Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose by Karen Robards

Book: Amanda Rose by Karen Robards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Robards
Tags: Romance, Historical
passage. She was right in her new assessment of him, she thought. No one who knew the Bible well enough to misquote it could be all bad.
    “Thank you,” she said softly. As her smile warmed on his face she noticed that he was starting to shiver. He gritted his teeth in an effort to control the spasm as it gained strength.
    “I brought some medicine with me, too,” she said, getting up from the rock and fetching the rest of the supplies she had brought. Sister Agnes swears by this for fever”—she held up a small glass vial containing a brownish fluid—“and I brought some basilicum powder and some real bandages for your wound.”
    He eyed her somewhat dubiously. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” he said through clenched teeth. “I’d hate for your cure to succeed where the hangman didn’t.”
    Amanda looked affronted. “I help Sister Agnes nurse people all the time,” she replied with dignity. “However, if you’d rather not trust me …”
    The spasms seemed to be growing stronger. She could see his limbs trembling despite his obvious efforts to control them.
    “Oh, for goodness’ sake, stop being so silly,” she said, losing patience. “Drink this and lie down. I promise it won’t poison you.”
    She held out the opened vial as she spoke. He took it, looked at it with loathing, then, with the air of a man throwing his cap over the windmill, bolted it down. Removing the now-empty bottle from his lips, he grimaced horribly.
    “Now lie down,” she ordered, taking the vial and standing over him with a vaguely threatening air.
    “Bossy little thing, aren’t you?” he murmured, grinning as he stretched out on the mattress. Amanda chose to ignore that, setting the vial aside and reaching for the blanket, which she spread over him. He was still grinning when she finished.
    “Now, if you don’t object, I think I should clean those scratches on your face,” she said, pouring a little water into the bowl she had brought. “They could get infected.”
    “I’ll probably be scarred for life,” he said, his voice mocking. “You’ve put your mark on me forever, Amanda.”
    She looked at him, frowning. “I’m teasing you,” he assured her in a resigned voice, seeing her troubled expression. “You shouldn’t take everything so seriously, Amanda. Learn to laugh a little. It makes life a lot easier.”
    Amanda gave him a wry look. “Hold still, please,” she said crisply, kneeling beside him, and half smiled when he jerked away as she dabbed at his scratches with water and strong lye soap.
    “That stings,” he said accusingly, huddling closer in his blanket.
    “Laugh at it,” she advised, and proceeded to clean each scratch thoroughly despite his occasional wince. When she had finished with the scratches, she carefully wiped the rest of his face clean and then sat back on her heels.
    “Did I call you an angel? I mean fiend,” he said feelingly. Then he smiled at her. Sitting so close to him, she noticed how the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled. He was really quite an attractive man, she thought. Of course, he was far too old for her—from the silver hairs that glinted among the coal-black ones she guessed that he was in his forties, although that ubiquitous beard made it difficult to be certain—and not at all the type that she found appealing. However, she didn’t doubt that many women would differ with her there …
    His shivers were easing, she noticed with relief. She let him rest quietly for a few minutes, until they seemed to be completely gone. Then she spoke again.
    “Matt, you’d better let me dress the wound for you. Properly this time.”
    His eyes flicked open to meet hers. “Are you sure your maidenly modesty can stand it? I thought you were going to burst into flames, you became so red the last time.”
    To her chagrin Amanda felt herself blushing at the mere reminder. He grinned, his eyes gleaming wickedly.
    “I have my answer,” he said dryly.

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