Evah has been healing the Wyoran village of Senatha for months, but when Rapal is brought to her savaged and dying, her skills are pushed to the limit. So is her self control. No other man has woken the woman beneath the healer, but will he stay long enough to enjoy the result?
Reaching the baths was a relief, and as usual, there was no one in them. Hot springs provided a constantly circulating supply of water at varying temperatures depending on where the pool had been dug. She put a chipper note into her voice, "Well, I will be over there in the tepid section, feel free to call me when you are done." It was standard for men to start at the hot pools and work their way over to the lower temperatures. Days when her back ached from bending over patients she longed for that hot water, but the burns that she healed made her ridiculously sensitive to high temperatures. So, tepid it was.
"You have healed burns?"
"Ah. I will accompany you then. With your injuries, you may not be able to reach your back."
Oh crap. He was set on joining her. This was going to be an exercise in self-control. His cloak fell to the floor and he stepped into the water, lowering his body below the ogling point. Damn. Well, he had already seen the worst.
Layer by layer, she shucked her robes, her veil hitting the floor last. Naked as the day she was born, but patchy as a quilt, she stepped into the water. It was too much to hope that he hadn't watched her. "Why are you so interested in looking? Most look away."
"I studied at the Citadel when I was younger. Learning the ways of the healers was part of the course. Grafting healers are rare, are they not?"
"Relatively, yes. We are hard to spot. You have to look at the people around them and, if you locate a completely healthy hub in the middle of an outbreak, you probably have a graft healer in there."
Evah believed him. He was far too frank to engage in subterfuge. She was blushing, she couldn't help it. He was looking at her now as if she was a woman, not a mass of damage. It was more than she was used to.
He apparently sensed as much. "You are not used to attention. Especially from males." He seemed pleased by it.
To stall for time, she grabbed some soap and began to work up a good lather. "No. I am not used to attention from males. It doesn't happen often." He had drifted toward her while she was speaking and she squeaked as he grabbed her soap and pressed her against his chest while he rubbed the soap in slow circles over her back. His hands were sure and deliberate, learning each and every bit of her before moving on to the next. She was humming with arousal by the time he finished her back and let her rinse, of course, being plastered against his fabulous chest and his sturdy erection may have had something to do with it.
She kept her eyes down, which was an effort when he rubbed the soap across her breasts and belly, under her arms and between her thighs. That one touch put her over the edge, rocking her into a gasping orgasm that shook her until she was clinging to Radal limply. He was looking pleased but surprised. "I am so sorry about that. It has just been a while." She laughed weakly. "A long while."
He backed them up and sat on one of the stone benches carved in the side of the pool, pulling her in to sit between his thighs. Her back was against his chest and the heated bar of his arousal was obvious in the lukewarm temperature of the bath. He tugged at her scalp and Evah came to the realization that he was unbraiding her hair.
"I have been wondering how long this was since you first lay on me during the healing."
"Oh. You were awake for that?" A fat lock of chestnut hair fell over her right shoulder and draped over her breast.
"I was in a great deal of pain, but I was conscious. Your hair has many colours in it."
She could feel the silky strands flowing down her back, and when he had all eight braids unwound, he slid his fingers through her hair, combing it.
"Brown, red, gold, it matches your eyes. Why do you keep it bound?"
"It gets in the way during healing. It slithers out of my veil and sticks to open wounds." The repetitive stroking of his fingers through her hair had her in very relaxed state.
"That makes sense, I suppose. It is lovely though." He continued his ministrations.
She leaned completely against him, giving him full access to her if he wanted it, and giving herself a place to nap. She braced her hands on his thighs and did what she really wanted to do--