Refuge by Karen Lynch

Description : Refuge
I FELT ITing even before he slammed into me and sent me flying back a dozen feet to land in a heap against the wall. “Ow.” Little pinpoints of light floated before my eyes, and I tasted blood in my mouth where I’d bitten the inside of my cheek. That pain was nothingpared to the bone-deep aches all over my body. God, how much punishment could a body take?

A shadow fell across my face. “Is anything broken?” asked a gruff Scottish voice that rang more of impatience than concern.

I rolled onto my back and stretched my sore limbs to test them for injuries, grunting when my shoulder made a small pop. Satisfied that my body was still in one piece, even if it was as bruised as a ripe peach, I peered up at the dark-haired man standing over me with his feet planted apart and his hands on his hips. “I’ll survive,” I muttered, not sure if I was happy about it.

He extended a hand, and I took it reluctantly, letting him pull me to my feet. When he let go of me, I leaned against the wall as the training room did a little spin before my eyes. I didn’t need to see straight to know that my painful flight had been witnessed by Terrence and Josh – the two other trainees in the room who were watching us while pretending to focus on their own workouts. I couldn’t blame them. My daily training sessions were something of a spectacle, like a pileup on the highway that you can’t help but slow down to watch.

Callum crossed his arms over his wide chest and fixed me with a reproachful stare. Solid muscle and taller than me by almost a foot, he was my penance for every one of my past screw-ups. At least that was what I told myself every day when I lowered my freshly bruised body into the healing bath. How I ever thought it would be fun to train with the smiling warrior with the...
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