Elysia had only seen Lorik this bad once before, and it was the night he’d agreed to throw his life away to see justice against Thorne Thaaxune done.
He was sinking back there because of her.
Because she’d tested him rather than trusted him.
After all they had seen together, all they’d been through, she’d known Sy wouldn’t win. But Lorik hadn’t known that, and she wanted him to give him that knowledge.
Elysia sheathed her sword and offered him her hand. He looked at the whiskey and then at her.
“Please.” Her voice was little more than a whisper, but she knew he’d come. Lorik had never denied her anything, not even joining her on this fool’s errand.
Lorik groaned, but he pushed the glass away and followed her back to their room.
She closed and locked the door, then took off her armor.
Lorik climbed into bed and faced the wall, counting backward from 100 as he controlled his breathing.
She sat on the bed beside him.
“We both need our sleep. Go to bed,” he grunted. “Sy is too scared of you to come back.”
The hint of regret in his words stung her. She reached for him, then drew back her hand. “The Light doesn’t forbid physical contact.”
“Good thing, because I’ve seen you slay a dozen zombies with one strike. Wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that.”
“That’s not what I meant.” She lifted his hand and laid it against her cheek.
“I know what you meant.” He turned and met her intense violet gaze. “And you have no idea what you’re saying. No idea what I want to do with you.”
His dark hair curled over his cheek. He was as battered and worn as his armor. Used and hardened by it. But he was still a good man. One of the best she’d ever met. And she loved him all the more for the dents and dings. Because he’d endured them, and they had toughened him, but they hadn’t broken him.
Lorik thumbed over her cheek as the heat of him caressed her through her shift and the scent of him stole through her.
“Show me,” she whispered as she leaned forward and touched her lush full lips against his.