Braden awoke slowly, savoring the warmth and softness of the woman lying in his arms. The silkiness of her hair against his chest, of her breath against his skin.
His body tensed and hardened with desire. And a low moan slipped out of his throat, waking him more. But he wanted to stay here in this dream.
Or was this reality and everything else had been a dream? The note, the woods, the gunshot…
Sam’s body tensed and suddenly jerked away from him. “Damn it!”
“What?” Braden asked, opening his eyes to look up at her while she stared out the windows of the truck they’d used for shelter the night before. It was all they’d been able to use it for since the tires were flat and someone had taken the battery, which also meant that they hadn’t been able to charge their phones.
“I was going to stay awake,” Sam said. “I was going to make sure the shooter didn’t sneak up on us.”
The first faint light of dawn filtered through the trees and into the truck windows, illuminating the beauty of her face.
Braden reached up and touched her cheek, cupping it in his hand. “We’re fine. We’re safe.”
She glanced down at him, and her brow furrowed beneath a lock of pale blond hair. “Really? We’re stranded.”
He shifted his hips beneath her. “We could make the most of it…”
She chuckled. “You’re insatiable.”
They’d made love the night before, sitting up in the driver’s seat, her on his lap, riding him as she kept the gun nearby, ready to defend them. The passion had been even more intense than usual, maybe because of that element of danger and their triumph of cheating death.
The pleasure and the release had struck him hard with awe of his wife. And love.
He loved her so damn much. She leaned down, her face so close to his, and kissed his nose.
“We need to figure out who the hell set us up and why,” she told him.
“Your dad set us up first,” he said with a chuckle over the older man’s matchmaking. “He urged you to take on the Northern Lakes arson investigation.”
She smiled but shook her head. “I hardly think my dad is behind this.”
His stomach tightened with anxiety. He knew what she was about to suggest even before she continued. “We need to follow those directions in the messages we got. To find out where you were supposed to go.” Before he had stumbled across her in the dark.
He shook his head. “We should walk out to the main road, wave down help…”
She snorted. “Help? Or the shooter? We don’t know what we’ll find there.”
“We don’t know what we’ll find at the end of those directions either,” he said. “But I suspect it won’t be good.”
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