Happy New Year! – excerpt from Seducing Liselle

Snow 29 december 2012

In honor of the lovely snow we are getting here in Pennsylvania (see my backyard above?), I thought I’d post part of the blizzard scene from my WIP Seducing Liselle. 😀

John grinned. “Yeah, well. I can’t help myself.”

She slipped again and he slung an arm around her waist, keeping her from going headfirst into the snow.

“Okay, this is ridiculous. Your feet are obviously too cold to work right.”

Before Liselle realized what he was going to do, he picked her up, swinging her into his arms. She squeaked, grabbing onto his shoulders.

“What are you doing?” She clung to him, scared to death he was going to drop her.

“Relax, I’ve got you,” he said, striding through the snow at least twice as fast as before.

*Whoa*, she thought, fingers clenching in his coat. *He’s almost running in this insane snow, and he’s carrying me!*

“Relax,” he said again, more firmly this time. He hitched her up in his arms more securely. “Look, there’s my place.” He jerked a chin down the trail.

She followed his gaze and saw a small cabin nestled in a tiny clearing. The front porch light was on, illuminating the rough cut wood of the exterior.

“Looks cozy,” she said, imagining a fire and warm blankets and hot chocolate. She might have given a small sigh because John cocked his head at her.

“I’m pretending you were serious and there’s really hot chocolate waiting inside,” she said as he loped up the steps.

“Of course there is, do you doubt me?” he asked, setting her on her feet.

“I’m just used to disappointment,” she said. “I try not to get too excited about things.”

He frowned at her, but then her legs buckled and he grabbed her, slinging her up close against his side. “Okay now, no falling.”

She burrowed in closer, trying unsuccessfully to stand up on her own. She was dizzy. And she couldn’t feel her feet.

“I can’t feel my feet,” she murmured, looking down. Her boots were encased in ice and snow. “Or my hands,” she added.

“Hang on,” he said and did something with the lock. The door swung open, warm air blowing over them.

“Oh my God, warmth,” she said, surging forward, desperate to get inside.

He chuckled and half-carried her in, flipping a switch as he kicked the door shut behind him. The interior was small, with a kitchen to their left and a sofa in front of a large fireplace directly in front of them. Steps let up to a loft on the right side. Underneath the loft he’d set up an office area complete with computer, bookshelves, and a cat bed.

“You have a cat?” she asked, watching as the black and grey creature stretched and yawned, then sauntered over to investigate their entrance.

“I have a cat that thinks he’s a pitbull,” John replied.

He was staring down at the cat in a sort of complicated dominance greeting, Liselle thought. The cat sniffed disdainfully and let loose with a meow that sounded more like a howl. Then it head-butted her leg.

“Uh, what does he want?” she asked, trying not to fall over as pins and needles surged through her warming limbs.

John snorted. “He probably wants to eat you. Or me. I’m not sure which.”

She glared at him, edging away from the cat. “Seriously.” She pulled off her mittens, tucking the sodden fabric into her coat pocket.

He laughed and shoved the creature away with his foot. “I’ll feed you in a minute, Pitbull.”

The cat meowed again, raising the hair on Liselle’s neck, then stalked off.

“You named him Pitbull?”

John shrugged. “He’s kind of a handful.”

She rolled her eyes and fumbled at her coat, still dizzy. “What is wrong with me?” she muttered, frustrated when she couldn’t get her fingers around the buttons.

“Here, let me.” John batted her fingers away.

“This is ridiculous,” she said, face burning.

“Hey, you almost had hypothermia. Just let me take care of you, okay?” John said gently.

She stared at his long, golden lashes while he worked at her coat, brushing off snow that had frozen into the wool. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

He stopped, licked his lips, then worked the last button free. She stared at his mouth. His upper lip curved mischievously. She wanted to kiss him, right there. Right now. God.

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