Carissa released the hem of the shirt, her courage lost. “Not particularly.”
“You said you would tell me all once we were safe.”
Carissa folded her arms tightly over her chest, her gaze scanning the black trees. She certainly didn’t feel safe.
“I will keep you safe, Carissa.” He turned her to face him. “He will not touch you again.”
Guilt and sympathy churned within her. She hated that he worried so much over her. After all, what had happened wasn’t truly his fault. Carissa shook her head, her gaze falling away from Elon’s. “It matters little, Elon. He didn’t violate me like he has before, if that is of comfort to you.”
Frustration flickered across his face like the flame of a fire—in the flaring of his nostrils, the clenching of his jaw. “That is not of comfort.”
She drew back from him. “If you want to know, then I’d best show you rather than tell you.”
Carissa turned her back to him and, before she could contemplate her actions, she drew her shirt over her head and tossed it to the ground. Though she longed for the covering it afforded, she was glad to have it off. It was in disrepair—from where she’d torn the bottom to bind Lila’s hand—and its smell reminded her of Akar.
She fumbled with the rope she’d knotted around her waist, so she could slip off her trousers, but her hands were trembling and sweating so badly that she couldn’t loosen it.
Leaves crinkled behind her, and she felt Elon’s warmth at her back. “Could I be of assistance?”
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