His square jaw tightened. “For myself, no. But charged with protecting you? Then yes, Ella. I will hide you until we understand exactly who’s to blame for this. And despite the fact we have long been enemies, I would expect your brother to do the same with my sister, if she were ever in this position.” He straightened to his full height, his eyes glinting in the flickering firelight, so she wondered if she’d offended him by accusing him of cowardice.
“You have a sister?” She asked quietly, somewhat mollified by that.
“Yes, Luna.” His manner didn’t soften. “Now lift off your dress so I can see what we’re dealing with.”
It was such a clinical, cool way to speak – it was hardly a precursor to seduction – and yet her pulse went through the roof regardless and her fingertips tingled.
“I’m sure that’s not necessary,” she prevaricated.
“What’s the problem, Ella? I’ve seen photos of you stumbling out of nightclubs wearing little more than lingerie; what’s with the shy virgin act now? You think that removing your gown is going to make me want to drag you to bed or something?”
She blinked, momentarily lost for words.
“I hate to disappoint you, but women like you have never held any interest for me. I can promise you, you’re safe. Now, take off the dress and let me help you.”
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