The Millionaire's Snowbound Seduction

By: Sandra Marton



He pulled up outside the garage and got out to open the door. The snow, and the wind, hit him with enough force to take his breath away but he bent his head against it and grasped the handle of the garage door.

‘Damn!’

How could he have forgotten? The door was electric. It wouldn’t move an inch no matter how much muscle you applied and, of course, he’d forgotten to have somebody send him the automatic opener.

Well, that was life. He’d have his work cut out for him, digging the truck out from under umpteen inches of snow tomorrow morning. He trudged back to the Explorer, opened the door and stuffed his cellphone and his wireless fax into his pockets, hung his carryon and his computer case from his shoulders, and hefted a box of supplies into his arms. Steak, potatoes, a couple of onions and a bottle of single-malt Scotch. The basic food groups, enough to hold him through the weekend. He slammed the door shut with his hip, dug the key to the cabin from his pocket, and made his way to the front porch.

Damn, Nick thought as he climbed the wooden steps. He’d forgotten to bring coffee. Well, he’d have to make do with a shot of the Scotch to warm his bones, and then he’d fall straight into bed. It sounded like a mighty fine plan.

He wedged the box against the door, fumbled for the lock and turned the key. The door wouldn’t open. He scowled. Was there an unwritten law that said doors had to stick when a man was freezing his ass off on the wrong side of them? Nick grunted, shoved hard, and almost fell into the cabin as the door groaned noisily and swung open on a yawning blackness.

‘Idiot,’ he muttered.

He had a flashlight, but it was inside the box. And to put the box down without walking into something, he needed to be able to see.

There had to be a light switch on the wall. He seemed to remember one, to the left…

‘Come on,’ he said impatiently, as he felt for the switch. ‘Where are you hiding? I know you’re there.’

Something swished past his face. He sensed it coming just quickly enough to duck before it connected with his skull.

‘Hey! What the…?’

A creature flew at him from out of the darkness, shrieking like a banshee. Nick yelled, threw up his arms to ward the thing off, and went down in a heap, box, carry-on, computer and all.

The creature was right on top of him.

Talons dug into his shoulder, went for his eyes. Warm breath hissed onto his face. Was it a bobcat? A lynx? A mountain lion? No, not that. There were no big cats here, weren’t supposed to be, anyway. A wolf? Gone for at least a hundred years, but people said…

‘Perfume?’ Nick whispered.

What kind of cat wore perfume?

The thing began trying to scramble away from him. Nick grunted. His hand closed on something fragile and bony. An ankle? A wrist? Did cats have ankles and wrists?

Perfume. Delicate bones…

Nick’s eyes widened against the darkness.

‘Bloody hell,’ he said. ‘You’re a woman!’

And then something hit him hard, in the back of the head, and he slipped down and down into deepest, darkest night.

* * *

Holly stood over the unconscious intruder and trembled with fear.

Was he dead? Had she killed him?

At first, she’d thought she was dreaming. She’d been lying in bed, still shaking with cold despite wearing her long johns, wool socks, a hat and her New England Patriots sweatshirt, buried to the tip of her nose beneath half a dozen quilts, busily telling herself there was nothing the least bit spooky about being alone on the top of a mountain with no lights and a blizzard raging outside, when she’d heard something.

A sound. An engine.

Good, she’d thought. The snowplows were out.

Snowplows? Back home, in Boston, yes. But here? On the top of this mountain?

Holly’d shot up in bed, her heart pounding. The night was so still. Every sound seemed magnified a hundred times, and each had sent a wave of terror straight through her.

The thud of a car door. The scrunch of footsteps in the snow. The thump of booted feet mounting the steps, crossing the porch. The sound of the front door being battered open.

That was when she’d moved, jerking out a hand for the portable phone on the night table, remembering even as she put it to her ear that the damned thing wouldn’t work with the power out. Petrified, almost breathless with fear, she’d looked around desperately for a weapon. Something. Anything.

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