By evening, when the sun had dipped well past the horizon, the temperature had dipped along with it. Sierra built a fire in the huge stone fireplace and warmed some cider. She was about to stretched out in front of it on the thick cushion s she’d tossed on the floor when a knock sounded on the heavy wood door.
Now who? But this time I’m prepared. And tomorrow I’m getting a chain to go with the deadbolt.
Who’d have thought she needed it way out here?
She picked up the loaded handgun from the table where she’d left it and held it behind her back with one hand. Flipping on the porch light she opened the door with her other hand, barely cracking it two inches.
“I think I’m lost.”
The voice was like melted chocolate, deep and warm and enveloping.
Sierra opened the door a little wider, looked at her visitor and every bit of saliva in her mouth dried up. The man on her porch was well over six feet, lean and broad shouldered. Dark brown hair with traces of silver dusted his shoulders and framed a starkly masculine face—high cheekbones, square jaw and unusual amber eyes. A long-sleeved black T-shirt and well-worn jeans clung to well-defined muscles.
After three tries she found her voice, and then it came out sounding like a squeak. “Lost?”
“Yes. I’ve been hiking in the woods, and I probably got disoriented. Listen, I promise I’m not an escaped murderer or a rapist on the loose. It’s safe to let me in.”
Clutching the gun behind her back, she swung the door wider and he stepped inside. Up close his presence was even more overwhelming. She felt surrounded, all her breath trapped in her lungs, her legs suddenly shaky. She backed up until her legs hit the table behind the couch where she carefully placed the handgun.
The thick, dark eyebrows rose questioningly. “Were you planning to shoot me?”
She wet her lips with her tongue. “Only if I needed to.”
He grinned, a smile that somehow reminded her of the silver wolf. “I’m certainly glad you didn’t need to. I promised you I’m harmless.” He held out his hand. “Luke Spencer.”
Gingerly, she reached out to shake hands. “Sierra Hart.”