Chapter Five

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The next morning, I woke to the sound of the shower running. Thom was awake and fresh faced, sitting at the desk and sharpening his already threatening looking sword. I studied it and noticed for the first time how amazing it was. The hilt of the sword was made of, what looked like, solid gold.

Sensing my eyes on him, Thom turned and looked in my direction, smiling brightly. He seemed a lot more chipper than he had been yesterday. In front of me now was the Thom I had always known, the Thom who made my mother feel at ease, the Thom who snuck me ice cream even after Mom said I couldn't have anymore.

Involuntarily, my lips were curling up in a smile.

"You're in a good mood," I observed, sitting up.

"Today is a new day, Lucy," he said, placing the sword back into its sheath. "We're closer to Camelot and closer to getting Nicole back."

I slumped down on the bed as I retreated into my own head. It had been one full night since Mom was taken to Morgana for God knows what. I hoped that, wherever she was, she was safe.

"I went to the store earlier this morning," Thom went on, reaching over for a bag and then tossing that bag lightly at me. "I got you a few changes of clothes, a toothbrush, that face scrub you like."

I bit my lip, suddenly feeling bad that he had to spend so much of his money.

"I'm not setting you back to much, am I? I know this stuff,"—I shook the bag—"couldn't have been cheap."

Thom looked away, shrugging. "It's from the account your mother had set up. Just in case something... happened to her."

It was like Thom had drove his sword straight through my chest. I closed my eyes. We would find her. I had to believe that.

The door to the bathroom swung open and my eyes were almost burned out of their sockets by what I saw. Merlin was standing in the doorway with jeans slung just right on his hips and his shirt was off. He had a body like nothing I had ever seen in my sheltered life. Male models would gladly give their thumbs for a body like his.

I realized I was just staring at him and he was just looking at me, so I snapped my attention elsewhere, letting out an unattractive shriek.

"What the hell are you doing?" I yelled. "You can't just come out here half naked."

"I apologize," Merlin bit out, his voice was sharp but there was also a hint of something I'd never heard in his voice before: embarrassment. "I thought you would still be asleep."

"Well, I'm not," I snapped.

"And how was I supposed to know that?" Came his sharp retort. "You sleep like the dead."

I turned my attention back to him in fury, his hotness forgotten.

"I had a long day. My mother was kidnapped and I practiced a ton of magic. Forgive me for wanting to get a little sleep."

Merlin scoffed and rolled his eyes as he pulled on his shirt, covering those amazing abs. Before he could say anything, though, Thom stood.

"I'm going to go get us some breakfast now that you two are awake. There's a McDonald's right across the street, so..."

He left quickly and Merlin and I watched him with wide eyes.

"What's with him?" Merlin wondered, looking at the spot where Thom had been a few seconds before.

I shrugged, feeling kind of worried. Then, I sighed and hopped out of the bed, reaching for the bag Thom had gotten me. Once my feet touched the ground, I was hyper aware that Merlin and I were standing close to each other. Too close for comfort.

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