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She lost her footing. Fuck, it was embarrassing. She felt his hand under her elbow : a show of good faith? Sure… sure as hell. What on earth was she going to tell Miles? Or her mom? Especially her mom.

“I’m ok. I just need to wash.“

“Ok. Let’s go to the river.“ She shrugged him away.

“I’m fine. I can walk.“ She emphasized her point with a good long stare down. Trouble was, he was equally good at making points with those blazing blue eyes : try to leave and I’ll find you before trouble finds you. She shrugged and walked away.

As she scrubbed herself vigorously, her thoughts wandered back to him. Perfect gentleman? Monroe wasn’t a gentleman. Most days, she wasn’t sure he was even a man. And yet, whatever he was, he was under her skin. She let out a long breath when she realized that she was doing the one thing she had promised herself she wouldn’t do : think about Monroe while naked.

She was almost dressed when she heard footsteps and his voice :

“Charlotte? What’s taking so long?“ And here he was, and no he wasn’t behaving like a perfect gentleman right now. His gaze travelled leisurely from her face to her chest and stomach, and lower. At least, she had had the time to put on her bra and jeans. His gaze was in hers. She wasn’t going to blush or look away like the girl he most probably thought she was. Instead, she stared at him as she slipped on her tank.

“Enjoying the show?“

“Something like that,“ he muttered.

“Too bad I don’t perform for a coin or two.“ She bent down to pick up her clothes, when she straightened up, he was hovering over her. He was always too close, always breathing into her boundaries.

“Glad to see you’re feeling like yourself again,“ the words rolled out of his lips, his eyes inviting her to retort, yell, do whatever she wanted because he already knew he had the upper hand. She just shook her head and walked back to the camp.

“Time’s waisting. Come on Monroe.“ She wasn’t going to play. She knew how to play cat and mouse : she was always the cat. So he could try to draw her in, he could try to stare at her as much as he wanted but she wasn’t going to play. No matter what her dreams said, no matter how fast her heart beat when he was close, no matter how his breath on her skin ignited her. She wasn’t going to play.

They sat in the wagon in silence. From time to time, he would glance at her. Right before sunset, he spoke :

“I’ll take first watch. You barely slept last night.“

She turned to look at him but his gaze remained on the road. She flushed. He must have heard her. Fucking nightmares. Who did he think he was? She didn’t need his consideration. Her eyes finally found his. Truce?