“I'll turn my back, unless you think you need help getting dressed." Lord, he silently prayed, pleased don't test my chivalry that far!
"I can manage, thank you very much!" she returned tightly.
Turning his back, Rider grinned and lifted his eyes to heaven. "Thanks, big Fellah."
"Did you say something?" Willow inquired.
Rider kept a steady gaze on the trees. "Just talking to myself."
He heard her mumble something about crazy people talking to themselves before she announced it safe for him to turn around. He did and was given an immediate jolt. She wore not her usual shirt and pants,but a clean nightshirt and wrapper. However,it wasn't her scanty attire that startled him as much as her pain-glazed eyes.
"My God,what is it?" Stunned, his hands automatically came up under both her elbows to steady her. "Are you in pain?" A thought came to him then. He hesitated, studying his boots. "Is it...I've got sisters, so don't be embarrassed.Is it your woman's time?" Rider's ears reddened, but it was nothing compared to Willow's high color.
She jerked away from his touch, squeezed her eyes shut, and cradled her forehead in one hand. "And I wondered what else could go wrong," she muttered under her breath.
"What?"
"Dammit,Sinclair, men aren't suppose to talk to women about those things.”


Charlotte McPherren, Song of the Willow
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Song of the Willow Song of the Willow by Charlotte McPherren
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