Today’s post will be a quickie. I went through my closet yesterday, and it turns out I have nothing to wear for the booksigning on Saturday, so I have to go out to a store. Ugh. Shopping is not my favorite thing, so wish me luck!
Before I head out, I have a quick snippet for you from Protecting Medusa.
Philomena parked beside her mother’s house. She’d arrived first, and she needed to get dinner on in a hurry. Once Jason got home, she’d be too distracted to focus on cooking.
She went in the back door, balancing a grocery bag while she reset the alarm, then hit the light switch with her elbow as she continued into the kitchen.
She took her mother’s cast iron skillet from it’s hook over the counter and put it on the stove, turning the heat to high and dropping in some ground beef before she shed her coat. As she put away the rest of the groceries, the meat began to sizzle.
She rolled up her sleeves and dug a spatula out of the utensil drawer, but froze when she heard a creak from upstairs. She waited, then shook her head. It was a hundred year-old farmhouse
She stirred the beef in the pan, adding chopped onions she’d picked up at the store–not out of laziness, but because she knew she needed to move quickly after three days away and with an excitable six-year-old on his way home. She could take time tomorrow to do her own prep work for dinner.
The sound came again from upstairs. She set the spatula on the spoon rest and turned the flame under her pan down to low, then tugged up the hem of her long skirt to pull her dagger from its leather sheath on her thigh.
A loud thud reached her ears, and her heart beat faster.
Dear Gods, someone really was in the house.
She crept up the back steps, keeping to the edges where she knew her weight wouldn’t make the stairs creak, the smooth handle of her long knife comforting in her sweat-damp hand.
More thumping, accompanied by running water.
She frowned when she got to the top of the steps, wincing as something hit the porcelain bathtub, followed by muffled cursing.
She stuck her head around the corner, but the partially-closed bathroom door at the other end of the hall blocked her view. All she could see were shadows.
Two people? In her mother’s bathroom? She wished she’d grabbed the phone on her way up so she could call the police. No, she should’ve called before coming upstairs. Too late now.
More thumping and a crash.
Her jaw clenched, and she stepped into the hallway, her pulse pounding in her ears.
“I’ve called the police,” she lied, moving slowly along the hall. Frigid air drifted toward her. Either the bathroom window was open, or something was seriously wrong with the furnace. She frowned, holding the knife tighter.
A dark blur went out the window, and her eyes widened. It was quite a drop to the ground, even with all the snow mounded below from the big storms so far this winter.
When a large, naked man with a gun went to look out the window, she froze in the middle of the hall, her dagger shoulder high.
She swallowed, and then he turned around. Her lungs stopped working.
“Hello, Philomena. Have I ever told you how much I love a woman who can handle a blade?” He caught the edge of the door and pulled it wide open.
She’d know that voice anywhere, and that face, even if she’d only seen him in photos. Ryder Ware, Jason’s father.
And wow, was she seeing him in person.
He smiled, a cocky grin that revealed dimples in both cheeks, his eyes dark like melted chocolate. Lower, wide shoulders, muscled chest with a veil of dark blond hair, darker yet where it narrowed over his muscle-rippled belly, leading to his groin.
Where he was visibly aroused and getting more so by the second.
She forced her gaze back to his face and found his expression had shifted to something dangerous. Predatory. She forced her lungs to take in some air. “Ryder. What are you doing here?” Besides standing naked in my mother’s bathroom. She inhaled slowly again, attempting to make her heartbeat slow down, but it just kept galloping along under her ribs. She hoped her sweater was heavy enough to hide the way her nipples had started to tighten. Leftover hormones, she told herself. Or the cold from the open window. Nothing to do with the nude man in front of her.
“Saving your life.” He winked at her, completely unselfconscious about his nakedness. Or his arousal.
She refused to look. Not that she had to. She had very good peripheral vision, and wow! “What are you talking about?”
“Harvester.” He clicked something on his gun and laid it on the counter beside the sink.
She went cold, colder than even the open window warranted. “What…I…how…” She didn’t want to think about all the implications in that one word, her eyes closing for a second before she met his gaze.
“I need to go after him.” He grabbed a pair of jeans from the rumpled heap of clothing on the floor, then paused, a wicked grin slanting over his face. “Are you done staring?”
Philomena realized she was staring, and scalding heat rushed to her face as she dragged her gaze up to his.
“We can continue this later, Mena.” He crossed the small room in one step and pressed a hard kiss onto her mouth, startling her. “Keep the alarm on.” Then he grabbed his gun, went to the open window, and ducked outside.
If you’re in the south-central part of Pennsylvania this Saturday, February 12, we’d love to see you at the booksigning! Clicking on the image above will take you to my event page on Facebook where you can find more info. Now wish me luck at the mall!
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