This is a snippet from Eternity.
A little set up: Stella has just awaken in the hospital after accusing Roman of being the man who attacked her.
The fog slowly lifted from Stella’s eyes. She groaned and placed a hand to her forehead. Someone must have filled her head with cement and towed it under water before placing it haphazardly back on her neck. It seemed a decade passed between the time her lids opened and she shifted into a more comfortable position. Groggy, throat drier than a three day old bread, she reached for the sweating water pitcher on her bedside table. Cautiously, she leaned forward and guided the container to her mouth. A slick slice of heaven, she drank until the dryness abated and her belly sloshed.
Her body froze. He was here, sitting in a chair near the foot of her bed. The pitcher slipped. She caught the handle before the water drowned her. Heart beating a rapid dance, she searched the sheets to find the call button.
So still. Is he asleep? It didn’t matter. He had to go.
God in heaven let him stay asleep. He could wake when the police arrested him. Frantic, she riffled through the beddings.
Did he move? She stopped searching to stare at him again. An uneasy breath released while her eyes roamed his smooth prominent forehead, bold black eyebrows, and high, sharp cheekbones balanced by a well-defined, squared chin. A long, slightly crooked nose perched above a mouth that could caress the perfect kiss from a woman.
I’m thinking about kisses when he’s going to kill me. She gave herself a mental slap and studied the man again.
Hmm, something was off. While his body might at first glance appear relaxed, his shoulders were too erect, his legs were braced an equal distance apart, and his chest—he wasn’t breathing.
And the call button was gone.
I’m going to die in this room. Fright sapped her energy and she flopped back onto the pillows.
Fight, girl. You’ve been through too much to give up now. She turned her head a fraction and watched him. Still, he hadn’t moved, but she wasn’t fooled. A scream wouldn’t get far with her sore throat. He occupied the only chair. A night table, TV, and monitors encompassed the rest of the room’s items. Shit, there had to be something in the room she could use to defend herself.
A phone lay on the rolling over-the-bed cart. Unfortunately, three IV stands and a machine separated her from survival. She’d have to get out of bed to reach it. There was no way she had time to make a call or reach her door before he stopped her, but she could slam the phone against the side of his head. With any luck, she’d knock him unconscious and escape. She measured the distance to the door.
Who was she kidding? She’d need God and all his angels to get out of this, maybe. Still, she shifted her body away from him and closer to the edge of the bed.
Lord, if you’re listening …
Concentrating on her makeshift weapon, she scooted lower. Thankfully, someone had left the bed rails on the bottom of the bed down. She flipped the covers back and dragged her legs over the side. The cold floor sent needles of pain through her feet and up her calves. They trembled as she carefully stood and tried to force them to work. Instead of standing, she began to slide down. As the beige linoleum rushed to meet her, she swallowed a cry.
Arms wrapped around her back and knees, and scooped her up before she hit. Braced against the wide expanse of his chest, she felt his hard wall of muscles moving beneath his shirt. How could she defeat someone that picked her up with no effort at all? Too weak to put up a fight, throat too sore for a real scream, futility dragged at her until she slumped in her killer’s arms. If this was the end, she didn’t want to see it coming. She closed her eyes and went limp.
Her eyes flew open when the cool sheets touched her back. He hovered. His big body so close. The subtle musk of his skin filled her nostrils and made her stomach flutter while he fluffed the pillow under her head, straightened her gown about her knees, checked her IV. Then he covered her. Finished, he backed away and his deep blue eyes met hers.