Monster:Angels of Chaos MC(5)

By: Zoey Parker

“Do you feel this?” He pinches the sole of my foot, and I nod. “Good. They’re red, not white. White would be a problem. Keep them by the fire.” I do as I’m told, while stretching forward to warm my hands as well. If he wanted to rape me, I reason with myself, he wouldn’t be so concerned with whether I lose my toes or fingers.

Minutes later he comes back, holding out a steaming mug. “Drink this,” he says, thrusting it toward me.

“What is it?”

“Tea with whiskey. It’ll get your blood flowing again.” I take it, feeling tentative. Is he drugging me? I take a sniff and reel backward, the smell of the whiskey hitting me hard.

“I can’t guarantee how well I’ll handle this. I don’t know how long it’s been since I ate.”

“We’ll deal with that later. Right now, you need to get your blood going and warm up, especially since you were asleep in the cold.” I see his point and take a tiny sip. It burns a warm trail down my throat and makes me wince, but there’s no denying how nice it feels to warm up inside. I smile a little, making him smile in return.

“That’s better,” he says, taking off his heavy parka to reveal more of himself. I watch him through the steam coming off the tea. He’s just as big without the coat as he was with it. Tall, muscular, intimidating. He’s wearing a t-shirt in the middle of winter, stretched tight over his broad chest and around his thick biceps. I see tattoos on both arms. His hair is dark, cropped close.

“I’ve seen you before,” I say, surprised. “You came into my shop one day around a week ago, didn’t you?”

He grins. “I did. You have a good memory.”

“I remember all my customers.” I take another sip of tea, choosing to leave out the part where he stuck out because of how gorgeous he was. He’d come in alone, right after I’d opened for the day. I’d sent Amy to the bank for change, leaving just me and him in the shop together. I’d felt a little overwhelmed by him, by his sheer size and presence, not to mention his smoldering good looks and big dark eyes. He’d been nothing but polite, though, and had left a big tip in the jar.

“You’re probably the only person in town who was nice to me that day,” he says thoughtfully.

“Why’s that?”

“Long story. How’s the tea?”

“I feel like I’m floating on a warm cloud.”

“That sounds about right.” He smiles, dazzling against his tanned skin. He must work outdoors or something, judging from the body and the tan.

“So listen, I hate to tell you this, but it’s gonna take me forever to get your car out of that snow. It’s probably completely buried by now. Besides, there’s a second storm on its way tonight. Anything that’s cleared off will just be back by morning.”

“Wait. What are you saying?” I’ve fallen off my cloud and back down to Earth with a thud.

“I’m saying you’ll have to spend the night. There’s just no way for you to get out of here; besides, there’s not enough gas in the tank. Remember?”

The warm, cozy feeling I had disappears in a flash. I’m sure I’ve seen at least one horror movie that started out like this. “Uh-uh. No way!”

His expression changes. Now he looks dark, dangerous, the way I’d expect him to be if judging him by his tattoos alone. “Listen, sweetheart, you’re more than welcome to walk your ass back home in the middle of a freaking blizzard if you’re so dead set against it. Be my guest.”

Damn it. He’s right, of course. I’m trapped here whether I like it or not. Even though the part of my brain still rational enough for thought reminds me I could easily be dead right now, frozen in the backseat of my car if it wasn’t for him, the rest of me is annoyed that I have to stay here instead of at home or, better yet, with my parents. Gorgeous or not, he’s a complete stranger.

A stranger who saved my life, that is.

“You’re right. I’m sorry, that was bitchy of me,” I mumble. “I wasn’t thinking. It’s just that I was so excited about getting home to see my parents for the holidays. It’s been a while, you know? They were looking forward to seeing me, too. This isn’t how I’d planned on things going.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m sure they’d rather have you alive than frozen to death in the middle of the road.”

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right. Okay. You’re right. You win. And it’s nice of you to let me stay. It was really great that you came to get me, too. Thank you.”

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