From the Author
"Hi," she said inanely, and gave an even more inane little finger wave. It was like she was sixteen and insanely shy in his godlike presence all over again.
He shook his head, as if in disbelief, then levered himself up from the road. He staggered when he stood.
She forgot her self-consciousness and rushed to support him, reminded that he'd taken a heavy fall--that she'd thrown him. He could be badly hurt. She bit her lip. "I'm so sorry. You surprised me."
"Yeah. I won't do that again. What was it you did? Karate?"
"Taekwondo." His chest was warm, hot really, through the thin fabric of his t-shirt. She tried not to notice how much taller than her he was, and how hard his muscles were. "Did you bump your head when you fell? Do you need to see a doctor?"
"I'm fine." He rolled his shoulders and stretched, wincing.
She stepped back from him. "Well, ah, good." And awkward! She'd hoped to stay a week, possibly two, with her grandma while she sorted out her life in Los Angeles. She needed a job and a place to rent; somewhere small to start with, but then somewhere with a yard. She wanted a dog. She'd intended that Mark wouldn't even notice that she was there in the housekeeper's cottage. Now, she had to walk up to the gate with him. At a minimum, she had to collect her bag.
"Do you always throw people who run up behind you?"
She blushed. "No. I'm so sorry. It was..." She couldn't explain it.
"You were a bit freaked?" He supplied her answer.
"Yeah. The fog came out of nowhere. It felt unnatural. I guess I went into danger mode. Act first, regret later. And I do regret it. I'm so sorry." Repeating her apology couldn't hurt. She glanced at him hopefully.
"You did the right thing," he said decisively.
She blinked at him. "I did?" She stared into his wonderful blue eyes. How do you tell if someone has concussion?
He grasped her arm. His fingers were long, strong and gentle.
She could almost feel their warmth through her leather jacket.
"We need to get behind Edgar's ward." He led her back up the hill and off the road, plunging across the rough grass till the ward once more enclosed them. Then he released her. "There was a demon out there."