Grounded By Love (The Giant Wars #2)(6)

With a sigh, Claira held up her hand to stop him. “We’ve already discussed it, Robert. You know my feelings towards you are those of a sister.”

“Of course.” He inclined his head, and then looked back up at her, but she was able to see the truth in his eyes. Robert was unable to give up on her. She could tell he would always be a thorn in her side, pestering her about marriage. How many times did he want to be told no?

“May I come in to join you for tea?” Robert asked, stepping closer to her and the doorway.

Claira shook her head. “You may talk with me, as I harvest vegetables in my garden.”

Robert inclined his head, as he moved out of her way.

Carefully, she closed the door to her cottage. She would do her best in removing Robert’s presence from her land.

An hour later, Robert left, and Claira heaved a sigh, as she walked back into her cottage. She leaned back against the closed door and slipped down to the ground.

Somehow she’d managed to get Robert out of her hair, though she was unsure how. She just worried how many close calls she might have.

Kaeldar glanced around and froze. His head was groggy, and his vision was slightly blurred, but he saw he was in a cottage of some sort. It wasn’t large enough to be the home of a rock giant, and he dwarfed the bed with his huge physique. He had to be in a human’s cottage.

Confusion rolled through him. If he was in a human’s cottage, then why wasn’t he dead?

As he came to, Kaeldar realized he was stark naked. Panic soared through him, and he reached for one of his swords or daggers.

His weapons were missing as well. A movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention. He watched, as the door to the cottage opened. His body tensed, as he waited to see who would come through.

A woman walked in, a basket on her arm full of what looked like vegetables. As she neared the fireplace, his eyes were drawn to his swords and daggers, which glinted in the firelight. They were so close, yet so far away in his condition.

He wanted to see what she would do next. He wanted to stay awake, but the darkness called him back, and his eyes closed shut.

The rock giant’s progress impressed her. He was healing well, and the fever had disappeared completely. Hopefully, it would stay gone. As he improved, she lessened his dose of the tea. There was no need for her to worry about him hurting himself further. His wound was closing up nicely.

Smiling, she opened the windows and door, to let in some fresh air. Then she left to tend to her vegetable garden. It was about time for him to get some fresh air. It might even help speed up his recovery.

Working in the garden relaxed her jumpy nerves. She loved to coax the plants to grow with her careful touch. It was the same care she gave to all her patients, even if the villagers wouldn’t have anything to do with her unless they were sick or hurt.

Claira was about to tend to the carrots, when she heard a crash come from her cottage. Bolting upright, she wiped her hands on her apron and ran to check up on the rock giant. She was afraid of what she might end up finding. Had Robert come back to her cottage, when she wasn’t looking?

As she entered the cottage, she found the rock giant on the floor. The giant must have rolled over in his sleep and right off the side of the bed.

Claira had let up on the tea, but she doubted it was low enough for him to be able to move. The dose she was giving him was still quite strong. Clearly, the rock giant was going to need a little more tea to keep him on the bed and immobile.

His breathing signaled he was semi-awake, so she went to her chair to wait. She wouldn’t be able to help him back onto the bed, until he dosed off. She didn’t want to be near him when he could lash out at her.

Once he drifted off, Claira approached and pulled him back onto the bed.

A few more days passed, and Claira made a couple trips into the village to take care of some of the injured men. She found herself feeling self-conscious and wondered if anyone suspected her of harboring a rock giant.

She needed to get the rock giant treated and out of her cottage quickly, before she started acting insane.

But the villagers treated her the same way they had before, with indifference. She eventually was able to get into her routine without feeling like everyone knew her secret. Maybe she was feeling a bit guilty for assisting the “enemy”, but she couldn’t resist.

When she came back to her cottage, Claira decided it was time for her to change the rock giant's bandage and give him yet another sponge bath. She was slightly excited about the prospect of seeing his naked skin again.

She put a hand to her head. What was she doing? She was daydreaming about an injured man! Once he was healed and out of her cottage, then she could think about his body.

As she entered the cottage, she looked towards the rock giant. He was still in her bed. Thank the heavens. Claira didn’t want to lug him back onto her bed again. He weighed so much, and she wasn’t strong.

She adjusted the healing bag she had over her shoulder, closed the door, and then went to place it on top of her chest of herbs. Time to take care of her rock giant.

Grabbing a pail of warm water and a couple towels she bent down on her knees next to the bed. She inhaled his scent. It was so masculine and tantalizing to her. Was she really lonely enough she would turn to an injured rock giant?

Flipping the blanket off his chest and down to his waist she admired the rock hard planes of his chest and abs.

Lily Thomas's Books