Kona carried me into my suite, locking the door behind us. I raised an eyebrow at him, but he only shrugged. Even with the queen’s guards—and my own—I’m not sure how secure it is for you here. Better to be safe than sorry. He laid me on the bed, then stood behind me, hands shoved into the back pockets of his black and gray patterned board shorts. Do you need anything?
It was the first time in months that I’d seen him look so non-plussed. He was always so confident, always seemed to know what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it, that this sudden discomfort in my bedroom was kind of charming. Okay, really charming, if I was honest.
I just want to sleep, I told him as I reached for his hand. I’m exhausted.
Stay with me?
Of course. Though it hurt, I scooted over on the bed. He settled down next to me, sliding his arm under my head so I could use his bicep as a pillow. Thanks for coming for me, I told him as I traced the intricate tattoo that softly glowed where it wound around his arm from shoulder to wrist.
Don’t be stupid, he said, dropping a kiss on my cheek. I’ll always come for you. And thanks for staying alive. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.
For one brief second, Mark’s face flashed before my eyes. Then I banished it as I had banished my feelings for him so many months before. I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have to find out.
A very good thing. His other arm wrapped around my waist, pulled me even closer. It felt so good, so deliciously warm, to be held by him that I drifted to sleep without another word.