The Beginning

He shoved a pillow up against the ornate headboard and leaned back, stretching his legs out in front of him. Through the slightly-open bathroom door, he could hear the splashing and sloshing of water in the tub. He tipped his head back and breathed in, out. It was a long, long day of exploring ruins in the hot sun, and he was dusty, sweaty. He wouldn’t give up this trip for anything, but he was starting to wish it was easier to find rooms with two attached baths.

He could really use a shower.

Instead, he lifted his head and reached for the glass of ice water on the nightstand. He forgot a coaster and there was already a ring forming on the antique stain. Damn it. He swung his legs off the bed as he took a long drink, and then he looked for something to wipe up the condensation with.

“Hey, John?”


There, his sock. It was dirty, but it would do.

“Why don’t you bring your drink in here?”

He froze.

She’d stopped moving. There was no slosh, no splash, just the gentle lap of water against the porcelain.

He said, “Char… are you sure?”


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