A Lily Among Thorns: Deleted Scene #3

The original version of Solomon’s nightmare.

*

He wanted to bury his face in her shoulder and cry and he rather thought she would let him. “Get out,” he said.

She paled. “Solomon, you were yelling.”

“So let me yell.”

“I am not going to bloody well let you—” She cut herself off. “I don’t want you waking up any of my customers.”

“Go away, Serena.”

“Damn it, Solomon, let me stay.” It was the best she could do, he knew, but it wasn’t enough.

He raised his eyebrows. “If you want the armchair, it’s all yours.”

She glared at him, but to his complete astonishment, she pulled the armchair over by the bed and sat in it, scowling. Solomon tried not to let himself be overwhelmingly touched. “Stubborn nodcock,” she muttered.

His lips twitched. “‘Oh woman, in our hours of ease/Uncertain, coy, and hard to please/When pain and anguish wring the brow/A ministering angel thou!'”

Serena leaned gracefully back in the armchair and quirked a brow. “Smothering you with a pillow would stop you yelling too, you know.”

It was damned difficult to fall back asleep with Serena’s gray eyes on his back.

*

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