Charge of the Goddess (Chpt 9-10) by Nicole Thompson

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His facial expression revealed that he was having a hard time trying not to laugh. "I suppose it might be enough time." He stood up moving away from me. "Go, do what you must do." With a gleeful chirp I stood up and headed toward the door, impatient to be started. "Don't work too hard; your body is still drained." I heard Untar say as I crossed the threshold. "I will be watching."

Of course, Untar had to be right. After only a few hours of work, my body was protesting again. All the muscles in my back were tensing up and knotting. A headache that began as a small annoyance had become a pounding headache. And Untar worked in the room, always keeping his eyes on me as he did what he was told to do. Obviously he could see the fatigue in my body yet he waited for me to stop. "I don't need a break." I whispered to myself. "Stupid alpha male."

Two more hours and sunrise had passed before I finally gave in. My mind was wide awake but my body was clearly exhausted. One silent look across the room and Untar was at my side, scooping my up into his arms. "I am perfectly capableó" I started, lightly hitting the arm that held me. Of course the only thing I noticed was that his bicep was incredibly strong.

"Just shut up, and enjoy the break." Untar said playfully. It was enough however to stop my complaining. Although I did manage to get one more glare in. Soon, we were back in that small room. Untar deposited me on a chair and sat behind me as he had before, his hands massaging my back. "Goddess, Senara. What do you do to cause so many knots in your back?"

I attempted to shrug. "I guess I'm just a tense person." Untar chuckled and continued to massage. It wasn't long before all I could think about was the places where my body touched Untar's. When the knots were gone and Untar started to pull away, I found myself reaching for his hand. "Can you continue?"

"For awhile," Untar replied. "You're going to work my hands to death."

"Right," I said, trying to ignore the fact that I had asked Untar to stay. After a few minutes more I did stop him. But when he stood I grabbed his hand once again. "Can you hold me?" Untar was probably just as surprised as I was at the request but he complied. Lifting me up, he sat beneath me and cradled me to his chest.

"What's wrong Senara?" He finally asked.

"I don't know," I said. "But it's been so long since someone held me. Tharina has never been one to give hugs."

"No she hasn't." Untar agreed. He paused before adding, "I would have it that I could hold you for eternity. You don't ever have to be alone again." I felt Untar's lips against my hair and tears came to my eyes.

"Thank you." What had I done, pushing myself away from this amazing man?

Chapter Ten
We left later that morning. Irian packed us enough food to last the trip and the whole village came to see us depart. Once again it was just the two of us and I dreaded the long silences that lay ahead. And true to that, neither of us spoke until lunch. Quietly we ate, with the occasional conversation between us.

"Can I ask you something?" I asked Untar when we had finished our meal.

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