“Thank you for rescuing me.” The vulnerability in Savannah’s eyes as she gazed up at Eli from the crook of his arm was endearing. “Amazing how much better a person can feel when they’re eating right and getting enough sleep.”
The Villa Ba’Moshava was the perfect escape for the two of them. Kadin dutifully tucked himself in the suite down the hall and waited for days while Eli nursed his wife back to health. Room service and housekeeping kept them wanting for nothing.
Whether Eli was holding Savannah as she curled on the floor of the bathroom, or spoon feeding her soup and eventually heavier foods, he never complained. There was nothing he wanted more in his life than to be by her side in whatever way she needed him.
“I won’t pressure you to explain to me why you were letting your health suffer so much, but if you ever want to talk, I’m here.”
“I promised you I’d finish school before coming home to live in the kingdom,” she said. “And I promised the queen.” Her multicolored eyes shone from within her copper skin, finally sparkling with energy after days of furrowed brows and a dull pallor.
“Finishing school can be done over time and through the computer,” Eli said, leaning down to place a kiss on the end of her nose. “And learning is a lifelong endeavor, not a four-year degree.”
“Can I come home?” Savannah asked, as if he’d ever deny her. “I want to lie by your side every night, and I want my mom to come visit me without having to take an airplane.”
“She will simply walk down the hall of the palace.” Eli chuckled.
“I want to know everything that’s happening in the kingdom. I want to serve by your side.”
“I want you by my side,” Eli whispered. “Forever.”
“Will you make love to me?”
“What? Right now? Aren’t you sick?” Under normal circumstances, Eli would have jumped at the chance, but he worried he would hurt her or the baby.
“Your Highness, people have sex during pregnancy all the time.” She was either chastising him or laughing at him. He wasn’t sure which.
“You threw up two hours ago…”
“I’ll brush my teeth.”
“That’s not what I meant. I mean, yeah, that probably would be a good idea, but I’m more worried about hurting you.”
“I’ve kept down lunch quite well, don’t you think?”
“You tell me.”
“I feel fine. I could get up and do yoga right now. I’m just taking advantage of the fact that you’re here and holding me and I have no desire to get out of bed right now.”
“I have no desire to get out of bed either,” Eli admitted, his voice lowering.
“So… is that a yes?”
“You’re sure I won’t hurt you or the baby?” His stomach fluttered with a combination of nervousness and anticipation.
“Okay, if you can handle walking to and from the bathroom, under the auspice that you promised you’d brush your teeth, then I will say yes.”
She giggled but did as he’d suggested and returned to bed with a new glow and excitement. As much as he wanted her to finish school, he was ready to have her home and in his arms.
The breeze blowing in from the balcony cooled the afternoon mugginess and the billowing comforters and pillows offered a relaxing respite from the frustrations of life, the secret meetings and murder plots back at the palace, the illness that ravaged her body and announced the awakening of life.
Eli was able to forget everything when wrapped in Savannah’s arms. They spent the afternoon reuniting after five weeks apart. Never again, he vowed. No matter where he went, he wanted her with him, every day, every night, for as long as he was alive.