1) What is your impression of Emil?
2) What do you think Zezilia thinks of him?
3) Where do you think this relationship is going to go?
A knock at the door interrupted my morning study time in the Revelation. I glanced at the morning sunlight outside my window. Airiana would be arriving for her lesson this morning, but it was still too early for her. Perhaps she needed to discuss something she read.
Whispering a quick apology to the Almighty, I rose and dressed. A second knock sounded, this one a bit more urgent. I hurried from my bedchamber to the front of the cottage.
“Is something wrong, Airi?” I asked as I opened the door only to look up into a face that was far too masculine to be my pretty student. “Emil?”
“Hi, beautiful.” He grinned and then winced when the skin pushed against the freshly stitched cut above his cheekbone.
“You should be in bed.”
“Nothing wrong with me aside from a few bruises. You saw to that.”
“You need rest.”
“I have had enough resting to not sleep for a month. What do you think I was doing while I was keeping away from those satoes?” He looked over my shoulder. “You going to ask me in?”
“No.” I grabbed my cloak from the hook just inside the doorway, stepped out onto the stoop, and pulled the door closed behind me. “Inviting a man inside would be completely inappropriate.” I thrust one arm beneath the cloak and struggled to slide the whole thing over my shoulders.
“Good point.” He lifted the cloak and draped it over my shoulders. “Hadrian would have my skin if I did anything unsuitable.”
“What are you doing here?” I swatted his hands away from the catch when he tried to close it beneath my chin.
“I am just trying to figure out how to say thank you to the woman who saved my life.”
I rolled my eyes and straightened to my full height. Unfortunately Hadrian’s brothers, including Emil, shared his trait of being abnormally tall. The thought of Hadrian sent a jolt of longing through me. I missed him.
“Waking her at an abnormally early hour is such a grand gesture.”
He laughed. “Are you always this pleasant in the morning?”
“Only when a patient of mine doesn’t follow orders.”
“Oh, so that is what made you grumpy. You worry about my health.” He softened the lines of his face, slipping into an obviously practiced look of innocence. “If you walk me back to my room, I will stay there like a good boy.”
“Can’t.” I pulled the heavy wool material closer about me as the wind picked up again.
“Truth. My student is due here in an hour and I need to fix and eat a meal before then.”
He brightened. “I haven’t eaten breakfast. Perhaps—”
He started to pout, but I looked away. “Go back to your room. I am sure the nurse on duty will bring you a hot breakfast to rival your wildest dreams.” Defenders tended to be admired by everyone, injured veterans were even more so among the young female nurses.
I opened the door without turning around. Backing up, I slid halfway inside. “Now go before I summon someone.”
“Fine.” He stepped back. “Promise I will see you later today?”
“No promises.” I slipped inside the rest of the way inside and closed the door with a sharp click.
A half hour later, Airiana arrived. She breezed in the door with happy greeting and swept off her cloak. Joining me at the work table, she placed her books at her usual place and sat down. “There is a very handsome man sitting right outside your door.”
I lifted my attention from the passage I was reading on teaching mass moving. Her face glowed, but that could have been from the chill in the air. “Did he introduce himself?”
“Something about being a patient of yours and needing to have a promise before he left. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, but he did look very chilled.”
I groaned. “I told him to go back to the healing wards.” Shoving away from the table, I stood to my feet.
“Be nice to him, Zez. He is awfully handsome despite the nasty bruises and that cut.” She opened her Code book and started reading with much more intensity than necessary.
“I am not interested in him.”
“I know.” She met my gaze with eyes that nearly danced with amusement. “But the Sept Son isn’t here. He would never know. Besides, he is—”
“Handsome, you said.” I frowned. “And you are married.”
“It hard not to notice things sometimes.”
I headed toward the door into the gardens.
Opening the door, I didn’t even wait for Emil to acknowledge me. “You need to leave.”
He did look cold huddled there. “I want a promise that I will see you later today.”
“I have a shift this afternoon. I check on all my patients then.”
“Promise.” He smiled slightly.
Despite it being all an act, he did have a way about him. “I will come and see you. Now go.”
He stood slowly and started off down the path. I waited until he turned the corner onto the main way before closing my door and returning to my lesson with Airiana.
I hoped you enjoyed it. :) Hopefully I will have more for you next week.