"You can sleep in my tent tonight."
That voice; rough, deep… and angry. I didn't know what to say. His metallic eyes were sternly fixed on mine and I nodded. He turned around and disappeared in his tent without waiting for me.
The fire was just a pile of glowing embers now and I could see my breath again. I stood there, frozen, and the cold night swallowed me. I really only had two options, I reasoned.
I could spend the night in a warm tent with an obviously annoyed and armed stranger, albeit an extremely good looking one who had been kind enough to feed a lost girl and a small child.
Or I could face another sleepless night outside, alone in the frosty nigh, waiting for the damp morning.
Without a moment of hesitation, I clumsily crawled into Nicholas’ tent.
The sight of him took me by surprise. It was mind numbing. He was lying down on some furs, half covered by a heavy wool throw. He had taken off his hunting coat and his wide chest was visible in the dim light of a lonely candle. My eyes traced more markings and convoluted scars down his hard body. His chest rose when he breathed in deeply, noticing my obvious gawking. I looked away quickly, a blush burning my cheeks. With a sharp move he opened the covers next to him.
What the heck was I doing? I could not believe I was going to bed with a stranger, but I was too shattered to think anymore. Two pools of molten silver were staring at me when I joined him, shaking from head to toes. His perfectly sculpted face was intense, a serious frown adding a few years to his youthful looks. I could not help but notice he was very unhappy with me. I didn't know what to say. I must look as bad as I smell, I realized disheartened. My wavy blond hair was a mess of tangles sticking to my neck. I had not washed or changed clothes in two days despite having sweated a lifetime's worth. I felt ashamed.
I lay down on the fur fully dressed and pulled the soft throw to my chin. I was warm for the first time in ages. But I could not relax. My heart was beating so loudly I was pretty sure he could hear it. This was miles away from my comfort zone. I tried very hard not to look at the god who was lying next to me, staring at the corner of the tent instead. An awkward silence settled between us, only our breathing audible in the nearly black tent. Our breathing and my runaway heart of course. How could he have such an effect on me? A few boys had gone as far as to ask me out before, but I had never been interested enough to say yes. The bed was not very wide, which did not help my nerves. I could feel his arm touching mine, hot on my skin despite the barrier of my jumper. I briefly wondered how that was possible before mercifully falling asleep.
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