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(The boldest way)

Jacob seemed to know something was going on and he walked quickly towards the bathroom with long strides.    

He opened the door and saw a woman leaning over the bathtub. She was running hot water while testing the temperature with her slender bandaged hand. The air was steamed up and he could only see her attractive profile. Her long sleek hair was tied at the nape of her neck, but a single lock had escaped and dangled seductively over the warm water.    

Perhaps it was due to the heat from the bathwater, he felt a little hot and uneasy. "What are you doing here?" he asked in a husky tone.   

 "Running water for you,"  Emily said gently.   

 "You seem to be quite adept at that. How many people have you ever run water for?" he asked. He could not help a flash of anger racing through his blood at the thought of her having done this intimate act for others.  

She knew what he meant and she shook her head, saying softly, "No, I have only ever run water for you."   

 Reassured by her words, he calmed down somewhat. Swallowing down his boiling emotions, he instructed coldly, "You may go if you have finished."    

'There is so much water in that bath. Doesn't she know that she should keep her injured hand away from water? Such a twerp!' he mentally screamed at her.    "Okay. If you need anything, please call me,"  she said gently as she headed to the door.   

 He burst into laughter and bantered callously, "So, what now? You want to be my only maid, hum?"    

"No, I don't." She quickly denied, but added seriously in a measured tone, "I want to be your wife."  

"Phew!" He felt the arrow of her words pierce his heart. Like a seed planted there it took root and quickly twined around his soul.  

  "You..." He stuttered as he didn't even know what to say to that. Finally he muttered unconvincingly, "It's impossible."    

'It's definitely impossible!    

Don't even dream it!    

She will be the last one in this world that I would marry!' he thought absently.    

Of course, he would one day know what it meant to go back on his words.    

He shut the door behind her, less on account of privacy and more to shut out the mess of thoughts that spilled through his mind. Concentrating on the steaming bath, he was disturbed as someone knocked at the door. "Knock knock!"   

 "Jacob, may I come in?"    

Emily asked through the door in a small gentle voice. Her tone and nearby presence was undeniably seductive to him.  

"No,"  he refused coldly.    

"Okay, I'm coming in." Ignoring his reply, she opened the door and stepped inside.    

He was startled into silence.    

'What's wrong with her today? Is she crazy, Emily?' his mind puzzled.    

Watching her walk closer, the once fearless Jacob became nervous for the first time!    

If only he knew that Emily was equally nervous too!    

Though they had been together for a long time, she had never needed to seduce him even once. Hence, she was even more nervous than him now. She was terrified at the prospect of being rejected.    

"... I came to help scrub your back,"  she said in a low voice, lowering her eyes modestly.  

He wrapped a towel around his waist and closed the tap, cutting off the water flow. Squinting at her, he said simply, "You want to seduce me."    

It was a statement of fact, not a question as they both knew the answer.    

Left with no choice, she did not deny it. Time was running out for them and if their relationship did not reach fruition, then it would soon be too late for Jacob. Emily could not face that prospect.    

Therefore, she chose the boldest way...    She had been told once that the most effective way to get a man to love a woman was to let him sleep with her. 

She did not know whether this would work or not, but she had no other choice left.    

The only hope now was that this could break the deadlock between them.    

These thoughts made her blush a pretty pink which had nothing to do with the excessive heat in the bathroom or the steam which swirled about lazily.  

Always blessed with keen eyesight, Jacob could see her curvaceous figure as her clothes clung to her body because of the moist and steamy air.  

  He stared at her, his eyes deep pools of fervor, and said gently, "Emily, answer me."    

She met with his gaze and her heart fluttered like a caged bird. Weakly she stuttered, "I..I don't. No, I don't!"    

He moved swiftly across the room and she felt as if the very air was compressed against her at his approach.    

"Really?" he asked.    

"No, I don't,"  she said.    

Ashamed, she lowered her head and dared not meet his eyes.    

Jacob stared at her crimson ear tips and burst into a mocking laughter. "Twerp! How could you possibly seduce me, coward?"  

On the verge of tears she bit her lips and said, "Sorry."    

'Do I really suck so badly?    

Now I'm sorry that I never learned to seduce anyone before...' she scolded herself mentally.    

She was embarrassed that it had always been Jacob who had seduced her in the past.    

Sometimes, she had even needed to beg him to let go of her, but that had never been as embarrassing as this moment!   

 He had planned to chase her out, but changed his mind as he noticed her expression. "You came to scrub my back, right? Come here!" he ordered.   

 "Wait, what? Oh, ...okay..." she answered. Uncertain of his intentions she walked towards him.    

He stepped into the bathtub and leaned forward comfortably, like a prince waiting to be served. "Keep your wounded hand out of the water,"  he reminded absently.  

"Okay,"  she agreed. She picked up the towel with her healthy hand and began to scrub his back. Lightly she touched the array of scars which criss-crossed his back.    

"You will be my only maid from now on. You can attend me when I bath,"  he said.

 Feeling quite pleased with his decision, he considered it a way to further humiliate her.    

'This is a way to further take revenge on her, ' he thought happily.    

Considering this motivation, he felt content with his decision to have her serve him.    

She mutely accepted that her plan had failed and began to scrub his back carefully.  

  Her fingers gently traced the scars on his back, her eyes wandering along this map of the suffering he had endured in life.    

Tears came unbidden to her eyes as she recollected all that they had once experienced together.  

'We endured so many difficulties before. We will surely make it through this time!' she tried to encourage herself.   

 He felt her attitude change and sensing her touch upon his scars he asked without moving, "Do you think them ugly?"   

 "No." she choked back her sad sobs.    

He felt her emotions like a raw energy in the room and sensed that she was close to weeping. Confused, he frowned and was about to turn and confront her, when something warm splashed on his back.

 A single tear rolled down the landscape of his pain.   

 It was followed by a gentle kiss planted on his back.    

He was stunned. 'What did she just do?    She... She kissed the ugly scars on my back!' he thought in disbelief.    

He felt his heart miss a beat and then begin to pump warmth through his body.  

"What on earth? What kind of woman are you. He wondered.

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