Snow Bound

By: Dani Wade

Needing to distract herself, she asked, “What was going on out there, anyway? Who was that?”

“Don’t know, Sweet Cheeks,” he said, that rolling Texas drawl sliding over her like honey. “I was hoping you could tell me. I saw a light scanning the hill from my house and thought you were outside, so I came over to help.” He dusted his hands on his jeans as he turned back to face her. “Got a helluva surprise out there.”

Her throat tightened, her heart speeding up as she took in the implications. “Someone was roaming around the backyard?”

“Looked like it from my upstairs window,” he said with a nod. “The light was up near the tree line, so I thought it was you trying to get wood onto the back porch. I figured you hadn’t stocked up so I headed over—“

She pushed away from the couch before he even finished speaking, clamping her teeth down against a moan of pain.

“Whoa, where are you heading?” he asked, crossing the room with quick strides.

But she was beyond answering. “The phone, I have to get to a phone,” she muttered as she hobbled toward the table near the front door.

“Honey, the phones are probably out. Like the power, remember?”

Still she fumbled through her purse for her cell, pushing a button for the display screen. No Service. “Damn, the tower must be down.”

His presence loomed over her shoulder, sparking distracting urges to both hunch forward for protection and lean back into his strength. She’d recognized at their first meeting that he was her type: strong, take-charge, and sensual. She just hadn’t realized how potent the charge would be with prolonged exposure. That hot flame of attraction burning through her chilly limbs felt like a runaway train, which was the last thing Tori was prepared for. She’d been in control her entire adult life, learning her lesson well at eighteen. Now, no one got the chance to run her life, dictate her actions, or force her into anything she didn’t want. But she had a feeling Damon just might be able to, not by bending her to his will but by seducing her into surrender.

Hell, this situation was getting more complicated by the minute, and she had a feeling the trouble had only just begun.

Chapter Three

“You want to tell me what’s going on, sweetheart?”

Heated breath grazed her cheek as Damon spoke, sending a shiver down her spine. His tone was deceptively calm, with a hint of undeniable steel at the center. As much as she didn’t want to get into it, she had to explain. With the sheriff’s department unreachable, he was her only source of protection.

“Didn’t I hear someone say you’d been in the military?” she asked.

She sensed his nod. “Why?”

A little step forward allowed her to turn around without having to slide against his hard body. She needed every ounce of strength and wit about her. Focus would be the last thing she was capable of if he got too close.

“Because… I think I’m in danger.”

A thick brow lifted, though she couldn’t tell if he was asking a question… or questioning her sanity. Hopefully the former, since he’d seen the evidence for himself of just how dangerous this guy could be. “The man, outside, I think he might be someone who is… after me.”

This time those brows pulled together as he frowned, and his arms crossed his oh-so-impressive chest. With a sudden start he turned and began to pace the polished wooden floors. Across to the fireplace, then angling to the right until he came up against the wall, then back again. He spoke as he paced, “All right, Princess, give it to me straight.”

She could lay it all out there, though he was probably the type of man to want all the facts up front. But some things were simply too personal to reveal to a casual acquaintance, even one who set the blood in your veins on fire. The facts were pretty well-known by the locals, so she’d stick to that.

“The man I suspect, who, well, might be out there is one I helped put in prison. He was supposed to come up for parole a few weeks ago, and I know that it was granted, but when he never showed up to confront me, I just figured he’d moved on.” Hoped was more like it.

Damon had halted not long after she started speaking, and now those brown eyes widened as they met her own. “You, little Miss Priss, helped put a man in prison?”

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