Under the Cowboy's ControlBy: Lynda Chance
She slid her feet to the ground and balanced herself with one hand on the bedpost.
Her head swam. He was right. She was very weak. She stumbled to the bathroom, and made use of the facilities. The room was clean. Small, but very functional, it looked like heaven compared to what she had been doing without for the last few days.
He had said to use whatever she wanted, so she looked around while she was in there. A small drawer off the vanity contained toothpaste and several brand new toothbrushes. She quickly chose a pink one, unwrapped it and moved to the sink.
She thoroughly cleaned her teeth and mouth. Looking into the mirror, she gasped at her reflection there. One eye was swollen almost completely closed, and was bruised black and purple around the whole area. The side of her face was grazed, and showed pink skin underneath, where she must have hit the pavement when she fell.
She found a small tube of antibiotic ointment as well as a bottle of aspirin. She swallowed two aspirin, and carefully applied the ointment all over the scraped area. She felt a slight relief immediately.
Somehow, miraculously, her hair was still in the baseball cap. She knew it was filthy, but she couldn't find the strength to shower. She was afraid she might pass out in there, and need help. It would have to wait.
She slipped out of her jeans and bra, but left on her panties and t-shirt. The shirt came down to the top of her thighs, almost covering her panties. She didn't have anything else to sleep in.
She made her way back to the bed, and crawled inside and covered herself up.
The door was shut, but not locked, and she felt safe with it like that. If anyone here had wanted to hurt her, it would already have happened.
With the comfort of the bed and covers around her, her stomach fed and satisfied, she completely relaxed and finally let herself think of her family and grieve. There hadn't been time before and so she had pushed the thoughts away, her instinct for survival taking precedence. But now she felt safe for the moment, and the heartache and tears washed over her.
When dusk came, Travis slipped into Selena's room with another tray of soup and some slices of orange. The lights were out, and only a soft glow came from the window as the sun set in the west.
He quietly placed the tray on the desk, and moved the chair back over toward it, in case it was too heavy for her to deal with. He moved back to the bed to check on her. What he saw, almost had him groaning out loud. She was dressed only in the t-shirt, and she had kicked the covers down to about mid-thigh. He could see the strip of milky white thighs between where the shirt ended and the covers began.
Her legs were slim and looked like silk. His eyes travelled up, and he could see the edge of her panties, covering the feminine softness. The shadow of soft hair made his guts clench. The women he had been with in the last few years were all highly experienced, and it was the fashion for them to be free of hair. The sight of her, semi-exposed to his gaze, hit him as completely innocent, intensely feminine and highly desirable.
His eyes moved to the tiny waist and the soft swell of her breasts. She looked delicate and fragile, and he wondered at just how she had come into his possession. Her face was very bruised, but the darkness made it almost impossible to see how severe the damage was. She had either pulled the baseball cap off, or it had come off with her movements, and it lay neglected on the floor beside the bed. He bent and picked it up and put it on the bedside table. Then he realized he would be able to see her hair, and he looked again. He exhaled a sharp hiss from deep in his throat. Her hair was still in a ponytail, but it was long and silky and lay against her white skin. He imagined what it would be like, loose and flowing down around her.
She slept on while he continued to study her. Emotions he hadn't expected washed through him. She reminded him of a small injured bird he had found when he was a boy. The fierce need to protect, to heal, ran through his system. And a disturbing need to stroke, to pet. His heart beat loudly in his chest.
He needed to get her well, so he could set her free.
Selena woke once after midnight with another urge for the bathroom. When she came out, she saw the tray of food on the desk, lit up by the moonlight shining from the window. She was hungry and didn't want it to ruin.
She sat in the chair and picked up the spoon and began to eat. Again, the soup soothed her stomach. When she was almost finished, she wondered about the man who put it there for her. Knowing he had come into the room while she slept, a slight shiver ran through her. She felt something she couldn't identify. Her breathing fractured and her hand shook while she took the last few bites.
Her need for sleep was still paramount, and she put the disturbing thoughts aside and climbed back into bed.
Twelve hours of sleep had refreshed her, and she woke early the next morning, with the need to feel clean again. If anything, her right side was more stiff this morning, but she knew she needed to move to get the kinks out. She gingerly got out of bed, retrieved her backpack, and went through to the little bathroom.
She took her clothes off and dropped them to the floor and stepped into the shower tub combination. The water pulsed from the showerhead and Selena rinsed the dirt and grime off, before filling the tub with hot water and sinking in all the way to her neck. The water felt heavenly. She soaked her sore muscles for about twenty minutes and then washed herself thoroughly. She shampooed her hair twice, and used the luxurious conditioner. It tamed her hair and made it smooth and silky.