.
A smile started to form on her lips but she suppressed it. This was the cheekiest knight she'd ever met and he seemed to be undressing her with his gaze. The problem was, she could feel her own body heating, her nipples pebbling in response. This had never happened before. Never in her life had she been interested in exploring a man's body except for healing purposes, but this knight was the most perfectly formed man she'd ever come across. Her fingers had almost taken on a life of their own, wanting to dance over his chest and push against his muscles just to feel their strength. With this knight, she wanted to remove his long shirt, see him naked and she had the perfect excuse to do so. "I need to touch along your groin. Do not be alarmed."
"What would you be looking for?" His sage-green eyes sparkled under thick, black eyelashes and his lips turned up in a smile.
"Your humors are out of balance because of your thigh wound." She ran her fingers lightly over his tunic along his groin on his right hand side. "I can feel swelling."
"Aye. So I believe."
She frowned at him. Did he not know that a wound like his could be serious? "This is no cause for mirth. It means your fever will become worse. I must cleanse your injury because if it becomes infected you may die."
Thank God for pain or she'd be feeling another swelling soon if her hands moved a little to the left, David thought. He didn't want to shock a girl who thought to be a nun. The great maw of hell would be opening up to claim him for the wicked thoughts that flooded through him when she was close.
"I'll try to be gentle. The nuns said my touch is soothing. I hope you will find it so."
David coughed and covered his mouth with his hand. Calming was not how he would describe her touch right at the moment. He wanted her to keep caressing him. He wanted her to sooth his wounds. He shouldn't tease her, not when she was so vehement, but he couldn't help himself. If she continued the light touching she'd done under his arms, across his abdomen and near his cock, the tunic he wore would be rising on its own accord. Did she not realize what she was doing to him? Even in his fever, she made his blood fire more than was healthy for a man fresh from battle.
He breathed deeply, attempting to behave as a knight should with a lady. "Your skills are wasted in a convent. No doubt you have plenty of sick and wounded to treat here."
"My brother prefers me not to practice my skills on my male kin. He thinks it's unseemly in a maid, though I'm allowed to treat women."
Her hands moved to the other side of his body and she pressed lightly on his groin above his left leg, her fingers just inches from his stubborn erection. "Good, there's no swelling here."
David let out a long sigh of relief, the embarrassing humiliation of his erection averted for the moment. "You're very unusual for a maiden. Why did your brother allow you to treat me?"