For the next two weeks, SHADES OF GRAY will be .99. Don't miss out.
SHADES OF GRAY
Her eyes stared straight ahead, seeming to focus on nothing specific. Gray knelt in front of her, placing his materials next to his knee on the floor, keeping them within an easy reach. With careful attention on her face, he reached up and unfastened the buttons on her nightdress. She wobbled, but didn't prevent the fabric from lowering down her arms. The bulk of the flannel lay on her lap.
Gray sat back on his haunches and studied the thin layer of cotton she still wore. It had been his experience that women wore nothing under their nightdress when sleeping. Not as bulky as a chemise, this light-weight material was only worn... he looked at her face. It seemed odd that she would have it on now. Daria's bridal slip had not lasted for one minute after he came into their wedding chambers.
At least the blonde woman had stopped crying. He dipped a clean cloth in the water and wrung it out. Holding to her chin, he wiped her face, dabbing delicately around her hairline. Bad judgment shouldn't be held against her.
He eased his way behind her. Red welts crisscrossed her back, but her left shoulder blade would need additional attention. A four inch wound lay open with dry and crusted blood banking the swollen rim. He eyed his salve, warming by the fire. There should be enough for tonight. He thought there was a larger container in the kitchen.
Wadding a cloth in one hand, he held the linen under the cut. With his other hand, he wiggled the stopper free from the whiskey bottle and breathed deep. It was impossible to prepare her for what was to come. He tipped the bottle, dousing her shoulder with the alcohol. She cried out, and he moved the dripping towel to her forehead. He might as well clean her brow while the burning sensation lingered.
"I know it stings," he said. "Go ahead. Cry out if you must. It has to be done, but there's no reason you must suffer in silence."
The corner of his mouth twitched and he pressed his lips together. Her wounds would take weeks to heal, and scarring was a possibility. He closed his eyes and pushed from his mind images of Daria. She had not recovered in a few short weeks.