Home > Gentry (Wolves of Winter's Edge #1)(9)

Gentry (Wolves of Winter's Edge #1)(9)
Author: T.S. Joyce

She’d never had this kind of physical reaction to anyone, not even Matt, and she’d really loved him once.

Was this lust? Was this what Ashlyn had been talking about? She’d been trying to get Blaire to go out and party for months and encouraged hook-ups with men, but she hadn’t been ready. Maybe she still wasn’t emotionally, but now her body seemed ready enough to do dirty deeds with one sexy-as-hell Gentry Striker.

Gentry parted those sensual lips as though he wanted to say something, but instead, he leaned down, set the bag of food in the middle of the floor, and gruffly said, “Goodnight, Trouble.”

Mmm, she liked that he had given her a nickname as if they were old friends, but she did not like that he’d put her food down like she was a rabid raccoon and then bolted from the house like he couldn’t escape her fast enough.

She padded over to the bag, saw there was way more than she’d ordered, and bolted for the snow boots she’d left by the door. She shoved her feet into them and sprinted outside with the food. Dang, Gentry was fast. He was already to his cabin across the parking area, so she had to run. Her boots crunched through the snow, and she slipped twice on the layer of ice beneath it, but she got within yelling distance before he closed the door.

“Wait! Aaah!” She slipped again and splayed her legs for balance.

In his open doorway, Gentry wore the deepest frown she’d ever seen on a person. “What are you doing?”

Huffing cold breath, she made her way in front of his porch like she was Romeo and he was Juliet. Dramatically, she spread her arms out, food dangling from one hand. “You’re alone, and I’m alone, and you left your food in here, and it’s my birthday. And holy shrimp, it’s cold out here. I’m regretting the no-jacket…”

“Still no bra…”

“I think I’m getting frostbite. The world is going dark.” Blaire coughed delicately.

“Jesus,” he muttered, but he did seem to be fighting a teeny, tiny smile. “Is it really your birthday, or are you bullshitting me?”

She was shivering and really uncomfortable. Slowly, she covered her nipples, which had drawn up like little marbles against the thin material of her pajamas. “This vacation was a last-minute thing. It was a birthday present from my best friend. Today is really my big day. Dirty thirty.”

“Dirty thirty? You’re thirty years old?”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Well, first off, I thought you were mid-twenties max, and two, I thought fancy women like yourself didn’t give your age readily.”

“How old are you?” she asked through chattering teeth.

“Twenty-Six.”

“Oh.” She didn’t know why, but she’d pegged him as the same age as her, or maybe a couple years older. He was so confident and gave off this air of maturity that had tricked her. He was all tall and strong and, for reasons beyond her comprehension, he made her feel safe.

But…he was younger. She had no chance in hell with a young buck like him.

Whoa, where had that thought come from? She was here for a week, nothing more. She wasn’t looking for a “young buck.”

Gentry didn’t look happy about it, but he twitched his chin in an inviting gesture and held the door open wider.

Sexy, and he hadn’t uttered a single word.

Blaire scrambled up the porch stairs and hustled inside, but not before she subtly sniffed him again as she passed. “What cologne do you use?” she asked nonchalantly. She wanted to bathe in the stuff.

“Uh, no cologne. It’s a body spray.” Gentry closed the door and made his way to the fireplace. “This place doesn’t have central heat and air, sorry,” he muttered. While he built a fire in the hearth as if he’d done it a billion times, Blaire scanned the big cabin.

She hadn’t known what to expect, but it wasn’t this. The cabin was very old, but had been kept up. The wood logs exposed on the ceiling were faded to a soft brownish-gray, but were polished to shining. The entryway led directly into a living area with an open kitchen on the right. In the center of the great room was the old stone hearth Gentry was currently building a fire in. The hearth was off-kilter, and none of the stones were uniform. Some stuck out farther, some sunk in. The chimney was made of the same kind of rock as it crawled up, up into the unique log rafters. A stone staircase curved up behind it and disappeared into a hallway. The railing was made of thin tree stumps and winding branches that gave this place a feeling of old and new. Old-fashioned sconces glowed invitingly on either side of a set of French doors on the back wall that showed the picturesque winter woods outside. There was no television, no electronics of any kind that she could see. Just two chairs and a couch in the middle of the great room that faced each other, and a couple of small end tables near them. The floors were scuffed and looked refurbished, like everything else in here. It was the most beautiful home she’d ever seen, which was strange, because she’d never been a fan of cabins in particular. She liked homes that looked like dollhouses.

“My dad lived here,” Gentry said from right behind her.

She startled because she hadn’t heard him approach. She jumped again when he dropped a blanket over her shoulders. Gentry frowned and backed off a few steps. “I wouldn’t hurt you.”

“Sorry,” she murmured. “I got a little lost in this place for a second.”

Gentry cast a quick glance around, then rolled the sleeves of his sweater up as though he was hot. Impossible since this place was almost as cold as it was outside. “My dad called it ten-ten. Said there was magic in this place.”

   
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