Your bath is ready, sodbuster. Lily stood. I’m not going to bathe in the open, she said. All right, then, Caleb answered, pulling his shirt from his trousers, I will. No sense letting all this nice hot water go to waste. Lily might have loved Caleb Halliday, but she begrudged him that clean, steaming bath water in the worst way. Don’t you dare step into that tub, she said, marching over to where he stood. It’s mine. Caleb smiled and folded his arms. Fine, he said. He didn’t show any sign of moving, and the fire around the tub was getting low. Soon the chilly evening air would cool the water. You could at least give me some privacy. He smiled and sat down on the nearby stump of a long-gone maple tree. I could, he said. It was perfectly clear that he didn’t intend to, however. Lily looked with longing at the water, then turned her back on Caleb and pretended he wasn’t there. Quickly, before her courage could desert her, she removed her clothes and stepped into the tub. The feel of the hot water closing around her tired, achy flesh was so delicious that she made a little crooning sound as she settled in. She was caught completely by surprise when Caleb joined her, naked as the day he’d left heaven, and sank into the water. Some of it splashed over the edges of the oblong tub and sizzled as it met the fire. I suppose it would be a waste of breath to ask you to get out of this tub, Lily said. Absolutely, Caleb replied.
― Linda Lael Miller,
Lily and the Major
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