Excerpt from Love a Dark Rider

     
     She'd been sitting in Sam's office for some time, wrapped in her thoughts, the silence of the house gently cocooning her, when she suddenly became aware of a sound—stealthy footsteps coming down the hallway....
     Frozen, she listened, her heart beating in thick, uncomfortable strokes as the furtive sound came nearer, and her breath literally stopped when the steps halted outside the door to Sam's office. Wide-eyed, she stared mesmerized as the crystal doorknob slowly turned.
     Her fingers closed around the heavy glass. It wasn't much of a weapon, but if she threw it and if her aim were good enough...
     The door opened and a tall, masculine figure stood there in the darkness. Sara had a brief impression of a wide-brimmed hat pulled low across his face and menacingly broad shoulders covered by a muddy, dark greatcoat in the second before she flung the glass in his direction with all her might. As the glass flew across the room, she snatched up the half-full bottle of brandy and a second glass, armed and ready to sling more missiles, should it be necessary. It never occurred to her to scream for help.
     Sara's aim had been strong and true, and there was a muffled curse as her weapon struck with bruising force high on the intruder's right cheekbone. Her small bosom heaving, her militant stance behind the desk making it clear she intended to fight, she waited tensely for his next move. It surprised her. His hand moving faster than Sara's eyes could follow it, she found herself looking down the blue barrel of a Colt revolver.
     "Drop them," he said quietly, "or I'll have to put a bullet through that soft, pretty hide of yours."
     The remembered sound of his deep voice reverberating through her skull, Sara dazedly obeyed. When the glass and the bottle were safely placed on top of the desk, his cool amber-gold eyes never leaving hers, he picked up the glass from the floor where it had fallen and walked further into the room. Slamming the door behind him with a deft twist of his foot, he came over to stand in front of Sara. With only the desk between them, he carefully set down the glass and regarded the unexpectedly erotic picture she presented.
     The lamplight increased the golden glow of her unbound hair, the shiny mass flowing in gentle waves over one shoulder and down one breast, and he was aware of a powerful urge to reach out and grasp those honey-colored strands to see if they were as silky as they looked. Her eyes were wide and very green as she stared back at him, her dark lashes and brows contrasting vividly with the paleness of her skin, but it was her mouth, her generously curved, enticingly pink mouth, that held his attention for a long moment. Wrenching his gaze away from the tempting promise of her lips, he let it travel indolently downward, noting with admiration the way the worn emerald-green robe clung to her slender body, and he found himself wondering just what she wore underneath it....
     The silence spun out as they regarded each other, and then, as if he had seen enough, he re-holstered the pistol and seated himself in one of the old leather chairs in front of the desk. He tipped back his hat and with insulting familiarity put his boots on one corner of the desk, crossing his feet as he did so.
     "I didn't expect you to be happy with my return..." Yancy Cantrell drawled softly, "but, dear little step-mama, was it necessary to greet me with such violence?"
 
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