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    “Shit! Road’s closed.”

    Isabelle’s head shot up from where she’d been trying not to fall asleep. “What…what does that mean?”

    Chance put his truck in reverse and backed up, his back tires going off the edge of the road before he shifted to drive and cranked the wheel, heading the vehicle back in the direction from which they came. “It means that the road is closed. No one’s getting through.” He jerked his chin toward the road ahead of them. “My place is just a couple miles back. You can stay there tonight. I’m sure the plows’ll push through in the morning, then I can get you where you need to be.”

    “No.” Isabelle shook her head, setting her shoulders in a hard line. When he glanced at her, brows furrowed in irritation, he finally got a good look at her. She was facing him now – hell, she was looking right at him – and he couldn’t tear his eyes from hers. Behind that silky wall of black tresses, she was hiding these fucking amazing eyes. Eyes he couldn’t look away from. With his heightened sight, he could see every brilliant color. The black of her pupils was surrounded by smoky gray, morphing into a swirl of golden yellow, before exploding outward into a sea of blue and white. Her eyes looked like tiny replicas of the planet earth housed in her delicate face and surrounded by lush black lashes. They were in direct contrast to the rich bronze of her skin, which spoke of Native ancestry.

    “Your eyes,” he breathed, realizing he was staring like a psycho. “They’re…”

    “Yeah,” she ducked her head, the fall of her hair sweeping forward and hiding her from view again. “I know. Weird. People tell me all the time.”

    She sounded a little insulted and a lot annoyed, but he hadn’t been about to call her eyes weird. They were odd for sure, but they were breathtaking. He tore his gaze away from where she was hiding from him and clenched the steering wheel. He hadn’t been about to tell her he thought her eyes were beautiful either, and as they drove in silence he wondered what he would have said if she hadn’t cut him off like she had.

    Shaking his head he thought back to the conversation they’d been having. She’d said something… No. She’d told him no when he’d offered her a place to stay. Clearing his throat, he began, “Listen. I know you don’t know me, but…”

    “I’m not staying at your place,” she cut him off.

    Chance’s jaw clenched.

    “Thank you, but if you could just give me a ride to the nearest town.”

    “That’s what I was just trying to do and it ain’t happening.”

    She pointed straight ahead now that they were headed back the way they came. “What about his way? Can’t you just take me to the nearest town this way?”

    “Sure,” he gritted. “Only it’ll mean taking you back to where you started from.” He glanced at her pointedly. “You wanna make that walk again tomorrow? In deep snow?”

    She paled and her slight frame trembled. He wanted to tick up the corner of his mouth in triumph, but he simply wasn’t feeling it. No, his animal was riled and this woman wasn’t helping.

    She huddled in her seat once more, head turning away from him as she gazed out her window. The fall of her dark hair shielded her face from his view again, but he could see her reflection in the glass, worry written on her soft features. His nostrils flared, and assaulted once more by the scent of her pain his beast growled at him to do something about it. He’d been content to ignore it when he thought he’d just be dropping her off somewhere, but now it was his problem. Finally, he ground out, “You hurt?”

    “No,” she immediately lied, and it pissed him off.

    Damn her! If she was going to sit in his truck and lie to him, then she could just as soon get out and walk. Throwing his hand across the console, he slammed on the brakes, catching her weight before she could slam into the dash. Her head jerked in his direction, but he didn’t even bother looking at her or her big startled eyes. “If you’re gonna lie to me than you can just get the hell out.”

    He jerked his head toward her in surprise when she immediately reached down and opened the door. He had been sure she’d just come clean. Instead, she climbed wordlessly from the warm cab of his truck and that irked him even more than her lying. It was cold and dark and she was obviously hurting from some unknown injury. He stared straight ahead, contemplating leaving her ass on the side of the road even knowing his animal wouldn’t permit it. His head snapped to the side when, from the corner of his eye, he saw her go down. One second she’d been standing there, and the next she was on her knees.


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