Chapter 26.4Mature

She ran her fingers down his cheek caringly, trying to calm him. He looked down at her for a little while longer before lying down right next to her, as close as he could. He tied his arms around her waist and placed his head on her chest. Beth was momentarily stunned, shocked to see the man she loved in such a state, but he obviously just wanted to be held. So she did, one hand going around his muscular shoulders and the other playing with his hair, stroking the black fibres, wrapping them around her fingers and holding him to her.

His trembling soon stopped and he relaxed, all tension leaving his muscles. He was calm and tranquil in her arms as she held him like a child. As his breathing slowed, becoming deeper and more even, his head became heavier and she realised he’d fallen asleep in her arms. She took the opportunity to study him.

His face was peaceful, showing none of the terror and panic it had held mere minutes previously. His lips were parted slightly and pressed against her skin in a perpetual kiss. She could feel his scars as she swept her hand up and down his back.

Beth squeezed her eyes shut and sighed heavily. What had got him so wound up? He’d clearly had some sort of nightmare, but what had it been about? Robert didn’t seem the type of man that got scared at his dreams so whatever it had been was obviously pretty terrifying.

The softness of his hair and the repetitive sweeping of his back quickly sent her to sleep.



The soft light coming through the curtains, and the quiet beeping of the alarm Beth had set the previous night told her it was time to wake up.

When she tried to move, she found herself immobilised and looked down to discover the reason why. Robert was still wrapped around her. He’d pulled her closer to him in his sleep, his head was placed squarely in the centre of her chest and his leg was wrapped around hers. In his embrace, Beth felt warm, despite the cool radiating from his body. She wished she never had to move again but she had to get up now if she had any chance of leaving the house at all.

“This is certainly a lovely position to wake up in,” she heard Robert murmur, his breath hitting her skin. Her own breathing automatically hastened in response to the feeling. “I’m sorry for last night.”

“Why?” Beth asked, stroking his hair.

“Well, for how I reacted when you woke me up.” He didn’t look up. “And for shredding your underwear.”

Beth couldn’t hold back her soft giggle.

“You can do that any time. It’s sexy,” she whispered. Robert frowned up her at bemusedly. She blushed slightly.

He shook his head disbelievingly. “What am I going to do with you, gattino?”

“Lots of things,” she murmured, loving his answering chuckle.

“Oh yes, most definitely.” Robert sat up, looking down at her. He smiled. “Now, go and get dressed while I make breakfast.”

Planting a kiss on her lips, he got up, climbing off the bed. Beth followed suit, her foot touching something soft. When she picked it up she realised it was the remains of her underwear. When she turned around, Robert was staring at her, a small smirk on his lips. She threw the fabric at him, which he caught easily, laughing as he did so. His lips curved up in a wicked grin as she stepped into the en suite.

The End

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