My heart fluttered. Was she ill? I stroked my fingers through her hair to sense if her skin was hot. No fever. I exhaled, feeling calmer by the second. I brought her closer until my lips rested on the top of her head. I didn’t know why or what exactly these feelings were that I was harboring. However, with my heart pounding like this, I couldn’t resist the natural instinct that took hold. I just wanted to protect her, care for her, be by her side.
It wasn’t until I felt two hands press against my chest that I finally realized what I was doing and how public I was doing it in. “Are you going to let go of me?” Meriden hissed. “Or do I need to call George to surgically remove you.”
At her words, I instantly released my grip. “My apologies. I was just—” I stopped when I noticed she had become dizzy: her body swaying, her hand coming to her forehead, her eyes drooping. My worry returned tenfold, yet I restrained myself from reaching out to her. “Are you alright? You look ill.”