Turn and Burn(143)

By: Lorelei James

“Umm . . . Hand me my clothes.”

He dropped the pile on the bed. “I’ll be right outside.”

“No peeking,” she warned as he ducked out.

Kyle paced the length of the privacy curtain. On his fifth pass, he heard her gasp. Worried that she’d strained herself, he poked his head back in. “What’s wrong?”

Celia clutched a wad of fabric to her chest. “It was my favorite shirt. My lucky purple shirt. Now it’s covered in blood and completely ruined.” A little hiccup escaped. “I can’t wear this.”

“Are the jeans ruined too?”

“No. Just a few splotches of blood.”

“Tossing that shirt in the trash ain’t no big loss in my mind. I’m thinkin’ its luck ran out. Never looked that great on you anyway.”

Celia lifted her head, probably to snap at him. Before she opened her mouth, Kyle gently wiped her tears. “Come on, kitten, I was kiddin’.”

“Pretty stupid to be so upset over a blouse, huh?”

“Somehow I don’t think it’s just about the blouse. And given that you’re in the hospital, you’re entitled to a few tears. You don’t always have to act so tough, you know.” Kyle popped the buttons on his long-sleeved western shirt. “Although I wouldn’t mind seein’ you in just your sexy bra and them tight jeans, I don’t think you wanna flash the entire ER when I bust you outta this place. Wear this.” He draped his shirt over her pillow and tucked his white T-shirt into his jeans.

“Uh, thanks.”

Interesting that Celia couldn’t take her eyes off his chest. “My pleasure.” Kyle kissed her forehead. Twice.

“What’s with you kissin’ me all the time now?” she asked crossly.

“I hardly think a couple of pecks could be considered me kissin’ you all the time.” His eyes searched hers. “But I could ramp up the kisses to spark your memory from a few weeks back, if you’d like.”

“In your dreams.”

Kyle chuckled. “I’ll be outside if you need anything.”

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