“You don’t - you can’t - you would - what would you-” Mélanie caught herself and focused very carefully on her breathing for several breaths. “Sir. Jasper.” She looked at him with wide eyes and found that his grin had stuttered into something of a worried expression. She patted his shoulder, not wanting him upset, and cleared her throat. “I’m sorry you, you, ah, you caught me by surprise. What did you mean - what-”
“Oh, Mélanie, my sweetness.” Jasper pulled her into a tight hug, rubbing her back until she could breathe again. “I didn’t meant to upset you, I didn’t. Why does this- what upsets you?”
She peered up at him from the confines of the hug. “I don’t want you to risk yourself. I was so upset when the - when those thugs had you, and I, if you got caught, it would be horrid. I don’t want something like that happening to you!”
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