Quick, someone pass me a pitcher of margaritas and ten pounds of chocolate. I'll be all right.
I thought I'd share the first time my hero, Creighton Matheson sees Paisley Munro. It's a stormy night and the power is knocked out at the castle turned lodge. Even so, he stands at the top of the steps to greet his guests. First, I'll give you Paisley's impression of him...then I'll pop heads on you and show you how he reacts the first time he sees her. Oh, and it will help you to know that Paisley is an animal communicator. She can hear and speak with them ... One more thing. Baffies are Scottish for bedroom slippers. It's explained in the book, but not in this passage.
Paisley stared at the darkened shape, illuminated and shadowed by twin torches flanking each of the five stone steps leading to the massive doorway. Their flames danced in the wind, bouncing, twirling, and bowing.
A mountain of granite sculpted into the shape of a man—or so it appeared—stood between the rows of torches. His stance wide, proud chin jutted into the howling wind as if he commanded its force. Long dark hair billowed. Eyes blazed with arrogance. A width of plaid draped diagonally across his broad chest while his kilt flapped in the tempest.
Fascination and foreboding swept through her. Her stomach tensed. Her breathing quickened. Whoever he was, she wasn’t eager to meet him.
* * *
Creighton Matheson’s jaw clenched as the Land Rover approached. What few leaves remained on the whitebeam and birch trees tumbled across the driveway in a windswept dance. Tires crunched on the gravel as the Land Rover eased to a stop at the foot of the steps.
He was eager to meet these Munros from America, especially Angus Iverson’s niece. He scowled at the vehicle, allowing his ire to flame and spread. One of the passengers planned to break up the six hundred acres of the Iverson estate and sell to American corporations. The pristine habitat, freely roamed by his ancestors and his current sleuth of bears, would be greatly reduced. They’d no doubt lose access to their caves and dens.
Ronan helped an older woman from the Land Rover while Bryce hurried to the back hatch to remove their luggage. Creighton blinked as his gaze settled on the small, spindly woman. The beam from Ronan’s flashlight flickered over her for a few seconds.
A younger woman slid across the backseat to exit the vehicle and pulled on a coat. For a few seconds, something unseen fisted its scorching hands around his lungs and slowly squeezed until his breathing stopped. Although he enjoyed women, none had ever sucked the breath from his lungs before.
Her hair was the color of sweet golden gale, his favorite Highland flower. She wore her tresses chin length, a tempting sight blowing wild in the wind like the blonde mantle of a Viking princess. Creighton scowled; too bad he hated the Vikings.
Ronan escorted the lady in pink up the castle’s steps. The younger woman hurried to catch up. Her open coat billowed, showcasing long legs in snug blue jeans and full breasts under a white sweater. She fought to keep her windswept hair out of her face.
He reached to take the hand of the pink person, trying hard to focus on her face and not those ridiculous pelican . “Welcome to Matheson Lodge, ma’am.”
The woman barely acknowledged him, waving a hand in his direction and speaking to her blonde companion. “He’s all yours, sweet pea. Where’s the bathroom? I have to tinkle.” She whizzed by him, a woman obviously in need of the .
Shocked by her dismissal, Creighton’s hand remained outstretched. Wait, this wasna how he did things. Before guests stepped into his home, he gave them a brief prepared speech on the history of Mathe Castle and how his family converted it into a lodge. People didn’t just barge in like field mice in search of cheese. There were customs and rituals to adhere to.
Ronan spared him an aggravated glance as he hurried after the older woman. “I’ll see to the generator. Take care of Paisley. She saw some strange animals on our way here.” His expression and tone were telling.
Creighton mentally opened the telepathic shield to his inner bear’s thoughts. He turned his gaze on the blonde. Blue eyes, snapped open impossibly wide, dominated her face. Or was it those round, black-framed glasses? Her mouth opened and closed as if she were trying to speak and couldn’t find her tongue. Her hand fluttered to her throat and her eyes rolled back in her head.
“Bloody hell.” He reached out and caught her as she folded at his feet. He brought the limp form to his chest. She’d passed out. Travel fatigue, perhaps? He sneered. “Fragile Americans.” What was he to do with the lass? He studied her face. She was a pretty thing with lots of alluring curves.
Bryce took the steps two at a time, his hands full of luggage. “Bloody hell, Creighton. Ye’ve got the ladies swooning at yer feet.” He paused and stared at the unconscious woman. “She’s a looker. Got an eye-catching form, she does. I wouldn’t mind snuggling up to her on a bitchin’ cold night.”
Creighton’s scowl deepened and he pulled her closer to his chest. The urge to swipe at his brother was strong, which bothered him, but not nearly as much as this novel feeling of possessiveness. the bear within him proclaimed
Meanwhile I'm frantically writing A HIGHLANDER'S PASSION, book two of the Highlander's Beloved Trilogy, which is the romance of the youngest brother, Bryce, and his childhood best friend. A grown woman that he's hurt a time or two. Can she forgive and trust this chick magnet?