It was well past dark when he returned, the squire still in tow, and Rowena roused herself from her sleepy state to unbolt the door to let them in. She didn't think much now of being undressed in front of the squire, realizing it made him just as uncomfortable, maybe more so, and this thought was almost amusing to her, making her feel less self-conscious and almost bold.

The squire began to bring buckets of water in to fill the tub that stood in the center of an adjoining room, and Rowena followed silently as Bronn went in, and sat down to let the squire remove his boots. Then he stood, and started to undress. Rowena did not hesitate now, and moved in to stop his hands, taking the bottom of his tunic and standing on her toes as she pulled it gently over his battered body, revealing cuts and scrapes and bruises. She could not resist running her hand across the hard muscled chest and stomach she had seen and admired for the first time in her own private rooms over the stables. She did not meet his gaze, but knew his was watching her with approval, and probably some amusement, as she felt clumsy and knew he could see her hands were shaking.

She went to unlace his trousers, and pulled them down, kneeling as she did, revealing him in all of his nakedness. He balanced himself with one hand on her shoulder as he lifted one foot and then the other so that she could completely remove his trousers. As she sat up on her knees, she saw that he was holding his cock in his hand, and that it was mere inches from her face. She was frozen for a moment, but he stroked her cheek gently, and then grabbed a handful of her hair to hold her in place, watching realization dawn on her face.

She looked up at him then, in shock, as she'd never thought of such a thing, and he laughed, but not cruelly. When he saw her intial shock turn to fear and confusion, he smiled.

I will teach you all the ways that you can please a man. And all the ways I can please you."

He released his hold on her hair and stroked her cheek again, before offering his hand to help her to her feet.

She watched as he stepped to stand over a drain in the floor, and the squire stood on a stool to pour several buckets of steaming water over him. She stood mesmerized as the dirt and grime and blood washed down his body. Suddenly feeling very possessive, she stepped boldly up to the squire and addressed him directly. "I will do it.".

The squire looked to Bronn, expecting him to object, but the sellsword only smiled at Rowena, and then turning to the squire, spoke sternly. "You heard my lady. Leave us now."

The squire hesitated only a moment, but Bronn shot him an angry look and he scurried off as quickly as he could, bowing politely to Rowena before he left.

Now that most of the grime had been washed from his body and down the drain, he stepped into the tub and sank down into the still steaming water, closing his eyes and breathing a deep sigh.

Rowena picked up a cloth the squire had left on the side of the tub, dipped it into the water and began gently and lovingly wiping off his face with the warm clean fabric. As she worked her way down to his neck and shoulders, she thought only of how much she cared for him, and how glad she was that he had returned to her, and kept her safe, just as he had promised.

She moved to his arm and held it up as she scrubbed it thoroughly, trying to take care over the various scrapes and scratches, then moved to the other side to repeat the process on his other arm. Then she stood behind him, scrubbing his back as he sat forward, and she could not resist rubbing her hands over his taught muscles, knowing how worn and beaten his body must be feeling.

When she came around to start on his chest, she hesitated for a moment, and he held out a hand to her. She took it and he guided her to step into the tub with him. He stretched his legs out and apart, resting his feet on the opposite end of the tub. She knelt down in the water between his outstretched legs, and leaned forward to start the process over on his chest, working her way down. Feeling his eyes watching her, she felt nervous and clumsy again, but he regarded her very tenderly. He was relaxed and seemed to enjoy her gentle attention, moving only to push a stray hair from her face now and then.

She hesitated as she moved down his chest, but he took her hands firmly in his and placed them directly on his groin. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks, and he was smiling in amusement at her obvious discomfort. Rowena touched him gingerly here, not wanting to hurt him, and not knowing how to touch him there, but was surprised and almost pleased when she felt him growing harder as she attended to her bathing duties. Next she scrubbed each leg clean, one at a time, right down to his toes. Then, with her back to him, she hesitated, not knowing what to do next. But before she could think, he reached forward and grabbed her around the waist, pulling her down into the water with him, as she squealed in surprise and laughter, until she was pressed back against his chest.

"That was the most pleasant bath I've ever had," he proclaimed with a laugh. "I think I shall have you bathe me all the time from now on."

He grabbed a handful of her hair and turned her face to his and kissed her. "And I shall return the favor," he said, flashing his wicked grin. Rowena smiled shyly, still somewhat embarrassed, but she soon forgot all that as he began to trail kisses over her cheek and down her neck to her shoulder. Then he pulled her tight against him, and she rested her head on his chest and felt she could fall asleep right here.

But after a short time, a noise at the doorway interrupted them. It was the squire, clearing his throat to get their attention, his eyes glued to the floor. "Your supper is ready, Sir, m'lady", he spoke haltingly, obviously embarrassed and uncomfortable.

"Fine." Said Bronn. "Thank you, squire, you may leave us for the evening. Stand guard outside the door, please."

He stood and stepped out of the tub, offering Rowena his hand as he helped her out. Then taking the sheet next to the tub, wrapped it around both of their wet bodies and held her tightly too him, face to face, warming her and making her tremble at the same time. Now she could wrap her arms around him, and held tightly to him, not wanting to let go.

After a few moments, he dried her body as well as he could, and more gently than she would've thought possible, before drying himself. Then taking her by the hand, he led her into the other room, where their supper had been laid out on a table. A fresh white robe had been laid on the bed, and she went to pick it up to bring to him, but he shook his head.

"No need for clothes when we're all alone." He said, his eyes sparkling playfully.

He led her to a chair and held it out for her, leaning over to whisper in her ear, "Besides, we won't be needing any clothing for what I have planned."

She blushed again, but was growing more comfortable and less self-conscious as time went on, but still she crossed her arms over her bare breasts, hugging her shoulders, all the while knowing it would not be tolerated. He grabbed both her hands and pulled them away, placing them on the table in front of her. "I want to see you." He whispered into her ear before walking to the other side of the table to sit down. He watched her squirm and smiled as she began fidgeting with the utensils and anything else on the table she could find to keep her hands busy. Finally he began to pile food onto a plate, and she watched for a moment before following suit. And once they began to eat and he recounted a few details of the battle, she became almost oblivious to the fact that she was sitting down for a meal, with a man, completely naked.

But still she was distracted by the sight of him sitting across from her, his hard muscled chest with it's collection of scars, the memory of his bath and the affect her hands had on his body. She couldn't begin to imagine what the rest of the evening might be like. She toyed with her food, moving it around the plate, finding it difficult to eat. But then she realized he had stopped eating, and was giving her a mildly accusing look.

"You must eat, love" he admonished. "For you will need your energy this night."

Rowena did her best to concentrate on the food in front of her and tried to eat and not think about things to come later…