Petra woke slowly, aware that the surroundings were different yet familiar. The embers in the fireplace glowed and enhanced the burgundy colors from the drapes to the side, with the early morning light peeking through the center from the window. The bed was comfortable and warm as she tried not to move. The soft sheets, which she knew were striped burgundy and cream Egyptian cotton, retained the warmth while hardly adding any weight. She smiled to herself as she caught the sounds of Jacob’s even breathing to her left. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, the images of various statues and paintings confirmed they were in fact in their old room in Wolfgang’s chateau in Zurich.
Bowen, Wolfgang’s manservant and houseman, had retrieved them late yesterday at the airport and delivered them to the chateau. They’d eaten a light meal in the kitchen, with Bowen serving personally, then retired. So much had happened since the last time they had slept in this room together.
Petra had finally overcome the mental hurdles of her injuries from a mission gone wrong in Argentina, and Jacob had offered to give up everything to prove to her how serious he was about making their life work. Most things had been talked through, and they had realigned their plans together. Petra had admitted there were still things that she needed to work on, but further admitted she wanted him right beside her for the journey.
Petra needed to get up and move, yet didn’t want to disturb Jacob. She carefully slid the covers over and slipped out of bed, snagging the lavender silk robe from the adjacent chair and donning it in a practiced fluid motion, almost like a dancer. She glanced at the resting face of Jacob with his dark wavy hair, almost too long, highlighted against the lighter sheets. She turned to move toward the attached bathroom.
Jacob’s deep voice pierced the silence as he quietly noted, “What a shame.”
Petra froze, then turned and asked, “What’s a shame, our being back in this home?”
“No, sweetheart. That you made it so easily out of bed before I could wrap my arms around you.”
Petra chuckled, “I’ll be right back. Go back to sleep. It’s early yet.”
Petra turned and continued on with her initial mission. As she walked the distance she realized her muscles were sore from the long flight, and she knew her hair was desperately tangled. They had been so tired when they retired that she had not taken the time to redo the braid of her long blonde hair. After she closed the door, she turned on the light and took a critical look at herself in the mirrors. The body was trim and well proportioned, even as she dropped the robe. As she had suspected, the hair needed work, and she righted it in short order. She then washed her face and noted that it still showed the scarring, though it was healing and wasn’t as horrible as it had been. Best of all, it simply didn’t matter to Jacob.
While Petra attended to her morning routine, Jacob had quickly added logs to the fire and coaxed it into a gentle burn. He returned to bed and extracted her ring from the bedside table. It sparkled and glimmered in the firelight, making the purple of the amethyst stone even richer in color. They had talked about so many things, and Jacob was nearly confident that Petra would agree. He just would feel so much better if she would ask for the ring back. He had debated it with himself over and over, including on the flight home and even after they had retired last evening. Petra had fallen instantly to sleep while he contemplated what the right steps would be to get their whole life back on track.
Petra watched Jacob play with the ring from the doorway and noted how warm and appealing the room was with the glowing fire. He was unaware of her presence so she took the time to just look and enjoy his being. His mussed hair suited his strong jawline. Though he was nestled against the pillows, she still could appreciate the sculpted muscles of his arms and strong hands. Hands she knew from firsthand experience were strong and capable, yet also gentle and sensual. They had shared so much love in this room, and she had nearly ruined it with her thoughtlessness. She knew exactly what she wanted and refused to waste any more time with ridiculous doubts.
Petra made her presence known as the silk robe swirled as she approached the bed. Petra smiled and exclaimed, “Jacob, thank goodness you found my ring. I think it will match my robe perfectly, don’t you?”
She extended her hand, palm up. He looked momentarily startled by her comments and then totally pleased as he grabbed her hand and tugged her onto the bed with him. “Yes, my darling, but I dare say it will look wonderful, even without the robe, on your beautiful fingers.”
Jacob began kissing and sucking each of her fingers on her right hand and then continued with the fingers of her left hand as he gently slipped the ring onto her finger and pulled her into an embrace. Kissing her thoroughly, he asked, “How does that feel, sweetheart?”
Petra groaned and murmured, “The ring is perfect, thank you. But I think more kisses are definitely in order, maybe without the robe.”
“As you wish, sweetheart,” Jacob spoke gently into her ear. In one practiced motion he removed the robe and brought her under the covers.
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