The Saint(6)

By: Tiffany Reisz



She laughed at his chivalry.

“I do please,” she said, sitting and pulling her legs to her chest. She felt relaxed now, loose limbed and spent. She could almost make herself forget the box on the mantel. Almost. But not quite.

“What is it?” Nico asked.

“Nothing. Only wondering how much trouble I’m in for sleeping with you.”

“Trouble with whom?”

“Kingsley.”

“Is it his business?” From his tone, Nora could tell Nico had no plans to tell Kingsley anything about tonight.

“You’re his son. He’ll make it his business.”

Nico brought her a plate of cheese, crackers and grapes.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “If he’s angry, we’ll tell him I took advantage of you in your grief.”

“Oh, good idea. He might buy that except for the part where you took advantage of me.” She took the plate from him and balanced it on her knee. “He does know me, after all.”

“Being with you was my choice,” Nico said. “My choice, my consequences. Not yours.”

“Oui, monsieur. Merci beaucoup,” she said in her best sultry French.

“You know I speak English,” he reminded her as he took a grape off her plate.

“I know,” she said. “But I speak French, too. Thank your father for that skill.”

“He made you learn it?”

“He and Søren would speak it all the time around me while I stood there like an idiot not understanding a word. I had to learn it so I knew what they were saying about me.”

Nico sat on the floor in front of her, his arms clasped around his knees. He looked young sitting there like that, but still undeniably strong and masculine. In the low firelight she could see the veins in his forearms, and the light dusting of dark hair on his skin.

“How do you know Kingsley?” he asked between sips of wine.

“How do I know Kingsley? That’s a loaded question. You sure you want to know the answer?”

“I asked.” He shrugged his shoulders and in that moment, in that shrug, she saw his father in him. So dismissive. So French. So Kingsley.

“Why do you want to know?”

“I don’t understand him at all,” Nico confessed, and she saw a flash of grief in his eyes. Grief to match her own. She crooked her finger and Nico moved closer, close enough to kiss her knee and rest his chin on her thigh.

“He’s a hard man to like and a very easy man to love. But he’s nearly impossible to understand,” she said, caressing the back of his neck.

“But you understand him.”

“I do. But he and I, we’re the same in many ways.”

“I want to know him. I want to know you even more.”

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell you the story of Kingsley and me without telling you the story of Søren and me,” she said. “It’s all one story, the three of us.”

“Will it hurt to talk about it?”

“Yes,” she said. “But a little pain never stopped me before.”

“Will you tell me?” Nico asked. He took her hand in his, twining their fingers together. She looked down at their interlocked hands—his tanned, calloused hand dwarfed her paler, daintier fingers. Moments earlier he’d lain between her thighs, and only now did they hold hands for the first time. The day they’d met she’d told him who he was. Perhaps it was time to tell him who she was.

“Okay, story time, then. But I’ll charge you. I get paid for my stories.”

“I’ll pay you in orgasms.”

“It’s a deal,” Nora said and she and Nico laughed. God, it felt good to laugh like this again. A few days ago she would have bet she’d never laugh again. He turned his hand and sensuously rubbed the center of her palm with his thumb.

“Since this is the Black Forest, we should make it a fairy tale,” she said.

“I like fairy tales.”

“You’ll like this one, too. It begins with a whimper but ends in a bang.”

“Is it a real fairy tale? Are there witches and fairies in it?” he teased.

“Sort of.”

“Kings, yes?” Nico grinned.

“Definitely,” she said. “One king. One queen.”

“What else?”

“Since we’re in Grimm’s territory, we’re going to do this right,” she said. “Ready?”

Nico kissed Nora’s fingertips.

“Ready,” he said, gazing up at her with heat in his eyes. She could still scarcely believe Nico was here. She’d idly wished for him earlier and behold—he’d come to her in a storm, begging sanctuary. What other magic might work itself tonight?

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