He doesn’t leave me alone for long, though. He unties my hands first and rubs them lightly, then he takes off my blindfold. I blink, letting my eyes adjust to the soft light in the room, and move my arms, bracing myself on my elbows.

“Come,” he says softly, wrapping his fingers around my upper arm. “Let’s get you into the shower.”

I let him tug me to my feet and lead me into the bathroom. My legs feel shaky, and I’m glad he’s holding me. I don’t know if I could’ve walked there by myself.

He turns on the shower, waits for the water to heat up for a few seconds, and leads us into the large stall. Then he thoroughly washes every part of my body, rinsing away all traces of lube and semen. He even shampoos and conditions my hair, his fingers massaging my skull and relaxing me again. By the time he’s done, I feel clean and cared for.

“Now it’s your turn,” he says, turning up my palm and pouring some body wash into it.

“You want me to wash you?” I say incredulously, and he nods, a small smile curving his lips. With the water running down his muscular body, he’s even more gorgeous than usual, like some kind of a sea god.

He continues looking at me expectantly, waiting to see if I will do as he asked, and I mentally shrug. Why not wash him, really? It won’t hurt me in the least. And besides, as much as I hate him, I can’t deny that I am curious about his body—that touching him is something I find exciting.

So I rub my hands together and run them over his chest, spreading the soap all over his bronzed skin. He raises his arms, and I wash his sides and underarms, then his back.

His skin is mostly smooth, roughened in just a few places by dark, masculine hair. I can feel the powerful muscles bunching under my fingers, and I find myself enjoying this experience. In this moment, I can almost pretend that I want to be here, that this stunning creature is my lover instead of my captor.

I wash him as thoroughly as he washed me, my soapy hands gliding over his legs, his feet. By the time I get to his sex, his cock begins to harden again, and I freeze, realizing that my ministrations unintentionally aroused him.

He correctly interprets my reaction as fear. “Relax, my pet,” he murmurs, his voice filled with amusement. “I’m only human, you know. As delicious as you are, I need more than a few minutes to recover fully.”

I swallow and turn away, rinsing my hands under the water spray. What the hell am I doing? He hadn’t forced me to touch him. I had done it of my own accord. He’d asked, but I am pretty sure I could’ve refused and he would’ve let it slide. The dark undercurrent I’d sensed in him earlier this evening is not there now. In fact, Julian seems to be in a good mood, his manner almost playful.

I want to get out of the shower now, so I make a move to slide past him. He stops me, his arm blocking my way.

“Wait,” he says softly, tilting my chin up with his fingers. Then he bends his head and kisses me, his lips sweet and gentle on mine. A now-familiar response warms my body, making me want to rub myself against him like a cat in heat. He doesn’t let it go far, though. After about a minute, he lifts his head and smiles down at me, his blue eyes gleaming with satisfaction. “Now you can go.”

Utterly confused, I step out of the shower, dry myself off, and escape into my room as quickly as I can.

After the shower, he joins me in my bed, his muscular body curving around me from the back, one heavy arm draping over my torso. I stiffen at first, unsure of what to expect, but all he does is go to sleep while holding me close to him. I can hear the even rhythm of his breathing as I stare into the darkness, and then I gradually fall asleep too.

I wake up to a strange noise. It startles me out of deep sleep, and my eyes fly open, my heart pounding from an adrenaline surge.

What was that? For a moment, I don’t dare breathe, but then I realize that the sounds are coming from the other side of the bed—from the man sleeping beside me.

I sit up in bed and peer at him. It looks like he rolled away from me in the night, gathering all the blankets to himself. I’m completely naked and uncovered, and I actually feel a little chilly with the air-conditioning running at full blast.

The sounds escaping his throat are muffled, but there is a raw quality to them that gives me goosebumps. They remind me of an animal in pain. He’s breathing hard, almost gasping for air.

“Julian?” I say uncertainly. I don’t really know what to do in this situation. Should I wake him up? He’s clearly having a bad dream. I recall him telling me about his family, that they were all murdered, and I can’t help feeling pity for this beautiful, twisted man.

He cries out, his voice low and hoarse, and flops over onto his back, one arm hitting the pillow only a few inches away from me.

“Um, Julian?” I reach out cautiously and touch his hand.

He mumbles and turns his head, still deeply asleep. If we were anywhere but on this island, this would be the perfect moment for me to try to escape. As it stands, however, there’s really no point in going anywhere, so I just watch Julian warily, wondering if he’s going to wake up on his own or if I should try harder to wake him.

For a few moments, it seems like he’s settling down, his breathing calming a bit. Then he suddenly cries out again.