Dani stood under the spray of hot water chasing the chill from her bones. She was warm
and safe and thinking about her gruff host, remembering the night Hunter came into Fay’s shop.
He seemed like a lost soul, but she’d felt a strong pull toward him. Tall, blond, muscular, all the
things that attracted a woman. But she’d seen something else in his eyes. A surge she couldn’t
explain, and she’d felt herself drowning.
She’d taken a risk by touching him. Covering his hand in compassion. But she was glad
she’d initiated the move. He hadn’t pulled away. At least not right away.
She knew his brusque demeanor must be because of his uncle’s death. And today? He
didn’t seem too happy to find her on his doorstep. To be fair, she had been in an accident. Just a
spin—a very scary spin—off the road. But she’d been in danger from the cold and snow.
He’d taken one good look at her and acted with real concern and caring.
Yes. There was more to the man than his gruff exterior.
Dani snapped out of her daydream and turned the knobs shutting off the water. All she
had to do was come up with something to make him smile.
The door flew open and Hunter’s blond hair hung in his face, as if maybe he just got out
of bed. Her fingers itched to smooth the wild strands from his brow.
When he recognized her, he simply hooked his thumb in his pocket and leaned against
the doorjamb. Rugged in a pair of faded blue jeans, his too tight t-shirt stretched across six-pack
abs. His stunning blue eyes peered at her, causing a slow kindling in her belly. She took in a
ragged breath and said the first thing that came to her mind.
“I hear it does that up here,” he said. His gaze glided from her face down to her shaking
“Can I . . . come in—” She stuttered, out of breath. Besides the snow and cold
temperature, she’d fought the wind every step of the way and—. She swayed.
His arms shot out to steady her. Then he swooped her up and cradled her against his hard
“My God, you’re freezing. What the hell happened?” Kicking the door shut, he carried
her to the fireplace and lowered her to the ottoman.
“I had to walk from the main road.” Her voice came out shaky. She’d kept her mouth
covered with her scarf, but her lungs burned from breathing the cold air.
“Where is your car? How long have you been out there?”
“In a ditch.” Now that she was inside, the heat made her aware of the tingling in her toes.
Her teeth started to chatter. “I . . . slid off the road . . .”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
He worked the buttons on her coat, then removed the gloves from her frozen fingers. He
helped her remove her coat, then he tossed it aside. “Are you all right?” He gripped her arms,
sliding his hands along her elbows descending to her writs.
“Are you injured? Do you have any pain?” His warm fingers caressed her neck, then
smoothed over her shoulders, almost massaging. Warmth flowed through her.
“Should I be alarmed . . . Or excited?” she teased. His touch felt good. Very good.
He gave a long steady stare. “Did you hit your head?”
“No. I don’t think so. I’m just really cold.”
“Whatever possessed you to walk in this weather? Do you realize you could have frozen
out there and no one would have known? You could get frost bite.”
He squatted and tugged her boots off, dropping them to the floor. Then his wonderful
fingers warmed her toes through her cold socks. “Where’s your car?”
“About a mile back, at the big curve, right before the turnoff to the cabin.”
He grunted and shook his head which she’d come to believe was his usual habit. She
could ignore his surly disposition, but her body temperature rose several degrees from his strong
hands rubbing up and down her legs.
“What the hell are you doing out here?” he asked.
The fire was welcoming, him not so much.
“Bringing gifts. Uh, there’s a box outside your door. I thought you might like a home
“Are you serious? You decided to drive up this mountain in this weather to feed me?”
“It wasn’t snowing when I left. For some stupid reason I had this wild idea I was
performing an act of kindness,” she said sarcastically.
Hunter strode back to the entryway and found the box of food. She studied his tall form,
as his long powerful legs ate up the distance to the door. He had a confident swagger a girl
couldn’t help but admire. When he retrieved the box and passed her heading to the kitchen, she
couldn’t resist one more sneak peek at his ass.
He placed the box of food on the counter. And in no time, he was back at her side,
pulling her to her feet. While one hand gripped her arm, he pressed the other to her forehead.
“Can’t keep your hands off me?” she teased.
“Don’t know when to shut up, do you?