Silver-Tongued Devil - Lorelei James Page 0,3

take a closer look at that hard noggin of yours.”

“Thanks, Doc.”

“One of these days, Silas, you ain’t gonna be so lucky.”

“I don’t feel lucky today.”

“Well you are lucky,” Miss Thompson declared. “Especially since Doc isn’t lecturing you on the dangers of fighting.”

“Hey. I didn’t start it.”

“This time,” she sniped at him. “And don’t bother pretending there won’t be a next time.”

Jonas addressed the feisty schoolteacher, who seemed way more familiar with his brother than he’d imagined. “You’ve seen to Silas before?”

“Twice. But never for an injury this serious.”

His jaw dropped. “But…you weren’t here the last time I brought him in.”

Miss Thompson finally met his gaze.

Good lord. Her eyes were the pale blue of a winter Wyoming sky.

She lifted her chin. “Then logic would dictate, Deputy, that you’re unaware of your brother’s most recent escapades.”

Dressed down by a schoolmarm? Huh-uh. Not happening on his watch. He was the damn law around here.

“Or logic would dictate that my brother is sweet on you, Miss Thompson, and his previous injuries were so minimal that he didn’t mention them to me, lest I see right through his ruse to charm you with that silver tongue of his while you’re doctoring on him,” Jonas countered.

She blushed and turned away.

“Leave her alone, Jonas,” Silas said groggily.

“Deputy, if I could have a word with you outside while my assistant cleans up the patient?” Doc said.

Neither Silas nor Miss Thompson glanced his way—or at each other—but Jonas got the distinct sense they wouldn’t keep their distance when both their chaperones were gone.

Chapter Three

As soon as Doc and Deputy McKay left the room, Dinah expelled a deep breath.

She unclenched her hands and looked over at Silas, sprawled on the table, blood still covering his face.

The laudanum hadn’t taken effect yet, as he was staring at her with an intensity that caused her to blush ten shades of red.

Silas held out his hand to her. “Come here.”

“You’re injured. It’s not wise—”

“It ain’t wise to deny an injured man comfort. Unless you want me to hop down and come to you?”

“You’re impossible,” Dinah harrumphed as she erased the distance between them. “But I’m not holding your hand.”

“That’s fine, darlin’; I’ll hold yours.”

“Mr. McKay—”

“Silas,” he gently corrected as he caught her fingers in his. “If I’m gonna be courtin’ you, there’ll be no more formality between us.”

“When did I agree to let you court me?” she retorted.

He flashed that charming grin at her for a brief second before he winced in pain. “When I was here two weeks last? Doc gave me his blessing.”

Dinah bit her cheek to keep from reminding Silas that she was old enough to make her own choices. But since she lived with Doc Moorcroft and his wife, she did owe Doc the courtesy of letting Silas make his intentions toward her clear. “I thought you’d forgotten.”

“Have you changed your mind?” he asked softly.

She shook her head. “Did you purposely pick a fight so you’d have an excuse to be in Doc’s office and see me again to make sure I hadn’t changed my mind?”

“No. That bastard Zeke West jumped me after I beat him at cards.” He attempted another smile. “But it was worth it since I get to see your pretty face.”

“Stop trying to charm me, Silas McKay. You wince every time you smile.” She released his hand and reached for a cloth. She dipped it in the water, wrung it out, and began to clean his face.

“That tickles.”

“Better than it hurting.”

“Oh, it hurts too.”

She stopped mid-swipe.

He reached for her other hand. “But you’re not hurtin’ me, darlin’. Keep goin’. And talk to me, please. I’m getting sleepy.”

“I imagine so. You should sleep. Your body needs to heal.”

“Will you be here when I wake up?”

“Not here in the room with you”—like last time went unsaid—“but I’ll be close by.”

“Good.”

Dinah continued to clear the blood from his face. His handsome face.

Lord, Silas McKay defined a good-looking man. His facial features were rugged—square jaw, wide cheeks, surprisingly straight nose for being a brawler. The stubble on his cheeks and neck was the same midnight hue as his wavy black hair. Thick slashes of his dark eyebrows highlighted his piercing blue eyes, eyes that seemed to bore right into her soul every time they regarded her. His height topped hers by a solid foot. And speaking of solid…her gaze traveled down his exposed chest. Beneath the dark hair that grew in the center, she saw the sloped definition of his muscles. Lots of muscles.

What would it be like to