One particular stubborn cowgirl still needs to learn when to pick her battles. After an incident with some hired thugs and more than just a little 'acting out', Aideen is bruised and battered but her spirit is still very much intact. If only she could accept a certain cowboy's help without her pride getting in the way. Let's put it this way, stubbornness costs.
""Just to clarify, you are positive you are well enough to be up and about?"
"Yes, dammit! How many times do I have to say it? I'm fine! Fine enough to return to my work at any rate," I yelled back at him, my hands fisted on my hips.
"Hey! Watch that tone, young lady," he barked back and my eyes widened. He didn't move from the door as expected. Instead, I watched with a strange fascination as Bryce unbuttoned his shirt cuffs and in slow deliberate motions started rolling up his sleeves.
I took a step back. "What-what are you doing?" It was a stupid question to ask when I already knew. I compounded my stupidity further by not turning tail and running to lock myself in the bathroom.
"I think we will have that talk about your personal safety now." It wasn't until I saw that familiar determined glint in his eye that I snapped out of the spell and ran hell for leather back into the living room putting the sofa between us, doubling over as my bruises flared to life. "Or," he drawled, lazily bringing up the rear. "You are still under the weather and are going back to bed where we will return to this discussion at a later date." His casual pose didn't fool me for a second. His muscles were bunched like a predator ready to pounce as soon as I made my move. "You have until the count of ten to decide, Aideen, after which we will have this discussion and you will then be put back to bed." I watched wordlessly as he began the countdown, stubbornly remaining silent. His eyes narrowed with each passing second. "Nine."
"Fine," I spat through gritted teeth. "I'll go back to bed." In truth, I was beginning to tire.
"Good." He nodded, moving aside to allow me up the stairs which I climbed reluctantly and at a snail's pace until he swatted me, which made me get into bed in a hurry."