By the time they reached the motorhome, Ethan’s teeth were chattering, and his body shook, chilled to the bone. He chastised himself for allowing them to stay on that observation deck for as long as they had.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m pretty much stripping in front of you,” Ethan said after he’d bounded up the steps and into the living room area of the motorhome. “I need to get these wet clothes off as quickly as possible.”
Natalie didn’t respond but didn’t question his motives. The worried crease in her brow spoke volumes. “I’ll make us some Echinacea tea,” she said. “Getting something warm inside your body will heat you up quicker than anything.”
“Sounds good.” In several swift moves, Ethan’s shirt was over his head, and his jeans were at his feet. He stepped out of his jeans, down to his boxers, and hurried to the back bedroom where he found a large, fluffy hooded sweatshirt and his favorite sweats.
Without waiting for the tea, he climbed into bed and pulled the blankets over himself, willing his body to stop shivering.
The microwave dinged a few minutes later and Ethan felt Natalie sit next to him on the bed. Her soft voice urged him to sit up and he opened his eyes long enough to prop himself on one elbow. She’d thoughtfully dropped an ice cube in the tea to cool it down enough that he could gulp down a few swallows of the liquid warmth.
He laid his head back down and murmured, “Better already.”
Ethan woke sometime later with Natalie in his bed. Night had fallen but he could see her eyes shining in the dark. He hoped he hadn’t deliriously done something stupid like taken advantage of her but didn’t think he had.
“What’ch ya doing?” Ethan’s voice was heavy and slurred.
“You were burning up and moaning in your sleep,” Natalie said. “I hope you don’t mind but I dug through your things until I found some Tylenol and forced you to wake up long enough to take a couple. I think your fever has come down a little.”
“Thanks,” he said. Before falling back to sleep he remembered one important thing. “Don’t let me get dehydrated.”
“I won’t.” Natalie leaned down and placed one tiny kiss on Ethan’s lips. He almost responded but wasn’t sure. Darkness pulled him under again.