He tilted his head and took the pitcher from her hands. "Here. You look ready to wilt. The hour is late, and you've had a long day. Mayhap, you should find your bed."
"But Malmury..." She touched her cheek. As tired as she was, Malmury had succeeded in subduing her most acute feelings of rebellion. Time would be her best weapon in fighting back. All she needed was time to learn their habits and weaknesses.
Erik pulled her hand from her face. "Who kissed your skin with the palm of their hand?"
Keely shook her head, not wanting to invite trouble by slinging accusations.
"While I appreciate your silence, I'll not have my property abused." Erik continued to study the mark, his expression fierce.
Property? God, but she hated that word. "It doesn't matter."
"It matters to me, min lille drage."
She clamped her mouth shut at his attempt to soothe her.
"Was it Malmury?"
Her gaze swept the floor, giving him the answer he sought. He lifted her chin with the tip of his finger. "Malmury will answer to me. Come, I'll escort you to my chambers."
She stumbled. "Your chambers?"
"Ja. Where else do you propose to sleep?"
A glance about the room revealed a bevy of lecherous and inebriated men, all anxious for a tumble between the sheets. The few women remaining to serve drinks seemed quite amenable to the situation. Where did the other servants sleep? The ones unwilling to indulge in carnal activities?
"I'll just find a corner somewhere." Others had done the same, sprawled about the floor like limp rugs.
"Sank showed me the dream." His voice had dropped to a husky whisper.
"Dream?" Surely not the one where she'd enjoyed a host of sinful delights with her Viking lover. The one she'd sent Sank in a fit of insanity.
He bent his head and pressed his lips against the hollow of her neck. "The dream."
Oh God, please don't kiss me. If I give in to my desires, I'll bind myself to you in ways I'm not yet prepared for. It's too soon. She pulled away and shook her head, feeling the exhaustion of a full day wash over her.