The Millionaire's Snowbound Seduction

By: Sandra Marton



The phone. It was a weapon. It didn’t have as much heft as she’d have liked but she was in no position to be choosy.

Now what? Should she hide and hope the intruder wouldn’t find her, or should she tiptoe down the steps, see what he was doing, slip up behind him when he wasn’t watching and knock him over the head?

Whatever she did, she’d be quiet. Oh, so quiet. Super quiet, like a little mouse, so that he wouldn’t so much as suspect there was a woman in the house. A lone woman…

And right then, just as she was tiptoeing to the top of the stairs, trying to hear herself think over the thud of her heart, the intruder had spoken in a low, angry voice.

‘Come on,’ he growled. ‘Where are you hiding? I know you’re here.’

Terror had impelled her, then, terror and the realization that he knew she was here. She’d raced downstairs, tried her damnedest to bash his brains out right away and, when that hadn’t worked, she’d screamed the way Belinda had once said she’d been taught to scream in a martial arts class and hurled herself straight at the intruder.

He was huge. Seven feet, for sure. Eight, maybe. Three hundred pounds, no, four hundred, and all of it muscle. And he was strong as an ox. He’d struggled mightily, grunting and shoving and trying to dislodge her, but she hadn’t given an inch. Then his hand—a hand the size of a house, and as powerful as a steel trap—had closed around her wrist.

‘Perform,’ he’d said, in a voice as deep as a bass drum, and just as a hundred terrible explanations for that command swept into Holly’s mind his grasp on her wrist had tightened. ‘Blood,’ he’d snarled, ‘you’re a human!’

Perform? Blood? Human?

Holly hadn’t hesitated. She’d swung the phone again and that time she’d hit him on the top of his miserable head.

Now he lay sprawled at her feet, face-down and motionless.

She poked him with her toe. He didn’t move. She poked again. Nothing happened.

Holly’s heart was in her throat.

‘Oh, God,’ she whispered.

Had she killed him? Had she killed this—this escapee from a funny farm? Her teeth banged together, chattering like castanets. What about all that stuff she’d always laughed at? The tabloid headlines that screamed about visitors from outer space? Did an alien lie at her feet, looking to perform some bloody human sacrifice?

Holly forced out a laugh. ‘For heaven’s sake,’ she said shakily, ‘get a grip!’

This was no alien. It was a man, and even if he was a certifiable loony who thought he’d been hatched on Mars, the last thing she wanted was to have his blood on her hands.

She had to turn him over, see if he was alive or dead. And to manage that, she needed light.

There were candles in the kitchen; she’d used one to see her way upstairs an hour or two ago. Was it safe to turn her back, leave the room, leave this—this creature lying here? Suppose he awoke? Suppose he stood up? Suppose…

‘Ooooh.’

Holly leaped back. He was moaning. And moving. Very, very slightly, but at least he was alive. She hadn’t killed him.

The man groaned again. It was a pitiful sound. Her heart thumped. How badly had she injured him? She couldn’t see. Couldn’t tell. For all she knew, he might be lying there, bleeding to death.

‘Mister?’

There was no response.

‘Hey, Mister!’

Holly took a tentative step forward. She poked him with her toe, then poked him again. Carefully, she squatted down beside the still form and jabbed him with a finger.

Nothing happened.

Holly heaved a sigh of relief. Good. He was still unconscious. As for his wounds—that could wait. Right now, she needed to find something to tie him with.

The man groaned and rolled onto his back, one arm thrown over his face. Holly leapt to her feet and scrambled into the shadows.

‘Don’t move!’ she said. Oh, that sounded pathetic! She cleared her throat, dropped her voice to what she hoped was something raspy and threatening. ‘Don’t move another inch, or so help me I’ll…I’ll shoot.’ And she brandished the portable phone before her.

Move? Move?

Nick would have laughed at the idea, if he hadn’t been afraid that laughing would make his skull crack open. The last time his head had felt like this was in fourth grade when Eddie Schneider, excited at the prospect of striking out the last guy up, had managed to bean him with a fastball.

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