Five chapters in five nights. Here’s the fourth, chapter 34. Tomorrow night I will post chapter 35, a long bonus chapter. Thanks for reading!
During the nights that followed the woman religiously came to him. She would stand by his bed and watch him sleep, sometimes for long stretches of time. After a while she would turn his bed covers down, unfasten his night shirt and place the object over his heart, holding it there, sometimes for hours, feeling his heart beat beneath her hand, feeling the intense, almost unbearable heat of the object as it went about its business of healing.
In those moments, while the electric surges of his heartbeat coursed up through her arm and into her own body, it was hard for her to remain impartial, difficult for her to continue on with the façade and not admit that she was hopelessly in love with this gifted and tortured man. It was even more difficult not to admit that she’d always been in love with him, that everything she’d done in her life had been done for him.
She would carefully watch his reaction to her touches and caresses, trying to judge, through his body language, the emotions he might be experiencing. After a time her eyes and her hand would drift down his body to his most private places, and knowing that he was a vital man in his prime, and that he had needs, she was not surprised when her ministrations began to bear fruit. When the urge to kiss him there, to caress him with her hands and mouth, to surrender herself wholly to him, got so strong, she would stop and pull away, knowing in her heart that it was wrong, that he was not reacting to her touches on a personal level, but on some deep subconscious level that had nothing to do with her. She would retrieve the object then and leave his bedside, guilt ridden and filled with frustration.
As time passed and the healing process progressed and there was no longer any need for the object, her night visits became less and less frequent until she had almost entirely weaned herself—not of her feelings for the man, no, that was not possible—but for her nearly uncontrollable urges to take advantage of him at his most vulnerable. Her duty was clear, she was to remain impartial, unemotionally involved; she knew these things, of course, understood them implicitly, had taken vows to uphold these principles at all costs. Just the same, she was weak, a flesh and blood being with strong emotions, and a small flame of an idea began to make its way into her thoughts, a way that she might be able to save face and still have what she most yearned for.