From the Author
Ella lay curled on her side on the hovering stretcher. Her unplaited hair cascaded over her shoulders like spilled night, tangling with her hand where it rested beneath her chin. She was covered with a single white sheet that was dotted and splotched with blood.
"Lord?" The medic looked at her then at him, peering from beneath his eyebrows. "She had mostly bruises, a few cuts. All repaired."
"Okay." He nodded, holding back the storm inside him.
"She's still sedated with what they gave her on the Finatar. We've done scans and found no internal damage. Right now we're swamped with casualties and I need to get back. If you have any worries, message us."
The door shut.
After swallowing once, he slipped the sheet down her body, revealing more and more of her naked body, all the way to her thighs, where he gently laid the bunched sheet. Bruises and blood patchworked her skin. Most of the injuries were on her back.
Torgeir towed the stretcher over beside the bed then carefully lifted her and shifted her over. Her small moans made him shush her while he stroked her forehead. He covered her with the bedsheet, after one last heartfelt study, then brought over a chair. This way he could sit beside her without accidentally hurting her.
All those bruises made him want to make them go away. The captain was lucky he was dead.
Strange, how proprietary he felt looking at her. He'd wondered why he'd been so anxious, watching the battle play out, waiting for her to be rescued. Now he knew. He wanted Ella to be his. How long that would hold true for, he didn't know. He'd never bondmated and expected he never would, since he'd left Sicar. This would just be an infatuation. Surely it would.
For now, she was registered as his slave and he was going to use that as leverage.
Dirty tactics. He didn't care.
Torgeir stood and looked at her. The mess she'd gotten into when left by herself. One day, she'd thank him.